flickering lights

rstephenDecember 28, 2013

I had a timer switch on my front porch lights that worked great. I recently had a generator installed in my home. The generator is 13Kw and doesn't do the entire house, but mainly the essentials. the day the generator was installed, my front porch lights started flickering when they turned on. I replaced the timer switch with a standard switch and they worked just fine. I then replaced the timer with a new one and it does the same thing. The gentleman who installed the generator says that he had nothing to do with the flickering lights, though it seems coincidental that the day he changed the wiring for the generator, the problem occurred. Is there anything I can do before I call another electrician?

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Trebruchet

Do the lights flicker under normal power, or just under the generator?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 6:07PM
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rstephen

sorry I worded that poorly. Ever since the generator was installed, every time I turn on my front porch lights, the lights flicker off and on. They flicker regardless of the generator running--it's every time they are turned on under normal power. thanks.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 8:49PM
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klem1

Wow,don't you have any simple things wrong ? Taking you at your word,i can only believe the breaker which light is on was moved during the gen set install. Sorta cheesy of the installer not looking at it for you. Find the breaker and make sure it's firmly stabed in and all 3 screws are tight ( 1 on breaker , 1 on neutral bar and 1 on ground bar.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 9:04PM
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tim45z10

Did you try changing the bulb?
13k not enough for the whole house?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 1:15AM
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rstephen

I looked at the breakers and they seem to be all fastened in properly. I know it's not the bulbs. I agree about the installer, but he insists that it has nothing to do with him installing the generator. I think it's awfully coincidental. To reiterate, my porch lights flicker off and on (every second--off, on, off, on every one second) when I install a timer switch (which requires using the white wire in the box in the wall). It does NOT do this when I use a regular on/off switch and has nothing to do with the generator powering up. It does this when the regular power is on. thanks!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:50AM
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bus_driver

What kind of "bulbs" are in the porch lights?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 10:33AM
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klem1

Yup,that is new information,I assumed you were using a mechanical timer but you obviously have a soild state timer.
Solving it for you may be difficult,if not impossible without being there to check out your main load center.
First things first.
There are three types of soilid state timers and relays (i) hybrid, (ii) transformed-coupled and (iii) photo-coupled.
Which do you have? Are you certain you followed wiring instructions?
My best guess is that you no longer have neutral and ground at the load center. If you look closly at timer wiring detail,both are required.
The best way to be certain your load center is correct is have an electrician look at it. From what you have said,if a secound electrician finds floating ground or other trouble,the electrician that installed the gen set will probibly deny responsibility. As you already said,it does seem strange this only reared it's head after gen set was installed.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 11:02AM
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