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Old 26 August 2006, 04:59   #1
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Question about Fluorescent tubes.

A few years ago I installed one of those enery saving bulb thingys to the landing light fitting. A few days after it was up there it started glowing very faintly and flickering....Nothing unusual there I hear you say! Trouble was the switch was turned "OFF" (Spooky). Needless to say it I took it out when the kids wouldn't go to sleep because of it.

Know my New kitchen is up and running I have 5 mini Fluorescent Tubes, 2 as uplighters and three as under worktop.

The same sort of thing is happening with the kitchen, but instead of faint glowing it's a bright flash every so often. There is no power going to the fittings when the power is off.

So how can this be happening? I know that storms, HT and static electrical currents can cause this sort of thing. But any Idea's out there?
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Old 26 August 2006, 05:13   #2
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Is there any source of induced voltage; a large RF RF welders sometimes produce large amounts of it or do you live under some monster power lines. If not are you getting some sort of voltage on your neutral or earth?
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Old 26 August 2006, 05:25   #3
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There's no power lines that I know of and the only radio source I can think of is a couple of Mobile phones and a cordless DECT system I have.

There is no earth the the fittings and surly if I were getting voltage down the neutral then that would trip the house MCB's/RCB's. Any way the mains switch is off so there's no circuit. Very puzzling!
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Old 26 August 2006, 05:33   #4
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I've seen it before. On that occasion neutral and live were crossed over somewhere in the system. Could be your whole house.
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Old 26 August 2006, 05:43   #5
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I did get the Kitchen re-wired by an Electrician and am happy that his works were carried out OK. He did test the system before he went and said that apart from a little bit of a low reading from the earth to neutral insulation everything was within guidlines.

But if I had a constant problem with the wiring wouldn't I get this problem all the time and not just occasionally?
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Old 26 August 2006, 05:54   #6
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Dunno, you need to check it out. Earth and neutral are strapped together and so should be at the same potential. However, they may not be strapped together well or the connection could be a long way off. Voltages can then be induced onto the neutral line by equipment, fridge motors, washing machines etc. and I don't mean yours, they could be anywhere on the system.

On a slightly different topic. These voltages are often a cause of poor quality sound on hi-fi systems and enthusiasts go to great lengths to isolate them.

Since I'm fairly remote, my earth and neutral are connected at the pole, next the the transformer in my garden. My hifi sounds good, except when the hairdrier is running.


There maybe a clue in your last post.
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Old 26 August 2006, 07:27   #7
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My father's kitchen lights do this. There is a switch by the door at each end of the room, if you switch them off with one, it is ok, if you switch them off with the other, they flicker. Odd, but it has been doing it for as long as I can remember....
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Old 26 August 2006, 07:37   #8
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Andy, when you say your sparks tested the works was that just the works he had done or the whole house electrical installation back at the meter/distribution board? As has been said sounds like a crossed neutral/earth somewhere - this could even be in an appliance that is plugged in. Could also be caused by induced voltage with the lighting circuit wring running next to power circuit wiring i.e. through the same holes drilled through the first floor joists.

"apart from a little bit of a low reading from the earth to neutral insulation" - this confuses me a bit - doesn't follow conventional testing procedure.
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Old 26 August 2006, 11:51   #9
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Well all I can say is that he unplugged everything in the house and used a computerized Megger that first zapped evrything with 240v's and then I guess when he was happy 5000v's. He has yet to come back and fit some fire caps above my downlighters and to give me the report/certificate on the house and to pick up his final instalment of money. I'll ask him about the lights then I guess.
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Old 26 August 2006, 19:15   #10
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I'd go round your sockets with one of these
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