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I have flickering lights intermittently for a week or so. A flickering episode can last an hour. My DVM measures a fluctuating 92, to 100, 112. When flickering stops it reads 119 +-1 volt. I've called Southern California Edison but have no idea how long it will take for them to come and, of course, my intermittent symptom may be not showing itself when they are on site. I looked at my semi-smart meter and see a sequence I have video'd in case it provides a hint. I see, cycling -

Sync nEt

888 888888

Pld 151

001 74218

082 001.83

(not 100% sure I see the "." in the last reading)

EDIT

My UPS starts beeping, unsurprisingly.

Photo of meter meter photo

Does any of this point to something helpful in diagnosing?

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    You're only measuring one circuit. When it's doing that, we need you to measure other circuits. I am looking for values which exceed 120 volts. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 1:10
  • Will do next time I see the symptom. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 1:31
  • Can you post photos of the smart meter in question? Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 2:57
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    Does there seem to be any correlation to turning on or off (or automatic cycling of) any 240V appliances - e.g., electric dryer, electric hot water heater, heat pump/air conditioner, etc.? Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 3:40
  • No flickering for a while - I just triple-checked that the electric dryer did not start the problem. We have gas water heater and furnace. We have nice weather in So. Cal. but no air conditioner running this month. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 4:56

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Those codes do not mean anything meaningful to the problem.

SCE was out this morning - a very helpful and diligent guy. He said the meter information that was relayed to their central station showed no problems. Maybe being more helpful than SCE policy, he looked at the breakers and the bus bars on the "house side". He also went in the house and put a load test on a sub panel and then looked at at a place a very old panel had been that is now just a giant spaghetti junction box. He convinced me that I have some internal problem. In a new experiment I see that pushing down a 2-slice toaster drops the voltage in a nearby outlet from 118 to 116 and activating the other 2-slices drops it to 114. This is all while I am the the "good state" with no visible flickering.

Got to the bottom of it t turned out to be a soft sort - corroded wires under the dirt in the front yard that went to some long defunct thing. It was on the breaker for a room we hardly ever use and next to it was the breaker that had things behaving intermittently. Eventually became a hard short and got found by the electrician. He thinks the strange behavior at a certain time of day was from the water from the sprinklers filtered down to the wire underground.

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  • From the description, it sounds as though there is a problem with a neutral connection somewhere. These can be a bear to troubleshoot, even for professional electricians. But it's generally not something the average homeowner can solve on their own. The "giant spaghetti box" is a likely forst place I would start looking, but it might be worth having a licensed electrician come out and take a look. All that said, I recently had a similar situation that turned out to be the meter SOCKET being corroded. Hopefully your SCE guy checked that.
    – JRaef
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 17:03
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    thanks - it turned out to be a soft sort - corroded wires under the dirt in the front yard that went to some long defunct thing. It was on the breaker for a room we hardly ever use and next to it was the breaker that had things behaving intermittently. Eventually became a hard short and got found by the electrician. He thinks the strange behavior at a certain time of day was from the water from the sprinklers filtered down to the wire underground. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 20:55
  • @GeorgeWhite You should add your comment into your answer and then self-accept. Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 18:00

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