Flickering Lights- What Can I Do?
Do You have some flickering lights? Often, when people have a light in their home that flickers (occasionally or all the time), they ignore it. They consider it a minor annoyance and look for an easy solution. If it is a lamp plugged into an outlet, they will plug the lamp into a different outlet and forget about it. If it is a ceiling light, they will often ignore it for a long time before pursuing the cause and implementing a solution. Ignoring the problem can be dangerous. Let’s look at the common reasons for flickering lights and what you can do to fix them.
Simple Fixes for Flickering Lights
Not every flicker of the lights indicates a serious issue. There are several things a homeowner can check before calling an electrician. Let’s start by troubleshooting the situation to see if there is a simple fix.
Do You Have a Loose Bulb?
If you have a loose light bulb in the socket, it will receive an inconsistent power supply, causing the flicker. You can find this in a lamp, appliance, or ceiling light–anything with a lightbulb.
Turn off the light. Wait for the bulb to cool down before touching it. Then, check to ensure the light bulb is screwed in tightly and that it is the right kind of bulb for the fixture.
Is the Type of Bulb Causing the Flicker?
The flickering or blinking lights could be due to the type of bulb you are using.
- Fluorescent Bulbs – Fluorescent bulbs tend to flicker, especially when warming up. Because of this, they aren’t ideal for use in cold environments where they can take a long time to reach full brightness. You can even expect them to flicker a bit in a warm room when they are first turned on.
- Dimmer Switch Bulbs – If you have a dimmer switch, it is essential to use a dimmer-compliant light bulb. LED Bulbs often flicker when used with a dimmer switch because they are incompatible with non-LED dimmers.
Buy the appropriate bulb and install it. If you install a smart bulb, you can control the dimmer from an app on your phone instead of the physical dimmer switch.
Do You Have a Loose Plug Connection?
If your plug has come loose from the outlet, your lights will flicker or refuse to turn on because there is insufficient connection to the electrical source.
Often you can unplug the cord and pry the metal prongs apart slightly before plugging it back in. this should hold the plug in the outlet more securely.
When You Need an Electrician for Flickering Lights
While there are many situations in which flickering or blinking lights are easy to fix. We want to make sure you consider your safety when trying to perform any electrical task. You could have a dangerous electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a professional electrician as quickly as possible before someone gets shocked or before an electrical fire breaks out.
Do You Have an Overloaded Circuit?
If you notice flickering when you turn on an appliance such as your microwave, clothes dryer, or space heater, you may overload one or more circuits. If the flickering is brief and only happens once in a while, it’s probably not too serious. But if it occurs frequently or lasts more than a few seconds, it’s time to call a professional electrician. They will safely and correctly check for an overloaded circuit and repair it.
Could Flickering Lights Stem From Your Utility Service?
Sometimes the issue stems from your electric company. This is more likely to become a problem if the homes in your neighborhood share a transformer. If one of your neighbors uses a lot of electricity and your lights start flickering, you should contact the electric company to determine if any repairs need to be done.
Most homes are wired for a standard 120-volt circuit, so your home’s electrical voltage should stay between 115 and 125 volts. One sign of voltage fluctuation or high voltage issues is when light bulbs burn out faster than they should or dim inconsistently for no apparent reason.
Check your home’s voltage with a voltmeter. If the reading is more than 125 volts, contact a professional electrician. You may have a serious fault in the electrical system.
Do You Have Loose Or Old Wiring?
Loose wiring and outdated wiring can be hazardous. Old wiring could have been improperly installed or become corroded wire over time, putting your property and the safety of you and your loved ones at risk. According to The National Fire Protection Association NFPA, almost 70% of home fires are caused by a wiring issue.
If your lights are flickering and you suspect it is due to old or loose wiring, call a professional electrician to inspect the wiring and advise you on the best course of action.
Is There a Problem With the Main Connection
Are lights flickering in several areas of your house for no apparent reason? If so, you may have an issue with the primary connection or service cable connection.
If your lights are flickering inconsistently for no apparent reason, immediately call a professional electrician to check your primary meter box connection.
When Should I Call an Electrician?
Is saving a little money worth risking creating a more significant problem by trying to fix it yourself? You could receive an accidental shock, serious injury, burns, or worse. You could safely get through the work and later have a fire because you’ve improperly installed the wiring. And insurance typically won’t cover damage caused by homeowner-performed electrical work. Avoid these issues by having a professional electrician diagnose the problem and do the repairs.
If you want to work with Professional Electricians in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Call a company with the experience to get the job done right. If you expect exceptional customer service, you will like working with us. Contact Accredited Electric today! 763-355-5898