If you’re dealing with flickering lights in your home, don’t dismiss it as an annoyance. The cause could be serious and lead to a dangerous electrical issue. Read on to know when flickering lights are an easy solution and when it’s time to call an electrician before an electrical fire breaks out.
The Simple Culprits (and Their Fixes)
Not all flickering lights mean there’s a serious issue in your home. Here are some simple and easy things to check that can cause your lights to flicker.
Making Sure You’re Using the Right Bulb
Did you know you can use the wrong bulb for fixtures? It’s true. And if you do, it can cause your lights to flicker. This is especially true if you have a dimmer switch. The lightbulb that connects to the dimmer switch needs to be compliant.
LED bulbs often flicker when used with a dimmer because they’re incompatible with non-LED dimmers. Make sure you are using the right light bulb for your appliance, and that could solve your light flickering issues.
Checking for Loose Bulbs
If you’re noticing one light occasionally flickering, you may have a simple culprit. Light bulbs that are loose in their socket receive inconsistent power supply, which can cause them to flicker.
The easy fix: turn off the light and make sure the light is screwed in tightly. That might be all you need to fix your problem!
Ensure No Loose Plugs
Another simple fix – making sure your plug has not come loose from the outlet. Like the loose lightbulb, you’ll get inconsistent power if the plug isn’t all the way plugged in. If the prongs on the plug are bent, simply unplug it and bend the metal prongs back to their original shape before plugging it in.
If you tried the simple fixes and are still left with flickering lights, you likely have a bigger problem on your hands. Problems like the following can not only damage your lighting and appliances but can put you, your family, and your home at risk of an electrical fire.
Here are the bigger issues you should watch out for.
Do your lights flicker when you turn on a large appliance? If so, you may have an overloaded circuit due to the larger amount of electrical current these appliances draw as they start up.
If the flickering only happens every once in a while, it’s usually not that serious. But if you notice the flickering is consistent, persistent, and severe, then you may need to upgrade or install a new electrical circuit for these areas. This is something best left to the professionals, as attempting yourself could cause injury. Always call in a professional electrician to make sure your electrical circuit is updated safely and properly.
On a standard, 120-volt circuit, your home should have a reading between 115 volts and 125 volts. If you have a voltmeter, you can check the reading yourself. If it comes back higher than 125, you have a serious fault in your electrical system.
While flickering lights are a sign of fluctuating voltage, other tell-tale signs include bulbs burning out faster than they should or lights dimming inconsistently without warning and for no other apparent reason. If you notice these signs, call a professional electrician immediately. Excess voltage can be a safety hazard in your home and lead to an electrical emergency.
Old or Loose Wires
Old or loose wiring in your home may not seem like a big deal, but it can be very dangerous and do more harm than just make your lights flicker. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates almost 70% of home fires are caused by a wiring issue.
When you have loose or old wiring, you’re more prone to a phenomenon called arching. This is when the electrical current jumps over a bad connection to keep flowing. Each time it jumps, or arcs, it can exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and will often spark an electrical fire.
If you think flickering lights could be happening because of your home’s wiring, contact an electrician as soon as possible to get your home checked out.
Let Speck Family Electric Address Your Flickering Lights Today
It might seem like a minor issue, but flickering lights can turn into a serious problem quickly. If you’ve tried the simple solutions and you haven’t found the fix, call up the Speck Family Electric team. We’ll inspect your home and help you get back your peace of mind.
We promise to complete the job with your safety and the safety of your home in mind. After all, our experienced team takes pride in performing reliable services and getting each job done safely and efficiently. We service those in Sparta, Spencer, Smithville, Pikeville, McMinnville, Lebanon, Crossville, Cookeville, and Baxter.