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Causes of Dim or Flickering Lights

What would cause lights to flicker and go dim then brighter? Common Problems that Cause Dim and Flickering Lights.



Flickering Light Problem

Electrical Question: What would cause lights to flicker and go dim then brighter?

Please any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Jerry

Background: Jerry, a Homeowner from East Palestine, Ohio.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Jerry.

Dim and Flickering Lights Problem

Application: Electrical Troubleshooting a Dim and Flickering Light Problem.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter and a Circuit Tracer.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the home, the condition of the electric wiring, and the access to the circuits and wiring to be evaluated.
Precaution: Identify the affected circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections or electrical repairs. Electrical troubleshooting and repairs requires specific tests of the electrical circuits. Working in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock.
Notice: Repairs to Home Electrical Wiring should be made according to local and national electrical codes. Installing new or replacement electrical wiring may require a permit and inspections.

Common Problems that Cause Dim and Flickering Lights

From what has been described in this electrical question, there are a few possible problems with the electrical wiring of this circuit which I will explain below:

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Questions about Causes of Dim or Flickering Lights


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  1. Kellee says:

    We have lived in our house 2 weeks,everything electrical worked, there was a power outage 2 days ago and yesterday when I plugged the microwave in the lights flickered then went out. We called the electric company and they looked and said the main breaker was bad. We replaced the breaker. All the lights came on but when I plugged something in an outlet the lights flickered. Now the room closest to breaker box is lit, but the rest of house is dim.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Kellee,
      If the electrical panel has already been checked and tested where they found a possible problem with the main breaker, and you are still having electrical problems, then I would suspect that there could be a problem with the primary side of the electrical service, between the main breaker and the connections to your local electric utility company. Your local electric utility provider should be called, explain the problems, and request that they come out and test their side of your electrical service.
      I hope this helps you,
      Dave

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