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?
- I have some up stairs lights that are flickering, and going dim then brighter. This does not happen all the time but quite often.
- I went to my breaker box and flicked one of the breakers and they all went off, but the wire that goes upstairs is connected to a couple of breakers.
- I found where the junction box is in my attic and checked all connections and they seemed to be OK.
- What do you think could be causing this? Would the problem be located before the junction box, or could it be after the wires all go to the different rooms, or could it be the breaker?
Please any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Jerry
Background: Jerry, a Homeowner in Ohio.
Thanks for your electrical question Jerry.
Dim and Flickering Lights Problem
Application: Electrical Troubleshooting a Dim and Flickering Light Problem.
Skill Level: Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
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:
- There may be a faulty connection within the circuit, most likely a neutral wire splice.
- The question describes that the wire that goes upstairs is connected to a couple of circuit breakers, however a 120 volt circuit should be supplied with power from only one circuit breaker, therefore this condition may be directly associated with the problem of lights flickering and going dim and bright.
- This problem is going to require some electrical troubleshooting techniques, so I have placed some links below that will help with the process of troubleshooting that may help to identify the problem.
- To have this problem corrected safely and properly I highly recommend that you consider consulting a local qualified electrician.
More about Electrical Troubleshooting for Dim and Flickering Lights
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Wiring
Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered including electrical problems that can cause dim and flickering lights.
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Using Testers to Identify Electrical Problems
Testers to Help Troubleshoot Electrical Problems that Cause Dim and Flickering Lights.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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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.
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,