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Electrical Troubleshooting Lights that Flicker or Dim

How to Identify the Cause of Flickering or Dim Lights:Our lights have been getting dim and flickering, sometimes worse than the others, why is this happening? The Most Common Causes of Flickering Lights and Dim Lights.

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Flickering Lights and Dim Light Problems
Electrical Question: Our lights have been getting dim and flickering, sometimes worse than the others, why is this happening?

Also last week we had our air conditioner fixed but even with that off the lights still dim and flicker.
What do you think the problem might be? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

This electrical wiring question came from: Lakeisha, from Cleveland, Mississippi.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Lakeisha.

How to Troubleshoot the Cause of Flickering or Dim Lights

Application: Troubleshooting the Cause of Dim or Flickering Lights.
Skill Level: Advanced – This is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor. This problem may also require the Local Electric Utility Company or electric service provider.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a Voltage Tester or Multimeter.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and troubleshoot and inspect electrical circuits and electrical system components.
Precaution: Depending on the symptoms, identify the main panel or panel circuit in question, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Burnt or damaged electrical wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.

The Most Common Causes of Flickering Lights and Dim Lights

Electrical Troubleshooting  for Flickering Lights and Dim Light Problems
The following are examples of  common causes of dim or flickering lights that will be identified as you consider the following questions about the condition and occurrences.

Do the lights flicker all the time, or just during certain times of the day?

Do the lights dim when specific equipment is started, such as an air conditioner or the furnace?

Does it seem that all of the home power is affected or just one circuit, or one part of the home?

Isolating a Problem Electrical Circuit

Repairing Damaged Electrical System Components

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This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

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Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring

Licensed Electrician Explains the Methods of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.

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Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
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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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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

One Response to “Electrical Troubleshooting Lights that Flicker or Dim”
  1. william sims says:

    I have run across flickering lights before and found that somewhere in the past a homeowner or other person had wired the lights and receptacles by only twisting the wires together and then taping them. With movement of the house during changes in temperature this could cause wires to loose the connections. The worse case was when junction boxes were found behind a wall with no access and to complicate it even more, the boxes were not covered. When all the wire connections were properly replaced and in some cases new wires pulled into new junction boxes the problem was solved.