Flickering lights evoke images of scary movies, but some people encounter them regularly. If you live with flickering lights, you know they’re more than a small inconvenience. Electricity keeps our homes comfortable and safe, but problems with our electricity jeopardize that. Aside from being annoying, flickering lights can be a sign of a bigger problem that could cost you money and potentially your life. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, home electrical fires account for $1.3 billion in property damage and nearly 500 deaths each year. In the interest of your safety, never attempt to DIY major electrical problems. If you have had enough of your flickering lights, check out these four reasons your lights may be flickering and call a local electric company as soon as possible.
Loose connections are a common cause of flickering lights and electric fires. Electrical connections need to be as tight as possible to avoid creating resistance. Resistance, even when low, can overheat connections or any surrounding wires, and overheating can start a fire if located near any flammable materials. Loose connections don’t just involve wires. A loose connection can involve a loose terminal on a device or a loose connection to the circuit breaker. If you believe you have loose connections, call an experienced electric company to come evaluate your home.
If your lights are flickering, check to see if the light bulb is secure. Light bulbs that aren’t fully secured in their sockets are receiving inconsistent power, which results in inconsistent lighting. Tightening loose bulbs is the easiest way to remedy flickering lights and can be done without any assistance. Before you try to tighten a bulb, make sure to turn the light off and give it time to cool down.
Lights that flicker when a large appliance is turned on may be a sign of voltage fluctuation. Most homes have around 200 amp for their main electrical service, and appliances that draw a large current when being turned on can momentarily cause flickering. If you find your lights always flicker when using large appliances, call an electric company to make sure your appliances are wired for maximum ampacity.
Type of Light
Your flickering lights could be normal. Fluorescent lights often employ the use of an inductive ballast to control to amount of current in the bulb. A disruption of power running through the bulb can cause it to flicker. Replacing your fluorescent bulb with an incandescent or LED light may fix the problem.
Flickering lights can be caused by minor issues or serious electrical problems. Improper electrical work is not only annoying but also dangerous. Home electrical fires can cost you your home as well as your life. If your flickering lights are a result of a serious problem, do not attempt to repair it yourself. Electrical work can be deadly if not done properly. A professional power company, like Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, will be able to evaluate and repair your home’s electricity in the safest way possible.