Common Electrical Supply Questions: Why Are My Lights Flickering?

Ever seen light bulbs flickering and wondered why or how the problem started? The lights may be flickering as a result of the electrical supply, HVAC equipment, wiring, etc. associated with the building. Here's what to watch for:

1. Bulb Failure

Bulb failure is the simplest explanation for flickering lights—and it's the problem with the easiest solution. If only one light bulb is flickering, try flicking the lights on and off. The bulb may die completely and need to be replaced. If that doesn't stop the flickering, make sure that the bulb is fully screwed into the socket properly.

2. Fluctuating Demand

If many lights (for example, all the lights in a particular room) blink throughout the day, make notice of any other equipment that may come on at the same time. Some household equipment requires a lot of electricity. This can briefly imbalance the average 200-amp electrical supply conduit into the home—and thus, lead to flickering lights. Does the heater or air conditioner turn on just as your lights flicker? If so, that may be the problem. Contact Ragsdale for a closer inspection so see if your HVAC system is working properly.

3. Overloaded System

When too many outlets are wired into one home circuit, the lights may flicker. This is a result of too many devices running at the same time. This is more common in older houses, or in homes where many electrical devices are all being used at once. An electrician can look for overload problems. Cutting back on appliances can also help here.

4. Wiring Failure

If a group of lights is flickering or dying with no apparent cause—call in an electrician to test your wiring. There could be loose connections or wiring problems throughout the house that are leading to flickering. This may also occur when lights are outdoors in the wind. Wiring failure is one of the most dangerous problems because it's a common cause of electrical fires in walls.

5. Electrical Company Woes

Sometimes the problem reaches far beyond the house. If the whole neighborhood is experiencing problems with flickering lights, then the problem is with the power grid. Your electrical company may be readjusting the electrical supply flow. Sit tight and wait for the lights to recover.

For any further questions, contact Ragsdale and troubleshooting services to find out exactly what is wrong with the electrical system will be provided. It's important to get to the bottom of a flickering light problem—and to find out what dangers flickering lights may pose.

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