Home electrician,Annapolis, MD
Written by Larry Cook

Do You Know Why Your Lights Flicker?

Quite commonly household lights flicker because of harmless reasons. Unfortunately, there are some reasons why this could be a serious issue. This article will discuss how to tell between a major or minor lighting problem. Remember to call a licensed electrical services company for your family’s safety and the best results.

Unavoidable Flickering

When electrical loads turn off and on, such as appliances and lighting, this will result in the voltage that supply lights to fluctuate, and flickering may occur. Frequently loads require inrush current, drawing plenty of current when activated. Upon being turned on, this type of load will result in a considerable voltage drop being supplied, and this will cause flickering.  An electrical system with a proper design will decrease flickering, but not completely prevent them. One method for greatly minimizing flickers is using dedicated 240V circuits for large appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.

Harmless Causes of Flickering

If the motor of a major appliance has to work harder because it is faulty, it will draw more electricity when it’s turned on, resulting in flickering lights. An unexpected large load suddenly activating, like the pool pump turning on, may either dim or cause lights to flicker. Sharing a transformer with neighbors may also cause flickering when their loads jump rapidly.

Problematic Flickering

When flickering significantly increases although your electrical system has not been altered, this may indicate a serious issue. In the case of loose circuit connections, this will result in a point of high resistance, which affects the entire system and generates heat and may cause an electrical fire. One other significant problem that may cause flickering lights is a switch failure, which is a more localized danger.

Determining the Cause

When flickering is more commonplace or occurring unexpectedly, call an electrical services company and request an inspection. When crackling and buzzing from the control panel occurs when a specific load is turned on, the problem must be addressed more quickly.  A licensed electrician can determine the drop in voltage when a certain load is activated and recommend ways to minimize the flickering.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.