Installation, Repair, Upgrade
Written by Walt Meyer

Beware If Your Home’s Lights Flicker!

Typically, a home’s lights will flicker because of harmless reasons but unfortunately, there are cases when this could be a serious problem. It would be wise 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. Oftentimes loads require inrush current, drawing the maximum current when activated. Upon being turned on, this type of load will result in a considerable voltage drop being supplied, and this may cause flickering.

An electrical system with a proper design will decrease flickering, but not completely prevent them. One method for greatly minimizing flickering is using dedicated 240V circuits for large appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.

Harmless Causes

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 but your electrical system has not been altered, there may be 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 danger more localized.

Determining the Cause

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

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.