If you notice that the lights in your home occasionally flicker or dim, you’re not alone. Flickering lights are an extremely common, often harmless electrical problem caused by a bad connection in a specific area. That said, it’s important to call an electrician to identify the source of the flickering. What seems like a minor lighting issue could be dangerous, requiring urgent repair. This list of potential causes and their symptoms can help you determine how soon to call your electrician:
A simple solution to flickering lights might just be in the bulbs themselves, even in fixtures where the bulb is unexposed. If you do check this yourself, be sure the light is off and wear a thick glove to avoid burns. The flickering may stop after the bulb has been tightened or replaced.
If the connection in your fixture’s on-off switch is interrupted, this may be the culprit of your flickering problem. You may also want to check your fixture’s plug for bent prongs, which can also interrupt an electrical connection. These issues are best taken care of by a professional electrician, as diagnosing and repairing loose connections can be dangerous and complicated.
If you notice the lights flickering throughout your entire home, this indicates one of the more serious and potentially dangerous causes of flickering lights. Electrical arcing – which occurs when electrical currents jump a gap in their circuit – generates intense heat, which can become a potential fire and shock hazard. Don’t try to examine or fix this issue yourself! 80% of all electrical injuries are burns resulting from an arc-flash, and professionals are trained to handle such risks safely.
If you find your lights are flickering when a specific appliance is used (especially a large one such as a washing machine or air conditioner), your electrical system may be overextending. A professional can determine if your house is equipped to handle the electrical load your appliances need.
Call the Experts
As you can see, finding the source of flickering or dimming lights simply comes down to where (and when) the issue occurs. However, always consult your electrician before taking matters into your own hands! If you need electrical service, give us a call at 410-276-3420. We’re here to help!