Flickering light can add a cheery or romantic ambiance to your Wenham home if the source is holiday decor or flicker flame bulbs installed in your dining room chandelier. Unexplained flickering, dimming, or blinking lights in various rooms of your home can be a nuisance or downright worrisome.
There are several reasons why you might occasionally experience flickering or flashing lights, and while some are completely normal, others can point to a more serious problem and are a cause for concern. Here’s how to know when there’s no need to worry and when you should call the professional electricians at 128 Plumbing to check into why the light is flickering.
Benign Causes of Flickering Household Lighting
Some underlying causes of flickering lights don’t pose any sort of safety hazard. If you find the light flickering is annoying, though, you can check if it’s due to any of these potential causes, which are easy to troubleshoot and even fix on your own:
Flickering LED and Fluorescent Lighting
It’s not uncommon to see fluorescent and LED lighting flickering more often than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. A fluorescent light tends to flicker or quickly flash in the first few minutes of use as the phosphors inside the tube reach the peak of illumination. Flickering can also occur if the ballast is getting older and beginning to fail. If the fixture has an older-style magnetic ballast, it’s fairly easy and may be more cost-effective to switch out the fixture for a new model with a longer-lasting electronic ballast.
Using lower-voltage LED lights in a fixture controlled by an incompatible older dimmer switch can also cause dimming or flickering of the bulbs in some rooms of your Wenham home. While this type of flickering in a light fixture doesn’t pose any danger, if you find it’s bothersome, you can easily solve the problem by installing a dimmer switch designed primarily for LED bulbs.
Bulb Not Fully Seated in the Socket
A light bulb that’s not screwed into its fixture socket completely may not be making a consistent connection, and this can result in aggravating flickers when the light is in use. You may be able to fix this by shutting off the light switch and then unscrewing and reinstalling the bulb to establish a stable connection. If doing so doesn’t help, try putting in a fresh bulb. If the issue seems to be with the socket itself, the light fixture may need replacement.
Shared Neighborhood Transformers
It’s not unusual for a Wenham home to share electric service transformers with multiple houses in the same neighborhood. At certain times, the amount of electrical load being used by the neighbors can result in flickering and dimming of your home’s lights. If you’re having an issue with flickering lights and it’s getting worse, you should compare notes with your Essex County neighbors and contact your electric service provider to find out why.
Concerning Reasons for Lights Flickering in Wenham Homes
One or more lights flickering or dimming in a single area or throughout your home may also be related to a potentially hazardous underlying problem. If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, contact us at 128 Plumbing for expert advice and solutions.
If the bulbs in some light fixtures always go dim or flicker briefly when you turn on certain appliances or equipment, such as the clothes dryer, microwave, or air conditioner, the lights may be simply sharing the same circuit. However, in a Wenham home with an older electrical system, this can also be a sign that the circuit is overloaded. If your older home’s system hasn’t been updated in recent memory, it’s worth having the electricians at 128 Plumbing perform a complete inspection and advise you if an upgrade is needed.
Loose or Corroded Circuit Breaker Neutral Wire
If your Wenham home’s lights regularly dim and brighten, a corroded or loose neutral wire on one or more of the circuit breakers inside the electrical panel may be the cause. This situation deserves the immediate attention of a licensed electrician to prevent surges in current from damaging your household electronics and limit the risk of an electrical fire.
Outdated Electrical Wiring
Often, older homes in Massachusetts have had portions of the electrical system updated but still have knob and tube or aluminum wiring hidden behind some walls and ceilings. When modern light fixtures and appliances are installed, the result can be unpredictable dimming or flickering of the lights and an increased danger of fire. If you’re worried there may be outdated wiring hidden in your Wenham home, having the entire electrical system checked and getting any older wiring replaced can address issues with flickering lights and give you peace of mind about possible safety hazards.
Loose Connections Within a Circuit
When the lights are only flickering in one room or area of your home, there may be a loose connection or another issue in just that one circuit of the electrical system. This can result in an electrical fire if it’s not corrected, so it’s a problem that should be diagnosed and addressed by a licensed electrician sooner rather than later.
Meter Box or Main Cable Connection Problems
If you have an ongoing issue with flickering lights in various areas of your home, the root cause may not be in your electric wiring or breaker panel but a loose main service cable or meter box connection outside. These issues pose a serious fire hazard, so it’s wise to call a professional electrician to look into the problem as soon as possible.
Sometimes, diagnosing and correcting an issue with flickering lighting is a simple, straightforward task that a homeowner can easily handle. If you’ve tried the above suggestions without success or you’re not comfortable investigating and attempting to fix a lighting problem on your own, the experienced team of licensed electricians at 128 Plumbing is here to help.
Contact us today at 781-670-3261 or schedule a convenient appointment online, and we’ll be happy to investigate any electrical issues you’re experiencing in your Wenham home, including unexplained dimming, flashing, or flickering lighting.