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why lights flicker

September 02, 2016 Maintenance

Why Do Lights Flicker When Things Are Plugged In?

It is normal for lights to flicker occasionally and there is usually nothing to worry about. Lights flicker when there is suddenly a larger load on your electrical circuit and you may notice the light dims for a moment. A well-designed electrical system should keep flickering lights to a minimum.

However, sometimes flickering lights can be an indication that you have a serious electrical problem and need to call an electrician. What are some of the serious reasons that lights flicker when things are plugged in?

Serious Reasons Why Lights Flicker

Loose Circuit Connection

One of the most dangerous reasons why lights flicker is because of a loose circuit connection. This can cause a high resistance point and lead to overheating. If you notice that lights are flickering more than usual, have a qualified electrician check your electrical system. This is important because there are over 50,000 house fires a year caused by faulty electrical systems, most of the time, these electrical fires can be prevented.

Faulty Equipment

Faulty equipment could be the reason that your lights flicker when it is plugged in. This is because the equipment causes a surge in the electrical circuit and makes your lights dim for a moment. You should have the equipment checked to make sure that you are not at risk of having an electric shock.

Faulty Light Switch

If your light bulb constantly flickers when it is switched on, then it could be a sign that you have a faulty light switch. This can be dangerous and even cause your light switch to overheat and go on fire. Usually having the light switch replaced will solve the problem of a flickering light.

Most Common Reason Why Lights Flicker

Flickering lights is more common in older homes where the lights share a circuit with plugs. Any time an appliance is plugged in, there is a change in the load in the electrical circuit which causes your lights to dim or flicker. So, a washing machine or refrigerator starting can sometimes cause lights to flicker, but this is not something to worry about.

If you are concerned about lights dimming or flickering when things are plugged in, or you notice unusual smells coming from electrical appliances, call your local electrician right away.

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