why do the lights in my house keep flickering

What Causes Blinking or Flickering Lights? If you have reached this page without beginning at the, you may do better to start there. A slight flicker or very brief dimming that corresponds to appliances turning on (or stormy weather) can be normal, but if it has become more pronounced, read on. A dimming or brightening that lasts more than three or four seconds; for that see Or made by an individual light bulb that has a defect. Check this by replacing that bulb. Or made by a CFL (spiral, energy-saver) bulb(s) controlled by a dimmer switch. A dimmer is incompatible with most of these fluorescents and can make them blink. Or a slight, infrequent flash a turned-off compact fluorescent (CFL, spiral) bulb may make at night if its switch is of the type that glows when off.


This is normal. The blinks I am dealing with here are due to a poor connection somewhere in your system. It is commonly at an outlet, light, or switch box, affecting part (not all) of one circuit. Knowing the extent of what is affected helps identify the likely locations of the loose connection. See. If only all the light bulbs controlled by a dimmer switch blink, that switch is likely bad. (Fluorescent and low voltage lights need a specially rated dimmer. )
If one entire circuit is affected, the problem will likely be found at its breaker or its neutral connection in the panel. In fact, in my experience, these connections in the panel often ARE the source of the flicker, rather than other connections along the circuit.


But if you get acquainted with the whole circuit and see that some lights on it never do blink, don't bother at the main panel, since this would mean a connection elsewhere on the circuit is the trouble. If several circuits in the home suffer this simultaneously, a main wire connection at the panel, main (or ) breaker, meter, or power company's line is probably compromised, and may eventually exhibit the wilder symptoms described in. In all of these possibilities, some arcing is going on at the poor spot during the blinking. This produces a little heat or sometimes enough heat to affect the appearance of the connections or wires at that point -- usually only visible when covers are removed and the connections are inspected.


But opening many boxes in hope of seeing such signs is iffy, since there may be nothing very visible. It can be difficult to pinpoint the location of an intermittent outage like a blink/flicker, until it has developed into a complete and final open, which it tends to do. In that case, but also with some chance of success ahead of that time, the procedures for dealing with an may locate the trouble spot by letting you try to produce or affect the blinking from various likely locations. Our lights intermittently flicker in whole house and have been doing so for about 3 weeks. Since it is intermittent, it took us a while to figure out what was going on and that it was not related to any appliance or the furnace.


Week 2 we called the utility company and after 2 calls they came out an inspected the outside lines. Of course they sent the guy out in the evening. Anyway, he noted the neutral was secure at the line into the meter box and he said he tightened the connections at the pole. He said to check with the neighbors to see if they have the same problem. Checked with the neighbor who shares the same drop from the transformer and they do not have any flickering. During week 3 (today) had an electrician come out to look at our boxes and the meter box. He came out around noon on a bright day. He tightened a somewhat loose neutral and the main panel and then tightened another item in a sub panel.


He also made sure that all other connections were secure. He also checked to see that the connections in the meter box were secure. None of the panels nor the meter box exhibited any signs of corrosion or arcing. I was present when he was doing the work. When dusk hit, I noticed that the lights across all circuits continue to intermittently flicker. The flickering pattern seems to be random in timing and length. One point of reference. The sub-panel controls all of the lights in the house across multiple circuits. The main panel came to play when a previous home owner in the 80s had an attached garage added, which was between the pole and the prior main panel (now the sub panel).