DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Electrical and Wiring (
-   -   flickering lights (

restez1963 06-24-2011 10:41 PM

flickering lights
need help on ? my lights in my house are flickering even when my bathroom fan is on the light flickers like the juice is being sucked out of the fan. only 4 upstairs lights are doing this downstairs no problems can one of you electrical experts tell me where to begin looking for the problem
Thanks alot

kok328 06-25-2011 10:36 AM

make sure the bulbs are snug in the socket.
From there, start checking all electrical connections (making sure the wire nuts are tight and that no wires are broken) that are inside the J-boxes.
You will find them behind the outlets, wall switches, light fixtures and ceiling fan.
P.S. - Im no electrical expert just suggesting what I would check before calling and electrical expert.

restez1963 06-26-2011 10:00 AM

Thanks loose breakers i appreciate yopur feedback

DavidChristensen 06-27-2011 08:58 AM

I would call the electrician
You could have a loose connection anywhere in the circuit and it may be difficult to find. Or, it may be a loose connection at the breaker, as you alluded. Start there.

If you (the homeowner) are not what the National Electrical Code (NEC) would describe as a 'qualified person' (generally, a trained electrician), consider that there is probably a lot you don't know about sticking your hands inside electrical distribution panels, splice and junction boxes -that could injure or kill you or inadvertently burn your house down.

If you are not skilled at making electrical splices, there's no point in searching for a loose one.

The job of the qualified electrician is made all the more difficult by the well-meaning but, unqualified and unskilled who attempt to do electrical work in the residential setting.

The last person who touches any part of the electrical system owns it. That means when an electrician is called in to do some kind of work and performs it properly, when the house burns or someone gets hurt, it matters little that Uncle Charlie, the amateur electrician had his hands in there first and may have performed sub-standard work that caused the loss of life and / or property. When things go wrong, everyone is a defendant.

Which is precisely why I always shied away from residential electrical work. In an industrial setting, no unqualified people are allowed to touch electrical equipment.

The main point is this: work with electrical circuits should be respected as a life safety issue, which it is. The purpose of the NEC is for the protection of life and property and should be strictly adhered to.

Be careful who you take advice from. You wouldn't take financial advice from someone who is broke. Be leery of electrical advice from those untrained in the trade. That goes for electrical engineers, as well. They know the theory but may not be skilled or knowledgeable about the trade (wiring installation and maintenance methods).

I hope that makes sense.

Dave Christensen

sailor86 07-05-2011 06:50 AM


Originally Posted by restez1963 (Post 58259)
Thanks loose breakers i appreciate yopur feedback

So a loose breaker was your problem?

DavidChristensen 07-06-2011 12:33 PM

Loose Breaker causing flickering lights?
Loose breaker? What actually was loose?

Do you mean the conductor was loose in the breaker? That is not uncommon. A telltale sign of that is a build-up of heat. A load on a bad connection will cause it to heat up -which will further exacerbate the problem. The thermal cycling (heat up, cool down) will cause it to become even looser, creating even more heat. This occurs over a long term but can be detected by placing the back of your fingers against the breakers. If you find one that is more than slightly warm, there is either a heavy load (a load that is approaching its rated capacity) on it or there is a bad (loose or corroded) connection to it.

It's a good idea to check that once in a while. That goes for everything electrical. A build-up of heat in a circuit is not good. Check extension cords, receptacles, meter cans, circuit breakers. If you find anything more than slightly warm, pay attention to that. Connections can become loose over time. A build-up of heat is the red flag.

Further discussion and a short video can be found here: Thermography and Electrical Wiring Problems

Dave Christensen

sailor86 07-06-2011 01:35 PM

How about checking the neutrals? There's a likely suspect.

restez1963 07-08-2011 08:34 AM

fliockering is back
Ok problem back this time bedroom upstairs only where flickering is occurring is doing it again, last time i made sure the breaker was sitting in correctly and it was fine, now that same breaker is sparking when i i attemted to move around .also all power in this room is out when i plugged in a tv to outlet. does this mean the breaker is just bad or i still have loose wires. help again please .i say breaker help...........
thanks for all your input guys

nealtw 07-08-2011 09:11 AM

If you have sparking at the breaker you have a loose wire there or you need a new breaker.

DavidChristensen 07-09-2011 08:31 AM

Check if the conductor connection is snug tight. Is the arcing coming from that connection? Or, is the arcing coming from behind the breaker where it is connected to the bus?

If that connection is loose, the breaker should be replaced. If a residential panel, it is only a spring clip that holds it in place (commercial panels have bolt-in breakers). If stressed and loose for some reason, the arcing will have resulted in carbon deposits and probably pitting of the bus (aluminum or copper) -which would most likely affect the integrity of the connection, even with a new breaker.

You could abandon that breaker pole position and move the new breaker to another, assuming you have any spare (unused) pole positions.

If the bus is buggered up from the arcing, it may need to be cleaned up some to get a good connection. Warning_ the bus is energized unless the MAIN breaker is OPEN or, in the absence of a MAIN, the meter is pulled.

If you're seeing arcing -it's not good. Determine what exactly is arcing and make that correction.

I assume you are not qualified by your line of questioning. If you are not trained and hence, qualified, I would encourage you to seek help from someone who is.

Don't be sticking your hands inside an energized electrical panel. The consequences could be grave. We are talking about LIFE SAFETY issues. Energized electrical systems are unforgiving.

Dave Christensen

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:09 AM.