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Why Do Your Lights Flicker?

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Common Residential Lighting Issues

As a residential electrician, one of the most common complaints we hear from homeowners is that their lights are flickering or dimming intermittently. It may also seem as if the lights are pulsing. There are a few potential causes for this:

  • Loose or corroded connections: The wires that connect lights to the power source can sometimes come loose or corrode over time, interrupting the flow of electricity. Checking all connections and ensuring wires are securely attached and corrosion-free is an easy first step to troubleshooting flickering lights.
  • Faulty switch: If flickering only occurs when turning a light switch on or off, the switch itself may be defective or worn out. Replacing the switch is an inexpensive fix and can resolve the issue if it's the source of the problem.
  • Voltage fluctuations: Flickering lights are often caused by voltage drops or fluctuations in the power supply. This can be driven by high demand on the electrical system, a tripped circuit breaker or other issues with your home's electrical panel or the utility company's power supply. Checking the circuit breaker and reporting any power line issues to your electric utility may resolve problems with voltage fluctuations.

If your home is older or you've recently had work done (such as a new appliance installation or remodeling project), your wiring may have become damaged during remodeling, connections may have been knocked loose or your wiring and connections are beginning to wear out. These are just a few of the most common reasons lights may be flickering.

Consult with our licensed, insured electricians at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar to have your specific problem diagnosed and professionally repaired.

Troubleshooting Flickering Lights

Flickering lights can be a frustrating problem for homeowners. Fortunately, troubleshooting the issue is usually fairly straightforward. First, turn off the power to the area of your home where the lights are flickering.This will help protect you from life-threatening electrical shocks.

Once the power is turned off, check the bulbs to ensure they are properly seated and haven't burned out. Next, check the connections at the switch and the light fixture to ensure they are tight and secure. If the problem persists, there may be a larger issue with the electrical wiring that requires the expertise of a qualified electrician.

Remember, safety should always be a top priority when dealing with electrical systems, so don't hesitate to contact us if you're unsure about anything. Our team of experienced electricians is always here to help and can quickly and efficiently diagnose and fix the problem.

Signs You May Need More Than a New Bulb

We understand it can be challenging for homeowners to identify potential issues with their electrical systems. Flickering lights can belie a more serious problem. Because electrical systems can be dangerous, we always recommend that you err on the side of caution and contact our licensed electricians before doing any electrical work.

Here are some of the most common signs that indicate you might have a problem with your electrical system:

  • Scorch Marks: Scorch marks around outlets or switches suggest an overheating problem, which could lead to a fire. If you notice any brown or black discoloration around the outlets or switches, immediately turn off the power supply and give us a call.
  • Warm Outlets: If your electrical outlets are warm to the touch, it's a clear warning sign of an electrical issue. The heat can result from the wire connections coming loose, overloading of circuits or arcing between wires. We can assess the problem in these scenarios.
  • Electrical Burning Smell: If you smell the odor of electrical burning when switching on your light fixtures, sockets or switches, it's a sign of a potential fire hazard. Turn off the main power source straight away and call us to identify the cause of the issue.
  • Frequent Breaker Trips: Circuit breakers are designed to trip if there is an overload or short circuit. If your breaker trips repeatedly, it's an indication that the electrical circuit is not functioning correctly and you need to get it fixed immediately.

In summary, if you encounter any of these signs, don't hesitate to contact our licensed and insured electrician to identify the issue with your electrical system. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Do you need help with flickering lights in your San Jose home? Call the electrical experts at Valley for fast, friendly, and reliable service from experienced electricians.