Flickering Lights: Causes and When to Call an Electrician

Lights that constantly flicker or dim can be more than just an annoyance – they often indicate an underlying electrical issue that requires professional attention. This guide covers the common causes of flickering lights and when it’s time to call an electrician.

Flickering Lights Causes and When to Call an Electrician - Everything Electrical Sydney

What Causes Flickering Lights?

A few occasional flickers are normal, but frequent, persistent flickering usually stems from one of these common causes:

  • Loose lightbulb: Check that all bulbs are securely screwed in. Vibrations can loosen them over time.
  • Problematic switch: Faulty light switches, especially dimmer switches, can flicker. Replace faulty switches.
  • Overloaded circuit: Too many devices on one circuit causes intermittent power dips and flickering. An electrician can add circuits to distribute the electrical load.
  • Large appliances: Devices like air conditioners and refrigerators cycling on/off can briefly lower the voltage, making lights flicker temporarily.
  • Loose wiring: Loose electrical connections anywhere in the system, including at the breaker panel, can make lights flicker or dim with intermittent contact.
  • Old wiring: Outdated electrical wiring that’s not up to modern home power demands can cause flickering issues. Upgrading the wiring resolves this.
  • Incompatible bulbs: Using LED bulbs not designed for use with dimmers or certain fixtures may flicker. Always check bulb compatibility.

When to Worry About Flickering Lights

Occasional, minor flickering is usually benign. But be concerned if you notice:

  • Flickering that suddenly becomes much more frequent or intense
  • Lights dimming significantly whenever an appliance turns on
  • Flickering accompanied by other electrical issues
  • Flickering that poses a potential fire hazard
  • Flickering even after replacing bulbs, switches and outlets

These signs often point to a larger wiring or electrical issue that an electrician should address immediately before it escalates into a more serious problem.

Dangers of Ignoring Flickering Lights

While it may seem harmless, overlooking persistent flickering can lead to:

  • Fire hazards: Loose or faulty wiring that causes flickering can overheat and spark electrical fires.
  • Short circuits: Intermittent connections from loose wiring eventually lead to dangerous short circuits.
  • Permanent damage: Flickering stresses and damages bulbs, switches, wiring insulation and other components over time.
  • Shocks/electrocution: Faulty wiring that causes flickering can also expose live wires, posing shock risks.
  • Appliance damage: Improper electrical power from flickering can damage sensitive appliances and electronics.

When to Call an Electrician About Flickering

Don’t ignore persistent flickering lights. An electrician can properly diagnose the cause and make needed repairs. Call an electrician right away if:

  • You notice a sudden increase in flickering intensity or frequency
  • Lights flicker whenever an appliance turns on
  • Flickering is accompanied by other power issues
  • The flickering lights pose a potential fire hazard
  • The flickering persists after bulb and switch replacement

Take action at the first signs of electrical issues. Catching and fixing problems early prevents safety risks and extensive repairs down the road.

For professional electrical repairs in Sydney, contact the experts at Everything Electrical at 0485 870 378. Our fully licensed electricians provide prompt, reliable service 24/7. Contact us for any flickering light issues.

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