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What to Do with Flickering Lights

An image of new light bulbs being installed

If the lights at your house flicker occasionally, you might neglect it, as it probably is not a big issue. On the other hand, if the problem has become frequent and the flickering has become continuous and seems to get severe with time, then it is time for you to call an electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC. They will not only investigate the reason behind it but also take the necessary measures to solve the issue.

What causes the lights to flicker? Here are the most common reasons as stated by the electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Let us look at each of these problems individually.

A Bulb That Is Faulty or Is Loose

If the flickering is with just one of the light bulbs, then the fault must be due to that particular bulb, and not because of an issue in the circuit. Check and make sure, whether the bulb is tightly screwed as the bulbs tend to get loose over time and hence their connection with the socket they are plugged in also gets loose. in such cases, just tightening the bulb should solve the problem. But if it doesn’t, try replacing it and see if the problem persists.

The flickering might be happening because of the type of the bulb being used.  If you are using fluorescent bulbs, it is normal for them to flicker while they heat up and get brighter, especially during winters. If you use fluorescent bulbs and they flicker occasionally, you probably should not worry much.

Dimmer switch type doesn’t match the bulb type

On the other hand, if you have LED bulbs and you experience flickers, then these might be due to the use of dimmer switches. Some dimmers are designed to work at higher voltage levels and therefore do not work well with LED bulbs as they have quite low voltages.

Moreover, the dimmer also are not well suited for fluorescent and non-dimmable bulbs. So if you want the flickering problem solved, look for bulbs that are compatible with the dimmer type installed at your house. Electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC can guide you very well on which dimmers to use or which bulbs to buy.

The Light Plug Might Be Loose

If the flickering happens to just one of the lamps, it might be because the connection between the plug and the socket is loose. Go and check if the plug fits well into the socket, otherwise if it moves freely then it would probably cause flickering as the current jumps between the gaps.

Solving this problem however is easy. Switch the lamp off and unplug it from the socket. Adjust the metal prongs of the plug with pliers and then plug it back. It must fit better than before.

The Fixture Switch Might Be Faulty

One other reason why the light flickers is because of problems in the connection between the bulb and the fixture switch. Carefully move the switch with your hand and shake it slightly to see if this causes the lights to flicker. If it does, you have already diagnosed the problem. Now you can call electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC to get the problems sorted out and make sure the issue does not happen again.

An Appliance Pulling Too Much Current

Sometimes we notice the lights flickering as soon as we turn on a heavy appliance, for instance, a washing machine or an air conditioner. Flickering happens because the circuit is overloaded, which means the appliance is pulling more the current than what the circuit can handle.

If the flickering only happens right after you turn on that particular appliance and then stops, then it is not something to worry too much about. This is a common phenomenon as some appliances draw high currents right after they start up.

On the other hand, if the flickering issue is permanent, i.e. the flickering does not stop for the entire time the appliance is working, then you know there is a problem with the circuit. In such a case, you need help from electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC. They can guide you better on the circuit type, its capacity, and whether the circuit is capable of handling too much current loads.

Voltage Fluctuation

To find out if the flickering problem is due to constant voltage fluctuations, you need to keep a few things in mind. If the fluctuations occur, even when all the heavy appliances are powered off and they occur around the entire house, then you know the root cause for the flickering is the voltage fluctuations.

Moreover, if your lights are burning out frequently, this might also be due to the fluctuations in the voltage in the supply. You should get help from the electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC to help figure out your particular issue. Given the experience, they would also know the problems specific to the area you live in.

Using their equipment the electricians in Myrtle Beach, SC can check if your house is receiving the correct voltage. Ideally, the readings on the voltmeter should stay between 110 and 125. Any voltage reading out of this range should be dealt with as an issue.

Outdated Wiring or Loose Connections

Loose wiring is one if the major causes of the flickering lights in the households. This is also the most dangerous problems as it can cause house fires if neglected for long. The problem could be at one place or all around the house, but it is dangerous in both cases. This is usually caused due to outdated wiring, old switches, circuit breakers and connectors. These all factors sometimes result in house fires.

When the connections in the wring are loose, the current jumps over the gaps, which causes sparks. When this happens for prolonged periods, the head produced from the sparks can melt the wires’ insulation and result in a short circuit.

Another reason is that, the loosened connections create point of point of high resistance. High resistance always results in heating. This also melts the wires and exposes them, which can result into electrocution or a fire due to short circuit.

If your lights are flickering too, immediately call Mister Sparky® of Myrtle Beach at (843) 508-9631 to get the problem sorted.