Lights Flickering in House? DIY Quick Fix It Guide!

lights flickering in house

Lights Flickering in House? Here’s Your DIY Quick Fix It Guide!

Have you noticed lights flickering in your house lately?

If so, you’re definitely not alone—this common problem can originate from various sources.

However, that doesn’t mean you should write off your flickering lights, as they can be an early warning sign of some serious issues.

In this post, we’ll go through some of the reasons why you might have flickering lights, as well as how to fix those problems.

Flickering lights in house

Why are my Lights Flickering or Blinking?

Your lights could be flickering due to a loose connection in that circuit or an overloaded circuit.

If lights are flickering throughout your home, you could have a more serious issue with all of your wiring.

The wrong bulb type, faulty switches, or voltage changes could also be an issue.

Flickering Lights From an Overloaded Circuit

Flickering Lights From an Overloaded Circuit

Every home is designed to handle a certain level of electrical voltage.

However, many homes—especially older ones—cannot support the demands of every appliance in your home at the same time.

Because of this, you might notice flickering or blinking lights when you turn on your air conditioner, washing machine, or other large appliances.

Generally, when this happens, it’s not something to worry about.

However, if you notice that the lights in your home continue to flicker or stay off when this happens, it may be a good idea to seek professional electrical services.

In the case of sensory overload, you may need a larger electrical supply or a dedicated circuit that can support the extra voltage.

Loose Connection to Light Bulb

loose connection to light bulb

Sometimes, isolated flickering light bulbs can stem from something as simple as a loose connection.

Fortunately, when this happens, the fix is usually simple.

Before you attempt to reset the positioning of one of your light bulbs, always turn off the light.

If the bulb is part of a light fixture or lamp, unplug it first.

Regardless of whether you use LED bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, or dimmable bulbs, you should always wait for it to cool completely before resetting the loose bulb.

Keep in mind that lamps and other light fixtures with plugs can suffer from loose connections too.

If removing and resetting the light bulb doesn’t fix the issue entirely, make sure you check for bent metal prongs and a loose light plug.

Fire Hazards From Loose Wiring

Fire Hazards From Loose Wiring

According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association), electrical fires were the second most common cause of house fires in the United States between 2012 and 2016.

Home electrical fires also caused the most civilian deaths and the most property damage during that timeframe.

As such, outdated, damaged, and loose wiring can be an incredibly dangerous fire hazard in your home.

However, it can be hard to identify since the electrical issue may be hidden within your walls.

Luckily, the warning signs of these issues can sometimes be easy to spot.

If you’ve noticed your minor flickering from the lights in your home progressing and worsening over time, you may be at risk.

🛑 Call an Expert to Prevent Fire

Unless you have some electrical experience yourself, hiring an expert remains the only effective and safe way to fix your flickering lights from outdated wiring.

A professional electrician will search your home for worn connectors, loose service conductors, loose wiring, outdated wiring (such as knob-and-tube), and other electrical system issues.

Unfortunately, you will find this neither an inexpensive nor a simple fix but a necessary one to prevent the possibility of a deadly electrical fire.

📗 Related Reading: Homeowners Guide to Electrical Safety

Wrong Bulb Type

Wrong Bulb Type

The occasional light flicker can sometimes derive from a mismatched bulb and socket.

You may see this often on lights with dimmer switches.

After all, some light bulbs aren’t designed to work with a dimmer switch.

One of the most common causes of this problem lies with LED light bulbs not designed to work with a dimmer.

And while usually not dangerous, the constant flickering can be annoying.

Fortunately, when you have flickering lights from the wrong bulb, it’s an easy fix.

Just replace the bulb in question with one made for your fixture switch.

Faulty Switch, Breaker, or Socket

faulty light switch

Sometimes, you can’t blame bulbs and wires when the lights start flickering.

When light switch failure happens at the switch box, it can sometimes be obvious, especially if it happens when you turn the switch on or off yourself.

However, these failures aren’t as noticeable at times.

If you think you have a faulty light switch, a bad wall socket, or an obsolete circuit breaker, call a professional electrician to handle the issue as soon as possible.

You can check it yourself with a multimeter though it’s best to call the experts.

Lights flickering in your house from these electrical system problems are often traced back to loose wires and may become a fire hazard. 

The sooner you take care of any loose wiring, the better.

Voltage Changes

Voltage changes on meter

We already mentioned that your air conditioning and other appliances can cause a temporary voltage drop, resulting in flickering lights.

Often, you do not need to worry about this issue.

Even a well-designed electrical system can experience this on occasion.

However, suppose the lights flicker in your house continuously, unexpectedly, or even after turning the appliances off.

In that case, more significant issues with your electrical current may be to blame, such as an overloaded circuit.

Flickering lights from a circuit overload can be an early warning sign of danger.

Lights Flickering in House? Call an Expert

Circuit Breaker Inspection

Are you still affected by flickering lights in your home?

First, you need to call a professional to diagnose your electrical problem.

However, what happens next can vary depending on the cause.

Sometimes, the problem might originate outside your home at the main service cable connection or meter box.

However, it can also develop inside your home with your main electrical panel or wiring.

If your home’s wiring is to blame, you may need to add a circuit or breaker box that can handle higher electrical loads.

If the fluctuating electrical current comes from the high-capacity wires or service connection outside your home, it may be your electrical company’s responsibility.

Again, an expert electrician can help you track down which area is to blame.

Need Some Help?

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

When you need advice about home contracting or home improvement, Phyxter can provide the advice you need.

We have offices in the North and Central Okanagan region for your convenience. Don’t hesitate to call us with questions about the lights flickering in your house.

You can count on exceptional service and affordable prices when you hire Phyxter Electrical Services for your electrical needs.

📗 Related Reading: Top 10 Common Home Electrical Problems and Solutions

Logan Mullin

Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Logan is the Electrical Manager and Master Electrician for Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Services based in the North Okanagan Valley.

About our blog

Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

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