Improving Electrical Safety

Why Your Overhead Light Flickers And Possible Repairs That Can Help

A ceiling light that doesn't work as it should is a big annoyance. Flickering can get on your nerves and bringing in lamps may not provide the illumination you need. You'll want to fix the light as soon as you can for your convenience and also because the flickering light could be a sign of an electrical problem that could be a fire hazard. Here's a look at some possible causes of a flickering ceiling light.

Problems With The Bulb

The problem could be something as minor as the light bulb. Try replacing it, even if it's new to see if that helps. Another problem with a bulb is a bad connection. Remove the bulb and then replace it making sure it is in snug. If you're sure the bulb is okay and seated properly, then the problem could be in the light fixture, the wiring, or the wall switch. A flickering light could even be a problem associated with an overloaded circuit panel.

Loose Connections In The Light Fixture

There might be loose wires in the light fixture. Years of twisting in light bulbs may have worked something loose. Repairs could involve tightening the wires, or you may need to have the entire light replaced. Since working on home electrical wiring is a dangerous DIY project if you don't know what you're doing, you may want to hire an electrician to check the light and diagnose the cause of the flickering. If it's not in the light itself, the wall switch might need repairs.

Old Or Loose Wiring

If your home is old, the wiring and electrical panel are probably old too. Flickering lights can be a sign of loose connections in the wiring or circuit panel. This problem is a potential fire risk. That's why flickering lights should be taken seriously and inspected by an electrician. He or she may be able to work on the loose connections and make repairs without having to do an entire overhaul of your system. However, if the lights are flickering every time the washer kicks on, it's a sign the circuit is overloaded, and you may need to add more circuits or upgrade your system so it can handle the electrical needs of your home safely.

If the problem is in the circuit panel or house wiring, there's a good chance you'll be experiencing other problems besides just a ceiling light flickering. If not, the problem could be isolated between the switch and the light fixture, but it's best to have the problem checked by an electrician to eliminate faulty wiring that can be a fire hazard. For more information on electrical repair, contact your local electrical service.