Do you have lights flickering in your house? Chances are it’s not a ghost…but that doesn’t make flickering lights any less scary.
This could actually be an early warning sign for your electrical system as a whole. Many times, lights flickering indicate that there is a problem with the wiring of your electrical system. You may have wires that are arcing – this occurs when the conductors are close but not actually touching. The electrical current “arcs” across this gap, which generates heat. If the gap between the wires is wide, or if the current that arcs are a substantial amount, this could cause an electrical fire.
Another cause for flickering lights is wiring that is short-circuiting. A short-circuit basically occurs when the current doesn’t follow the path it’s supposed to and goes to a ground wire or a neutral wire instead. This could be caused by a few things – perhaps your wiring insulation has been damaged or a wire itself has become unusable. Short circuits can cause your circuit breaker to trip or a fuse to blow, yet before this happens your lights would undoubtedly flicker.
Most of the time, problems like these are easier to diagnose when lights are flickering in a group (like in a chandelier light fixture), or in the same room or same part of the house. Other times, you may notice only flickering bulbs. In this case, the most common problem is caused by a broken filament within the bulb, or simply from a bulb that’s loose. Or, the bulb receptacle could be damaged.
Whatever the case may be for your flickering lights, it’s imperative to have the problem checked out by an experienced electrician. Don’t try to trouble-shoot wiring system problems on your own – that could result in a very dangerous accident that could harm you or your family.
If you have flickering lights, call us. We can find out what’s causing the problem and fix it. In the meantime, check all your smoke detectors to make sure they are working and that the batteries have plenty of juice left in them. If there isn’t already a smoke alarm next to the circuit breaker panel, install one right away. Switch off electricity to the rooms where the lights are flickering. Call 911 immediately if you see or smell smoke, or if see any kind of spark! Electrical fires can go from minor to major in a matter of seconds.
It’s OK to be scared of flickering bulbs – but please give us a call before you get to the emergency stage!
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Atlanta, GA 30305
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