As the title says can voltage fluctuation cause thermostats to flare up?

I noticed light (led bulbs) would randomly flicker (but its not consistent) It happens at most twice a day, or once every few days As per my research, this can be caused by noise in electricity or voltage fluctuation

I know this can shorten the life of LED bulb and can also damage other electrical devices can this also damage electric thermostats and cause them to flare up?

I am bit super paranoid, that this could happen, and troubleshooting voltage issue seem like a very hard problem long story short, unless the electrician see the problem happen in front of him, they cant do much, and as I said the light blinking happens at most twice a day, or once every few days so the chance that the electrician will see it happen, or be able to measure it during his visit is very small

I am not super worried about changing LED bulbs every two years, instead of ten I am more worried, it would cause serious damage to more critical devices, specifically thermostats, and wonder how can I protect myself

I need to add, that the current thermostats are only one year old And we changed them because the old one did just that flare up (i.e. raise temp to the max, then reset), but the old thermostats, were very old, so its unclear if they were damaged because of voltage fluctuation or because they were old

The other thing I noticed is my LED bulbs not reaching near the 10 years claim ( and the random blinking )

  • What sort of thermostat and heater/furnace are we talking about here? May 14 at 11:40
  • So the only reason you think that youre getting dirty power is because of some flickering leds? Could be some other reason they are flickering. And no, you wont get anywhere near the 10 year life, mine die in a few years too with pretty clean power.
    – Randomaker
    May 14 at 12:47
  • What does "flare up" mean? Initially, I thought that you meant that lights on the thermostat flickered, but toward the end, you indicate that your old thermostats would change temperature settings on their own. What, exactly, is the problem you're trying to solve. If it's more than one, list them all clearly.
    – FreeMan
    May 14 at 12:53
  • @ThreePhaseEel is a line voltage electric heater and electric thermostat
    – Ali
    May 14 at 14:44

Yes voltage surges can cause problems with electronic thermostats and other devices.

A whole house surge protector is the best protection for surges on the grid.

I live in Oregon and we have lumber mills in my area (many of them) having customers that were on the same sub station as a mill I had customers that regularly saw what you are seeing and had everything from tv failures to refrigerators failing much more than often.

I installed a surge suppresser in one home similar to the one I had put in my home. This did not last so we went with a much larger one. Several years later because the unit had lasted and no more damaged electronics all the neighborhoods had me install suppressors a few did it them selves.

I started recommending the largest whole house surge suppressor that they could afford. One neighborhood every single home installed and almost totally eliminated the problem for years (I moved away but still hear from old customers now and then)

Why get the largest you can afford? If having damage due to surges the devices use MOV’s metal oxide varistors. These dump the excess voltage to ground and if large enough will last for many years but some folks only purchased small-mid sized units and these units degrade when they take a hit larger than there wattage. So the they needed to upsize. If you don’t have a lot of damage a mid sized one may do it.

If voltage spikes are routine and happen daily you may not have a lumber mill but you may have an industrial plant or building with elevators that cause line surges. On the same sub station causing spikes and a surge suppressor at your main panel is the best way to protect your electronics for the entire home from surges.

If you get a surge suppressor make sure it has built in monitoring usually 2 led lights that show the system is functional. (They the suppressors can fail and this means that failure saved equipment in the house).

When installing this kind of equipment I check the torque on all breakers (especially on aluminum wire) do this or ask your electrician to do it only takes a few minutes to verify all the small breakers then adjust the torque for the large breakers and check them (in some cases it can reduce power issues in your home).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.