1

All of the lights in my home are flickering randomly. At some times of the day it's heavy flickering and at other times it's barely noticable. Other appliances in my home don't appear to be affected in a similar way. The flickering of the lights doesn't appear to be triggered by appliances, as it occurs throughout the day.

The lights are florescent but I'm also seeing the flickering occur on the few LEDs I have in the home.

The lights aren't all on the same breaker, they're spread throughout multiple and all of the breakers are reading at 120ish Volts when I check them individually.

Is there a way to troubleshoot what is causing this flickering throughout my home?

enter image description here

1
  • Flickering is usually caused by loose connections or end of life for tubes/ballast. With it being though out the house, either it might be the main power connections to the house or very poor maintenance of the lights/circuits. I cannot make out the amp rating of the double breakers, but those wires might be too small. 30 amp needs 10 gauge.
    – crip659
    Dec 3, 2023 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

3

If it happens on multiple different circuits at the same time, it's generally a sign that something upstream is failing, or has a poor connection.

A common example is a damaged service wire. A less common example is a loose connection of the service wires to the main breaker or neutral bar.

Neither of those are a particularly DIY fix - the service wires are "call your power supplier to have them checked" and the connection to the main breaker, being (for practical purposes) unfused hot all the time unless you have an outside disconnect is call an electrician, unless the power company guys are willing to bend scope a tad and check that as well (being on your side of the meter it's not their job/responsibility and they may be forbidden to by their work rules.)

The loose connection could be either hot or the neutral from the service. If you know for a fact that lights on both legs/poles of the service are flickering, that points to the neutral as the most likely. A "lost neutral" can cause all sorts of other problems as voltages do not stay balanced across the hot legs when the neutral is lost.

You could try measuring the hot to neutral and hot to ground voltages in your house, and you could try it again after shutting off any/all double-pole breakers in case a 240V load is feeding power to the other hot leg.

1
  • 1
    If you notice some lights dimming and, at the same time, others brightening, then that is one particular indication of a bad neutral. In any event, as stated above, contact the electric utility or an electrician, since this likely is at the service entrance cable or an outside transformer.. Dec 3, 2023 at 17:15
1

This is going to be an issue with your neutral and ground bonding system. The feeders to that panel are just two wires and a ground with the grounding mesh being twisted up and stabbed and used as the neutral conductor. And also a water pipe Bond and I think we decided the other one was probably a driven ground rod maybe. About the furthest I would advise you go on your own is to check and be sure that that neutral that's all taped up and twisted together coming off your feeder, is securely clamped down in the neutral ground bar there. Then go find the other end of that cable and make sure that the connections at that end are very secure on your neutral. Depending on the length of the run it may not be something you can really solve without replacing the feeders.

What's happening in real rough terms is it as one phase gets loaded higher than the other, without any operating 240v loads at the time, the voltage on the 2 phase will spread. Tire loaded phase dropping voltage and the lesser loaded phase gaining the same amount. I have seen this get as bad as 194 volts and 26 volts between the two legs and ground. this is why it's very necessary to have a securely bonded neutral / ground system. The addition of the two earthing grounds added to this panel, which are not bonded back to the main system grounds, can actually cause this problem to be worse. You can induce rather significant potential between the two grounding points.

I would very very strongly suggest having a professional come and give it a good inspection.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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