Porch lights flicker

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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:31 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:If the feed to your house is aerial go shake the guy wire. If buried, shake the guy for the last pole. Had a bad connection on the tap at the transformer once. Took a while to run it down, then let the power company worry about it.

It it is a feed problem, shouldn't that affect all the circuits instead of just the one?
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Bob McCarty » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:52 pm

Bill, we had one of the three cables from the pole leak and corrode the Al wires inside. Lost power to a portion of the house. Electrician used a gadget to find the fault and was able to splice/repair it.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Nelson 634 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:54 pm

If it flickers again I would change the cfls out. They will flicker at the end of their life I believe. The starters in them go bad. They work off of a magnet and have a higher voltage draw when you turn them on. The older they get the longer it takes to get them to their brightest level. At least that's the experience I've had over the years. Hope this helps, Walter


PS: I changed out all the cfls for LED bulbs. Expensive but, a little better I think.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:02 pm

Nelson 634 wrote:If it flickers again I would change the cfls out. They will flicker at the end of their life I believe. The starters in them go bad. They work off of a magnet and have a higher voltage draw when you turn them on.

I understand that about cfls, but why would they affect my wall outlets that are on the same circuit.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Don McCombs » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:22 pm

Electricity is magic. :lol:
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Lt.Mike » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:47 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:If the feed to your house is aerial go shake the guy wire. If buried, shake the guy for the last pole. Had a bad connection on the tap at the transformer once. Took a while to run it down, then let the power company worry about it.

Mine flickered like yours and shaking the wires didn’t recreate the problem but the problem was where it connected at the pole.
If the power company comes out insist that they do more than shake the wires, get them up in the bucket and check the connections.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:40 pm

Lt.Mike wrote:
John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:If the feed to your house is aerial go shake the guy wire. If buried, shake the guy for the last pole. Had a bad connection on the tap at the transformer once. Took a while to run it down, then let the power company worry about it.

Mine flickered like yours and shaking the wires didn’t recreate the problem but the problem was where it connected at the pole.
If the power company comes out insist that they do more than shake the wires, get them up in the bucket and check the connections.

So what you guys are saying is that out of the more than 20 circuits I have in my panel, one wire from the street will affect only one of those circuits, Why would those wires not affect at least half the circuits into my house?
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Nelson 634 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:13 am

[/quote]I understand that about cfls, but why would they affect my wall outlets that are on the same circuit.[/quote]

Normally they would not. But if that circuit is at or near Its amperage max it would affect every thing on that circuit. So it is possible to affect your your phone especially if its a cordless phone as they are very voltage sensitive. If the lights on your porch are incandescent that would point to a lose connection on that circuit some where. A lose connection will cause an amperage increase and a voltage decrease. Causing both the cfls and the phone to act up. Also a lose connection on that circuit will cause the breaker to be warmer. An infrared thermometer could help you find a hot switch or receptacle. Walter
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Rick Spivey » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:23 am

Just a note, and maybe a side note. Not sure about your codes, but here, if there's an outside receptacle on that circuit, they'd require a GFCI breaker in the box. Normally we see all our outside lights and receptacles on one circuit, with GFCI protection. Since you have an outside receptacle on that circuit, you may want to look it over for any signs of moisture intrusion. That receptacle may be responsible for the issues you are having.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Lt.Mike » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:41 am

Barnyard wrote:
Lt.Mike wrote:
John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:If the feed to your house is aerial go shake the guy wire. If buried, shake the guy for the last pole. Had a bad connection on the tap at the transformer once. Took a while to run it down, then let the power company worry about it.

Mine flickered like yours and shaking the wires didn’t recreate the problem but the problem was where it connected at the pole.
If the power company comes out insist that they do more than shake the wires, get them up in the bucket and check the connections.

So what you guys are saying is that out of the more than 20 circuits I have in my panel, one wire from the street will affect only one of those circuits, Why would those wires not affect at least half the circuits into my house?

You are in one room when it flickers, for us it was the kitchen but it was affecting other circuits I wasn’t aware of in other rooms where the lamps weren’t turned on. So it might be affecting other circuits your not aware of.
Yours may be like this, mine has clamp style breakers, and the box has two vertical aluminum rails with one line in powering the left the other the right. Some breakers have clamps to draw power from the left some from the right.
From both gives 220 volts.
It wasn’t until the power went out and stayed out on those circuits that I found that one vertical power bar in my box, powered by one of the two lines coming in (the right) was dead. So whatever breakers (Circuits) plugged into that side would be dead or flicker when in my case that one wire was shorting out at the pole.

That was the cause for my lights flickering but I also found as my home was built in the 70’s the cycling of power causes warming and cooling in the breaker panel which is normal. That’s a lot of time and I found that connections to the breakers and numerous grounds had loosened.
In fact the heavy ground to a sub panel feeding my barn had loosened so much I could pull the wire from its clamp with no resistance.
It was not the cause of the flickering but definitely needed attention. The power company guy loaned me a specially shielded Allen wrench to tighten the connections where the lines from the street met the main breakers.
Always kill your mains when working around the panels. Note my sub panel was still live when my main panels main breakers were flipped.
It was powered from the street side of the lines to the main panel breakers, a “pony” connection and the sub panel had its own “main” breaker.

One other thing for a similar issue, years back I changed a lamp fixture in a pantry closet. Shorty afterward it would come on bright then Go dim sometime flickering. I checked the breaker the switch and double checked my connections with no solution.
All that effort turned out to be unnecessary as my work was spot on, the new LED bulb was faulty :roll:, a new bulb was all it took.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Barnyard » Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:06 am

I have to correct myself. The front bulbs are also cfl. Since I also had a burnt wire on the outside receptacle a few years ago, I am going to delete that receptacle and bypass it. as for other circuits being bad, we have not noticed problems with other things that were on.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Eugene » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:08 pm

Nelson 634 wrote:Also a lose connection on that circuit will cause the breaker to be warmer. An infrared thermometer could help you find a hot switch or receptacle.
Cheap insurance.

Pick up one rated for industrial applications. You can use it for things other than checking for a hot switch or receptacle.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby Barnyard » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:14 pm

Electician friend is coming Thursday.
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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby seanthenry » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:03 pm

I was going to say turn the range hood on and see if the issue starts since you think it might be on the same circuit. My washing machine would cause the shop light in the basement to flicker.

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Re: Porch lights flicker

Postby outdoors4evr » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:16 am

Things from the pole affect 1/2 the circuits at a time. The left side of your breaker box is one leg, the right side of your box is the other leg.
If something impacts the entire box (whole house) then look at the common (third wire) going back to the pole.
In your case, it appears localized to one circuit. Start with that one circuit and investigate each connection point for loose wires. (every breaker, switch, and outlet) Check the ground side as well. Once verified all those are tight and clean (shiny wires) then start replacing switches, breaker, and if needed, light fixtures.
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