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Smitty Two Smitty Two is offline
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Default Electric Question

In article ,
David Nebenzahl wrote:

On 7/8/2009 6:54 AM Smitty Two spake thus:

If the arcing is caused by a loose connection (intermittent open,) then
breaking the circuit anywhere will stop the flow of electricity and
thereby stop the arcing. But if the hot wire is vibrating and touching
ground (intermittent short,) the lack of a bulb isn't going to stop the

But that is highly unlikely to be the problem; it would result in much
sparking and smoking. Presumably the OP's problem is a flickering bulb,
which is caused by an intermittent connection within the circuit, not an
intermittent short as you're proposing.


I'm just clarifying theory, not speculating on odds. Several people
stated pretty unequivocally that removing the bulb would stop all
current flow and thereby stop the arcing, period. While I agree that
that is likely true, I think it would help some folk to think about
theory once in a while. There's quite a difference between an open and a
short, and few lay people realize that. How often do you run into people
who describe every electrical fault as a "short?"

And how often do people wander in here and ask how to use a multimeter
to test some problem or another? The supposedly helpful respondents pop
up with a step-by-step recipe that doesn't address the real problem,
which is a lack of conceptual understanding. Ten minutes of theory and
you know all you need to know to use a multimeter on a typical 120VAC
residential wiring fault, without poring over the instruction manual of
the meter.