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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

In my study, my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. I assume that
I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that there is a problem
with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker itself.

So, today I went to the breaker box and made sure that the wire connecting
to the breaker were screwed down as tight as possible. I was able to turn
the screw a full 1/2 turn, so I thought this might have cured the problem.
But, it didn't.

This is a 15 amp, 120 volt circuit, and breaker. Is it very likely that
the breaker itself is bad, or may I have a wiring problem somewhere in this
circuit ? As far as I know, it provides power to just my one room study.

I can tell that when I turn on a heavy-current device such as my fax
machine, these lights will flicker when the machine operates. So, the
flicker can be triggered with a heavy load. I have never noticed this
before. But be aware that I get frequent flickering even when there is no
extra heavy load.

The house is 30 years old, and most likely, it is the original breaker.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.


James


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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

James wrote:
In my study, my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. I
assume that I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that
there is a problem with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker
itself.


Probably not the breaker, although you could test that by moving the wire
from the current breaker to an adjacent one (purists will tell you to
exchange the wires).

Next step is to check the connections at the outlet.

If the wires are back-stabbed, un-stab them and attach the wires to the
outlet's screws.


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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

James wrote:
In my study, my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. I assume that
I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that there is a problem
with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker itself.

So, today I went to the breaker box and made sure that the wire connecting
to the breaker were screwed down as tight as possible. I was able to turn
the screw a full 1/2 turn, so I thought this might have cured the problem.
But, it didn't.

This is a 15 amp, 120 volt circuit, and breaker. Is it very likely that
the breaker itself is bad, or may I have a wiring problem somewhere in this
circuit ? As far as I know, it provides power to just my one room study.

I can tell that when I turn on a heavy-current device such as my fax
machine, these lights will flicker when the machine operates. So, the
flicker can be triggered with a heavy load. I have never noticed this
before. But be aware that I get frequent flickering even when there is no
extra heavy load.

The house is 30 years old, and most likely, it is the original breaker.


Groups trimmed; this really isn't construction query...

The first step at the panel was good idea -- as another has already
said, check next at the outlet(s) directly affected. "Backstab"
terminations are, in fact, notorious for such symptoms developing and
yours are about the right age both to have possibly used them and for
problems to show up.

I'll add a little more...

First, by "lamps" are you talking wall-outlet plug-in or a ceiling
fixture(s)? One assumes probably the former but ya' never know...

It would seem somewhat surprising this is the only room on a
circuit--might want to check that for certain by doing a load survey of
what isn't available when this breaker is off. Often there will be a
scattering of service on a single breaker in order to ensure not all in
one area of a house goes off if that breaker trips--that may be fooling
you here and the real problem could be in another connection elsewhere.

If the flickering under load is indeed a new symptom, that does indicate
something has changed and loading of the circuit is indicated by this.
It could be that a loose connection as hypothesized has built up enough
additional resistance that it's now showing up noticeably.

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Default Flickering lights on one circuit


"James" wrote in message
. ..
In my study, my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. I assume
that
I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that there is a
problem
with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker itself.

So, today I went to the breaker box and made sure that the wire
connecting
to the breaker were screwed down as tight as possible. I was able to turn
the screw a full 1/2 turn, so I thought this might have cured the
problem.
But, it didn't.

This is a 15 amp, 120 volt circuit, and breaker. Is it very likely
that
the breaker itself is bad, or may I have a wiring problem somewhere in
this
circuit ? As far as I know, it provides power to just my one room study.

I can tell that when I turn on a heavy-current device such as my fax
machine, these lights will flicker when the machine operates. So, the
flicker can be triggered with a heavy load. I have never noticed this
before. But be aware that I get frequent flickering even when there is
no
extra heavy load.

The house is 30 years old, and most likely, it is the original breaker.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.


James


First thing you want to do is identify everything on that circuit. If
outlets other than the lights in that room don't cause flicker, the problem
isn't at the panel. If the lights are ceiling lights, and controlled by a
switch or dimmer, I'd check there. You need to give more info about the
lights, such as the type. If they're low voltage and controlled by a dimmer,
that could be an issue as well




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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

"RBM" wrote in message
...

"James" wrote in message
. ..



First thing you want to do is identify everything on that circuit. If
outlets other than the lights in that room don't cause flicker, the
problem isn't at the panel. If the lights are ceiling lights, and
controlled by a switch or dimmer, I'd check there. You need to give more
info about the lights, such as the type. If they're low voltage and
controlled by a dimmer, that could be an issue as well


And, are they other lights in the house doing likewise? It might be that
it's only noticeable in that room. For example, my den shares a wall with
the kitchen and when the refrigerator kicks in there's a barely noticeable
dimming of the overhead light for about one second.

JAT.




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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

Only the lights on this circuit do this. And, it is not a huge
flicker....... just a detectable flicker, and not all the time.

Lights that are plugged into more than one outlet on this circuit do this,
so I know it isn't just one bad outlet. These are ordinary lamps, with 100
watt bulbs. These are not ceiling lights.


Thanks for all the helpful replies !! I will keep monitoring this and see
if I can narrow it down some more.

James



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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

Yes, I do have a laser printer plugged in to this circuit.

I know it draws a lot of current when operating, but mostly it is in the
sleep mode.

James


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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

James wrote:
In my study, my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. I
assume that I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that
there is a problem with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker
itself.


When I had a circuit flicker it was the BUS in the breaker panel.....the
Galvanized bus was corroding..... maybe I've been told from mild water
damage(panel is under the kitchen sink area in the basement). When the
lights flickered I could hear a soft crackling noise in the panel(definitely
unsettling). I pulled the suspect breaker and saw damage on the breaker
connectors, cleaned up the bus spot some, replaced the breaker and a few
months later the flicker returned. I then polished/cleaned surrounding
breaker connectors and moved the circuit(another new breaker) to another
spot(no more flicker). I'm about to replace the panel(next week). My panel
is almost 30 years old but the suspect breaker was added about 10 years ago.
If your breaker & bus shows no damage I would carefully check every
connection, switch etc. on that circuit and/or hire an electrician.....the
circuit could be asking for a fire. Incidentally due to a panel design
change(code) I'll need to run new wires from the meter to the panel(short
easy run) as they have lengthened the distance from the top of the panel to
the main cutoff breaker. Rod








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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

On Apr 11, 2:27*pm, "James" wrote:
In my study, *my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. * I assume that
I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that there is a problem
with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker itself.

So, today I went to the breaker box *and made sure that the wire connecting
to the breaker were screwed down as tight as possible. *I was able to turn
the screw a full 1/2 *turn, so I thought this might have cured the problem.
But, it didn't.


snip


So you checked/tightened the breaker...good! But your circuits are fed
with TWO wires, right? Did you even look at the grounds and neutrals?
This is a common error that wannabe electrical DIYers always make.
They assume that the breaker side of the circuit is the only place for
trouble, and nothing is further from the facts. So the lesson is, use
the laws of physics, they're on your side. HTH

Joe
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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

First thing, get the laser printer on a circuit by it's self, if all
posible, as a copier tech, I can tell you they do pull some power, even the
small ones, its the heater lamp(s) in them, some as high as 1000 watts when
printing, even in sleep mode, that lamp does cycle on and off to keep the
fuser at a pre-heat temp so it will come up to ready in a reasonable time,
so this could be your flickering lamp problem.
"James" wrote in message
...
Yes, I do have a laser printer plugged in to this circuit.

I know it draws a lot of current when operating, but mostly it is in the
sleep mode.

James






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Default Flickering lights on one circuit


"Craig M" wrote in message
. ..
First thing, get the laser printer on a circuit by it's self, if all
posible, as a copier tech, I can tell you they do pull some power, even
the small ones, its the heater lamp(s) in them, some as high as 1000 watts
when printing, even in sleep mode, that lamp does cycle on and off to keep
the fuser at a pre-heat temp so it will come up to ready in a reasonable
time, so this could be your flickering lamp problem.


Indeed.

"Sleep" mode does not mean it's completely powered down, just as being
asleep at night doesn't mean you're dead. Hopefully.

"James" wrote in message
...
Yes, I do have a laser printer plugged in to this circuit.

I know it draws a lot of current when operating, but mostly it is in the
sleep mode.

James






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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

Craig, I think that you are exactly right. I think that when the laser fax
is in "sleep" mode, it doesn't use much power....... but in just Standby,
I bet that lamp does come on and off, as you said.

I did an experiment this evening. I watched the fax, to see when it went
into sleep mode. AFter it does go into sleep, my lights don't flicker. I
had not noted that before. I think this is the cure (or answer) to this
problem.

Thanks to Craig and to all others ! I think all of the points made were
good points, and things to think about.

James


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Default Flickering lights on one circuit


"James" wrote in message
. ..
Craig, I think that you are exactly right. I think that when the laser
fax
is in "sleep" mode, it doesn't use much power....... but in just
Standby,
I bet that lamp does come on and off, as you said.

I did an experiment this evening. I watched the fax, to see when it went
into sleep mode. AFter it does go into sleep, my lights don't flicker. I
had not noted that before. I think this is the cure (or answer) to this
problem.

Thanks to Craig and to all others ! I think all of the points made were
good points, and things to think about.

James

Any heavy load on that circuit, or depending upon your electric service size
and demand, a heavy load anywhere in the house should cause "dimming" on
lighting circuits, but "flickering" is a different animal, it's caused by
loose connections. Loose connections over time will invariably get worse.
Even if you install a dedicated circuit for the printer, you still may
experience the flickering until the bad connection is located and corrected



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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

On Apr 11, 2:45 pm, "HeyBub" wrote:
James wrote:
In my study, my lamps will flicker every few minutes or so. I
assume that I have some defect in the wiring on this circuit, or that
there is a problem with my circuit breaker connection, or the breaker
itself.


Probably not the breaker, although you could test that by moving the wire
from the current breaker to an adjacent one (purists will tell you to
exchange the wires).

Next step is to check the connections at the outlet.

If the wires are back-stabbed, un-stab them and attach the wires to the
outlet's screws.


Just a caveat...while the old stab connections are notorious for poor
connections...the new "commercial grade" designs are excellent (with
copper wire).
(Hubbell, Leviton, P&S)
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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

I have seen same thing happen in offices and other places where copiers are
used, its funny how many power drawing devices some people plug into the
same line the copier is on, have seen once a HP laser printer, and a copier
on the same circuit, the copier draws 12 amps, plate on the back shows that,
laser printer draws 11.2 amps as I recalled, tried to tell the people in the
office this was not good,
they did not belive me till I hit the copy button while the printer was
printing, yepp...tripped the breaker, they re-located the printer next day.

If you can get it to a line by its self it will help.

"James" wrote in message
. ..
Craig, I think that you are exactly right. I think that when the laser
fax
is in "sleep" mode, it doesn't use much power....... but in just
Standby,
I bet that lamp does come on and off, as you said.

I did an experiment this evening. I watched the fax, to see when it went
into sleep mode. AFter it does go into sleep, my lights don't flicker. I
had not noted that before. I think this is the cure (or answer) to this
problem.

Thanks to Craig and to all others ! I think all of the points made were
good points, and things to think about.

James






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Default Flickering lights on one circuit

Hi, I recently (March 01/08) had the same problem... Now my home is
burned to the ground. I would highly recommend you get an electrician to
locate the probem NOW! Mine turned out to be a old breaker not
functioning properly. But it can be a number of things. But it sounds
like you have an open neutral. THAT IS VERY DANGEROUS DO NOT DELAY!!!
Three or four hundred dollars (probably less) would have saved
everything. (thousands) If I had been asleep I would have died. It
burned so fast I could not do anything at all. All game plans are
nonsense. It' gets too hot too quick to get within 50 feet. The whole
place was fully ingulfed in flames within 10 minutes. Luckily no life
was lost but I lost everything I owned for 30 years. I went to my
friends house (an elecrtician) on Sunday to see if he would look at it.
He was out of town. It burned Monday morning around 12:00 pm It was the
most horrifing experience you can possibly imagine!!! I was warned on
one of these disscussion groups just like I am warning you. I delayed.
DO NOT DELAY!!! Thank You -William (from Carolina Beach NC)




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