Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

Hello all,

Back in 2010 my wife and I purchased a home and have the power upgraded before we moved in. I posted about it in this forum (Upgrading electrical questions and had the work done.

Since then we've had our front bathroom remodeled, which included new lighting fixtures and a ceiling ventilation fan addition.

About a month ago I noticed that the lights in the front bathroom would flicker once or twice in the evening while I helped bath my toddler.

About the same time, I noticed that the table fan we have in our master bedroom would sometimes cycle down - almost like the power was lowering and the fan would slow down. This would happen a few times a day (I was in the room for most of the day, with the fan on non stop).

This weekend while sitting around, the power went off in our master bedroom. Neither my wife and I recall doing anything such as turning on/off something when it happened. I went out to the master panel and saw that one of the breakers had tripped. I reset it and it was good to go.

Yesterday while sitting in our family room, I heard a beep go off in our master bedroom. It's the beep my printer makes when it's unplugged from it's outlet without being powered entirely down first. I was watching TV so waited for a commercial before going to see what was up, when I got to the master bedroom everything looked fine (power was working). Later in the night the same thing happened again. This time I was in the room, but only noticed it because our desk fan powered down and then powered back on.

Today while sitting my master bedroom part of our houses power went off. The outlets in the master bedroom (but not the lights) went out, as did the fridge in the kitchen.

I believe these are all on the same breaker, as shown in the picture below.

Any clue what would be causing this?


Re: Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

It's pretty obvious: Halloween is coming.

There could be a few things wrong:

- bad connection somewhere. Have an electrician check your switches and receptacles.

- worn out circuit breaker.

- could be overloaded circuits.

- or maybe power company's related issues. You might want to call them - they'll come and check their cables to the house, for free.

Re: Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

The last of DJ's list is the easiest to diagnose, just ask the neighbors.

Re: Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

Also, getting the power company involved early will ensure the're put-on-notice if something like an open neutral from them fries your flat screen.

Then they have to buy new goodies, not you.

Re: Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

Thanks all, have asked the neighbors but they haven't noticed anything.

Next step is to call the power company and have them check stuff out!

Re: Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

IIRC, you're in SC. I can't remember the utility name (might be SCE&G or Palmetto) but call them and they will check their lines and fix anything they find, but they will tell you that they found nothing wrong on their side. It's not their 'official policy' but that's how it works here anyway. You cover the company if you like raises and promotions.

Since the problem began after having the remodel done, that's likely where the problem originated- either a connection was left loose or something was disturbed to loosen a connection elsewhere, or something is shorting out for similar reasons. Either is dangerous and can cause an ash-pile where there used to be your house, so I'd call whoever did the remodel and inform them of the problem so they can look at it too. Once again, they won't likely admit any liability but if they fix it that's all you need.

Failing both of these call whoever did the house upgrade when you purchased the house- hopefully they will remember what was done making the fix easy to find and do. One last thought is whit the weather turning cooler, rodents do tend to look for a 'winter home' and may have found wire insulation tasty- this is more common than you'd think!

In the meantime I'd be cautious drawing power from that circuit, even to the point of turning the breaker off if I could live without it till it's fixed. Let us know what you find!


Re: Electric going out/flickering in one portion of the house?

Thank you all - I called up Southern California Edison. Turned out that a few of our neighbors had also called reporting similar issues.

After a check, they discovered something had corroded on a transformer. They've corrected it, and since then we've had no issues.

Thanks again everyone!!!

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.