Electricity is a crucial aspect of our daily lives, powering our homes and keeping our appliances running smoothly.
However, there are times when the power supply becomes unreliable, with sudden interruptions that can be frustrating and even dangerous.
If you’re experiencing frequent power outages, you’re probably wondering, “Why does my power keep going on and off?”
The reasons for these disruptions can vary from simple issues that you can fix on your own to more complex problems that require the expertise of a professional electrician.
Circuit breakers commonly trip, or circuits become overloaded, which is the most common cause of power outages and power returns. It is possible for the power to be briefly out and then come back on due to bad breaker switches and storms outside.
Limit the number of appliances you plug in to avoid overloading the circuit and shutting down the power.
Flickering power, often lasting for just a second or two, is a complete but momentary power outage. You may see the lights flashing on and off a few times before the power goes out.
As the brightness of the lamps is proportional to the applied voltage, such a voltage fluctuation in the power system may cause them to dim.
How To Identify The Source Of Power Flickers?
You may want to identify the cause of those power flickers because electrical trouble in your home can be dangerous. There are several ways to determine where the problem is and what needs to be done.
The Power Flickers In Only One Room:
The outlets in the room may cause the problem. You may need to replace your strip surge protectors if they are worn out. If your room has a specific breaker, ensure it works properly.
The Power Flickers In A Particular Set Of Rooms Or Area Of The House:
Possibly there is a problem with the cable between the rooms and the breaker for that area. If that test checks out, a significant connection that delivers power to these rooms could be at fault.
The Power Flickers In The Middle Of A Storm:
A tree or branch may rub against a power line, or lightning may have struck a wire a couple of hundred yards away. The power flicker can be ignored if your home’s power doesn’t usually flicker without a storm.
The Power In A Single Room Goes Out But Doesn’t Turn Back On:
Overloading the breaker for that room might be the cause. Power-hungry appliances connected to the same circuit can overload the circuit if you put them on simultaneously. You can solve the problem by unplugging some electronics and resetting the breaker.
The Power Flickers Throughout The Whole House Regularly:
The issue may be caused by faulty wiring inside your house, faulty connections outside, or a malfunctioning circuit breaker. The exact cause can be determined with the help of an electrician, and the necessary fix can be applied.
Common Causes of Power Going Out For a Few Seconds
How should you react when the power goes out and then returns? Should you treat it as a quirk of the electrical system? The cause of the event could be many.
Listed below are the most common ones, so you’ll know what to do next time. Power comes on again after losing power, usually because a circuit breaker tripped.
The opposite is sometimes true, however. Sometimes it may be an indication that there is a short circuit somewhere in your electrical system.
Depending on the cause of flickering power, there are different solutions available. A quick glance at the common causes can help you determine if you need to contact the power company, check your circuit breakers, or call an electrician.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
If your house is old and has a single circuit, how is it installed? If this is the case, the circuit breaker might have tripped temporarily, and the power went out briefly. Electricity circuits run out when sudden demand for electricity exceeds supply.
Switching on your hairdryer, electric iron, and dishwasher at the same time can cause the circuit to burn out. To prevent overload, the circuit breaker trips, creating a fire hazard.
In case your main circuit breaker trips frequently, check the serial number on the service panel to determine the age of the breaker. Many circuit breakers have a lifespan of 35 years, although some develop issues by their 25th anniversary.
It is also worthwhile to consider an upgrade if you have a single-circuit system, especially if the circuit breaker constantly trips.
When the weather is inclement, there are several things that can happen that can cause electrical problems in a house and cause a temporary loss of power.
A lightning strike delivering thousands of amps can cause a home’s electrical grid to malfunction, leaving you without power. Lightning strikes can cause power flickering and power outages.
An outage may also be caused by high winds that knock down a power pole or snap a power line. Occasionally, lightning strikes can bring about a massive power outage that can last for days in your area.
Bad Breaker Switch
A circuit breaker has been checked and appears to be working correctly. Is there a reason why the power goes off and on every now and then? Possibly the problem lies with a faulty breaker switch.
Short power outages can result from a broken switch, even if the circuit breaker is in good condition. Having a bad breaker switch can cause you to lose electric power in just one room, the one that the breaker controls, and in some cases, the whole house.
Replacement of a breaker will cost between $45 and $60. Nonetheless, if many switches are out and the unit is older than 30 years, you should change the circuit breaker.
Power Line Problems
You get your electricity from power lines, which can temporarily or permanently cause an outage. You can lose power because of a downed power line or scheduled maintenance to the electricity distribution facilities.
When the lights flicker when the weather is terrible, and there is lightning or strong winds, problems with the power lines may be to blame. Even a flickering power outage may not return the next time it goes out, or the blackout might last a long time.
As we discussed, high winds may topple power poles and break power lines, causing an outage. Power lines and other infrastructure for electricity distribution can be damaged by more than just wind.
In the same way, rain and snow can do the same thing. You may face longer outages during inclement weather if you lose power in your home. Power may return quickly, but that does not guarantee that it will remain on. During the winter, prolonged outages are common.
Ensure you have all the emergency supplies you need before the lights start flickering. Because the weather will likely knock out the power for a long time, you should have a fully charged phone, torches, food, and water handy.
Service Panel Damage
Damage to the service panel can cause electrical problems that lead to brief power outages. There is no guarantee that a service panel will not develop issues at any time.
It could be that a breaker or fuse needs to be replaced or that the circuit has been flooded. You should think about this whenever the power goes out and comes back on quickly. Possibly a relatively easy fix can be found.
Nevertheless, hiring a trained electrician to handle the task is often necessary. Those with little experience with electricity should not attempt to solve electrical problems. You should therefore call an electrician to check the service panel for damage.
The short circuit results from an electrical current following an unintended, shorter path instead of following the circuit.
Electrical current can take a shortcut when flowing through a circuit, tripping the breaker and interrupting electricity briefly before resuming. The most common causes of short circuits are faulty wiring, frayed lines, and electrical problems.
Your immediate attention is needed if you encounter a short circuit. Before the short causes serious damage to your entire electrical system or accidentally ignites your house, hire an electrician to figure out what’s causing it.
Putting too much stress on a circuit is never a good idea. The damage it causes to your electrical system, and even the possibility of a fire are serious concerns.
It becomes overloaded when you plug too many appliances and electronic devices into one circuit.
Electricity goes out when the circuit breaker can’t handle the load. Try to understand how your home’s breakers work to prevent overloading your electrical system.
Ensure you know which outlets connect to which circuit, so you don’t overload the system with power-hungry appliances and electronics. In your service panel, there should be clear labels to identify which circuit breakers are in charge of which parts of your home.
A squirrel, rodent, or bird may build a nest near your home’s electrical system, which can damage the lines. They may chew or peck at the lines, or they may short-circuit some connections.
The insulation on wires might be strong enough to protect them from biting on sharp teeth, but it isn’t strong enough to withstand constant gnawing from sharp teeth. For instance, if a squirrel chews through the wire all the way, your home will lose power. To solve the problem, you will need to contact an electrician.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Electrician?
In the case of flickering lights, you probably will need professional assistance. There is good news, however: most flickering power issues are relatively simple to resolve. Consequently, the typical electrician’s call could be quite cheap.
An electrician generally charges between $100 and $550 to solve flickering power problems. A minor wiring repair can also include fixing breakers, repairing switches, and repairing small parts of the wiring.
Things get steeper when you need more advanced electrical work, such as a circuit breaker upgrade. In many cases, replacing a circuit breaker can cost more than $1000.
When your home’s power goes out and comes back on, it could mean something is wrong with the electrical system. Make sure not to make assumptions and assume you have a short circuit or faulty wiring.
The weather could cause a power outage or a problem with the electricity company’s facilities. You should have a licensed electrician inspect everything if this problem occurs frequently. Doing this ensures that your electrical system has no loose connections or other problems that could cause a fire.