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Ask John Power Fluctuations Main Image

Why Does My Power Keep Going Off and Coming Back On?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Learn Why Your Power Keeps Going On and Off

Power outages are one of the most frustrating experiences that a homeowner will experience. This is especially true when the power keeps going off and coming back on, known as “flickering” or “blinking” power.

It’s not only annoying to have the lights turning on and off due to this. There’s also the fact that your appliances and other electronic devices may end up damaged. Understanding your concerns, we’re here to delve into its possible causes and what you can do about it.

What's Causing Power Fluctuations
Review John’s article about the causes and solutions to power fluctuations in the home.

Common Causes and Solutions if the Power Keeps Going On and Off

Why does the power keep going on and off in your house? Well, there are a number of possible reasons why this happens, from voltage fluctuations to underlying electrical issues. Let’s find out more about them below.

Voltage Fluctuations

Voltage fluctuations happen when the electricity delivered to your house briefly rises or falls. These variations could be due to abrupt changes in the grid’s overall demand for electricity. As you know, major equipment like the refrigerator uses a huge amount of electricity, which causes a momentary voltage drop.

Lights may briefly dim or flicker as a result of this. Even though small fluctuations are often not harmful, persistent or extreme voltage swings may point to a problem with the electrical infrastructure that has to be addressed.

Faulty Wiring or Loose Connections

Faulty wiring or loose connections within your home’s electrical system could be why the power keeps going on and off in your home. Wiring that is damaged, corroded, or worn out can cause power to go off and then quickly come back on.

Loose connections, often due to vibrations or temperature changes, can create intermittent electrical flow. Addressing these issues is crucial as they pose safety hazards and can lead to further electrical problems if left unresolved.

Overloaded Circuits

Circuit overloads occur when there is excessive demand on a single electrical circuit. This can happen when you use multiple devices with high power consumption simultaneously. The circuit breaker detects the overload and trips to prevent overheating and potential fires.

After the overload is resolved, the power is restored. The good thing is it’s enough to deal with. All you need to do is make sure to distribute our devices across different circuits. Also, you might consider upgrading your electrical system if necessary.

Appliance or Equipment Issues

Certain appliances or equipment with high power demands can cause the power to keep going on and off when they cycle on and off. For example, air conditioners, refrigerators, and even water heaters draw a significant amount of power when starting up. This sudden demand can lead to a temporary voltage drop, causing lights to dim or flicker briefly.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, discusses what could be causing your power to fluctuate off and on as well as offer some expert advice on how to best address this kind of issue.

Faulty Circuit Breakers or Fuses

Circuit breakers and fuses protect your home’s electrical system by interrupting the power flow when a fault is detected. If your circuit breaker is old, worn out, or malfunctioning, it might trip unnecessarily, leading to the power to keep going off and coming back on. Replacing faulty breakers or fuses can resolve this issue and ensure proper protection.

External Factors

External factors such as storms and lightning strikes can disrupt the power supply to your home. Storms can cause power lines to sway or come into contact with debris, leading to the electricity to keep going on and off.

If not, utility maintenance may also be why you’re experiencing temporary outages. Utility maintenance involves adjustments or repairs to the power grid, which can result in brief interruptions while power is being restored.

Equipment Malfunctions

Devices within your home’s electrical infrastructure, such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) or surge protectors, can malfunction and cause intermittent power disruptions. If these devices are damaged, worn out, or improperly configured, they might inadvertently trigger the power to keep going off and coming back on.

Local Power Surges

Local power surges, often caused by lightning strikes or malfunctions in utility equipment, can cause temporary power disruptions. These surges can affect the power supply to your home, leading to blinking power when the supply stabilizes.

Underlying Electrical Issues

If the power keeps going on and off non-stop, there might be underlying electrical problems that require professional assessment. These issues could include faulty breakers, inadequate grounding, improper wiring installations, or other complex electrical system concerns.

Understanding the different possible reasons behind your power that keeps going off and coming back on is crucial for effectively addressing the issue. Some of the instances of blinking power are minor and part of normal operations.

Generators For Power Outage
A generator is only a temporary solution to your power fluctuation issues in the home.

How to Troubleshoot Blinking Power on Your Own

1. Check for Neighborhood Outages

If the power keeps going off and coming back on in your entire home, check if your neighbors are also affected. This could indicate a neighborhood-wide power outage.

2. Inspect Circuit Breaker

Check your circuit breaker panel for tripped breakers. If you find any, reset them to the “On” position. A tripped breaker could be causing the power to keep going on and off.

3. Unplug Appliances

Unplug non-essential appliances and electronics temporarily. The blinking power might be due to a faulty device.

4. Inspect Wiring and Connections

If power interruptions are persistent, consider hiring a licensed electrician to inspect your home’s wiring and connections. Faulty wiring can cause frequent interruptions.

5. Examine Power Cords

Inspect power cords for damage, fraying, or exposed wires. Damaged cords can cause the power to keep going off and coming back on.

6. Distribute Load

As mentioned, overloaded circuits can cause flickering power. Try to avoid overloading circuits by spreading the use of high-power devices across different outlets.

7. Use Different Devices

If you suspect a specific device is causing the issue, try using a different device in the same outlet to determine if the problem persists.

8. Check GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets can trip and cause power interruptions. Press the “Reset” button on GFCI outlets to restore power.

9. Contact Utility Company

If you’ve ruled out internal issues, contact your utility company to inquire about potential power grid disruptions or outages.

10. Check Weather Conditions

If the power interruptions are happening while there’s currently a storm or other extreme weather conditions, it could be weather-related.

11. Professional Help

If you’re unable to identify the cause or resolve the issue on your own, consult a professional electrician for a thorough inspection and repairs.

Electricians Fixing Power Fluctuations
Working with electricity can be very dangerous unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

Power Fluctuation FAQs

Is it normal for lights to flicker when some appliances turn on or off?

Yes, it’s normal for lights to flicker a bit when appliances turn on or off, especially high-power devices such as air conditioners or refrigerators. This is because of the sudden demand for power. But if the flickering is severe or persistent, it could mean issues with the appliance or the electrical system itself.

Can I fix the blinking power caused by faulty wiring myself?

If you think faulty wiring is why your power keeps going on and off, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance. Working with electrical systems can be dangerous if you’re not experienced. Let a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system as they are capable of safely diagnosing and addressing wiring issues.

Should I be concerned when the power only blinks occasionally?

It’s not usually a cause for immediate concern if your power only turns on and off occasionally, especially if it’s due to external factors like storms. But if you notice a pattern or if the blinking becomes more frequent, you should investigate further to rule out any underlying issues.

How can I protect sensitive electronics from power interruptions?

There are various ways you can do this, such as using surge protectors, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GCFI) outlets. We also suggest that you avoid daisy-chaining multiple surge protectors, which should prevent overloading circuits. Lastly, consider unplugging devices during storms to prevent damage.

Hire a Local Electrical Pro

Some circumstances might signify more serious problems, particularly in your electrical system. Regular maintenance, quick and prompt resolution of issues, and professional assistance are all necessary to ensure you continue to have a reliable power supply. Don’t hesitate to contact a local Electrical expert using the phone number or form on this page.

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