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debiasio 06-28-2010 05:11 AM

flickering light bulb when switched off
We have a incandescent ceiling light bulb in one of our extra bedrooms that flickers even when it is switched off. It happens with no particular frequency, and is most noticeable at night. I figure someone has miswired the switch...maybe switching the neutral wire instead of hot?

oberkc 06-28-2010 05:56 AM

My first inclination is to suspect a faulty switch. How old is the switch?

While a potential safely issue, I do not believe that switching a neutral will cause this problem. A loose wire on the switch may cause flickering when on, but I would not expect flickering when off due to a loose wire.

debiasio 06-28-2010 06:24 AM

flickering light bulb when switched off
not sure exactly how old it is. We just moved in a week ago. The house was built in 1948 so I'm guessing that the switch is old, even if it had been replaced since the house was built.

oberkc 06-28-2010 07:47 AM

I have replaced a couple of switches for intermittent/flickering lights. The age of your electrical system makes me continue to suspect this is your problem. Can you hear any noise from your switches? Arcing-type noise or buzzing?

Also, replacing a switch is pretty easy and inexpensive, so I tend to do this as a method of troubleshooting.

DangerMouse 06-28-2010 08:18 AM

Old switch would be my first guess as well. Easiest to replace and find out too!
(cut the power first, of course)


debiasio 06-28-2010 08:26 AM

flickering light bulb when switched off
I think there is a mix of both aluminum and copper wiring. I really should have an electrican take a look at the overall system, but I don't have too much money to throw around. At the same time, I want to know of any safety concerns.

I just tried turning the light on and did hear a crackling sound coming from the switch. The light briefly turned on and then turned off again. Sounds like I'll be replacing it this evening. Thanks for the help!

DangerMouse 06-28-2010 08:50 AM

I'd cut the power to it until you can swap it out if that's possible.


Red Squirrel 06-28-2010 09:24 AM

I'd suspect the switch as well, or maybe somewhere there is a lose wire that occasionally touches the box completing the circuit, but wires don't just move on their own, so I can't see how it would be that.

mikewr 06-19-2012 08:15 AM

flickering lights after replacing fixtures
Replaced all the fixtures outlets and switches in the family room during a remodel. My new fixtures have CFLs, and with the switch off, they flicker. After all the usual trouble-shooting, it turn out to be the new RF switch that could give me 3 way switch capabilities without running wires. Turns out the new RF switch isn't compatable with CFLs. So, looks like I'll need to run some wiring.

Seattle2k 06-19-2012 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by mikewr (Post 946822)
Turns out the new RF switch isn't compatable with CFLs. So, looks like I'll need to run some wiring.

Or get the appropriate RF switch. :wink:

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