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Old 06-28-2010, 06:11 AM   #1
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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?

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Old 06-28-2010, 06:56 AM   #2
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flickering light bulb when switched off


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.

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Old 06-28-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #4
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flickering light bulb when switched off


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.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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flickering light bulb when switched off


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

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Old 06-28-2010, 09:26 AM   #6
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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!
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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flickering light bulb when switched off


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

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Old 06-28-2010, 10:24 AM   #8
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flickering light bulb when switched off


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.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:15 AM   #9
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flickering light bulb when switched off


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.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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flickering light bulb when switched off


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewr View Post
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.

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