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Old 09-30-2009, 11:40 AM   #1
RDS
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Buzzing switch


My bathroom has a single recessed light over the tub and a three-bulb fixture over the vanity. (Also a ceiling light in the middle of the room and an exhaust fan.) All are on separate switches on the same circuit. Nothing else is on the circuit.

When the light over the tub and vanity light are on at the same time, they both flicker and there's a loud buzzing sound from the switch.

When each is on individually, they work fine. No other combination of switches being on causes any problem.

Experimentally, I changed the bulbs in the vanity fixture from 100W incandescents to 13W CFLs. The problem was still there.

All the wiring was done with new cable, new everything by a licensed electrician and approved by an inspector about a month ago. The problem has only emerged in the past week.

What's likely to be the cause of this problem? What should I do about it? I know I could call the electrician back but I know it'd be at least two weeks before he showed up. I have only minimal experience working with electrical but if there's a simple fix I'd rather tackle it myself and get it resolved quickly and without paying the guy again.

Thanks for any guidance.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:34 PM   #2
 
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check to see that all connections are tight also is the light flourescent
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Mike.

No, the light over the tub is not fluorescent -- just a regular 60W incandescent. As mentioned, the problem is there whether I put incandescents or CFLs in the vanity fixture.

I will remove the switch plate and take a look. I assume what I'd be looking for is any wires that pull out of the wire nuts if I give them a little tug? (Yes, I'll turn off power to the circuit first.) Or is there a better way to check for connections that aren't tight?

Seems weird that a loose connection wouldn't cause flickering if only one fixture is turned on. (As mentioned, I get the flicker and buzz only when both are turned on.)

Thanks.

Last edited by RDS; 09-30-2009 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:29 AM   #4
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RDS: Try another switch. First try bridging over the switch terminals with test lead and observe operation. Sometimes the mechanical innards of switches and circuit breakers may loosen enough to vibrate and with more current, more buzz. I suspect that the switch contacts are arcing, thus causing the lights to flicker.
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