flickering lights

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Hi everyone - hope you can help. A short time ago (1-2 weeks) all the lights in my house started flickering. This affects every light (but not lamps which are plugged in) although the upstairs and downstairs have individual fuses. I've bought a new microwave in the last few weeks and about 4 weeks ago changed a light switch in the living room which proved very problematic (it was a double switch, the old metal one bore no resemblance to the new plastic on in terms of holes for the wires to go, there were three red wires, 2 black wires and one green/yellow one). I'm trying to sell my house and don't want to sell it with a potentially serious problem. Can anyone help?
 
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Sounds like a poor connection and favourite culprit has got to be the new switch. Wires must be in correct holes or you would know by now, but there could be a wire broken, insulation trapped in the connection terminal or a loose screw. All might look alright. Try a tug on each first, then look for trapped insulation. Suggest microwave is a red herring.
Best of luck.
 
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Thank you, I'll do that as soon as I get home.

Really appreciate such a quick response.
 
S

sanj.varah

From what you describe i don't think it would be the switch otherwise it would be isolated to the room where you changed the switch.

I had a problem with flickering lights which i eventually traced down to the MCB in the consumer unit, I changed that and the problem went away.

just my 2p worth good luck
 
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sanj.varah said:
From what you describe i don't think it would be the switch otherwise it would be isolated to the room where you changed the switch.

If the feed is looped at the switches then it is possible that this is the culprit, and as it is the most recently altered part it has to be the favorite place to start...
 
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but OP did say
katy may said:
all the lights in my house started flickering. This affects every light (but not lamps which are plugged in) although the upstairs and downstairs have individual fuses. quote]
So cant be if all the lights are flikering....

Must be something common to both up and downstairs and I would guess that must be in the consumer unit somewheres.

Turn off main switch and check all connections in consumer unit including connections to the busbar - thats the copper bar at the bottom that goes into the individula contact beakers. ) I guess you have modern type board?

TTC
 
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Hi. I checked the light switch and it all seemed OK, with no loose connections etc. Then I noticed that when the lights flickered I could hear a 'psst' sound from the fuse box. I don't think it's modern but my electric skills are not too good (in fact non existent). It's a grey box with 6 black labelled switches and two other switches, one of which is red. Anyway, none of the switches felt hot and I couldn't trace the noise to any specific switch. There are some biggish cables coming out of the bottom so I pushed them all in and the lights stopped flickering, it was all quiet and I had no more problems that night.

I would do what you suggest Taylortwocities "Turn off main switch and check all connections in consumer unit including connections to the busbar - thats the copper bar at the bottom that goes into the individual contact beakers". I'm assuming the consumer unit is the fuse box? (See how low you have to take instructions!), but I can't work out how to get into it.

I'll let you know if it all happens again tonight. Do I need to be worried?
 
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You should be worried, and be careful with those "big cables" they may be the incoming mains supply and they will still be lethal even with the main switch in the off position.
I would recommend you get a qualified electrician in.
Leeds is too far for me?
:)
TTC
 
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Well done TTC and Katy. Nice use of logic. Whoever said they didn't believe in coincidences? Please don't push in anything without turning off the power, if it's loose and you slip you are the wrong side of any protection.
 
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Ill bet that the problem is a loose neutral conductor in the circuit,this may also caus premature failing of lamps.
 
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Hi - thanks for all your advice. I shan't touch those wires again, am terrified now! However, it has solved the problem, no more flicker-psst over the weekend. Electrician coming tomorrow.

Thanks all of you.
 

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