Flickering Lights on Different Circuits

I have several different circuits, connected to the same panel on different breakers, that are flickering while turned on. Some of these are
fluorescent bulbs and others are LED. They will come on and then every five minutes or so they will flicker on and off maybe 10 times, then go back on to steady state.
Since this is happening on different breakers, I assume it is not related to the wiring or breaker of each individual circuit. I haven't noticed that when it happens to one circuit it happens to the other, so timing is somewhat different across circuits.
What are some possible causes for this behavior? How do we test for those things? Electrician is so far stumped.
--
W



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snipped-for-privacy@spamarrest.com says...

Call your electric company and have them retorque (tighten) your main electrical service connections. That is the BIG wires coming into your house to the electric meter and main electric panel.
Main electrical connections carry a LOT of amperage. If they are not installed properly (lug nuts tightened to panel manufacturer's specified tightness in inch pounds), and anti-oxidation compound applied if aluminum wires, then the wires can work themselves loose.
NOT a do-it-yourself thing as these main wires are ALWAYS LIVE!!!!
If that does not solve the problem, then monitor the voltage on those circuits - should be about 120 volts AC if you are in the U.S.
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says...

different
back
related to

that
those
Is there a data recorder that I could leave online that would record voltage every five seconds over course of the entire day?
How would I get that data monitor inline with a lighting circuit? It would probably wire in at the wall switch? Is there anyone who makes a wall switch with a data monitor built in?
--
W



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This functionality is built in to many UPS's.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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This is pretty simple stuff, so I'd start by getting another electrician. Start by analyzing which breakers are the effected circuits. You have 2 hot wires and one neutral wire coming into your electrical service. The first hot wire feeds every other row of breakers in the panel starting with the first row (breakers 1 and 2). The second hot wire does the same but starts with the 2nd row of breakers (breakers 3 and 4). So once you know which circuits are effected you can determine which of the 2 hot wires are the problem. If circuits from both hot wires are effected, then the problem is with the neutral wire, since it is common to all of the 120 volt circuits.
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replying to W , pavel wrote:
This happens mainly because of worn out circuit breakers. The magnetic coils inside the circuit breakers lose their magnetism with time and since this is happening randomly and there is no connection to the circuitry, this can be the only possible explanation. You need to change the circuit breakers.
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Pavel-
I missed the original posting, so do not know the details.
I agree that the breaker is the most likely cause of the problem. In an apartment I once lived in, I happened to walk by the breaker box and heard a "Bzzt" sound. Taking it apart, I found that the hot water heater breaker had a bad connection to the power bus. Over time, the high resistance contact had arced and ruined the breaker.
The particular breaker box was apparently a "lowest bidder" item, and was not commonly used any more. A replacement breaker was hard to find and was expensive. It also had a bad contact with the arced power bus, so I had to move it to a different location in the box.
One other experience with flicker, was when I found that aluminum wires were used between the power pole and the breaker box in an old house. Over time the soft aluminum had loosened its connection. Tightening the screws solved the problem, at least for as long as I stayed there. Looking back, I realize I took quite a chance tightening those screws on a live circuit.
Fred
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Another thing that could affect different circuits on different breakers, is if your neutral wire has a loose connection. This could happen either at a transformer on a nearby power pole, or in the service entrance (behind the electric meter?).
This would be serious if the connection opened completely. Voltage would divide between the two sides according to the loads on each. The one with the least loading would have the highest voltage, which could cause damage.
Fred
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