Lights will often flicker while the washing machine is running because of a few common reasons such as there is not enough power coming into the home, there is a loose wire connection, corrosion on the connections or your washing machine is sharing the same circuit as your lights.
Most Common Reasons
Now there are two different situations that you might be having. The first one, is when the washing machine first starts up, you might notice that your lights flicker for a few seconds. This could be due to the appliance starting up and demanding a significant amount of electricity to get it going, which could be drawing from the lights. This type of problem does not last long and in some cases, it might be a subtle flicker with the lights. The problem could be due to lower quality lights being used.
The second issue that you might be seeing is when your washing machine is in its washing cycle, and your lights seem to flicker and dim around the house, almost to the beat of the washing machine. If this is what you are experiencing, then the issue is a little more serious and something that you do not want to try tackling on your own.
The first phone call that you will want to make is to your utility company. Have them come out to your home and assess the wires and connections leading into your residence. There could be an issue with the under-ground wires that is preventing enough power to be delivered to your electrical panel. You might find that this will often solve your problem with the lights flickering.
If for some reason the utility company is unable to find any problems outside of your home, then your next call should be to a licensed electrician. What they might need to do is take look at the meter socket and clean away any corrosion that might have built up over the years, to allow a stronger connection to be made.
The problem could also be from a loose wire connection, or maybe your home has undersized wiring that is too thin to assist the amount of power that your appliance demands. If this is the case, then this can be extremely dangerous. This type of problem will often happen within older homes. An electrician will be able to inspect the wires and determine if they require being upgraded.
Is It Dangerous if Your Lights Flicker?
Generally, if your lights are flickering or even dimming, then this could be a warning sign of a much more serious problem with your homes electrical wiring. Even if the flickering seems harmless enough, this could lead to a potential fire hazard sometime down the road.
Now, if it is only one flicking light then the chances could be good that it’s just a faulty bulb. Simply changing that bulb should correct the problem.
It is recommended that you call a licensed electrician to your home to do a full inspection of the wires just to be on the safe side. In the meantime, you should keep an eye on the flickering for any increase in behaviour or any other type of changes.
What Does it Mean if Your Lights Keep Flickering?
There are a number of different reasons why your lights might be flickering, and it might not be related to your washing machine, although it feels like it is.
Here are some other common reasons why your lights could keep flickering:
One Flickering Light
Possible Reason: If you have one light flickering, this could be caused by a bad light bulb or the light bulb is loose in the socket.
The solution to Try: Try changing the light bulb or try tightening the existing light bulb to see if that corrects the problem.
Multiple Lights Flickering in The Same Area of The Home
Possible Reason: If you notice that multiple lights within the same area or room of your home are flickering at the same time, then this could be caused by the circuit which feeds power to that part of the home.
The solution to Try: You may have a loose connection in the circuit breaker that is causing the flickering. This is not something that you want to try fixing yourself. A licensed electrician should be the one to check this for you. But make sure to call someone sooner then later, because this type of problem could be dangerous if left too long.
Lights Flickering Throughout The Entire House
Possible Reason: Now we are getting serious. If your lights throughout the house are flickering at once, then this is a much larger problem. For example, the wires throughout the home might be too small to accommodate the amount of energy required to power everything in your home. Or you may have a loose service conductor in your main electrical panel or leading into your home from the outside. Loose connections are a profoundly serious problem that could result in fire.
The solution to Try: You should consult an electrician right away. They should be able to evaluate your home’s wiring to determine if you require any upgrades, and to make sure that you do not have any loose connections.
Should I Worry if My Lights Flicker?
The bottom line is yes, you do want to worry if your lights are flickering. As mentioned earlier, this could be a warning sign of bigger and more serious problems to come. Tackling the problem now, might only safe you money in the long run, but it could also help prevent a fire.