Random Flickering Lights

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Old 07-08-07, 07:46 PM
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Random Flickering Lights

Hello all!
I have a little issue.... I recently was installing a backsplash and was removing an outlet screw and arced it over on a switch next to it! (Save your comments, I know turn the elecricity off before you play kids!)

Anyway, I popped the breaker, and instantly the TV (on a different circuit) Started humming. Mind you a brand new Samsung 40" LCD.... I flipped the breaker off and back on, and started troubleshooting. The hum was coming from the Cable outlet in the wall. I replaced all of the outlets along the backsplash so it is not the arced over outlets....

I am not sure where to start looking for problems.... Circuit Box?

I called the cable co. and they came out and said it was an electrical problem.

I am tired of the hum while I watch TV! Help me please! I am very handy just not electrically savy!

Thanks in advance!

Chris
Houston, TX
 
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Old 07-08-07, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cook911411 View Post
Anyway, I popped the breaker, and instantly the TV (on a different circuit) Started humming. Mind you a brand new Samsung 40" LCD.... I flipped the breaker off and back on, and started troubleshooting. The hum was coming from the Cable outlet in the wall. I replaced all of the outlets along the backsplash so it is not the arced over outlets....Houston, TX
Sounds like you screwed up the tv. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "The hum was coming from the Cable outlet in the wall". Do you mean the receptacle where the tv is plugged into? If so, unplug the tv and see if the hum stops. If so, then you have damaged the tv. There should not be any problems where you connect the cable to the wall outlet.
You post is titled "Random Flickering Lights ". What does that mean?
 
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Old 07-08-07, 08:33 PM
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What screw were you removing when the arc happened? You should not get arcing from the face plate or mounting screws unless you have a neutral/ground problem? ?!
 
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Old 07-08-07, 08:45 PM
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Sorry I was not clear.... The TV is not the problem.... The Cable Box is not the Problem...I have connected those to different outlets and they work fine!

When I unscrewed one outlet from the Double box to slip a tile under it, it touched the switch in the same box while hot. Double box, one outlet, one switch.

Touched white and black Terminals> tripped breaker> Reset Breaker> The hum is coming through the cable outlet in the wall through the cable box through the TV = along with the hum I have randomly flickering lights in my home!

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 07-08-07, 09:30 PM
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Change your breaker. Sounds like it may have been damaged.
 
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Old 07-09-07, 06:42 AM
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Flickering lights are a symptom of a loose connection. The short you created probably caused a marginal connection to fail. After TURNING OFF the involved circuits, check the connections on the receptacles, switches and in the panel. If you don't find loose connections or backstabbed connections in your inspections you may need to take down light fixtures to investigate splices.

If you are getting a hum in your equipment by connecting it to the cable outlet and not an audible hum from the wall (your post is sort of unclear about that) then you probably damaged a splitter or some other component in your cable distribution system. Cable people are notorious for doing things like grounding their system to plastic conduit so I wouldn't take it to the bank that their stuff is OK)
 
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Old 07-09-07, 09:36 AM
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The hum is coming through the TV not in the wall. The wall coax cable outlet does not hum but I can hook the cable box to other coax cable outlets and it works just fine on any TV. Also when I connect and disconnect to the "Bad" Coax outlet I do notice more electricity flowing through it, more spark when connecting and disconnecting than normal.

It seems something may have arced over to the coax cable and is sending extra electricity through it and is causing electrical interference through the cable (causing the hum)

I have thought it may be a breaker! I wanted to change that out to see!
Sorry I was unclear on a lot of things!

Thanks all of you for help,
 
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Old 07-09-07, 06:25 PM
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Does anyone else think this is the Breaker?
If so is this something I should attempt?

I am a mechanic by hobby and did general contracting for years but never messed with electricity more than changing fixtures, outlets and switches...

If so does anyone have any hints.....

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-10-07, 10:05 AM
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> Does anyone else think this is the Breaker?

No, I agree with unclebill's suggestion.
 
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Old 07-10-07, 10:49 AM
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I wouldn't expect a spark when plugging in a coax. Maybe a bonding or ground problem?
 
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Old 07-10-07, 07:26 PM
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Random Flickering Lights - New and Updated

Sorry to all who read "Random Flickering Lights" thread....

This is the same problem with an attempt to explain better....

I was installing a Backsplash in my kitchen...
There is a double box with one switch and one outlet side by side.
I unscrewed one of the 2 screws that hold the outlet in place to the box behind the sheetrock. I unscrewd the top screw and I pivoted the whole outlet and it touched the Switch. The White wire screw (outlet) touched the Black wire screw (Switch) because they were originally backstabbed and whoever installed them left the wire screws unscrewed and they were very close. (I know, turn off the electricity)
Of course they sparked and it welded the white outlet screw to the black switch screw and popped the breaker.

The TV then started to hum.

I broke the two welded screws apart and replaced both the outlet and the switch. I screwed in the wires instead of backstabbing them.

"The TV is on a seperate circuit than the breaker that blew."

I figured out the TV works just fine and so does the cable box by trying them on different outlets both cable and electrical outlets.

The breaker that tripped does feel different! It takes a little effort to keep it on!

Ever since then my lights randomly flicker and I have interference through my cable outlet in the wall that was originally hooked up to my TV.

THe outlets on the circuit that tripped work just fine.

Could a Circuit breaker be causing all of this? (Flickering lights and the hum that comes through my cable and TV from this one cable outlet in my home)

THanks in advance! (again)
 
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Old 07-10-07, 07:30 PM
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Don't start a new post for the same problem.

You have a grounding issue. Enough people have told you that. You may very well have damaged the television. Expensive lesson.
 
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Old 07-10-07, 07:37 PM
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Sorry racraft!

So let me restate the issue more clearly...

My TV is fine...

Sorry to all who read "Random Flickering Lights" thread....

This is the same problem with an attempt to explain better....

I was installing a Backsplash in my kitchen...
There is a double box with one switch and one outlet side by side.
I unscrewed one of the 2 screws that hold the outlet in place to the box behind the sheetrock. I unscrewd the top screw and I pivoted the whole outlet and it touched the Switch. The White wire screw (outlet) touched the Black wire screw (Switch) because they were originally backstabbed and whoever installed them left the wire screws unscrewed and they were very close. (I know, turn off the electricity)
Of course they sparked and it welded the white outlet screw to the black switch screw and popped the breaker.

The TV then started to hum.

I broke the two welded screws apart and replaced both the outlet and the switch. I screwed in the wires instead of backstabbing them.

"The TV is on a seperate circuit than the breaker that blew."

I figured out the TV works just fine and so does the cable box by trying them on different outlets both cable and electrical outlets.

The breaker that tripped does feel different! It takes a little effort to keep it on!

Ever since then my lights randomly flicker and I have interference through my cable outlet in the wall that was originally hooked up to my TV.

THe outlets on the circuit that tripped work just fine.

Could a Circuit breaker be causing all of this? (Flickering lights and the hum that comes through my cable and TV from this one cable outlet in my home)

If it is a grounding problem...
How should I diagnose a grounding issue?

THanks in advance! (again)
 
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Old 07-10-07, 09:40 PM
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Not sure how it would cause your COAX receptacle to make a humming noise though unless your coax is grounded in the main panel.

This is going to be a long shot but, I would trace your COAX cable and see if it is touching a power wire. Maybe when you accidently tripped the breaker, a power melted through to a coax. I know it sounds stupid, and I will be corrected if so, but it's worth looking into.
 
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