Flickering light - I cant figure this out.........

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Old 08-11-14, 06:00 PM
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Flickering light - I cant figure this out.........

Hello,
Typical home "handyman" here. For the past year, my front porch light flickers on and off. It may be on for a 5 minutes, then off for 5, then on/off again. No pattern can be established. Now it flickers very rapidly, many times per minute. I have replaced the switch, the fixture and bulb several times. Replaced everything except the wiring to the light.

What's next? Any advice?

Thanks< Mark
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:09 PM
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Can you trace the wire back to the nearest junction box? Assuming no other problems on that same circuit then the junction box is where your problem lays.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:09 PM
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Mark, welcome to the forums! Remove the power to the circuit. Pull the switch. You will see that whoever installed it used the stab back connection. Worst thing to do. Remove the wires by twisting and pulling gently on them. Once you have them released, make a shepherd's crook and install the wires under the screw heads. Let us know what you find.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:24 PM
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He said he replaced the fixture and switch. Mark, did you use the stab back connections? I suspect that is not the problem. Even if he did used the stab connections the problem repeating itself immediately is too coencidental.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:30 PM
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One other thought, Mark, what wattage bulb are you using? Another scenario is that the fixture has an overheating switch built in and it is tripping until it cools and then reconnecting. Norm, if the wires weren't restripped and the stab backs used, the wire would be just as weak at the same place. New switch, granted should perform better, but screw attachment is better.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 06:47 PM
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Good catch about the bulb drawing too much current and over heating. I'll bet the max wattage is 60 watts. I agree about the screw attachments being better. Early on I used all the stabs and never had a problem but as I did rework I've changed over to the screws.
 
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Old 08-11-14, 07:48 PM
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Now it flickers very rapidly, many times per minute
It's not easy, but I recommend you trace these wires back to the origin.

Basically, you may have to remove other light fixtures and check other switch boxes on this circuit. It sounds to me like a fixture/wiring box that comes before this fixture in the circuit has a loose wire:

Check wire nuts for loose connection..
Check any backstabs and move them to side terminals..

Also, you may even have outlets/receptacles on this circuit, check them also.

If it's flickering this bad, once you find the box with the loose connection it will probably be obvious which wire it is.
 
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Old 08-17-14, 05:48 PM
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update to flickering lights....no progress



Ok, so I've checked a few things out....the switch is not a stab back, it is the hook style and I replaced that a few months back. The bulb is a 25 watt, I have used a fluorescent and a 60 watt and they all flicker. It is a recessed light and I have take the glass cover off and it still flickers. I starts flickering after 30 seconds of power. I have attempted to track the wiring back, but it is hard -due to it going in the wall and I cant find it. No other lights or outlets on this circuit seem to be affected, i.e. they have 100% power all the time? I don't see a junction box.

Next steps?

Thanks! Mark
 
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Old 08-17-14, 06:13 PM
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It is a recessed light
Bingo. ]t is probably the thermal protector. There should be screws near the base that when removed allow you to push the housing up or tabs that when pulled allows you to drop it. See:http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...d-fixture.html
 
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Old 08-31-14, 10:50 AM
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Ray2047 figured it out!!

Found a thermal protector way back in the light fixture junction box. It was the large black style with 3 wires. Swapped it out - and now the light works perfectly.

Thanks to everyone for the assistance, you saved me $100!

Thanks, Mark
 
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Old 08-31-14, 11:04 AM
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Glad we could help. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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