Electrical Problem - Lights flicking

I noticed that occasionally in the past few days my lights on one circuit seem to flicker/dim. Tonight, I started to completely lose power for a few seconds to a few minutes in that circuit but the power would come back on by itself. The breaker is not tripping. I am thinking that the breaker is flaky and needs to be replaced. Any other ideas why this is happening?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 31 2007, 11:56 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I would not use that circuit for anything with electronics on it tilll its fixed, maybe a loose wire on the board
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Which board might that be?
--

Christopher A. Young
.
.

"ransley" <Mark snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 31, 9:56 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Sounds like a loose connection somewhere.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Unlikely the breaker.
Start by changing the outlets from stab-in to screwed-down. There shouldn't be more than ten or so.
The more flakey outlets and lights, the more likely the culprit is closer to the circuit breaker. Still, it's a good idea to fix all the connections.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A loose or corroded connection is likely the culprit. I've had the problem several times. Once it was a loose connector terminal at the circuit breaker panel. Turn off the main CB, check for power on the branch CBs and then tighten the terminals. Another time, a loose connection on one of the three wires coming from the utility pole made half the house circuits flicker and go dead on a random basis. Calls to the utility company finally got that fixed.
CBs do go bad, I suppose, but I've never had that happen in four houses over 40+ years.
Loose connections on individual wiring devices can also occur and these are the most dangerous from the standpoint of fire; but start at the CB panel.
If you have a small AM transistor radio, tune it just off station and carry it around during one of the flicker/dim episodes. A bad electrical connection arcs and causes radio static. Find the location where the static is loudest and you'll find the bad connection.
TKM
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

??
With the main circuit breaker off, are you expecting to see power on *any* of the branch circuit breakers?

More sensible to turn off the branch circuit breaker for the circuit exhibiting the problem, and tighten that terminal. If it's loose, then check the others too.

*Much* more likely that the problem is in a receptacle somewhere on the circuit.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No. But I did once due to a fault that from another building that made the ground wiring hot. Since then, I test before I touch.

What I've noticed, particularly on CB panels that are fairly heavily loaded, is that they get warm when power draws are heavy and then cool off at night and other lightly-loaded periods. The heat/cool cycles seems to loosen screws, terminals, etc.

TKM
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is a group of condo's that I service that tend to have a similar problem. Most of the time it is the circuit breaker. It is an unusual style made by ITE years ago. I forget the model number, but instead of connecting onto the buss from behind, it has a hook on the side. I figured that the builder must have got a great deal on these breakers, because the panels can also accept a standard "BR" type circuit breaker. Try switching circuit breakers in the panel before you buy one and see if that corrects the problem.
If it is not the circuit breaker the next bet would be a loose connection somewhere on the circuit. You would need to open up every outlet, switch, and light fixture on that particular circuit to find the problem. A common cause is the wires on a receptacle being back stabbed and coming loose. Start with the receptacles. If it is a back stab problem, the best way to correct this is get a new receptacle and use pigtails so that the entire circuit load is not passing through the receptacle.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Probably a loose wire connection as others have said. I never had any luck with a radio to detect the static from the arcs, but I have managed twice to find a loose connection by banging the walls/celings near the receptacles, lights and light switches. Obviously you don't bang so hard you punch holes, but hard enough to vibrate the surface some. I suppose you could use a rubber mallet but I never trusted myself to not break thru the surface with it. One was an improperly installed receptacle to aluminum wire and the other just a light switch. A long shot maybe, but if it works ... .
HTH
Pop`
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 21:56:23 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Bad breaker is likely. If you have a spare, replace it but dont toss the one from the box just yet. If that solves it, you found the problem and you can toss that old breaker. If you dont have a spare, (and may not be able to buy one on New Years day), swap the wires with another breaker in the box (same amp rating of course). If the problem moves to the other circuit, breaker is bad.
If it's not the breaker, start opening every box on that circuit and check for loose or broken connections. If you find something burned, replace the device (such as an outlet). For your own safety, I'd shut off that circuit till you fix the problem because it could cause a fire if there is a loose connection, not to mention wreck electronic stuff. You can always use table lamps and extension cords temporarily.
While in the breaker box, be sure the neutral wire to that circuit is connected well. (I like to check/tighten all the neutral screws at the same time, as well as doing a visual look at everything in the box).
If this is a circuit with something important, such as a furnace, I'd recommend you either call an electrician, or get to the repair immediately. If you cant get to it immediately, and have a roll of romex, you can always run a direct feed from the box to the furnace. Just lay rthe cable on the floor till tomorrow when the stores are open. (and if you're drinking, dont trip over it <LOL>).
When you swap breakers, always put them back the way they originally were when you get the problem fixed. Some might be on a balanced load.
All wiring problems are basically the same. You just got to open all connections and check things. Replacement of suspected parts often helps (such as the breaker). I always keep spare breakers, outlets, switches, and a roll of cable on hand.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would like to thank everyone for the help. It ended up being a failed circuit breaker. It failed without ever tripping.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bad connections at socket. Bad neutral connection at panel box.
--

Christopher A. Young
.
.

< snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.