Power fluctuations at home can disrupt your activities. Of course, you won't know the timing when the power becomes unstable. But it can help to know the reasons for the issue so that you can follow the appropriate solution. We did research and gathered the most common reasons why the power goes off and back on at home.
The power in your home can go off and on due to the following:
- Bad weather
- Momentary power outage
- Faulty or loose wiring
- Overloaded circuit
- Tripped circuit breaker
Inspect the power sources to find the cause of the interruptions. There are simple solutions that may require professional help. You should be careful when working with electrical connections to stay safe. Read further to learn more about the power fluctuation issues and related topics.
Common Reasons Power Goes Off And On At Home
It can be bothersome if you are using your electrical appliances, and the power source is unstable. You might notice that lights flicker, glow bright and then dim, and your electronics can fail to work altogether.
The power downtime may not last long, but it can be annoying. You cannot do the usual activities at home.
Human error, natural causes, and overload can cause power interruptions. Read below about the common reasons why power goes off and on in your home.
Weather conditions outside your home affect the power inside your home.
Heavy rain, strong winds, and thunderstorms will cause power interruptions and damage to the power lines. The resumption of the power can vary if there are things to remove or replace.
Lighting will affect the electrical grid of your home. In that case, the power can be back after a few minutes unless the electricity provider shuts down the lines longer.
Rain can directly damage breakers. You might need to replace the breaker before restoring the power at home. It's a good idea place the breakers inside or in a covered shelter against rain, winds, and external elements.
Also, strong winds can knock down trees that will fall over the power cables or posts. If there is a fallen tree, you will need professionals to remove and fix the power lines.
The power may not come back immediately because the electricity provider will probably need to shut off the power in the area. You cannot control what is happening outside. So you need to ask professionals to fix the issues.
Momentary Power Outage
A power outage can occur for a few seconds. It will not last long if there are no problems with the electrical lines, such as a fallen tree or flooding.
Electric companies can immediately bring the power back. The interruption is part of the normal electricity distribution, so there is nothing to worry about.
Besides the usual electrical activities, issues with wiring and circuit breakers can create a temporary power outage.
Faulty Or Loose Wiring
If there is no outage or bad weather, you can check your wires for loose and faulty connections.
Faulty wiring can interrupt your lights and appliances. The flow of electricity is not continuous if there is damage along the wiring.
Damage like corrosion can occur because of improper installation and lack of protection. Exposed wires can contribute to short circuits, power surges, and fires.
You should not try fix the problem yourself because you need the right protective gear and expertise. The best thing to do is call a certified electrician to correct the problem.
If you use too many appliances all at once inside your home, you can cause an overloaded circuit. The appliances may not run at full power to operate. Lights may also flicker.
If overloading happens, it overheats the circuit and trips the breaker.
You can avoid overloading the circuit by following the tips below:
- Disconnect some appliances or lights that you don't use.
- Limit your power usage and reorganize the connections. Do not use extension cords to accommodate more appliances.
- Try resetting the circuit breaker and letting it rest for a few minutes.
- Replace the existing circuit with one that has a higher capacity.
- You can also use a dedicated circuit for a specific area.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
A tripping circuit breaker is another common culprit for quick power interruptions. The tripping of the breaker is part of its normal operation. However, there can be problems if the tripping happens often.
There are several factors that cause tripping, including:
- Overloaded circuit: a circuit cannot provide electricity if you use too many electrical devices
- Short circuits: a "hot" wire contacts with a "neutral" wire in the electrical outlet
- Ground fault: the "hot" wire touches the ground
- Arc fault: unintended electric current due to corroded or loose wires
- Defective breaker: can be old and not functioning
You can avoid tripping the breaker with the right solutions.
How To Stop The Breaker From Tripping
Resetting the breaker can restore power. You can reset it by flipping the switch off and on. There are modern breakers that reset automatically. Install arc interrupters to avoid arc faults.
If a reset is not the solution, check the wirings, switch, or breaker. You may need to replace a defective breaker and switch. Replace the breaker if you observe the following signs:
- Hot to touch
- Frayed wires
- Burning smell
- Visual damage
If you cannot fix the electrical connections and components, call a licensed electrician for the repairs. When you observe the signs, you should act as soon as possible to fix the problems.
What To Do If The Power Is Out For A Long Time?
There are times when the issues with the power supply take longer to fix. The first thing to do is to unplug all the electrical devices from the outlets and switch off the lights.
Moreover, you should verify that there is no electricity in your neighborhood. If the power outage takes hours to restore, you just have to wait for it to come back on.
If the affected area is only your household, you can seek help from electricians to inspect the power. You can do your regular activities outside your home, if possible. At night, use emergency lights.
Keeping an emergency supply of candles, flashlights, and batteries on hand is a good idea, so that you're prepared for an extended outage.
Check out this flashlight on Amazon.
Will There Be Voltage Fluctuations If The Power Is On And Off?
Yes, the voltage will fluctuate if there are power disruptions.
Voltage fluctuations happen if there are rapid changes in the voltage cycles. In that case, the voltage exceeds the normal range.
In effect, the changes will negatively affect the electrical distribution. Your electrical devices may not work as intended because they receive more or less voltage than is required.
The poor supply of electricity causes fluctuations due to the low capacity of the transmitter. A faulty device will get more electric current than it should. The result can lead to the premature failure of your electric appliances.
Will There Be A Power Surge When The Power Comes Back On?
Once the power is back on, there is a possibility of a power surge. There can be a problem after the power returns because of a sudden jump in electric current. Electrical devices that are left plugged in without a surge protector could be damaged.
If the devices have microprocessors, they are more vulnerable to damage. A power surge caused by lightning can "fry" and melt plastic and metal components. If the power surge is mild, the parts can corrode the internal circuits of the electronics.
Precautions After The Return Of The Power
Avoid the dangers of power surges after the power is back on by doing the following:
- When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before you plug in your devices.
- Do not touch or plug in devices after flooding, an earthquake, or other natural disasters.
- Add a surge protector device (SPD) to your outlet panel. You can also buy outlets with surge protectors installed.
Click here to see this product on Amazon.
There are several reasons why the power may turn off and on in your home. External conditions such as bad weather and a momentary power outage can disrupt power lines for seconds or a few minutes.
The reason for the unstable power stems from the issues in the circuit. A tripped or overloaded breaker will also interrupt the flow of electricity.
The easiest way to address the problem is by resetting a tripped breaker. However, you may need the expertise of a licensed electrician to fix larger issues. Your safety should be first. You should also be mindful of what to do during a short power interruption.
You can read more related posts here:
How Much Does It Cost To Move An Electrical Outlet?