compact fluorescent flickers when the switch is off - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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hxxp://xxx.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1313234

hxxp://xxx.dslreports.com/forum/r25563870-Electrical-question-CFL-flashing

Hi Experts

I am renting the place where I live now (I would say 15 years old house), I have noticed that the ceiling bedroom light was 'flashing' once every minute or so (faint flash, not a bright light).

Real estate electrician used new CFL but that didn't fix the issue.

Then new 2 wire switch (not illuminated one) was used , fixture was replaced ,,,,,still CFL flickers when switch off !!!!

The electrician used the CFL on a fixture at different bedroom , no problem with the CFL.

By the way I have this problem only at one bedroom the whole house has no problem, and all fixtures have CLF bulbs

I posted this question in other forums just in case experts here are quite busy

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 10:42 AM
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I have two ceiling fans that do the same thing. I'ts only with the cfl daylight bulbs though they have been like that for about a year and no problems.

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post #3 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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they have been like that for about a year and no problems.

Thanks josh
Are you saying they have been like before the fan was installed ?
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 10:52 AM
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Is there a chance that you are switching the neutral instead of the hot lead? That would allow a charge to build up and cause the problem.
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there a chance that you are switching the neutral instead of the hot lead?

I have seen the electrician when he undo the fixture to check it and test the lead by using his special screwdriver , there was current on the wire, although the switch was off,,,,,yes the switch was off.

And he checked other rooms they have same thing but their CFL were not flashing when switches are off !!!!
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 02:23 PM
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I have all the same bulbs in my house and only two of my ceiling fans flicker. It started happening a year ago when i installed the new bulbs. All of my lights were proffesionally installed. I have no idea what is causing it but if you can get over the flickering it hasnt caused aby other problems.

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post #7 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zillah View Post

I have seen the electrician when he undo the fixture to check it and test the lead by using his special screwdriver , there was current on the wire, although the switch was off,,,,,yes the switch was off.

And he checked other rooms they have same thing but their CFL were not flashing when switches are off !!!!

Switch off, and hot at fixture is wrong! Is there more than one switch to turn on this fixture?
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there more than one switch to turn on this fixture?

No, only one switch.
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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If the light is flickering, there is still enough voltage to cause problems. Bad thing is, if the resistance is high enough, it will cook that cfl over time, to the point that you will no longer have to worry about it happening, or possibly having a place to live.

If you shut the breaker off that feeds that room, does it still flicker? Only way to find out how much voltage is on there with the switch turned off, is to use a Voltmeter, not a non-contact, or test bulb tester.
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 08:32 PM
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My monies on the wall switch. I'll bet it is an illuminated switch, just doesn't light up with a CFL as a load. Put an incandescent bulb in the socket and see if the switch lights up then.
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-12-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

My monies on the wall switch. I'll bet it is an illuminated switch, just doesn't light up with a CFL as a load. Put an incandescent bulb in the socket and see if the switch lights up then.

Already stated by an electrician on the dslreports.com post that the switch may be bad, or high resistance on the circuit, which I stated. Also stated that this is not a switch that is "lit" when off. In this http://avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1313234 it is stated that they are using a X10 device to control it. Bingo, we have a winner. Winner, Winner, Chicken dinner.

Incorrect device controlling a florescent bulb. That will do it every time. Sooner or later, either the x10 will burn out, release the magic smoke, or the cfl ballast will heat up and shoot a flame out of it, which in turn could burn the place down, and they no longer will have to worry about it flashing.
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-13-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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That will do it every time. Sooner or later, either the x10 will burn out, release the magic smoke, or the cfl ballast will heat up and shoot a flame out of it, which in turn could burn the place down, and they no longer will have to worry about it flashing.

Don't worry, these things only happen in gregzoll land.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-13-2012, 08:46 AM
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@greg: Well thanks for researching the OP's other threads. I knew it had to be some sort of power consuming 2 wire device that was passing the current. I've seen it happen with lighted switches and those 2 wire porchlight timers. The OP really should have mentioned the X10 in his post...
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-19-2012, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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The OP really should have mentioned the X10 in his post...

Sorry for the late reply because I haven't received an email notification , don't why.
There is no X10.

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I'll bet it is an illuminated switch

I guess you lost that bet for sure,,,,,it is not an an illuminated switch

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Put an incandescent bulb in the socket and see if the switch lights up then.

Yes the problem with CFL when I replaced it with different brand (Phillips) it worked fine
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-20-2012, 08:26 AM
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There has to be some form of voltage drop across the bulb, implying current flow, for this to happen. I am going back to the theory that the switch is switching the neutral instead of the hot lead. That is a potential safety issue, so I would check that out.
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-20-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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There has to be some form of voltage drop across the bulb, implying current flow, for this to happen. I am going back to the theory that the switch is switching the neutral instead of the hot lead. That is a potential safety issue, so I would check that out.

Initially real estate electrician checked the fixture while the switch was turned off,,,,and there was current (checked by Electrical test pen),,,, he thought initially problem with the switch is not working properly.

He checked the switch, that has two wires one has current (checked by Electrical test pen) other wire doesn't, unless you switch it on.

My guess I might be wrong that test to the switch indicated there was no problem with the switch, but why the wire that is connected to the fixture still has current while switch is off!!!!!

My guess I might be wrong and that test indicated that the switch is not switching the neutral instead of the hot lead, because when the switch was tested by Electrical test pen one wire has current and other wire doesn't, unless you switch it on.

Any way he replaced the switch with new one still same issue......

He checked other room it had same thing....

I was renting different house before this one, both houses are in the same area, in my previous house I had only one room was doing the same thing but I didn't bother to call real estate to check that for me.

Then when I moved to my current place also one room is doing that

Thanks
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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What you need to check is continuity from the neutral to the green ground wire at the socket. It should show very low resistance, less than 5 ohms. If the neutral is being switched, it will show an open circuit.

In addition, I would test voltage from the center connector of the socket to ground (not neutral) with the switch off. It should show no voltage
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks jayn_j
Noted, will see how it goes
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