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Here's Why Your Factory's Lights Are Flickering

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As you expand your factory operations, one side effect you can encounter is flickering lights. Assuming you've checked the ballasts in any fluorescent lights to ensure those aren't the cause of the flickering, you could have one or more issues affecting the wiring in the building. Sometimes the solution lies outside the electrical system, but much of the time, the flickering is a sign you need professional electrical help for your buildings.

Continually Hitting the Power Limits

One potential reason for your flickering lights is that you're continually hitting the power limits of a circuit. Each circuit has a limited amount of power available. When you plug too many things in, the draw of power can exceed the amount of power available. For example, if you have a 20-amp outlet on a 20-amp circuit, and you turn on 21 amps' worth of appliances, you'll exceed the limits and trip a breaker switch.

But watching the overall usage isn't enough. Many pieces of equipment have high start-up wattages and lower continual-use wattages. For example, you might have a machine that uses 5 amps when it's running, but it could suck up 12 amps right when it starts up. If you already are drawing a lot of power from that circuit, the brief surge in the power draw when the machine starts up could cause a flicker, if it doesn't trip the breaker switch.

The solution here is to increase the power availability in your facility. Add more circuits and increase the amps available on existing circuits; for example, change the wiring to support more 20-amp outlets and 20-amp circuits.

Vibrations Affecting Wiring

It's also possible that vibrations are affecting the wiring in the lighting, leading to that flickering effect. The vibrations can come from machinery, from trucks outside, and even from seismic events. There's not much you can do about quakes, but you can have an industrial electrician shore up your wiring so that traffic outside doesn't make the lights flicker. And equipment that's vibrating excessively needs an inspection and maintenance.

Faulty Wiring

Last but not least, you could have bad wiring. Rodents chew through insulation and wires, the previous installation could have been faulty, and so on. An industrial electrician can look at the system and identify areas where the wiring needs to be replaced or upgraded.

Lights that flicker are annoying, and you don't want to ignore them. Have an electrician take a look at the facility and determine why the flickering keeps happening. For more information, reach out to an industrial electrical company such as RDS Electric.


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