Lights flickering & dim? You probably have a partial power outage

So, a few nights ago, I get home and my AC won’t turn on. The fan turned on but the HVAC unit proper would not.

Bizarre, but I could survive. It was only 75 degrees inside, and it was projected to get cool that evening.

I called the good folks at Norman Heat & Air, and Brandy hooked me up with an appointment the next morning, a Saturday. They had come out a couple times before since my new HVAC installation this spring. They know me.

But then I noticed my lights slightly flickering. Weird. I thought I might be having an electrical problem of some sort. So, I turned my breakers off and back on.

My Pioneer stereo receiver started working properly, so there’s that! But now my lights weren’t just flickering; they were about to peter out altogether!


That’s when I googled a 24-hour electrician in Norman, Okla. I stumbled upon an answering service who in turn connected me with Mr. Electric, a local shop.

Their office manager, Denise, instantly texted me:

Mr Electric here. The head electrician said you should contact OGE first to see if their lines are good (that could cause the flickering). They may be able to do that from their office.

The “OGE” to which she’s referring is Oklahoma Gas & Electric, better known as OG&E in these parts. However, I wasn’t convinced of what she was telling me, so I asked for more details.

I wrote:

The lights were ON and lightly flickering. I turned the breaker off and on and now half the house is barely getting juice.

She replied:

Yes. There may be a leg coming from their pole to your house that is a problem. We have an emergency fee of $246 to come out.

The symptoms that you are describing are typical of losing half your power from OGE. OGE Will come and check their side of your power at no cost to you. That way if it is their problem they will fix it at no cost. If you need an electrician they will tell you

I took Denise’s advice and called OG&E, who promptly came to my neighborhood. Lineman named Jason. He was met outside by myself and a neighbor lady who had been watching coverage of the Las Vegas shootings and bemoaned her addiction to television.

Mine is to AC.

Alas, Lineman Jason got the problem solved. It was dropped phases from a connector on the transformer above a neighbor’s house. Half my house (and half of my neighbor’s) wasn’t getting proper power.

The whole ordeal cost me some time but no money. Lesson for anybody suddenly confronted with dim, flickering or partial lights — and a huge thanks to Mr. Electric for the help. Saved me $200!

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