Concerned about the flickering

I know others have had this problem, not only with the oven light flickering (which I don’t really care about), but it also makes other lights in the house flicker. This concerns me. I have a really old light that has 2 bulbs in it that are probably 100 years old, and you cannot get them anymore. We leave it on all the time in order not the stress the filaments with it repeatedly turning on and off. But those bulbs flicker in sync with the light inside the oven now. Which got me thinking, how can this affect sensitive electronics in the house? I have a LOT of sensitive electronics, including a very expensive lighting controller which isn’t made anymore. If this died, it would cost a ridiculous amount to replace. My LED bulbs don’t flicker, only incandescents (of which I have like 4 total).

Has anyone used any test equipment to see what’s going on? I have some stuff here for measuring power factor and some other things, but haven’t gotten around to looking. The good stuff I had here, I had to return to a friend that I borrowed it from a couple of months back.

Interestingly, I went through something similar awhile back when I put a generator hookup on my house. The generator I was using turned out to have 25% Total Harmonic Distortion (which wasn’t listed anywhere in the documentation). When I called the company about the lights flickering when running on generator, they told me straight out “do not run sensitive electronics on this generator.” I since have a new generator which is fine. But, I’m concerned that the same flickering thing is happening with this oven running and it might cause problems with things in the house.

I’m guessing they are using PWM to control the heating elements, which is causing this. Seems like a large capacitor would possibly fix the problem.

The oven is not your problem. The problem is the load on your circuit and likely your home wiring. This is a kitchen appliance that pulls a fair load. If you have lights on the same circuit you are using for this oven that in it’s self points to a problem. It may be an old house. With a more modern home the counter outlets are typically on their own circuit and in many cases there are more than one circuit for the kitchen outlets. The reason for this is that people like to use toaster ovens, microwaves, electric tea kettles and mixers all at the same time and if you do the math on the load you can quickly see you would trip a breaker.

So, are you using an extension cord with the oven?

You are correct that this oven like the sous vide products varies its power output and draw over time. PID control like PWM, but not as fine grained.

For what it’s worth I have no room light flicker with the oven. The internal light flickers when its throttling power. This house was built in 2012 and has AFCI breakers on the kitchen circuits.

If it were me I’d move the incandescent lights off the kitchen circuits and ensure my oven circuit is more of less dedicated to the oven.

Oven circuit is dedicated, 20A, originally installed for a commercial toaster (120v, not 220). It’s a GFCI outlet, not an AFCI breaker. No extension cord. House was built in 1994. 200A service. This circuit is on the main panel, and not one of the subs. Wiring is all 12ga on this circuit.

Very unlikely that a bulb in the house would flicker on a separate circuit. If it does you should consult an electrician.

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I’m pretty sure things are fine. Several of my friends are electricians, and most of them have helped me do work around here with subpanels, etc. Everything is done to code.

With other people that are experiencing flickering, can you tell us if it’s only stuff on the same circuit as the oven, or stuff on other circuits as well?

What exactly are you suggesting? That the oven has some special powers to make lights in the house flicker on other circuits?


It’s certainly doing just that. But only incandescents, not LED’s. Who knows, it could be a problem with the transformer in the green box outside. I had one of those fail before, and it not only made it so lights dimmed when turning on something with a high draw, but also randomly surged where every light would get way brighter for a split second. It ended up frying a computer and coffee maker in my house, and several electronics in my neighbor’s house… about a week before it started sparking and smoking and the electric company replaced it. Actually, I should switch to generator and see if that makes a difference.

Logically, this isn’t the oven. The oven may be showing you a problem, but the oven isn’t causing it. I’d explain your issue to your electrician friends. From your story it sounds like you could benefit from a whole house surge protector.

I have one. It’s a Leviton 32120-001.

You had that when you fried appliances?

No. The fried appliances were at my previous house.

I should point out that the electrical in this house was specifically designed to run a server farm. The previous owner, in 1994, started an online medical records company… Before anyone really knew what the internet was. He had shelves (not racks) of servers here and they designed the electrical to support all of it. That’s the reason for the surge protection. There’s nothing wrong with the wiring here. It’s the best and beefiest wired house I’ve ever seen.

Ok, but lights flickering is an indication something is up, no?

It makes the lights in my entire apartment flash. Sous vide circulator does the same. I think this place was built in the 30s so I’m not too surprised.

The oven is causing all lights in my house to flicker as well. It seems to affect the LED bulbs as well as incandescents. And it’s definitely affecting many circuits, if not all circuits in the house. I have never seen this happen with any other appliance or device before…