Why Do My Lights Dim When I Use The Microwave?

MicrowaveYou go to the fridge, grab a slice of cold pizza, pop it in the microwave, and suddenly the lights in your kitchen go slightly darker than normal. It’s not a big deal – you can still see everything in your kitchen, your pizza is still going to heat up properly, and after a minute, the lights will brighten back up. But it sure is annoying.

If you’re like me, you might start to wonder if this is indicative of a larger issue. Could there be a bigger electrical problem, lying in wait like a sleeping beast, until the day you’re minding your own business, enjoying your pizza, and you start to smell smoke?

Well, let me assure you that this alone isn’t going to burn your house down. Having lights that dim when you turn on the microwave, coffeemaker, or vacuum cleaner is a common problem in older homes, but it doesn’t cause any major damage to your system.

If this happens to you, your house probably has an outdated electrical service panel. When you use several electric appliances at once, it can overload the panel and cause dim lights.

When you’re finally fed up with this problem, you need to call an electrical contractor to make an evaluation of your circuit requirements, and discuss installing new electrical wiring for dedicated circuits to the appropriate devices, like the microwave.


Deanna Alrutz

Deanna was our E-Commerce Marketing Specialist in 2013.