Regardless of your home’s age, there are warning signs that you have electrical problems which need to be addressed before they become more serious. Heeding these signs and “nipping them in the bud” by making needed repairs can help prevent electrocution and potential damage to your home. While there are some “Do it yourself” steps you can take, many issues will need a professional diagnosis by a certified electrician.
The following are some of the most common warning signs that your home has electrical problems:
Circuit Breaker Overloads
Overloaded circuit breakers trip to prevent overheating of wires that lead to fires. Circuit breakers that are old will trip more often. Usually, an overloaded circuit breaker is a result of one of the following problems:
- Your appliances are pulling too much electricity on one circuit.
- There’s a short circuit somewhere in an appliance or circuit wiring.
- The circuit breaker is bad.
If your circuit breaker only trips sporadically, it could simply mean it’s overloaded. However, if it happens often, you probably have a more serious issue and should call a professional immediately.
If you get even mildly shocked when touching an appliance, a ground fault or bad electrical wiring may be causing this problem. If you get shocked when crossing a carpet, that’s due to normal static electricity that occurs during the winter months. Any other types of electrical shock you experience in your home may be indicative of a dangerous problem.
If you get even mildly shocked when touching an appliance, a ground fault or bad electrical wiring may be causing this problem.
Hot Ceiling Fixtures
Periodically check the area surrounding your ceiling fixtures for warmth, as poorly insulated fixtures tend to heat up. Make sure you don’t exceed the maximum wattage for bulbs. If there’s too much heat built up in a ceiling fixture, it could cause a fire. We recommend you switch to LED or CFL bulbs that produce a lot less heat than incandescent ones. They can also last much longer.
Flickering, Buzzing or Dimming Lights
Lights that flicker, buzz or dim are usually a sign of a loose or defective light bulb. If you have a defective light bulb, it simply needs to be replaced. If that doesn’t solve the problem, the actual light fixture may be faulty.
Inoperable Outlets or Light Switches
If your light switch doesn’t work or only works some of the time, you most likely have an electrical problem. The wiring may be loose or the device cracked inside. Additionally, a loose plug can shock you when using the switch. If you think you have loose or defective wires, call a professional to inspect the source and repair any problems.
If you notice burning smells from outlets or switches, turn the power off at the electrical panel and immediately contact an electrician. You may have a problem with wiring, a faulty device or an overload. This is a serious problem, as it’s a sign that an electrical fire may be starting. If any connected wires or cords are warm, you probably have an electrical issue. Do not use any of these outlets or switches until the problem has been resolved.
It’s not uncommon for there to be a spark when you first plug in a cord. However, if it happens often, you may have a serious problem. If you also hear a popping sound with the spark when plugging into an outlet or circuit, you may have a loose wire. It’s imperative to have a pro come check for problems, as diagnosing this problem yourself could be very dangerous.
Frayed or Chewed Wiring
Rodents, pets or even children can cause damaged or chewed wiring, which is a big fire hazard.
Discoloration, Scorching and Smoke
If you see discoloration or scorch marks on your outlets, the wiring in your home has been damaged and may be emitting heat. If left unchecked, the problem could get much worse.
To reiterate, if you’re having even minor electrical issues, they could lead to more serious ones. For your home’s safety and your family’s peace of mind, it’s best to call an A#1 Air certified electrician to inspect your electrical problem and perform any repairs. We’re competitively priced, and we stand behind all our work with a 100% money-back guarantee.