6 Signs Your House is In Need of Electrical Repair
Owning a home comes with a good amount of regular maintenance tasks. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have decades of experience with home maintenance, it can be easy to forget about certain details of property management like, for example, your home’s electrical wiring systems.
Though electrical systems don’t need too much constant maintenance, giving them the attention they need when appropriate is extremely important. Without a properly functioning electrical system, your home could be at risk for blackouts and broken outlets at best and damaging power surges or fires at worst.
Electrical Wiring Residential Services: How to Know if Your Home Needs Electrical Repair
Sometimes, your home will show very clear signs that electrical problems are occurring. Sometimes, however, the symptoms of a damaged or malfunctioning electrical wiring system are less easy to spot right away. Not sure how to tell if scheduling an electrical repair with an expert is the right thing to do? Here are the 6 most common signs that your electrical problems could be jeopardizing you and your family’s safety and wellbeing:
You experience tripped breakers and/or blown fuses on a regular basis.
Many homeowners are much less familiar with their fuse boxes or circuit breaker boxes than they should be, and some homes have several that are designed to control different areas of the property. The first step in understanding your home’s electrical wiring a bit better is to know whether your electrical system is using circuit breakers or fuses.
A fuse system has multiple fuses plugged into a central fuse box that controls the electric current for the entire house. When overloads of electricity occur, such as during a power surge, the filament within the fuses melts, stopping the flow of electricity to the house. Due to the nature of their design, fuses are blown relatively often and are simply discarded and replaced with a new one.
A circuit breaker system uses multiple circuit breakers to control specific electrical currents throughout your property. If unsafe electrical levels try to pass through a circuit breaker, its internal workings will cause it to break the connection, therefore “tripping” the circuit breaker. Homeowners have to manually switch circuit breakers back on after potential power surges at the breaker box.
If your circuit breakers are being tripped on a regular basis or it seems like you have to replace blown fuses constantly, there’s clearly something wrong with your electrical wiring. In some cases, your wiring may not be properly grounded, causing your wiring system to receive excessive amounts of power on a regular basis. This can cause intense wear to your wiring system, your fuse or circuit breaker boxes, and even the electrical fixtures within your home like lighting, appliances, electronics, or the outlets themselves. Additionally, the presence of high levels of electrical current can be a serious fire hazard. Calling an electrician experienced in electrical panel installation and repair is the best course of action to take in this situation.
You have outlet issues.
One of the most common issues that homeowners experience when it comes to their electrical outlets is the inability to hold a plug firmly. As they age, the metal contacts within typical GFCI sockets that keep plugs held in place can loosen, making it difficult to use the socket at all as plugs simply fall right out. In a case like this, the outlet most likely has to be replaced, which is a relatively quick and easy procedure for an electrical expert trained in GFCI outlet installation.
If your home’s outlets are regularly giving off electrical shocks, there may be an issue with your electrical wire grounding or with your circuit or fuse box as your outlets are most likely receiving too much power. This can not only wear down your outlets and electrical appliances, it can also pose a fire hazard or risk potential injury.
Your lights flicker or turn off inexplicably.
If you’re having a problem keeping the lights on in your home, the first thing to check is whether or not you paid your electric bill. If that’s not the issue, electrical problems are most likely at fault.
In some cases, your light switches may be the reason why your light fixtures aren’t receiving the voltage they need to turn on and stay on. Light switches and dimmers can become loose or broken over time, creating incomplete connections and improper electrical current flow between your electrical system and your switches.
You may also have a broken or excessively old fluorescent ballast. The fluorescent ballast is the mechanism that regulates the amount of electrical current being transferred through your home’s electrical system directly to your light fixtures. Ballasts that are on the older side can become less efficient at their job, causing your lights to flicker or become unable to turn on at all. The health of your ballast can also affect the health of the light fixture itself, so asking a licensed professional to check your fluorescent ballasts during an electrical checkup is extremely important.
Lights that dim or flicker unexpectedly, or even produce a sizzling sound or burning odor, are receiving the incorrect amount of wattage. If your lights can’t seem to stay on, there’s likely something wrong with the connection between your fixtures and your fuse or circuit boxes. If flipping the circuit breakers doesn’t have any effect, it’s most likely a job for a lighting installation and repair expert.
If your lights are burning so bright that they’re hot to the touch, making a sizzling sound, or producing a burning smell, you may be dealing with unsafe levels of wattage. Your light fixtures should have their recommended wattage printed somewhere on them, and if you use a lightbulb with excessive wattage, you’re creating a serious fire hazard.
At the end of the day, aside from all of the possible causes and dangers, flickering lights or lights that can’t stay on are just plain annoying. It can be a serious inconvenience to everyone in your household when the light fixtures aren’t functioning as they should. A visit from a lighting expert can get the problem definitively diagnosed and get you on your way to having perfectly functioning lights once again.
Your home doesn’t have enough outlets.
Even if you’ve only been in your home for a short time, you most likely have a pretty good idea of whether or not the number of outlets throughout your home is adequate. You probably knew as soon as you plugged in all of your required appliances and found yourself with barely any socket space left for lamps, electronics, or anything else you need to the plug-in.
A home without enough electrical outlets isn’t only a huge inconvenience—it can be dangerous. When homes are strapped for electrical outlets, homeowners are forced to rely on extension cords to get the power they need in the locations where it’s needed. Though extension cords can be useful in a pinch, relying on them too much can be dangerous as they wear down outlets and increase the risk of shock and fire hazard. Talk to a GFCI outlet installation expert to get a better idea as to where you should install new outlets and how many you may need.
You’ve noticed frayed wires somewhere in your home.
Most people are able to recognize the fact that a frayed wire is a clear signal of electrical problems. However, sometimes appliances or electric connections with frayed wires will continue to work normally, which can cause homeowners to put off calling the electrician.
A frayed wire is a sign that the connection has been receiving excessive voltage for a long period of time, causing it to become damaged. This puts your nearby appliances and anything connected to the wire at risk of fire and further damage. Make sure to contact an electrical repair specialist as soon as you notice frayed electrical wiring, as they can diagnose exactly what damage has been done both externally and internally and what your next steps should be.
You haven’t received electrical wiring residential repair in a long time.
Most electrical repair experts will agree that electrical checkups should be treated like medical checkups at the doctor. The average person doesn’t necessarily know whether or not any electrical issues are occurring within their home’s electrical system unless the issue becomes immediately apparent, and sometimes, this means that disaster has already struck. Plus, you may be paying too much in energy costs due to improper wiring, excessive wattage in your light fixtures, or surging outlets.
Just like you would prioritize the physical health of you and your family, it’s important to prioritize the health of your home’s electrical system. A regular appointment with a licensed electrician can not only save you money and catch any issues before they grow out of control, but it can also provide you with the peace of mind that everyone in your household is safe from the threat of electrical fires.
Looking to schedule your next electrical checkup? For the best in electrical repair, electrical panel installation, lighting installation and repair, and much more call Fixmatic Electric today.