Warning Signs Your Home May Have Electrical Issues
Living in an older house comes with many charms, but it could also include some silent yet deadly electrical issues. Here are some warning signs to look out for and if there are some that you are unsure of, it’s best to inform an emergency electrician as soon as you can.
Electrical appliances do emit heat during operation, but the outlet itself should never be warm. If your outlet is heating up, unplug any cords immediately and refrain from using this outlet until this has been repaired.
Switch cover plates should be treated in the same way, with one exception: Dimmer switches commonly get warm to the touch, since they dissipate the excess electrical energy to create the dimming effect. However, even dimmer switch cover plates should never be uncomfortably hot to the touch. Excess heat is why you should always check the wattage before you install a dimmer switch.
It could be ghostly visitors, or just bulbs that need replacing. But it is more common that flickering lights around the house have more to do with a loose electrical connection. If the flickering only happens to one light fixture, the repairs are manageable. But if this is happening to several lights and rooms, then the issue is likely farther back in the circuit. If your entire house flickers, check the breaker box or at the utility drop outside the house. The best way to resolve this is to contact an emergency electrician. Never attempt to repair something yourself unless you’re super certain about the root cause.
Burning Scents Throughout the House
Is there a burning scent wafting through the air? Now we don’t mean those scented candles! Burning smells are a sure fire sign that something is wrong and needs immediate attention. This might indicate that the wiring in your electrical system is heating up enough to melt its plastic sheath covering, meaning you’re at the risk of fire and this needs to be fixed right away. You can try to find the source of the problem, whether it’s to do with a specific lighting fixture or the switchboard, but it’s always wise to reach out to a licensed electrician when in doubt.
Notice that the insides of an outlet is jiggling around when you plug something in? Pop that outlet open to get it fixed immediately. A loose outlet will tend to shake its wires free, leading to shorts and potential fire hazards.
Dips and Lags in Power
If the power goes out sometimes, this could be a warning sign too and not just down to the house’s age. Sags and dips in power supply can often be attributed to faulty devices connected to your power grid substandard materials, and draw a lot of power when they are turned on. But when in doubt, giving an electrician a call is your safest bet. There could be underlying wiring issues that you may not want to wait to resolve.
Circuit breaker tripping is a common issue for households due to the overloading of power boards. Most houses and apartments tend to not have sufficient power points to cater to things like a complete home entertainment unit setup or even multiple charging stations and light fixtures. If your circuit breakers trip all the time, you can avoid this by:
- Removing devices that aren’t in use (for example, phone chargers still draw power even when not connected).
- Don’t daisy-chain power boards.
- Avoid overburdening a single power board. Spread your electrical needs around.
- Notice how your devices are connected around the home. See what’s constantly in use and what is necessary.
Frequent Electrical Shocks
An electrical shock is nothing to be taken for granted. Though it may be mild, it serves as a strong reminder that electrical safety is not something to be taken lightly. If this happens frequently when you turn something on or off, it may be a sign that something’s not quite right. This could be caused by issues with the appliance or in the wiring. You can always test this by re-plugging another device into the outlet, but you’re going to risk another electrical shock. It’s best to consult a trusted electrical professional.
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