Electrical problems can cause serious issues for homeowners. Residential electrical fires and electrical shocks are responsible for tens of thousands of medical emergencies each year. Here are some common signs of electrical problems at home. If you suspect you have an issue, contact a professional electrician for service.
Frequently Tripping Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers are designed to trip, or shut off, whenever the electrical system is overloaded. If your circuit breaker trips occasionally, it’s no cause for alarm. You can reset it easily. However, if it shuts off several times a month, it’s a good sign that you have a potentially dangerous problem in the wiring.
Lights That Dim, Flicker, or Buzz are Signs of Electrical Problems at Home
Flickering lights are a sign of a bad connection. If only one light flickers, it’s probably an easy fix. It could be as simple as a loose light bulb. If multiple lights are flickering, you may have a problem in the breaker box. An electrician can troubleshoot the problem.
Damaged or outdated wiring can cause dimming or flickering lights along with a buzzing sound. If this happens when using multiple appliances, it’s a sure sign your wiring needs a professional upgrade. This problem is more common in older homes with aluminum wiring.
Frayed wiring is an electrical problem at home that is usually caused by rodents. Damaged wiring is dangerous. If you find frayed or chewed wiring, hire a professional electrical contractor to check it out and replace wires as needed.
Scorch Marks Around Outlets Indicate Electrical Problems
Scorch marks or discoloration on outlet plates means that damaged wiring is overheating. The extreme heat may have already damaged your home’s wiring. This is a fire risk if left unchecked.
A Burning Smell
Take notice of any smoky, burning, or odd odors around outlets and the electrical panel. If you notice an odor, the plastic sheathing on the wires has begun to melt. The outlets and electrical panel should be inspected by a professional right away.
Loose Outlets Contribute to Electrical Problems
If an outlet is not secured and moves easily, it should be repaired. The wires in a loose outlet will shake free eventually, and this can lead to shorts and sparks creating a fire hazard. It can cause serious problems, but is, fortunately, an easy fix.
If you are shocked when plugging in a cord or touching an appliance, this means there’s a problem with your wiring. Besides being unpleasant, this can cause damage to your home or your appliances and should be repaired by a professional.