Are you worried about your home electricity system?
The average age of most houses in the United States is 46 years. If your home is old, it likely suffers from various electricity issues. It happens even when the symptoms aren’t as noticeable.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to identify common electricity problems in your home. It prevents severe problems in the future, such as a house fire. Read on and protect your investment now:
1. Unfamiliar Scents
Sometimes, a new appliance smells funny after its first installation. It’s most likely because of its paint, finish, and other minor issues. However, if the odor comes from a power outlet, it might be a sign of an electrical issue.
Remove any appliance connected to the socket. Call an electrician and avoid using it until they say it’s safe. It’s likely a minor wiring issue, but it’s best to let a professional handle the problem.
It’s critical to get help if your circuit breaker panel or fuse box emits strange odors. Sometimes, it’s a sign of a larger electrical problem.
Remember, over 51,000 house fires happen each year because of short circuits. Without proper help, you’re endangering your family’s safety.
2. Arc Faults
When your electrical circuit veers off its proper path, arc faults happen. It’s often because of wiring breaches. They’re one of the most common causes of electrical fires.
You can prevent arc faults by investing in an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Let a licensed electrician in your area install these devices since it requires a lot of skill.
AFCIs can be expensive, but the outlay is worth your money. They’re more useful in older homes with degraded electrical wires.
3. Fake Electrical Products
Sometimes, flea market vendors sell extension cords, night lights, and power strips at low prices. Beware of these products since they’re likely either fake or subpar. Often, they’re not compliant with government standards, making them dangerous.
Pay the extra and buy electrical products from more reputable dealers. If you’re not sure, check their online reviews before buying. Check whether their products have the UL label since it determines their authenticity.
4. Warm or Sparking Outlets and Switches
Sometimes, your light switches feel warm and coupled with a nearby sparking outlet. When it happens, call an electrician as soon as possible. It’s often a sign of wiring issues.
The expert will determine whether your wires need repairs. They will also check if it’s time to replace your fixtures.
5. Buzzing Sounds
Modern technology allowed us to develop silent fixtures and appliances. If your outlets and switches make a buzzing or sizzling sound, be wary. It’s especially when you plug something into the socket.
Turn off the power immediately and consult your local electrician. It’s because the problem can range from a simple wiring issue to an impending electrical failure. Either way, these professionals can fix the problem and tell you what went wrong.
6. Flickering Lights
Usually, flickering lights mean your electrical system is experiencing a power surge. These aren’t always the result of a disastrous event. It’s often because your electricity demands are higher than what your electrical system can handle.
The more frequent your surges are, the bigger the toll on your appliances and fixtures. Before it becomes a huge problem, consider upgrading your home’s wiring system. It could cost a lot, but it’s not as expensive as replacing everything.
7. Broken Light Switches and Loose Outlets
If your switches or outlets aren’t working, it’s a sure sign of loose electrical wiring. It also applies when they only work now and then.
Loose outlets and broken light switches increase your risk of house fires. Worse, the former could cause electrical shocks to unsuspecting family members plugging or unplugging a cord. The danger is real even if with a partially exposed outlet.
8. Hot Ceiling Fixtures
When you’re maintaining your home, consider checking the areas surrounding your ceiling features. Feel the heat and determine whether it’s out of the ordinary. If it’s too hot, it means your fixtures lack insulation.
If you go beyond the recommended bulb wattages, it could cause overheating. These issues pose potential fire safety threats. Protect your home by switching to CFLs and LED bulbs since they produce lower heat.
9. Rodent Droppings
Rats and other rodents love chewing on your electrical wiring. Once frayed or damaged, these wires are definite fire safety problems. Check your attic or basement for various signs of rodent activity, such as droppings.
If you spot their presence, check your electrical fixtures for signs of damage. Call a pest control specialist when the infestation goes out of hand. Treat the problem before these menaces chew through every cable.
10. Circuit Breaker Issues
Circuit breakers trip whenever electrical problems overload a circuit. Doing this prevents your system from overheating and catching on fire. Often, the occasional tripping is normal since power surges can happen.
However, if it happens frequently, call an electrician for an evaluation. Follow their advice as soon as possible. Spending on repairs now ensures you won’t pay for extensive problems in the long run.
What to Look for in an Electrician
Now you know the most common electricity problems at home, it’s time to find a good electrician. They’re the most integral part of your repairs since they have the expertise.
Consider hiring this residential electrician to fix your electricity at home. Otherwise, look at these traits and compare them to your desired electrician:
License and Insurance
When considering an electrician, focus on whether they have a license to operate. It guarantees your contractor’s knowledge and expertise. It means they studied the necessary courses and fulfilled practical work requirements to ensure a safe and proper job.
Always ask the electrician to show their license. Check whether it’s authentic by doing an online check. Ensure their credentials cover your electrical issues since some licenses have restrictions.
Your chosen electrician must also carry every necessary insurance policy. Ask for a copy of their policies and check their expiration date.
The most reputable electricians in the market won’t hesitate to show their credentials. Sometimes, they do it before asking since they know it’s for your peace of mind.
Never stick to the first electrician you encounter. Instead, contact at least three companies and ask for their quotes. If you have time to reach out to more professionals, do it.
While on the phone, be precise in talking about your electrical issues. Tell them about your preferred materials and fittings. Otherwise, these professionals will often settle for the cheapest.
The quote must break the prices based on the type of service rendered. It’s easier to compare quotes using this format. Never choose a contractor based on their price alone since it often reflects their service quality.
Experience and Qualifications
Some electricians excel in their field since they have extra qualifications. If you choose a Master Electrician, it ensures they have at least three years of experience. These outstanding experts also offer a 12-month warranty for their repairs.
A Master Electrician ensures a high workmanship standard and electrical safety. They will also consider your energy efficiency alongside the repairs. It’s an important part of their service because of the increasing energy costs.
If you have a trustworthy loved one, ask them to recommend an electrician. Their opinion is invaluable since they already experienced working with these contractors. When they’re happy with the electrician’s service and workmanship, they will endorse them to you.
Ask the electrician for references if you can’t get recommendations. Ask for at least three former customers to ensure fairness. Talk to these people and ensure their experiences are legitimate.
Attitude and Communication
No one enjoys working with electricians with sloppy workmanship. However, it’s worse when these people have insufferable attitudes. The best way to discover their attitude is during the initial inspection.
Are these professionals on time? If not, ensure they notified you about the delays. They must be willing to communicate with you from the start.
You must be confident enough with your contractor. Ensure you understand one another to avoid miscommunication during the repairs. A simple misunderstanding can escalate and result in poor workmanship.
Ensure your electrician is polite and can do the work immediately. Mutual respect is integral to ensure both parties walk with a pleasant experience. It’s only possible if your chosen professional has good communication skills.
Speed and Timeliness
If you need emergency electrical services, your residential electrician must be reliable enough. A 24/7 service is your best bet since problems can happen regardless of the time. Otherwise, you won’t have power for a long time.
Solve Your Electricity Problems Now
These are some common electricity problems in your home. Never let them persist for long since they will cost you more in the long run. The sooner you can fix the issue, the less danger they pose.
However, knowing these problems are only the beginning. If you need an electrician, use our tips to get the best one in your area.
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Table of Content
- 1 1. Unfamiliar Scents
- 2 2. Arc Faults
- 3 3. Fake Electrical Products
- 4 4. Warm or Sparking Outlets and Switches
- 5 5. Buzzing Sounds
- 6 6. Flickering Lights
- 7 7. Broken Light Switches and Loose Outlets
- 8 8. Hot Ceiling Fixtures
- 9 9. Rodent Droppings
- 10 10. Circuit Breaker Issues
- 11 What to Look for in an Electrician
- 12 Solve Your Electricity Problems Now