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6 Common Electrical Problems In Your Home

21.01.21 04:59 PM By Brandon

Electrical hiccups are often much more intimidating than other home systems, leading most homeowners to opt for hiring a professional to come in to do the work for them. Outdated wiring, insufficient electrical panels, and overloaded outlets may not even be on your radar as issues - but they can all cause problems in your home and can even be fire risks.

 
Let's take a look at a few common electrical problems that may be hiding in plain sight in your home.

Replacing An Outlet

Over time, outlets can wiggle loose from the wall or you may notice that plugs easily fall out. Or maybe you're in an older home with older, ungrounded outlets (they only have 2 holes instead of three.) Perhaps you need to swap out a standard outlet with a GFCI outlet.

Fix It Yourself

Replacing an electrical outlet is a relatively straight-forward task. You'll want to make sure you have all of the necessary supplies, cut off the power from your electric panel, and test the outlet to make sure that there is no voltage running to the outlet before you get started.

Make ONE Call

If you're not confident in taking on this project yourself at any point, call a licensed electrician.

Too Few Outlets

You may not think much about running an extension cord or using a power strip to max out your outlets. While using heavy-duty extension cords are relatively safe to use, smaller cords have the potential to be a fire hazard. Additionally, running cords around your living space can be a tripping hazard.

Fix It Yourself

As a short-term solution, upgrade any small extension cords with heavy duty cords and make sure that you're using cords correctly to reduce the fire risk.

Make ONE Call

Licensed electricians can easily add additional outlets anywhere you find yourself needing to plug in a few extra fixtures.

What's That Smell?

Sometimes you may smell some unusual odors when you plug in a new appliance or fixture but if you find unexplained new odors suddenly appearing, you should absolutely take notice.

Fix It Yourself

Your first step if an outlet is producing an unusual odor is to unplug anything that's connected to the offending outlet and refrain from using it.

Make ONE Call

Call a licensed electrician to inspect the outlet and diagnose the cause of the smell.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights can indicate a power surge in your home. They can also result from high winds outside, loose wiring, or that your home is using more electricity than your panel can handle well.

Make ONE Call

Diagnosing the exact cause of flickering lights is a job that's best inspected by a licensed electrician. Tightening loose wiring, adding additional breakers to an existing panel, or completely upgrading the wiring and panel in your home to eliminate the problem prevents unnecessary drain on your appliances and fixtures - and helps lower your fire risk.

Warm Or Sparking Outlets

Some appliances put off heat when they're in operation but there should never be heat coming from the outlet itself. Similarly, light switches should never be hot to the touch - with the exception of dimmer switches which can often be warm (but never hot) when they're in use.

Fix It Yourself

If you experience sparks or heat in your switches or outlets, you should immediately unplug anything that's connected and stop using until the problem can be addressed.

Make ONE Call

Heat or sparks coming from your outlets and switches are issues that you should call a licensed professional in for - and the sooner the better. 

Buzzing Sounds

If you hear a buzzing sound coming from your electrical systems, it's likely a sign of loose or worn out wiring - and it's something that should be looked at right away.

Fix It Yourself

Since buzzing can be a simple as a loose wire in your outlet or switch, you can try to tighten the wires- after shutting off the electricity - to see if that fixes the problem.

Make ONE Call

Call a licensed electrician to inspect your wiring and connections to diagnose the exact cause of your buzzing. Left unaddressed, these wiring problems can cause fire, damaging your home and putting your family at risk.

Because electrical systems are mostly hidden behind your walls and closed off behind face plates, it's easy to put these systems out of mind. To the contrary, you should be paying close attention to issues that arise in order to avoid bigger, more devastating problems down the road. Not sure what you should be looking for? Know that your house is old and want reassurance that your electrical is done correctly and safely? Check out our Preferred Plans for an electrical inspection and discounts on any repair work that needs to be done in your home.

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