Warning Signs For Your Electrical System

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Posted July 20, 2020

Back in 1882, Thomas Edison founded the Edison Electrical Illuminating Company of New York. His aim was to bring electricity to homes across America, and boy, did it work! Now, most American homes use more than 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electric power every year. This gives us – literally – the power to do so many amazing things in our homes and makes our lives much easier. However, electrical systems can also be dangerous if you do not handle it properly. That is why there are more than 700,000 people working in electrician services across the country to keep your home safe.

Paying an electrician to come out to your home regularly will help to maintain your electricity. However, it is also important that you can spot when something may be going wrong.

Not familiar with the warning signs of electrical problems in your home? Then you are in the right place! Read on to find out about the signs that you may need assistance from an electrician.

Why Is It Important to Maintain Your Home’s Electrical System?

couple using electrical system

The electricity in your home provides power throughout the building. This allows you to cook, communicate, watch TV, study, browse social media, and a whole host of other things. So when your electricity goes out, this can be inconvenient, but this isn’t the only reason why you should keep your electrical systems in order.

Electricity can also be very dangerous when it is not handled properly. Getting a shock can land you in the hospital and a big shock may even be fatal. These happen when the electricity in your home is not grounded properly and contained in its wiring.

This can also lead to electrical fires, which spread quickly and cause serious damage to your home.

Because of all this, it is important to get your system checked regularly by a trained professional. Electricians have a clear understanding of how the electricity in your home works, meaning they are the best people to fix problems.

On top of this, they have all the appropriate equipment to do this safely. You should never try to fix an electrical problem yourself. Instead, if you do notice an electrical concern, hiring an electrician as soon as possible could save your life.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the signs that you might need help from electrician services.

Problems With Your Fuse Box

When it comes to your home’s electrical system, the fuse box is your first line of defense when something goes wrong.

This automatically cuts off power to certain parts of your home if something goes wrong. So if the power goes off in your home this is the first place to look for a solution.

Tripping your fuse box may indicate a simple one-off event, such a light bulb blowing. However, a blown fuse box could indicate a more serious problem with your system, especially if this happens again and again. These problems can include:

  • Overloaded circuits
  • Short circuits
  • A ground fault
  • An arc fault
  • An issue with your circuit or circuit breaker
  • Using the wrong type of fuse
  • Issues with your electrical outlets, such as a rusty electrical outlet
  • Damage to your wiring

If your fuse box blows without an obvious cause or this happens more than once, then it is always worth getting help from a professional. They will find the cause of your problem without too much hassle.

You Have to Use a Lot of Extension Cords

too many extension cords in the house

Extension cords are really useful as they can double, triple, or even quadruple the number of power outlets we have in our homes! However, having to use too many could suggest that your home’s electric system needs a little work.

You may find that you simply do not have enough power sockets to do the job. This is a common problem in older properties that were not designed to handle lots of appliances. Or you may find that some of your sockets are in awkward positions.

Whatever the reason, it is a good idea to speak to an electrician about getting some more outlets in your home. This is because it is much safer to have the wiring fixed inside the walls than to use tons of exposed extension cords.

An electrician will also be able to help you if your outlet sockets are out of date. For example, a lot of older homes may still use two-pronged sockets. It is much easier to simply update your sockets than to invest in multiple adapters for all of your appliances.

Sparks Coming From Your Electrical System

It should not take a genius to figure out that if sparks are coming from your electrical system, something is going seriously wrong! This could indicate that part of the electrical circuit is broken or damaged.

When this happens it can be very dangerous, so you should get in touch with an emergency electrician service right away.

In the meantime, it is a good idea to flip the switch in your fuse box to try and cut the power off. Even if you do this, however, make sure you keep well away from the problem. When it comes to electricity, always leave it to the professionals!

Problems With Your Lighting

technician fixing outdoor light

If you have lights that do not work or flicker on and off, this suggests there is a problem with their wiring.

This is different from the bulb blowing, which will immediately turn one specific light off while the others stay on. It is easy to spot a blown bulb as the filament inside it will be broken.

A problem with the wiring may affect more than one bulb or it may just make one bulb flicker on and off. If you have tried changing the bulb without any effect, it is time to get help from an electrician.

Hot Switches or Outlets

Your outlets and light switches should remain at room temperature when you use them. If you notice that they feel hot when you turn them on or off, this could indicate a serious electrical problem.

It suggests that the energy from your electrical supply is not safely contained in the wires. If a switch or socket heats up too much, this can do further damage to the wiring in it.

You should call an electrician out to see the problem as soon as you can so that they can replace old wiring and fix the switch.

You Don’t Know What a Power Outlet Does

plugging outlet into electrical system

Often when builders are constructing a home, they need to use a lot of power. Because of this, they may put in extra outlets or light switches to help them get the job done.

When they have finished using them, most builders will remove the outlets and fill in the wall. However, some simply disconnect the switches and leave them in place. This can leave your home with outlets or light switches that do not work.

If these have been properly disconnected, this should not be an issue. However, if you are not sure what a switch is for, it is always worth getting an electrician in to take a look at it.

They will be able to determine the purpose of the switch and will check that it has been safely disconnected. If you want the switch removed, they will also be able to help you with that.

You Can Hear Sounds in the Walls

All the wiring in your home is contained in your walls. So when something goes wrong with it, this is often where you will notice a problem.

Often, dodgy wiring gives off a faint buzzing sound. This may get louder when more electric appliances are in use and it may vary over the course of the day.

It is important to get someone out to investigate as soon as possible. This is simply because, over time, you may become used to the buzzing noise and no longer notice it. This means you are likely to forget about a problem until it gets more serious.

The sooner you deal with the problem, the quicker it will be to fix it!

You Get a Shock When Using Your Electrical System

baby playing with plug

Getting a shock when you turn on a light or an outlet can be very nasty and dangerous. Every year there are around 30,000 non-fatal electric shock injuries in the US and a big shock can land you in the hospital or worse.

These are often caused by a fault in the electrical wiring in your home.

Appliances that cause shocks can be very dangerous as they can also cause fires. This usually happens if the socket or switch is positioned close to a fabric surface.

If you do get a shock, you should immediately turn the electricity off from the fuse box. This can reduce the chance of any further accidents. As with sparks, you should stay well away from the switch or outlet until a professional has taken a look at it.

Signs of Rust or Moisture Near Electrical System

We all learn from a young age that water and electricity do not go together. That is why you are told not to swim in the sea during a lightning storm!

The reason for this is that water conducts electricity very well. So if your outlets or switches get wet, the insulation that protects you from the electrical current may not work properly. This could result in a nasty and potentially-fatal shock.

Because of this, make sure you keep an eye out for wet or damp patches around your sockets and light switches. This can happen if you have a leak in your home or experience flood damage.

It is also important to look out for signs of rusting on your switches and outlets. Rust usually affects metal fittings and is caused by water getting in. This is another way to quickly spot that you have a problem with your electrical system.

If you do notice either of these signs, it is important that you do not use the switch or outlet in question. If it is ‘off’ then leave it that way. If the switch is in use then turn it off at the fuse box and get an electrician out as soon as you can!

Burning Smells in Your Home

electrical systems burning

Most of us know that burning smell in your home is not a good sign. This may indicate that your electric wires are failing and this can cause a serious fire hazard in your home.

This happens when something in your electrical circuit shorts. This stops the electricity from flowing safely through the circuit. You may also lose power to some appliances or lights when this happens.

Electrical burning smells are often very acrid and you should be able to identify where it is coming from quickly.

If you do notice one of these smells then you should immediately call an emergency electrician. Until they arrive, wait a safe distance away from the source of the smell and keep a fire extinguisher handy if you have one.

Get Help From Electrician Services Today!

technician greeting homeowner

Maintaining the electrical system in your home regularly is vital to keep them working safely. However, you should also stay alert for these warning signs that there may be a problem with the electricity in your home. At this point, you will need help from electrician services.

For more information on looking after your home’s electrical system or to book an electrician appointment, get in touch with our team today. We’re here to help you!

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