Electricity is one of the main components keeping you and your home going, and when electrical problems happen, they make for both an inconvenient and unsafe situation. Any problems that pop up, such as with your wiring or breakers, should be addressed promptly and handled properly. Trying to fix something on your own or missing warning signs can lead to serious electrical danger. Here are some common home electrical problems and what to look for:
- 1. Tripped Circuit Breakers
Breakers often trip when a circuit is overloaded; for instance, if you plug a hair dryer into the same outlet as a lamp and another appliance, the electrical load may be greater than the circuit was intended to receive. Short circuits can also trip the breaker and are a more serious problem. If your breakers trip and then trip again after being reset, call an electrician to find the root of the problem.
- 2. Flickering or Dimming Lights
Lights that flicker or dim on a routine basis when a major appliance comes on, such as the air conditioner, or that do so when it’s windy outside, may indicate a lurking wiring problem in or out of your home.
- 3. Two-prong Outlets
Older homes often have two-prong outlets, which lack the grounding wire that three-prong outlets have for protection. The Ground Fault Interrupter diverts currents in order to prevent serious, potentially fatal electrical shock. Updating your outlets can improve safety as well as convenience.
- 4. Improperly Installed Fixtures
Installing a new light fixture or ceiling fan might seem easy enough to do on your own, but one small error can be a big deal, with the potential to cause an electrical shock or fire. It’s better to play it safe by handing the installation over to a certified electrician.
- 5. Incorrect Wattage
If the maximum bulb wattage for a lamp in your home is 60 watts, then you shouldn’t use anything higher. Exceeding the maximum recommendation could mean electrical danger.
- 6. Lack of Surge Protection
Spending a little money on surge protection for your valuable electronics or whole house can save you from big costs later, say if your flat screen or laptop were damaged from a power surge.
- 7. No GFCIs
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters should be used in rooms with high water usage, like the kitchen and bathroom. Without them, you could be facing a high risk of electrocution. Replacing your current receptacles is a pretty simple job an electrician can do for your protection.
When it comes to home electrical problems, the potential for danger is often high and imminent. Keep an eye out for warning signs, address problems right away, and leave those electrical repairs and installations to the pros.