Having your home’s electrical system checked and maintained by an electrician is important. It could save you money, time, and possibly even a home fire.
Licensed electricians have studied the ins and outs of electricity, so they know how to safely repair your electrical systems. When you encounter these 7 signs, it’s probably time to call an expert.
1. Flickering or Dim Lights
Flickering or dim lights can be a sign of bigger electrical issues that need to be addressed quickly. They can be a safety hazard and could even lead to an electrical fire if not addressed promptly.
If the flickering lights only occur when you use certain appliances, this can be a sign of a circuit overload or outdated wiring. This is an issue that needs to be addressed by a professional electrician as soon as possible.
On the other hand, if you notice flickering lights all over your house and do not have any large home appliances running on these circuits, this may be a sign of loose service conductors in your main electrical panel. Loose connections are a major fire hazard and need to be repaired by an electrician immediately.
Another possible problem is an overall power grid issue that affects the electricity supply. This can happen when there are city-wide power outages, high energy demand or a transformer failure.
2. Strange Noises
Electricity is a vital part of most homes and businesses. It runs lights, televisions, computers, and many other appliances and devices.
However, electricity can be dangerous if it is not used properly. This is why it is important to hire a licensed electrician to repair or replace any electrical system you may have in your home.
Some of the signs that you need to call an electrician if you notice something strange happening in your home include flickering or dim lights, noises like hissing, groaning, or knocking, and smells such as burning plastic or sparks.
Flickering or dim lights are a sign that your wiring is faulty or overloaded and requires professional repair or replacement. The problem may be as simple as a loose screw terminal or more complex issues with your wiring.
Other clues that you need to call an electrician include hearing buzzing, burning smells, and tripping circuit breakers. While these can be scary, they are a clear indication that you need to get your wiring fixed or replaced by an expert.
3. High Electric Bills
Electricity is a crucial part of modern life, from keeping your fridge running to powering your TV. But sometimes your electrical system isn’t working as it should, and that can put you and your family at risk for fires and injuries.
While some electrical issues can be easily detected, like wires that are hanging loose or sparks coming from an outlet, others may require the help of a professional. That’s why you should always opt for an electrician to come out and inspect your home’s electrical systems if you suspect there are problems with them.
Whether you have an older home or a new one, it’s important to ensure that your electrical wiring is up to code. Not only is it safety-related, but it can also affect your home’s resale value.
Another indicator that you need an electrician is if you start to notice high electric bills. Usually, this is due to an increase in your electricity usage. But it can also be caused by something in your home that is causing the electrical system to consume more energy.
4. Faulty Outlets
Faulty outlets are one of the most common electrical issues that homeowners face. In some cases, they can be caused by too many devices plugged in or even overloaded circuits, but the majority of the time, the cause of faulty outlets is faulty wiring within the outlet itself.
A faulty outlet could be a sign that your wiring needs a professional checkup, especially if you have older home wiring. Backstabbed wiring (a shortcut for securing wires) is another common reason for outlets to go bad, causing loose connections and other problems.
Loose plugs can be a fire hazard, so you should have them replaced immediately. It can also be a sign that the outlet has been damaged by water or by rodents.
Discolored or melted plastic is another warning sign that your outlet might be short-circuiting. If you spot this type of outlet in your house, it is best to shut off the power at your breaker panel until a certified electrician can examine it.
Cracked or chipped outlets are also dangerous, as they allow dust and other debris to build up inside them, potentially causing an electric arc. This can be a serious fire hazard and needs to be fixed by an electrician right away.
5. Overloaded Circuits
Overloaded circuits are one of the most dangerous electrical issues you can have. They can cause serious damage to your home and also increase your risk of house fires.
Every electrical circuit is designed to handle a certain amount of current, so if you plug too many appliances or lights into the same line the current will flow through the wiring faster than it can safely handle. This will trigger a circuit breaker, which shuts off the current flow to keep you safe from damage and fire.
Luckily, you can help to prevent overloads by making sure to use only the right size outlets for your electronics. Moreover, you can minimize the load on your circuits by unplugging any appliances or devices that you don’t need regularly.
Another way to see if you have an overloaded circuit is to check your electric bill. If your power bill seems to go up steadily over time, it’s probably an indication of a problem with your electrical system.
Overloaded circuits can be extremely dangerous, so if you notice any of the above signs, it’s a good idea to call an electrician as soon as possible. This will save you money in the long run and ensure that your home remains safe.
6. Burning Smell or Sparks
A burning smell or sparks are sure signs that something is wrong with your electrical system and should be fixed immediately by an electrician. Dylan Esterling, owner of Randercom Communications & Security Solutions, says, “It’s always a good idea to get an expert electrician to take a look at your wiring system and circuit breakers, even if your home seems to be running smoothly. In fact, we suggest getting in touch with this licensed electrician as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation.
A hot outlet or switch plate is another warning sign that your wiring is overloaded and could cause problems, including fires. If you ever notice this, turn off your power at the breaker box and call an emergency electrician to get it taken care of.
An olfactory hallucination, a burning smell or sparks may be the result of an electrical fire. It is important to note that these smells can last for only a short time, so it’s best to play it safe and call an electrician if you see or smell any.
Similarly, buzzing sounds and popping noises are signs that your wiring is loose or faulty. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your wiring and outlets. Older wiring is prone to rusting and causing fires, especially if it’s over thirty years old.
A buzzing sound can be a sign of an electrical problem. It can be a warning sign that something is wrong with your electric system and that you need to call an electrician.
It’s not always obvious where the noise is coming from, but if you notice that it comes and goes, there may be an issue. Try to locate the source of the noise and then have a licensed electrician inspect your circuit breakers, outlets, and wiring.
The first step is to turn off all your circuit breakers. Then walk through your home and listen for the buzzing sound. If you can’t hear it, switch on just one of the breakers and repeat the process until you find the source of the humming or buzzing sound.
If you have a stethoscope or can improvise an ear trumpet, this can also help you determine where the buzzing is coming from. You can also use a funnel or a piece of paper rolled into a cone shape to pinpoint the source of the sound.
If you hear a low-grade buzzing noise, it could be a sign that your outlet is not grounded properly or that the wiring in your plug outlet is transferring too much voltage. Those issues can result in fires or sparks, so it’s best to have them fixed as soon as possible.