Of all the issues that can impact various areas of your home, electrical problems can be the most dangerous. A plumbing problem can inflict a lot of water damage, but an electrical problem can potentially cause house fires or electrocution. It’s essential that you have a professional electrician check the wiring in your home at least once every few years. Otherwise, you’re substantially increasing the likelihood that a problem will occur.
Even with routine maintenance appointments, there’s still a chance that an electrical problem can happen in your home. You should be familiar with some of the telltale signs of an electrical problem, so that you can contact an electrician as soon as possible. We’ve named some of these signs below.
No, your home probably isn’t haunted! The cause of flickering lights is almost always because of a short circuit in the electrical system. If it is just one lamp, you might need to replace that particular fixture and nothing else.
However, if you have flickering lights in an entire section of your home, then you have a more widespread problem. If you find yourself experiencing this symptom frequently, we recommend that you call a professional electrician as soon as possible, before the problem grows any worse.
Have you ever put your hand on a light switch, or random spot on the wall, an felt that it was warm? Hot spots often indicate points in the electrical system where current is flowing in a direction that it shouldn’t be. Electrical current that’s diverted to a point it’s not supposed to go, such as another wire or directly into the drywall, throws off a lot of energy as heat.
This is what you are feeling when you detect a hot spot. Hot spots on the walls or light switched indicate a serious breach in the electrical system, and can potentially cause a house fire. You don’t want to ignore this sign, ever, so make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice it. One important thing to note here: dimmer switches operate a little bit differently and will be warmer than traditional on/off switch.
Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping
Your circuit breaker panel, or electrical panel, is designed to protect your home from power surges. When a part of your home’s electrical system suddenly starts to carry voltage beyond safety limits, a circuit breaker will trip, and that part of the electrical system is shut down until it can be resent or fixed. More often than not, a circuit breaker trips because that particular circuit was overloaded.
You may be able to remedy the situation by unplugging a few things and then resetting the affected breaker. But if it is continuously tripping, you may have a bigger problem on your hands. It’s either a more serious problem with that circuit, which the breaker is trying to protect against, or your homes electrical appliances and fixtures are putting too much demand on the panel.