5 Common Electrical Issues
Date : Apr 11, 2019
Author : DR A Zayed
Categories : House Help
It is important to keep a check on the electrical system of your home. If you fail to monitor it then you may have to spend a great deal of money in the form of maintenance. More importantly, electrical issues can also pose fire hazards. Therefore, it is important to identify these issues on time. Below are 5 common electrical issues.
Most Common Electrical Issues
1. Unexpected Surge
Electrical surges are not a positive sign. Usually, a surge ends within a microsecond. However, multiple and repeated electrical surges can hamper a home’s electrical system and decrease its lifespan. The cause behind an electrical surge can be any of the following: faulty appliances, flawed wiring, damaged power lines or lightning strikes.
2. Non-Working Switches
Sometimes, unlicensed professionals fail to correct the lighting systems. As a result, dimmer switches cannot be adjusted for the provision of light.
In case you have a new home where your switches are not working properly, it is possible that your switches have been replaced or there was an issue in the wiring, circuit or outlet of your home. Regardless, hire a reliable electrician who can look into your switches.
3. Frequent Trips
Hairdryers, microwaves, and similar appliances with high wattage may cause the circuit breakers to trip, especially if there are additional electrical components that are drawing power from the same source. The purpose of a breaker is to provide protection for your home, hence tripping once in a while is a healthy sign. Conversely, if you feel that the number of trips has increased quickly, then you should consider hiring an electrician who can identify any possible issues.
4. Outlets in the Bathroom and the Kitchen
Due to water being an excellent conductor of electricity, bathrooms and the kitchen cannot have the same outlets as the other rooms. They require GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters), a type of shock-resistant outlets. In case, your bathroom or kitchen outlets are the same as your other rooms, then it is the time to change them.
5. Light Fluctuations
Are there constant light fluctuations in your home? Are some lights too dim while others are extremely bright? If the answer is yes, there are two possibilities.
1. Each light has its own distinct wattage, hence the difference.
2. There is an issue with the main neutral connection.
In all these cases, if you are concerned about electrical faults in your home, contact a reliable certified electrician near you online.
How Do You Troubleshoot Electrical Problems In Your Home?
For all the major electricity issues, you should hire a licensed and professional electrician. But there are some small issues that you can safely and efficiently troubleshoot yourself. Moreover, you should also know a little about how the electrical system works at home. For example, if your home is experiencing a power outage, the first thing is to determine the source and the extent of the problem. You can troubleshoot it in multiple steps, such as asking neighbours if they are experiencing any issue. If your neighbours also do not have the power, then you have to call the authorities to fix the problem.
Here we will discuss some of the effective ways to troubleshoot electrical issues in your home.
READ ALSO: TIPS FOR SELECTING AN ELECTRICIAN
How to Troubleshoot a Short Circuit?
Whenever a hot wire touches the ground wire or the neutral wire, a short circuit happens. Due to the extra flow of current, the circuit blows a fuse or trips the breaker in order to keep your appliances from further damage. However, it is easily observable when the short circuit happens. But it is not always easy to find the exact location. Here are some necessary steps to follow to troubleshoot the short circuit problem
- Unplug all the appliances after you have turned off all the wall switches.
- Try to reset your tripped breaker (you might need to install a brand-new fuse)
- If the fuse goes dead, it means that there is a short circuit in a switch or a receptacle.
- Inspect the wiring by removing the cover plats of outlets and suspect switches. Smell the charred wires and look for black marks and repair the wiring.
- Now reset the breaker, and if the fuse does not blow right away, turn the wall switches one by one. If any of the switches blows a fuse or trips the breaker, the problem is identified.
- At this point, you can repair or replace the faulty switch.
Troubleshooting Flickering Lights
Flickering lights are quite annoying, but it is quite easy to troubleshoot this problem. There are only a few steps to follow in order to fix it.
- Start by analyzing the light if it is screwed in properly because bulbs and lights need to be all the way in their holders.
- Examine if the voltage is not fluctuating, especially for the holder or fixture where the lights are fixed.
- Try to replace the light or the bulb with the new one.
- If the flickering problem persists, then the cord or the electrical outlet has a problem. You need to hire a professional electrician to fix it.
Troubleshooting the Cords
It is one of the most overlooked electrical issues, and yet it can be quite dangerous. You should never take it for granted and follow these steps to troubleshoot it.
- To begin with, check all of the appliances and breakers for the frayed or exposed cords because the safety-electrical material requires it.
- You should also look for any melting or black/brown smudges that happen in the case of a short circuit.
- If you find any exposed wires, you should replace them with proper PVC insulation ones. You can also hire a professional electrician to repair all the frayed cords and short circuits.
How Do You Know If You Have An Electrical Problem?
There are many silent signs, which essentially means that your home is suffering from some kind of electrical issues. Many at times, the consequences can be hazardous and catastrophic. That’s why you should always keep in mind the following points to identify some of the most common electrical problems that your house might be suffering from.
High Electrical Bills
Who doesn’t want to reduce the electrical bills? Additionally, it is quite possible that you’re paying high electric bills because of some electrical problems. The following points can help you to resolve such issues, and it will also reduce the amount that you have to pay each month.
- Examine all of your electrical appliances and identify the one that is possibly causing the power surges
- Keep the chargers and appliances unplugged while not charging
- Identify if there are any damaged wiring
- Switch your provider for cost efficiency
- Identify any patching leaks if you have a hot water system
Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips
If you are observing the circuit breaker trips very frequently, then there must be some electrical problem that needs to be addressed. There can be many possible reasons, such as:
- High voltage appliances are in use at once, such as hairdryers, microwaves, iron, etcetera, on a single circuit.
- Your house is experiencing the power surges from your provider.
- There can be a ground fault, arc fault, or even a short circuit in the frequently tripping breaker.
Undoubtedly and electrical shock is a hazardous and nasty experience. Although it is pretty mild, something like a static shock, and it usually occurs while working with the electrical appliances. Not only can it be perilous to us, but it can also damage the whole electrical system of a house and the expensive appliances.
The most common reasons for an electrical shock are as followed:
- The appliances are Faulty (short) especially when they have frayed wiring.
- When your appliances come in contact with water
- Damaged extension leads and cords
- Downed power lines
- Deteriorated or faulty wiring in the household
If you have ever suffered an electrical shock in your home, you should never take it for granted. It means that you have a major electrical problem in your house. We recommend you to get it checked from a professional and licensed electrician.
If any of your wall outlets or electrical appliances are causing unusual heat, consider it an alarm that there is an electrical problem either with your wall outlet, wiring or with the appliance. It can happen because of the following reasons.
- If the overhead lights and appliances are causing excessive heat
- The appliances or wiring is not properly insulated
- If the wattage on the circuit is not as it should be
Overheating is a fire risk, and it should never be overlooked. That’s why you should test it regularly.