5 Early Warning Signs of Common Electrical Problems

5 Early Warning Signs of Common Electrical Problems

As a homeowner, your electrical system may not be something you think about often. Other than the electric bill or a light bulb that needs to be replaced, it doesn’t need much maintenance. However, if you start to notice these common electrical problems, it’s best to get them fixed now before they get any worse.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

One surefire sign that you likely have an electrical problem is a constantly tripping circuit breaker. When your circuit breakers get overloaded, they will trip. Trip is a term given to when the breaker automatically shuts off power to its entire circuit. If you’ve unplugged any new items from the circuit and it still keeps tripping, then it’s an indication that you need to get an electrician into your home to remedy the power overload.

Burning Odor

Electrical burn is a very distinct smell that most people can pick up on. It usually starts with the pungent smell of burnt plastic as the insulation layer of the electrical wire is on fire. This burning odor can be from a receptacle, light switch, or other electrical feature throughout your home.

If you smell burnt electrical wiring, it’s best to shut off the power to that area of your home. Be sure to call in an electrician to pinpoint the issue. You may notice that there are black burn marks on an outlet or near an electrical cover. This is a great indication that something isn’t right in that area of your wiring system.

House Outlets Are Not Working

If you try to plug in an fixture and it won’t turn on, it may be your electrical outlet. Start by trying to plug that specific fixture into another working outlet in your home to see if it will work or not. If it has power at another outlet, it’s an obvious sign that there is a problem with the initial outlet. It’s best to turn off the power and replace the existing outlet. If you’re not familiar with how to safely do this, it’s best to call in a professional to help. Electricity is not something that you want to be working on if you’re not comfortable with the logic behind how it works.

Flickering Lights

The usual culprit behind those flickering lights is a power surge in your electrical system. Most people are familiar with flickering lights in the moments before the city’s power goes out in total. If the flickering of your lights is contained in one or two rooms of your home, it’s likely a problem with your demand on your electrical system. It’s likely that one of your appliances is making a major demand on your electrical system and it simply can’t handle the demand. If you notice this problem often, then you may need to plug the appliance into another circuit or simply upgrade your old wiring system.

Buzzing At Electrical Connections

If you notice that there is a buzzing sound when you turn on a light switch or plug something into one of your outlets, it can be an indication of a much bigger problem. You should turn the switch off or unplug the fixture immediately. You should go down to your electrical panel and be sure to kill the power to your home. In this type of situation, you’ll want to contact your local electrician immediately as this buzzing noise could potentially mean arc faulting that can lead to an unwanted house fire.

Understanding some common electrical issues is a must for every homeowner. They give you an indication of what to look out for in your home and some guidance on what to do if you encounter any of these electrical issues. While some of these issues can be easily remedied by a homeowner, it’s best to consult a professional electrician if the remedy is more involved than you are comfortable doing yourself.