Homes are built for safety and comfort. Over the years, their condition can deteriorate if regular upkeep is missing. A routine check and balance of home fixtures, electrical systems, and leakages, can prevent serious damage and for prevent this damage you have to learn about signs electrical problems.
No one likes living in a house with electrical problems. If you let it slip, it can also affect your home’s value. A house with upgraded electrical wiring will fetch a higher price in the home market as opposed to one that has a neglected and outdated electrical system. For such reasons, it is important to regularly check everything, including home electrical issues.
Electrical problems in the home should never be ignored, as they can seriously damage the property and its occupants. Unresolved electrical problems can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to stay vigilant about anything that even slightly reflects a potential electrical problem.
12 Major Signs of Electrical Problems
Following are some of the major signs of faulty electrical wiring that indicate a threat to your property and life. If you come across these, know that you shouldn’t ignore them and call in a professional company right away.
1. Electrical Outlets Becoming Excessively Hot
It is common for electrical appliances to release heat when in use. However, if the outlet itself is also becoming hot, it is a sign of a problem. Electric outlets in your home should always stay cool. In case you find it getting hot, you should unplug the cords and discontinue using the outlet until the issue has been resolved.
Similarly, treat switch cover plates the same way. They can get warm when in use, but they shouldn’t be excessively hot to the touch. If it is, then there is a fault that you should immediately get checked.
2. High Electricity Bills
Another sign that your house has a major electrical problem is getting a high electricity bill. You would know the average bill you are paying for your house, but at any time, if it is excessive, it reflects various electrical faults.
If you are getting a high electricity bill, it can be a sign of damaged circuits or wiring, electrical system leaks, or outdated electrical devices consuming more power than necessary. You can ensure you are not incurring an unnecessary electricity bill by getting an electrical audit. A professional company like HyGrid Electrical LLC can identify potential problems and help you optimize your electrical output for enhanced efficiency and a reduced electricity bill.
3. Aluminum Wiring
If you have aluminum wiring at your home, it is a sign of another major electrical problem that should be addressed immediately. Aluminum wires were used in replacement for copper wires due to their increased prices in the 70s.
However, there is a major problem with these wires. Exposed aluminum wires oxidize quicker than copper, leading to excessive heat build-up and a fire risk. Therefore their use in home wiring has since then been discontinued.
Aluminum wiring increases the chances of fire damage in homes by as much as 55 times, according to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). So if you find out that the wiring in your home is aluminum, it is better to avoid any risk and call in a professional electrician to get it changed.
4. Flexible Gas Lines Not Grounded Properly
The majority of homes use corrugated stainless steel tubing for gas circulation. However, if these “flex lines” are not grounded properly, they can lead to a disastrous blowout. Any kind of electrical surge can cause rapture in the tubing leading to an explosion or gas leak. To avoid such an explosion, make sure you routinely check all the gas lines and fix any that are not properly grounded.
5. Improperly Grounded Electrical System
Apart from an improperly grounded gas line, you can also have an improperly grounded electrical system. One of the signs to get it fixed is that touching a metal object connected to the system gives you a shock.
This includes electric fixtures such as ceiling fans and lamps, furnace ductwork, and water lines. However, most people confuse these shocks with static electricity pops. Don’t make this mistake, and make sure your electrical system is properly grounded to avoid mishaps.
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6. Loose Outlets
Another sign of weak electricity in the house that you should get checked right away is any loose outlets. A loose outlet can lead to many dangers, such as a short, spark, or fire hazard that can be deadly. If you plug a cord and notice it’s not plugged in firmly, you should get that outlet fixed right away.
7. Burning Smells
If you detect any kind of burning smells around the house, you shouldn’t delay taking quick action on it. Burning smells are an immediate indication of a heated-up electrical system that can melt the plastic sheathing leading to a fire hazard.
You should quickly try to detect the source of the smell and get it resolved as quickly as possible. It could be just one fixture that needs replacing or the breaker box. Hiring professional residential electrical services to do the job will be much easier, quicker, and less hassle.
8. An Over Circuited Panel
Any electrical panel can only accommodate a certain number of circuit breakers that fit into slots. Generally, tandem breakers don’t need two slots but look like two switches. This causes many people to place them in one slot instead of two single-pole breakers causing the panel to over-circuit.
An over-circuited panel can be dangerous and lead to a fire hazard. If you find out that your panel is getting over-circuited, then it’s time to call a professional electrical company to replace it with a bigger load or a sub-panel.
9. Poor Circuit Protection
If you don’t have proper circuit protection installed, then a low voltage due to an electricity leak can damage your appliances. To protect your electrical system, appliances, and property from a potential fire hazard, you should consider installing a residual current circuit breaker (RCCB).
The device will detect a low-voltage circuit in case of a leak and disconnect it from the main supply. Hence protecting against shock, electrical fire, and direct or indirect currents.
10. Lighting Problems
A number of lighting problems in your home reflect a major electrical problem that should be fixed. If you find that your bulbs burn out frequently, then it is a sign to get to the root of the problem.
Various reasons can cause burnout, including improper air circulation, high voltage, bad wiring, or others. Another thing to watch out for is flickering lights or lights that appear too dim or too bright.
If you notice that lights are constantly flickering or not lighting up properly, it is time to check the power panel and call in a professional to get it fixed. Leaving it unattended can lead to major problems over time.
11. Backstabbed Wires
Over time electrical wires can have holes and cuts in them, known as backstabbed wires. This increases the chances of electrocution in case of direct contact with the wire. You want to make sure that you eliminate this hazard by replacing such wires with new ones with help of reliable electrical services.
12. Bogus Electrical Products
Most electrical items have a sticker from the Underwriters Laboratory that indicates that the products are safe to use. Unfortunately, you may find products with counterfeit labels if you buy electrical devices for your home at cheap prices.
It is advised to always give the label a thorough look to identify any typos or other signs indicating it may be false. Buying authentic electrical products that have passed minimum safety requirements will ensure they last longer and withstand regular wear and tear. They will be more efficient to use as well.
Electrical systems can deteriorate over time. It can be due to external factors like rain, storm, or power surges. Alternatively, it can also be the regular wear and tear or outdated systems that haven’t been changed in a long while.
To feel protected in your home and to keep your family protected, it is important to conduct regular maintenance activities to keep them updated. Regular inspection can help you identify the above signs and save yourself from the trouble of extended electrical damage.
While regular maintenance will keep everything up-to-date, it is also important not to ignore any signs of a possible problem. In case of the above signs, it is recommended to consult a professional electrical company to check them.
Our expert technicians at HyGrid Electrical LLC come with certified power tools and have the necessary experience to identify problems, resolve issues and suggest improvements. We make sure that every house has an optimal-functioning electrical unit to avoid fire hazards.