We don’t realize how much we depend on electricity until there is a power outage. Then, we fully understand that many things we do day after day would be impossible, or a lot more difficult, if we never had any electricity.
But not all electrical issues are as noticeable as power outages. Sometimes, electrical problems can hide inside the walls of your home, and if you never do anything to get them fixed, they could result in a fire.
If you notice some of these nine signs of electrical problems in your home, call a professional electrician to the rescue before it’s too late.
Sign #1: Flickering lights
If one of your lights is flickering, it could be because its lightbulb is loose. Sometimes, the initial installation may be inadequate, causing the flickering. You will need to redo the pot light installation or anything similar.
But if many of your lights are flickering, it could indicate a power surge. Power surges occur when appliances demand more electricity than the electrical system can provide. If flickering lights are a common issue in your home, you should ask an electrician to do what is necessary to prevent power surges.
Sign #2: Burning smells
A burning smell can indicate electrical problems in your home. If the smell comes from a power outlet, be sure to unplug anything plugged into it and call an electrician as soon as possible.
If your breaker panel emits a burning smell, it’s even more important to immediately call an electrician.
However, if a strange smell comes from a brand-new appliance, there is no need to panic. The odour could simply be caused by the paint or the finish of your new appliance.
Sign #3: Buzzing sounds
Electricity is not supposed to produce any noise. If you hear buzzing or cracking when you plug something into an outlet, unplug it immediately. If you hear strange noises after turning on a light, flip off the switch immediately.
Buzzing sounds can be caused by loose or damaged wiring or faulty outlets. It’s important to get the issue fixed before the wiring produces sparks.
Sign #4: Broken light switches
When a part of your home’s electrical system is faulty, it creates a potential fire hazard. If one of your light switches stops working, start by ensuring you are not simply dealing with a lightbulb that needs to be changed.
If the lightbulb is fine, the light switch is probably broken. Even if it seems to work intermittently, you need to get it repaired by an electrician.
Sign #5: Loose outlets
Power outlets are supposed to be fixed to the wall. You must be concerned if you are trying to plug something and notice the outlet moving around.
This is a sign that the outlet has become loose and that if nothing is done about it, the wires connected could fall off and create serious electrical problems.
Ask an electrician to fix your loose outlet as soon as possible.
Sign #6: Hot outlets or switch plates
Power outlets are also not supposed to be hot to the touch. Neither are switch plates. If you notice a power outlet or a switch plate is hot, stop using them and get them fixed. You also should be concerned if an outlet is producing sparks.
These signs could indicate that the wiring has not been done properly and needs professional attention.
Sign #7: Hot light fixtures
If the area around your ceiling light fixtures feels hot to the touch, it could be another sign of a faulty electrical system. It could also indicate your lightbulb is overheating because it exceeds the recommended wattage for this fixture.
Ensure your lightbulbs don’t exceed the recommended wattage to prevent potential fire hazards. You could switch to LED or compact fluorescent bulbs, which produce less heat than incandescent bulbs.
Sign #8: Circuit breaker issues
Circuit breakers trip whenever there is a circuit overload. They are meant to do this to prevent overheating and fires. If a breaker trips occasionally, there is nothing to worry about.
However, if a breaker keeps tripping, there is a problem with an appliance or your home’s electrical system.
If you suspect an appliance might be the culprit, try plugging it into a different outlet to see if the circuit breaker will still trip. If the issue doesn’t appear to be caused by an appliance, it’s best to ask an electrician to come and assess the situation for you.
Sign #9: Rodent droppings
Finally, you might be about to experience some electrical problems if you notice rodent droppings somewhere in your home.
Rats and mice love to chew on electrical wiring, which can cause fire hazards. If there seem to be rodents in your house, you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible before they snack on your electrical wires.