Electrical problems can pose a danger to your property and family. Learn about the various electrical issues at home and how to fix them.
As part of living in the twenty-first century, it is safe to say that many, if not all, homes are electrically powered. The electricity could be from solar energy, hydropower, or even fuel. As a significant part of living, it has many uses in our homes, from cooking, heating systems, and power electronics, to machine washing and drying your clothes.
Have you ever experienced a power outage in your home; you must have realized how little you can accomplish without it? Unfortunately, power outages are a common problem caused by various reasons. Let’s look at the common electrical issues at home.
1. Electrical Surges
Electrical surges are the most common electrical problems in your house. They are short-term spikes in voltage that occur without the homeowner’s awareness. They can cause damage to expensive appliances. The likes of refrigerators, air conditioners, and laptops.
- Electrical overload. When so many gadgets requiring high energy voltages are connected to the socket.
- Lightning. When lightning strikes, there is usually an unwarranted spike in voltage that causes an electrical surge. The high voltage spike can cause damage to electronic gadgets connected to the main electrical panel.
- Environmental factors. Such factors include adverse weather conditions, temperature variations, animals, and trees. Humans cannot control these factors. For example, animals like squirrels nibble cables away, exposing the wiring, or when trees sway, touching power lines.
- Poor wiring. Exposed wires lead to electrical surges that often occur, causing damage to your electrical appliances.
Signs of an Electric Surge
- A burnt smell around your power source or electronic device
- Your electronic device stops working or turns off
- Resetting your power strip
- Your device clocks
How to Prevent Damage to Appliances from Power Surge
- Use a good quality surge protector as it safely diverges voltage spikes.
- Unplug your electronics from the power source during storms.
- Inspect and fix faulty wiring in your house.
- Install air conditioning units that have a high efficiency.
2. Flickering Lights
The lights flickering in house can be pretty annoying. They can be quite scary to have as they give off that horrible feeling, especially for those who struggle with paranoia. It is a common electricity problem. Flickering lights are an electrocution hazard, requiring the immediate attention of an electrician.
Causes of Flickering Lights in Your Home
1. Circuit overload. high energy needs of other home electrical appliances may cause your lights to start flickering once you turn them on. Install new, upgraded electrical circuits in relevant areas to solve this problem.
2. Loose and outdated wires. Poor wiring is a significant electrical hazard that could lead to fires due to overheating. Loose or outdated cables need to be taken care of immediately.
3. Loose bulbs. Flickering lights may be because of a loose light bulb that receives an inconsistent power supply. Turn off the lights, wait for the bulb to cool off, and then tighten the bulb. This problem does not need you to call your electrician.
4. Bulb type. Bulbs such as fluorescent tubes often flicker during cold seasons or switch on. This behavior is not a hazard, though. If this behavior annoys you, change the bulb.
5. Voltage fluctuations. Abrupt changes in voltage, especially outside of the recommended range, may cause flickering lights. Voltage fluctuations may be hard to see and can only be diagnosed by your electrician.
As its name implies, overloading is when you plug electronics requiring more power than the circuit can provide. As typical as it is, this problem is easy to fix. Here are the best ways to prevent circuit overloads;
- Permanently remove devices that are not in use.
- Have as many circuits as recommended by a professional electrician in your house to prevent overburdening of one circuit.
- Do not connect several devices to the power board in a linear series.
Electrical Switches Malfunctioning
Does your switch snap, crackle, or make a pop sound when its lever flips? Such things indicate that your wall switch has malfunctioned, and it’s time to replace it. Electrical controls are highly likely to malfunction as they have many moving parts.
Here are the common signs that your controller has malfunctioned and needs replacement;
- The switch loses its snap or becomes stiffer when trying to toggle the lever.
- The switch feels warm or hot to the touch. This warmth is a clear sign that your dimmer switch needs replacing.
- Weird noises are coming from the switch. Noises such as sizzling, buzzing, and popping are not suitable sign controllers. If you hear these sounds, be sure that the time to replace your switch has come.
- Flickering lights during switching on. It may be a sign that the metal parts of the switch are worn out, and the contact is failing, needing a switch replacement.
An electric shock is a sudden discharge of electricity to a body part. How dangerous is household electricity? Electric shocks occur quite often and are the number one cause of death among electricians.
Have you ever experienced an electric shock? Here are the main ways to find out.
- You feel a sharp tingle in the part of your body close to an electrical appliance.
- Numbness in the part of your body closest to an electrical appliance.
- Muscle spasms.
Causes of Electrical Shock
- Faulty electronic devices. Faulty appliances are a significant shock hazard as they don’t channel stable electrical currents.
- Damaged electric outlets as they channel unstable electricity, increasing chances of shock.
- Faulty switches and loose and exposed wiring connections cause electrical shocks, especially when they come into contact with water. When water and electricity come into contact, water ions conduct the electric shock, posing a shock hazard.
Tips for Troubleshooting Electrical Problems
- How can you avoid having electrical problems at home? Do your research on what to watch out for when detecting power problems.
- Have an electrician check your house wiring.
- You must also understand how your appliances work to know where the problem might be coming from and fix it on time.
- Be sure to take precautions against electric shocks. If the problem is easy to fix, then fix it. If you still don’t know the problem, or can’t fix it, seek help from a professional electrician.
When you fix these issues, you’ll be sure to save hefty amounts on your electricity bill.
Every homeowner experiences electrical problems at a certain point in their life; the key is to know how to deal with them. And to do this, you must understand the function of your appliances and have an electrician perform checks and maintenance of your power grid and your house electricity connection. This will help you prevent future electrical problems.