Every home today relies on electricity to run efficiently. However, electricity can be a challenge to deal with, especially with the risks it can bring. Therefore, it is vital you know how to check for warning signs around the home to ensure you prevent any electrical problems from occurring. Also, conduct regular electrical maintenance safety practices to ensure your home is safe from potential electrical dangers. Although the clues can be silent, they are serious. Below are warning signs your home has a major electrical problem.
- Flickering lights
Flickering lights are not a sign of ghost visitors, as most movies make us believe. It is a possibility there is a loose electrical connection. The fix is straightforward if the flickering is only on a single light fixture. However, if it affects multiple rooms or lights, the problem could be further back in the circuit. If it is in the entire house, the issue may lie at the utility drop or the breaker box. In this case, it is best to contact a licensed electrical contractor to do the troubleshooting for you.
1. Tangled wiring
As an electrician, you do not get any points for appearance in the work you do. Well-organized and arranged cabling will not conduct better than wires running haphazardly. But, if your work shows extreme disorganization, it is an indicator of rushed or poorly done electrical work. If you see messy or tangled lines, it is best to do a thorough inspection of your business or home’s entire electrical service. As you do this, watch out for common electrical cord violations.
2. Burning smell
The smell of anything burning should be an immediate alarm something is wrong. For instance, where the electrical system wiring is heating up to melt the plastic sheathing. You face the risk of a fire, and you have to take action immediately. Identify the source, whether it is at the breaker box or one fixture. Or have a professional conduct the troubleshooting for you to have it fixed fast. Do not assume to do it later, for you could be facing imminent danger.
3. Rodent activity
If you find or see nest material or rodent droppings around your electrical wiring, check for chew marks on your wires. Rodents will gnaw on a wire until it is exposed. As a result, the exposed wire will begin to overheat or spark, and this is a major electrical problem. Thus, if you notice or find any mice activity around your home, check for any damage and learn how to keep them at bay.
4. Aluminum wiring
In the early 70s, home builders had to use a single-strand aluminum wire for electrical services due to high copper prices, and it was easier to keep costs low. However, exposed aluminum oxidizes faster than copper, building heat and leading to fire risks. Therefore, if you have aluminum wiring, more so in branch circuits, it is a fire hazard. If you live in a home or intend to move to an old home with aluminum wiring, it can easily suffer fire damage. You can address existing aluminum wiring through a complete home rewiring or using specialized connectors. Call a licensed electrician if you suspect your home has aluminum wiring and discuss options.
5. Loose outlets
If you plug a cord in the outlet and notice the insides are moving around, open it and get it to fit well. A loose outlet with time will shake its wires free, leading to sparks, shorts, and potential fire hazards. Fortunately, this issue has an easy fix. Find out more information online on how to secure outlets safely and quickly. Optionally, you can call a handyman to do it for you if you doubt your DIY skills.
6. Hot outlets
Most electrical appliances generate heat as you operate them. But, the outlet should never get hot. If you notice the heat at the outlet, unplug any cords immediately and do not use the outlet until you troubleshoot the issue. Dimmer switches do get warm to touch, but they should not be uncomfortable to touch. Therefore, because of excess heat, always check the wattage before you install a dimmer switch.