Electrical issues in an existing home or even new construction can be annoying and, at their worst, extremely dangerous. High electric bills, blown circuits, electric shock, or even death are all possibilities. Here’s a list of common problems you might face. Although you might be able to diagnose problems on your own, you should contact a professional electrician to check them out as soon as possible.
A multitude of factors can cause an electrical surge in a household. Power surges may last a few seconds but if they happen repeatedly, that could point to another issue. Surges can be the result of faulty or old wiring or, in new construction, wiring that was installed incorrectly. Sometimes these surges may occur due to lightning storms, downed power lines, or other natural occurrences.
DIPS OR DRAINS IN POWER
Plugged-in devices that require a lot of power may cause lights to dim when they are in use. We frequently see this happen when using appliances such as a microwave or dishwasher. This may be the result of improperly wired or installed wall jacks that can’t handle different types of voltage output.
LIGHT SWITCHES WORK INFREQUENTLY OR NOT AT ALL
You might discover light switches that don’t do anything, which means they may have not been connected for some reason or were never wired when the house was built. It could also just be a problem with an outlet, wiring, or the circuit itself. If you have dimmer switches and they don’t appear to be working at full capacity, this could be substandard materials or something a rushed contractor just forgot to properly test.
CIRCUIT BREAKER TRIPPING AND OVERLOAD
If your power suddenly cuts-off while you are running two appliances at once, that means you’ve tripped a circuit breaker. That’s a good thing because that’s what it is supposed to do to in order to protect you from a potential electrical fire. Most apartments and homes don’t have sufficient power sources, so try other outlets and unplug devices that aren’t being used.
LIGHTS DIMMING OR BURNING OUT OFTEN
Depending on the bulbs you use in your home lighting, you can encounter a number of common problems, including:
- That some lights are too bright or others are too dim. This could also mean you have some faulty wiring or a defective light source.
- If the wattage of a bulb is too high, it may burn-out often.
- If the bulb wattage isn’t correct, lights may flicker or turn on or off on their own.
- Too much total wattage if you have a dimmer switch.
- A potentially bad circuit.
High Electrical Bills
The cause of high electric bills can be hard to ascertain. Here are a few things you can try, but if your bill continues to be high or costs escalate, it could be worthwhile to contact an experienced electrician.
- Switch to another provider if available in your area.
- Try to identify devices or appliances using lots of power.
- Fixing leaks (if present) in your hot water system.
- Repair damaged wires and circuits.
OTHER HOUSEHOLD ELECTRICAL ISSUES
Some electrical issues are easy to diagnose but others are not. As a homeowner or apartment renter, an electrical issue within your home may be due to wiring hidden behind walls or even be outside your residence and underground. Possible issues might be
- Faulty Wiring junctions
- Buried wiring
- Receptacles that are ungrounded or improperly wired
- Knob and Tube Wiring – present in homes built before 1950
- Bad extension cords
- Double tapped/ Lugged Circuit Breakers
- Non-functional GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters)
- Subpanels that are incorrectly wired
Home electrical issues can be frustrating, expensive, and dangerous if they are not repaired properly. If you are experiencing any of these problems, call a professional electrician at Hedgehog Electric and we’ll happily come to check out the problem.