Your home electrical system probably works daily without a second thought from you. As with many things around the home, it’s only when things go wrong that you start to think about potential issues and find the number for your local reputable commercial electrician.
While this is an acceptable approach, it’s better to pre-empt the issues. It means avoiding the emergency call out charge and preventing an issue from occurring. There are two things you should be doing to prevent electrical issues in your home.
The first is to get an annual inspection from your electrician. They’ll spot issues and can fix them for you or give you advance warning of what is likely to need repairing.
Your second item is to be aware of the most common signs of an electrical problem, this will allow you to take steps before it becomes a serious issue.
Don’t forget that electrical issues are one of the most common causes of house fires.
1. Flickering Lights
If your lights flicker regularly; then your bulb ma need replacing. If this doesn’t solve it then you almost certainly have a wiring issue. The question is whether the issue is in the connections from the wiring to the light fitting or in the circuit itself.
You may need professional help to trace it.
2. Frequently Tripping Breakers
Your breakers are designed to trip when there is a fault on the circuit. Faults can be serious such as short circuits or overloads that are overheating the wiring. They can also be a result of a light bulb blowing!
The biggest clue is frequency. If your breaker is constantly blowing then you have an issue with the circuit. It will need to be traced and identified. You’ll want a voltage detector and a little electrical knowledge or call the professionals.
3. Funny Sounds
Funny sounds are never a good thing in a system that is supposed to operate silently. The same is true for water systems.
The most common funny sound is a buzzing noise. It’s most noticeable when you are by the socket or light switch. You may even hear or see a spark as you operate the switch. This suggests a short circuit in the wiring, where the live and neutral are close enough and unprotected to allow electrical transfer.
This can cause damage to your electrical components and even start a fire.
4. Fading & Discoloration
Faded sockets are a result of old age. This isn’t an issue in itself but the older your electrics are the more likely it is you’ll have issues.
If you see discoloration on sockets and switches then you’ll be looking at overheating. This is usually because the circuits are overloaded or the wiring has been damaged.
5. Festering Odor
Electrical burning creates a very distinct odor and it’s not pleasant. It’s important to be aware of this smell and, if you detect it, to shut off the affected circuit.
Burning is another sign of short circuits and overloads. The sooner you get professional help the better!