Home electrical problems can be annoying and outright dangerous. At least 51,000 fires a year are electrical-based, causing over $1 billion in property damage. Fixing electrical problems can be intimidating for the average homeowner, which is understandable.
Learning the basics of electrical problems can at the very least save you some time and money when it’s time to hire an electrician. We have five common electrical problems that you can diagnose, some you can fix.
1. Power Surge
This is something we all have experienced at least once due to lightning striking a power line. Usually, these surges only last briefly or for a few hours. The electrical grid will automatically alert the electric company of a surge.
When your power is out longer than that, it could be something was fried along the way. Power surges can knock out any of your appliances or electronics without a surge protector.
2. Overloaded Circuit
This is almost always going to be due to using the wrong lightbulb in a socket or too many devices on a power strip/extension cord. Make sure when you replace a light bulb that you are using the same wattage. Even if it initially works when you turn it on, the higher watts will cause damage to the socket and melt electrical wires, potentially causing a fire.
If you’ve overloaded a socket or outlet, you’ll need to hire a professional electrician to get it fixed. The damage may be extensive enough to need rewiring done in your house. Electrician Randwick would be a great place to inquire about rewiring and testing circuits.
3. Faulty Switches
If your light switch stops working, it might be due to faulty wiring. The wires may not have been insulated properly, became corroded, and gotten burnt out. It may not be that serious, though.
The problem may be a loose connection or a tripped wall outlet on the same circuit. You can fix this on your own, you’ll just need to follow proper safety precautions. Make sure you turn the breaker switch off to that room, then investigate the switch.
4. Light Flickering
On a similar note, if you have a light fixture that is flickering, it could also be frayed wiring. Again, start with the breaker switched off for the room, take a flathead screwdriver and push up on the tab inside the lightbulb socket. This should fix a loose contact point on the bulb.
If your lights flicker only when other appliances are turned out, it could be a slight overload on the circuit.
5. Tripping the Breaker
The circuit breaker trips to protect your electrical wiring from an overload. It becomes a problem when the circuit breaker won’t reset and trips instantly. That means you probably have a short in the circuit.
One of the most common culprits is large appliances, like microwaves that are malfunctioning or not on a dedicated line. Older circuit breakers can get weak and trip during normal usage. You’ll need an electrician to look at it to test it out.
Preventing Home Electrical Problems
This list of home electrical problems isn’t comprehensive, but it should narrow down common symptoms. If your electrical problems are chronic and nothing you do will fix the problem, call a professional.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore an electrical problem, it could get worse or become a huge drain on your light bill. Kill two birds with one stone by improving your home energy conservation and saving money at the same time.