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Electrical problems are one of the leading causes of house fires in Wilmington, NC, and the rest of the United States. It’s estimated that fires due to electrical problems damage or destroy roughly 51,000 homes annually and kill and injure hundreds of people in the process. Although some electrical problems may seem like little more than an inconvenience, you simply can’t afford to ignore them. Fortunately, an emergency electrician can diagnose and repair problems before they can lead to disaster. Be on the lookout for the following signs that it’s time for you to call one:
1. Tripped breakers are a common occurrence in your home.
Your circuit breakers help protect your home from damage due to electrical problems. Power surges, overloading an outlet, and lightning strikes can all overload circuits, causing the breaker to trip. Occasional breaker trips are nothing to worry about; however, if the same breaker needs reset over and over again, there may be cause for concern. Check to see if you have too many items plugged into the outlet connected to the breakers. If so, make adjustments and see if the problem resolves. If it doesn’t or a circuit does not seem to be overwhelmed, contact an emergency electrician.
2. You notice singed wires in your fuse box.
Once every month, take a minute to inspect the breakers and wires in your fuse box. Singed wires are a red flag that something is wrong with your electrical system. Report the problem to an emergency electrician right away. You should also call if you notice that any wires appear stripped or otherwise damaged.
3. Your lights flicker when you turn on your appliances.
Sometimes, lights dim when you temporarily overload a circuit in your home. For example, if you are using an electrical power tool to fix something in your kitchen and have plugged it into the same outlet as other appliances, the lights may dim as a result of the temporary overload. In cases where flickering lights are not linked to a new appliance or tool being plugged in, you should seek the help of an electrician.
4. There is a mysterious smoky smell in the air.
A burning smell of unknown origins could be a sign that there is an electrical fire within your walls. Switch off the power to your home and call the fire department right away. Once the firefighters have inspected and cleared the area, keep the power off and get in touch with an emergency electrician to determine the cause of the fire and make the necessary repairs.
5. Your power outlets feel warm.
Before you plug anything into your electrical outlet, put your hand over the cover. If it feels warm to the touch, call an emergency electrician in Wilmington, NC, before you use the outlet again. Warm outlets could indicate faulty wiring that has the potential to start a fire.
6. There is a buzzing sound inside of your walls.
Buzzing or hissing in your walls could be a sign of a bee infestation, but more than likely, your home’s electrical system is the cause. An emergency electrician can determine whether the sound is due to something minor like loose screws rattling in the terminals or a more serious wiring issue.
7. You get zapped when you plug items into your outlets.
From time to time, the static buildup can cause a minor shock when you plug an item into a power outlet. More frequent shocks should be reported to an electrician. The problem could be related to a damaged circuit, electrical current instability, or a broken cord. A professional can figure out what the issue is and address it before serious problems arise.
8. You notice sparks when you plug in items.
Minor sparking can happen even when there is nothing wrong with your electrical system. If the sparks are very large, persist for more than a second, or are white or yellow instead of blue, a more serious issue may be at play. Call an electrician before you use the outlet again.
9. You find yourself frequently replacing light bulbs.
All light bulbs burn out eventually but if you are changing the bulb in one particular fixture more frequently than the rest of your home, loose writing or other potentially dangerous electrical problems could be to blame. A licensed electrician can figure out what’s wrong, take care of the issue and save you from the expense of all those extra bulbs.
Electrical outlets that are black, rusty or loose should be examined and repaired by an emergency electrician, as these visible imperfections could be signs of a serious electrical problem. If you have an outlet that is completely dead or a light switch that isn’t working, check the breakers and reset as needed. When a visit to the fuse box doesn’t solve the problem, call a professional for help.
10. Your home has recently suffered water damage.
A leaky roof or flash flood can cause serious damage to the wiring in your home. Don’t use outlets that have come in contact with water until you have an electrician inspect your house.
11. Your power is out and your electricity provider can’t help.
Accidents, power outages, heatwaves, and severe cold snaps can all lead to power failures. Your electricity provider may also need to switch your power off to make necessary repairs. When the power goes out, contact your provider to find out if the problem is on their end. If it’s not, call an electrician to come out and assess the situation.
12. You find rodents in your home.
An exterminator is the professional to call to eliminate rodents, but you should also call an emergency electrician after the pests have been dealt with. Rodents often chew through wiring and damage electrical systems. A complete inspection can give you peace of mind that your furry intruders haven’t put your home at risk.
If you’ve observed any of the above signs in your home call Mister Sparky of Wilmington right away. Putting off repairs could lead to worse problems and put your family in danger. Contact us now to schedule an appointment with an experienced, licensed emergency electrician in Wilmington, NC.