Electrician Tips: Common Residential Electrical Problems | Wilmington, NC
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Every household in Wilmington, NC, sooner or later runs into household electrical issues. Whether it is simply a tripped power circuit or loose outlet plugs, or something more serious, everyone at some point will encounter an issue with their homes electrical system. Some of these problems are easily solved at home, while others will require the services of a licensed professional electrician. Let us examine some of the most common electrical issues a homeowner might experience, starting with the least dangerous issues and then covering the hazardous ones.
Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping
You may find yourself frequently resetting the same breaker over and over again. Tripping of breakers is a sign you’re using too much wattage on the same circuit. High wattage appliances include AC units, microwaves, or a blow dryer. Oftentimes the circuit will trip when turning on one of these high power devices while using other power. Multiple appliances or devices drawing too much power can trip a circuit not designed to provide that much power. Even plugged in devices not being used can draw on your circuit, for example, phone chargers. This problem is common in rooms that use power strips with multiple outlets for a single circuit, as the room was not designed to provide power to that many devices. Keep in mind that your circuit breaker is an important safety measure and it only “trips” when something goes wrong. You may have to call a pro to deal with the causes of your circuit breaker tripping. Only an electrician can bring peace of mind that your home’s power system is set to provide the right amount of power your home needs.
Loose or Broken Outlet Plugs
If you have an outlet that seems to be broken, check your breaker panel first. If your breaker hasn’t tripped you are dealing with a broken outlet. If the outlet does not work chances are it has loose wiring. A professional from Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC can rewire your outlet with ease. It is rare that an outlet needs to be replaced unless it is an older outlet. If your outlet is simply loose it may need shims to prevent movement.
Electrical Shocks and Surges
Anyone with a computer knows the value and importance of a surge protector. Many electrical surges are the result of lightning strikes or damaged power lines. Yet bad wiring can be the cause of surges as well. Your home’s power can sag or dip due to faulty wiring at home. This type of wiring damage can cause more energy to surge through the lines than is needed. This is the kind of problem you want to call an electrician for. If you’re getting shocked when turning a device on or off this is a sign of a serious electrical issue, the kind you want to call the professionals of Mister Sparky.
Light Bulbs That Burn Out Often
If your light bulbs burn out often, it could be a sign of multiple possibilities. One possible cause is bad wiring on the circuit or the mains. Another possible cause is the wattage of the bulb is not compatible with the light fixture. This last cause is something you can deal with yourself by simply replacing the burnt-out bulb with the correct wattage bulb. You could be dealing with a bad primary neutral connection. Figuring out why your bulbs go out fast can be tricky for the untrained unless it’s the simple problem of being a bulb of the wrong wattage. If you have this problem it is time to call an electrician.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
This can be the hallmark sign of a poor connection. This problem can lead to eventual arcing, which is loose or corroded connections that can result in sparking and overheating, both of which can lead to a home fire. Lights dimming and flickering may seem to the inexperienced like a simple problem, but it can be a deadly problem, one best left to a licensed electrician.
Warm Outlets or Switches
Only a dimming switch should be warm. If you have warm outlets it is time to call a licensed professional as warm outlets are the sign of a fire hazard. Warm outlets can because of too many appliances being plugged in. If this is not the case and your outlet is warm, it could be the sign of broken infrastructure or damaged wiring. Loose wiring can cause a warm outlet due to the electricity flowing inside.
Frequently Tripping Breakers
An overloaded circuit is the most common reason for a circuit breaker tripping. This occurs when you have too much power drawing on one circuit. If you have too many appliances or devices on one circuit, it will overload. This is a safety precaution and done by design, it protects you and your home from a fire. Older homes may have fuses and these work on the same principle as a circuit breaker. If you have your circuit breakers tripping often this is a serious warning sign that you need to call an electrician. Only a licensed electrician can determine what is causing your breaker to trip often, and to rule out any potential fire hazards.
Simple Short Circuit
While some appliances such as an AC unit or a hairdryer can trip or cause a short circuit, it could be your electrical system causing the issue. A short in the wiring or outlet is the possible culprit and needs to be addressed by a professional.
Electricity is not only powerful but also highly dangerous. When dealing with household electrical issues, it is always best to call in a licensed professional electrician, to take care of the problem. You want to ensure that not only is the job done correctly, but you also want to ensure your own safety by having a pro do the work for you. If you have any of the above electrical issues let the electrician professionals at Mister Sparky handle the issue. Call us today with any questions or service-related issues.