10 Common Electrical Problems To Look Out For
When it comes to the most common electrical problems, the safety of you and your family is a priority. Some indicators of the most common electrical problems include high electric bills, flickering lights, and damaged electrical appliances. All of these signs are indicative of electrical problems on your home circuit.
Today, Right Electrical Services, LLC will be detailing some of the most common electrical problems you should be looking out for in your home. We’ll also be highlighting the most appropriate solutions to these frustrating problems. Let’s get started!
10 Common Electrical Problems and Fixes
Have you noticed any of the following electrical problems in your home? If so, you may have been putting off fixing the issue. But, luckily, some of these electrical problems can be fixed yourself! Let’s take a closer look.
1. A Loose Outlet Plug
The first most common electrical problem that our electricians see in homes are loose outlet plugs. While this is a particularly harmless electrical problem to have, it can be frustrating to deal with as it can affect the outlet’s ability to function.
So what can you do about a loose outlet plug? First, we highly recommend turning off the breaker. Next, double-check for voltage to the outlet itself (you can either use a volt meter or simply plug something in). After that, unscrew the outlet’s cover plate and add outlet shims until the outlet is completely flush with the wall.
2. A Broken Light Switch
Another particularly harmless electrical problem that our electricians see on a near-daily basis is broken light switches. Nobody likes for the lights not to work in their home and, unfortunately, many homeowners assume that there is a problem with their electrical system when this problem occurs. In many cases, however, a broken light switch is to blame.
In the event that you discover that you have a broken light switch in your home, simply turn off the circuit breaker (the light will go out when you choose the right one). Next, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the faceplate before using a Phillips head to remove the light switch itself. Finally, test the two wires that are connected to the screw for electricity. If it’s safe, disconnect the light switch before reassembling.
3. Frequent Electrical Surges
Electrical surges are common and can be caused by anything from lightning strikes to bad electrical wiring in the house. While an actual electrical surge lasts only a microsecond, frequent electrical surges can actually damage the electrical components connected to your home, reducing their overall life expectancy dramatically.
So what can you do about frequent electrical surges in your home? If you are currently experiencing frequent electrical surges, the culprit is likely an electrical device that is connected to the home grid or perhaps even the wiring itself. Start by removing any cheaply made devices or powerboards from the outlet in order to see if this prevents the surges. If this turns out to not be the case, it’s time to contact a professional electrician.
4. Tripping Circuit Breaker
Tripping circuit breakers are another common electrical problem that is typically caused by high wattage items such as microwaves and hairdryers. This is particularly common when other power-consuming items are all being used on the same source. Luckily, a circuit breaker is designed to protect you, your family, and your home so when it does trip, this is a sign that it is doing its job. Still, this can be a frustrating electrical problem to have- especially when it happens frequently.
When trying to fix a tripping circuit breaker, you’ll want to first identify what you were using when it tripped. If it was a hairdryer, for example, try using your device on a lower power setting. Alternatively, you should try to limit the power electrical usage on a single circuit whenever high watt devices are in use. For more information on some of the most common causes of a tripping circuit breaker check out our blog post, Circuit Breaker Tripping? Here’s Why.
5. A Circuit Overload
One of the biggest common causes of frequent circuit breaker trips is actually the overloading of power boards. Most homes, even newer ones, actually don’t have enough power points to cater to, let’s say, a complete home entertainment unit setup. In the event that circuit breakers in your home are tripping frequently, the problem could be down to a circuit overload.
When it comes to a circuit overload, it’s all about prevention. You can prevent a circuit overload in your home by taking a few preventive steps such as:
- Removing devices that aren’t in use.
- Don’t overburden a single circuit. Instead, spread your electrical needs around.
- Don’t daisy-chain power boards.
- Be strategic in the way you connect electrical devices around your home. Think about what is currently in use and what is unnecessary.
6. Electrical Shocks
Although it is a common electrical problem, electrical shocks are no laughing matter. Although these electrical shocks are usually pretty mild, they are a good reminder that electricity can be dangerous when not utilized properly. Electrical shocks occur most frequently when turning an electrical device on or off.
Experiencing electrical shocks in your home? The issue is likely with the appliance itself, or perhaps the appliance’s wiring. You can test this by plugging in another device to the same outlet to see if the same results occur. That being said, you will be risking another electrical shock in doing so. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you just contact a licensed electrician to deal with the problem the moment you notice it.
7. A High Electrical Bill
As we noted earlier in this blog post, a high electrical bill is a common electrical problem. This is a particularly frustrating problem because, for most homeowners, it can be a mystery as to what is causing your electrical bill to be so high. Don’t worry though! Our electricians can easily help you identify the cause and fix the problem!
Reducing the overall cost of your monthly electrical bill is found in taking a few easy steps, including:
- Identifying any electrical devices that could be causing frequent power surges
- Switching to a more cost-effective electrical provider
- Unplugging appliances when not in use
- Repairing damaged wiring or circuits
8. Light Bulbs That Are Burning Out Too Often
As a common electrical problem, there are a number of different reasons that your home’s light bulbs may be burning out too often. For one, the wattage of the bulb itself may be too high. Secondly, the insulation may be too close to the light. Other possible reasons for this include bad wiring on the circuit, bad wiring on the mains, or a poor connection to the circuit if there is flickering as well.
When it comes to light bulbs that are burning out too often, diagnosing the exact problem can be a bit tricky for non-professionals. In the event that you’re going through light bulbs left and right, it is probably in your best interest to reach out to a qualified Raleigh electrician sooner rather than later. They can help diagnose the exact issue, repairing the problem.
9. Recessed Lights Going Off and Coming Back On
Recessed lighting, much like downlights, is equipped with safety devices that will cut power to the light whenever the light gets too hot. If you find that you are experiencing this common electrical problem, it is likely that either you’re using too high a wattage on the bulb or that the insulation in the ceiling is too close to the bulb itself.
In order to take care of this common electrical problem, you need to stay wary of when your recessed lights are overheating. To do this, ask yourself these questions frequently:
- What is the total wattage on the circuit?
- Are the lights insulated properly?
- Is excessive heat being produced?
Seeing as overheating recessed lighting can be a huge risk for an electrical fire, be on the lookout for common signs of overheating lights.
10. Warm Outlets or Switches
Have you noticed that the electrical outlets and/or switches in your home are warm to the touch? If so, this can be a potentially dangerous electrical problem to face. Unless it’s a dimming switch, warm outlets are a serious safety concern.
Due to the danger presented by a warm outlet or switch, your best bet when fixing the issue is to call a licensed electrician in your area immediately. Don’t put this problem off!
When Electrical Problems Persist, Call the Expert Electricians at Right Electrical Services!
While you may be tempted to take on these common electrical problems on your own, some of these issues are best left to a professional. When your electrical problems persist, even after you’ve given your best attempt at fixing them yourself, it’s time to call the experts at Right Electrical Services, LLC! Call us today at (919) 359-1017 or request an appointment online. We’ll be happy to help!