We cannot underestimate the dangers of unchecked faulty electrical systems in homes, as, according to a report from the Electrical Safety Foundation International organization, in the US alone, electrical system malfunctions cause over 28,000 house fires every year. These incidents cause the deaths of hundreds and injure people by the thousands, and even the cases of house fires that do not result in bodily harm still cost over $700 million in property damage per year. Ensuring that your electrical systems are working without issue is a vital part of taking care of your home and your family’s safety. That being the case, it can also be hard for the average homeowner to know when to call an electrician, so here are some telltale signs that it might be time to call a professional electrician to look at your home.
If a faulty lightbulb is not the cause of a flickering light, then the small annoyance should not be taken lightly as it can be a serious symptom of wiring issues. A best-case scenario would have the fault in the fixture itself, but the underlying problem can be more problematic issues such as a frayed wire or even your home using more watts than what your outlets can support, two potential malfunctions that could easily lead to a house fire. If you are unsure of the reason for a flickering light, then you should call a professional electrician to have a look.
This might seem obvious to some, but if you receive an electrical shock by touching any outlet, electrical surface, or switch, then it’s time to have a professional make a proper assessment of your home’s electrical wiring. A faulty wiring system that can give you an electric shock can electrocute a person, so you should remove yourself from the area and call an electrician immediately.
A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, serves as a failsafe that prevents electrocution if electricity from an outlet comes into contact with water. Naturally, the installation of these types of fail-safes is in outlets near water. If you notice your outlets near the sink and bathroom lack GFCIs, you should call your electrician to upgrade them, not only for safety but also to keep up with electrical code compliance.
Even though electrical wiring in homes lasts a significant amount of time, wiring systems over 20 years old seriously need revamping. Older system components might still hold up against general degradation, but that is not enough in a world where electrical consumption continuously grows in residential areas. Old wiring systems cannot support the amount of energy used by modern appliances and are prone to malfunctions such as frequent circuit breaker trips and overloading.
Extension cords are convenient tools commonly used in homes to transfer power from outlets to appliances that would otherwise be out of reach. Despite this, you should not think of extension cords as tools that were created for the long term. The usage of multiple extension cords at the same time can cause overheating, which can cause an electrical house fire. You should consider calling an electrician to your home to install more outlets if you find yourself relying on the usage of several of these cords for your appliances.
A fuse being blown is not immediately alarming for an electrician. Still, if you find a particular outlet that is constantly being tripped, it might be a sign of a more significant issue. Frequently blown fuses are a sign that there might be a general issue or faulty wiring in one or several of your home’s circuits. However, overloading the system with excessive electricity usage or using too much power simultaneously via power-heavy appliances can also result in frequently blown circuits.
If you are experiencing any of the above situations or you have a general sense of needing our expert opinion on your home's electrical, please call us or schedule an appointment at the link below.