Over the last few decades, advancements in technology have made our homes a lot smarter. While modern electronics have definitely made life much easier, like any other piece of equipment, eventually you are going to need electrical repair services to keep your equipment functioning. If you’re noticing issues like flickering lights, higher monthly energy bills, and damaged appliances, electrical problems on your home circuit may be a concern.
Electrical issues can be a major inconvenience, not to mention a safety hazard. While something as simple as a broken light switch can be annoying to your family, in some cases, it could actually be an indication of a much more serious problem with your home’s wiring or breaker box. These types of issues tend to stay hidden until certain problems around your home suddenly appear.
While many home improvements make a great DIY project for homeowners, electrical repair work does not. Tackling electrical repair projects around your home might seem easy enough to manage yourself, but the truth is, it’s a task best left to the professionals. It doesn’t make sense to guess what the problem may be with your electrical system. You should have any concerns properly diagnosed by a professional to determine the best solution.
That’s because electrical repair can be extremely dangerous, and if you’re an inexperienced homeowner, you don’t have the skills to take on such a hazardous job alone. The good news is, scheduling electrical inspections is a safe, affordable way to diagnose issues with your system and get all necessary electrical repair work completed quickly. A quick search for “electrician near me” will pull up dozens of local electricians. Be sure to do your due diligence in selecting the right company for the job.
Check out our list below of the common electrical problems that homeowners may encounter. If you experience any of these issues, it may be time for you to consult with a professional electrician.
If you own an older home, it’s a good idea to get a new electrical panel installed. Doing so will help ensure that your home is receiving a more consistent supply of power that is equipped to handle the needs of the modern homeowner. Electrical inspections aren’t just for fixing current issues, they’re also important for preventing future problems from occurring. For example, an electrician will be able to tell you what size panel is appropriate for your home. Having the correct size panel ensures that you will be able to successfully expand your electrical needs as they grow over time.
There are many reasons why your electrical outlets could stop working. But the only way to properly diagnose and fix these issues is to schedule electrical inspections with a qualified electrician. If a tripped fuse is the problem, then you should be able to reset the breaker yourself. However, if a faulty wire is to blame, then a skilled technician will need to handle your electrical repair.
Light Installation that Flickers:
A loose lightbulb, faulty plug, or other issues could be the reason why your lights are flickering. However, if you’re also noticing a burning smell or hearing a buzzing noise, then it’s possible that you may have a loose or faulty circuit connection. You should immediately run an internet search for an “electrician near me” and find a local company that specializes in electrical inspections and electrical repair work. A loose or faulty circuit connection is a major fire hazard, so don’t wait to call in a professional.
Here are some of the most common issues that may cause your lights to start flickering:
Bad / Aging Fluorescent Ballast
The electrical voltage or current traveling to your lights is regulated by a fluorescent ballast. As this piece of technology starts to age, it becomes less efficient. Eventually, this may cause flickering lights and reduced lamp life.
A faulty current flow to your lights can happen when loose light switches or dimmers cause incomplete connections. If you have incandescent lights, a faulty switch is typically to blame. If you’re moving into a new home and notice that some of the light switches aren’t activating certain fixtures, this could be evidence that there is a fault in the outlet, circuit, or wiring. Speak with an electrician if you notice any issues with your switches. Something else to be on the lookout for is lights around your house that either seem too bright or too dim.
- Various types of lights that each have different wattage amounts (you should ensure that all of your globes are identical)
- Poor main neutral connection (this can create a number of issues within your home until it is fixed by an expert)
Bad Wiring –
Another sign of faulty wiring or loose terminal connections is flickering lights. If you cannot determine a clear reason why your lights would be flickering, it’s best to call an electrician to help diagnose the issue. He or she can let you know if a loose electrical connection is at fault, or if the problem can be attributed to some other damage. Bad wiring in your home can have deadly consequences. Make sure that you deal with the problem as soon as possible.
Recessed light that continues to go out is a sign of a larger issue. The lights are equipped with safety features that shut the power to the light off if it ever becomes too hot. If this occurs, you could be using too high of a wattage for the bulb, or the insulation contained in the ceiling may be too close to the bulb.
There are ways that you can check for excessive heat. You should do this from time to time to be safe.
- Insulation that is located too close to the light
- Poor wiring on the circuit
- Bad wiring on the power grid
- Excessive total wattage on one switch (dimmer switch)
- Poor connection on the circuit
Identifying the specific issue that is affecting your light installation can be difficult for someone who is inexperienced. If you’re running through bulbs left and right, then it’s probably worth your time to contact an electrician to help you locate the root cause of your lightbulb burnouts.
If your home was wired incorrectly, there will be several red flags that you should never ignore. For example, if you have to use an excessive number of extension cords or you hear a low buzzing noise when you turn on your installation, you should be extremely cautious. Call in a professional immediately to perform electrical inspections of your interior walls. He or she will be able to tell you if faulty wiring is putting you and your family at risk.
Another potential issue to be on the lookout for is backstabbed wiring. While the problem is a minor one, it can cause some concern with your outlets over time. A quick search for an “electrician near me” will give you a list of qualified electricians who can conduct a physical inspection of your outlets and determine if your outlets have backstabbed wiring. This is a situation where outlets are installed with wires that are pushed into slots towards the back of the receptacle. While technically there is nothing legally wrong with this process, over time, vibration, heat expansion, and aging can cause the wires to eventually slip out of place. The issue is a simple one to resolve. A professional electrician can pull the wire out of the terminal and install a screw terminal to make sure that the connections are properly secured.
As your electrical sockets get older, general wear and tear can cause the metal contacts to loosen as a result of repeated use. If your plugs are hanging out of your sockets, this is a clear problem that should be addressed. That’s because eventually, this can cause you to have incomplete connections that shut off your electronics and cause your phones or batteries to not charge properly.
If not taken care of, eventually loose connections cause excess carbon to build up within your socket because of arcing between the contact. This can create a potential safety concern for you and your family. That is why if you notice a sagging plug in your home, you should take it as a warning sign that you’re due for an outlet replacement.
Replacing an outlet is a lot simpler than installing a new one. In fact, some homeowners make this a weekend DIY project using a few tools and a basic technical guide. However, if you don’t feel comfortable managing this job yourself, you should contact the pros to assist you. With more and more USB devices coming on the market each day, you might want to consider upgrading to an outlet that features USB ports.
Overloaded Circuits / Tripped Breakers:
The circuits in your home were made to handle a certain amount of power. If for some reason your circuits hit their capacity, they may trip. When this occurs, the power will shut off in the entire house or certain areas of your home. But don’t worry! This is a design feature of your circuits meant to keep you safe. But if tripped breakers are a common occurrence, you should consider having additional outlets or a new electrical panel installed.
Hairdryers and microwaves are high-wattage items in your home that can trip your circuit breaker if they are both consuming power from the same source. If your circuit breaker trips, you at least know that the equipment is working as intended— stopping a more serious danger in its tracks before the problem has a chance to evolve into a bigger issue.
Although the situation can be pretty annoying, you should take note of what piece of equipment you were using when the circuit breaker tripped in the first place. If your hairdryer triggered the tripped breaker, try using it on a lower setting. You should also make sure that you are limiting the amount of electrical usage on a particular circuit each time that high wattage devices are in use.
Here are a few tips for preventing circuit overload:
- Avoid daisy-chaining power boards
- Unplug devices that are not currently in use (for example, phone chargers still use power even when not connected to the device)
- Don’t plug too many devices into a single circuit. It’s best to spread your electrical needs around to other places in the home
- Be careful about how you connect certain devices in your home. Consider what’s currently in use and what may be unnecessary altogether
Installing More Outlets
While most modern homes feature plenty of outlets, older homes usually only have one or two in a single space. If you’re looking for a quick, low-cost solution, extension cords and power strips are a common solution. However, you should make sure that any cords or cables that you use are in good condition and will be able to safely handle your electrical load. To ensure your equipment is up to the job, you should choose cords and power strips that use a lower gauge (thicker wire). A 14-gauge cable is recommended.
While extension cords and power strips work great as a temporary solution, unfortunately, they can also look unsightly and ruin the aesthetics of your space. If your room generally has low-foot traffic in terms of visitors in your home, this may not present a major issue. But in larger rooms where your guests will congregate, cords and power strips will likely stick out like sore thumbs.
If you google “local electrician near me”, you will be able to find local electricians in your area who can install additional electrical outlet receptacles for you. To ensure that your wiring is up to code, you should have your electrical receptacles installed by a licensed professional. A properly trained electrician will have the skills to run your wiring and add additional holes for your new outlets. Be sure to hire a company with a good reputation that guarantees the quality of their work.
Damaged GFCI Outlets and Breakers:
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are usually found in bathrooms and kitchens. These particular outlets feature red reset and test buttons to help reduce the risk of electrical shock. Electrical shocks typically occur when a person is in the process of turning a device on or off. This can happen when there is an issue with the appliance or with the wiring. If your reset button frequently pops, this may be an indication that you have a hazardous situation happening with your circuits that requires immediate attention.
How to Find a Quality Electrician Near Me
A healthy electrical system is a key to having a safe home. The sooner you schedule your electrical repair, the sooner you can have any problems with your system resolved. While most of the issues we discussed are fairly easy to resolve, managing any kind of electrical work on your home if you are inexperienced can be dangerous.
If electrical problems persist in your home, you should consider contacting Home Team Electric to take care of the electrical repair work on your property. Our team of master electricians is on standby, ready, and willing to assist you with these common electrical repair issues. Taking care of electrical problems in your home isn’t a task you can afford to ignore.
To keep your home operating and in its best condition, call for an inspection or consultation today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about maintaining a safe and efficient home.