If your Palm Springs home is old or if you’ve recently had renovations done, your electrical wiring may be impacted. Bad or faulty wiring is a pain, but it can also be dangerous. Wires that are loose or frayed can cause outages in your home. You can also face the possibility of an electrical fire.
Your electrician should inspect every aspect of your electrical system, from your breakers or fuses down to the wires. Your electricity must flow in one direction in order to remain safe and effective. Before you hire a contractor, there are several clues that tell you your wires are in peril.
Your Circuit Breakers Trip More Frequently
Once in a while, your power may go out. This can happen from time to time, especially if your building is older. Circuit breakers can only handle so much stress from an overload of electricity supply, so when this happens, your breaker trips. Having a lot of appliances or too many lights on at once can cause this. Other external factors, such as fallen trees or a nasty storm, may be to blame. But when a circuit breaker trips more often than usual, the trouble is in your wiring. At this point, you should call one of our electricians for a thorough inspection.
You Notice Burn Marks Around Your Outlets and Walls
Burn marks that appear on your walls and outlets are the two topmost signs of a major problem. Your wiring could be loose, frayed or poorly installed. A burnt, smokey smell that accompanies any form of discoloration indicates that you have an urgent problem in need of immediate attention. At this point, emergency electrical service is warranted.
You Hear Buzzing Sounds and See Flickering Lights
Buzzing noises are normal at times as are occasional flickering or dimming lights. But what’s not normal is when the buzzing gets louder. If you notice constant loud buzzing that happens during active electric use, you have a problem that needs attention. When flickering lights start buzzing, your wiring is out of date. A wiring update should be done by a professional electrician.
You See Wiring That’s Worn, Frayed or Chewed
The above signs indicate that there’s something wrong with your wires. If your home recently became a secret haven for certain pests, that may be a potential cause for your problem. Rats and mice that make a way into your home during the winter months will take refuge inside your walls. Unfortunately, these little pests can gnaw and chew at your electrical wiring and cause you to lose power immediately. Worse yet, an electric fire can result as tiny sparks escape.
Wiring that is sloppy or poorly installed can present similar problems. And while it’s true that the initial installation is never going to look completely perfect, it’s important to note that if it looks loose or excessively sloppy, you may want to have it checked out. A licensed professional can shed more light on the situation and tell you if rewiring is needed to fix the problem. Anything loose or haphazardly installed should be upgraded or replaced.
Having All Wires Checked
Wiring should be checked periodically, especially if you notice any of the above signs. A professional diagnosis of the problem can be performed once tests are done. An electrician must follow several steps to ensure quality, safety and efficiency during the process.
There are several places where your wires are connected to ensure a smooth, even flow that’s safe and efficient. These places are your circuit breakers, your ground outlets and your terminal. Each of these devices has its own function to perform where the wiring is concerned. Your circuit breaker and ground outlets are both responsible for keeping electric flow safe at all times. Your ground outlet works with the breaker to halt the flow when your electrical system gets overwhelmed by exertion. This happens in cases where too many appliances and devices are used and is a protective measure against disaster.
Have the Power Turned Off
Cutting off your power is the first thing that you should do. For safety reasons, our technicians will do this when electric work is being done. Prior to checking for loose or worn-out wires, every switch on the breaker box must be turned to the off position to prevent severe electric shock.
Check for Reversed Connections
Step two involves checking for any reversed connections within the home. If your home is a modern one, then the odds are great that you have a grounded outlet with three prongs instead of two. Each prong has a slot of its own: a long one, a short one and a rounded slot. Older homes typically have two: one long and one short. In any case, you can have a simple test run. It involves checking the black and white wires. The black wire is the hot one and must be firmly connected to the brass terminal while the white wire is connected to the silver one. Both terminals are inside the outlet for safety and security.
Have Your Grounded Outlets Tested
Grounded outlets serve as protection against electrical accidents. In fact, when something goes wrong within your wiring, the electricity flows directly outside and right into the ground only to be received by a grounded outlet. The grounded outlet then absorbs the effect so that your home is unaffected. Most states have laws that specifically say that every home or building must have grounded outlets or face a fine.
Any homes that were built before the 1950s are least likely to have grounded outlets. In this case, ground fault circuit interrupters will suffice. They are a safe alternative to ground circuits and are in compliance with most local building codes. GFCIs can automatically cut off your power when trouble arises within your wiring, and they can still keep you safe from harm.
Even in newer homes, grounded outlets may have wires that are faulty or improperly connected. This can have dangerous consequences for your home when it comes to your service. In this case, our technicians can run a simple receptacle tester, which will check for an open ground. If one is found, then a wire may need to be tightened or replaced.
Check Terminal Wiring
Ideally, your terminals should have only one wire connected to them. This helps avoid an unnecessary risk of something getting jolted loose. Also, tightening more than a single wire is extremely challenging, even for the most skilled electricians. One wire can be tightened safely and without much hassle.
However, that is not always the case. There are circumstances where terminals have a lot more than just a single wire. In this instance, you can have the wires tied with a special part known as a pigtail. It keeps all wires together safely, without compromising your electrical output.
Wiring is the lifeblood of your home. Having it installed by a professional electrician ensures quality and safety for your home service. If you feel you need an upgrade, call Home Team Electric. We also offer lighting, surge protectors, smoke detectors, ceiling fans, and code compliance services in Palm Springs, CA.