6 Signs There Could Be an Electrical Issue in Your Home

As homeowners, it’s hard to stay on top of every single problem in your house— especially when the problems are inside the walls and out of sight. However, there are clues to look for that tell you if there’s an electrical problem in your home.

Sometimes they’re loud and easily noticeable, like an outlet popping, or a breaker that trips when you use your microwave. Other issues are less noticeable. In this article, we’ll cover 6 possible electrical issues, so you can tell if you have any electrical issues in your home.

1. Flickering Lights

Any hour Services electrician working on an electrical panel

Flickering lights are caused by a few things. The most common is a loose electrical connection. This could be as simple as a loose light bulb or plug. Multiple lights flickering could be caused by a large appliance starting up, like an air conditioner.

In that case, it may be time to get an air conditioning tune up. If the lights in your entire house are flickering, then the issue might actually be in the breaker box of your home.

2. Warmer than Average Outlets or Switches

Most electrical appliances will generate some heat when in use. However, if you find the outlet itself getting hot, you could have a problem. If you notice excess heat coming from an outlet or switch cover plate, disconnect any plugs in an outlet, and turn off switches. The safest option is to stop using that outlet or switch until you can troubleshoot the issue.

However, dimmer switches can be the exception. It’s common for them to be warmer than other types of switches. Dimmers actively hold back energy and create resistance in order to control the amount of light. With that said, even dimmer switch cover plates should never be uncomfortably hot to touch. To learn more about outlet issues, check out this article.

3. A Burning Smell

If you detect a burning smell coming from a plug, outlet, or breaker box, you should take immediate action.

First, find out where the smell is coming from. Then cut power to that circuit by flipping the breaker, unplug anything connected to it, and get the issue resolved quickly. If you aren’t comfortable addressing the issue yourself, reach out to a professional ASAP!

4. Messy or Tangled Wiring

electrical panel with loose and messy wires

Well-organized internal wiring doesn’t function better than messy wiring. But sloppy wiring can be a red flag of rushed electrical work.

So, if you notice tangled lines or a junction box that looks like a big mess, it would be a good idea to look at the rest of the wiring and circuits in your home.

5. Painful Shocks When Touching Switches

If you feel a shock when flipping a switch in your home, that’s a sign the electrical system might not be properly grounded. You might notice it when you touch a switch for a lamp or ceiling fan. You could also feel it from metal things like your pipes or ductwork.

To avoid confusion, these shocks are more intense than static electricity you feel pulling laundry out of the dryer. If your electrical service is ungrounded but has three-prong receptacles, you won’t be grounding the appliances that need it.

6. Rodent Activity

No one likes to have rodents in their home for many reasons. But did you know that rodents can cause issues with your wiring? If you notice nesting material or rodent droppings near any electrical wiring in your home, inspect the wires to see if there are any chew marks on them.

Often, rodents will gnaw wiring until it is bare. Most likely the critter won’t live past that point, but you could be the one in for a shock when the exposed wire begins to spark or overheat as a result of the damage.

What if you can’t see or feel these things, but you’re still concerned?

If you’d like to have your electrical system evaluated by a professional, call to have an Electrical Inspection done on your home.

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Author: Karlie Fitzgerald
Copyright © 2022 by Any Hour Services


Feb 27th 2023

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