Electrical problems are some of the most-terrifying and dangerous aspects of home maintenance and repairs. While we treat electricity as a benign, everyday amenity, it’s still just as dangerous as the day it was discovered. While we’ve come a long way towards preventing shocks and fire hazards with safety mechanisms, there’s no guarantee that a malfunction can’t lead to serious injury or even death, this is why it’s so crucial to properly assess problems and take care of rewiring whenever it’s necessary. If you aren’t sure when to act, here are a few signs that will help you gauge the extent of electrical problems.
Lightbulb sockets burning out
One of the most-common and seemingly alarming signs you might see in your home includes lightbulbs burning out in sockets. It can make it scary to remove them, though they probably aren’t dangerous. This problem is often caused by fluctuations in voltage coming into the socket.
The good news is that this issue is easy to spot. The bad news is that you definitely need your electrical wiring checked out. It’s a sign of problems with overall wiring that need to be taken care of before further lightbulbs are destroyed along with their sockets.
Frequent blown fuses
A blown fuse isn’t an uncommon sight. We use plenty of electrical appliances in our everyday lives, and it’s likely that we’ll use even more in the future. Many of these appliances use a lot of electricity, which could be the main problem. However, if your fuses blow a little bit too often, it could be a sign of bigger problems.
If your circuit breaker is too old for the growing number of appliances you have, you might have to replace it outright. If moving household appliances to different sockets doesn’t help, you should give your electrician a call.
If you’ve ever felt a shock when touching a cord or appliance, you should consider yourself lucky. If it were a strong enough electrical current, you could have sustained serious damage. However, small shocks aren’t something to scoff at, as they’re a symptom of a bigger problem with your electrical wiring or appliance.
Take note of any shocks that feel stronger than static electricity. You shouldn’t double check a shock when you feel it, as this could be a dangerous move to take. Instead, do your best to reduce contact with the cord or appliance and try to shut the power down for that particular outlet or area. Only once you’re sure that it’s safe should you try to pull out the cord. When the coast is clear, call an electrician to take a look at it. They’ll be able to approach the problem safely, and you won’t have to risk injury.
Outlets are sparking
Sparking outlets are a common phenomenon and aren’t necessarily a sign of bad electrical works or problems. However, if they’re common or intense enough, they can be dangerous. If your outlets are short-circuiting frequently, heat can build up and cause damage to the insulation.
When the plastic around the outlet melts, you have a clear sign of a major problem. The heat is reaching dangerous levels and could be a potential fire hazard. In this case, calling an experienced local electrician should be your top priority, as you could end up with a fire on your hands. Take care of this issue before it gets out of control and causes further damage to your electrical works or home.
There’s a burning smell
There’s nothing that can cause you to panic quite like the smell of fire. It’s an alarming sign that jolts every homeowner awake and keeps them on edge. If it’s coming from an appliance or an electrical outlet, you’ll want to act fast. It could be caused by an electrical short, though recognizing it may prove to be challenging.
When something burns for a while without a visible flame, you’ll have a hard time finding the exact source, especially if it’s electrical in nature. Most of these types of electrical shorts happen in the outlet, which means you won’t see any visible signs. If you’ve checked the oven, fire place, and any other appliance or accessory that uses heat and you can’t find the source, you should start suspecting the outlets. Contact an electrician to inspect them and figure out where the burning smell is coming from. This way, you’ll be able to fix the issue securely and without delays.
Taking care of electrical issues should be at the top of your list for priority home maintenance. There’s no messing with electricity with how dangerous it can be. Whether we’re talking about electrical shocks or fire hazards, you should try to avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. With professional help, you can rewire faulty areas of your home or redo the electrical works completely, and make your home much safer and prevent further issues.