Electrical problems can be scary, especially if they affect your life and property. Fortunately, there are many common issues and solutions every homeowner should know about.
For example, if you notice your lights flickering occasionally or have power surges in your house, this is an indication that you have an electrical problem.
1. Ungrounded Outlets
A lot of older homes still have ungrounded outlets. These outlets don’t have a third, rounded hole on the face, so they aren’t grounded like grounded outlets.
To be grounded, an outlet must have two vertical slots for inserting prongs and a third hole along the edge that connects to a ground wire. This ground wire allows electricity to travel safely back to the electrical panel if something goes wrong, such as a short circuit.
If an outlet doesn’t have this ground wire, a renegade current of electricity can channel into nearby objects, people, and fabrics and cause house fires and electric shocks. This type of outlet is considered a serious hazard and should be replaced.
Ungrounded outlets have also been known to be accompanied by other electrical defects, such as frayed wiring or bad connections. These problems increase the risk of electrical shocks, arcing, and short circuits.
It’s important to note that if a home has a GFCI breaker, this will protect it from faulty ungrounded outlets. However, if the receptacle doesn’t have a ground wire or has been installed incorrectly, the GFCI will fail the inspection.
This is a problem because it defeats the purpose of the GFCI.
In addition, if a receptacle has been plugged in and someone accidentally steps in it, the GFCI will not trip to cut off the power. In this situation, a person could step in an energized conductor and be seriously injured.
While ungrounded outlets aren’t required by law, they can be dangerous and should be replaced. In addition to being a safety issue, ungrounded outlets can be a hassle and hard to maintain. This is why it’s recommended to replace all ungrounded outlets with grounded ones.
2. Faulty Wiring
Faulty wiring is a serious electrical problem that should be addressed by a licensed electrician as soon as possible. It can lead to fires, electrocution, and even death if left unchecked.
Many homes are plagued with outdated wiring that was designed to power the appliances and electronics of a different era. It’s important to have this system inspected on a regular basis, especially if you own a home that’s older than 50 years old.
The circuits in a well-wired home should be able to handle the load of most common household appliances. However, if you find that your circuits are constantly tripping the breaker, or if they keep blowing out the fuse, this could be a sign of a wiring issue.
An experienced electrician can check to make sure that your wires are up to code, insulated properly and not corroded. He can also look for signs of a previous owner’s negligence that could cause future problems.
A good electrician can also take a close look at your fuses and circuit breakers, which are safety devices that “break” the circuit if there’s too much current flowing through it. This can help you identify which circuits may be causing the trouble.
Another symptom of faulty wiring is hot outlets or switch plates. This is a hazard because it indicates that wires are getting too warm and melting, which can spark and lead to a fire.
A homeowner should get a thorough wiring inspection by a licensed electrician as soon as he or she buys a house. The inspector should take a close look at the insulation on the wires, check for corrosion in the service panel, and see if the wires are loose and frayed.
3. Power Outages
Power outages are one of the most common problems that homeowners face. They can disrupt your life, affecting communication, water, transportation, stores and banking services. They can also impact your need for lighting, heating, cooling, food and medicine refrigeration, cooking, and medical equipment.
There are many causes of power outages, and they can happen at any time. Some of these reasons include human error, natural disasters and equipment failures.
Severe weather, including hurricanes and floods, can damage power lines. This can cause outages and can result in blackouts that last for days or weeks.
Some of these outages can be prevented by checking your circuit breaker panel or fuse box to see if there is an issue. If there is, contact your utility company to report the outage and get restoration information.
It is important to keep a list of all the numbers for your electrical provider, as well as any other emergency contacts that you have. This will make it easy to find them in the event of a power outage and help you stay safe and connected during the process.
Another factor that can disrupt the flow of electricity is wildlife, including squirrels and snakes. These animals are attracted to the heat of electricity and can knock out power.
In some cases, people can cause power outages by putting too much demand on the system, which can overload the lines. This can be a problem during hot summer months when everyone’s air conditioner is running all the time.
It is a good idea to sign up for a local notification system so you can receive text or email alerts about outages. This will help you keep up to date on any changes and plan ahead for your needs.
4. Short Circuits
A short circuit is a situation where electricity flows along a shorter route than expected. This happens because the wire connection between two conductors has a low resistance.
The low resistance allows for an excess amount of voltage to stream through the power supply, causing the current to flow. This causes a short circuit to occur, resulting in a large volume of electricity flowing through an unexpected pathway that could cause serious damage.
Short circuits are typically caused by faulty wiring, broken insulation, and overloading the electrical system. These conditions can be dangerous and a cause of fires or electrocution.
Fortunately, you can protect your home against short circuits by installing circuit breakers or fuses in your circuit. These devices will automatically shut off the power when they detect a fault in your system.
Another way to prevent short circuits is to get annual maintenance for your wiring and appliances. This will help ensure that your wiring is in good condition and can’t be damaged by a short circuit. An electrical contractor from Shah Alam will prove to be helpful in this situation.
Wires in your home can become short circuited for many reasons, including deteriorating insulation, non-insulated staples or nails, and animals chewing on the circuit wiring. These can cause neutral and hot wires to come in contact with each other.
A short circuit is a serious problem that should be handled by licensed residential electricians, as it can be extremely dangerous and may result in electric shock or fire. If you suspect a short circuit in your home, call David Gray Electrical to schedule an inspection and fix the issue. We have a team of expert electrical technicians standing by to assist you with all your electrical needs.
5. Faulty Switches
Light switches aren’t the first things that pop up when you have an electrical problem, but they can be a good indicator of a larger problem. In fact, faulty switches are one of the leading causes of home fires.
The first thing you should do is turn off the power to the switch. Then, carefully remove the cover plate so that you can examine the switch. You may also need to unplug the wires coming from the switch to see if there is a problem with their connection.
Another way to test the switch is to use a continuity tester or multimeter. Using one of the probes, touch the lead to each brass terminal screw on a single-pole switch (one side has a dark screw and the other has a color that indicates it’s the common wire).
A multimeter can also be used by placing the leads on the side screws on a three-way switch. Make sure you label the common wire and the incoming and outgoing travelers before you begin, then verify your results.
If your multimeter or continuity tester reads more than 1 ohm, the switch is faulty. A switch that is faulty can prevent circuit current from flowing properly, which could cause your lights to flicker or not come on at all.
Loose toggles are another problem that can cause issues. They can wiggle back and forth when the switch is moved, causing wiring to fray or break. In addition, loose toggles allow electricity to travel from the wires to the switch without proper grounding, which can lead to a dangerous situation. Rather than risk a fire, you should have your toggles replaced by an electrician as soon as possible.