4 Warning signs of Electrical Problems In Your Home
Prevention is always better than cure. This is absolutely true in the case of electrical problems. Being aware of the symptoms or warning signs of electrical problems enable you to carry out the maintenance that prevents major and life-threatening disasters like electrocution and house fires. Some of these repairs like replacing a flickering bulb can be carried out by homeowner. But, most electrical issues require professional handling. It is not advisable to tinker with your electrical wiring if you find any of the following warning signs of electrical problems
1. Flickering Lights
Flickering lights may simply be caused by a loose light bulb. Tightening or replacing the bulb may resolve the problem. If it still flickers, the problem may not be caused by the fixture. Light fixtures use very little energy in comparison to other major electrical appliances like coolers or heaters. When one or more of these are wired into the same circuit, the light may flicker when the appliance pulls more current. One way to solve this is to move the lights to a different circuit or you can consult an electrician for installing separate lines for major appliances.
An obvious warning sign, sparking is something that definitely grabs peoples attention. Pay attention to where the sparks are coming from. Is it the appliance or the electrical outlet? If the fault is with the appliance, obviously get it repaired by an authorised service person. But, if the spark is from the electrical outlet, you risk not just damaging the connected appliance; it may even result in a major electrical fire. Unplug the appliance immediately after switching off the power supply. If the main electrical panel or fuse box is sparking, call in a professional ASAP.
3. Funny Smells or Burnt Odours
A burnt smell indicates the beginning of fire damage. The source may be an outlet or even the main electrical panel in the house. Sniff out the origin of this problem and get it fixed by an electrical professional at the earliest. New appliances often smell funny the first time they are used. But odd smells from electrical outlets at any time is a definite cause for concern. Even if a heat producing appliance is connected to it, the outlet should not get hot to touch. If electrical outlets get hot even when nothing is plugged in, there might be an internal wiring problem. When you notice any smell, turn off the power supply to the outlet immediately and then unplug devices, if any, connected to it. Even if there is no smell, discoloration or scorch marks on your electrical outlets should be taken as a warning sign that the wiring in the house has been damaged in some way.
4. Circuit Breaker Trips
A circuit breaker is meant to trip. It is a preventive measure to shut off the power supply when there is an electrical overload. You can just switch it back on to get the power supply back on. But, frequently blown fuses or tripped breakers indicate a definite problem in your house. Identify the cause and rectify it. Sometimes the wiring in a specific outlet may be the problem and every time something is plugged in that outlet, the circuit breaker trips.