Electrical issues cause more than 50,000 home fires a year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Around 500 people die each year in electrical fires. More than 1,400 people sustain injuries.
Electrical problems can be dangerous and inconvenient even without a fire. Problems with your electrical wires should not get dismissed.
It can be hard to tell what’s going on when the lights flicker or an outlet stops working. Here are four of the most common electrical problems homeowners encounter, plus some electrical troubleshooting tips.
A Circuit Breaker Trips
You’re vacuuming the living room while your roommate reheats leftovers in the microwave. Then it happens: the circuit breaker trips and the lights go out.
A tripped circuit breaker is annoying, but it’s far from the worst-case scenario. A visit to the breaker box is better than a call to the fire department.
Next time, try not to use the vacuum cleaner and microwave at the same time. If there’s no way around it, unplug other items first. A tripped circuit is less likely if you’re only using the power sources you need.
Outlet Stops Working
You charge your smartphone every night when you go to bed, so why is the battery still low the next morning? If it’s not a problem with your charger or phone, then something has likely gone wrong with the power source.
The electrical wires could have gotten installed improperly decades ago. Even a single electrical wire that goes rouge can be enough to cause the whole outlet to shut down.
You shouldn’t try to fix this problem on your own unless you’re a certified electrician. Otherwise, call a professional. Avoid using the outlet in the meantime, especially if it’s sparking.
You Get Shocked
Most electrical shocks are painful but over quickly. They often happen at unexpected times, like when we’re flipping off a light switch before going to bed at night.
Yet electrical shocks can also cause serious burns. In the United States, about 1,000 people a year die from electrical shocks. Those mostly happen to workers who are around high-voltage currents.
It’s natural to return to the scene of the crime and try to figure out what happened but avoid the temptation. This is another situation where you should call an electrician who can investigate.
Light Bulbs Don’t Last
We don’t expect light bulbs to last forever, even though LED bulbs last a lot longer than conventional ones. If your bulbs always burn out quickly, there’s something else at work.
There could be an issue with the circuit or socket. Some lights will also go out if they get too hot. A light bulb that flickers is often a sign that something is off with the circuit connection.
Buying new light bulbs will work in the short term. In the long-term, it’s worth calling an electrician who can isolate the problem.
Other Electrical Problems
It’s comforting to think of our home’s electrical wiring as a modern marvel with built-in fail-safes. That belief allows electrical problems to sneak up on you.
Our team of knowledgeable electricians has been serving the North Texas area for more than 25 years. Our electrical troubleshooting is top-notch, so contact us today.