Signs Of Electrical Issues In Your Home

Oftentimes, homeowners take the electrical work in their homes for granted, assuming that everything is working properly and up to code. But electrical problems can sometimes be silent, with signs that many homeowners don’t notice until it is too late. Issues with the electrical in homes can have dire consequences that cost homeowners time and money, and in some situations, can be incredibly dangerous.

However, a diligent homeowner can be on the lookout for typical signs of electrical issues in their home, and help prevent disaster before it strikes.

Signs of Electrical Issues

Electrical malfunctions in the home can cause many issues for the homeowner. Electrical issues may cause damage to appliances or electronics, create a dangerous situation for those living in the home, or even cause a fire. Here are some of the silent signs of electrical issues in your home.

  1. Hot Outlets
    Some appliances generate heat while on and working. However, if the outlet itself gets hot, this is a warning sign. If the outlet or switch plate covers you are using gets hot to the touch, immediately unplug any cords and find a solution to the issue. One exception is dimmer switchers, which can sometimes become warm as they dissipate excess electrical energy to create the dimming effect. These should never be uncomfortably hot to the touch, just warm.
  2. Flickering Lights
    Unless the flickering is due to a storm outside the home, flickering lights are most likely a sign of a loose electrical connection somewhere in the wiring. If only one light or light fixture is flickering, this is a fairly easy fix. However, if multiple lights or lights in multiple rooms are flickering, this is a sign there is a loose wire farther back in the circuit. The safest option is to contact a professional electrician to troubleshoot the issue.
  3. Aluminum Wires
    Older homes, like those built in the 1960s and 70s, sometimes have aluminum wiring instead of copper. While it seemed like a good idea at the time – tests showed that aluminum wire was a suitable replacement for copper and was less expensive – aluminum oxidizes much more rapidly than copper, which can be a fire risk. If you know your home has aluminum wiring – or if you suspect it does because it was built in the 1960s or 70s – you can update the wiring with specialized connectors or rewire the home. Contact a professional electrician to troubleshoot the issue.
  4. Burning Smell
    This is an obvious one for many homeowners, but it is still very important. If you smell something burning in your home, this is an immediate warning sign that something is wrong. This means something is heating up enough to melt plastic, and this could lead to a fire.
  5. Shocks
    If you touch a metal object that is connected to your home’s electrical or mechanical system and receive a shock (not just a static electricity pop, which is a typical occurrence that is not a concern) this could be a sign that your electrical system may not be properly grounded. This included electrical fixtures like lamps and ceiling fans, as well as water lines or furnace ductwork.
  6. Loose Outlets
    If you plug a cord in and notice the plug or the outlet is moving around, it is time to replace the outlet. A loose outlet can eventually shake its wires free, leading to shorts, sparks, and potentially even fires.
  7. Messy Wiring
    In general, when you look at the wiring in your home (where it is visible) do the wires look intentional and well-strung? While wiring may not look beautiful and well-organized, the wiring shouldn’t look disorganized or haphazard. This may be the sign of a poor or rushed electrical job.
  8. Pests
    If you notice signs of pest infestations near your electrical wiring, such as nests or droppings, you may want to check your electrical wiring for signs of chew marks. Rodents sometimes gnaw wiring until it is bare, which can cause a shock to an unsuspecting person who touches it, or it may spark or overheat.

Contact Central MT if you notice these issues in your home

Are you noticing any of these signs in your home? Chances are if you’ve noticed an issue or something that seems concerning to you, it may be a problem. The best solution is to have a professional electrician assess the issue now before it causes damage or becomes dang

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