7 Common Electrical Problems around the Home

We all become accustomed to living with small electrical problems in the home. While some of these problems aren’t an immediate safety hazard, others have the potential to cause serious damage if they are ignored. It’s easy to overlook small electrical problems and keep putting off repairs, but even the most common electrical problems have the potential to result in electrical shocks and house fires.

Powered Electrical & Data has put together a list of the seven most common electrical problems in the home and what their cause could be. Remember, while it’s possible to fix some basic electrical problems yourself, hiring a professional electrician is always the safest option.

Circuit breakers tripping

1. Circuit breakers tripping

It’s normal for a circuit breaker to trip every now and again, even if there aren’t any other problems. When the breaker trips all you need to do is to flick the switch back on. If the breaker in your home is constantly tripping, this is a sign that there is an underlying problem with your electrics.

One of the most likely causes for a tripping circuit breaker is too many high-powered appliances running in the home, which can overload the system.

If the breaker is excessively tripping after you have unplugged all of the high-powered appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher, and air conditioning, it’s best to get an electrician to check your wiring.

Warning: If the breaker keeps tripping, do not keep resetting it. At some point, the breaker will give out and stop tripping. If this happens, an electrical overload could overheat the wiring insulation and cause an electrical fire in your home.

Switches giving out small electrical shocks

2. Switches giving out small electrical shocks

When a switch or outlet is faulty, electrical shocks are likely to occur. While getting a minor shock from switches or outlets is quite common, this can be a good indication that wiring in the electrical circuit is loose or damaged. Frayed wiring and cracked casing can also cause electrical shocks from switches or outlets.

If electrical shocks are an ongoing problem, you need to have the switch or outlet examined by a professional.

3. Sparking

All outlets will naturally spark from time to time. With a normal electrical spark, you will see a little flash of blue when you connect a plug to an outlet.

Identifying abnormal sparks is essential to the safety of your home. If you notice the following abnormal sparks, you should call an electrician to fix the problem immediately:

  • Sparks that smell
  • Big sparks
  • Prolonged sparks
  • Non-blue coloured sparks
Flickering Lights

4. Flickering lights

It is completely normal for lights in your home to occasionally flicker. However, if you start to notice all of your lights are regularly flickering or the flickering is becoming extreme, it’s a good idea to examine what the cause may be.

If only one light in flickering in your home, you check to make sure the lightbulb is tightly screwed in as they can come loose with the socket over time lose their connection. If that doesn’t fix the problem, the cause may be related to a poor connection between the light or fixture switch, an overloaded circuit, voltage fluctuation or loose wiring.

If the flickering is happening throughout the entire house, it likely means there’s a problem at the main service cable connection or meter box connection. This is a serious problem due to the high-powered electrical wires and could become a fire risk.

Burning smell from an appliance or outlet

5. Burning smell from an appliance or outlet

When you detect a burning smell coming from your outlets, it’s important not to ignore it. The smell, which resembles the scent of burning plastic, is an obvious sign that something irregular is going on with your electrical work.

As soon as you detect a burning smell from an outlet, you should immediately switch off the electricity supply for that outlet at the breaker box.

Buzzing noise

6. Buzzing noise or discolouration of switches and outlets

Have you ever touched a switch and were surprised to find that it was hot? As common as it is, hot switches should be taken as serious warnings.

Charring, discolouration, and buzzing sounds from switches should also be treated as a priority to get fixed. These problems are usually caused by loose connections or faulty wiring that can cause a spark or small fire in your outlet.

Damaged or exposed wiring

7. Damaged or exposed wiring

Damaged or exposed power cables can result in serious electrical problems and can cause havoc in the home by causing fires, shocks, and electricity outages. Incorrect power flow due to damaged wiring can also create spikes of power that have the potential to cause extensive damage to your electronics, appliances, and even your HVAC equipment.

It’s a good idea to inspect wiring and cords regularly, looking for frayed edges, cracks, or damage. By keeping an eye out for these issues, you can prevent a fatal accident from occurring in your home.

Contact us for electrical services in the Hunter Region

Electrical problems are quite common in any home, and even new wiring is not exempt from sporadic short-circuiting. Luckily for you, many of these issues can be recognised and resolved quickly by an expert electrical team.

If you’re experiencing electrical problems in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Maitland, and surrounding areas, give Powered Electrical & Data a call right away! From faulty light switches to overloading circuit breakers, our trained technicians are able to handle any electrical problems you may be facing. Contact us today on 0466 182 944.

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