Certain electrical conditions are dangerous and could lead to fires, shocks, or even death. The team at Jeremy Electrical, Heating & Cooling has put together a list of the top 10 home electrical problems you should be aware of. You should never ignore these symptoms in your home. If you have one, call a professional electrician like Jeremy, to check it out and make it safe again.
Electrical Problems in Your Home
- Electrical shocks – if you get a shock, even a mild one, from turning on a switch or plugging something into an outlet, there’s a problem. Call an electrician.
- Too many things plugged into one receptacle – Adding too many plugs to one outlet makes it work beyond capacity. Additional outlets or an outlet with more receptacles is needed for safety’s sake.
- Lights flicker – when your AC kicks on, do the lights dim? Larger and motor-driven appliances draw a lot of current and should be wired to dedicated circuits. You may want to add a larger line to service them.
- Breakers keep tripping – if your circuit breakers keep tripping, they may be drawing more current than the system can safely provide.
- Two-prong outlets – two-pronged outlets limit what you can plug into them. Many appliances come with three-prong outlets for safety. The third prong provides a ground path so that if there was a short, the current would direct the electricity back to the circuit breaker causing it to trip rather than shock the person using the appliance.
- No GFCI outlets – if your kitchen and bathroom don’t have an outlet with a GFCI, they are not up to code. The GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) will cut off the electricity if it senses an overload and will protect you from shocks. They should be installed anywhere water is near (kitchens and bathrooms).
- Extension cords – if you find you have extension cords running everywhere or in places where it’s easy to trip on them, you need more outlets. Extension cords are for temporary use and running them under rugs is dangerous. If you need to, you can install an outlet in the middle of the room in the floor instead of just in a wall.
- Warm outlets or switches – if your outlets are warm to the touch, there’s a problem. There could be too much demand on the circuit, or you could have old, unsafe wiring. It should definitely be checked for safety.
- Rusty electrical panel – rust indicates moisture, and we all know that water and electricity never mix well. This could threaten all of your main connections and be a fire hazard as well.
- Your home is at least 30 years old – if you’ve never upgraded your electrical service, you may have outdated and dangerous wiring. If you see cloth covered wires, your home is definitely outdated and needs to be rewired. If your home was built between 1965 and 1972, it may have aluminum branch wiring instead of copper wiring. It should be replaced.
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