Electrical issues aren’t easy to diagnose and can sometimes be easily overlooked, especially since most wiring is located inside walls and isn’t visible. We want you to be aware of potential signs of danger.
One example could be when you go to turn out your lights after leaving the room and the switch or dimmer feels unusually warm to the touch. Maybe its regular flickering or buzzing sounds. The cause could be from wiring and could be a safety hazard. Touch is a powerful sense that needs to be trusted, especially where heat is concerned. It should go without saying that if you need to remove your hand in less than 2 seconds it could mean you have an issue. That’s when it would be time to contact an expert electrician to assess the problem.
Wiring can be problematic throughout the house. Here are some things to look out for:
• Flickering lights/LEDs – Most problems occur when the wiring doesn’t support the light bulb or LED you have installed. Use a light bulb rated for your system, or update wiring to meet new codes.
• Discoloring on outlet covers – This happens when the wiring to the outlet is failing. Go to the circuit breaker and turn the power off to that area and call an electrician.
• Sparking at the outlet – There are two types of sparking that can pose problems electrically. If you are trying to plug in an appliance that is in the “on” position, you may get a spark. This is seen frequently, but is not optimal. Ensure appliances are off prior to plugging them in and if the sparking persists there may be a problem with the outlet. The second sparking situation occurs with components that don’t have “on/off” capabilities. The spark can indicate problems in the wiring behind the outlet. This is another time to turn off the power to the area and call an electrician.
• Daisy-chaining extension cords and power strips – These devices can lead to overloaded circuit issues. Outlets aren’t rated for electricity to pass through too many components at one time. Daisy-chaining is considered unsafe by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and could lead to citations and fines. Installing a new outlet is the easiest and safest option and could save you money in the long run.
• Surge protection system – This is not a wiring issue, but more of a deterrent to future problems. Installing a surge protection system provides protection to all your appliances and components. Many people don’t realize the refrigerator, microwave and toaster aren’t usually plugged into a surge protector like electronics are. Updating your entire system provides all your appliances and devices with protection. The added benefit is that a technician will be checking and updating your wiring as needed.
Wiring issues are one of the main causes of electrical fires in the home and can easily be prevented by being aware of simple signs throughout your home. Don’t get frustrated with shocks, flickers and hot switches – get an electrician to solve the problem. To update your wiring system or to get your system serviced call us to have an expert review your system needs.