If you own a home, you know how important it is to have at least a basic understanding of the home’s infrastructure, as all homes inevitably require troubleshooting at some point. There are some problems that you can fix yourself and others that require a professional. Electrical problems tend to be tricky, and if you aren’t sure that you can take care of a problem yourself, it is best to call an electrician.
By it’s very nature, your home’s electrical system is dangerous because it involves currents and electricity. You must be very careful diagnosing issues, and even more careful when you are troubleshooting. When in doubt, the safest choice is always to call an electrician. Here are some common household issues, along with a brief explanation of the cause and possible remedies.
Spikes and Surges
If you notice voltage surges or spikes in your home it could be the result of an outside factor, such as a severe storm. Voltage spikes can also be caused by internal appliances that place a large draw on the system. Common culprits are microwave ovens and power tools. Power surges can be dangerous and can drastically decrease the lifespan of electronics, especially “delicate” electronics such as computers. The easiest way to protect against such a problem is to install surge protectors. Plugging your devices into a surge protector helps keep them safe from voltage spikes. If power surges happen frequently with no visible cause, it could be the sign of a serious problem in your home’s electrical system. If you are unsure, it’s best to call an electrician to check your wiring and make sure it is safe.
Circuit breakers can trip during severe storms, similar to power surges. Another common cause is high powered devices overloading the circuit. Hair dryers and other heating appliances are notorious for this. The fix is usually simple: go to your breaker box and reset the circuit that has tripped. If this happens often with a specific appliance, you may want to try moving the appliance so it’s on a circuit with fewer electrical draws. If this isn’t possible, you may want to look into wiring a new circuit. If you are unable to reset a breaker after it trips, there may be another problem elsewhere in the circuit, or your breaker could be faulty. In either case, you will want to call an electrician to be sure.
Frequent Bulb Burnouts
Another common electrical problem in homes is lightbulbs that frequently burn out. The cause could be as simple as using the wrong type of light bulb for the light fixture in question. However, if this is a common occurrence in several places in your home, it may be the sign of a larger issue. Flickering bulbs may be an indication of a poor connection somewhere along the electrical circuit. If you have bulbs that are exceedingly bright in some areas of the home and unusually dim in other areas, this may be a sign of a bad neutral connection somewhere. Another indication of this issue is if bulbs tend to pop too frequently or appliances stop working for no reason. A bad neutral connection can be dangerous and can cause serious damage to your home, so it is important to have it checked by a professional electrician.