5 Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

The sight of a knot of electrical cords plugged into one extension cord is familiar to most people. After all, everyone has jerry-rigged their Christmas decorations or the electronics for their entertainment system at one time or another. If the rooms in your home don’t have enough outlets to accommodate your electrical needs, though, that’s a big red flag that could be a sign of other electrical problems in your home.
Before electricity played such a huge part in everyday life, homes were built with minimal outlets. If you live in a home that was built as recently as 1970 you may not notice a shortage in available electrical outlets, but odds are your house still has hidden electrical problems just waiting to erupt.

Fuse Box

Although fuse boxes served their purpose in years gone by, even then they weren’t very safe to deal with. If a fuse blew the entire circuit needed to be turned off before the damaged fuse could be replaced, and an insulated tool was required to remove and replace it. Modern homes don’t have fuse boxes. They have circuit breakers instead. If you’re still dealing with fuses, the electrical wiring in your home is outdated and could be a danger.

Outdated Outlets

Just one glance at the outlets around your home will tell you if there could be an electrical problem brewing. Outlets that have just two holes are signs of old, inadequate wiring. These outlets pre-date 1970s construction, and don’t have the grounded third hole that will keep you from getting a shock when you plug in an appliance or electronic. Additionally, outlets that have a lot of wear can become loose-fitting or even emit a spark when you try to insert a plug. If you have old outlets that pop and flash, or if plugs won’t stay plugged in, myNationwide.com (2) recommends disconnecting all electronics and appliances from it, and contacting an electrician immediately.

Lights That Flicker

If you’ve noticed that your lights blink, dim or flicker occasionally, especially when your refrigerator or air conditioning unit switches on, are a warning sign that you have connection problems in a circuit somewhere. If the flickering has been getting progressively worse, the electrical problem is getting worse, too, and should be seen to right away by a licensed electrician, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. (3)

Sizzling Switches

Have you ever received a shock when you’ve touched a light switch to turn it off? Or have you accidentally brushed against an outlet and noticed that it felt warm? If you experienced a tingling shock or noticed that a light switch or outlet plate was discolored and hotter than the rest of the wall, sit up and take note. According to an article for television station KJRH in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1) those are indications of serious wiring problems that need to be handled ASAP.

When the Power Runs Dry

Occasionally a tripped breaker will prevent a light coming on when the switch is flipped. If you’ve checked the circuit breaker, though, and everything’s fine, you probably have a broken or loose wire somewhere. Electrical outlets or switches that go dead for seemingly no reason should be taken care of sooner rather than later.

For your family’s safety and your peace of mind, if you’ve noticed any of these signs, contact KCo Electric today for inspection and repair.

Sources: (1) http://www.kjrh.com/dpp/money/angies_list/look-out-for-warning-signs-of-an-electrical-problem-in-your-home (2) http://www.mynationwidemagazine.com/signs-your-electrical-system-might-need-repair (3) http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/electrical.shtm