It’s been so long since electricity changed the way that people in modern societies live that most homeowners take it for granted. While electricity is unquestionably one of the greatest inventions of recent centuries in terms of its impact on human life, it’s important to note that it can also be dangerous, especially if homeowners don’t keep up with routine maintenance. Read on to find out about a few of the most common electrical repairs in a home to learn the warning signs of potentially dangerous trouble to come.
Replacing Light Switches
When a resident walks into a room and tries to turn on the overhead lighting only to find that the switch is unresponsive, it can be incredibly frustrating. There are many reasons for light switches to fail. If they haven’t worked since day one, it may be because the switches have been superseded. Broken light switches can also be caused by faulty outlets, circuits, or wiring, while dimmer switches that don’t adjust light intensity properly may be malfunctioning due to shoddy workmanship during their installations. The best thing to do is to contact a licensed electrician as soon as possible to diagnose the underlying problem and resolve it.
Addressing Frequent Electrical Surges
Electrical surges only last for a fraction of a second, but in that short period, they can cause significant damage to the home’s electrical components. Common reasons for electrical surges include faulty appliances, bad wiring, damaged power lines, and even lightning strikes. If the surges occur frequently and without apparent cause, the problem is most likely a cheaply made device or power board or faulty wiring. Consult a professional electrician about the need for repairs and surge protection.
Overloading power boards is one of the most common causes of frequent circuit breaker tripping. Even relatively newly built homes often don’t have sufficient power points to accommodate modern families’ electrical needs, so this problem can come up even in a newly constructed house. There are a few ways that homeowners and their families can prevent this problem.
Residents can disconnect devices they aren’t currently using, including phone chargers and laptop chargers. They can also plan their living rooms, kitchens, and other electricity-hungry spaces to spread their electrical needs around to different circuits. This is especially important for families that use full entertainment systems or smart appliances. Finally, homeowners can protect their power boards by making sure they never daisy-chain them.
Keep in mind that when a circuit breaker trips, that’s actually a sign that it’s working as intended. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when one or more devices are drawing too much power. Always limit the electrical usage on a circuit when using high-watt devices. If these solutions don’t work, it may be time to call an electrician to discuss options for electrical renovations.
Nobody likes getting shocked. Although most electrical shocks that occur in modern homes are relatively mild, they’re a reminder that electricity can be dangerous. Residents are most likely to get shocked when they turn devices on or off.
In some cases, the problem is actually with the device itself. Try unplugging the device and using a different one in the same socket. If it produces a second mild shock, the problem is almost certainly with the wiring itself, not the appliance or device. Call an electrician to resolve the problem.
Light Bulbs Burning Out
Light bulbs can burn out frequently for a few reasons, electrical and otherwise. Electrical issues that can cause light bulbs to burn out prematurely include bad wiring on the circuit or the mains and poor connections on the circuit. Issues like excessive wattage on either the bulb or the dimmer switch can also cause frequent light bulb burnouts, as can locating insulation too close to the fixture.
Light bulb burnouts aren’t dangerous, but they are inconvenient. Most homeowners don’t have the knowledge or tools to isolate the cause of frequent bulb burnouts. If the cost of constantly replacing bulbs is adding up, consider hiring a professional.
Brightness Problems with Lights
The most obvious cause of excessive brightness or dimness that varies throughout the house is the use of different types of light bulbs. If all the bulbs are the same type and the same wattage, homeowners can rule this problem out. It’s more likely that their light quality is inconsistent as a result of a bad main neutral connection. The problem will continue until they call a professional for electrical repair.
Dips in Power
Homeowners are often perplexed and concerned about periodic dips in power. More often than not, the problem here is not with the electrical system, but with one or more of the devices connected to the power grid. If they’ve been made with faulty or sub-par materials, they may draw excessive power when turned on, causing the overall power supply to the house to dip. This may cause lights to flicker.
Excessively High Electrical Bills
Sick of dealing with high monthly bills? An electrician can help by repairing damaged circuits or wiring, but this solution will only get families so far. They also need to make some minor lifestyle changes to help reduce electricity use such as unplugging chargers and appliances when they’re not being used and identifying devices that draw excessive power. Families may also want to consider switching to a less expensive provider, if possible or generating some of their own power using a solar array.
Electricity has resolved an incredible number of problems for modern consumers. It’s also created some new ones, though, since residential electrical systems must be properly maintained if homeowners don’t want to deal with frequent circuit breaker trips, burned out bulbs, and high monthly bills. It’s never safe for those without professional training to tackle anything but the most minor electrical repairs alone. Unless they’re just screwing in a new light bulb or switching appliances around to reduce the power draw on an overburdened circuit, homeowners should always hire professional electricians for maintenance, repairs, and electrical remodeling.