When it comes to the electricity in your home, you simply cannot take chances. The malfunction or failure of electricity, even if it is just a minor problem, can cause fatal hazards and fires resulting in injuries and even death. In fact, 27% of fires are caused by electrical faults. This is why it is absolutely essential that you do not wait to call an electrician if you spot a problem. There are a number of electrical problems that can pose a serious risk for your home and your family – but, some of the warning signs are not always as obvious as you would expect. Often, people don’t even realise that they need a professional electrician until it is too late.
When is it time to call your local electrician?
Below we look at a few signs that it’s time to call up an electrician. When fixed early, many accidents and electrical disasters are avoidable. Read on to find out more.
Despite what the movies tell you, flickering lights are not a sign that you’re living in a haunted house; instead, constant flickering indicates that you likely have an underlying wiring issue. If you notice just one light flickering in your home, this may just mean that you simply need to replace the bulb, which is something that you can easily do by yourself.
If persistent flickering is present in multiple fittings, however, and you notice several lights flicker after turning them on, it’s time to call up an electrician. Flickering lights may simply be down to an old wiring system that has deteriorated over time or, alternatively, it may be because your circuit is being overloaded. This can happen when you use too many appliances at once, such as a powerful refrigerator and air conditioning system.
Tripping circuit breakers
We’ve all experienced losing power at one point or another – sometimes, even simply plugging the toaster in can randomly cause a circuit breaker to trip. If your circuit breaker regularly trips and you often lose power, however, this is a sign that there are some more serious electrical problems present.
If your circuit breaker trips often, it may be a sign that you are overloading your electrical system and the circuit is drawing more current than it should be. If you have noticed that your circuit breaker does trip regularly, you should contact an electrician who will be able to find the cause of the problem and upgrade your electrical system to prevent the issue.
If you experience an electric shock, no matter how minor or major, it is certainly time to call out an electrician. You may feel a minor electrical shock when you turn on a light switch or plug in an appliance; this is an indication that something is shorting out. Electrical shocks are most often caused by frayed wiring or wiring that has lost its insulation.
You should never ignore an electrical shock, no matter how minor it is, as any minor shocks can lead to major shocks or even house fires. You should also never attempt to fix the problem yourself. Instead, you should always call up an electrician to assess the issue and to ensure that it is safely and properly rectified.
Too many extension cords
Many electrical fires are caused by the overloading of circuit boards and, more specifically, extension cords. Generally, extension cords are not dangerous to use, however, if they are overused then this can lead to serious problems. Many homeowners find that they do not have sufficient power outlets – sometimes, the number of appliances that we require can significantly outweigh the number of outlets that we have. This often results in people overloading the outlets that they do have with too many extension cords.
If you do not have enough outlets in your home, you should contact an electrician to install more outlets instead of overloading the ones you have. Large appliances should be plugged directly into the main switchboard. Installing more outlets will greatly reduce the chance of a fire and ensure that one outlet is not overloaded.
A burning smell
If you can smell burning, this requires immediate attention. Electrical fires have a distinctive acrid, pungent burning smell – you can’t really mistake it. If you notice a burning smell in your house, you should act fast or you may have a house fire on your hands. If you ignore the problem, the material surrounding the wiring that is causing the smell can catch on fire.
Should you smell electrical burning in your home, you should immediately turn off your home’s power and, once safe, call out an electrician as soon as possible. Remember, even if you don’t see smoke, it is important that you contact a professional to assess the problem before it gets worse.
Warm power outlets
No matter how much power you are using, your power switches, outlets and components should never get warm. If you do notice that your power outlets and other electrical surfaces are warm or hot to the touch, this may be a sign that your circuit is overloaded or on high demand, or you have an internal wiring issue. This could lead to electrical shocks from touching a switch – something that is a risk to everyone in your home. If you notice that your outlets are warm or there are signs of plastic discolouration or even melting, you should call an electrician as soon as possible.
A buzzing sound
A buzzing sound coming from a light switch or a power outlet is an indication that you may have a serious electrical problem on your hands. If you can hear a buzzing sound in the walls, it could be down to a number of different things. The sound may be a result of something simple such as loose screw terminals, however, it could also be down to a wiring issue too which can be problematic. You should call out an electrician to find out and fix the root of the problem.
Every now and then, you may notice a small spark when you plug in an appliance. While, sometimes, this is not a major issue, if you regularly notice large sparks that are accompanied by a popping noise, this is an indication that you should call an electrician. If possible, you should switch off your main circuit breaker to help determine the root of the problem. More often than not, sparks are caused by loose wiring behind the outlet.
John Mutch Building Services: residential electrical contractors in Aberdeen
At John Mutch Building Services, we pride ourselves on being the best electricians in the area. We have worked hard to employ and train the best electricians around, ensuring that you only receive the best service when you choose us. No job is ever too big or small for our expert team; we always treat each job as the most important one we have. With over a decade of experience under our belt, you can rely on our specialist electrical services. From lighting installations to property rewiring, our experienced and dedicated team can handle all of your electrical needs correctly and on time.
We also offer a range of different services, such as property maintenance, boiler installation and servicing, roofing services and more. If you are looking for a team of expert locksmiths, highly-trained plumbers, reliable plumbers or simply a top property maintenance company, look no further than us.