10 Common Electrical Problems Around The Home
When it comes to household electrics, your safety is paramount. Flickering lights, high bills and damaged appliances can all be a sign of electrical problems on your home circuit. Identify problems from the list below, as well as the most appropriate solution.
1. FREQUENT ELECTRICAL SURGES
Electrical surges can be caused by anything from lightning strikes, damage to power lines, faulty appliances and bad electrical wiring in the house. While an actual surge only lasts a microsecond, frequent surges can damage the electrical components connected to your home, degrading their life expectancy significantly.
If you experience frequent electrical surges, the culprit is probably an electrical device connected to the home grid or the wiring itself. Try removing any cheaply made devices or powerboards from the outlet to see if this prevents the surges. Otherwise, it might be time to consult a professional electrician.
2. SAGS AND DIPS IN POWER
Like electrical surges, sags and dips in electrical supply can often be attributed to devices connected to your power grid that are faulty or made with substandard materials, and draw a lot of power when they are turned on.
3. LIGHT SWITCHES NOT WORKING PROPERLY
Dimmer switches that don’t adjust light properly can often be attributed to shoddy workmanship or sub-standard products.
If you have just moved into a new house and find switches that don’t seem to activate anything at all, this might be a sign the switches have been superseded and fixtures removed, or it could be a fault in the outlet, circuit or wiring. Consult with an electrician if you’re experiencing issues with switches in your house.
4. CIRCUIT BREAKER TRIPPING FREQUENTLY
High wattage items like microwaves and hairdryers can trip circuit breakers, particularly when other power consuming items are used on the same source. A circuit breaker is designed to protect you and your home, so when it does trip, that’s a sign it’s doing its job.
Look at what you were using when it tripped. If it was a hair dryer, try using the low setting. Alternatively, limit the electrical usage on a single circuit while high watt devices are in use.
5. CIRCUIT OVERLOAD
One of the biggest causes of frequent circuit breaker tripping is the overloading of power boards. Most homes and apartments, even newer ones, don’t have enough power points to cater to, for example, a complete home entertainment unit setup. If circuit breakers in your home are tripping frequently, it could be down to circuit overload. Prevent this by:
6. LIGHTS TOO BRIGHT OR DIM
If some lights around the house seem excessively bright but others are dim, then there’s two probable causes:
7. ELECTRICAL SHOCKS
An electrical shock is a nasty experience. Even though they are usually pretty mild, something akin to a static shock, they remind us that electricity is dangerous when not probably utilised.
Electrical shocks typically happen when you turn a device on or off. The issue could be with the appliance, or it could be in the wiring. You can test this by plugging in another device and seeing if the results are reproducible, however you’re just risking another electrical shock. In most cases, it might be better to speak with an electrician.
8. HIGH ELECTRICAL BILL
Reducing the cost of your electrical bill could include:
9. LIGHT BULBS BURNING OUT TOO OFTEN
There are a number of reasons your lights can be burning out too often:
Isolating the issue can be tricky for non-professionals. If you’re going through light bulbs like it’s nobody’s business, it it might be worth reaching out to an electrician to help identify the root cause of light bulb burnouts.
10. RECESSED LIGHT ‘GOES OUT’ AND COMES BACK ON
Recessed lighting (like downlights) are equipped with safety devices that cut out power to the light when it gets too hot. You’re either using too high wattage on the bulb, or insulation in the ceiling is too close to the bulb.
Check for excessive heat
Check overhead lights every so often:
Overheated lighting can be a fire risk, so be sure test regularly.