10 COMMON ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS AROUND
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.
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
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
2. SAGS AND DIPS IN
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
3. LIGHT SWITCHES NOT
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have been superseded and fixtures removed, or it could be a fault in the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.
Want some electrical safety tips for your home?
4. CIRCUIT BREAKER
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:
Never daisy-chain power boards.
Remove devices that aren’t in use (for example, phone
chargers still draw power even when not connected).
Spread your electrical needs around. Don’t overburden a
Be mindful of how you connect devices around the home –
what’s in use, and what is unnecessary.
6. LIGHTS TOO BRIGHT
If some lights around the house seem excessively bright but
others are dim, then there’s two probable causes:
Different types of lights with different wattage: Check that
all the globes are identical.
Bad main neutral connection: This will continue to cause
problems for the home until it is fixed by a professional.
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 utilized.
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
Reducing the cost of your electrical bill could include:
Switching to a more cost effective provider
Identifying electrical devices that may be causing power
Patching leaks in the hot water system
Unplugging appliances and chargers when not in use
Repairing damaged wiring or circuits
9. LIGHT BULBS
BURNING OUT TOO OFTEN
There are a number of reasons your lights can be burning out
Wattage is too high
Insulation is too close to the light
Bad wiring on the circuit
Bad wiring on the mains
On a dimmer switch, too much total wattage on one switch
If flickering there is probably a poor connection on the
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
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:
Are they producing excessive heat?
What is the total wattage on the circuit?
Are they insulated properly?
Overheated lighting can be a fire risk, so be sure test
WHAT TO DO IF
If electrical problems are ongoing around your home, you should consider contacting a electrician. Safety around the home is paramount, so don’t leave anything to change. Get in touch with a professional, like Bowwood Electrician, to help diagnose the problems with your home electricals for peace of mind and safety assurance.
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