Your home’s electrical system should last for many years without needing any major maintenance or repairs. However, there are situations in which electrical repairs may be necessary to avoid serious complications. If you don’t address these concerns, there’s a serious possibility of your home developing an elevated fire risk.
Thankfully, these situations rarely develop before a considerable amount of time has passed, meaning you should be able to spot signs of serious issues ahead of time. Here is a breakdown of the symptoms to watch out for if you’re worried about your home’s electrical health. Knowing when to call professionals should go a long way towards keeping your house safe from these persistent, frustrating issues.
Higher Electrical Bills: A Warning Sign
While it is true that increasing energy bills are a broader problem, given inflation and general economic concerns, your costs may have skyrocketed in recent years. For instance, you may find your bill going up by 200% or even 300% in just two or three years, not keeping pace with natural inflation. So what is happening?
Put simply, your home is likely in need of electrical repairs. Higher energy bills can indicate that a home’s electrical system is struggling. Perhaps your wiring is inefficient, or your system includes old and outdated units, or your older failing appliances may be pulling too much power from the system, triggering significant energy bill increases in the long run.
So take the time to hire electricians to look into this issue and perform the necessary repairs. They’ll make sure that your home’s wiring is efficient, check for potential power drains, and offer any other repairs required to prevent you from paying far too much to keep your home powered up.
Frequent Breaker Tripping: Potential System Overload
These days, the average home has many electrical elements – from televisions and video game systems to computers to HVAC units, outdoor lighting, and much more. Modern electrical systems are designed to handle that power flow and minimize problems. Older systems, however, may not have that kind of capacity and could struggle to keep up.
This often occurs in homes that have not had their electrical systems updated in a long while. They might be designed for smaller electrical loads, causing them to get overburdened every time you use multiple electrical appliances. High electrical use could then cause your breakers to trip as a way of avoiding potential fires. If left unaddressed, this situation is only likely to worsen over time.
To ensure the safety of your home and your family, consider electrical repairs and replacement. You may need to upgrade your entire electrical setup to protect your home, install new wiring, or just get better circuit breakers. Get qualified electricians on the scene to assess the extent of the problem and help you keep your system from being overloaded.
Flickering Lights: Common Signs of a Power Surge
All your lights should shine clearly until they burn out, rarely experiencing any flickering. While a flickering bulb might just be the sign that the bulb is close to failure, it could also indicate a more severe problem. Repeatedly flickering bulbs that are otherwise healthy could be indicative of power surges occurring throughout your home.
A power surge occurs when your home is having trouble supplying power consistently to all outlets. These surges may trigger when your system suddenly needs more energy and forces a high amount of power through the wiring, causing lights to flicker on and off in response. Too many power surges can cause severe damage to your electrical system.
So work with your electricians on preventing repeated power surges. The necessary steps to be taken often center around identifying the source of the surges, replacing damaged wiring and appliances, and modernizing a home’s power system in general. After a full upgrade, your lights should rarely, if ever, flicker to indicate a power surge.
Burning Smells: Never a Good Sign
Your electrical system should never produce strange odors as it operates. Instead, it should be as invisible as electricity itself, supplying power smoothly and efficiently. However, there may come a time when you notice intense burning smells while running electrical units. This is never a good sign – very often, it indicates an elevated risk of fire.
Now, let’s just quickly point out that you might also notice a burning smell when turning on your heater for the first time at the beginning of winter. That is completely normal, caused by a buildup of dust particles on the inactive coils. The smell should go away after a few minutes, and usually does not indicate a fire hazard. However, consistent burning odors can indicate that the system has gone through overload when your heater was not running.
Additionally, the burning smell may also be a sign of frayed wiring or other concerns related to overheating. This can potentially trigger fires in parts of your home, so if you smell anything burning when turning on a switch or running appliances, turn off the unit immediately and contact an electrician ASAP!
Sparks on Startup: Signs of Failing Electrics
Have you ever seen sparks when plugging in a new device, turning on a light switch, or otherwise operating your electrical system? That kind of output is atypical and potentially dangerous. Sparks popping up in these situations are typically a sign that something has gone wrong with your units, and that electrical repairs will be needed to avoid the danger.
For one, sparks may indicate an overload caused by poor wiring or bad outlet installation. Frayed wire coatings can cause wires to spark, posing a fire hazard in and of themselves. Broken connections within the wires may also cause sparks to occur and threaten your home.
Trained electricians can easily trace these issues to their source, identify why the wiring is sparking, and provide careful repairs and replacements. These maintenance steps can help provide your home with a more robust electrical design overall, making it much safer. Just as importantly, repairs can keep increased energy bills and other problems associated with sparks flying.
Odd Sounds: Also Potentially Dangerous
Electricity should be invisible, odorless, and silent when running correctly. However, the same types of problems that cause sparks or burning smells may also cause your home’s wiring or appliances to make strange popping or buzzing noises. These sounds are rightly disturbing, as they can indicate a high risk of severe wiring failures in a home.
Popping sounds may point at loose wiring, also associated with flying sparks and other issues. Buzzing sounds may indicate a similar but more persistent problem that occurs even when your electrical system is turned off, caused by the constant flow of electricity that runs in preparation for you flipping a switch or turning on an appliance.
If you hear any buzzing or popping sounds when turning on lights or appliances, listen carefully and try to track down its origins. There’s a good chance that it may be within a nearby wall, requiring some type of repair or replacement to avoid more severe damage. Paying attention to this facet can keep your home safe and minimize fire hazards.
Get the Help That You Need
If your home experiences these problems and you aren’t sure what to do about it, you need to reach out to a professional right away to get electrical repairs. Electricians can go through your home and check your wiring, your overall energy input and output, as well as all your outlets and appliances. These professionals will take the time to figure out just what issues may affect your home’s electrical needs.
Cali Coast Electric can help you through all of this. Our maintenance steps include regular yearly or monthly inspections, upgrades to your lights, enhancements to your outlets, and much more. Contact your trusted electricians to find out how you can keep your home safe.