The electrical wiring present in your home is a critical feature that you rely on every single day to power your life. Unfortunately, if you are like many other people, you may not think about the condition or quality of your home’s wiring until an issue occurs. The fact is, electrical malfunctions are the number one cause of house fires, and cause over 50,000 fires each year. The good news is, you can prevent this type of issue in your home, if you know the signs of faulty wiring.
Some of the most common signs of a problem can be found here.
You are Using Many Extension Cords
In addition to how unsightly this can become, there is a reason that your electrical outlets are installed in your home’s walls. If you run and use a large number of extension cords, this can create a trip hazard and result in them getting pinched, bent or may even cause a short due to wear and tear. If this happens, it can result in outlet damage, tripped breakers, and in some cases, electrical fires. If you are constantly having to use extension cords for power, then it may be a good idea to have more outlets installed by a professional electrician.
When you have a new appliance, you know it can smell a bit “off” during the first few uses. However, you should never notice a strange smell coming from your outlets. If you ever do discover this type of odor, like burnt plastic, or another out-of-the ordinary smell coming out of your electrical outlets, breaker panel, or fuse box, then you should unplug everything and contact an electrician right away.
The majority of light fixtures are only going to draw a small amount of power. As a result, dimming or flickering lights are not typically an issue with the actual unit. Instead, this is a problem that is likely caused by a larger appliance that is trying to take too much power from the same circuit, or that the wiring is just having issues keeping a steady flow of electrical current.
Buzzing or Sparks
Sparking or buzzing outlets, breakers panels and appliances are not ever a good sign and something that needs to be treated with quite a bit of caution. When electricity is moving properly, it should be silent. If the wires, outlets or prongs have become loose, then the current is going to be forced to “jump” which is what will create the sparks and buzzing sounds.
Hot Switch Plates or Outlets
While there are some appliances that are designed to create heat, such as a hair dryer or a toaster, the power source that it is plugged into should not ever feel hot to the touch. If the outlet is hot, then unplug what is being used and call and electrician. There is a good chance there is an issue with the wiring.
If you suspect a wiring issue in your home, you should not wait to call for help. The problem is only going to get worse, and possibly produce an even more dangerous situation for you and your family.