There are a lot of different signs that you may need to do some electrical repairs in your home (or replace some electrical devices/wiring/etc.), and today we’re hoping to share some of the warning signs that you can spot as a homeowner. It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that if you aren’t sure what you are doing when it comes to electrical work in your home, hire a professional. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.
When it comes to damage to electrical-related equipment and wiring in your home, here’s what you want to look for:
- Frayed and damaged wires. There are many reasons why wires can become frayed and damaged. In fact, with most wiring you can chew through the sheathing yourself (not that you’d want to). Any damage to wires should prompt an immediate repair (typically from a professional).
- If outlets are warm to the touch or have scoring/scorch marks, it’s a sign that there’s a real problem going on behind the scenes.
- Your circuit breaker box trips for a reason—it’s to prevent your appliances from overdrawing electricity and causing a fire/damaging your equipment, and so on. If you are constantly flipping a switch or two at the breaker box, and especially if you don’t know why, you should consult a professional.
- Any smoke or the smell of electronics burning can be a big warning sign. Call a professional, especially if you can’t figure out what is wrong. Another sign would be a crack, buzz, or sizzle sound coming from the outlets and/or wiring.
- A subtler signal that there is a problem than a tripped breaker is when turning on one device dims the lights in the other devices (for instance, do the lights get dimmer when you run the vacuum).
- Are your electrical switches loose? If so, you’ll want to get new outlets and equipment in there.
Typically speaking, be sure to call a professional when it comes to electrical work. When you have a visible problem, such as smoke coming from an outlet, turn off the power at the main box (to that outlet), and call a professional right away.
Henry Duckstein Jr.