Is Your Electrical System a Disaster Waiting to Happen?
Your electrical system is the lifeblood of your home, even though you probably don’t give much thought to what happens after you have flipped a switch. Like everything else in your home, the electrical system eventually wears out and requires replacement. Since an aging, overloaded system can cause electrical fires and other serious issues, it is important to recognise the signs it should be replaced soon.
Your Outlet Shocks You or Has Scorch and Heat Marks
According to Efficient Air Conditioning & Electric Inc., an outlet that gives off frequent shocks is one of the earliest indicators that the electrical system is wearing down. The outlets in your home feel hot to the touch and some of them may have scorch marks. If replacing the outlet fails to correct the problem, consider having it inspected by an electrician.
Outlets that look like this should be replaced immediately.
You Need to Reset Your Circuit Breaker Frequently
When the circuits in your home are overloaded because they are trying to process too many amps, the circuit breaker stops working until you reset it. Some homeowners attempt to fix the problem by replacing the blown fuses. This isn’t always successful, especially if part of the wiring somewhere in the circuit has a short. If it seems you are resetting your circuit breaker every couple of days, the entire electrical system may be faulty.
You Smell Smoke
If you smell smoke or actually see fire in your home, the first thing you need to do is ensure everyone’s safety. Turn off your circuit breaker and all appliances before calling an electrician.
Electrical fires cause hundreds of injuries and deaths every year.
One sure way to know that the smoke or fire is coming from your electrical system is its acrid smell. If the electrical short is inside of the wiring in your walls, it could catch on fire and spread quickly. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand to douse smoke and flames from electrical outlets or any other visible locations. If you smell smoke but can’t see it, call the fire department immediately.
Your Lights Flicker On and Off
When you plug in your vacuum cleaner or iron, you may notice that the lights in your home go dim. They may also look like they are going to shut off only to suddenly turn on again. It is normal for this to happen occasionally, but you should investigate it further if it happens on a regular basis. This could indicate a bad circuit breaker or faulty wiring, both of which require replacement.
Loose Connections and Frayed Wiring
Everyday use often causes the plates on switches and outlets to loosen. This is typically caused by a weakened connection to the electrical wiring holding them in place. After ensuring that the wires are secure, be sure to replace any cracked or broken plates right away. It is also important not to leave electrical wiring sticking out of your wall without an outlet cover. This is especially important if the wiring is frayed because it will only deteriorate more in addition to posing a safety hazard.