How to Solve Common Household Electrical Problems
Welcome back to my Home Ownership 101 Series everyone! Today I am sharing six common electrical household problems that you need to be aware of and how to solve them. Whether you have a new home, an old home, if you have just bought it, or even if you have lived there for years, there will be a time when you discover electrical problems. Electrical wiring gets old and breaks down, causing an array of issues, so it’s important to be aware of what the most common issues are and how to deal with them, especially when it comes to fire safety and prevention. It is estimated that the average person will spend around one percent of the value of their home on upkeep every year, and keeping the electric updated and safe should always be a priority for homeowners.
Should you DIY or Call A Professional Electrician?
It is estimated that the average person will spend around one percent of the value of their home on upkeep every year. So, if you own a $500,000 property, you’ll pay around $5,000 just on maintenance.We all like to save money when it comes to home repairs, but electrical problems are serious and are often times best handled by a professional electrician. There are some minor issues that you will probably be able to repair with some DIY electrical knowledge, but there are certainly some electrical repair jobs that will require professional expertise. For that reason, it’s worth having the number of a level 2 electrician on hand, as this will ensure you can quickly have the help of a professional should you need it.
Be on the lookout for these six common household electrical problems:
If you plug something in and out enough times the socket will start to get loose in the wall. You’ll need to turn off the power and remove the cover to your socket. It may just need outlet shims or it may be damaged and need replacing.
If you have one particular appliance that trips the circuit every time then there’s a good chance there is something wrong with the appliance. Try it in a different socket. If this doesn’t solve the issue or plugging anything into a specific circuit causes it to trip, then you probably have a short in the circuit. You’ll need expert help to trace and rectify this issue.
If your breakers are constantly tripping then you probably have an overloaded circuit. You’ll need to identify what is plugged into the circuit and try with one or two items removed. If this resolves the issue then you’ll need to add another circuit; again a job for a professional. It can also be extremely helpful to be able to quickly identify which breaker keeps getting tripped. Using a color coded system is a great idea! If your breakers are constantly tripping then you probably have an overloaded circuit. You’ll need to identify what is plugged into the circuit and try it with one or two items removed. If this resolves the issue then you’ll need to add another circuit; again a job for a professional. If you have a mini-split HVAC system, they’re a great solution which reduces the amount of energy that your home consumes, while allowing you to avoid ugly ducting all over the place. Mini split systems, however, depend heavily on their filters for keeping dust and grime out of the compressor. When filters get clogged up, mini split systems can’t draw in fresh air, and cooling performance begins to suffer. This loss of performance shortens the life of the unit. The compressor has to work harder to achieve the same cooling performance, wearing out the bearings in fan motors and generally causing the whole thing to deteriorate. This can cause electrical problems with the unit, so be sure to stay on top of HVAC maintenance.
If your lights are constantly flickering then you may have a poor connection somewhere in the lighting circuit. This will need to be addressed as the poor connection could tap another wire and cause a fire. The same issue can cause your light bulbs to burn out very quickly. Equally, this type of fault can be caused by excessive insulation near the socket, which is causing the bulb to overheat. Again, this is a risk of fire.
No Power At A Socket
If you don’t appear to have any power at a socket but the breaker is on then you may have a wiring issue or a fault with the socket. You’ll need to turn the power off and remove the cover to see what issues are behind. In most cases this is probably not something you’ll be able to fix yourself. If it appears that the socket is damaged you may want to replace it, (with the power off). However, you should be aware that this may not fix the issue. It’s worth getting professional help.
Warm Light Switches
If you have a dimmer switch it might get warm. However, if you have a warm light switch that isn’t a dimmer switch then you’ll need to proceed with extreme caution. A warm switch indicates two wires are connecting which shouldn’t be. You’ll be at risk of an electrical shock unless you know what you’re doing. There are approximately 1,000 electrical-related deaths per year in Australia. It is better to be safe and call a qualified professional than to take a chance with such a dangerous substance.
Our home is 98 years-old, but luckily the wiring was updated by the previous owners. Nevertheless it is still almost 100 years old so we do keep an out out for these six common electrical problems or any other questionable electrical issues. It is always scary and heartbreaking to see homes that have been lost to fires that could have been avoided with routine electrical maintenance and upkeep. While on the subject of fire hazards, if you use your fireplace as a heat source be sure to have the “creosote” removed by a professional chimney sweep. (Creosote is a flammable material which is the most common cause of dangerous chimney fires).
Saving money on your home electricity
Of course, for many homeowners (and renters), their biggest electrical problem will be their home electricity bill! Fortunately, this is often easy to fix. Even older homes can make use of smart appliances and smart meters. These are very energy efficient (and convenient) and can really do a lot to bring down the cost of running your home.
You also need to make a habit of checking that you’re always with the best electricity provider on the best price plan. Actually, make a calendar note to do this and schedule in the time to do the research properly. Look at all the providers in your area, including the light companies with no deposit. Then compare their plans carefully before you make your final decision.
No matter how long you have lived in your home, be sure to be attentive to any electrical problems as soon as you notice them, and always call a professional for questionable electrical problems. Hopefully however, this will never be any issue for you.
Thanks so much for visiting today!