When to DIY and When to Call a Professional When Repairing Common Electrical Problems

Electrical repairs

Encountering electrical problems in your home can be really frustrating. Electrical issues might be the source of a mild irritation, such as flickering lights, or it could indicate serious issues, like a substantial fire threat. Nearly half of all home structure fires are caused by electrical wiring or distribution malfunctions. Here are a list of common electrical maladies, and whether you can repair it yourself or if finding an electrician is in order:

  • Flickering lights. The first and easiest way to solve this problem is by tightening the light bulbs. Otherwise, flickering lights indicates a poor connection in the circuit. If all of your lights flicker, the connection issue is likely in main wire connection. Electrical wiring repairs should always be performed by a professional electrician.
  • Lights randomly stop working and then turn on again later. Many times this is caused by a safety mechanism that protects the lights from overheating. Try replacing the bulbs with smaller or lower wattage bulbs and see if that fixes the problem.
  • An outlet or section of outlets abruptly dies. If the outlets in question are in the bathroom, kitchen, or garage, it is probably a result of the ground-fault interrupter, a sensor that makes sure these heavy wattage areas don’t get overloaded. Start by pressing the “reset” button on each outlet until the power resumes. Otherwise, inspect your circuit breaker box for any breakers that need to be reset. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you should consider finding an electrician to look at it, fixing it yourself could be dangerous.
  • A wall switch gets warm. This might not be a cause for concern if you have a dimming switch– they commonly run electricity as high as 600 watts at a time. One way to reduce the amount of heat generated by lights is to replace the bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs, which use less heat than incandescent bulbs. However, heat at a receptacle could be an indication of a serious issue though. Finding an electrician to immediately inspect the condition of the wiring in your home is essential.
  • An inexplicably high electric bill. There are a number of reasons that could cause poor home energy efficiency. You can eliminate phantom load by unplugging electronics that are not being used. The electricity leakage of unused electronics plugged into the wall can reduce your electric bill by at least 10%. If your bill abruptly sky rocketed without any changes in your energy usage, look for malfunctioning appliances– one common issue is a leaky hot water heater. As the water constantly leaks out of the reservoir, the water must be constantly refilled and reheated.
  • Burning smell when electricity is used. You should turn off the power immediately if you smell burning wires. It could be a faulty appliance, or it could indicate the beginning of an electrical fire. A qualified electrician should address the issue as soon as possible.

Do you have any solutions to these common electrical issues that we didn’t mention? Please leave us a comment with your advice below.

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