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We take it for granted that when we flick a switch, the light will come on; and when we plug in an electrical appliance, that it will work. Are you frustrated when your lights keep flickering and the bulbs burn out? Or how about when your wall outlets shock you or have no power? You are not alone in your frustration, but “doing it yourself” is never advised when it comes to electrical repairs, no matter how minor you think the problem may be.
All electrical problems have the potential to be a serious fire hazard, so it’s always advisable to call a professional electrician for electrical repairs.
The most common reasons electricians are called out for are:
1. Flickering Lights
There are a few reasons that can cause your lights to flicker:
- The light bulb is loose – before calling an electrician, switch off the light and check that the light bulb is tightened properly. If the lights stop flickering once you tighten the bulb, there is no reason to call an electrician.
- The switch is faulty and will need replacement.
- The wiring is poor and needs to be redone professionally.
- There are too many appliances on one circuit, decreasing the voltage supply. An electrician will need to inspect the circuit and advise on a safe solution.
- If the flickering lights are accompanied by a burning smell or buzzing sound, it could be a loose or faulty circuit connection. You need to call an electrician as soon as possible.
2. Bulb Burnouts
If you find that you need to keep replacing burnt-out bulbs, the problem could be because:
- The voltage is too high for the bulb.
- The wiring on the circuit or panel has been done poorly or is faulty.
- The dimmer switch may be faulty.
- There is not enough airflow around the bulb.
- The bulb does not fit tightly in the holder.
3. The Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping
The circuit breaker is a safety feature that interrupts the current flow when a fault is detected. There are several reasons that a circuit breaker will trip, and some of those reasons include:
- The circuit is overloaded. They are designed for a certain amount of power and when overloaded, will trip and cause a power outage to a part of, or the whole house.
- There is a short circuit – this happens when the hot wire touches the neutral wire.
- There is a ground fault – this occurs when the hot wire comes into contact with the ground wire.
- There is an arc fault – a loose screw terminal connection in the switch or outlet.
- The circuit breaker is old or worn and needs replacing.
4. Switches & Outlets Shock When Touched
An electrical shock when you touch switches and outlets, turn devices off or on, or plug them in or out, is very unpleasant and can be dangerous. You need to find out why this is happening as the reason could lie with the device itself, or the fault could lie with the electrical wiring. Call an electrician to assess and fix the problem.
5. The Outlet Is Dead
If you plug in an appliance and it is not working, it could be either the appliance or the outlet that is at fault. The outlet could be dead because:
- The fuse or GEI has tripped.
- The wiring is faulty.
- The outlet itself is faulty and needs to be replaced.
6. You Have A Very High Electrical Bill
If you start receiving an abnormally high electric bill, you need an electrician to investigate the cause. Some causes of high electrical bills include:
- You have a damaged electrical wire or circuit.
- There is a leakage in the electrical system.
- You are using outdated electrical appliances that use a lot of power.
7. Faulty Light Switch
If you have a switch that is making a buzzing noise or not working at all, you need to contact an electrician. The problem could be:
- The switch itself is faulty.
- It has been connected incorrectly.
- There is a problem with the electrical wiring, and it needs replacing
8. Broken Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) Outlets Or Breakers
Normally found in kitchens and bathrooms, GFCI’s have a little red reset and test button. If this button continuously pops, it indicates that there is a dangerous problem in the electrical circuit that needs immediate attention.
Problems Electricians Pick Up During Routine Inspections & Maintenance
If you are considering buying a home or renovating your existing home, you will need the property inspected by a licensed and qualified electrician. Some electrical problems that they pick up during these inspections could include:
- Loose connection burns in the panel – a loose electrical connection generates heat that causes the wire insulation to burn off. This is very dangerous and an enormous fire hazard.
- When testing the voltage, they could detect power surges or transients. These are high voltage disruptions that can cause permanent damage to connected electronic appliances or devices.
- Incorrect or outdated wiring – this needs to be rectified immediately as faulty or incorrect wiring is a fire hazard.
- The entire panel needs updating or replacing – with more and more appliances being added to the electrical source, older homes may need to have the panel replaced. The panel may also need to be replaced or resized if you are doing any expansions to the property.
Call Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric For All Electrical Repairs
If you are looking for fully licensed, insured, experienced, and knowledgeable electrical contractors who will do the job right the first time around, call Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric at 1-800-475-1504 Monday to Saturday 8 am to 8 pm or Sundays for emergencies.