Customer question series
By the mere fact that you are asking this, I assume you are not familiar with electrical work. If you feel that anything needs to be done, it’s best to get a professional electrician. It’s better to pay for a service then watch your house go up in flames and the insurance company doesn’t pay because you, an unqualified person, did the repair.
If an outlet isn’t working (and there’s no switch for it) than that is a simple fault to fix. There is a wire that’s not quite attached.
If a series of outlets go out there is a wiring problem in at least one. Check all of them, as you never know if the same situation is at the others.
If you’re near the breaker box in your home and hear a buzzing, then most likely a circuit breaker is not set in to the box properly. Pull it out first to ensure that the bar is still workable. If it’s black or has smaller sections of it, remove the breaker, replace it, and put it in a different, available position - you might want an electrician for this.
If a circuit trips a lot, and you don’t think you’ve overloaded the circuit, try replacing the circuit breaker. Old appliances usually are not as efficient as new ones, but a new circuit breaker is cheaper than a new microwave, so try that first.
If your lights flicker or don’t come on, you have a problem with the bulb, the switch, the socket, or the wiring. I would check in that order, easiest first. There is a little tab at the base of the socket that might have been flattened and is no longer touching the bulb.
If your lights dim when an appliance turns on, you have too many amps on your line. Or you’re service needs to be upgraded.
If you smell something burning you either just burnt out some wires or you have a real fire. Always be sure you have working smoke alarms and a handy fire extinguisher, usually in the kitchen. Also, according to code you need a CO detector above every gas appliance and, if you have a gas forced air heater, in every room. I use the CO/Smoke detectors with a voice alert - I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with a buzzing, trying to figure out if it’s CO or fire that I’m confronted with.