MOST COMMON HOUSEHOLD ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS THAT SHOULD NOT BE DIY’D
HARMLESS HOME ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
1. Rickety/Movable Outlet Plug
Switch off the circuit breaker. Make sure to double check to see if there is voltage going to the outlet either by using a voltmeter or by plugging something in. After checking, simply unscrew the cover plate and you can add outlet shims until your outlet is no longer loose and even with the wall.
2. Broken Light Switch
Switch off the circuit breaker, you will know it is the right one when the light goes out. Remove the faceplate with a flathead screwdriver. Now remove the light switch using a phillips head screwdriver. Before disconnecting, test the two wires that are connected to the screw to see if there is any electricity. If all is safe, go ahead with disconnecting and reassembling the light switch.
3. Simple Short Circuit
Certain electrical appliances, such as microwaves or hairdryers can often trip or short your circuits. If this happens, simply reset the breaker. If this happens repeatedly with the same appliance this indicates that the problem is with the appliance, not the electrical system.
If it occurs without the appliance, this may indicate a short in the receptacle or wiring and needs to be looked at by a licensed electrician.
4. Cut or Damaged Extension Cord
Unplug both ends of the cord and cut off the old plug. Peel the insulation jacket back, making sure to do so gently. Using a wire stripper, strip each wire down, twisting each end of the wire tightly.
You can now screw the wiring into the back of your plug. The order is: black to gold, green to green screw, white to silver screw. You can now close up your plug and secure the wires. If the cord is cut or damaged in the middle, buy extra ends and you can now turn the damaged cord into two new extension cords.
HAZARDOUS HOME ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
1. Dimming or Flickering Lights
This might be a sign of a bad connection and could potentially lead to arcing – corroded/loose connections resulting in intermittent contact and this could result in overheating, sparking and fire.
2. Light Bulbs Burning Out Often
Experiencing bulbs that frequently blowout? This could be much more serious than simply overuse. There may be a loose connection in the circuit or socket. Recessed lights that often fail? This could be due to insulation that is too close causing overheating, these fixtures are designed to prevent fires by shutting off if they overheat.
3. Dead Outlets
This can be the result of poor connection (possible arcing), or a tripped circuit breaker due to an excessive buildup of heat that can cause melted wiring or outlets.
4. Warm Switches or Outlets
If it isn’t from a dimming switch, a warm outlet is an extremely serious safety concern and should immediately be addressed by a licensed electrician.
5. Breakers Tripping Frequently
Most of the time this is a sign that a circuit is being overloaded and using far too much electricity. Consider adding a circuit or upgrading your electrical service outright.
HOME ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS OR WARNING SIGNS HAVE YOU IN OVER YOUR HEAD?
No reason to be a DIY hero, dealing with electrical problems is not exactly like dealing with drywall – you can cause serious harm to yourself or your property. And while property can be replaced, you cannot be.
Tallahassee Electrician Company
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