7 Signs Your Home or Business Needs Electrical Work
Did you know that electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of fires in residential homes? Faulty wiring causes an average of about 350 deaths, more than 1,400 consumer injuries, 51,000 fires, and nearly $2 billion in property damages per year according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). With such shocking statistics, it’s important to recognize faulty wiring along with the steps needed to fix it. In this article, we’ll be exploring 7 red flags that your home has electrical infrastructure issues and the precautions that you need to take into account.
One of the top signs that something’s wrong with your wiring system is flickering or dimming lights. Inconsistent lighting comes from unstable levels of voltage running through the circuits of your home. Faulty circuits or loose wires are generally the root issue of flickering or dimming lights. If you see this happening around your home, we highly advise you to schedule an inspection with a professional as soon as possible.
However, it is important to note that flickering or dimming lights is common when your heating, ventilation, or air conditioning unit kicks on because it takes an immense amount of start-up power to get it going. Once the unit is stabilized, the operating wattage will decrease, and you should see no issues with dimming lights.
Discolored Switches or Outlets
If you notice discolored or charred outlets and switches around your home, this is a distinct sign that your home needs an inspection at the very minimum. Outlets can become discolored after overheating for a long period of time or from a short circuit that may have melted parts of the switch or outlet. Overheating can be caused by smoldering, arcing, burning behind outlets, and poor wiring inside of the outlet. If you notice a discolored outlet, avoid using it and call a licensed and certified electrician immediately! If you find yourself needing to replace outlets, switches, or wiring you can visit us at ATIElectrical.com or call one of our experts for a reliable quote fast. We’re available by call or text at (800)-597-9311 or send us an email at PPG@atielectrical.com.
Circuit Breakers Tripping Frequently
Frequent breaker tripping is a sign that electrical circuits are being overloaded and you may need rewire the circuit in order to better handle the load. Circuit breakers are designed to shut off electricity when a circuit exceeds its amperage rating. This typically happens at 80% of the rated current. For example, a 20 amp breaker will trip when the maximum load current exceeds 16 amps. This is a safety mechanism implemented to prevent circuits from overloading in order to avoid electrical fires. If your breakers are constantly tripping, your circuit breakers can begin to fail, and wires may draw more current than their rated amperage and begin to overheat. If this happens, there is nothing to protect against excessive current and your home can be put at high risk of an electrical fire. Make it a priority before it’s too late.
Buzzing or Sizzling Sounds
If you hear a buzzing or sizzling sound when you turn on the lights, it could be a sign of arcing. Arcing happens when electricity jumps between connections. Clover Electric states that arcing creates a flash of electricity that can reach up to 35,000℉. The heat from arcing can melt away protective wire insulation, leaving the perfect path for electricity to strike your home’s infrastructure and cause a fire.
Another possibility is that one of your home’s circuits is overloaded and the breaker hasn’t tripped when it should have. As mentioned above, if a breaker does not trip when needed, the wires in the circuit can exceed their maximum amperage rating and become so hot that it may start an electrical fire. If you notice buzzing sounds in your lights, switches, outlets, or appliances, we highly recommend calling an electrician in your local area to come take a look.
As obvious as this might sound, if you can smell something burning in your home and you’re not cooking anything – there may be something serious going on in your electrical system. This indicates that something is dangerously overheated and could lead to an electrical fire. This burning smell is likely caused by faulty wiring, loose connections, or an overloaded circuit causing wire insulation to melt or damage nearby appliances or outlets. Don’t take this issue lightly. If you’re under the impression that one of your electrical circuits is overheating or burning, turn off your main breaker immediately and call an electrician to diagnose the issue. If the smell is extremely potent, you should turn off the main breaker, leave your house immediately, and call 911.
If you experience a shock or numbing sensation while plugging in appliances, don’t take this situation lightly. Symptoms of injuries can range from burns to organ failure. Even the smallest shock is a cause for concern. Faulty receptacles are a common cause of shocks. Defective receptacles or improper installation can lead to frayed wires that will create an abnormal path for the electricity. It’s also important to make sure that you never touch the metal prongs on a cord while plugging in your device. Keep your fingers on the plastic section of the cord and call a professional if you notice you’re getting shocked frequently when plugging in your devices.
Your House Was Built Before 1993
To many of us, 1993 doesn’t feel as if it was that long ago. However, if your home is over 30 years old it may be time to inspect for wiring issues. Older homes often lack the electrical infrastructure to support today’s technology. This can lead to overwhelming your home’s wiring system. I know, it may seem daunting at first, but you may not need to rewire the whole house. An electrical panel changeout could be all you need, and that may only cost around $2,500 - $4,000 depending on the size of your panel. Call a licensed and certified electrician in your area for a more accurate quote.
With these warning signs in mind, rewiring your home can be intimidating. Here at ATI, we offer top-of-the-line cable and power supplies. If you have any questions about how we can supply the equipment for your rewiring process, please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable representatives through the live chat on our website or contact us by calling or texting (800)-597-9311. We offer custom solutions and are happy to help you on your journey toward having a safe home!