No house experiences absolutely zero electrical problems. Every abode, no matter the age, is bound to have flickering lights or appliances that refuse to switch on one day. But some electrical problems are particularly serious, and shouldn’t be fixed by a non-professional.
Ignoring serious and persistent electrical issues can increase your home’s fire risk, not to mention pose irksome distractions. So if you notice the following in your home, call an efficient emergency electrician right away:
1. Buzzing or Humming Light Switch
When you switch on your lights and hear a buzz coming from inside the switch, that means the current is interrupted, causing it to produce a vibration. This usually happens in dimmer switches. That’s because when you dim the light, the switches actually undulate the current so that in our eyes, there is less light. The vibration, however, isn’t supposed to be loud.
Fortunately, a buzzing dimmer isn’t a major threat. You can fix it by changing your light bulb if the buzz seems to be coming from the bulb itself. Standard and rough service bulbs are the preferred replacement because they have tougher filaments that stand up to choppy current better, unlike decorative lights.
If the buzz is issuing from the switch, that may be because you’re overloading the switch’s capacity. Dimmer switches are designed to handle a specific number of watts only. If you’ve installed high-wattage bulbs, try removing a few of them to relieve the switches of the excess load. That should fix it. If removing bulbs isn’t an option, replace your dimmer switch with one with a higher wattage rating.
If your light switches aren’t dimmers, yet are still buzzing, loose wires may be the culprit. In this scenario, let an electrician do the work. The buzzes could be a sign that the electrical is jumping a gap across loose metal connections. Fixing this issue yourself when you’re not a pro can put you at risk for injuries, so leave it alone until the electrician arrives.
2. LED Strip Lights Bursting, Flashing, or Suddenly Malfunctioning
LED strip lights gained popularity because of the many ways they can add a dramatic effect to a room. But when it sustains damage, fixing it can be tricky.
The exact cause of broken, flashing, or bursting LED strip lights depends on the type of circuit you have, or whether your wires have issues. To check, turn off your main power source, and inspect the wire connections to confirm if they have loosened. Check as well for damaged coating, because that exposes the wires and increases the fire risk in your home. If that’s indeed the problem, you can assume that it’s the cause of your LED strip lights damage. Enlist professional assistance immediately to prevent the problem from worsening.
3. Flickering Lights
Flickering lights aren’t usually a serious threat. You can fix them by tightening or replacing the affected light bulb. If that won’t work, changing the switch usually turns out to be the solution. But sometimes, flickering lights are a telltale sign of a house-wide electrical problem.
When your lights only flicker at the same time you run your appliances, your currents might be overloaded. Large appliances and HVAC units draw a lot of current from the circuit, causing lights to flicker. The main origin of the problem, however, is usually the inadequate wiring of an appliance, or a circuit breaker that can’t power up all your electronics. Call an electrician to determine the real cause and have it fixed.
4. Hot or Burning Electrical Outlets
There is no question that a hot or full-on burning outlet is threatening. When that happens, loose wires or outdated electrical outlets are the usual culprits. Prolonged extension cord use, misuse of light fixtures, misuse of space heaters, or overloaded electrical outlets may also lead to a fire. In the case of an outlet that grows hot, it often means that the electronics plugged into that outlet are consuming energy beyond the capacity of the wiring.
A GFCI or circuit breaker can’t reduce fire risks brought by a hot outlet if loose wires are the main issue. So check your most frequently used outlets every day to ensure that they’re not heating up.
5. Grounding Issues
If you touch a metal object connected to an electrical item and receive a slight shock, your home’s electrical system should be properly grounded. Only an electrician can perform this. While waiting for their service, avoid using the affected electronics and unplug them. Don’t let kids and pets get close to the wires as well.
These electrical problems may not burn down your home right away, but they may pose electrical shock hazards, and those are potentially deadly. So, protect your loved ones and your properties by treating these electrical issues with a sense of urgency.