Electricity is a necessity for modern life. Your home is almost certainly always running some kind of electrical system at every point, even when everyone is asleep. It only takes a blackout for you to appreciate just how much of a role electricity plays in everyday life.
However, when something is always there, it’s easy to take it for granted. It’s only when your electrical system goes seriously wrong that you realise how much of a problem it can be. Blackouts can be disruptive enough, but electrical problems can be dangerous, leading to fires that can destroy property and threaten lives.
Here are some signs that you should get your electrical systems checked out.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
If your lights keep flickering or going dim, it can be a sign that you simply need to replace the light bulb. This is typically a job that you can do yourself with no problem. However, sometimes flickering lights are a sign of a different issue.
Another common cause is that an appliance is attached to the same circuit as your lights and is draining a lot of the power. If this is the case, then an electrician can test the appliance and the circuit and make sure that the appliance has the right power supply. They might also be able to move the light to another circuit.
Heat From Switches or Outlets
If your switch or power socket fluctuates in temperature, then you should keep an eye on it. A warm socket may be fine, but if it becomes hot, then it’s a cause for concern. Try the device in a different outlet and monitor the temperature. If it doesn’t have the same problem, then your outlet needs to be checked out.
A warm outlet that isn’t being used to power something is also a potential problem, as it might have a wiring problem. Faulty wiring is one of the primary causes of electrical fires.
Strange Smells or Noises
Your electrical outlet shouldn’t ever make a noise, whether it’s an electrical buzz or a humming noise. These noises are typically caused by loose connections, defective appliances, or bad wiring. Once you’ve found the source of the noise, stop using the outlet or appliance and call an electrician to see what’s going on.
Sometimes a new appliance can emit a slight smell when you first use it, but this smell should never persist. If you smell burning around an outlet or a fuse box, then stop using the power and call an electrician right away.
As well as smelling or hearing things, you also shouldn’t see any sparks when you use electricity. Sparks lead to fire, and any outlet, fuse box, or appliance that sparks should get checked out.
Extension Cords Everywhere
If you find that your house is trailing extension cords, then you should consider getting some extra outlets installed in your home. Extension cords can be a trip hazard and most don’t offer as much protection as a proper socket.