Electrical issues can lead to property damage and even a house fire. It’s estimated that electrical problems cause over 50,000 house fires every year. Pay attention to signs of electrical problems in the home.

Flickering Lights Indicate Electrical Problems in the Home

Flickering or dimming lights is not usually a problem with the fixture. Most light fixtures don’t use much power. The issue may be loose wiring or can be caused when items such as space heaters or large appliances are plugged into the same circuit as the light.

Some appliances draw a lot of power from your system. Dimming lights might occur when the washing machine or even a hairdryer is in use. Flickering is a signal to call an electrician to troubleshoot. They may recommend installing dedicated wiring for your major appliances.

Strange Odors

It’s normal to notice an odd odor from an appliance the first few times it’s used. However, if strange odors are coming from outlets, you may have a bigger issue. In that case, unplug any appliances in that outlet and do not use it until an electrician has the opportunity to check it out and remedy the problem.

Incorrect Use of Extension Cords

Using extension cords improperly is one of the most common fire safety concerns in the home. Don’t run extension cords in areas where they can become pinched or kinked. This can cause shorts and trip the breaker, damage outlets, or cause fires. Extension cords should only be used on occasion because they’re not designed for long-term use. If you find that your household needs more outlets, have an electrician install them for you.

Sparks are Signs of Electrical Problems in the Home

Sparks coming from the electrical system including an outlet, fuse box, or breaker panel are not a good sign. If an appliance is sparking, unplug it immediately until you can get it repaired. Have a professional test both the appliance and the outlet to find the source of the problem.

Hot Outlets

It’s normal for some appliances to get hot, like your toaster or a space heater. Outlets, however, should never become too hot to touch. If you discover a hot outlet, unplug everything plugged into the outlet and have an electrician take a look. It may be a simple wiring mistake that can be easily repaired.

Frequently Tripped Breakers

Fuses and circuit breakers are components of the electrical system designed to prevent overloads. Some appliances tend to trip breakers. You might just need to buy a newer hairdryer or vacuum cleaner if yours continues to trip the breaker. However, if you notice that using a particular outlet trips the breaker consistently, then you’re dealing with an overloaded circuit that needs repair. Your electrician might install another circuit for your home if they frequently overload.

Call a professional at the first sign of an electrical problem at home. You’ll keep your family and home safer.

Five Stars Home Inspections provides home inspection services in the Greater Boston area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.