Most Common Electrical Problems in a Home
Light bulbs are burning out at a high rate
There are a variety of reasons why a bulb will burn out at a high rate. One of the most common reasons is that your light bulb exceeds the maximum wattage for the fixture. This will cause excess heat to build up which causes the bulb to burn out quickly and can even lead to an electrical fire. Switching to a lower wattage light bulb or a switching to a larger fixture or globe can prevent this overheating from occuring.
Some lights are flickering or blinking
This can be caused be a poor connection somewhere along the circuit. If it happens all throughout the home, a main wire connection could be having trouble. Also, if any fixture looks loose or insecure, it’s time to call an licensed electrician.
A set if outlets or light aren’t working
If you have already tried to safely reset any breakers or GFCIs and they still don’t work, the problem could be a poor connection somewhere along a circuit. If you ever see an outlet spark or show any signs of blackening around the outlet plug, it should not be used.
Half of an outlet works, but the other half doesn’t always work
It may be that some of your outlets may be energized by a wall switch. Another possibility is that use over time has loosened the hold that one half has on the cords you plug into it.
Outlets in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, or outdoors no longer work
According to the National Electrical Code, these areas in your home should all have GFCIs, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. GFCIs are created to protect you and trip if it senses a problem that might shock you. This is the most common reasons an outlet in one of these areas no longer works and the GFCI just simply needs to be reset.
Circuit breaker or outlet has tripped and won’t reset
While this could be a problem with the breaker or GFCI, it could be due to a failure somewhere else on the circuit. Today homes use a lot more power than in the past due to the amount of electronics used in the home. The circuit breaker or outlet could have tripped due to an overloaded circuit.
Circuit breaker often trips when the microwave or a hair dryer is used
If the tripping is not immediate, these high-wattage items (when running along with a few lights for a while) are probably too much for the circuit. One option to avoid the circuit breaker tripping is to limit the use of other things on the circuit but if you can do that then a new separate circuit is the only solution. Many hair dryers, however, have a lower-watt setting on them; using that might help.
Wall switch is warm
Many times a dimming switch will do this and it is normal when they are running 600 watts worth of bulbs (or less) but if the switch is smoking or is too hot to touch, you have a problem. For all other switches, heat at a receptacle typically means there is a problem that needs immediate improvement.
A light is controlled my two switches but one switch does not always work
A switch can go bad, but many times this is caused by having the switch replaced incorrectly.
A switch that does nothing
If you are not the first owner of the home or if you have replaced receptacles recently, this switch receptacle might have been disabled. This most commonly happens in bedrooms and living rooms.
Dyer won’t heat up
There is probably a poor connection at the dryer’s receptacle or at its circuit breaker. If you have a fuse box, one of the fuses could be blown.
Electric bill is higher than normal
This can be due to a hot water pipe leak, assuming your water heater is electric but this could also be caused be a variety of other possibilities.
Sometimes troubleshooting an electrical problem is as simple as a light bulb being burned out, a switch that wasn’t turned on, or a tripped GFCI receptacle or breaker but sometimes there is an underlying problem that needs to be identified by a licensed electrician. If you have an electrical question, one of Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractor’ professional and licensed electrician are here to help you.