If you have ever gone without electricity for an extended period, you understand how necessary it is for daily activities. Watching television, keeping food cool in the refrigerator and charging our phones – just to name a few common niceties of modern life – would be impossible without electricity. That is why it is important to ensure power is always running smoothly in your home. If you notice any of these common problems, it is time to call an electrician.
Exposed wires are common after a do-it-yourself renovation, but they pose a major fire and electrocution hazard and should not be ignored. If you do see an exposed wire, you should turn off the connection to the affected circuit before attempting to fix it.
You can use electrical tape on the exposed area or have an electrician splice and cover or attach the wires to structural framing to prevent fraying.
Some types of lights, such as fluorescent or LED, are more prone to flickering than others. In other cases, your light bulb may be loose in the socket or the light switch is not properly connected with the bulb. If you notice flickering lights when you turn on an appliance with high wattage, it may be because of a voltage fluctuation or loose wiring.
Electricity typically flows into homes at 120 volts. You can check the voltage using a voltmeter device. If your readings are about 125 volts or more, you should call an electrician. They may suggest buying 130-volt light bulbs, which can handle a higher voltage level.
Loose wiring can cause a fire. Check for it by shutting off the affected light at the circuit breaker and removing the fixture. If it looks loose or insecure, have an electrician evaluate your home’s electrical wiring.
High Electric Bills
Electric bills tend to fluctuate depending on the season – for example, in California, you will likely pay more for electricity in the summer because you will need to use your air conditioner more. However, if your bill is consistently high, you may be wasting electricity without knowing it.
You can lower your monthly payments by repairing damaged circuits or wiring. Large appliances, like refrigerators and A/C units, can cause power surges as their motors turn on and off, which can also cause your electric bill to spike. You can help prevent this by setting the temperature to a level that will prevent them from frequently cycling.
If you notice a burning or fishy odor coming from your outlets or switches, turn off the power at the circuit breaker immediately. The smell could be a wiring or overload problem that may cause an electrical fire. Contact an electrician right away to repair the issue.
Tripping Circuit Breaker
When the lights and appliances along a single circuit turn off at the same time, it is usually because the circuit breaker has tripped. They are designed to shut off power when any of the following hazardous situations occur:
- Ground fault – This happens when a hot wire encounters a metal wall box or wood framing members – posing an electric shock risk in spaces with high moisture levels, like bathrooms and kitchens. Installing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets, which detect ground faults and shut off power to the affected circuit, can help prevent fires and electrocution.
- Overloaded circuit – If too many appliances or light fixtures are working at once, the circuit wires heat up, causing the breaker mechanism to trip and turn off the flow of electricity. Older homes are more prone to this problem, as they were not designed to handle the wattage required for modern appliances. In this instance, you will need to add a circuit or upgrade your electrical system to accommodate the higher wattage.
- Short circuit – A “hard short” is when a hot wire (black) touches another hot or neutral (white) wire. In other cases, a short circuit is caused by a wiring problem in an appliance or device plugged into an outlet along the circuit. Call an electrician to fix short circuits located in switches, outlets or breaker boxes.
Premier Electrical Repair, Maintenance and Installation in Sacramento, CA
Electricity keeps many things in your home running but if the system malfunctions, it could put your safety at risk. Hiring a professional electrician can ensure that your electrical system is working properly so your family is protected.
The certified electricians at Bonney Plumbing have the experience to handle repair, maintenance and installation services across the greater Sacramento area. From home rewiring to electrical system inspections, we do it all. You can request service 24/7 by calling 800-444-0551 or by requesting an appointment online.