4 Tell-Tale Signs of an Electrical Problem at Home

To a degree, we can check the electrical safety of our home ourselves, but only to gain clues as to there being a potential problem. When anything worrying is discovered, then it should be over to the qualified electrician to explore further and rectify the problem to maintain safety.

For information on who you can call, think about Electric City Corp. It is good to know that there is someone you already know of that you can call in an emergency and when you have an electrical job that needs attention at any time. If it is not a repair, it could be adding more sockets or scheduling an installation. 

So, let us now explore just what we should be looking out for when we give our home an inspection.

The Nose Test

Odd fishy smells are early warning indicators of a potentially serious electrical problem that could lead to a fire. When circuits develop faults, they will overheat. It is the plastic and heat-resistant chemicals that are in sockets, wiring insulations, and circuit breakers, that emit fishy, almost urine-like, smells. So, call an electrician to investigate further. It will protect your property and all those inside from an electrical fire occurring and then getting out of control.

Electricians will tell you that an electrical fire will initially have quite an acidic smell of plastic burning before it takes hold. There could be a short in the outlet or the wiring inside a wall, making it difficult to locate precisely for the average householder. An electrician will be best at locating a fault and also tell you that you are lucky if you smell something burning because most electrical fires will be odourless and invisible. This is why it is important to have your wiring regularly checked, particularly when it is old. 

Various Indications Wiring Needs Replacing

A persistent burning smell, picked up by the nose test above, is one clue. Others might be sockets or switches that are scorched or discoloured, flickering, or dimming lights, fuses blowing constantly, electric shocks being received, or sockets that are hanging. Then, of course, there is the age thing. If the wiring in your house has not been looked at in 20 years, it may be beyond your inspection and be a good idea to call an electrician to take a look. They will advise you if your home needs rewiring.

Chewed Wiring

Animals such as rodents are known to chew electrical cables. They do not know the dangers but chewing your cable will start to expose the wires inside, and so mean that it should be replaced to maintain your safety.

Ultrasonic repellent devices can be purchased to deter pests humanely. They produce sounds that affect the ears of these small creatures, keeping them away, but are inaudible to humans. Just make sure that these devices do not interfere with your pet. Also, that they are for the specific rodent or animal that you are trying to keep out, as there are different types available.

Overloading of Sockets

Check that nobody in your home is overloading the sockets. Perhaps inside a child’s bedroom where they have a computer and lots of other gaming equipment plugged in. Also, downstairs where you have your TV, stereo system, a second computer, and electric fire plugged in. Ask an electrician to put in more electrical sockets rather than use extension leads. If you do use them, use circuit breakers, and make sure that cables are fully extended. Just do not put too many items or powerful items such as an electric fire into them, and all leading into one socket.

In conclusion, some definite things to look out for here with regards to spotting electrical problems that are happening within your house or in terms of preventing them. There is the nose test, first of all, because electrical burning and overheating have a distinctive smell. Then, there are various visual signs that things are not right electrically. Next, we should check, particularly inside our attic, for chewed wiring that will need to be replaced before perhaps it would otherwise need to be due to age. Finally, thinking preventatively, have more sockets fitted by an electrician rather than risk overloading a single socket by using extension leads to try and provide a solution.

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