The average home is full of many kinds of systems, all of which are put under varying levels of strain on a daily basis. Each of these systems can develop a wide range of problems over time. Some of these issues are trivial. Some are not. One area where problems should never be taken lightly, however, is the electrical system. Electrical issues almost always pose a danger to both the home and the people inside. That’s why you should immediately respond to symptoms of an electrical problem by calling for repairs. Have a look at some common signs that your electrical system is experiencing some kind of problem, and when to call for professional help.
Flickering lights may be great atmosphere for a horror movie, but they’re less amusing when they happen in your home. If you have a single light flickering, it might mean a number of things. It could indicate that the lightbulb isn’t screwed in tightly enough, or that there’s a problem with that specific appliance. It could also mean there’s a short circuit in the outlet, which is a much more serious problem. If the lights are flickering in an entire area of your home, that means that there’s probably some sort of issue with the entire circuit. That’s a definite sign that you need to call for professional electrical repairs.
Modern electrical wiring is heavily insulated in most places to keep the current flowing where it is supposed to be and prevent the wire from becoming damaged. If the insulation fails for whatever reason, though, it creates a potentially dangerous situation. When electrical current is diverted into a path with high resistance, like drywall, it throws off a lot of extra energy as heat. If you have a short circuit diverting a lot of electricity into the surrounding area, you can sometimes actually feel it through the wall. If you notice a part of a wall in your home is inexplicably hot, it’s a good idea to call for repairs as soon as possible. Enough heat applied to the area around the wire might be enough to spark a house fire, which you obviously want to avoid at all costs.
A note about this symptom: although hot areas around light switches might indicate an electrical issue, this is not true of dimmer switches. Those are designed to vary the flow of electricity through them, which naturally causes them to run hotter. If a switch too hot to touch, though, you should still have an electrician look at it.
Constant Panel Tripping
Your home’s electrical panel is designed to prevent dangerous electrical issues by shutting off the power to a circuit that begins to behave oddly. This usually happens because the circuit is simply overloaded with too many appliances. However, you should call an electrician if your electrical panel keeps tripping over and over again. This might indicate that there’s a problem with that circuit, or even with the electrical panel itself. Best to call for repairs and not take chances.