10 Common Electrical Problems Around the Home

Burnt lightbulb

There is no denying the influence electricity has on our modern lives. We use it to wash our clothing, cook our food, and power our communication and entertainment. An increase in electricity consumption also means there are more opportunities for things to go wrong. The following list identifies common electrical problems around the home and how to deal with them.

  • Power Surge – An electrical surge can happen for many reasons, including poor wiring, lightning strike, or damaged power lines. Some of these things must be handled by your energy company. If wiring is the issue, then you may need to talk to an electrician.
  • Uneven Power – If power seems to dip and surge at times, this could be due to the poor quality of the devices consuming it. Check your home for faulty or inferior-quality electronics and replace as needed.
  • Circuit Overload – Circuit overload happens when too many devices are consuming power at the same time. This often occurs in older homes that haven’t been updated to meet modern electrical standards. You may need to upgrade or otherwise increase the power capacity in your home. In the meantime, you can unplug devices that are not in use to lower the load.
  • Tripped Circuit Breaker – Circuits trip to protect your home. One of the most common causes is a high-wattage device like a microwave or hairdryer. Try using lower settings on these appliances or reduce the number of electrical devices in use at the same time.
  • Malfunctioning Light Switch – If your light switch is faulty, there could be one of several issues. It may need to be replaced or rewired. Dimmer switches can have trouble adjusting, especially if they are not installed properly or use poor quality materials. An electrician can identify the cause and come up with a solution.
  • Light Bulbs Burning Out – If you notice your light bulbs burning out faster than they should, you could have one of several problems. Common causes include poor wiring, wattage is too high, a dimmer switch is overloaded, or your insulation may be too close to the bulb.
  • Lack of Outlets – Older homes were built with fewer electrical outlets. Using power strips to create more ports can work but can also become a hazard if too many devices are connected. The only way to fix this problem is to install new outlets. In some cases, you may need to rewire and upgrade the service box to handle the increased capacity.
  • Electrical Shock – Electrical shock can be mild and may feel like a slight tingle when you touch an appliance. This usually indicates that something is wrong with the appliance or wiring that is powering it. You should be careful when handling these devices and replace them or fix the issue as soon as possible.
  • High Electrical Bill – If you receive an unusually high electric bill, that could indicate a problem with your home. Old electrical wiring and poor quality or damaged devices could be causing power surges. You should unplug devices when not in use to lower utility costs.
  • Lights Turning Off or Dimming – If your lights dim or brighten, you may be using the wrong type of bulbs. Lights turning off and on could indicate that the fixture is too close to ceiling insulation, causing it to heat up.

An electrician should be called anytime you cannot identify the cause of a power problem or if the problem is too complex to handle. Visit our website to learn more about using electricity at home.