We depend on electricity for pretty much everything these days. From running your appliances to enjoying the everyday comforts in our homes such as television and the radio. We need electricity to run all of the things that we use each and every day. When we lose our electricity for even a few hours, it can really disrupt what you are doing, and it can throw a wrench into your plans causing you to reschedule things and even postpone things such as making dinner.
It can be a very inconvenient and if you are not prepared for a power outage it can even be a major problem. It could even turn into a life-threatening situation. For example, if you live in an area that gets cold in the winter and you lose your only means of heating your home such as your electric baseboard heaters, you are facing a very real risk of freezing. We all take our electricity for granted, and it is when we lose it that we realize just how much we depend on it for our everyday living.
Typically it is best to call an electrician when you have an electrical problem, but there are a couple of things to check before calling into the professionals. If you know what to look for you can sometimes diagnose the issue and even troubleshoot to see if your prediction was correct. Otherwise, you will need electrical services. It’s good to be able to fix things on your own, and you can even prevent a more serious situation from developing.
If you have a tripped circuit breaker, you will lose your power or at least to certain areas of your home. This is normally the cause for electrical overloads and is to help protect your home from an electrical fire. They can also trip if they are very old and if this happens frequently, you should call in an electrician to take a look at your wiring.
Electrical Shocks in Your Home
If you get a mild shock when you touch one of your appliances, you could have improper wiring. You may also feel a mild shock when you cross a carpeted surface but could also indicate static which is common and especially in the wintertime. If you are unsure, it doesn’t hurt to get it checked out though.
Ceiling Fixtures That Are Too Hot to Handle
It is always a good idea to check the area surrounding your ceiling fixtures for warmth. You also want to pay attention to the maximum wattage allowance that is typically specified on the fixture. You never want to exceed this recommended wattage as it could potentially overheat and could also cause a fire to start. You could switch to compact fluorescent lights or even LED light bulbs which don’t give off as much heat as regular bulbs do.
Lights That Flicker
If you have lights that flicker it could be either be a loose bulb or defective bulb but if it continues to flicker after you have changed the bulb the problem may lie with the light fixture. It could also be the connections to the fixture, or you may have an issue with your wiring so get it checked out.
Non-Working Light Switches or Electrical Outlets
Another problem is outlets and light switches not working. When this happens, there is most likely an issue with the wiring that may be loose, or there could be an internally cracked device. This is not an issue that is easily fixed and is not something that you want to deal with so call the electrician.
Watch for Sparks or a Burning Odor
You should definitely all in the professionals if you smell a burning odor or if there are sparks coming out of any of your outlets or light switches. You should turn off the power immediately if this happens. You can do this at the control panel. You want to avoid an electrical fire. It is normal to have a few sparks fly when you plug in an appliance, but if they are large and it happens frequently, you have a more serious problem on your hands.