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Common Electrical Issues, and Their Warning Signs

Of all the many problems that can afflict various parts of your home, electrical problems are perhaps the most dangerous. A plumbing problem can inflict a lot of water damage, but an electrical problem can cause electrocutions and house fires. It’s vital that you have an electrician check the wiring in your home at least once every few years. Otherwise, you’re substantially increasing the likelihood that a problem will occur.

Even with regular maintenance appointments, though, there’s still a chance that an electrical problem can occur in your home. You should be familiar with some of the telltale signs of an electrical problem, so that you can contact an electrician as soon as possible.

Flickering Lights

No, your house isn’t haunted. At least, it’s not haunted just because the lights are flickering. The cause of flickering lights is almost always due to a short circuit in the system. If it’s just one lamp, you may just need to replace that lamp and nothing else. If it’s affecting an entire section of your home, then the short circuit is probably somewhere in the home and you have a bigger problem. If you are experiencing this symptom frequently, it’s highly recommended that you call a professional as soon as possible before the problem gets any worse.

Hot Spots

Have you ever put your hand on a light switch, or even a random spot on the wall, and felt that it was warm? Hot spots often indicate points in the electrical system where current is flowing in a direction it shouldn’t be. Electrical current that is diverted to a point that isn’t supposed to go, like another wire or directly into the drywall, throws off a lot of energy as heat. That’s what you’re feeling when you notice a hot spot in your home. Hot spots are an indication of a very serious breach in the electrical system, one that could possibly cause a house fire in short order. You do not want to ignore this sign, ever, so make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice it. Do note, however, that dimmer switches operate a little bit differently and will be warmer than traditional on/off switches.

Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping

The circuit breaker is designed to protect your home from power surges. When a part of your home’s electrical system suddenly begins to carry voltage beyond safety limits, the circuit breaker trips and that part of the system is shut down until the problem can be fixed. More often than not, a circuit breaker will trip because you just overloaded the circuit. Unplugging a few things and then resetting the breaker are often all that is required for that kind of thing. However, if your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you might have a bigger issue. Either there’s a more serious issue with that circuit, which the breaker is trying to protect against, or the circuit breaker itself is malfunctioning. Both need to be addressed immediately.

Douglas Cooling & Heating offers electrical services in Mountain Brook, AL. Contact us today for an appointment.

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