As a homeowner, you know there is always something around the house that is showing signs that it is going to need to be repaired soon. Some repairs may be simple enough to do on your own with a few tools and a little knowhow. However, when it comes to electricity, there are some things that are better left to a professional. Consider these five instances where you should hire an electrician.
Circuit Breaker Constantly Trips
If your circuit breaker trips frequently, it can be a sign of a major electrical problem. Often this will occur when a circuit is overloaded and is a safety mechanism to prevent a fire or electrical damage to your home. However, once the suspected appliance or other electrical equipment is unplugged or the load is redistributed, the breaker is reset and it continues to trip, that is another story. The breaker may need to be replaced or additional work may be needed by a trained electrician, such as someone from the Independent Electrical Contractor of Greater Cincinnati.
Lights Flicker Often
It is common for lights to flicker during a storm, but if your lights flicker or suddenly get brighter all the time, you may have a serious electrical problem. This is a sign that there is a problem with the grounding of your home's electrical system. You may find that your appliances wear out sooner than they should. Flickering can also be caused by broken or loose electrical connections that could cause an electrical fire.
Burning Smell or Sparking from Outlets
If you smell something burning and cannot find its source or see sparks or flames coming from your outlets, you need to shut all power off at the circuit breaker immediately and call an electrician. You should not turn the power back on until your electrical system has been inspected and the problem resolved by a professional.
Warm Switches and Electrical Outlets
Homes that were built during the late 1960s and early 1970s may have aluminum wiring. The problem with this type of wiring is that because of mismatching of conductive materials with connections, there is a danger of overheating that can cause fire to start. You can confirm you have aluminum wiring by removing a light switch plate and checking to see if the wiring is a grayish silver. Homes built earlier than the 1960s may have wires that are covered in cloth insulation that can decay or be damaged by rodents. A warning sign of these conditions can be light switches and electrical sockets that are warm to the touch.
Your Home is More than 25 Years Old
If your home is older, it is very likely its electrical system is not up to current standards. Having electrical sockets near sinks or in your laundry room near water outlets now require outlets equipped with GFCIs. These sockets protect your home and family by reducing the chance of electrical shock.
If your home has any of these conditions, do not take a risk or try to repair on your own; you need an electrician.