Bad electrical wiring in your home is nothing to take lightly. According to the U.S. Fire Department, there are an estimated 24,200 fires in houses annually due to electrical malfunctioning. Electricity is a major component of our homes and a necessity in our daily lives that usually runs smoothly. However, neglecting the bad wiring in your home can lead to serious problems and safety for your family.
You can avoid electrical malfunctioning in your house to keep your appliances and family safe by looking out for these signs of bad electrical wiring.
Symptoms of Bad Wiring In Your Home
Messy or Overloaded Electrical Panels
Unlicensed electricians do not care about neatness in work, often convincing the homeowners that messy wiring doesn’t lead to further problems. Contrary to their case, messy wiring in the electrical panel is highly problematic as it is the hub of your house’s electrical system.
A single and slightly exposed wire in the electrical panel can result in a short circuit. If your electrical systems have wires crossing paths, seeming like a distorted spider web, you should call a licensed electrician to avoid major electrical malfunctioning.
Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping
It is not when your circuit breaker trips that you need to worry about the wiring in your home, but when they start to trip frequently. A power surge can enter your electrical system from an external or an internal source, harming your machines and causing a house fire.
The electrical system is designed so that all wires go through the circuit breakers before forking into different circuits. The circuit breaker cuts off a circuit when there is a power surge. However, when the circuit breaker starts tripping frequently and when there is no apparent power surge, it is a prominent sign that the circuit is overloaded or a deep-lying problem with your electrical system is causing damage.
Flickering and Dimming Lights
Do the lights flicker or dim when you turn on an appliance? If yes, you need to call an electrician and get a full house inspection to catch the root cause before it blows up your valuable and expensive appliances or starts a house fire.
Flickering or dimming lights is a surefire sign of loose or damaged wiring. It can also mean the circuit the light is on is overloaded and causing a power surge that can blow the light.
Have you ever wondered what electricity sounds like? Probably not. Because electricity works quietly and we are used to it until there is a problem with the wiring.
Wiring can become loose behind the switchboards, or the plug does not fit into the sockets because their grips have loosened. This causes a series of tiny sparks that we hear as a buzzing sound. If you hear a buzzing sound when you plug in a device or a machine, plug it out and do not use it without having it checked.
As we mentioned above, a series of tiny sparks can cause buzzing noises, but they can also cause excessive heat, leading to burnt prongs and switchboards. Loose wiring can result in the improper connection of the prong and the socket, leading to overheating and small fires. These are significant factors you can determine by the burning smell. The most common smell is plastic burning since switches and boards are normally made up of plastic.
Burnt outlets are another sign you should be able to notice easily. As a result of the heat and small fires within outlets, they can fry and become discolored. The heat comes from loose or exposed wiring, which causes the plastic to melt and burn.
If you see the outlets showing brown or black marks, it is obvious that you should stop using them immediately and call for an electrician as there can be a deeper and more severe electrical problem.
Underperforming and Damaged Appliances
Various appliances require different power outputs to run efficiently. Appliances such as fans, lights, televisions, and laptops are low-power-consuming items and can run on any socket. However, machines such as refrigerators, microwaves, hairdryers, and hair straighteners are heavy appliances that require more energy to run.
The circuits consisting of your kitchen and bathroom usually have a higher power supply dedicated for the heavier appliances, so they do not cause a high power demand and cause a short circuit. However, if you only use these appliances on the dedicated circuits but they still underperform or damage easily, it can be due to a problem within these circuits, or there might not be a dedicated circuit in your home.
If your appliance underperforms or damages easily, call an electrician and install a dedicated circuit for better performance and to prevent house fires.
Looking for an Electrician?
As a homeowner, it is important to look out for these signs of bad wiring to keep your home and your family safe. If you see any of the signs mentioned above, please contact us to hire a licensed electrician.