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Signs Your Home Needs an Electrical Updating

07/19/23

Electricity is one of the things in your home you may take for granted – until you don’t have it. A blackout for any period of time is extremely inconvenient, not to mention that you can’t use most of the appliances and devices in your home.

Often, electrical issues are caused by disasters or storms, but if your system is getting older, you could have problems like overloaded outlets or tripped breakers that leave you in the dark.

The best way to prevent this from happening is by upgrading your system before it becomes an issue. Here are some signs that your electrical system could use an update.

What Does an Electrical System Consist Of?

Electrical systems are complex and involve many different components. The electricity in your home enters in one spot and feeds into a circuit breaker panel, which then distributes it throughout your home.

 

The panel has several circuit breakers to handle the power for each part of your home, including the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. You’ll notice that some circuits have higher voltage or lower voltage.

If your circuit breaker panel is older, it may not have enough circuits to handle your electrical usage, or individual circuit breakers may not be able to handle their specific demands. When this happens, excess heat builds up in the system and melts the wiring insulation, which can lead to a fire. Circuit breakers that are overloaded will also trip more often, which is inconvenient at best.

Your Circuit Breakers Are Tripping

One of the surest signs of trouble for your electrical system is a tripping circuit breaker. This often happens when you use a simple appliance, such as a toaster or coffee maker, then you lose power all of a sudden.

 

If this happens, it’s a clear sign that your individual circuit powering that area is struggling. While you can replace just that circuit breaker, but the added power could present problems with your existing wiring. It’s best to contact an electrician to evaluate your options.

Your Outlets, Panel, or Switch Plates Are Hot

If you’ve ever touched an outlet or light switch and found it to be warm, this could mean a serious electrical issue. Your electrical components should never be hot, especially in a well-maintained system. Consult with an electrician as soon as possible to determine the problem.

Your Lights Dim or Flicker

Dimming and flickering lights could point to a lot of different problems with the electrical system.

With dimming, it’s usually caused by an overload to one circuit. For example, you may see your kitchen lights dim when you’re using a few appliances, or your bedroom lights may dim for a moment if you turn on the air conditioner. This indicates that the circuit can’t handle the demands, which is a potential risk for overheating.

If the lights flicker instead of dim, it could be an issue with one outlet or appliance or all of the wiring. Take note if multiple lights flicker or just one to determine what the problem may be, then contact an electrician.

Your Outlets Are Discolored

If you notice burn marks or discoloration on your outlets, this is a sign of a potentially dangerous problem with your electrical system. Both of these issues indicate a high temperature in the outlet, which means the circuits are carrying more current than they should. This means a higher risk of failure or electrical fires.

You’re Relying on Extension Cords and Power Strips

If you have extension cords running all over the house or power strips that are loaded with plugs, it’s a sign that you need more options for your current usage. These are only stop gap measures to plug in your appliances and devices, but that comes at the risk of overloading the circuit.

With an upgrade, you could ask for extra outlets in your most-used areas and upgraded wiring and circuit breaks for these busy spaces to accommodate your power usage.

Other Signs of an Electrical Problem

In addition to these signs, other signs can point to a system that doesn’t have the capacity to handle your electrical usage.

For example, damaged wiring or corrosion make appliances and electronics use more electricity than they should, which means you’ll have a much higher electric bill than you should. You’ll also go through light bulbs more often because there’s too much electricity wearing on them.

Unresolved electrical problems are more than inconvenient and inefficient. They can have a serious impact on your home’s safety. If you notice any of these signs of electrical issue, it may be time for an upgrade to keep your home safe and functional.

Is it time for an upgrade for your electrical panel, wiring, or system? Contact the pros at HELP to schedule your consultation!

Posted in: Electrical

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