When it comes to the electricity in your building, you do not want to ignore any reoccurring issues. Faulty electrical wires can lead to inefficient power, expensive repairs, and life-threatening circumstances. Complications due to malfunctioning appliances are one of the main causes of commercial fires.
As such, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs that your office space needs electrical attention. But what exactly should you look for? Here are 5 of the most common signs that your office needs electrical repairs:
1. Flickering Lights
Not only are these irritating to the eye, but flickering lights could be a sign of a loose electrical connection in your system. While you can write this off as a minor office quirk, it can lend to a larger issue.
Flickering lights can lead to:
- Higher electrical bills
- Vision problems
- Reduced productivity
To prioritize the comfort of your staff and avoid unnecessary hydro costs, a licensed electrical contractor can diagnose the issue to provide efficient solutions. This is especially important if the flickering is occurring in more than one room or with multiple circuits. You may have an issue with your cable connections or power source that needs immediate attention.
2. Warm Electrical Outlets
If you or your staff notice that your electrical outlets are hot to the touch, you should reach out to your commercial electrician. If your outlets are warm or hot after unplugging a device, or if it’s an unused outlet, you may be experiencing electrical issues.
While some warmth is normal during the process of converting the voltage input (AC) to a usable output (DC), the outlet should return to room temperature within an hour of being unplugged. If this is a persistent occurrence, it may be a sign of mismatched wiring.
Dimmer switches often feel warmer than regular outlets since they’re absorbing extra electrical energy to control the output (brightness) of the light. But no switch, even a dimmer, should be used if it ever feels hot to the touch.
As a general guideline, you should avoid overusing an outlet by limiting the number of devices plugged into a single circuit. However, it’s difficult to identify same-circuit wires without the help of a professional electrician. If you’re noticing consistent overheating of your outlets, block off that outlet with electrical tape or put up a sign until you can have it examined.
3. Sparks From Outlets
If you notice sparks when you plug in or unplug an appliance, this could be a sign of a bigger electrical issue. There are times when this is not a cause for concern, as outlets occasionally spark due to a rapid drawdown on the power supply. However, if it’s a regular occurrence or fires multiple sparks at once, you should call your commercial electrician to prevent an electrical fire.
Sparking can be a sign of:
- Excessive heat build-up
- Water leakage in the wiring
- Loose connections
- Short circuiting
4. Burning Smell
If you turn on an appliance and notice a burning smell, turn the switch off immediately and trip the circuit breaker if possible. This should allow you to safely unplug the appliance from the outlet. Should the burning smell dissipate, you can call an electrician to examine the outlet and fix any faulty wiring. If the burning smell continues, you should leave the house and call 911.
5. Circuit Breaker Issues
Circuit breakers trip from time to time. Buildings are using more electricity than ever which can cause them to be overloaded and trip. However, if the circuit breaker in your office space is tripping on a consistent basis, you should have an electrician inspect it. If there is too much stress on the electrical system or faulty wiring in place, your electrical contractor can work out the issue to minimize interruptions to your workday and prevent the issue from escalating further.
At BPM Electric, we understand that you need to prioritize the day-to-day of your business. That’s why we specialize in commercial electrical services to ensure that your building is working efficiently so that you and your staff can as well. We provide quality maintenance checks, installs, and repairs without delays. Reach out today for a quote on our commercial electrical services near you.