In a world awash with DIY blogs and tutorials, you can do almost anything on your own. Want to learn to play guitar? Bake a cake? Build a deck? There is plenty of information online, with step-by-step instructions, to help you achieve your do-it-yourself dreams. But one area that’s best left to professionals is electrical work. In order to avoid damage to yourself, your home, and your electrical devices, watch for these tell-tale electrical warning signs. If you notice any occurring in your home, we encourage you to call an electrician for help.
5 Common Signs that You Need an Electrician
1. Electrical Surges
They only last a microsecond but can have lasting damage on appliances, lights and devices. Caused by several potential problems: poor quality or faulty wiring, lightning strikes, or cheaply built appliances or power bars.
Surges can vastly shorten the lifespan of your electrical devices or cause permanent damage to them. Since it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of a surge, call an electrician if they are frequent.
2. Electrical Shocks
Ranging from a small zap to a scary blast, electrical shocks are a reminder of how dangerous electricity can be.
Caused by faulty wiring, faulty appliance, or contact with a live wire. If electrical shocks are frequent, call an electrician.
3. Problems with Circuit Breaker
People today consume more energy than ever, which means that even newer (and especially older) homes can have circuits that often trip due to overload. Don’t fret just yet, that usually means your breaker is doing its job!
Caused by too many high consuming devices on one circuit (microwaving coffee while blowdrying your hair, perhaps?). Try limiting the electrical usage on a single circuit while high watt devices are in use. If there is no obvious reason the circuit is tripping, call an electrical contractor.
4. Faulty Lights
Lights can pose many potential problems. The dimmer is too sensitive, the lights flicker, lights are too bright or too dim, bulbs burn quickly, or a light switch does nothing when you turn it off and on.
Caused by shoddy workmanship, superseded switches, mismatched bulb wattage for the circuit, fault in the outlet, circuit or wiring.
First, ensure you have the correct bulb with the proper wattage in place. If problems persist, there are possibly deeper issues that require an electrician.
5. Excessively High Power Bills
It’s important to take a close look at your bills and make sure you understand what the fees are and what you are being charged for. If you notice a spike in your power bill or your rates are higher than your neighbours, it’s time to do some digging.
Caused by increased rates by your provider, outdated or malfunctioning appliances, or damaged wiring or circuits.
You can address some of these issues yourself. If your washing machine is old and energy-consuming, for example, it might be time to consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model. The cost is often quickly made up in lower power bills. If, however, the problem is in your home’s circuitry, it’s time to call an electrical contractor.