Early identification of electrical faults can prevent residential fires and shocks. Wiring defects such as frayed wires and open grounding are risk factors that can pose a hazard. Aging components and faulty installations are the most common culprits that cause faulty connections. Here are signs of improper wiring connections in your home.
Flickering Lights and Loose Outlets
Flickering or dimming lights are the most common signs of a wiring problem. It is probably a defect within the fixture’s connection if it affects only one light. However, multiple lights flickering could indicate a bigger problem.
Major appliances use more electricity. If the lights are flickering when you turn on your HVAC system or refrigerator, it often means that the circuit is overloaded. You can unplug the appliance to confirm if it is the source of the problem.
The issue could be wiring faults within the device. Short circuits create a surge of power in the system. If removing the appliance does not fix the problem, consider planning an electrical system inspection.
As you troubleshoot flickering lights, take time to check for loose outlets. If it slides out of the receptacle, it could indicate wiring faults. Short circuits can deteriorate the metal parts within the outlet that holds the plug in place.
Fix Discolored and Warm Outlets Promptly
Electronics like computers, TVs, and washing machines generate heat during their operation. But the outlet should never heat up or feel warm to the touch. If one of your outlets feels hot when you’re using it, unplug the appliances from the outlet immediately and do not use the outlet until after the repairs.
You may also notice crackling sounds from the outlet. Discoloration and a burning smell indicate a severe problem and could pose a fire hazard in your home. Unplug all appliances and contact an electrician immediately.
Such issues can occur when a single outlet is faulty or when there is defective wiring in your home. You can switch off the power at the breaker panel and tighten loose connections. But Arc Angel Electric electricians in Cumming recommend scheduling an inspection to rule out dangerous circuit faults. Fixing the wiring in only one outlet may not eliminate circuit faults. The problem will keep recurring, increasing the risk of electrocution and fires every time.
Frayed and Messy Wiring
Frayed wires are another possible shock or fire hazard. Wires can deteriorate with age or sustain damage from rodents or excess moisture. Contact between the uninsulated wires may cause a short circuit.
Messy or tangled wiring could also be a sign of a substandard installation. Professional electricians always ensure that the junction boxes and wires are neat and organized. If you spot disorganized or frayed wiring, it may be time to plan for an electrical system inspection.
Dangers of Improper Grounding
Your home’s grounding is one of the critical components that uphold the safety of the electrical circuit. Grounding dissipates excess current to the earth, a good conductor of electricity. If you frequently experience shocks when you touch outlets or switches, your home may require grounding.
Grounding also stabilizes the current in the electrical system. It can handle electric surges to keep your appliances and equipment safe. In case of a lightning strike or circuit overloading, the ground connection redirects the current to the earth.
How can you tell if your home is grounded? If your house has dual-pronged outlets, it is likely that the wiring is outdated and does not have a grounding connection. The best way to confirm if the outlet is grounded is to use a receptacle tester. When you plug in the device, indicators light up to indicate an open ground. An open ground means the connection is absent or not attached correctly to the outlet.
Homes built before the 1950s that have original electrical components have no ground connection throughout the entire building. Even though the electrical system seems to work fine, you should install the ground when adding new outlets. The code ordinances in Forsyth County require grounding for new connections or upgrades.
You can minimize the risk by installing a GFCI outlet. A ground fault circuit interrupter will stop current flow when it detects a surge. Regulations also require GFCI circuits in the kitchen, bathroom, or places with a high risk of electrocution.
Troubleshoot Frequently Tripping Circuit Breakers
If your home has a wiring problem, you may notice the circuit breaker keeps tripping. The breaker may trip because you’ve plugged too many electronics into an outlet. You can stop the breaker from tripping by unplugging some appliances.
The power rating can vary across the different outlets in your home. For heavy-duty appliances like the oven or HVAC system, you need a 30-amp rather than a 20- or 15-amp circuit. If you use the microwave on a 15- or 20-amp outlet, the lights may flicker, or the breaker will trip.
When there is a shortage of outlets, homeowners sometimes opt for extension cords. However, the extension outlet cannot handle heavy-duty or multiple appliances. Circuit overloading may cause the wires to melt and start a fire, So it is wise to avoid using extension outlets with electronics like space heaters or the refrigerator. Consider upgrading the circuit to support energy-demanding appliances.
You should never ignore a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. It could be an indication of circuit overload or faulty wiring. It is also possible that the breaker may be old and outdated and needs an upgrade. Upgrading the panel or sub-panel requires the expertise of a certified electrician for your home’s safety. Talk to Arc Angel Electric electrical team for breaker panel troubleshooting and repairs in Cumming.
Outdated Aluminum Wiring and Fire Hazards
Homes built in the ’60s and ’70s may still have an outdated electrical system. Aluminum wires are amongst the most common parts of older circuits. The wiring can cause severe injuries and start fires. Research from the Consumer Products Safety Commission indicates aluminum wires are 55 times more likely to start a fire. That is because aluminum is softer and more likely to expand than copper. Its metal oxide also catches fire faster than copper wiring.
You can address the aluminum wiring hazards by installing a special connector. It is a more cost-effective option than rewiring the house. The advantage of rewiring is your electrical system will not need as much maintenance.
If you choose special connectors, you will have to schedule routine inspections to catch faults in your system. Replacement of junction boxes may be required when connecting copper wires. Our highly trained electricians can help you evaluate installation options suitable for your home.
You ought to take precautions when troubleshooting your electrical system. Electrical faults cause 30,000 non-fatal shock incidences and 1,000 deaths. Children account for 20% of the cases. Therefore, you must never attempt to fix an electrical system unless you have the training and experience. Issues with the breaker panel can be dangerous. When you detect faults, switch off the system and call our electrical team.
Arc Angel Electric is a dependable electrical company offering comprehensive services in Cummings, Georgia. Our goal is to deliver exceptional craftsmanship consistently and exceed our customer’s expectations. You can rely on our team for hot tub circuits, electric car charger installation, and rewiring upgrades. Our team has earned a BBB A+ accreditation and a Google 5-star rating. Call our highly rated team for more information about our services.