Although electricity is one of the most useful inventions ever conceived, it still can be dangerous. Electrical code violations and other issues in your home can not only damage your home systems but can even be fatal if left unchecked. Even though most of your home’s electrical systems are tucked away behind the walls and ceilings of your home, serious problems can visibly show themselves.
We detail some of the major signs of electrical problems to watch for below.
What’s Causing Circuit Breaker Problems
Circuit breakers are intentionally designed to shut off power in case of a system overload, but you shouldn’t have to flip them back regularly.
If your circuit breakers are flipping regularly, there may be an underlying issue with your home’s wiring. Another potential cause is that your fuses or old electrical panel simply needs to be replaced which needs to be done by a qualified electrician (so it’s up to code).
Finally, it may have nothing to do with your wiring or circuit breaker itself. Some appliances are either faulty or can’t be run at the same time as others on the same circuit. Check to see if the appliance works in another outlet or if it’s tripping the breaker no matter what circuit it’s on.
Your Lights Are Flickering or Buzzing: There Might Be an Electrical Code Violation
Even if your circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped, there can still be underlying issues with your wiring. Lighting circuits are generally rated lower than circuits with outlets, so they’ll be the first affected by disruptions in power.
If you’ve checked the bulb itself to make sure it’s not faulty or screwed in poorly and it’s still buzzing or flickering it may be that:
- The circuit is overloaded and drawing in too much power
- There is a poor connection somewhere in the wiring
- The voltage is fluctuating in the circuit
- The switch or fixture may be faulty or have issues
Electrical Outlets Are Warm to the Touch or Smell Like They’re Burning
Any time an outlet smells like it’s burning is a serious sign and you should shut off power to that outlet right away. If you’re not sure which outlet it’s coming from, shut down all power from the electrical panel and call a certified electrician immediately. A fire may be imminent or the wires may be melting.
If there’s no smell of burning but the outlet is warm to the touch that’s also a serious warning sign of electrical problems. Stop using the outlet immediately and call an electrician to take a look to see what the issue may be, especially if the outlet is scorched.
Overall if you smell burning but can’t see it, hear hissing, popping, or cracking from any outlet, or can’t use outlets without tripping the breakers you should call an electrician right away so they can diagnose and resolve these serious electrical problems.