Electrical outlet doesn't work: First check the circuit breaker. If no breakers are tripped and the outage is confined to one outlet, the outlet may have burned out. If an outlet shows any sign of blackening around the outlet plugs, do not use it. Even if one plug is working, you should replace the entire outlet immediately to avoid the possibility of starting a fire.
Electrical outlets sparks: While it can be scary when you see a spark fly from an outlet, sometimes it's normal.
For example, when power is suddenly diverted to an appliance, a quick draw on the available power will occur, causing a brief spark. Once the electrons are flowing freely, a spark should have no reason to form. This is normal, and it's comparable to static electricity.
If too much heat builds up in an outlet, however, it can actually melt the insulation that surrounds the wires. As the wires become exposed, the chance for an electrical fire increases. When a connection is made, the electrons can leap to the wrong area and cause a serious spark. This is known as a short circuit and can actually cause an electrical fire.
Exposure to water can also cause an outlet to spark and short out. Installation of a special outlet known as a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) will shut down the circuit if it comes into contact with moisture.
Flickering lights: This is a sign of a poor connection — one that may lead to a broken connection. You’ll need to call an electrician to hunt down the source and correct it.
On-again/off-again recessed lights: These light fixtures contain a built-in mechanism to prevent overheating, which means they will sometimes turn themselves off. Once the fixture has cooled, it turns back on. This usually results from a bad match between your light bulb and fixture or the ceiling insulation touching the fixture.
Appliances cause the circuit breaker to trip: High-wattage items running at the same time can overload the circuit. To solve this problem, move the appliances to a different circuit or have an electrician install a separate circuit.
Frequent light bulb burnout: If you find yourself constantly changing light bulbs, you might be using a bulb with a higher wattage than your light fixture can handle. Check your light fixtures to make sure you’re using bulbs with the correct wattage.