3 signs your home electrical system needs repair
Many homeowners ignore their electrical system until there is a problem, which could lead to a costly expense. A home’s electrical system is prone to wear and tear and requires regular checking just like any other maintenance item.
Angie’s List consulted highly rated electricians on what to look for:
- Check your lighting: One indicator of a potential wiring problem is if certain lights dim or brighten intermittently. One Angie’s List member noticed all the lights were flickering in the downstairs of his townhouse and the TV went off. He was alarmed that something major was wrong and that the house might catch fire, so he called an electrician. The electrician checked the breaker box and found a breaker sparking, so he replaced it.
- Check fuses and circuit breaker: Use only the correct-size fuses because replacing a fuse with a larger size fuse can present a fire danger. Run your hands down the breakers. If they feel warm, it could be a bad breaker or could be overloaded.
- Check all electrical outlets for loose-fitting plugs: If loose, you receptacle could be worn out. Replace these as they could cause overheating and fires.
- Check your bulbs: Only use light bulbs of the correct type and wattage. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely because loose bulbs may overheat.
Angie’s List tips to hire an electrician:
- Only licensed electricians should handle electrical work. Ask to see the license number, check to make sure the license is current, and make sure the electrician is properly insured.
- Ask about permits. A permit is usually required if you’re replacing a home’s main electrical equipment or doing a significant amount of rewiring.
- Working on an electrical system is a lot more dangerous than it appears. It’s best to have a licensed contractor come in before tackling it yourself, unless, of course, you are one.
- Don't scrimp on your electrician. Shoddy electrical work can literally kill you. Hire only qualified, reputable electricians who have the paperwork to back up their credentials.