Diagnosing common electrical problems

Diagnosing common electrical problems

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, home-based electrical issues lead to nearly 55,000 fires annually, resulting in more than 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. For those who aren’t injured, electrical fires leave behind $1.4 billion in property damage.

You can look for the following signs, or bring in a highly rated electrician to make sure your home is safe.

Flickering lights. This is a sign of a poor connection – one that may lead to a broken connection. You will need to call an electrician to hunt down the source and correct it.

On-again/off-again recessed lights. These contain a built-in mechanism to prevent overheating, leading to the turn-off. Once the fixture has cooled, it turns on. This is usually the result of a bad match between your light bulb and fixture, or the ceiling insulation is touching the fixture.

Appliances cause the circuit breaker to trip. High-wattage items running at the same time can overload the circuit. The solution is to move the appliances to a different circuit, or to have an electrician install a separate circuit.

Outlet problems. Sometimes, outlets are not properly grounded, especially when older outlets have been replaced with three-prong outlets. Also, the hot and neutral wires sometimes are reversed. This fix should be conducted by an electrician.

Frequent light bulb burnout. If you find yourself constantly changing light bulbs, it might be the result of using a bulb with a higher wattage than your light fixture can handle. Check your light fixtures to make sure you are using bulbs with the correct wattage.

Homeowners who decide to take on electrical repairs themselves should bring in a licensed electrician to inspect their work. Improper maintenance can lead to serious damage to the home, and even death. Sign in to Angie’s List to find a licensed electrician in the Chicago area.

Leave a Comment - 1


vickie rodriguez

Subject: flickering lights and tv's

recently an old microwave machine was replaced with a new one,and once it was turned on,the new mirco and refrigerators turned off and we had to push the button on the electric strip, to turn it back on.it would turn on,but then turn back off once the mocrowave was turned on. i has cps come in and they told me it was the new micro.It had messed up the wattage in the kitchen and the panel switches outside.The person that replaced the micro is a linces and certified electritian.Shouldn't he have said something when he noticed the micro turning everything off? Thank You

View Comments - 1 Hide Comments

Post New Comment


What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 3 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!