Your wiring is among the most essential components of your home’s electrical system. If your electrical panel is like your system’s heart, then the wiring is like the veins, pumping electricity to power your house the way your heart pumps blood to power your body. Unfortunately, electrical wiring is out of sight, and therefore, often out of mind. This can be a major problem, especially for older houses that have not had their wiring inspected in years. The good news is that if your home does need to be rewired, you can trust our experienced electricians at Mel Carr Electric to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Keep reading to learn the top five signs you may have an issue with your home’s wiring, and never hesitate to call our experts for all your electrical service needs.
The Top 5 Signs of an Electrical Wiring Problem
- Your Circuit Breakers Often Trip: Everyone trips a circuit breaker occasionally. After all, these devices are in place to stop the flow of excess current, so if your circuit breakers trip a few times a year, this is actually a good thing, as it indicates they are working. However, if you have one or more circuit breakers that trip frequently, you could be dealing with some faulty wiring. First, make sure that you do not have too many appliances plugged into one outlet, as this is another common cause of tripped breakers. It is possible that your circuit breaker is overloaded with too many high-power devices, or even that there is an issue with the breaker itself. However, if you cannot find anything wrong with your appliances, hire an electrician to inspect your wiring, as there is a good chance this is what’s causing that pesky breaker to trip.
- Your Lights Keep Flickering: Flickering or dimming lighting is rarely a good sign for your electrical system, though it does not always mean you need major electrical work. Flickering lights can indicate that you’re using too much power, just as a tripped circuit breaker does. Sometimes, your lights will also flicker during a storm, when high winds affect trees and branches near power lines. Or your light could just be flickering because the bulb is screwed in too loose. However, if just using everyday, low-power electronics causes your lights to flicker, your wiring could be at fault. This is particularly concerning when…
- There Is a Buzzing Smell Coming from Your Outlets: You should not hear a loud buzzing or humming noise coming from electrical equipment unless you work in an industrial setting, where extremely high-voltage devices are common. If you hear a buzzing noise coming from your outlets at home, on the other hand, there is almost certainly a problem with your electrical system. Call an electrician right away if this is the case in your house, and find out for certain whether you have a wiring issue on your hands.
- There Is a Burning Smell Coming from Your Outlets/ Your Electrical Outlets Are Hot: Much like the sound of buzzing, the smell of burning coming from your outlets definitely spells trouble. Oftentimes, when your wiring experiences issues and overheats, it will melt the plastic near your outlets. You may also notice that your outlets look singed or burned on the outside. If you detect this burning smell, but your outlets are not singed, then your outlets may have started sparking behind the receptacle. Regardless, if this burning scent appears in your home, call an electrician right away, especially if your outlet is hot to the touch, as this is a strong indicator you could be headed for an electrical fire.
- Your Wiring is Visible Frayed/Damaged: Your wiring can become frayed over time due to sparking, water damage, construction work, and more. You may even notice gnaw marks on your wiring, indicating that rodents have been chewing on it (rats and mice love wiring, as it helps them sand down their sharp teeth.) All these issues are serious though, because when the plastic covering around your wires wears down, that means the electrical circuit is vulnerable, and may cause the electrical current running through them to arc, potentially leading to sparking or fires. Again, it can be hard to know whether your wiring is damaged or not without actually looking at it, so do not hesitate to hire a professional for an inspection, especially if you have not had an electrician look at your wiring in awhile, or your home is more than several decades old.