TROUBLESHOOTING HOME ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
Electrician troubleshooting electric problems in an Amarillo home.
Any homeowner in the Amarillo area knows regular domestic upkeep involves attending to the electrical system. Many people are capable of installing a ceiling fan, replacing light switches and handling simple wiring. But many people may not know what they’re doing with more serious home electrical problems.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International warns against handling most home electrical problems on your own. Every year, 500 people die and 1400 incur injuries from over 55,000 fires resulting in $1.4 billion in property damages.
There are safety measures to guard against the dangers and risks inherent with electricity. For instance, there are triggers to cut power at the onset of anything wrong, resulting in a sudden power loss. If this happens in one part of the house, but not the whole home, this means some electrical problem tripped this mechanism.
Before deciding to solve any electrical issue on your own, consider the following to help you decide the best route:
- Avoid working with electricity around standing water.
- For any place with even the slightest moisture, use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). The “test” button will turn the power off.
- Call a licensed residential electrician to inspect any electrical fixtures and equipment exposed to water.
- Never remove an electrical panel or change a breaker box alone
General Precautions & Considerations
Whenever you see open overhead wires outside your home, always assume they have a live current. If a tree falls on it or a storm tears it down, call Xcel Energy in Amarillo.
A Note About Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers are the lifeblood of a building’s electricity and various problems will cause them to shut down, thereby cutting power off. When this happens, with the help of another person, locate the main breaker or fuse box in the utility closet or basement.
If breaker switches don’t have a label, you’ll have to turn them off, one by one, to identify them. Label them during this process or have a licensed electrician do it for you. This will prepare you in case of an emergency, so you can turn off whatever is necessary as quick as you can. This can be the fine line between life and death.
You should inspect your circuit breaker panel from time-to-time to see if there are any signs of damage, malfunction or heat damage. Catching problems and seeing warning signs early will save you time, money.
Common Home Electrical Problems
Even though you should leave most electrical problems to the professionals, you might be able to inspect some issues. Here’s a simple guide to common home electrical problems in Amarillo:
Flickering lights could mean you need to change your light bulb. But if you know the bulb is good, then this is a problem best left to a professional electrician. It signifies a bad connection that could lead to a broken one.
Light Bulbs Burn Out Fast
If you’re changing out light bulbs far more often than you should, your bulb may have a higher wattage than what the fixture can handle. Check your bulbs and fixture to make sure you’re using the right bulb.
Appliances Shutdown Breakers
Several high-wattage appliances running at the same time will overload the circuit and cause a power surge. All you have to do is move these appliances to different outlets or have a professional install a separate circuit. You could also use a power strip to help dispense power more evenly.
Outlet Doesn’t Work
As always, first inspect the circuit breaker. If none are off, or “tripped,” and the outage comes only from one outlet, burn out could be the problem. Sometimes an outlet will have black smudge around the inputs. If this is the case, don’t use it and replace the whole thing right away. This impending danger could start an electrical fire
Sometimes, a sparking outlet is normal. If an appliance suddenly receives diverted power, a quick draw on available power causes it to spark. When the current is flowing free and uninhibited, no sparks should occur.
Another cause for sparking is when too much heat builds up in an outlet. This can melt insulation around wires. The chance for fire increases as the wires become exposed and short circuit. Serious sparks happen because electricity jumps into the wrong area.
Water exposure also causes outlets to spark and short circuit. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) will shutdown a circuit when excessive moisture is present.
On/Off Light Fixtures
Recessed lights have a built-in shutdown function to prevent overheating. Once the fixture is cool, it comes back on. This is because there’s a poor match between the fixture and the light bulb. Ceiling insulation touching the fixture can also trip this safety mechanism.
Home Electrician Checklist in Amarillo
It’s essential to be wise when selecting a licensed electrician to come perform a home inspection in the Amarillo area. Make sure they go over the following:
- GFCIs – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets are usually found in basements, kitchens, bathrooms and garages. These have small breakers that shut off when overloaded or during a short circuit.
- Light Switches – Many issues can arise with a light switch like reversed polarity, unsafe or exposed wiring, ungrounded circuits, discoloration, loose or damaged switch plates and other hidden warning signs.
- Outlets – Correct wiring, loose wiring and reversed polarity of electrical outlets should be a priority during a home inspection around all outlets in the house.
- Wires – Electrical wiring can sustain fraying and other damage that can present dangers along with unprotected wires and wires resting on pipes or heat ducts.
- Main Breaker or Fuse Box – The inspecting electrician should check to ensure there’s enough clearance in its resting spot and if circuit breakers are the correct size. This includes checking blown fuses, oxidation, corrosion, aluminum branch wiring, moisture and overheated components.
- Electric Meter – Meters can sustain issues like defects, insecure installation and broken seals. If rust is visible, it indicates that water is present.
Amarillo’s Yellow Rose Electricians are available any day of the week, all year round. We provide quality results backed by many years of service and experience. If you’re having home electrical problems, we’re ready to bring you solutions. Visit our website and reach out to our experts today.