Electricity is an essential item for most people, it allows you to have light, heat, to cook, and even to recharge all your everyday electrical devices. However, it is easy to take it for granted, despite the fact that nearly a billion people in the world still don’t have electricity.
But, if you take it for granted you are increasing the likelihood of an issue developing in your home, this can be expensive to fix or even cause a fire. That’s why it is important to be aware of the most common warning signs of an electrical issue. Then you can have the number of the Electrical detectives on speed dial to get it sorted.
Take a look at your switches and sockets, if they appear to be discolored then there is a good chance the socket has been overloaded or there has been a short. This causes the wires to overheat, the heat discolors the sockets and can melt the wires; leading to shorts and other potential issues in the future.
Discoloration is normally a yellowing of the plugs, but any change in the color should be investigated further; just in case it is a bigger issue.
Hot Plugs & Sockets
In a similar way your plugs and sockets and get hot. This is often thanks to an overload in the circuit when there is a bigger demand on the power than the circuit is designed to handle.
The result is effectively the same as for discoloration, the potential for wires to melt and shorts to occur.
Flickering lights are usually a sign that there is a loose connection in the circuit. Depending on how many bulbs are in one circuit this can be a real issue to find, without the specialist tools of an electrician.
However, flickering lights can also be a sign that the bulbs are too high for the circuit or that a short has been developed.
Constantly Tripping Breakers
Breakers are designed to trip when a circuit is overloaded or if there is an issue, particularly if the power is jumping wires.
The breaker trips to protect you and your appliances, simply turning it back on will not resolve the issue. If you ignore a constantly tripping breaker it is likely to get worse and cause a bigger issue.
Electrical burning has a very distinctive aroma that doesn’t leave the room easily. It is an acrid smell of melting plastic. If you smell this it is advisable to shut off the circuit or even the power across your home.
Melting wires will increase the likelihood of a short circuit, electrical shock, and fire. That’s definitely not a desirable outcome.
It is important to visually inspect your electrical system on a regular basis and have an electrician inspect it at least once a year. This will allow you to spot and correct problems before they become a major issue.