electric wiring

HOME ELECTRICAL TROUBLESHOOTING: WHEN SHOULD YOU CALL AN ELECTRICIAN?

HOME ELECTRICAL TROUBLESHOOTING: WHEN SHOULD YOU CALL AN ELECTRICIAN?

electric wiring

BEFORE TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR HOME WIRING, READ THESE GUIDELINES

Are you getting ready to fix your home electrical issues?  Before you go troubleshooting them yourself, remember that some electrical issues will need an expert electrician’s attention.  Even though some of these common electrical issues are due to the bad habits of the initial installer, other issues can be much deeper and require that a professional to repair and do the troubleshooting.  Which home electrical projects can you consider as DIY-friendly and which will need the help of a master electrician?  RU Electrical Service of Indianapolis, IN has the answers you are looking for.

THESE HOME ELECTRICAL REPAIRS DON’T USUALLY REQUIRE AN ELECTRICIAN AND ARE USUALLY DIY-SAFE

  • Simple Circuit Overloads 

Simple means exactly that in this case.  If you have too many appliances plugged in the circuit breaker will usually trip.  If it is not broken, expect an overload to be easy to find.  This issue is pretty easy for the homeowner to fix, just unplug the appliances.  Move the appliances to a different outlet on a different circuit.  You should be able to spread out the power and fix the problem.

  • Bad Dimmer Switches

Sometimes it is as simple as the switch going bad.  Just replace it.  Turn off the power and replace the switch.  Follow the instructions carefully.  If you make a spark because you did not turn off the power you will short the dimmer.  Then you will be going back to the store to buy a new switch.  Additionally, the wires can come loose and make a poor connection.  Tightening the wires up can solve the dimmer problem.

  • Flickering Or Flashing Recessed Lights ( Can Lights)

Often times recessed lighting will turn off and on.  You probably think it doesn’t make sense.  Can lights use a special bulb that dissipates heat better than others.  Make sure you only buy the recessed lighting bulbs or you will have an overheating fixture that does not stay on.

  • Lights Keep Blowing out

Why do my lights keep burning out?  Chances are you have used a bulb that is too high of a wattage.   Use a lamp that is rated lower in power usage or just switch out to LED for long life and lower power consumption.

FOLLOW THESE RULES VERY CAREFULLY WHEN WORKING ON YOUR OWN HOME WIRING

If you have any doubt in your mind about whether you are being safe or not please do not hesitate to call a professional and licensed electrician.  Saving a few dollars won’t matter if you get hurt or catch something on fire.  Electricity is no joke and should always be handled with extreme caution.  Follow these safety guidelines for a pleasant and safe experience:

  1. Turn the power off at the breaker switch for the designated circuit before you begin

Use one hand to flip the breaker switch to the off position.  Do not touch the panel with more than one hand.  This is to avoid possibly touching another part of the panel that would have power.  You can electrocute yourself if you are not careful.  DON’T TAKE THE CHANCE ALWAYS PLAY IT SAFE!

  1. Turn the power off at the breaker switch for the designated circuit before you begin
    Use one hand to flip the breaker switch to the off position.  Do not touch the panel with more than one hand.  This is to avoid possibly touching another part of the panel that would have power.  You can electrocute yourself if you are not careful.  DON’T TAKE THE CHANCE ALWAYS PLAY IT SAFE!
  2. Mark the breaker that must stay off so no one accidentally turns it back on
    This will prevent the breaker from being accidentally turned ON while you are working.
  3. Always test to make sure the power is off by using a non-contact electrical tester
    You can never be too careful when working with power.  Simple pen-style electrical testers cost less than $20 and can be ordered online or picked up at the hardware store.  Always double check that the power is off.
  4. Put the wire nuts back on the wires
    Take every precaution that you can to not get shocked.  The power should be off but you should still replace the wire caps just to be safe.
  5. Try not to work in a wet environment to reduce electrical shock
    Standing in a puddle and working on electricity is never a good idea. Make sure you are not wet or in a wet workplace.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TROUBLESHOOT YOUR ELECTRICAL: CALL AN ELECTRICIAN FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING

A licensed local electrician should be called if you have any of these issues:

  • Flickering Or Dimming Lights

If you have lights that are dim or flickering you could have a bad connection.  This is called a short or a fault.  These require the skill of an electrical pro to troubleshoot.  You want to resolve these quickly and completely to avoid damage and or electrical fire.

  • Broken/Malfunctioning Outlets

Your plugs fall out of the outlets and seem too loose to use.  You might have an old wiring system that needs updating.  Chances are you do not have enough electrical outlets in your home.  Time to upgrade.  Take out your old 2-prong outlets without a ground and install new 3-pronged grounded outlets.  You may even need to add GFI protected outlets.

  • Recurring Or Continuous Breaker Trips

Do your breakers keep tripping after you reset them?  There is definitely a problem in the wiring and you should address this immediately.  Broken wires or wires that are carrying too large of a current are dangerous.  Exposed wires could be the problem too.  Heat and ground faults are usually to blame.

  • Your Breakers Are Buzzing Or Humming

Turn the breaker off right now.  Do not delay in calling your trusted local electrician.  This type of malfunction is not friendly and cannot be ignored.

  • Outdated/Antiquated Wiring In Older Homes

Historical homes have what is called knob and tube wiring.  This is an outdated form of electrical wiring made of aluminum.  Knob and tube is extremely dangerous.  You will most likely need your entire home rewired.  The electrical code states that this should be updated before being used.

  • Not Enough Power For Your Appliance

The main breaker in your electrical panel, the biggest topmost switch, will have a number on it.  60-amp services were common decades ago.  Today’s homes require a more modern electrical system.  Appliances will usually need to have more power than this system can supply.  It is recommended to upgrade your electrical service in order to accommodate the power usage of the typical family.

  • Electrical Issues Related To Or Near Water

Don’t even think about addressing an electrical issue near water or if it involves some type of plumbing.  This is definitely reserved for a licensed professional.

Still not sure if your electrical issues are something you should handle?  Stop worrying yourself and your loved ones.  Keep your house and your family out of harm’s way with the awesome electrical staff at RU Electrical Services today.

This blog is made available by RU Electrical Service for educational purposes only. We aim to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed electrical professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.

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