We’ve all been there…we’ve had flickering lights around the house that we’ve ignored or run a little extension cord under the couch to power a new tabletop lamp.
We intend for these to be temporary fixes until we have the time or money to address a long-term solution, but did you know that some electrical inconveniences around the house should not be put off, but instead need the immediate attention of a local electrician?
At McAllister Electrical Services, we want you and your family to sleep soundly each night knowing that your home is running in optimal condition, so we compiled this list of 7 Household No-Nos that need the immediate attention of local electrical experts if you see them around your home.
The 7 Signs it May be Time to Call your Electrician
Sign #1: Flickering Lights
A flickering light likely means you’ve got a significant wiring problem. This problem could be located at the fixture in a best-case scenario. Worst case scenario could indicate frayed wiring or that your wattage being used exceeds the outlet’s capabilities, both of which are potential fire hazards.
Sign #2: Rust or Corrosion
If you see any signs of rust or corrosion around your breaker box, it’s an immediate concern and time to call an electrician. These clues indicate that moisture is getting near your panel, which is a major no-no for your electrical system and your home’s safety.
Sign #3 Repeated Tripped Breakers
Fuses will blow from time-to-time, but if you have a bank of lights or outlet that regularly trips, it’s time to contact your local electrician for an assessment. Regularly blown fuses indicate that there may be an underlying faulty wiring issue that needs to be addressed in one or more of your home’s circuits.
*Note: regularly tripped fuses could also be a result of overloading the circuit. Hair dryers and home appliances running at the same time are notorious for this. So next time it happens, note your electrical usage at the time of the blown fuse to rule out overload as a cause.
Sign #4 No GFCIs
In spaces of your home where water is present (ie: your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and garage) outlets should have ground-fault circuit interrupters or GFCIs to protect you from electrocution in the event water comes in contact with the outlet. If you do not have these types of outlets in your water-prone areas, it’s time for an upgrade not only for safety, but also for state and local electrical code compliance.
Sign #5: Shock Value
This one seems pretty straightforward, but if you receive a shock when you lightly touch any switch, outlet or electrical surface, it is time to have it looked at by a professional. Warm faceplates and outlets are also a sign that there is overload or an internal wiring issue that needs to be addressed. Occasionally check the outlets around your home with this “touch test” to ensure they aren’t experiencing these issues.
Sign #6: 20+ year old wiring
If your home was built more than 20 years ago, it’s time for an electrical upgrade. In the two decades since 1999 (that was 20 years ago???), our home’s electrical consumption has dramatically increased due to technological innovations such as home computers, tablets, phones, smart home devices, etc. Have a local electrician in to check that your home is wired sufficiently and can handle the pull of your family’s day-to-day electrical consumption.
Sign #7: Too many extension cords
If you are relying on extension cords around the house to power your small appliances or regularly used items, it’s time to call an electrician to have new outlets installed. Extension cords are convenient, short-term power options, but using them for long-term solutions can trigger overheating and electrical fire risk.
If you are experiencing any of the above “no-nos” in your family’s home, it’s time to call Eastern Iowa’s Energy-Efficient Electricians at McAllister Electrical Services. We offer quick, convenient service that matters that will help you solve your home’s electrical problems. Contact our team today at 563-852-7484 to get on our schedule!
I had no idea that rust around your breaker box could be a sign of moisture near your panel. My husband and I have noticed that our lights seem to be flickering recently. I think we should reach out to a professional with experience in electrical repair to help us figure out what is going on.
Thank you for reminding me that we need to call an electrician to have them check our own wiring if our house is over 20 years old. This house has been under our family name for three decades now and my parents aren’t fully aware if they have called someone to check the wiring for the past few years. It might be a good idea to call a professional this weekend to have it checked as soon as we can.
Thanks for explaining how if your house was built twenty years ago then you need an electrical upgrade. I think a lot of people forget that the year 200 was twenty years ago. Those homes that seemed so new are now old and need electrical upgrades.
I am so glad you mentioned that rust around a breaker box means you need to call an electrician. My wife and I found the breaker box in our new home and it is covered in rust. I’ll get everyone out of the house for the day and have an electrician see it immediately.
I wasn’t aware that seeing flickering lights is already a sign of a serious wiring problem until you mentioned it. This only happens to our outdoor lighting and I thought that they only need to be replaced. I guess it would be better to call an electrical contractor first and let them address the issue before doing anything.
Thank you for explaining that flickering lights can be a sign of a significant wiring problem. My friend has been concerned that the lights in her office have been flickering since last Friday. I’ll share this with her and see if she can find a commercial electrician to check it out.
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Thanks so much for talking about issues that would warrant a professional getting involved. My sister just set up a pottery studio in her house and she needs much more electricity for it to work properly. We’ve been thinking about calling an electrician to help us get a better setup for the studio.