Being a homeowner comes with a great sense of pride. It can be gratifying to take care of and decorate your own home. But, being a homeowner also comes with a lot of work and maintenance. During the course of homeownership, you’ll likely experience plumbing issues, electrical issues, and construction issues. Understanding electrical issues can be particularly tricky, as the average homeowner doesn’t have much experience with electrical work. Not only that but dealing with electrical issues on your own can be quite dangerous. As a homeowner, it’s important to have a basic understanding of electrical problems. Read on to learn about the most common electrical problems homeowners face.
1. Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping
If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it’s likely because there’s too much electrical energy flowing through the circuit. An easy way to fix this is to redistribute the power to other circuits.
For example, if you have multiple appliances connected to one circuit, move a couple of appliances over to another circuit so that it’s less loaded to even out the electrical energy. Also, make sure to check your circuit connections to ensure any aren’t loose.
To do this, turn off the power and check for any loose wires by inspecting the hot wires and outlets connected from the circuit breaker to the service panel. If you find any loose wires, tighten them immediately.
If circuit overload isn’t the issue, the problem may be a short circuit. This occurs when a live and neutral wire comes in contact or when there’s a broken wire in the breaker. A broken wire can be hard to identify, as it can be in any part of the wiring system connected to the circuit. Searching for a short circuit can be very tedious, which is why we recommend contacting one of these contractors for help.
If the above issues aren’t causing your circuit breaker to trip, then the ground fault may be the problem. A ground fault happens when a hot wire touches to ground wire. To fix this issue, make sure the two wires aren’t touching.
2. Lights are Too Dim or Too Bright
Adjusting lights that are too dim or too bright is an easy fix. Different lights come with different wattages, so first, make sure all of the bulbs are identical. If the light is too bright, use bulbs with lower wattages. If it’s too dim, choose bulbs with higher wattages.
If this doesn’t solve the issue, it may be that there’s a bad main neutral connection in your home. You’ll need to get in touch with an electrician to fix this issue.
3. Light Bulbs Burn Out Quickly
How long your light bulb lasts depends on the type of bulb you’re dealing with. Incandescent bulbs last for the shortest amount of time- generally speaking, between 750 and 2,000 hours.
Halogen bulbs typically last between 2,000 and 4,000 hours. Fluorescent bulbs last between 24,000 and 36,000 hours. LED bulbs last the longest, generally between 40,000 and 50,000 hours.
If you find that you’re going through light bulbs left and right, there’s likely an issue with your electrical system. Lights that burn out too quickly may be a result of:
- Too high of wattage
- Bad circuit wiring
- Bad main wiring
- A poor connection to the circuit
- Insulation too close to the light
- Too much total wattage on one switch
Isolating the issue can be tricky for those who don’t have experience with electrical work. It’s best to contact an electrician to identify the root of the problem.
4. Electrical Surges
Frequent electrical surges may be due to any number of issues, including faulty appliances, damage to power lines, bad electrical wiring, and lightning strikes. While a surge only lasts a fraction of a second, frequent surges can cause damage to your home’s electrical components.
An electrical device connected to your home’s grid is usually the culprit of frequent electrical surges. To fix the issue, remove any cheaply made powerboards or devices connected to your home grid. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may need to call a professional electrician.
5. Electrical Shocks
Do you feel a shock every time you touch a light switch? Electric shocks are often the result of static discharge, and most of them are pretty mild. However, frequent shocks, no matter how small they are, are a sign that something is wrong with your electrical system.
They typically happen when you turn a device on or off, and they usually mean that there’s an issue with the wiring or a specific appliance. Plugin another device to see if the results are reproducible. In most cases, you’ll need to call an electrician to resolve the problem.
6. High Electric Bills
A sudden surge in your electrical bill could be due to a variety of reasons. The average electric bill in the US is $117.65 per month. Of course, your electricity will vary according to the size of your home and the number of occupants.
However, if your electric bill keeps climbing for no apparent reason, there could be a larger issue at hand. Your electric bill may be shooting up due to:
- Leaks or cracked ducts
- Faulty appliances
- Poor insulation in the home
- A leaking hot water pipe
- Defective wiring
- Old wiring
- Damaged thermostat wiring
- Underground wiring problems
- Circuit breaker shortage
- Inefficient light bulbs
- The AC is on while the windows are open
- Extreme weather
As you can see, there are many issues that can cause electrical bill spikes. If you can’t identify the issue in your home, it’s best to hire a professional to assess your home.
Electrical Problems: Time to Take Charge
Understanding the above electrical problems will help you be a more knowledgeable homeowner. When an electrical problem comes your way, you can refer back to this guide to remind you what to do.
Of course, not all electrical problems are an easy fix, and because dealing with electrical wiring can be dangerous, it’s usually best to call an electrician for help.
Be sure to check back with us for more home-related news and tips.