After ruining my Macbook pro’s charger due to a faulty electrical system in my house and bringing several other appliances to the similar fate, I started learning. I learned how almost everything we use in our day to day chores depends on electricity supply. And some scary incidents of sparking and short circuit also made me realize how maintaining safety around electricity must be my core concern. If you need some convincing with that, read this account of electrical safety on the blog.
But here’s the problem - most of the times you don’t realize you need a professional electrician. Either you don’t notice the issue, or you see it too late, and it happens. It’s avoidable. Here’s how you can avoid all such unpleasant circumstances and be a happier person.
Top Signs That You Need An Electrician
- Tripping circuit breakers: Unless you plugged in a faulty appliance and you know it caused the circuit breaker to trip, you must get worried when it happens. It indicates that the circuits are drawing more current than they ideally should. Remember that it is possible that the circuits are all fine and the problem is happening due to an appliance that slipped from your notice. The modus operandi should be first to get the circuits checked and fixed. If the problem persists, ask for an inspection to figure out which is the problematic appliance.
- Flickering of lights: If you notice the lights slightly flickering (even momentarily) after you switch on an appliance, it’s a sign that circuit is being overloaded. Many appliances draw a large current, and they need a separate setup that could accommodate that increased need of energy without disrupting electricity supply to other devices. Apparently, it happens usually with large appliances, but if it happens with small ones, it’s most likely that you need to switch to a better electricity line.
- You’re using too many extension cords and multi-plugs: Many electrical fires occur due to overloading of circuits and here’s how you can avoid them. There isn’t a particular number on how much is too much, but you must not try to use multiple extension cords in the same circuit. Say, you got a 4-plug extension that you plugged into the outlet in your room. Then you got another extension cord that you plugged in one of the switches of the first extension cord. Meanwhile, you’re using other three switches for different appliances including heavy appliances like a portable heater or iron, etc.
Such a setup is apparently overloaded because, first of all, you shouldn’t be using extension cords over another extension cord. And then large appliances should be plugged directly into the main switchboard that you may have one or two in a room. If your need is surpassing the number of electrical outlets you have, just call an electrician and ask him to install an extra one. It will make your house much safer and also save your appliances from short circuiting.
- The wiring system must be grounded: If you have a newly-built house, it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you live in a building built 10-15 years ago which is dominated by two-prong outlets, you need to be careful while using individual appliances. For example, a three-prong plug of a microwave or refrigerator should never be used on a two-prong outlet under any situation. The device may work but it won’t be safe to use due to improper grounding and may cause electrical shocks.
- Heated outlets are dangerous: By now, you must have understood that the primary area of concern is overheating of outlets or appliances. If the outlets get warm during use, it is a sign that they’re being overloaded. It may also be a result of an internal wiring issue. Both are pretty serious causes to get an electrical inspection.
- Your up gradation is due: Homes and electrical circuits that are more than 25 years old must go through up gradation. There are so many safety features that are mandatory in the United States now and homes that are older than 25 years certainly, don’t have those necessary features. You might be unintentionally breaking the law and putting your house at a major risk. Ensure that you hire only a qualified electrician for this job as a handyman or novice won’t know about proper building codes.
- Electrical Shocks: For months, my mom complained of being afraid to plug in the washing machine. She always had somebody else do it and never unloaded or loaded it without taking off the plug. I was baffled by this sudden change of usual practices and her fear of the electrical appliances. She did mention that she felt an electrical shock. I didn’t take it seriously until the washing machine broke down and even the new one I got had the same issue. Then I realized the outlet was faulty. I could've saved a lot of money on the machine if I had listened to my mother the first time, called a pro and got both the appliance and outlet checked. Because it’s true that any of them could have been at fault. In my case, it was the outlet.
These are the top undeniable reasons why you must call an electrician. I have given you some serious signs that you’re in potential danger. The danger could either be monetary or the real threat to your life. Please don’t ignore them.
If you’re confused about how to find a professional electrician in your area, you can use our free app to locate the electricians near you and call them for immediate assistance.