According to studies, the second common cause of electrical house fire is fixed wiring, which comes next only after lamps, light bulbs and lighting fixtures. Even though many if not most of the wiring-related fires are preventable when you have an electrician help you, most of this wiring can be hidden and out of view making potential disasters hard to detect until it happens.
Though the wires may be hidden from view, if something is not right, there are warning signs that you can watch out for, and having knowledge of these warning signs will give you a safety edge. In addition to having this knowledge, you need to have an electrician come into your home to do an inspection on your wiring to look for any hiding hazards. With that said, below are some warning signs you can look for.
Circuit Frequently Tripping
You can go for quite a while without having to reset a breaker that has tripped or replace a blown fuse. Therefore, if your electrical circuit continues to get trip, it could indicate an overload. This happens when a circuits power loads exceeds the maximum safety limit. You could also have a short in the wiring or on a gadget of some sort that is plugged into your circuit. If it is happening on a particular line or for an appliance, it is easy to connect another appliance to the same outlet and see what happens. If you are confident of your wiring, it is possible the tripper’s capacity is low. Alternatively if the circuit trips for all appliances, there is something seriously wrong and needs to be checked immediately.
Flickering or dimming of lights is another indication of faulty wiring or a circuit overload. Defective fixture wiring could be causing the flickering lights, especially if it only happens on one fixture on the circuit, or it can be due to a switch or fault malfunction. In older homes that have a 60amp breaker box, appliances and fixtures that are insufficiently powered can indicate that the system needs an upgrade due to being overtaxed.
Charred or Buzzing Switches and Outlets
Switches and outlets should not buzz ever, and their cover plates or faces should not be hot ever either. These are big indicators of loose wiring or a faulty device. Devices that are charred need to be immediately inspected, as well. It is fine that dimmer switches and cover plates be warm, however they should never be hot.
It is recommended that you have your home’s electrical system thoroughly inspected every 10 to 40 years, particularly if you have appliances that carry high-wattage or if there is any noticeable signs of wiring problems.
Have your electrical system serviced and inspected by electrical professionals, to make certain your home will not be susceptible to electrical problems that can lead to fires and other dangerous problems. Locating a qualified professional should not be that hard as there are usually plenty of them in any area. Just do your research and find one that is reliable and cost effective.