Common Household Electrical Issues and What to Do About Them

Electrician working on an electrical switchboard | Dawson Electric

The electrical systems around your home need regular maintenance to keep them in working order. Happily, most people never experience any major issues with their electrical supply. Blown light bulbs and failed appliances are the worst things most of us will ever have to deal with. But, if you’re living in an older home or experiencing regular issues, it’s time to look into the issue. Here are the most common household electrical issues and what you should do about them.

Frequent Electrical Surges

Electrical surges are a wave of power that can overload your wiring, appliances or electrical fittings, often causing burning or fires. They’re common during thunderstorms, but if you’re experiencing electrical surges more frequently, you might have a faulty surge protector or a failing appliance. Try unplugging your appliances one at a time and watching for signs of power surges. If you can’t find the source or smell burning, switch off the power and contact an electrician.

Sags and Dips

Sags (also called dips) are a temporary drop in the voltage supply. Around the home this is usually most noticeable as a brief dimming in your lights, although other appliances can also see the effects. Voltage sag is often caused by turning on power-hungry appliances, like heaters, air conditioners and fridges. Small dips are normal and usually unnoticeable, but if you’re seeing frequent or large voltage sags, it’s time to investigate the problem.

Most sag is caused by faulty appliances or wiring creating short circuits or drawing lots of power. You can identify which appliances are causing dips by turning them off and then on, and then watching for signs of a dip. Speak to an electrician about whether the fault is with the appliance or with the wiring in your home.

Faulty Light Switches

They get flipped on and off dozens of times per day, so it should be no surprise that light switches and power points wear out over time. The switches themselves can break visibly, or their internal wiring can break and render the switch useless. In most cases the fix is to have the faulty switch replaced. Light switches are affordable and your electrician can change the broken one out without much fuss.

Circuit Breakers Tripping

Circuit breakers protect your home from a range of electrical issues. If your circuit breakers trip then usually all you need to do is flip them back on. But, if the switch trips regularly or can’t be turned back on, it’s probably due to an appliance or wiring fault.

Take note of which circuit is tripping, unplug the appliances that are being powered by that circuit and then flip the switch back on. If it stays on, one of your appliances is probably the issue. Things like irons, cooking equipment, heaters and straightening irons are all common sources of circuit breakers tripping.

Overloaded Circuits

Every house is divided into separate electrical circuits. Each circuit is only designed to carry a certain amount of power. If you draw too much power, the circuit’s breaker will trip to protect your wiring from being damaged. Short circuits in faulty appliances are often to blame, but overloading can also be caused by things like chaining together extension cables or plugging in too many power-hungry devices on one circuit. 

Electric Shocks

Luckily, most of the shocks people receive around the home are minor. If you’re being zapped by things like appliances, wiring or light switches, you should consult an electrician immediately.

Are You Seeing Electrical Faults Around Your Home? Contact Dawson Electric Today!

The electrical systems that power modern homes are both safe and reliable. We expect the power to come on when we flip a switch, and for the most part that’s true. But all electrical systems need maintenance, especially if you’re seeing signs of common faults like the ones we listed above. If you’re having problems or are concerned about the electrical circuits in your home, get in touch with Dawson Electric as soon as possible. Our licenced electricians can correctly diagnose and repair any issues you’re experiencing, making your home safe and offering you peace of mind. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to make an appointment!

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