When it comes to safety hazards around your home, few things are as serious as your home's electrical grid. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unfamiliar with the signs that their home's electrical grid is having issues, and don't really know what to do about it when they find out. If you want to minimize your family's risk of an electrical fire, here's a look at some of the signs that you need to call an electrician right away.
This is perhaps one of the most often overlooked issues among household electrical problems. If you notice that your home's lights dim periodically, usually just briefly, you might think that it's just an anomaly and no big deal.
The truth is that dimming lights can be a serious concern. In some cases, dimming lights are an indication that there's a fluctuation in the electrical current in your home. This can be caused by a supply issue, wiring damage, or even an overload on the circuit.
Pay attention to when the lights dim for a while. See if there's a pattern to it. Sometimes it may happen at the same time of day every day, other times it might happen whenever your dishwasher, furnace, or another power-demanding appliance turns on. Take note of when it happens to help your electrician isolate the cause.
When you plug something into an electrical outlet, the metal prongs on the plug complete the power circuit to draw electricity to the item. If there is a short or wiring damage inside that outlet, sometimes you'll notice the outlet spark whenever you plug something in or unplug it.
If you're seeing sparks from your outlet, even if they are small ones, you should unplug everything from that outlet and call an electrician right away. These types of sparks can indicate a wiring short that might put your home at risk of an electrical fire. The sooner you have it addressed, the safer you and your family will be.
If your outlet or switch fixtures are warm to the touch, that's another concerning sign. In most cases, that means you may have some errant electrical current or excess current feeding that fixture. This results in heat accumulation that can be dangerous for your home. Any time you notice an outlet or other fixture feeling warm when you touch it, you should turn it off or unplug everything from it and reach out to an electrician.
These are a few signs you should watch for that may mean your home has an electrical issue. Talk with your electrician about other things you should be attentive to.