If we look into the statistical data related to injuries caused by electricity we can see that 16 Australians get affected by it on weekly basis alone. A large number of accidents occur due to improper handling of faulty appliances and wiring. Thankfully, there’s a way to recognize the symptoms which can help you act accordingly.
Ignoring the issue can lead to electric shocks and property damage. That’s why it’s paramount to take care of the repairs in time, as that can prevent dire outcomes. Although you can fix some of these problems yourself, make sure you contact the professionals when you have the slightest doubt about the diagnostics and repair process.
If you touch a device and you feel a slight tingle or a small shock, the root of the problem is usually in the inadequate wiring or a ground fault in the appliance. Use a voltage detector to verify the presence of electrical current and the rubber gloves to handle the device until the electricians come.
On the other hand, you needn’t get alarmed if you feel a light shocking sensation when walking across a rug or a carpet in the winter time, because that’s just the harmless static electricity; it’s definitely not a cause for worry.
Problems with circuit breaker
Circuit breakers are constructed to stop the electrical supply in cases of wire malfunction. This effectively prevents the overheating of wires and possibly, fires. If the circuit breaker gets activated from time to time, the cause of it is probably the standard overload.
You should be able to fix this by shifting to another circuit. Still, circuit breakers may trip more often after a while when they get worn out, or if the switchboard is defective or glitchy. In this case, it’s best to hire the experts to do home electrical repair and mend the wiring.
Lights start to flicker or dim
Illumination fixtures usually consume small amounts of energy, so the flicking and dimming instances can seldom be traced to the fixture’s function, advises a seasoned Canterbury electrician. There are much bigger chances that the house heating devices and other major appliances wired to the same circuit are causing the problem. For example, the washing machine may draw extra power for the water heating process.
This is yet another issue that’s best left in the hands of professional electricians. They will probably shift the lights to a different circuit or expand the network to accommodate major appliances.
Sparks and strange odors
A brand new device (such as blender) may produce a funny smell the first few times you use it. On the other hand, strange odors coming from a switch or an outlet shouldn’t be taken lightly. This could easily be an indication of an electricity-induced fire, so make sure to immediately disconnect both the device and the electrical panel.
When sporadic spark is concerned, we can tell you that it’s not so unusual in the first month or so of use, but large sparks and popping sounds often hint at bigger problems with the circuit or the outlet, such as loose wires. In such cases, you should contact the local electrician as soon as possible.
Since not all fixtures are properly insulated, you should check the area around the ceiling fixtures from time to time for traces of malfunction. Also, the overhead and hanging lighting fixtures can heat up considerably if we go beyond the maximum prescribed wattage and pose a fire hazard. That’s why it’s recommended to trade your incandescent and fluorescent bulbs for low heat-emitting CFLs or LED lights.
Dysfunctional electrical outlets and light switches
If you have outlets and switches that work at random, you may be faced with loose wire issue or a broken device. A loose plug in receptacle can be a grave problem since it can fall out and shock the unaware user. It’s advisable to hire a seasoned professional to fix the loose connections with PTFE heat shrink tubing or replace the device in entirety.
If you’re not highly experienced in electrical matters, the aforementioned problems are not something you should experiment with yourself. In order to prevent property damage and life-threatening consequences, consult a skilled electrician.