Common Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home


Electrical issues can be a big pain. Not only can they conflict with your quality of life – they can also conflict with your wallet. In some cases, electrical problems can cause your utility bills to rise at the end of the month. Moreover, electrical issues can also be dangerous. Sparking outlets and smoke smudged light switches could be a sign of an impending electrical fire. This is exactly why you want to look out for some of the more common signs that something is wrong. Not only do you want to use your sense of sight – you also want to use your sense of smell and hearing. All of these things will help you get to the bottom of the problem at hand. Here are some common signs of electrical problems in your home.

  1. Sparking outlets. One of the biggest signs that you have an electrical problem is sparking outlets. If you try to plug something in and you get a bunch of sparks, there is a good chance that something is wrong with the outlet. Until you can get the outlet fixed, you don’t want to plug anything into that outlet – or any outlet that sparks.
  2. Smoke smudges on outlets and light switches. If you see any evidence of black or brown smudging on your outlets or switches, there is a good chance that you have an issue with a faulty wire. That smudging is from an arc. An arc is like a small electrical explosion – on a miniaturized scale – that splashes a smudge across the faceplate of the outlet. These arcs can be a serious fire hazard, so it is important to remedy this issue right away.
  3. Lights turning off and on. If you have an issue with lights turning on and off – or lights dimming for no reason – there is a good chance that you have a big electrical problem on your hand. This issue is usually a result of various wires sharing power. When one appliance takes more energy, another appliance – like your lighting – may suffer. This problem can be remedied, but it may take some extensive investigative work and rewiring. However, if the problem is affecting your quality of life, it will be worth the investment to have the problem fixed.
  4. Crackling or buzzing sounds. If your electrical system makes a crackling or buzzing sound, there is a chance that you have a faulty switch or wire somewhere. That crackling sound means that your electrical system has been compromised in someway. It could also mean that your wires are not grounded – that sound that you are hearing is electricity coursing through your home.
  5. Electrical shocks. One of the scariest signs of electrical issues has to do with getting electrical shocks. If you try plugging something in and receive a small shock, there is a good chance that the wires are crossed or not grounded. If this is a problem, you want to contact an electrical contracting company – like Jackson Electrical Contractors, Inc. - to resolve the issue. In the end, an electrical shock may seem minor at first – but it could get worse with time.

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