How to Spot an Electrical Problem in Your Home

Before beginning work on any electrical problem, ensure the power is off by identifying which circuit it comes from and turning it off at the breaker box. Also, label the circuit to keep track of which one you’re working on. Buzzing sounds, burning smells, and warm receptacles indicate a wiring or overload problem that a professional should address.

electrical problem

Brighter Lights

While Hollywood might make it seem that flickering lights are a sure sign of ghostly visitors, it’s more likely to indicate a bad connection or faulty wiring. This problem can be more serious than a nuisance, and it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent fire hazards.

If you notice that your light switches aren’t turning on all the way or at all, it may be a sign that electrical work in your house wasn’t done properly. This can also indicate that the equipment used wasn’t the best quality or didn’t meet New York state electrical code requirements.

A power surge is a spike in current that can damage your electronics and shorten their lifespans. If you have experienced a string of surges, it’s a good idea to contact an electrician to come check out your wiring and circuits.

Another common electrical issue is tripped breakers. If your breaker keeps flipping, it could mean that you are overloading a circuit. This can be caused by too many high wattage appliances like microwaves, hairdryers, and lights all on the same circuit. This will require you to re-evaluate your appliance usage and relegate some items to other outlets.

Sparking when you plug in an appliance is normal, but large or frequent sparks can be a sign of an arc fault in the wiring. This is extremely dangerous and requires a professional to inspect and repair the problem.

The smell of burning wires is a very clear sign that something is wrong with your wiring or circuits. This can be deadly if the problem isn’t dealt with immediately, so contact an electrician to have the issue investigated.

Loose outlets and switches are a huge electrical problem. They can cause shocks if someone touches them while you are using an outlet and could lead to a fire if left unattended. This is one of the easiest electrical problems to fix, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. A professional electrician will know exactly where to look and what the problem is.


If anything in your home is sparking, it is a very dangerous sign that you need to get it checked out. Flying sparks can easily cause a fire or electrocute you, so it is important to have the problem looked at by a professional as soon as possible.

If you’re experiencing this problem, turn off the power at the electrical panel and contact a licensed electrician. The sparking may be caused by an overloaded circuit, which can be a major fire hazard and could put you and your family at risk.

Another dangerous sign is if you’re noticing that light bulbs are burning out quickly or are becoming hot to the touch. If you’re concerned about the health of your family, it is best to switch over to CFL or LED bulbs as they are more energy efficient and won’t cause as much damage to your home or health.

A sudden dip in power can be caused by a number of things, including lightning strikes and damaged power lines. These issues can lead to an electrical surge, which can do serious damage to appliances and electronics plugged into your outlets.

It’s also a good idea to check that all of your wiring is secure. If you notice any exposed wires, make sure to wrap them in electrical tape as a temporary measure. However, this should be considered a last resort and shouldn’t be relied on to protect you from potential electric shocks.

If you’re feeling a slight shock when walking across carpeted surfaces or getting shocked when touching wool sweaters, it is likely because of static electricity. Static electricity builds up in insulating materials that don’t allow the circulation of electrons, such as polyester (which is what most carpets are made from), wool and pet hair. When these insulating materials come into contact with a charged object, they release the excess electrons, which is what causes those shocking shocks.

If you or anyone else is shocked by electricity, it’s important to stay at least 25 metres away until the power has been turned off by an authorised person. If someone is badly injured by the current, call triple zero immediately and follow the standard first aid procedures for high voltage shocks.

Burning Smell

If you smell burning plastic, smoke, or char around an electrical outlet, this is a serious warning sign. It could indicate an electrical fire, and the first step is to turn off the power in that circuit at your breaker box. You should also unplug any appliances and call an electrician immediately. Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself, as you may accidentally touch live wires and electrocute yourself.

It is also a good idea to check your outlets and switches for signs of burning. Usually, they are white, but if they are turning brown or black, it means the wiring inside is overheating and can cause a fire. If you have numerous appliances plugged into the same outlet, it is important to use extension cords and to split them up across multiple outlets to avoid overloading one circuit.

An electrical fire can be caused by many things, but the most common reason is when an appliance or cord heats up. The resulting burnt plastic can melt wires and create an electrical fire. Another way that electric fires start is when someone tinkers with the wiring and puts their hand or a tool into an outlet or receptacle. The resulting sparks can ignite other materials or the insulation on the wires and create an electrical fire.

A third way electrical fires start is when the breaker trips. This is a sign that the breaker is overloaded with excess electricity, and it should be shut off immediately to prevent the excessive heat from creating a fire.

Another sign that there is an electrical problem is when you can hear a buzzing sound. This can happen when there is a short in the wiring. The resulting high-pitched noise can be heard even if you can’t see a wire or an outlet is covered with dust. In some cases, the noise can be so loud that it causes hearing loss. If you are hearing a buzzing sound, it is best to contact a licensed electrician right away to find and repair the problem. They will be able to determine the source of the problem, which may require rewiring or other electrical repairs.


Overheating happens when an electrical component is working too hard. This can cause the component to generate more heat than it can handle, which can lead to a short circuit or even a fire. The overheating can also cause the component to shut down to protect itself from permanent damage. It is important to check a device for overheating often, and take measures to reduce or prevent it. This may include replacing the device or adjusting its settings. If overheating is a frequent problem, it can be helpful to have a professional inspect the equipment.

When a light fixture, switch or outlet gets hot to the touch, this could be a sign that the wiring is overheating. This is most likely a result of a wire that is frayed or has a loose connection. If you notice this issue, it’s best to have a certified electrician check the wiring to make sure it is in good condition.

Another reason that electrical outlets and switches can overheat is because they are overloaded with too many appliances. If a single outlet is trying to power multiple devices at once, it will overload the circuit and overheat. It is essential to plug in only one appliance at a time, and use a surge protector to help prevent overloading.

It is also important to regularly clean exhaust fans of appliances and fixtures, as this can help prevent overheating. Dirty or clogged exhaust fans can cause the appliance to work harder, which will increase its temperature and shorten its lifespan. In addition, a dirty or clogged fan can also cause dangerous fumes to build up in the room, which can be a fire hazard.

Breakers and other electrical components can also overheat if they are overworked or exposed to excessive heat. This can happen if the breaker is constantly being used beyond its rated value. It is a good idea to stick with the NEC’s 80% rule, which states that a circuit breaker should not be continuously exposed to more than 80% of its rated amperage.

Overheating is a common electrical problem, but it’s also easy to avoid. Make sure to regularly clean your exhaust fans, and always plug in a surge protector to prevent overheating. Unplugging unused appliances can also help to keep the electrical system safe.