The electrical system in your St. Petersburg, Florida, home is at the heart of its functioning. Appliances, lights, and even your HAC system all require electricity to operate and work together to help you stay comfortable and go about your daily activities. Unfortunately, there are times when your electrical system may fail you. There are even some problems that are considered dangerous and require immediate attention from a professional. If you notice any of the dangerous electrical problems listed below, contact an electrician right away.
Outlets That Feel Overly Warm
While some electric charges, such as those used for cell phones and laptops, will warm the outlets up a little when they convert from AC to DC power, most plugin devices should not emit much heat. You definitely should not feel any heat on the outlet when everything is unplugged. If you do detect warmth, it is likely caused by a loose wire, an overloaded circuit, or a broken outlet. Unplug items from the outlet and contact your electrician to address the problem.
Flickering of Lights
When you notice flickering in your lamps, there is a good chance that you have screwed in a bulb that is a higher wattage than is appropriate for the fixture. While this may seem like no big deal, it is extremely dangerous and can cause melting of the socket or sparks to jump between wires, possibly resulting in a fire. It is important to note that you can still have damage after the right wattage bulb has been installed and it may lead to bulbs burning out more frequently. Always use the recommended wattage for your lamp or light fixture and if you can not find it, go with a 60-watt bulb or lower.
Plugs Don’t Stay in Certain Outlets
If you notice that some outlets in your home don’t hold plugs in as firmly as before, it could be an indication that the contacts in the outlet receptacles have become worn, which can reduce the grip that the prongs have on your plug. When these contacts become worn, and the plugs remain loose, it can lead to a higher incidence of arcing. Even the smallest spark can lead to a fire when it catches dust or dry wood. If any of your outlets are showing this problem, you should have them replaced immediately. Since it is already being replaced, it is also a good time to upgrade to a three-prong receptacle, if you didn’t already have one.
Higher Than Normal Electric Bills
Older home wiring was not designed to adapt to more modern, upgraded technology. When you try to use upgraded technology in a system that was not designed to handle it, your system may need to overcompensate, leading to higher than normal energy bills. You can reduce some of your energy consumption by unplugging devices when they are not in use to reduce the amount of energy being drawn. Yet, if you want to get your utility bills under control more permanently, and improve the safety of your electrical system, you might want to consider contacting an electrician to upgrade your wiring.
Your Power Suddenly Goes Out
While many sudden power outages are the result of a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, it can also be a signal of more major problems. If after resetting your breakers the system does not turn on, or still continues to trip, it is best to contact an electrician to diagnose the problem. Constant tripping can be a sign that your system is being overloaded. You will either have to use lower-wattage devices, or have your electrician add an additional circuit to your system.
If you have noticed that the only outlets without power are in your bathroom, kitchen, or garage, it could be the result of a ground fault unit tripping, to prevent a shock. To fix this, you will simply need to hit the reset button. If this does not fix the problem, you will need a technician to diagnose what is causing the outlet to be dead.
Image provided by iStock