Household Electrical Problems: Common Causes

by Lisa Moore 08/30/2020

Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

There are many important maintenance responsibilities that come with owning a home. One comes in the form of household electricity. While many people take the electricity in their homes for granted, there are a number of common problems that could arise. When homeowners are prepared for these common household electrical problems, they will know how to approach them when they arise.

Electrical Surges are Common

One of the more common issues with household electricity is the development of power surges. There are a few reasons surges might take place. Sometimes, there are faulty power lines or weather-related events such as electrical storms or lightning strikes. Alternately, there could be issues related to the internal wiring of the home. Surges might only last for a millisecond but they can lead to serious damage throughout the electrical components of the home. While you can't control a storm, you can troubleshoot from inside. When electrical surges occur, the problem could be related to a device or appliance that is plugged into the power grid. In some cases, unplugging problematic devices can help stop the surges from happening.

Problems with the Light Switches

Another common electrical issue is light switches don’t work reliably or as expected. Those who have dimmer switches might be frustrated with how responsive the switches are. This could simply be a wiring issue that was introduced during installation or the problem with the hardware itself. You could try replacing the switch yourself, always turn the electricity off and following installation steps or better yet, work with an experienced electrician who can help to identify and resolve the problem's source.

The Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Some homeowners may find that the circuit breaker keeps tripping. A circuit breaker is meant to protect the home from being overpowered. Microwaves, hairdryers and heaters often cause circuit breakers to trip so consider what was drawing power when the issue last occurred. You may need to use the device at a lower setting or consult with an electrician about increasing the capacity of the outlet in question. Additionally, avoid using multiple power strips or extension cords as this can overload and destroy circuits. Unplug devices that are not being used. For example, phone chargers still draw on the electrical system even when they aren’t being used to recharge a device. Finally, plug devices or appliances into different locations to avoid placing all of the stress on a single circuit.

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Lisa Moore

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