Whether you have experience dealing with electrical problems or you’re facing your first one, it’s easy to feel anxious. After all, everyone knows that bad electricity can cause fires and no one wants that to happen to them. Here’s what you need to know about some common electrical problems so you can decide whether you want to handle them yourself or bring in a professional Sussex County electrician.
Not Enough Outlets
If you live in an older home, you may not have enough outlets available for all of your needs. If you’re like most people, when you encounter this project you plug in a power strip or an extension cord.
As long as your cords are 14-gauge or higher and you aren’t doing this on every outlet, you will probably be ok. If you have skinny cords or each outlet is overloaded, though, bring in an electrician and get some new outlets installed.
Fuse and/or Circuit Breaker Problems
If fuses blow or circuit breakers flip all over your house all the time, call an electrician ASAP to figure out what has gone wrong. If, however, you have one fuse or circuit that keeps getting overloaded, do some testing to figure out if the problem is in the system or with a particular appliance.
Isolate the circuit, then turn appliances off and on until the circuit trips. If it always trips when a certain appliance is in use, that appliance is likely the problem. You may need to fix it or get it replaced. If the circuit seems to trip regardless of which appliances you are using, get an electrician to find out why.
No GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are designed to turn off power whenever moisture is detected. They are perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, garages, outdoor outlets, and more. However, older houses may not have them and previous residents may have replaced them with regular outlets in newer houses.
If you don’t have these, check your breaker box to see if you have GFCI circuit breakers instead. If you don’t, buy the outlets at your local hardware store and replace them yourself or bring in a professional to do the electrical installation job for you.
Hot Outlets or Switchplates
If you go to turn off a switch or unplug something and the outlet plate or the attached cord feels hot, stop using the switch/outlet and call in a professional for electrical repair. Chances are good that there are some loose or frayed wires or other problems that could be dangerous if you don’t address them soon.