Moving to a new home is pretty exciting, but you must be aware of the different aspects of maintaining the space.
Electricity is essential for our day to day activities, resulting in the smooth functioning of various appliances. However, it’s surprising that most people know very little about how electricity works in the household or the common problems associated with it.
They tend to ignore the first signs of electrical issues and only get to know about them when it’s too late. These problems can be dangerous for the home and be pretty expensive to fix once they go out of your hands.
We have highlighted some of the most frequently occurring electrical issues in Australian homes to put your mind at ease. Going through them will help you know if there’s a need to contact a professional electrician to fix the problem.
5 Common Residential Electrical Issues
1. Frequent Electrical Surges
Electricity surges occur when a sudden increase in the amount of charge flows through the power lines. One of the most common culprits that cause electrical surges has to be lightning. But, it can also occur from damaged power lines in your home.
The current in the power outlets increases drastically during a surge, which can always threaten the connected appliances, leading to damage. That’s why it’s often suggested to unplug your devices during a storm.
It’s okay for your house to get electrical surges sometimes, but the problem starts when the surges occur too frequently because of a fault in the power grid. The only solution for handling frequent electrical surges is to call for an electrician, thanks to their expertise in detecting the issue. You can speak to them about installing a surge protector in your home to prevent the electrical appliances from getting damaged.
2. Overloaded Circuit
Has it ever happened that the electric supply of your home suddenly stopped after plugging in a device? If so, then it was most likely caused due to the overloading of the circuit breaker.
Overloads can be caused by several things, like plugging in too many appliances simultaneously. This may cause the circuit breaker to trip as a safety measure against electrical fires, occurring when an electrical system overheats.
Another common cause for circuit overloading is the usage of bulbs with a higher wattage than what’s required by the fixture. That’s why it’s recommended to get a bulb of 60 watts (to be on the safer side) if you’re unable to find the wattage for a lamp or light fixture.
After a circuit breaker has tripped, you’ll need to reset it to restore the electric supply. As modern homes are built to accommodate the latest high-power gadgets, you won’t usually need to worry about the circuit breaker tripping frequently. But, if it becomes a recurring problem, your house might need an upgraded electrical system, so call an emergency electrician to fix the issue.
3. Electrical Shocks
There might be many reasons for this issue, including poor insulation work, faulty wiring, or improper grounding. The problem might also lie with the appliance you’re trying to connect to a power outlet.
If you suspect that an appliance or an outlet is giving out shocks, stop using it immediately and seek professional help.
Thankfully, the issue of electrical shocks has gone down quite a bit due to improved electricity systems. But, people who reside in houses or apartments older than 20 years should be careful about it and hire electricians for regular maintenance. This is especially crucial if you have kids at home, constantly plugging various gadgets into power outlets.
4. Issues Related To Lights
Some of the most common electric issues are to do with lights. Often ignored, lights can help understand the health of the electrical system because if problems like flickering, dim, or fast-burning bulbs are common, we recommend getting help from an electrician.
Flickering or dimming of lights often occurs due to loose electrical connections, particularly when it’s limited to a single fixture. It’s best to stop using the light that’s having an issue and get it fixed to avoid problems of overheating or fires.
A typical issue also found in many households is to do with the light bulbs burning out quickly. This problem is common if you use bulbs with the wrong wattage. And people often end up using bulbs of 100 watts in a 60-watt socket in hopes of brighter illumination. However, if you’re using a bulb with the right wattage, the problem might be with the faulty wiring of that socket.
Another standard issue people face is when a bulb gets too hot to touch. It’s known as overlamping, and once again, it stems from using a bulb of higher wattage with an incompatible socket.
When the bulb gets too hot, it can burn the insulation and even cause problems in the outlet’s wiring. Luckily, overlamping can be detected by soot buildup around the socket and the bulb, so remember to change it as soon as you notice soot to avoid a potential disaster.
We would like to point out that it’s best to hire a licensed electrician for a thorough checkup of any space before moving into a new house.
5. High Electricity Bill
Do you find the numbers to be off in your recent electricity bill? Even though it might just be because of using too many appliances, a hefty bill can definitely be a concern if it’s unusual for the household.
Rather than getting all worked up, you should keep track of the electricity consumption over the next few months before coming to any conclusion. If you are sure about not using that much energy, the problem might exist in faulty wiring or circuits.
Apart from getting your home checked by an electrician, you can hopefully follow some of these steps to lower the cost.
- Check if there’s a leak in the hot water system.
- Apart from the essentials, remove all other appliances, devices and chargers from power outlets.
- Install surge protectors in the GFCI outlets.
- Try getting energy-saving appliances.
- Opting for a more cost-effective electricity provider.
If you’re still unable to find a proper reason for the high bill, try contacting your current electricity provider to get more details about the issue.
Residential Electrical Systems
That’s everything we had to tell you about the common residential electrical issues. Now, you know how to detect whether there’s something wrong with your home’s electric system.
Note that any issue present in your home’s electricity system is regarded as hazardous and calls for help from a licensed electrician. Along with fixing any persisting issues, a professional will advise you about the necessity of upgrading the electrical components of your home.
Do make sure to follow the proper safety regulations for using electricity, and refrain from attempting to fix an electrical issue on your own. So, go ahead and check your home for any of the above mentioned electrical issues to stay safe!