A blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker are probably the two most common electrical malfunctions that can occur in a home. As unfortunate as they may be, there is something good about them too – you can spot these problems and get them fixed before they become a huge issue. However, some electrical issues are not as evident, and, if left unattended, they can grow into a much bigger concern that can cause serious damage to the home’s electrical system and the home in general. To help you keep an eye out for these problems, we have prepared a list of hidden signs that may indicate a serious electrical problem in your home. Read on!
6 Signs That Indicate An Electrical Problem In Your House
1. Continuous appliance overheating
Frequent appliance overheating, especially if not in prolonged use, is a clear sign that something is not right with your electrical system. The malfunctioning of an electrical appliance itself could also be the cause of overheating. However, if you notice your appliances feel hot to the touch frequently, it’s a straight indication that there is an issue with your home’s electrical system.
A licensed electrician is the only professional who can help you identify the problem. But while you wait for them to arrive, there are things you can do to prevent further damage to the appliance. For instance, you can unplug the device while it is not in use. In addition, you can check on the temperature switch to further reduce the risk of overheating.
2. Electrical system overloading
Residential electrical systems are designed to accommodate typical household demand. When too many appliances are plugged into the same circuit, the load exceeds the capacity of the circuit breaker and begins to trip, causing the entire system to shut down. A similar problem emerges when homeowners stack extension cords and other connectors that allow more than two appliances to be plugged into a single outlet.
Extension cords are a great way to add additional outlets to your home, quickly and easily. However, they are only a temporary solution typically resorted to in emergency situations. Regardless of whether you are doing it out of comfort or necessity, try to avoid using extension cords as much as possible.
If you notice your household electric needs are growing requiring you to expand your electric system, consider electric panel upgrades. Upgrading your electric panel is the most reliable way to ensure there’s enough electricity to power all the appliances and devices in your home.
3. Improperly Grounded Flexible Gas Lines
CSST (or corrugated stainless steel tubing) is a tube that supplies gas throughout a home. When it’s improperly grounded or bonded, it can lead to natural gas leakage and subsequently a fire.
While the chances of CSST suffering from physical damage are slim, the risk is still there. For instance, lighting can easily strike an ungrounded CSST line and cause a fire hazard. This is because CSS tubing is as thin as 0.2 mm, which makes it extremely prone to even the slightest damage. Thus, always make sure CSST lines in your home are properly grounded.
If you are not sure about the condition of the gas lines in your home or if you are buying a new home and want to know about the condition of gas lines in it, ask a gas line contractor or a local authority to conduct an inspection. That way, you will ensure your home is safe and free from any gas line hazards.
4. Loose outlets
Outlets that are not tightly adjacent to the wall are a serious fire hazard in a home. Outlets frequently become loose because they are connected to an electrical box that is positioned far away from the wall. A distant electrical box is insufficiently secure to support the full fixture. This could cause the wiring to bump or become loose, causing worse problems such as sparks, fires, or shocks that are hazardous to you and the structure of your home.
Fortunately, loose outlets are easy to spot and fix. While some homeowners opt to replace loose outlets on their own, it is generally recommended against doing so, primarily for safety reasons. Call a professional electrical contractor or a master electrician to fix loose outlets. That way not only you will protect yourself from electrical shocks, but also you will ensure the work is done properly by a professional.
5. Messy wiring
Tangled wiring is a common occurrence in many homes. It is also one that is often ignored as it is perceived as a non-immediate safety hazard. Even though the visual appearance of electrical wiring isn’t the primary aspect that defines the quality of electrical work, it does affect the safety of the home.
If you find the wiring in your home to be messy or arranged haphazardly, call a professional electrician to come and detangle the wiring. Consider a whole electrical system inspection if the wiring is more than 20 years old.
6. Falsified UL stickers
There are certain organizations that govern the safety of electrical devices, and Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is one of them. If a product meets the minimum standard set by the UL, it is given the right to display the UL sticker. However, some manufacturers step around the UL inspection and dare to place falsified stickers on their products.
Low cost is what usually gives away these counterfeit products with falsified safety stickers on them. So if you found a product with a UL mark but at a suspiciously low price, pay special attention to the quality of the product and the sticker itself. Watch out for typos or other signs that may indicate a counterfeit. In addition, check the UL website for information on how to spot fake UL stickers.
The safety and reliability of the electrical system are what make our homes a safe place to live in. That’s why it is important to look out for these signs of potential electrical hazards and take necessary precautions to prevent electrical accidents.
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