Warning Signs of Electrical Problems

A man wearing a hard hat and other protective equipment inspects a buildings electrical system.
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Pay attention to the clues that something’s wrong with your home’s electrical system to prevent a fire.

You rely on your home’s electrical system every day, but do you know the warning signs that something is wrong? Become familiar with the clues that indicate an electrical problem, and you could save your home from a dangerous fire.

Flickering lights

If you notice flickering lights, first check the bulb. Is it the proper size for the fixture? Is the bulb loose? If using a dimmer switch, is a dimmable bulb in use? If you can’t eliminate the cause of flickering at the light source, there could be problems in the electrical system. Call an electrician who can check for fluctuating current, overloaded circuits, loose wires and other potential problems.

Noises coming from an outlet

Noises like sizzling or pops and sparks coming from an outlet are always a sign of danger. Do not use any outlet that makes such noises as they could lead to sparking and cause fire. Outlets that hum, vibrate or feel warm can indicate that a home’s wiring is wearing out. Enlist a professional to troubleshoot and correct the problem. 

Circuit breakers that keep tripping

When circuits trip, it means the system is doing its job. It also means the flow of electricity was cut off to prevent overheating that could lead to a fire.

Circuits may trip because too many appliances and devices are plugged into a single circuit. They may also trip due to a breaker gone bad or a short circuit in the system. Call an electrician to investigate and correct the problem.

A burnt smell with no clear source

Another clue to electrical problems is a burnt smell that can’t be traced to a source. The smell could be acrid, like burning plastic, or even a fishy odor. If you notice any of these smells, call an electrician right away.

Discolored outlets or switches

Faulty wiring can cause arcing that discolors outlets or switches. If you notice this problem stop using the outlet or switch, call in a professional to make repairs.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that fire departments respond to nearly 7,000 home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction each year. Additionally, 390 people die annually as a result of electrical fires. If you notice any of the clues described above, protect yourself and your family by calling a professional electrician to correct problems before they become dangerous, even deadly.

If electrical repairs cost more than expected

If you discover an electrical problem that costs more to repair than your monthly budget can handle, consider a Consumers Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With a HELOC, you get access to you cash when you need it a great, competitive rate.

Consumers helps thousands of members finance first and second homes, land home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800-991-2221.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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