When you face power circuit issues in the home, even for an experienced electrician, it may be a pain finding out the source of the problems. With the right knowledge and tools, you’ll be able to quickly address the lighting problems and get back to whatever you were doing in no time.
Before you take your tester and hop from appliance to appliance and from socket to socket and from room to room, checking and testing and sweating and sighing, there are some basic questions you need to answer. It’ll make things easier and set you in the right direction towards a quicker fix.
- Do you notice the lights dimming –this is a sign of excessive drawing of power– whenever an appliance is switched on? Check and repair or change the appliance immediately.
- Are you noticing a constant electrical surge? That’s mostly due to a faulty electrical device too. Check and repair or replace such device.
- Are the circuit breakers tripping frequently? There is probably a high wattage device plugged that has increased the power together with other appliances in use beyond what the main panel can support. Just turn off other devices or unplug some of them and check again or make sure only the high wattage device is on a particular circuit.
- Are some lights much brighter than others? This could be an issue from the mains or else you may just make sure that all the bulbs are on the same wattage.
- Do you experience electrical shocks whenever you put on or turn off a certain device? Check that device and check another device or get the professional.
- Do you notice a sudden and unusual surge in the electrical bills? It may be due to excessive power consumption by a new device you’ve installed or an old device that has become faulty. Check for such devices and adjust or recalculate.
- Are the light bulbs burning? If the burning is continuous even after replacing burnt bulbs, then there is a problem in the circuit or the mains.
- Are the lights releasing excessive heat? There could be an insulation problem somewhere. This can be a dangerous one as it often results in a fire outbreak. Fix immediately.
Look at these other tips to easily fix the power circuit problems in your house.
Check The Electrical Loads
We’ve seen the question of constant tripping off of circuit breakers. We’ve also seen that it is mostly due to an overloaded circuit. In the event that you want to use high-power demanding devices like your refrigerators, water heaters, washers, and dryers, don’t you think it’s time you had an upgrade? Depending on which part of the New England region in the United States you’re currently at, you can have your electrical service panel upgraded by the Rhode Island Electrician. They’re skilled and quick and you’ll be using your lights again in no time and with no more hassles.
If you are hell-bent on keeping the old panel, you stand the risk of a fire outbreak. Even the warning signs like that buzzing sound from the fuse box, the flickering lights, the constantly tripping off of circuit breakers, the smell of burning wire, and the smoke coming out from the several outlets can be frustrating.
Go for a panel change immediately and enjoy lasting peace of mind with no worry for interruption of power every now and then. The question of damaging your costly electrical home appliances would be out of it. Besides, you’ll be able to add as many more appliances as you desire to your current set without the fear of tripping the circuit breaker. You could even add many more outlets and enjoy a more generous use of electricity year-round if you aren’t on a budget.
Check The Mains
Circuit breakers stop the electrical circuit whenever there is an excessive flow of electric current through the wires. They also go off when there is an issue somewhere in the electrical wiring and lighting. An overloaded circuit would trip the circuit breaker.
So, you’ll need to go and check that none of the circuit breakers is down. Don’t be alarmed if you see the marker in between “Off” and “On”. That position already means that the breaker is off.
Leave the marker in that partly “Off” position and go, remove all the appliances that were on the circuit that caused the breaker to trip. After you’ve done that, turn the breaker back on.
If you’re using a fuse box instead of circuit breakers, then you may have to replace the fuse that has melted. You’ll notice the sign when you look through the glass of the fuse. Use a fuse puller to remove the faulty fuse. Then, replace it with a new one.
There is a chance that even after changing the fuse or resetting the circuit breaker the problem still persists. There may be a broken wire somewhere either in the outlets or lamp holders or other appliances. You’ll need the experts to come to look into it this time.
Check For A Short Circuit
A short circuit happens when electric current flows outside the bounds of the circuit it was intended for. Usually, it’s a result of wires touching each other during the conduct of current thereby giving no actual sense of direction to the current. The problem with short circuits is that they are very difficult to find. It’s worse when the short-circuiting is from more than one source.
One way to do the search is to look out for black markings on switches or check for plugs of appliances that look burnt in a way and change them. Another thing is to open the switches or outlets you think have the issue and carefully examine them for touching wires. Use your smelling skill here too for burnt wires. If you think you’ve found it, separate the wires and tape them accordingly. It’s wise to replace the switch. It’s the ideal thing to do. After that, test by putting on that switch. It should be okay now or else the issue is somewhere else.
Sometimes, to save on costs of repairs and fixes, it is advisable to carry out some of the electrical problems in the house yourself. That may be good for changing bulbs and changing of holders and switches if it isn’t a major problem. Checking for a short circuit or other power circuit problem is a more complicated task and can be lethal. Be careful.