2 Common Signs Of Electrical Wiring Problems

12 August 2015
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Home electrical systems are usually installed according to strict building codes in order to ensure safety. Unfortunately, problems with wiring emerge with time as outlets become ungrounded, wires fray or connections get loose. This can lead to a host of problems, including short circuits, fires or damaged appliances. To protect your family from such electrical problems, it is important that you learn the signs of faulty wiring so you can have the problem fixed early on. Here are two common indicators of faulty wiring that need immediate repairs.

Breakers that constantly trip

If your circuit breakers are constantly tripping, this could be a sign that your system is overloaded, mostly due to the use of too many high amp appliances. If the total amps in your electrical circuit are more than your circuit breaker rating, there are bound to be frequent problems that can only be solved by having the breaker replaced with a new one that has a higher rating.

However, this should be done by a certified home electrician, as installing a new breaker without upgrading the wiring could cause overheating and make your home prone to electrical fires.

The electrician could also check for short circuits that could be causing the breakers to trip. By testing the amount of amp load on your circuit, the electrician can determine whether your current appliances should be overloading the breakers. If not, this would indicate a short in the circuit that could be caused by loose connections or frayed wiring.

Sparking or shocking outlets and switches

Faulty wiring or loose connections within switches and outlets could cause them to produce sparks when turned on or when appliances are plugged in. This could cause the outlet to get charred, discolored or even produce a burning smell.

Any such occurrences are signs of potential danger and should be looked into by an electrician immediately. Replacing the faulty outlet or switch is part of the solution, but the permanent fix would be to have any faulty wiring that is causing the short replaced.

Another indicator that something is wrong is slight shocking on an outlet. This could mean that an appliance plugged in is causing a short, or that a frayed wire is shorting out to the conduit enclosing the wires. If the shocking continues after unplugging all items from the receptacle, turn off your breaker and call in an electrician to examine the wiring near or inside the outlet for shorts.