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Warning Signs of Residential Electrical Wiring
Any home needs its wiring checked by an electrician at some point. People should not attempt DIY with electrical wiring unless they are certain of their own ability. Any home wiring job should still be checked by an electrician before use. Any fluctuation at all in electrical supply in the home is a serious enough concern to call an electrician.
Common first signs of faulty wiring
The first concern is the age of the building in question. Residential buildings can be over a century old. The oldest houses still in use may predate electrical wiring as standard. Even more recent buildings may have wiring decades old. In these instances, do not wait for signs of electrical trouble. Have an electrician look over any old building before taking up residence.
Other warning signs that the wiring needs professional attention include:
- Brownouts and flickering lights
- Sudden power outages
- Sparks and smoke
- Electrical shock
A brownout is a partial power failure. The lights dim and flicker, electrical appliances stop and restart. The first thing to check is whether it is a localized power problem. If so, other houses on the block will be affected too. If it is only the resident’s home affected, then it is time to call an electrician.
A sudden total power outage may, again, be a local problem. A glance out the window will check if this is the case. If other houses nearby are in darkness, then it is likely a problem with the local grid. If this is the case, then there is nothing else to do except wait until power is restored.
If other houses are unaffected, then the next thing to do is check the fuse box. Every householder should know where this is in their own home. If there is any doubt, contact an electrician for help to locate and check it. How to find and check their own fuse box is essential information for anyone responsible for a household.
The fuse box automatically shuts off power in case of an electrical surge. The most common cause is old wiring combined with too many appliances drawing power. Turn off any electrical appliances before resetting the fuse box. Tripping the fuse box is rarely in itself an emergency but should be taken as a sign to call an electrician. The fuse box is a safety feature, indicating a problem elsewhere in the wiring.
Sparks, smoke and electrical shock need not be dramatic. The only sign may be a thin wisp of smoke from a wall socket or light switch. More alarming discharges of smoke and sparks should, all else being well, trip the fuse box. As a general rule, fountains of sparks and belching smoke are a strong indicator that it is time to call an electrician.
A hazardous electrical discharge is not always visible. Faulty wiring may emit an electrical field several yards around the source. The only sign may be inexplicable electric shock within the range of the fault. This may not even be painful but is still a cause for serious alarm and a visit from the electrician.
Call an electrician today
Getting the wiring of a residential home checked is as simple as picking up the phone. Call your local electrician to get your home checked for safety. Old wiring can pose a waiting hazard for years. Prevention is the best cure, so call an electrician at the first sign of electrical trouble.
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