When it come to solving issues in the home, many homeowners may be tempted to try to fix things themselves. While this isn’t a problem for basic issues around the house, when it comes to electrical systems, choosing to do it yourself isn’t the safest option. To protect yourself and your family, know when it’s time to hire an electrician by paying attention to the following three signs:
1. The Outlets are Warm
Though there is energy flowing out of your outlets into whatever may be plugged in, these outlets should never be warm or shocking to the touch. If you find that you feel a shock or heat from an outlet, it’s important to hire an electrician immediately. This type of situation can be an indication of an electrical overload or old wiring—either way, it’s best that you leave fixing this kind of issue to the professionals.
Avoid overloading your outlets by only plugging in one high-wattage appliance at a time. Appliances like toaster ovens, microwave ovens, waffle irons, and the like should be plugged into one single outlet individually. More than one appliance in an outlet will easily result in the outlet overloading. Similarly, plugging in an extension cord into an outlet with several other items plugged into the same extension cord can lead to the wall outlet becoming hot.
2. The Breaker is Tripping
Circuit breakers trip when the circuit is overpowered. The breaker will trip to prevent the outlet from overheating or catching on fire. While many people respond to this situation by resetting their circuit breaker, if it happens frequently, you need a more permanent solution. If you find that your breaker is constantly tripping, don’t try to figure it out on your own.
A circuit overload will occur when the circuit or electrical wire exceeds the level of amperage that it can handle. If this is the case, call an electrician and have them evaluate the issue themselves before it becomes a hazard.
3. Your Lights Flicker Often
Lights that frequently flicker indicate that there is a problem with the wiring. Similarly, lights can often flicker once other appliances are used at the same time. If this is the case, you need another circuit line installed. Whatever the issue may be, a professional electrician can fix the problem for you.
If you experience any of the above in your home, don’t wait it out to see if the problem will fix itself. Electrical issues are dangerous and should always be prioritized. Though it may not be as satisfying as fixing it yourself, calling an electrician will ensure that you and your family are safe.