Common Electrical Problems
COMMON ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
They Can Happen to Anyone
Serving the Austin, TX Area
We live in the era of technology, and everything needs power. Unfortunately, that means that any minor problem with your electricity can be huge. Worse yet, it can happen at any time.
As advanced as things have gotten, though, some electrical issues are more common than others. These are the wiring and lighting problems that affect almost everyone, not the EV charger or HVAC.
When dealing with electricity, we always recommend hiring a professional. Not only can an annual inspection prevent minor problems from growing, but we know what we’re doing.
Our experts know how to safely repair or replace electrical issues. If you suspect anything below is happening to you, give us a call at 512-808-6363 to schedule your free estimate!
There are a lot of causes for power surges in your home, from lightning storms to transformers. Even the electric company can be the cause. Any kind of supercharge in the power lines will result in a surge.
That surge makes the current too strong in your outlets and there goes your power. What you might not know is that each power surge has the chance to damage your electronic devices, so more surges are worse.
While you hear about lightning the most, because a bolt can carry a billion volts, it’s not the most-common reason. Outdated or bad wiring is more likely to be the cause of frequent power surges in your home.
A Sag in Power
Of course, cheap electrical appliances could also be to blame. They’re inexpensive because of cheaper parts, which fail easier. A good way to reduce surge potential is with a surge protector.
Again, cheaper is worse, but surge protectors can help prevent damage to your appliances. However, a billion-volt bolt of lightning will destroy it, so it’s best to just unplug in a storm.
If you’re noticing an increase in power surges or random surges in your home, give us a call! Now, you might just be experiencing a sag in your power. These dips in voltage, or “brown-outs,” may only last for a second.
The usual suspects are cheaper, small appliances. The brief dim of lights can be because of cheap components or you might be using too many appliances at once and overpowering your electrical panel.
Whether you’re experiencing power surges at a concerning frequency or “brown-outs,” it’s best to have peace of mind. Let our electricians take a look by calling 512-808-6363 today!
Overworked Circuits and Outlets
We just mentioned overpowered panels, but a lot of homeowners don’t know that circuits can suffer the same. In fact, homeowners are the leading cause of circuits being overloaded!
Basically, an overloaded circuit is when too much electricity goes to a device. The easiest example to use is a lamp, because a 110 watt bulb will overload a lamp that has a maximum of 75 watts.
Sometimes you’ll get away with it, but the overpower can overheat your wiring. Once the socket and insulation is melted, a spark can trigger an electrical fire before you know it.
That’s the extreme scenario, but it’s important to understand the dangers. As a rule of thumb, any light fixture that doesn’t say the maximum watts shouldn’t exceed a 60 watt bulb.
If the breaker keeps tripping, you might have the wrong wattage bulb or have too much plugged in. The same goes for multiple hair accessories plugged in at once. Whatever the case, if it keeps happening, give us a call!
Keep Yourself Covered!
A junction box with no cover can also be a problem. These boxes contain wiring and get installed in your wall, whether during construction or with an upgrade to your electricity.
The problem comes if the junction box doesn’t have a cover, because this can lead to safety risks. Not only can a cover avoid shocking you or your family, but it can prevent an electrical fire from starting if wires get damaged.
If you’re worried about your circuits being overloaded or want us to take a look at your junction box, don’t hesitate to call. We want you to be able to relax in your home, so dial 512-808-6363!
Lighting Issues and Electricity Usage
There are a number of blatant signs with your lighting to alert you to electrical problems. Some of the most common ones are:
- Flickering lights. These can mean that your wiring has been damaged or frayed, which could result in an electrical fire. It’s not a breach of code, but flickering lights should still be looked at by an electrician for safety.
- Light bulbs burn out after enough time and use, but it shouldn’t happen quickly and they should burn out together. It could be caused by the bulbs, but it could also mean one or more issues are at play. These could be anything from overloaded watts and poor wiring to an overloaded dimmer switch and insulation placement. Whatever the case, you should have it looked at by a pro.
- Any time you notice that some lights are brighter than the rest, it could be a problem. There’s a chance that the bulbs are just different watts, which is an easy fix, but it could also mean that your connection is bad.
We’ve talked about electrical fires, but you’re prone to being shocked in older homes. That’s because the electrical panel and wiring is usually outdated or has insulation that lacks modern protection. It could be due to wires not being grounded properly. With the rate of technological advancement, your system might be outdated if it was built even 20 years ago!
A professional electrician will know current safety codes and have your home up to par in no time, so give us a call if you think you need an upgrade or just want to feel safer. Of course, you also might want to dial our number if your electric bill is ridiculous. We all know that winter and summer usually mean higher bills, but if it’s constant and outside of those months you might have an electrical issue.
We recommend a programmable thermostat to make sure you get the most out of your heating and air. However, bad wiring or damaged circuits could make your electrical panel work harder and harm your appliances. This can be dangerous for your home, but it also could mean your electric bills go through the roof until you have someone take a look. Let us help you by calling 512-808-6363 today!
Overloaded Outlets and Panel Problems
When it comes overwhelmed circuits, a big cause can be not having enough outlets to spread out the power. Many homeowners use a surge protector with additional plugs for a single outlet or use one on the end of an extension cord. If you plan to use an extension cable with a surge protector, we recommend a 14-gauge heavy-load cord with a UL-listed protector for the best results.
However, that’s meant to be temporary and can still cause problems long-term. An outlet with too much plugged in can spark and cause an electrical fire, or at the very least damage your appliances and devices. It’s also a bad idea to connect extension cords together through your home. Either way, an electrician can be called to install additional outlets so don’t put yourself in harm’s way!
If overloaded outlets are bad, electrical panels are even worse to overwork. Not only can electrical panels cause a fire and damage appliances, they can cause an electrical shock to you. That’s because each panel has a specific number of circuit breakers and a maximum capacity of amps. When homes were first being built, many panels were 60-amps but many modern households demand 200.
Some homeowners violate the electrical code and use a tandem breaker instead of a single-pole. If you’re thinking of moving in to a previously-owned home or just moved in, you should always get an electrical inspection done. We’ll make sure that your electrical panel isn’t over-circuited and check that you have enough outlets and amps to power your household!
On that note, frequent tripping of your breakers can mean an issue with your power. This is usually caused by too many devices, especially high-wattage ones, being plugged into one outlet. The breaker tripping is actually for your safety, to prevent a fire and temporarily cease function. It’s best to not overload any single outlet or circuit, but you should consider calling us at 512-808-6363 to make sure you’re safe!
JEI Construction, LLC
JEI was prompt, professional, and reasonably priced. The work was completed to my specifications and the electrician made sure to do interim quality checks with me to ensure the project was still to my liking. Highly recommend, will hire again to do work in the future.