Some electrical problems manifest in very obvious ways. You just know you have to take action. But even when your home’s electrical system is currently working properly, there may be a problem that needs to be fixed before it escalates.
A loose outlet that isn’t worrisome now may lead to short-circuiting or even fire later. And if you have an old home with aluminum wiring, it’s best to change it to copper fast!
Electricity is a big deal and it’s always advisable to address electrical issues, no matter how seemingly minor, before they spiral out of hand.
Below are 5 silent signs that your Philadelphia home has an electrical problem. If you notice any of these signs, you need to act fast.
1. Loose or Hot Outlets
Do you feel the insides of an outlet moving loosely when you plug in a cord? It’s time to open it and tighten things up. A loose outlet will eventually have its wires shaken free, which may lead to short-circuiting, sparks, and fire hazards.
What if the outlet feels hot? Granted, electricity generates heat, so it’s ok to find appliances hot while on. However, outlets are supposed to stay cool. If an outlet feels hot, there is obviously a problem somewhere. Detach any cord plugged in and avoid using the outlet until you determine and address the issue.
Dimmer switches get mildly hot due to how they work. However, they should never get uncomfortably hot unless there’s an issue.
2. Flickering Lights
Flickering lights do not mean your house is haunted. What they could mean is that there’s a loose connection somewhere. If a single light flicks, it’s easy to trace and fix DIY.
But if there are several, it may be the wire connecting all of them or somewhere much further away in the circuit. The loose connection is likely in the breaker box if the entire house lighting flickers. In that case, you need a licensed electrician to fix it.
3. Burning Smell
A burning smell in your house? If it’s early winter, it could be the furnace heating the dust accumulated throughout the summer. Then, there’s nothing to worry about.
If the burning smell is like plastic melting, you face a fire risk as there may be a burning wire or appliance. Troubleshoot the burning smell immediately.
If you’re not comfortable handling such a delicate issue yourself, electricians in Philadelphia are able to assist you. Turn off your circuit breaker and reach out to one.
4. Aluminum Wiring In Old Homes
Aluminum was a cost-effective alternative to copper in the ’60s and ’70s. So old houses built around that time may still have aluminum wiring. The problem is that aluminum can be a ticking time bomb because it oxidizes faster than copper, building up heat that may lead to a fire outbreak.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission claims that properties with aluminum wiring are around 55 times more likely to suffer fire damage. You can contact an electrician for an entire house rewire if this is your home.
5. Shocks When You Touch Certain Parts of Your Home
If you receive minor shocks when you touch a metal object connected to your home’s mechanical system, it’s a sign of grounding issues. This applies to fixtures and outlets, especially when your hands or feet are wet.
Although the shocks may be minor, it’s certainly uncomfortable, so it’s in your best interest to ground them. If you don’t know how to ground electrical systems, call an electrician ASAP.
These signs are silent and may go unnoticed, but if you do notice any in your home, do not hesitate to fix it ASAP. If the electrical problem is beyond your skill, don’t even make an attempt. Call a professional.