Are you struggling to diagnose problems with your residential electrical work? Not only are there a wide variety of issues you might encounter, but safety is most likely also on your mind. Hazardous wires, corroded components and outdated electronics all create a dangerous environment. Following safe electrical practices, homeowners can remedy some common electrical problems on their own.
When in doubt, or in the face of a potentially dangerous situation, always contact the pros. There is a reason why you need a certified electrician for most major jobs.
Finding affordable local electricians in the Minneapolis area is as easy as contacting the team at Randy’s Electric.
If you want to learn more about common problems with residential electrical work, read on.
1. Tripping Circuit Breaker
Your circuit breaker controls and protects your wiring. It does this while feeding all of your outlets, fixtures and appliances in your home with electricity. When a high-wattage device like a microwave or hair dryer pulls too much electricity from your system, it can cause a circuit to trip.
In normal circumstances, this means the circuit breaker is doing its job. But if it happens too often, it could be indicative of bigger problems. You can always limit the amount of power needed on a circuit by managing what devices you are using. If problems persist, you will need to get a hold of a professional to service your breaker panel.
2. RCCB and RCD
A Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) and a Residual Current Device (RCD) help prevent low-voltage current leaks. Both are current sensing devices that can automatically detect faults. If they detect a fault, they will disconnect from the circuit.
RCCBs and RCDs are essential safety measures when it comes to protecting circuits. Often, homes with poor wiring or outdated electrical systems don’t have these extra safety precautions. Installing an RCCB or RCD is an excellent way to implement safety measures, but is best left to a licensed electrician.
3. Dim, Bright or Flickering Lighting
There are few things more annoying than a flickering lightbulb. If the bulb is too bright or too dim, it can be just as much of a nuisance. If lighting woes plague your home, there are a few common issues to consider:
- Check the wattage: different bulbs carry different wattage ratings. Make sure that all the lights are identical.
- Bad main neutral connection: this could mean a problem at the control panel. A faulty connection will persist until it’s fixed by a professional.
A professional can easily discern what the problem is. Give one a call if you cannot fix it on your own.
4. No GFCIs
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are those special outlets you might have noticed in your kitchen or bathroom. GFCIs stop possible electrocutions caused by breaks in low-resistance grounding paths from an electrical system.
Simply put: GFCIs quickly stop electrocutions. A GFCI can cut off a circuit in less than 1/40 of a second. Suffice to say, homes without GFCIs in highly trafficked rooms may have some safety issues. If GFCIs and other electrical safety measures worry you, it’s time for a home safety electrical inspection.
5. Backstabbed Wires
You might think this involves some interpersonal drama, but this backstabbing is a bit more literal. Backstabbing wires is the practice of connecting wires to an outlet by pushing them into the back of the connector.
Backstabbing was a common practice back in the 1970s, so if you have an older home, it might be something to check out. Backstabbed wiring can cause loose connections, burnt outlets and fried wiring. These kinds of wires can be dangerous – let an electrician handle this one.
6. Circuit Overload
Your circuit breaker has a limit. One of the most common issues with residential wiring work is circuit overload. When this happens, it usually means you are asking too much from your electrical system. Here are some ways to avoid circuit overload:
- Never daisy-chain power boards and extension cords.
- When you aren’t using a device, make sure it’s disconnected.
- Spread power-hungry devices across multiple circuits.
- Take stock of all the devices you have connected in your home to see how much is on a single circuit.
To avoid circuit overload, consider contacting your local electrician so they can perform an electrical safety audit. Your electrician can help point out problems regarding safety and help identify areas where you could save money on electricity costs.
7. Loose or Poor Wiring
It doesn’t take an electrician to point out safety issues associated with poor wiring. Not only is this a danger to you, but it can spell trouble for your home and overall electrical system.
Older homes are especially prone to these types of issues. If you see wires sticking out of walls or loose outlets, you need to call for professional electrical service. Luckily, you can find affordable local electricians in the Minneapolis area to provide home wiring services.
8. Ungrounded Outlets
Ungrounded outlets are another safety issue. An ungrounded outlet does not have the grounding system that is used as a failsafe in newer outlets. In a grounded outlet, a pathway exists through the ground connection in the event of a safety issue such as a short circuit.
If a ground connection does not exist, excess electricity will flow into other places. This is especially a problem if excess electricity flows into flammable materials like wood.
9. High Electricity Bills
It can be troubling to get an electricity bill way above your typical monthly costs. Here are some things to look into if your electricity bill is raising:
- Switching electricity providers.
- Finding devices that may cause power surges.
- Locating possible broken electrical devices and systems.
- Repairing damage to wiring and circuits.
Using a lightbulb with a higher wattage than the fixture’s recommendation causes overlamping. Overlamping can cause the fixture to overheat and potentially create a fire hazard.
The name overlamping does not relay the seriousness of the issue. Overlamping can cause wiring problems, tripped circuits and even fires. Always make sure you are matching wattage when installing new bulbs.
Finding Affordable Local Electricians in Minneapolis, MN
Problems with residential electrical work can be a struggle to remedy. If your home’s wiring is stressing you out, the safety of your sub-panel is on your mind or you’re worried about power consumption, a quick call with our team at Randy’s Electric can be just what you need. Our dedicated staff of certified electricians can handle any problems with your electrical system.
Give us a call at (612) 662-0134 or schedule an appointment online to get started today.