5 Signs of Home Electrical Problems

The electrical system in your home should be in top condition to ensure everything is safe. Even small problems can be a safety hazard that can lead to fire or electrical shocks. If you aren't sure how to tell if there are issues with your wiring, the following guide can help.

#1: Flickering and surges

One of the most obvious signs of an electrical problem is that your lights tend to flicker or your home experiences frequent power surges. Sometimes these surges occur for no obvious reason, while other times you may be able to trace them to an appliance kicking on. Regardless, you shouldn't experience surges, so any flickering means it's time to call an electrician.

#2: Sparks and shocks

If you see a spark or feel a jolt when flipping a switch or plugging something into an outlet, you may have wiring that isn't connected or grounded properly. This can be a major fire hazard, so you need to have it looked at right away.

#3: Frequent burnouts

Sometimes issues aren't as obvious. For example, if your light bulbs seem to burnout quickly, then less obvious power surges could be responsible. The same is true for appliances – if it seems you are always fixing or replacing small appliances, your electrical system in your home could be to blame.

#4: Heat or odors

Outlets, plugs, and adapters should never feel hot to the touch. If they do, then chances are you have power surge issues or perhaps something is wired wrong. Overheating can damage the appliances or even cause a plug to melt. This is particularly hard on computers and other sensitive electronics, but it isn't good for any appliance. It is also a fire danger. In fact, if you smell any odd odors from an outlet or switch, particularly one that smells like burning metal, you are in imminent danger of an electrical fire.

#5: Fuse box worries

Your fuse box is designed for safety – if an electrical line becomes overloaded, the fuse trips and power is cut. This shouldn't happen often, though. If your fuse box seems to always be tripping, something isn't right. Other signs of trouble is if the fuses aren't clearly labeled or if the wiring feeding into the box appears damaged or disorganized.

Contact an electrician if you have any concerns about your home electrical system. It is better to be safe rather than sorry.