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Electricity is one of the driving forces behind modern living; most of us can’t remember a time without at least having the convenience of light bulbs. Electrical units and appliances are very commonplace for many people. However, behind all the many helpful uses of electricity, there are quite a few problems to look out for. Electrical issues can lead to dangerous electrical emergencies, so they should be treated very seriously.

Here are 10 of the most common household electrical problems to look out for:

1. Electrical Surges

Frequent electrical surges can be the result of many things, including damaged power lines, a lightning strike, poor household electrical wiring, and even defective appliances. Normally, a surge will last only a fraction of a second; if an object experiences multiple frequent surges, it will be significantly damaged and not last nearly as long.

2. Faulty Light Switches

If any of your light switches are not working correctly, you have a couple troubleshooting options. Dimmer switches that have trouble adjusting properly are usually the fault of poor craftsmanship and material. A mysterious switch that doesn’t appear to connect to any fixture at all could mean anything from a faulty outlet, circuit, or wiring. It is always smart to check with a professional electrician if you have any problems with your home wiring

3. Dips and Sags in Power

Similar to electrical surges, these can be the result of poorly made devices connected to your electricity.

4. An Overloaded Circuit

This is one of the major causes of a tripped circuit breaker. Overloading a circuit can be very easy, especially in older homes that are unable to cater to the amount of electricity some appliances require. Some appliances draw more electricity than others, so it is good to take note of what uses the most power. It also helps to unplug anything that is not in use, including cell phone chargers.

5. A Tripping Circuit Breaker

While circuit breakers are meant to trip (that is their way of protecting your home), you should make sure to note exactly what is causing your breaker to trip. If it was something particularly high wattage like a hairdryer or a microwave, try using a lower setting if you are using them at the same time as other electrical appliances.

6. Electrical Shocks

Electrical shocks are an unfortunate experience, and at worst incredibly dangerous. Fortunately, they are normally a mild static shock level of pain, but they are still a frequent reminder to be careful when handling electricity. These shocks can be caused by an issue with an appliance’s wiring or the appliance itself, so always be careful when turning objects on and off.

7. Lights Being Kept Too Dim or Bright

Different lights may utilise different wattages; check your main connection and that your bulbs are correct.

8. Bulbs That Burn Out Too Quickly

If your light bulbs are burning out too frequently, here are some of the common causes behind it:

  • Poor circuit wiring
  • Too high of wattages
  • Your insulation is located too closely to the bulb
  • The dimmer switch (if applicable) is overloaded with too much wattage

9. Unusually Expensive Electrical Bill

Here are some tips to help lower your electrical bill:

  • Identify and fix any devices creating power surges
  • Unplug appliances and other devices when they are not in use
  • Make sure your electrical wiring is up to date

Light that Turns off and Turns Back on Later

Some lights, like downlights for example, are made with the safety feature ability to automatically turn off when the light itself heats up too much. This is caused by either your ceiling insulation being too close, or your bulb is too high wattage.

A great precaution against any potential electrical problems is to have a quality electrician inspect your home. Contact our team on our Richtek Electrical website for any electrical questions or issues you may have.

Electrical appliances are very commonplace in any modern home or workplace due to their convenience and importance in everyday use. When is the last time you went an extended period without preparing food in your electric oven? Appliances such as ovens, washers, and dryers are used all the time thanks to electricity.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of risks associated with the use of electricity. Electrical hazards or emergencies can be caused by something as simple as an overworked circuit or a frayed cord that creates a spark or an electrical shortage. To protect yourself from a potential electrical emergency, it is important to regularly maintain all of the electrical systems within your home, including any appliances. However, if you experience an electrical hazard, the proper procedure may vary depending on the situation.

Types of Electrical Emergencies to Watch Out For

Electrical Fire 

This is one of the most common hazards you may encounter. Typically, a frayed cord located too closely to fabric or curtains or a short circuit can cause this. These dangerous fires need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently, so it is helpful to know the proper steps to take as a response.

Some helpful responses to an electrical fire include:

  • Cutting the power

The first step you should take is to cut the power to the appliance or electrical system that is creating the issue. Instead of simply unplugging the object or turning the switch off (as this can be dangerous), you should flip the switch on your breaker box.

  • Douse the flames with a fire extinguisher

If you are fortunate enough to have a fire extinguisher on hand, knowing how to use it to put an electrical fire out is extremely handy. This is a good follow up step if you were not able to turn the power off to the source of the fire because they make extinguishers that are safe to use on objects that are still connected to electricity (Class-C rated extinguishers). If you did cut the power, you can safely use Class A-rated fire extinguishers.

  • Practice smart fire safely

If the fire is uncontrollable, you should leave and exit the space as quickly as possible. When you are in a safe space, you should call 911 (you should do this in the event of any fire) and remain close to the ground to keep yourself safe from smoke.

Electrical Shock

Electrical shocks are sometimes unavoidable, but they can be very frightening and need to be treated seriously. Here are some helpful steps to take if you or a loved one experience an electrical shock:

  • Do not touch the shocked individual

If the person who experienced the shock comes in contact with another person, they could cause that person to be shocked or even electrocuted.

  • Cut the power

If possible, turn off the power on the circuit breaker for that area of the house. This step should be completed as quickly as possible.

  • Call for assistance

Immediately call 911 after you have turned off the power or moved the person away from the source of their shock. CPR and first aid training might be needed for the victim, even if they say they are feeling fine. Electrical shocks can have odd effects that are not always noticeable right away.

Power Outage

In the event of a power outage, you should:

  • Investigate the source

There are many possible causes for a power outage, and it may be something as easy to fix as a short circuit or a tripped breaker. Reset your breakers to make sure that they are not causing your power outage.

  • Be Prepared

Keeping your electrical systems up to date is a good way to prevent a power outage. Contact our team if you have any questions or concerns regarding electrical safety or if you are looking for a reliable electrician to inspect your home.

What would you do in the event of an electrical emergency? If one happened in your home today, would you be prepared and know how to react? Here is everything you should know to do before an electrical emergency occurs, so you are best equipped to prevent or handle them when they do happen.

Have Your Home Inspected by a Professional

It’s wise to have a professional inspect your home on a fairly regular basis to ensure that nothing is amiss. If you notice that any of your electrical equipment or fuses are not acting as they should, it is a good idea to have them looked at by a professional – if not for functionality reasons, then for safety reasons at least.

Even if nothing in your home appears to be malfunctioning, it is still a good idea to have your home inspected for electrical issues now and again. This is especially true if you have an older home. Older homes usually have older wiring, which may still be in place since the home was originally built. You’ll see signs of electrical issues, such as outlets that don’t work, and these could be signs that the wiring is starting to fail. A routine electrical check can help prevent any accidental electrical fires from happening.

Stay Up to Date with Maintenance of Your Appliances

Your appliances may need to be maintained – and if they are not, the result can be an electrical emergency, such as an electrical fire. Read the manuals of new appliances as you purchase them and review the requirements of the appliances you already own. Make sure to keep up with any maintenance that these appliances may require. By staying up to date on things such as this, you can do your part to prevent an electrical emergency before one needs to happen!

Keep Your Home Stocked with the Essentials

In the event of something like a power outage, you’ll want to make sure that you have everything you need to function as usual in your home. The types of things you will need include plenty of extra batteries, flashlights, candles, battery-operated appliances such as heaters and fans, and more. You may also want to stock up on food in case the electrical emergency isn’t just affecting your home but the whole neighbourhood or even the city!

By having these essentials stocked up in your home, you will be prepared in the event of some electrical emergencies, such as the power going out. Think about the types of things you use on a daily basis that require electricity. Try to find alternatives to the most necessary of those functions that don’t require electricity and have them on hand in the event of a power outage.

Know Your Electrical System

An important step in being able to develop an emergency response plan is being thoroughly familiar with the design and layout of your electrical distribution system. The documentation that came with your system should also include one-line diagrams, which illustrate how the main components of your electrical system connect to one another – including available spares and redundant equipment.

By familiarizing yourself with this or having it on hand, you can react much better in an electrical emergency – because you know what is being affected and are equipped with the knowledge to handle it.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, preparing for an electrical emergency is important. You can do things to prepare on your own, and consult a professional to ensure the safety of your home for good measure. However, in the event of an actual emergency happening, make sure you know when to call a professional to restore order and safety to your home!