Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes

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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes

When I bought an old house because I fell in love with the charm, I was completely unprepared for some of the issues that come along with homes of that age. One of the biggest surprises to me was the electrical issues I experienced. Everything from having to unplug everything in the kitchen to use a compressor in the garage to tripped breakers from a single air conditioner left me frustrated and confused. I called an electrician and learned a lot during his inspection. If you are thinking about buying an old house, this blog is for you. I hope that my knowledge and first-hand experience can help you avoid some of the disasters that I faced.


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Main Home Electric Faults That Require An Electrician

A reliable power connection plays a big role in keeping a home habitable. But a faulty electrical circuit also presents an existential threat to your home. These faults can arise from several causes, including the age of the wiring and improper installation. You should engage the services of a qualified electrician to handle electrical faults. You avoid the risk of electrocution and also get quality workmanship. Here are some faults that require the attention of an electrician.

Fix Power Sockets That Have No Power 

Most modern homes have two kinds of power outlets. Some come with ground-fault circuit interrupters, which are installed in rooms with high humidity. The GCFI acts as a circuit breaker when contact with moisture interrupts power flow. For example, when you drop a hairdryer in the water, the GCFI will shut off the power at the outlet.

Non-GCFI power outlets often fail because of loose wiring, especially when there is frequent plugging in and out. Sometimes, you will see sparks when you plug something in. Small sparks can be normal, but large sparks accompanied by crackling sounds point to a larger problem. Always call an electrician to fix problematic power outlets, both GCFI and non-GCFI. 

Fix Faulty Circuit Breakers 

The circuit breaker box is a big innovation in power safety. Circuit breakers 'trip' to break the circuit and prevent electrical damage. It will trip when there is an abnormal electricity flow in the circuit, such as when a faulty appliance causes an overload. 

You need the expert assessment of an electrician when the circuit breakers trip frequently. Sometimes, the circuit breaker will refuse to reset, which points to a persistent problem. Let the electrician handle a faulty circuit breaker to prevent electric damage to appliances and electrical fires. 

You also need an electrician to replace an ancient circuit breaker box. These circuit breakers were set at a higher tolerance, which means they take longer to trip. They will not limit the damage in time. Replace these old breakers with a modern circuit breaker box to upgrade your electric safety.

Fix Flickering and Dim Light Fixtures 

Normally, you can change a light bulb by yourself when it blows. Sometimes the lights will flicker, like when there are thunderstorms. But very notable flickering with very bright and very dark intervals point to an irregular power flow, perhaps because of loose wiring. There is a bigger problem if the flickering is accompanied by circuit breaker tripping. Call an electrician to diagnose and fix the problem. 

Do you have electrical problems in your home? Call a qualified electrician to deal with the problem and offer long-term solutions. For more information, reach out to a local electric company, like Etheridge Electric Company Inc.