Five Signs of an Electrical Problem


The most common cause of house fires is old or faulty electrical wiring. However, fires can also occur if an appliance shorts out. Along with the fire danger, appliances can give off toxic odours when they are on fire, which also puts your family at risk. There are several signs that you may have an electrical problem that requires immediate repair.

Charred or Discoloured Outlets

The plate of a switch or outlet should never be discoloured or have burn marks on it. In addition, it should never be hot to the touch or give you an electric shock. If you hear buzzing or notice discolourations or the switch or outlet plate feels hot, you need to call a licenced electrician for immediate repairs. You don’t want to put it off because it can mean that there is a loose connection, the outlet or switch may not be grounded, or faulty wiring is causing the problem.

Burning Smell

When you buy a new appliance, you may smell a strong odour the first few times that it is used. However, older appliances should not produce a burning smell when they are in use. If you smell an acrid burning odour, you need to contact an electrician for PAT testing in Hampshire to make sure that the appliances in your home are safe to use. Electrical wiring can also produce a smell when it’s burning and it is important to shut off the electricity and call a professional for help to prevent a fire.

Flickering Lights

If your lights start flickering or dimming, it could be a sign of bad wiring. While a flickering lamp may just need to have the light bulb changed, all your lights are dimming or flickering is usually a sign of a wiring problem. Contact an electrician to examine the wiring and circuits to spot problems and make the necessary repairs to prevent more serious issues.

Frequently Tripped Breakers

If the fuses are burning out quickly or the circuit breakers are frequently tripping, then it could indicate that the electrical system is overloaded. Check to make sure that you don’t have too many appliances plugged into the outlets around your house. If you don’t and there are still problems with the fuses or circuit breakers, call an electrician to have the wiring checked.

Frayed Cords and Cables

If the cord or cable of an appliance or electrical equipment is frayed or damaged, it could be a fire hazard. In addition, it could also electrocute someone who touches any exposed wires, including a household pet playing with the cord. If you have older appliances or equipment, check their cords and cables on occasion to make sure that they are in good shape, especially if you have a puppy or kitten around the house as they like to chew on cords.

Knowing the signs of an electrical problem is important to protect your family and the largest asset that you have, your home. If you notice any problem with an outlet, flickering lights, or tripped breakers, call for an electrical inspection immediately.

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