Each year, about 1,000 deaths occur as a result of electrical injuries in the United States. Electrical problems are also responsible for tens of thousands of non-fatal injuries, while power outages cost the country tens of billions of dollars in losses.
Electrical problems, as you can see, can be dreadful, aggravating, and sometimes devastating. They can happen anywhere and at any time.
Some common electrical problems are minor and pose no threat to you. Such issues you can handle on your own.
That said, always remember that electricity is one of the most dangerous things on the planet, and you should never meddle with it if you’re not sure what you’re doing. It’s best to consult an electrician to fix an electrical problem than do something risky.
So, what are some of the common electrical issues you need to beware of? What can you do to prevent or fix them?
These are the issues we cover in this comprehensive guide. Read on to learn more.
Common Electrical Problems and How to Solve Them
As long as you use electricity, you will occasionally experience electrical problems.
A smart way to prepare for some of the inconveniences caused by electrical problems is to invest in one or more reliable used portable generators, depending on your power needs. That way, you can still have power while the electrical problem is being fixed.
Below, we discuss eight common electrical glitches you might encounter at home or in your business.
1. Power Surges
Also known as transients, power surges are usually the result of high-voltage disruptions in electricity flow. They occur at a lightning-fast speed and can damage your electronic devices. Most of the time, power surges will stop on their own, and you have nothing to worry about.
However, if these surges keep happening, you need to check if something might be wrong with your wires. Consult an electrician for help.
2. Continuous Tripping of the Circuit Breaker
The occasional tripping of your circuit breaker is not unusual. But when the tripping frequency is on the rise, you need to do something about it. Chances are there’s a problem in the current circuit.
The circuit breaker’s job is to break up the circuit when it detects issues in the current flow that might cause a bigger problem.
So, what do you do when your circuit breaker trips? Well, the quickest solution is to locate the main electrical panel and flip the switch back on. If the problem persists, contact an electrician.
3. Frequent Bulb Burnouts
Your bulbs won’t last forever. However, when you find that you must replace bulbs in your home every few days or weeks, then it’s highly likely that you have an electrical problem. Chances are there’s high voltage in the electrical system that’s causing the bulbs to burn out.
Check whether the bulb holders are loose or depleted. If everything looks fine, but your bulbs still keep going to waste, consult an electrician for help.
4. Power Dips and Sags
Power dips refer to short, temporary drops in the voltage magnitude in the electrical system. The problem is usually caused by a variety of things. It may be that there are faults in the transmission and distribution network or problems in your connected electronic equipment.
A power sag can damage your electronic equipment, depending on how severe it is. That’s why you need to have your electrical system checked and any issues fixed as quickly as possible.
5. Dysfunctional Switches
Another common electrical problem involves electrical switches. If the switches aren’t functioning as usual, then chances are they may have been overridden. It could also be that there’s improper wiring or there are circuit problems.
If the problem is with the switch, then having it replaced can get things back to normal. Wiring issues can be fixed by your electrician.
6. Cables Sticking out from Electrical Outlets
This is undoubtedly one of the most hazardous issues you can have in your building. Live wires falling off from outlets can easily lead to electrical fires, not to mention electrocute people who come into contact with them. The problem is typically caused by improper wiring or aging of the building.
A temporary solution would be to tape the wires securely. But, as you probably know, tape loses its adhesiveness over time and will peel off the wires. The best solution is to get the wires tightly secured and the sockets replaced.
7. Backstabbed Wires or Outlets
Backstabbed wires refer to electrical cables that have cuts and holes in them, thus exposing live wires that could electrocute someone who touches them. Once you notice such a problem, address it right away.
Turn off the power supply and tape the impaled part of the cable tightly. Doing so will provide safety from electric shocks for a while. A more permanent solution is to get a brand-new wire fixed so you never have to worry about the problem again.
8. High Electricity Bills
There are, of course, many reasons why your power bills may be on the rise. It could be that you’ve increased your power usage, in which case the solution is to adopt new habits that help lower your power consumption.
It could also be that power rates have gone up in your region. The most sensible solution here is to consider getting off the grid and switch to alternative power sources, such as solar power.
However, if none of the above is the case, then a sudden surge in your power bills could point to an underlying electrical problem. Chances are there’s a leakage in your electricity system, or the wiring might be faulty. Whichever the case, you need to consult an electrician to diagnose the exact root of the problem and provide the solution.
Address Electrical Problems Promptly
Electrical issues can be inconveniencing, costly, and potentially dangerous. One way to prepare for these occurrences is to have some basic information on the common electrical problems so you can address them appropriately when they do strike.
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