Electrical problems are common in any household or building. Even without professional help, you should have an idea as to how to address simple issues and concerns. Here are 12 common household problems and solutions you might encounter.
1. A Sudden Increase Or Burst In Current
Also known as transients or surges, a sudden increase or burst in current poses a dangerous risk for the electric equipment at home. Waves happen because of inconsistencies in the current flow, lightning strikes, power line damage, low-quality appliances, or a fault in the electrical connections you have at home. Transients can lead to degradation of the quality and lifespan of your electrical equipment.
Although surges only last a very, very short amount of time, if they become frequent occurrences, then that’s when the problems start.
Solution: Immediately check the wires or the device connected to the home grid. If you notice or see cheap equipment that might contribute to the transients, remove them, and observe if the surges recur. Call for professional help if the first actions taken didn’t work.
2. There Is No Residual Current Device (RCD)
Also known as RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker), the RCD detects current leakage. This separate device will automatically turn off switches if it senses a leak due to abnormal current. Professionals highly recommend getting your own RCCB/RCD to avoid electrical shocks and other unwanted accidents.
Solution: Hire an electrician to install an RCD in your home to avoid electrocution due to leakage, electric fire, and have protection against direct and indirect contact.
3. Issues In The Current Circuit
Issues in the current circuit can significantly damage your home’s circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are specifically designed to “break” a circuit’s flow that might be due to an abnormal current flow. Appliances such as the microwave and hair dryers require high wattage and are known to trip circuit breakers.
Solution: Check what appliance was in use that caused tripping in the circuit breaker. Or you can check the house’s main electrical panel to manage all the leading control switches. Call an electrician if the problem continues and report any abnormal or different findings.
4. Purchasing Low-Quality Bulbs
In general, buying light bulbs that are not of high quality can add confusion as to what the real problem is. Having faulty light bulbs masks the real possible problem/s. These problems are high wattage, faulty wiring on the circuit and primary, poor circuit connection, and insulation that is too near to the light.
Solution: Look for high-quality bulbs and observe. If these bulbs still deplete and burn out too often, then it’s time to call a professional to address the possible masked problems.
5. Inefficient Wiring
Wiring is critical to avoid accidents and maintained an organized setup. Inefficient installation is typical in old houses, buildings, and establishments. Although some remedy this problem by taping, over time, the adhesiveness also deteriorates and makes the wires fall off.
When setting up, make sure you correctly position the wires, and there is appropriate wiring.
Solution: Focus on avoiding electric shocks between different wires by securing them in place (if you live in an old house or occupy an old building). If you have the extra time and resources, have the sockets rewired by a professional to avoid future accidents and issues. This action will also save you the time and money in the future.
6. There Are Exposed Wires
Over time, wires get old and sometimes exposed due to cuts, holes, mice gnawing on wires, and so on. Although a regular thing, open and exposed wires need to be addressed immediately to avoid electrocution, electric shock, or combustion due to wires sticking together.
Solution: If you live in an old house, the primary thing to do is first to turn off the main power source and tape the wires using electrical tape. Buy electrical tape at your local hardware store. It’s best to choose the known brands. However, keep in mind that this is not a permanent fix to the problem. To avoid future worries and ensure continuous safety, get a new wire and replace everything, or call you local electrician and let them put everything in place.
7. There Are No GFCIs
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. This device is essential for every home because it acts as a sensor and detector of human contact. Once it detects the human connection, the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter automatically shuts down the power. The absence of this device poses a high risk of electrocution. If you have children at home, then this device is perfect for you. You don’t have to worry about freak accidents and unwanted circumstances.
Solution: Visit the hardware store and look for high-quality GFCIs of known brands to ensure the safety of your home and make it child-proof.
8. Using Aluminum Wires
Contrary to what most households know, aluminum causes a lot of electrical accidents. Aluminum’s susceptibility causes these accidents to oxidation. When in direct contact with combustible equipment, plastic, or even wood, there is a high risk of having electrical accidents.
Presently, copper is now used in houses and buildings to decrease electrical accidents further. Search for high-quality copper wires instead.
Solution: As easy as it sounds, replacing aluminum wires with copper wires also require professional help. Regarding the type of cable to be used and what organization you should do, always seek professional advice. Specialized organization of wires ensures 100% safety.
9. Absent Grounding System
Not having a grounding system causes ungrounded connections. Without a grounding system, there is no pathway for excess electricity when there are electrical problems such as short circuits. In addition to this, the excess power may spread to other materials of the house (wood, metal, etc.) and cause fires or electrical accidents.
In appliances, there is such a thing known as the “grounding pin,” that prevents shock and electrocution if the machine is malfunctioning.
Solution: Hire professionals to install grounding systems all over the house and appliances as well to ensure overall safety.
10. Current Inconsistencies
Inconsistencies are widely known as “sags and dips,” which are kind of similar to transients and surges. If your house has low quality and cheap power grids, chances are, if you open the switch, this will result in drawing more electricity than what the appliance needs. This phenomenon causes sags and dips.
Solution: Check if your power controlling device is up to date. If not, it’s time to visit the hardware and replace it with a new one.
11. Switches That Don’t Work Efficiently
Switches that don’t work efficiently is because of old equipment, faulty wiring, or abnormal circuits. You might observe that when you on and off switches at your home, it doesn’t work like it used to. There is a possibility of these switches overridden as well.
Solution: To fully know the problem, talk with your electrician, and discuss the possible causes. Allow your electrician to address the situation and guide you throughout the best solution there is.
12. Constantly Having High Electricity Bills
As much as you want to blame the high bill on excessive usage of appliance or accidentally leaving the T.V open, it could mean another problem. If the electricity bill is still high and it continues to happen over time, here are possible causes of an unwanted increase in electricity usage:
- Electricity leakages.
- Faulty wiring in the house.
- Damaged circuits.
- Old electrical equipment that is known to consume more than what’s needed.
Solution: First observe the appliances used in your home. Take note of the watts needed and the electricity usage of each, to give you a rough estimate of how much electricity you’re using. If the computations aren’t the same as the bill, then consult with a professional as to what the next step should be. Other simple solutions are as follows:
- Unplug appliances that are not in use, even if they are turned off. These still acquire electricity.
- Repair faulty circuits and wiring.
- Frequently check for leakage.
- List down accurate watt usage of equipment/appliances.
Always monitor your home for any electrical problems and concerns. But if there comes a time that home solutions don’t do the trick, never hesitate to call your local electrician. Always address electrical concerns seriously, and you must seek professional help at all times.
Your home’s safety, as well as your family’s, is your responsibility.