Photo By Sunshine Studio at istock
Home electrical fires in the United States account for approximately 51,000 fires annually with over 500 fatalities, 11,000 injuries, and property damage to the tune of billions of dollars. Moreover, problems with electrical distribution systems in homes are considered the third leading causative factor of residential property fires.
Such problems could lead to disasters if not immediately resolved by an electrical services company for your home. Some of the issues may be attributed to the various electric companies while others occur due to failure to react to the warning signs, including flickering lights, astronomical energy utility bills, and improperly working light switches. Below are some of the problems that homeowners should be wary of.
Power surges and dips
Closely related to power surges, sags and dips refer to an intermittent loss of electrical voltage after you’ve connected a faulty or substandard device that consumes a lot of power to the electrical grid. Sags and dips are denoted by a slight dim of your home’s lights, typically lasting less than a few seconds hence the name brown-outs.
During such instances, the lights don’t go off completely. Brown-outs may also occur in homes with too many large appliances such as dishwashers and laundry machines connected to an outdated power grid. You can request electrical services from a certified expert to avoid sags and dips issues. A qualified professional can help you update your home’s electric panel or fix any faulty electrical appliances.
An electrical surge is a brief loss of power caused by various factors. It occurs due to the action of safety features that are set to come alive when a potential electrical hazard is detected automatically. Some of the safety triggers include the shutting off of power connections by the ground-fault circuit interrupters, the manual tripping of circuit breakers, and the blowing of fuses and breakers within your home’s electrical panel. Surges are also caused by lightning, power line problems, low wiring, faulty appliances, and summer storms.
However, expert electrical services providers near Myrtle Beach, SC, attribute most power surges to electrical issues arising from inside the house. As such, the surges could be due to the connection of a poor-quality device to the grid, and they should be gone once you’ve disconnected such devices. When that doesn’t work, you may need to talk to a service technician as soon as possible.
Uncovered junction boxes
Tucked away within your home walls is the junction box that houses an essential set of electrical wires. The junction box is built during construction, and it’s one of the few things you may overlook. However, it’s crucial within any electrical setup, whether a home or business. For instance, it paints a clear picture of every inch of wiring done on a particular premise. This way, an electrical services technician can quickly tell where each section of the wiring supplies power. If well-covered, the junction box can also stop electrical fires that start due to internal malfunctions.
Given the crucial role they play and the amount of electric current passing through them, this compartment should stay locked to prevent electrocutions or fire disasters in the event of a malfunction. If you find it unlocked, you may require professional help to assist you in determining why it opened and provide practical solutions where necessary.
When a circuit overloads and trips the breaker, it means that you could be using an electrical appliance that consumes more power than it’s designed to handle.
For instance, some homeowners may prompt the circuit breaker to trip when they try using a microwave or hairdryer after they’ve turned on an appliance that uses a lot of power, such as the washing machine.
Not to worry, though, if the breaker trips, this could mean that it’s working just as it should. However, you may want to identify the appliance causing the tripping if it occurs more often. While you’re at it, electrical services technicians recommend trying a lower setting or confirming whether your home could be using a single circuit.
Over circuited panels
The design of your home’s electrical panel allows it to house a limited number of circuit breakers. Depending on your electrical needs and infrastructure, each breaker has its slot. Most homeowners choose their panels per their home’s maximum load capacity. However, some homeowners or menacing property managers may try and cheat the panel by mounting a tandem breaker in a single slot. This is dangerous to their safety and also has the potential of sparking a catastrophic electrical fire incident.
There are two types of circuit breakers, namely single-pole and double-pole breakers. The former takes after a single switch apparatus while the latter has two switches in one and is supposed to occupy double slots. On the other hand, the tandem breaker doesn’t take up dual slots.
Instead, it just looks like two switches in the same cartridge. Electrical services specialists consider installing tandem breakers in single-pole spaces as a code violation. It’s also pretty much the only way you can overload a panel.
Suppose you want to increase the capacity of your panel? In that case, you should contact a professional electrician who may replace the one you have with a panel that has a larger load capacity or install a sub-panel.
Astronomical energy bills
During summer or winter, it’s understandable when you receive an energy bill that’s slightly higher than the usual amount you get during spring or fall. This is common for homeowners with electric heating and air conditioning systems.
However, if you receive remarkably high bills during the off-seasons, it could mean something is up with your electrical infrastructure, for instance, wiring or circuit problems. This problem compromises the safety of your home and also costs you a substantial amount of money in the long term.
To lower your bill, you can request for electrical services from a licensed technician to install ground-fault circuit interrupters and surge protectors to guard your appliances and save you a few dollars off of your monthly utility bills.
Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach; your reliable electrical services company
Whether it’s a frequently tripping circuit breaker or a blown-out junction box, the electricians at Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach are well-versed in resolving electrical problems. Serving homeowners from the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, SC, to the northern border of North Carolina, our crew delivers comprehensive electrical services, including installation, repair, and replacement. Having emergency electrical problems? don’t sweat it; we are just a phone call away.