Diagnosing Electrical Issues as a Homeowner: What to Look for and When to Call in a Professional

You’re a homeowner now. Which means home maintenance and repairs falls to you. 

It can be scary when something breaks down in your home, and you have no idea what the problem is let alone how to fix it. 

Take electrical issues. 

There may be times when you’ve got something going on with your electrical system, but you’re unsure what exactly is going on. In those situations you may think you need to instantly call a electrician.

Well, you may need to, but it’s possible that you can, depending on the situation, deal with it yourself. Saving yourself some money, while also adding to your skillset.

In addition, if you do need to call in a professional, when you can tell them what you think the issue is, the information you have could help them deal with your issue, faster, saving money that way!

Either way, it’s a win, wouldn’t you say?

But, how do you know when to call the pros? Read on to learn what to look for to decide to DIY or call in an expert.

1. Flickering Lights

Is your living room feeling like a disco? Flickering lights could be caused by loose bulbs or a poor connection in the circuit. Before you call an electrician, give those bulbs a good twist to ensure they’re snug. If the issue persists, it’s best to have a professional electrician inspect the situation.

2. Circuit Breaker Trips

You go to plug in your hairdryer, and suddenly the lights go out. It could be a tripped circuit breaker. Don’t panic! You can handle this one. 

Head to your electrical panel and look for a switch that’s in the “off” position. Flip it back “on” to restore power. If it happens often, though, or you can’t find the problem, it’s time to call in a pro.

3. Fuses Keep Blowing:

If you have an older home with a fuse box, and you find that fuses are blowing frequently, it could be a sign of an overloaded circuit or an underlying issue. In this case, it’s better to have an electrician assess the situation to avoid potential hazards.

4. Burning Smell or Sparks

If you ever notice a burning smell coming from an electrical outlet or appliance, turn off the power to that area immediately and unplug the device. This is a serious issue that requires professional attention right away. Don’t try to fix it yourself; it’s essential to ensure your safety and that of your home.

5. Dead Outlets

You try to charge your phone, but the outlet seems to be dead. Before you pick up the phone to call an electrician, check if other outlets in the room are working. 

If it’s just one outlet, it might be a simple fix – you may have just tripped the GFCI outlet. Look for a reset button on the outlet and press it. If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to call in a pro.

6. Buzzing Sounds

Don’t ignore any buzzing or humming sounds coming from outlets, switches, or electrical panels. This sound can mean that you’ve got loose connections or faulty components. Avoid using the affected electrical component and get an electrician to see what’s going on.

7. DIY Projects Gone Wrong

Did you attempt some electrical DIY and now things aren’t working as they should? It happens, and it’s okay. Before you get more frustrated and risk making things worse, call in a pro to fix the problem so you can get back on track with your project.

8. Electrical Shocks

Don’t ignore an electrical shock when plugging in or using an appliance, it’s not something to ignore. Electrical shocks can be a sign of faulty wiring or grounding issues, which are definitely something for the experts to deal with!

When to Call a Professional Electrician

It’s best to call in a professional electrician for:

a. Electrical problems involving the main electrical panel or meter.

b. Frequent circuit breaker trips or fuses blowing.

c. Any signs of burning smell, sparking, or smoke.

d. Power outages affecting the entire house.

e. Electrical issues in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

f. Any problem that you’re unsure how to diagnose or fix safely.

So, next time you face an electrical dilemma, take a moment to assess the situation. If it’s a simple fix within your comfort zone, go ahead and DIY. But if you’re not sure or encounter more serious problems, call in the pros and let them work their magic. You’ll be back to enjoying a fully functioning and safe electrical system in no time!

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