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Emergency Electrician: Signs of an Electrical Emergency

Electricity is part of the foundation of modern life. Our lives would be very different, and very difficult, without electricity. Many of us give this vital aspect of our lives very little thought, but we notice it immediately when something isn’t right. Electricity is overwhelmingly positive and beneficial, but it can also be a threat.

Regular maintenance and basic precautions are usually enough to keep the electrical infrastructure in our homes safe and functional. However, accidents happen, life is sometimes disrupted, and none of us control nature or potentially dangerous weather. Keep contact information for your local emergency electrician in Florence, SC, in an easily accessed place, just in case help is needed quickly.

Flickering Lights

Flickering, dimming and other abnormalities in lighting indicate a problem. Light bulbs and fixtures can be eliminated as a possible cause when multiple lights in your home are flickering or dimming. Other possible causes include loose wiring, voltage fluctuations, or a problem with the meter box or cable connections. It may be safe to wait for regular business hours to fix these issues. An emergency electrician is advisable if the lighting problems occur suddenly and do not stop or other electrical problems occur at the same time.

Overheated Outlets

An overheated electrical outlet may produce a burning smell. Outlets can even become burnt and discolored. Other signs of excess heat include discolored areas on walls and brown or black marks on the cords and plugs near outlets. Wiring that produces enough heat to cause these signs is very close to starting a fire. Call an emergency electrician immediately if you see smoke coming from an outlet or other openings in a wall. A fire inside the walls can spread very quickly. It’s best to call an electrician when signs of overheating first appear. It may not be possible to extinguish a fire within the wall before extensive damage occurs.

Sparking

Sparking when an appliance is plugged into an outlet isn’t uncommon. Most of us have noticed small sparks at outlets. Overloaded outlets, faulty wiring, and outlets that were not installed properly can cause larger and more serious abnormal sparks. Potentially dangerous abnormal sparks are larger than normal and very noticeable. These sparks generally last more than one second, and they may have a white or yellow color.

Circuit Breaker

circuit breaker monitors a circuit and automatically shuts it down when an overload is detected. This safety feature prevents power surges and other abnormalities that could damage electrical components throughout the home. Circuit breakers trip when too many high voltage appliances are used at the same time.

It is not normal for a breaker to trip or damage fuses frequently, and these are signs of a problem. You need an electrician to find and fix the problem, but this is another situation that may or may not be an emergency. It is probably safe to wait for an appointment during regular business hours, but every situation is different. Circuit breaker issues occurring along with other electrical abnormalities may indicate a severe problem that should not be left until business hours.

Flooding and Water Damage

Electrical safety is very important during and after a flood. ‘Flood’ in this sense does not necessarily have to be a widespread disaster, or even enough water to flood an entire house. Flooding in one room from an internal source or in parts of a home exposed to inclement weather are enough to be dangerous in terms of electronics.

Flooded Basement

Never enter a water-damaged or flooded basement until an emergency electrician has evaluated the situation or removed the electrical meter. Your home may seem safe if you’ve lost power during a storm, but there are still threats of electrocution from nearby generators or back-feeding from a damaged electrical grid. Do not rely on a circuit-breaker or disconnect switch. Removing the meter from its socket is the only way to make sure the house is safe from internal electrical threats, and you should not attempt meter removal alone. It is a job for an experienced emergency electrician.

Water Damage

Electronics are not likely to survive submersion in water or extensive contact with water. Parts of a home’s electrical infrastructure, such as the fuse box, circuit panels, or disconnect boxes, should always be replaced if they sustain water damage. These elements are too important to your home’s safety and everyday life to take chances. An emergency electrician can remove and replace these items safely.

Some electronic appliances and other items may be recoverable, but only if they are handled properly. Do not use electronic devices and appliances without drying and repairing them first. Attempts to use these items while they are still wet can completely ruin them and harm the user. Contact an emergency electrician after any flooding incident and ask for guidance concerning items you want to save. Dehumidifiers, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and heating or cooling equipment are some of the most common salvaged items.

Grounding and Bonding

Every home’s electrical system has two major functions. Normal functioning consists of the infrastructure for transferring electrical power in normal operation. Another part of the system is designed to transfer electrical currents to ground when something goes wrong. The safety system is called a grounding and bonding system, and it may be damaged by contact with water. It is very important to have an emergency electrician evaluate the safety system as soon as possible after any amount of flooding in your home.

The emergency electricians at Mister Sparky of Florence, SC, are ready to help whenever you need them. Call for assistance at the first sign of a problem. A false alarm is infinitely preferable to hesitation that could lead to a risky situation.