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Everyday Electrical Problems: Are They Harmless or Signs of Danger?

Everyone has electricity in their home, and that means from time to time everyone in Myrtle Beach, SC is going to have electrical problems. However, not every electrical problem requires a call to the electrician. Of course, if you are unsure you should always call Mister Sparky® of Myrtle Beach, SC since electricity is not something you want to play around with.

This said, there are some problems that may have simple fixes and some that are best left to the electricians. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common electrical problems, so you can assess whether you need the help of a professional or if you can handle them yourself. You may just surprise yourself as you read, but once again, remember it is never a good idea to do something you are uncomfortable with. If a situation makes you weary, trust your instinct and call an electrician.

Short Circuit Caused by Appliances: Harmless

There are certain electrical appliances that just aren’t compatible with certain home circuits. For instance, if you notice that you blow a fuse every single time you blow-dry your hair with a certain hair dryer then it is the fault of the appliance, not the electrical system. In this case, you might try using the appliance in a different area of the home on a different circuit or simply replace it. However, if you notice the circuit keeps blowing regardless of what appliance you plug into it, then it is time to call in a Myrtle Beach, SC to evaluate the outlet for a wiring short or a circuit issue.

Lights that Constantly Flicker: Sign of Danger

This is common in older houses, but that does not mean that you should just ignore it. Flickering lights can signal a variety of issues, several of which are large risk factors for electrical fires. Flicking lights commonly mean that a circuit is overloaded, and occurs when a larger appliance turns on such as the furnace or laundry machines. In this case, an electrician may need to come out and add another circuit to your home to handle solely the large appliances. Older homes simply weren’t built to handle the electricity demands of modern living, so an electrician can update the circuit board.

Flickering lights can also be a sign of a poor connection somewhere in your ceiling or behind your walls, and if left unaddressed this can result in arcing. Arcing is when loose or corroded connections come into contact with each other on an intermittent basis. While this may not seem dangerous, at any time this quick contact can cause a spark or result in the wires overheating. Both of these scenarios could result in a home fire. For this reason, flickering lights should always be investigated by a Myrtle Beach, SC electrician.

Damaged or Cut Extension Cords

First of all, it is wise to remember that extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis such as the holidays or for temporary lighting solutions. Extension cords are not designed to handle permanent energy flow. If you need an extension on a regular basis consider calling an electrician to have a permanent outlet installed in its place.

That said, you may have an extension cord that gets cut or damaged at some point. If it is still plugged in, make sure you turn off the electricity before you unplug it. You may not see the power surge, but when you go to pull the plug you could get shocked. Once the electricity to that outlet is off, pull out the extension cord and throw it away. While you could try to repair it, it’s not worth the meager savings. Splicing wires is a job best left for professionals, and it’s not worth the risk of a home fire.

Light Bulbs Burning Out Frequently: Potentially Dangerous

Unless you leave your lights on day and night, you should have a reasonably long time between light bulb changes. If you start to notice that they are blowing out on a regular basis, it is likely not the light bulbs. Instead, it is probably due to a loose connection in a circuit or the socket. This loose connection could spark and eventually cause a fire, so it is a good idea to call in an electrician if you notice that you aren’t getting a full life span out of your light bulbs. If the problem is occurring in a lamp, then it is probably time to replace the lamp.

If the light bulbs are blowing out in recessed lighting fixtures, there is also a change that the insulation nearby is too close. The insulation can cause the light fixtures to overheat and the fixtures are shutting off causing the light bulbs to blow. This is a built-in response designed to prevent fire, but it’s not a surefire protection from fire. Call in an electrician to take a look at the situation and let you know what needs to be done.

Loose Outlet Plug- Potentially Harmless

Before doing anything with an outlet you need to make sure that you turn off the breaker. The outlet will be live even if nothing is plugged in until you do so. Once the outlet is off use a voltmeter to check if the outlet has any voltage. If it doesn’t, then you can unscrew the cover plate and put some outlet shims in to make the outlet flush with the wall. Most of the time when a plug is loose in the outlet, it is because the outlet is not exactly flush with the wall. Uncomfortable placing the shims or playing with the outlets? No problem, call Mister Sparky® of Myrtle Beach. They will be able to complete the job quickly and efficiently for a low cost.