Don’t let a small electrical issue escalate into a house fire. Here are some signs of an electrical problem at home.

Odd Smells Might be Signs of an Electrical Problem

It’s common to smell odors coming from new appliances when they’re first put into use. These smells are a result of materials used during the manufacturing process burning away. Appliance odors fade quickly under normal circumstances. If you notice a burning odor unrelated to a new appliance, call an electrician. When wiring overheats it can melt the plastic coating, creating a fire hazard in your home.

Loose Outlet

Repair outlets that have become loose. If you plug something in and the outlet shifts, cut power to that outlet and call an electrician to take a look. Loose outlets can stress wiring, leading to sparks and shorts.

Signs of an Electrical Problem Include Buzzing Outlets

Switches and outlets operate silently when working correctly. You have an electrical problem if you hear unusual noises when an appliance is plugged into an outlet or when a switch is on. If you notice any cracking, buzzing, or sizzling, do not use that outlet or switch and contact a professional to repair the problem.

Flickering or Dimming Lights

Dimming or flickering lights can mean a variety of problems. If just one light is affected, the fixture probably needs to be replaced. Several flickering lights at once usually happen because appliances and other devices are putting too large a load on the circuit.

Electrical Shocks

Electrical shocks should not occur, but if they do, it is usually as you turn devices on and off or plug something in. The problem is in the wiring system or with the appliance being used. If you experience shocks with multiple appliances, call in a professional to look at your electrical system.

Circuit Breakers Tripping are Signs of an Electrical Problem

Circuit breakers protect against overloads inside the wiring system. The circuit shuts off to prevent overheating and house fires. An occasional tripped breaker isn’t a problem; that’s just the system doing its job. However, call an electrician if it happens frequently.

Hot Outlets

Outlets and switch cover plates shouldn’t be hot to the touch. If you notice a warm outlet or switch, unplug any devices or appliances and have the problem diagnosed by a technician. It is normal for dimmer switches to be slightly warm.

With any sign of an electrical problem, call a professional electrician right away. Prevent fires in the home by addressing any electrical problems that come up.

Robertson Home Inspection provides home inspection services to the Piedmont Triad. Contact us to schedule an appointment.