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10 Most Common Electrical Problems

Written on: November 28, 2022

Williams Energy is here to help!

electrical repair massachusetts Most of the time, your home’s electrical system works as it should, providing you with power for lighting, appliances, and electronics.

However, problems do come up. When they do, the team of experienced, trained, and skilled electricians at Williams Energy are here for you with expert electrical service done to the highest standards for safety and quality. Here are some of the more common problems we see that you should keep an eye out for.

Solutions To Common Household Electrical Problems

1. Flickering lights

If you notice that the light in your overhead fixture or lamp is flickering frequently, and you’re certain it’s not due to a brownout, there may be a poor connection from the wiring to the fixture. Additionally, loose or corroded wires could also be causing the issue. If this happens often, turn off the malfunctioning lights and contact Williams Energy for a service call so an electrician can take a look.

2. Warm outlets

When an outlet is warm to the touch, it’s typically a sign that it’s overworked. Electrical outlets can only safely run a certain amount of voltage at one time, and when demand exceeds that amount, the outlet will heat up. This issue is common in older homes with electrical systems not designed to handle the demand of today’s copious amounts of electronics and electric appliances—and overheating poses a fire hazard. To resolve this problem: unplug all devices from the affected outlet and let it cool down; do not use power strips or multi-outlet plug-ins; plug excess devices into other outlets (being careful with extension cord usage).

There could be an issue with the wiring or casing if the outlet isn’t being overworked. Get in touch with Williams Energy, and we will come check it out for you.

3. Circuit breakers frequently tripping

A circuit breaker’s purpose is to cut off the electric current if there are any abnormalities present, thereby acting as a safety measure in your home. Although it’s not unusual for this to happen occasionally with any electrical system, constant tripping or one specific breaker that trips frequently could be indicative of a more serious issue at hand.

To start, unplug electronic devices such as phone chargers and laptops when they’re not in use. Also, keep devices spread out throughout your home to prevent overworking one specific circuit.

If you’re still experiencing circuit breaker problems, even though you’re following the proper procedures, please reach out to us.

4. Dead outlets

If there are outlets in your home that do not work, contact Williams Energy so we can investigate the problem. This could be a dangerous situation if wires to the outlet are loose or damaged behind the walls, as it presents a fire hazard.

5. Light bulbs frequently burning out

If the light bulbs in a lamp or a light fixture are frequently burning out, there are multiple potential causes. One that is easy to fix is if you are using bulbs with wattage that is too high for the fixture. This is a fire hazard. If you aren’t sure the maximum wattage for the fixture, use a 60-watt bulb or less. Other causes that require professional attention on this problem include insulation in the light fixture and faulty wiring.

6. Electrical shocks when using switches

A shock when turning a light switch on or off can be concerning. If the shock is quick and mild, it may only be static electricity. However, if the jolt is stronger and causes pain, this likely indicates an issue with your electrical system. Possible causes of this problem include grounding issues with the switch, faulty wiring, or a switch box made of metal. Get in touch with us and we’ll come inspect the problem.

7. High electric bills

With everyone’s budget being squeezed tighter these days, the last thing you need is a higher than usual energy bill. If you have noticed a recent unexplained increase in your home’s electricity usage, it may be time to call Williams Energy for an inspection of your electrical system.

8. Absence of GFCIs in kitchens and bathrooms

GFCIs are electric outlets that can sense small changes in the electrical current and will shut off power if necessary. They are an essential safety feature for any room where water is present, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

If there are no GFCIs in areas where water is present, replace the outlet with a GFCI. They can be found at local hardware stores. If electrical work makes you uncomfortable, contact Williams Energy and we’ll handle it for you.

9. Not enough outlets

This is a common problem, especially in older homes. If you need to use an extension cord or power strip, make sure they are at least 14-gauge or thicker. The best and safest solution is to strategically add more outlets to your home, especially in spaces where there is a lot of electronics being used. This is not a DIY project. Give us a call and we’ll come out and give you an estimate for the work.

10. Aluminum wiring

When electricity was first introduced to homes in the late 19th century, copper wiring was used. In the mid-1960s, the cost of copper soared and many home builders and electricians began using aluminum wiring as a cost-effective alternative. Unfortunately, aluminum is not as good as copper for electrical wiring and can create problems such as overheating and wires oxidizing. It is also a greater fire hazard.

If you have aluminum wiring in your home, we’ll work with you to come up with a plan for replacing it to keep your home safe.

When you need electrical services in your South Shore home, contact the professional electricians at Williams Energy to get the job done right!