Electrical services in Scottsdale

Signs Of An Electrical Problem

Electricity is an integral part of modern life. It’s usually taken for granted — until there’s a problem. Most of the time, however, an electrical system will exhibit warning signs before shutting down. Here are a few signs to be aware of.

  1. Unfamiliar or strange odor

If you plug a device or appliance into an outlet and smell a fishy or burning odor, unplug it immediately and don’t use the outlet until it’s been inspected by a licensed electrician. The odor could be caused by incorrectly sized breakers/fuses, overloaded circuits, loose wires, frayed cords, breakdown in wire insulation, and outdated electrical wiring.

  1. Arc faults

An arc fault occurs when an electrical circuit goes off its intended path, usually through a breach in the wiring. An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) can help prevent arc faults, and even electrical fires. Contact Tucker Hill for professional AFCI installation.

  1. Warm or sparking outlets and switches

A sparking outlet can be caused by overloading, short-circuits, water, wear and tear, and improper installation or repairs. It’s normal to have a spark when plugging a device or appliance into an outlet, but if the spark smells, lasts longer than one second, seems larger than usual, or is in a color other than blue, then the cause could be a serious electrical issue that needs professional attention.

  1. Buzzing sounds

Buzzing, crackling, or sizzling sounds when operating an outlet or switch are not normal and should be investigated by a licensed electrician.

  1. Flickering lights

Flickering lights may be caused by a power surge, typically a result of too many appliances and devices being powered simultaneously. A power surge can damage electronics and shouldn’t be ignored if flickering lights become a common occurrence.

  1. Hot ceiling fixtures

Poor insulation could cause ceiling fixtures to overheat. Exceeding bulb wattages could also lead to overheating and even pose a fire hazard. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

  1. Tripped circuit breakers

Electrical systems are designed with built-in protective mechanisms to prevent electrocution and fire. Circuit breakers automatically trip when a circuit is overloaded. Frequent tripped circuit breakers could indicate a problem with the electrical system and require professional service.