Have you ever felt yourself get lost in a great TV show, only to get yanked out of the experience when you suddenly lose power and the show switches off? Well, dealing with electrical problems can do a lot more than break immersion, from reducing the comfort of your home to locking you out of basic functions like cooking.
One of the best ways to counter these electrical problems is by recognizing the different kinds you’ll face. But what are the most common among them?
Well, we’re glad you asked. It’s time to dive into our list of the top 10 Massachusetts electrical problems to keep an eye out for!
But enough preamble! Let’s take a look at this thing!
1. Constant Circuit Breaker Trips
One of the most frequent electrical problems you’ll deal with is circuit breaker trips. The main reason the breaker trips is in the event that a circuit gets overloaded with energy, cutting off the power before it can do serious damage to the wires or appliances in your house.
To address this, try only plugging in appliances or devices in your house in when you need them, and keep an eye on the breaker to see if you can identify the device causing the overload.
That said, sometimes older breakers will trip by themselves. In this case, you’ll want to contact a residential electrician to fix the breaker up for you.
2. Frequent Surges
Surges occur when the electricity in your house turns off for a few seconds before turning back on. This is often due to malfunctioning appliances or damage to your wiring/local power lines. Sometimes, lightning from a powerful storm will also cause a brief surge.
If you experience frequent surges, it helps to ask around and see if your neighbors have experienced such surges. If they have, then the surges are from storm damage or some screw-up on the power company’s part. If not, (and since prolonged surges will reduce the lifespan of devices you have plugged in during the surge), call an electrician in to inspect your devices and wiring to make sure they aren’t the culprit.
3. Devices and Outlets Heating Up
Do you feel like that new lamp you installed is making the room hotter? Well, you should go check the bulb wattage. Using too “small” a bulb for your wattage output will damage the bulb and cause it to heat up fast. The same goes for any power strip, appliance, or device you notice gaining a lot of heat when plugged in.
To fix this, make sure you only use devices that work with the wattage you have. In the case of light bulbs, you can switch to LED lights over transitional bulbs. This is because LED bulbs lack a filament, something that must heat up in an iridescent bulb to generate light.
4. Light Switches Are Failing
Another frequent electrical problem comes in the form of light switches failing to turn lights on and/or off, or having a delayed reaction in doing so. This happens due to an obstruction or break in the current. This is often the result of damaged wires or poor connections.
As such, you’ll need to bring in a professional to get the job done for you.
5. Constant Bulb Burnout
Does it feel like you burn through an absurd amount of lightbulbs? While wattage could be at fault here too, you should also make sure to keep whatever insulation there is from coming too close to the light.
If fixing those two issues doesn’t do the trick, beat-up wiring or malfunctioning sockets are the next contenders. Do not attempt to fix these yourself, as you put yourself at risk of serious electrical shock.
6. Giant Electric Bill
A great preventative step towards catching electrical problems before they get worse is checking your electric bill. Any sudden spikes you can’t explain are a sign that electricity is leaking out somewhere, be that due to wire damage or constant surges.
To take little steps towards reducing your bill, unplug devices when you’re done using them. Even when not on, these continue to leech tiny bits of power, which will add up on a bill over time.
7. Plug Slips Out
So, you keep coming back to your coffee pot to find that it stopped halfway because the plug fell out. Well, unstable plugs point to a failure within the outlet.
There are little connectors in the outlet that hold the plug in place. If those connectors fail, plugs don’t stay up and incoming electricity can spark outwards, making it a serious fire hazard. That said, all it takes is swapping the old outlet for a new one to fix this issue.
8. That Singeing Smell
If it smells like someone’s melting down plastic in your house, unplug all your appliances and electrical devices. This scent indicates that one of the devices is taking on too much wattage, endangering both the device and its user..
You’ll also want to leave the fixing on this one to the professionals.
9. You Lack Grounding Tools
When using adapters and power strips, make sure that you have a proper way to ground the current. Otherwise, the electricity could escape and either zap parts of your home or yourself.
To counter this, opt for three-prong plugs over two-prong ones when possible (as they provide better grounding) and don’t plug in adapters willy-nilly without checking how they work first. You can also get ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s for short) to provide better grounding in wetter areas (like the bathroom).
10. Seeing Sparks
When you go to plug something in, do you see a bright flash before the plug goes all the way in? Small flashes are ok, but bigger flashes or flashes accompanied by a popping sound indicate a problem with the wiring. Leave it too long without a fix, and the sparks could arc out and shock you.
Now You Can Address Massachusetts Electrical Problems
So, now that you know the top 10 Massachusetts electrical problems, you’re ready to address almost any issue that comes your way! And for more tips about keeping your home in peak condition, come on by and check out the other articles we have on our blog!