If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t give electricity a lot of thought. Until, of course, you don’t have it. Think about any time you were stuck in a prolonged power outage, and you’ll know what we mean.
While hurricanes, windstorms, wildfires, and other catastrophes kept US natives in the dark for 1.33 billion hours in 2020, not all electrical problems are weather-related. A quick look into your panel might reveal that your home’s electrical system isn’t keeping up with your changing needs. This, in turn, can cause problems like tripped breakers and overloaded circuits, among other things.
How to Know Your Orange County Home Needs a New Electrical Panel
Even insignificant electrical problems can snowball into enormous complications when left unattended. However, you can nip them in the bud by watching out for these seven tell-tale signs.
1. Your Circuits Trip All the Time
Picture this, you’ve fired up your coffee machine and toaster for a delicious breakfast, but as soon as you turn on the microwave, everything goes kaput. This indicates that the individual circuit powering your kitchen isn’t up to the task.
Tripped circuit breakers are one of the most obvious signs of electrical trouble in the home. You might think of replacing the circuit breaker to fix the issue, but if your kitchen’s wiring isn’t designed to handle the greater load, it can create more mess down the line.
Instead of leaving things up to chance, consult a professional electrician or contractor to weigh all your options. Based on your situation, they can tell advise you to get a new circuit breaker or update your wiring.
2. Your Panels or Outlets Feel Warm
Unlike a glowing lightbulb, your electrical panel/outlets should not feel warm or hot to the touch. In case they do, it’s a clear indication that there is something wrong with your electrical system. Potential diagnoses include:
- Damaged wiring
- Broken infrastructure
- Incorrectly sized fuse or breaker
Frayed, outdated wiring is a serious hazard. So is a panel ill-equipped to handle the current your house is drawing daily. Regardless of what may be generating the heat, it’s crucial to have a professional inspect your wiring stat. After all, the last thing you want is to cut corners with your family’s safety and welfare.
3. Your Lights Dim and Flicker Unceremoniously
Although flickering lights are a haunted house staple, they aren’t normal. In fact, they’re a glaring red flag.
But to understand the problem better, you’ll have to analyze your lights closely. See if they:
- Dim when you increase the load on your circuit. For example, if the lights in the living room flicker when you switch on the television, your circuit breaker may not be able to handle the increased demand. This could cause the wiring or receptacles to overheat, paving the way for some dangerous situations.
- Flicker randomly. Start by checking if this occurs with only one light or multiple fixtures around the home. If the issue is limited to one light, then its specific wiring can be at fault. Otherwise, you may have more extensive concerns on your hands.
Don’t let flickering or dimming lights go unnoticed. Talk to an expert specializing in electrical repair in Orange County without delay!
4. You’re Thinking of Getting New Electrical Add-Ons
A new coffee machine or hairdryer probably won’t affect your existing electrical system too much. However, an air conditioner or washing machine may. In case you’re planning to add brand-new appliances to your home, or you have a kitchen/bathroom remodel lined up, it’s best to trade an old circuit breaker for a new one. Doing this can save you several electrical disruptions down the line.
5. You’re Relying on Power Strips
When was the last time you looked at the jumble of cables under your desk? How long have you been using extension cables to run appliances/gadgets in your kitchen or home office? If the answer is “too long to remember,” you may be setting yourself up for a world of misadventures.
Not only are stopgap measures like power strips, electrical cords, and power taps ineffective, but they also run the risk of overloading the circuits around your home.
We recommend you skip the temporary fixes and upgrade your electrical system as soon as possible. Consult an electrical professional about installing extra outlets in heavily used areas and updating their wiring if necessary.
6. You See Melted Wires
Any signs of burning/melting on any part of your electrical system warrant an immediate call to your electrician. Generally speaking, burned wires are caused by:
- Loose electrical connections, courtesy of backstabbed wires
- Poorly installed electrical appliances
- Short circuits caused by live and neutral wires touching
- Coiled wires that increase the magnetic field
Melted wires are a gateway to multiple woes. A few of them are as follows.
- Damage to appliances
- Legal issues stemming from non-alignment with building codes
Given how home electrical fires are responsible for nearly 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage each year, you must tread with caution and call an electric professional post-haste.
7. Your Home is Very Old
Older homes should receive an electrical upgrade even if they don’t exhibit any of the warning signs mentioned above. Electrical systems come with an expiry date, and it’s perfectly natural for them to deteriorate over time.
So, if you’ve been living in your home for longer than five years and haven’t touched the home electrics, consider calling for electrical repair in Orange County. They’ll be able to look through your electrical systems and ensure everything is in order.
The Bottom Line
For electric systems, a little diligence can go a long way. Unsolved electrical problems can directly impact the safety of your home- and everyone who lives in it. The wise thing to do is take note of these seven warning signs and bring the professionals on board.
Avoid electrical inefficiencies in your home by turning to OMG! Our team excels at electrical repair in Orange County and can help fix your wiring, install new appliances/fixtures, and bring your building up to the latest electrical codes. We’ll be happy to assist you as best as we can!
To know more about our plumbing and electrical services, contact us today!