While electricity makes your life considerably easier and more convenient, it can also pose a risk to your home. Identifying the warning signs of electrical problems can help prevent costly damage. So, what should you look out for?

Unusual Odors

New appliances generally produce a strange smell when you use them for the first few times. This is usually due to a protective oil coating used during the manufacturing process that is being burnt away. However, if you detect any burning or melting smells coming directly from an outlet, immediately turn off its power supply at the fuse box and call an electrician to take a look. This is an emergency that, if not dealt with, can cause a fire.

Hot Outlets are Another Sign of Electrical Problems

While it is normal for an outlet to feel slightly warm when you touch it (especially if it has been in use), it should never feel hot. Even if a heating appliance is plugged in, it should cause the outlet to heat up. If you notice any unusual heat surrounding your outlet, you should unplug any chords and switch the outlet off. This can occur due to incorrect wiring or unreasonably high demand on the outlet.

Flickering or Dimming Lights

Lights flickering is not always a cause for concern, as a faulty light bulb could cause it. If you notice a light flickering or dimming in your home, first check that the light bulb is screwed in correctly. If this is not the issue, try replacing the light bulb. However, if these solutions seem to help or if multiple lights are flickering, this could signal that another major appliance is hogging the energy. An electrician might need to rearrange the circuits to solve the problem.

Breakers That Trip Frequently

Frequently blown fuses or tripping breakers can be a sign of an electrical problem in your home. Fuses and breakers automatically switch off as a safety mechanism if there is a potential overload. You might find that plugging in a certain appliance in some places causes the breaker to the trip. This means the appliance itself is faulty. However, if you notice that a single outlet is regularly causing the breaker to trip, this is likely caused by an overload or a faulty breaker. To check if your breaker is damaged, unplug any chords from the outlet. If the breaker still trips, you will need to call a professional.

Electrical safety is crucial in any home. Since the wiring is usually not visible, it can be difficult to tell if there is a hidden problem. Because of this, it is important to look out for any of the above warning signs of electrical problems and to act as quickly as possible to ensure that your home is safe.

Rhode Island Real Estate Inspection Services provides home inspection services. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to request an appointment in Rhode Island.