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What are the 10 most common electrical problems in A typical home?

18 Oct 2022

According to statistics from the VIC government, 40% of house fires are caused by electrical faults and malfunctioning electrical appliances every year. In a report by the National Coronial Information System, there are around 20 electrocution-related deaths in Australia per year — more than half of which take place in the house.

Such incidents can be prevented. It starts by being more attentive to electrical problems in your home, even the ones that may seem trivial. If your house was built more than 10 years ago, the wiring could pose a serious concern that might put you and your fellow occupants at risk.

Here are some of the most common electrical problems at home and how to solve them.

1. Flickering lights

Flickering lights may be a result of improper connections. This might lead to overheating or sparking, which could cause a fire.  If it occurs frequently, remove the broken bulbs and ask an electrician to examine the connection. Arcing might be the problem, the result of contact between corroded or loose wires.

2. Frequent light bulb burnouts

If this happens often, either the bulbs you’ve been buying have been defective lately, or it may be due to high voltage, improper air circulation, or a tightly screwed bulb. Before you dispose of the bulb, check first if the holder is either depleted or loose. If the problem persists, it’s advisable to contact an electrician immediately.

3. Outlets feel warm

If your dimming switch isn’t working properly, it may have been overridden. Faulty circuits and wiring could also be a contributing factor. The switch itself may be old and broken. Consult with an electrician if the switch needs to be replaced or if the wiring should be repaired.

4. Faulty switches

You may also want to look into daylight design aspects (windows and skylights) for your home that will allow natural light whilst maintaining good thermal performance for optimum energy efficiency.

5. Transients and dips

Transients or surges are momentary bursts of electricity as a result of extremely high-voltage interference. When this happens, plugged-in devices can get damaged. Dips or sags occur when too much power is drawn by a device beyond its capacity. This can add stress on the components and build up heat. Dips may be caused by substandard or worn-out power controlling devices.

To remedy these issues, consider replacing the old device and invest in a better, more reliable one. You can also ask an electrician to check the power, just to be sure.

6. Electrical shocks

This could be caused by faulty wiring, malfunctioning appliances, lack of a grounding electrical system, or a power leakage, among other reasons. Unless you’re a professional electrician, it is highly recommended that you DON’T perform tests on your own to find out what’s causing the shocks. Let the electrician handle it for a proper assessment of this electrical issue.

Electrician with flashlight fixing electric panel indoors, closeup

7. Circuit breaker trips

If your circuit breaker is tripping, it means there’s too much electricity flowing through it and it can’t accommodate the overload. When this happens, it cuts off the electricity to prevent the circuits from overheating. To fix this, look for the main electrical system of your house and find the switch panel. If you have an old switch, it should be off. If it’s the modern type, it should be partly off. Simply flip the switch back on to restore power. But if it keeps on tripping, it’s time to consult an electrician.

8. Wires protruding from outlets

This can happen if the wires are old and aren’t properly secured anymore. It could also be due to inefficient wiring. Taping the wires is a “band-aid solution” as it can lose its adhesiveness over time and peel off, which can become a potential fire hazard. To prevent this, have an electrician rewire your sockets or secure the wires properly.

9. Backstabbed wires or outlets

These are wires that have holes or cuts which can expose the live wire within. This can put you at risk of experiencing electric shock. To fix this, you can switch off the power supply first then secure the exposed wire by tightly taping it. This only serves as a temporary solution, however, since the tape can be peeled off. A much better remedy would be to hire an electrician to repair and install new wires.

10. Rising electricity bills

Is your electricity bill higher than usual even if you’re consuming less? Several factors can trigger this: damaged wiring, the power supplier has increased their rates or is not cost-effective, using old electrical devices that consume more power, forgetting to turn off electrical appliances after use, or a leak in the electrical systems, among others. But if you’re mindful about your electricity consumption yet your bill is still rising, you should hire an electrician so they can pinpoint the problem and fix it.

Ensuring your safety with our expertise

At Brady Electrical Contracting, we make it a priority to ensure that your home is safe from any risk of electrical hazards. Our professional electricians are ready to help you with their expertise to solve your issues in your home’s electricity system. For peace of mind, talk to us today about having one of our professional, friendly & reliable team members out to conduct an Electrical Compliance check. We provide the right electrical solutions for your project, no matter the size. You can always count on the Brady crew to get the job done. 

Give us a call on 1300 613 205 or contact us here if you would like to chat with us about your electricity problems or to make an appointment for on-site consultations.