Common Household Electrical Problems and How to Fix Them

Common Household Electrical Problems and How to Fix Them

Common Household Electrical Problems and How to Fix Them


Electricity is the lifeblood of our modern homes, powering everything from lights and appliances to our various entertainment devices. But with this great power comes the potential for problems. In this extensive guide, we'll explore how to identify and safely fix common household electrical issues.

From nagging flickering lights to complex wiring problems, understanding the signs, symptoms, and solutions for these problems can help save you time, money, and the safety of your home. And if the problem seems a little too shocking to handle, you’ll know when to call in the professionals.

Remember, safety always comes first with electrical work. If there’s any doubt in your mind, reach out to a licensed electrician. Now, let’s get lit with the help of Spectrum Electric Inc, your trustworthy electricians in Apopka, FL.


Troubleshooting Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are more than just an annoyance; they can be an early sign of an underlying electrical issue. They also make your home feel like an old-timey movie, which is cool only for the first couple of seconds. Here are a few reasons and fixes for those moody bulbs:

1. Loose Bulbs or Connections

Sometimes, the flicker is just due to a loose bulb in its socket. An easy fix is to ensure the bulb is screwed in securely. For non-flickering fans of the Flintstones’ era, that may be it – problem solved!

2. Dimmer Switches

If you have dimmers, a flicker could come from using incompatible LED or CFL bulbs. Ensure the bulbs are marked as dimmable, and if the problem persists, consider swapping them for a different brand. Or, rock it old school and replace with an incandescent.

3. Overloaded Circuits

Flickering can also occur when the circuit is overloaded. Try using fewer lights on the same circuit or switch to lower-wattage bulbs if this is a frequent occurrence.

4. Faulty Wiring

If the flicker continues after trying the above, you may have a deeper issue related to your home’s wiring. It’s time to bring in a professional for a detailed assessment.

You've Got a Dead Outlet – What Now?

When an outlet stops working, many people think it’s as good as dead. But before you cough up the dollars for an outlet funeral, try these troubleshooting steps:

1. Test Other Outlets

The first step is to check other outlets in the room and see if they are working. If the problem seems isolated to one outlet, the issue is likely with the outlet itself.

2. Inspect for Tripped Breakers

A dead outlet could be a simple matter of a tripped breaker. Check your electrical panel and reset any that have been tripped.

3. GFCI Issues

For kitchens and bathrooms, the problem could involve a GFCI outlet being tripped or malfunctioning. Press the reset button on all GFCI outlets to see if your dead outlet comes back to life.

4. Outlet Replacement

If none of the above work, it’s time to consider replacing the outlet. Turn off power to the outlet at your breaker panel before doing any work.

Buzzing Breaker Boxes: A Noisy Dilemma

We’ve covered lights and outlets – now, onto the big leagues. If your home’s breaker box is making unsettling sounds, it’s more than just an auditory disturbance; it could be a sign of a significant electrical issue.

1. Understand the Cause

A buzzing sound can indicate that a breaker is overloaded or about to fail. It could also be a sign of loose wiring, which is a fire hazard.

2. Check for Visible Issues

Once the breakers have been turned off, it’s safe to visually inspect the panel. Look for any scorch marks, which indicate an electrical arc, or any loose wires around the breakers.

3. Professional Help

If you notice any of these issues or can't identify a clear problem, don't hesitate to call a professional. They have the tools and the know-how to address these serious concerns.

Rewiring a Room for Safety and Convenience

If your home is on the older side or you're dealing with frequent electrical problems, it might be time to consider rewiring. This is a large project best left to the professionals but it's good to know what to expect:

1. Assessment

An electrician will first assess the condition of your current wiring to determine if rewiring is needed.

2. Discuss Your Needs

Be prepared to discuss where and how you use electrical appliances and devices. This will help in planning where outlets and switches should be placed.

3. The Rewiring Process

The electricians will essentially replace the old wiring with new, code-compliant wiring to ensure safe and reliable power throughout your home.

4. Benefits

Rewiring can not only fix existing problems but also provide you with more reliable and efficient electricity in your home. It can also increase the value of your property.

When to Call in the Pros

Knowing when to handle an electrical problem on your own and when to call a professional is crucial. Here are the scenarios that almost always warrant professional attention:

1. Anything That Involves the Main Service Panel

The main electrical panel is the nerve center of your home's electrical system. Any work here should be left to a professional.

2. Burning Smells

A smell of burning coming from your outlets or appliances is incredibly serious and requires immediate attention. Turn off the circuit and call an electrician as soon as possible.

3. Warm or Sparking Outlets

Outlets that are warm to the touch or seem to be sparking are not normal. They could be signs of overloads or faulty wiring and should not be ignored.

4. Work in Wet Locations

Because water is an excellent conductor of electricity, electrical work in wet locations is always dangerous. Professionals know how to work safely in these areas, but it's especially important to call one for these situations.



By understanding the signs of common household electrical problems and some basic troubleshooting steps, you eliminate some of the mystery and fear around these issues. Remember, your safety is the top priority, so never hesitate to call an electrician if you're unsure or if the problem seems beyond your expertise.

If you're looking for professional electricians in Apopka, FL, Spectrum Electric Inc is just a call away. Whether it's fixing an issue or preventing one with routine maintenance, our team is committed to delivering safe and reliable solutions for your home's electrical system. Don't keep living with those flickering lights or dead outlets – take control of your home's electricity and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-functioning system.

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