Are Your Flickering Lights a Ghost or an Electrical Failure?

Have you been at home, minding your business, when suddenly the lights begin to flicker inexplicably? Let us put your mind at ease — it’s probably not a restless spirit trying to communicate from the Great Beyond. More likely, you’re experiencing the symptoms of a run-of-the-mill electrical failure. While these types of failures can seem like a minor, if not irritating, occurrence, they can be indicative of bigger underlying problems with your home’s electrical wiring. Electrical Connections specializes in diagnosing and repairing these types of electrical failures in Gaithersburg. However, if books start flying across the room, you’ve got a whole different set of issues to worry about.

Signs of Electrical Failure 

Signs of an electrical failure can be more subtle than a lightswitch that no longer works. There are actually several simple signs that you can be on the lookout for. Take your circuit breaker, for example. Your breaker is designed to shut itself off when your electrical system is overloaded, and if it happens once in a while — well, it’s just doing its job. However, if your breaker trips multiple times a month, then there’s something bigger going on. 

Flickering, buzzing, or dimming lights are another clear indicator of an electrical shortcoming somewhere in your system. These can be signs of old or damaged wiring that isn’t up to the task of keeping you out of the dark.

If your home is prone to unwelcome furry visitors, it’s possible that they’ve taken a liking to chewing on your electrical wiring. Wherever wiring may be visible, look for telltale chew marks. For some reason, goodness knows what, rodents love to chew on wiring, causing damage to your electrical infrastructure.

How to Know If Your Outlet is Fried

Troublesome outlets can be a clear indication of an electrical failure. Closely examine your outlets for smoke or burn marks — these usually look like black, sooty smudges. If you see this on any of your outlets, consider it an automatic red flag, as this is a fire hazard. Why does this happen to some outlets? It varies from case to case, but usually, burn marks are the result of electricity arcing from the outlet due to corrosion, loose connections, or worn-out components.

Is That Burning Smell An Emergency?

If you notice a burning smell emanating from an outlet, don’t ignore it. Before you reach for the plug, however, trip the circuit breaker. This will allow you to safely unplug any electronics from the outlet in question. If the smell begins to dissipate, that’s good — however, you should discontinue using the outlet and give Electrical Connections a call to come to assess the problem. Faulty wiring is the likely culprit, and getting it taken care of in a timely fashion will reduce your risk of a fire hazard or accidental electrocution.

Why Are My Breakers Tripping?

There are many reasons why your circuit breaker may be tripping, but they all boil down to this — an electrical issue occurred that could be potentially unsafe, and your breaker did what it was designed to do in order to protect you and your property. Usually, breakers trip due to overloading (meaning the circuit was attempting to draw more electricity than it was designed to carry safely), a short circuit, a ground fault, or an arc fault.

Do these signs sound familiar? Call today for a home inspection!

For fast and friendly electrical services in Gaithersburg, contact the specialists at Electrical Connections! If your breakers be trippin’ or your kids are convinced that beings from the Netherworld are toying with your lights, we can put everyone’s mind at ease. Contact us today!

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