How Do I Know I Need an Electrician?

Fixing electrical problems is a must for the safety of your home or business. But, instead of fixing them yourself, it’s best to let licensed electricians handle the matter.

This way you can avoid greater problems like fires, injuries, or accidents. As a property owner, you should stay vigilant and know the early signs of an electrical issue.

Here are the things to watch out for.

Tell-Tale Signs That You Need an Electrician

Did you know that, on average, 3000 house fires occur in Victoria yearly according to CFA Victoria? The common causes of these incidents are electrical faults and improper use of devices.

The good news is that these are preventable. You can easily safeguard your home or business by knowing these warning signs and asking an electrician for help.

1. Flickering Lights

Flickering lights often mean a loose fixture connection or a defective light bulb that needs replacement.

However, it can also be because of an unstable electricity supply or an overloaded system. For example, your lights may dim or flicker when you open the fridge or plug in your dryer.

It becomes a more serious concern if you experience a slight shock whenever you turn on your lamp.

There are several possible causes for flickering lights. and checking them yourself may only lead to burns, shock, and other accidents.

So, it’s advisable to let an electrician check and fix them.

2. Habitually Tripping Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers automatically cut off the electricity flow in your home or business when the electrical current is too high or unsafe.

Without one, your property and its occupants become vulnerable to shocks, injuries, and fires.

It’s common for circuit breakers to trip occasionally, though. It explains why you may experience power loss in a room or one area of your home.

But if it happens daily or a few times a week, you need an electrician to check what’s causing it.

Usually, a circuit breaker trips when you use too many appliances at once or plug multiple devices into one power board. Sometimes, your electrical panel is too old and in need of replacement.

Make sure to know the cause, then follow the recommendations of your electrician to avoid this problem.


3. Excessive Sparks When Plugging in Devices

When you connect to an outlet, notice that you’ll sometimes see or hear a brief electrical spark. We call this arcing and not a cause for alarm. You can avoid this by plugging in faster.

However, if the visible sparks last longer than a second, are yellow or white, or produce a burning smell, shut off the power and call an electrician.

Sparks like these pose high risks of electrocution and fire.

4. Strange Humming or Buzzing Noise

If you hear weird sounds from behind your wall, don’t worry. You’re not going crazy. Humming noises like these often suggest an electrical problem.

Common causes of buzzing or humming noises are poor wiring, overloaded wires, or improperly installed ground wires.

A professional electrician can help you find the exact source and fix the wire or device causing the noise.

5. Warm or Hot Outlets

Power outlets have specially designed barriers that keep them insulated whenever you plug in an appliance or device.

So, they should never feel warm or hot to the touch. But if yours do, turn off the power and call an electrician immediately.

Warm outlets usually indicate a serious electrical problem that could cause a fire. The outlet may be overworked or overloaded. It may also mean that your property has a higher voltage demand.

Regardless of the cause, don’t ignore this electrical issue. Call a professional right away to fix it.

6. Burning Smell and Charred Outlets or Switches

Turn off your power when you notice burn-like smells in your property and are unsure of the source. Then, contact an electrician to check your electrical wiring and equipment installed.

The cause of the odour could be burnt wires hidden in your walls, which could start an electrical fire.

Similarly, call an expert if you notice discolouration around your outlets or switches. This issue often means loose wiring or a short circuit caused by an old outlet.

Either can lead to sparks and a small fire behind the switch, which explains the charring.


7. Water Damage

We know that water and electricity do not mix. When electrical wires come in contact with water, a short circuit could occur, causing your breaker to trip.

A more serious concern is when wiring goes through prolonged water exposure. Floods or storm surges may even bring in other contaminants that can damage the wires.

They can destroy the insulation around the wires and cause various problems, like fire and shock.

So, if you notice water damage in your property near a power source or light fittings, take caution and call an electrician.

8. Outdated Electrical System

Are you staying in a vintage home or building? Most old houses or establishments encounter electrical problems due to their outdated systems.

It’s understandable since electricians then couldn’t have known that modern times would require significantly higher electric support. Also, wiring installations experience wear and tear after many years of use.

Old homes often lack electric outlets, and new owners would use power boards to compensate. However, this solution only strains the existing system, causing all sorts of risks and issues.

So, if your property is over 20 years old, consider calling an electrician for a safety check. The experts will know the newer and safer electric installations your property needs to avoid problems in the future.

Safeguard Your Property with a Licensed Electrician

Using electric devices properly and following other protective measures are great ways to guard your residential or commercial property.

Still, power issues can happen, and being familiar with the above signs can help you act swiftly. So, watch out for the potential causes of electrical faults, and call an electrician for help.

Our team at SBH Electrical offers 24/7 call-in service for electrical emergencies, assuring reliable support and solutions. Contact us on 0418 390 046 for a quick diagnosis, safety inspection, or repair.

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