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Troubleshooting Common Electrical Problems

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Sooner or later, every homeowner encounters some common electrical problems. Of course, you should never try to fix your home’s wiring yourself, as this is a highly complicated system that only a licensed and experienced electrician should repair. However, it’s helpful to know about common electrical problems to see if you can troubleshoot them yourself or if you need to call a professional. The following areas are where you’re likely to experience these issues in your home.


Faulty Light Switch: Common electrical problems often occur with your lights. Old light switches can wear out and stop working completely. Carefully move the switch up and down to see if the light flickers at all. If so, you probably need to replace the switch. If you can’t induce a flicker, there may be something wrong with the connection, and you’re best advised to have an electrician fix it.

Flickering Light: This can be an indication of more than one problem. First, you need to check if the bulb is screwed into the socket properly. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, replace the bulb with a new one. If the light still flickers, it could indicate a problem with your wiring, and you’ll need to call an electrician.


Nonfunctioning Outlets: Troubleshooting a nonfunctioning outlet requires several steps. Begin by double-checking that it’s the outlet that’s not working, not the device that’s currently plugged into it. You can do this by plugging in another device or appliance and switching it on. If the second device also doesn’t work, then there are two possibilities: Either the circuit breaker may have tripped or there’s something wrong with the outlet. Check the other outlets or some switches on the same circuit. If they’re not working, the problem lies with the circuit breaker. Go to your electrical panel and flip the circuit breaker back into the “on” position. If the other outlets and switches on the same circuit are working, then the problem lies with the outlet. You’ll need to call a licensed electrician to repair it.

Multiple Issues

Multiple Flickering Lights, Blown Fuses or a Tripped Circuit Breaker: Do all the lights in your home flicker when you turn on the vacuum cleaner or dishwasher? Do your home’s fuses often blow? Does the breaker switch frequently trip? If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then your electrical system doesn’t have the capacity you need to handle your household’s electrical needs. You should speak to a trustworthy electrician about having it upgraded. In the meantime, don’t overload outlets with a lot of power strips, since an outlet can only deliver the same amount of electricity, regardless of how many appliances you connect. Avoid using major appliances at the same time, so don’t use your vacuum cleaner while your dishwasher is running. You should replace blown fuses as soon as possible and of course, if your breaker switch trips, put it back in the “on” position.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2015, electrical malfunctions in homes caused 24.500 fires and almost 300 deaths. That’s why, if you’ve determined that you need the help of a professional electrician, it’s best to call one as soon as possible so you can minimize the risk of an electrical fire.

Call Excel Electric today with any questions or concerns about electrical problems! 

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