Like most of us, you probably take your home’s electricity for granted. But, do you know how to identify electrical problems in your home? Today we’re discussing 6 common electrical issues that every homeowner should be aware of. Identifying these issues is the first step in figuring out how to solve them.

1. Broken light switch

A broken switch could be a problem with the outlet, wiring, or circuit. To check this, turn off the circuit breaker and remove the faceplate and light switch. There will be two wires attached to the screw that you can test for electricity.

If you’ve recently moved and find a switch that doesn’t work, it might have been for a fixture removed by the previous owners. It’s best practice to talk to an electrician if you’re having problems with switches in your home.

2. Light bulbs are frequently burning out

There’s several reasons you’re seeing your lights burn out often. Here are some common explanations:

  • Insulation is too close to the light, causing it to overheat
  • Too much total wattage on a dimmer switch
  • Bad wiring on the mains or on the circuit
  • Wattage is too high

If you’re not an electrician by trade, it might be tough to figure out exactly what’s going on. Reaching out to a professional can help you figure out the underlying problem.

3. Flickering lights

If you’re having issues with flickering lights, it usually means you have a power surge. This usually happens because your running appliances require more than your home’s electrical system can handle.

Flickering lights could also mean there’s a poor connection on the circuit, which can eventually lead to arcing. This happens when loose connections make contact, and electricity jumps from one part to the other. This intermittent contact is dangerous because it could create sparking or fire. If this is something you’re experiencing, then you probably want to look into upgrading your home’s wiring.

4. Sparking or warm outlets and switches

If you notice that your switches are warm to the touch, reach out to a professional right away. This is a major safety concern that needs immediate evaluation. Your wiring may need to be repaired, or you might have to replace the fixture.

5. Circuit breaker problems

Your home’s circuit breaker is a defense mechanism. When a fault is detected in your electrical system, it interrupts the current flow. If this happens once in a while, it’s nothing to worry about. If it happens repeatedly, then you have a problem. When your circuit breaker trips, take a moment to assess the situation. When you have lots of large appliances running at once, it can push your home’s current beyond what’s safe. This will trip the breaker. If there’s no obvious reason and if it’s happening frequently, then it’s time to have a licensed professional inspect your home.

6. Electrical surges, sags, and dips

Electrical surges occur when there are spikes in charges in your power lines. This increases the electric current to your outlets. When this happens, your appliances or lights often flicker on and off. Some surges are unpreventable, and surge protectors can help shield your appliances from damage. However, repeated exposure can negatively impact their lifespan. Sags and dips are what happen when you have a “brown-out”. This is a quick drop in electrical voltage that momentarily dims your lights. If an appliance is plugged into a faulty outlet, or if you have an old electrical panel, you may experience more brown-outs. If this is the case, have an electrician come out to resolve this problem.

Do you have questions about electrical issues in your home? Our licensed professionals at K&S are here for you. You can ​schedule your appointment online or give us a call. You can reach us at (507) 282-4328 for our Rochester location, and (952) 697-4328 for our Twin Cities location.