Common signs that your home needs electrical repair

Both new and old homes alike can face all kinds of electrical problems. Some of these problems are less obvious than others.

Electrical problems can be more than just a small inconvenience, they can be dangerous and cause bodily harm to a home’s occupants. It’s estimated that about 40% of house fires in Australia are caused by faulty electrical appliances and electrical problems.

About 20 people in Australia die every year from electric shocks and about half of these accidents happen in homes. 

Here are some common signs that your home needs electrical repair.

High electricity bill

Using a lot of electrical appliances will naturally lead to higher electrical bills but if your bills appear to be much higher than normal, despite using electricity responsibly, you may have an electrical problem on your hands.

Electrical leaks can lead to high electricity bills; they happen when there is an unintentional connection between the ground and an electrical wire. This leads to electricity leaking into the ground or even metal surfaces.

You can check for these leaks by turning off all electrical devices in your home and checking the electricity meter, if the meter still moves, you may have an electrical leak.

If leaked electricity flows into metal surfaces, it can cause deadly electrical shocks. 

Electrical leaks are difficult to detect and don’t cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Loose outlets

An outlet should not move when you’re trying to plug in an electrical device. A loose outlet is a sign that the contact points are either damaged or were not properly connected.

Older outlets that have been frequently used for years can become loose due to wear and tear.

The wires in loose outlets are prone to sparking and heat damage, making them likely to catch fire or become an electrical hazard. Trying to fix a loose outlet may not make much of a difference since the outlet might already be damaged; it’s better to just replace them entirely.

If you have any loose outlets in your home, avoid touching them or plugging in any household appliances. These outlets are dangerous and you should not attempt electrical repair by yourself.

Flickering lights

Usually, a flickering light isn’t much of a concern. Sometimes faulty lights or lights that haven’t been properly installed may flicker from time to time. What isn’t normal is when multiple lights or all of the lights in your home flicker regularly.

One common cause of flickering lights is loose or outdated wiring. Old and damaged wiring can cause electrical arcing, which could lead to heat build-up and an eventual fire if the wires are not replaced.

Voltage fluctuations will cause flickering lights as well. The optimal voltage for Australian homes is 230V; the electrical voltage should fall between 216-253V to avoid any problems. 

These voltage fluctuations may be caused by faulty wiring and may lead to your electrical appliances getting damaged.

Burning smells

The smell of something burning is a common sign of an electrical problem. Damaged wires and circuits can spark or overheat, causing them to give off the acrid smell of burning plastic.

Burning smells from outlets of other electrical fixtures are always a sign of a potential fire hazard. 

For an issue like this, you should always contact a professional electrician to handle it.

Sparking outlets

Seeing sparks when you’re trying to plug something in is a common occurrence but it can be dangerous and may indicate a major underlying problem.

If the sparks are blue, they are not inherently dangerous. White or yellow sparks, on the other hand, can be harmful, especially when accompanied by a burning smell.

Sparking can happen due to several reasons, such as a loose wire or water damage to wiring in the walls.

These sparks are a major fire hazard and should be dealt with immediately.

Call a professional for electrical repairs on your home

Repairing your home’s electrical problems is a very delicate process and according to the Australian state regulations, you should not attempt any electrical repairs in your home without a licensed electrician.

If you’ve noticed any electrical issues like the ones mentioned above, get in touch with your local electricians for help.

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