It's never good to ignore electrical problems around the home, as some can be very dangerous and may be signs that your home is at risk for an electrical fire. You also don't want to try to tackle certain electrical repairs yourself, as even the slightest mistake or oversight can mean a shock or getting electrocuted. However, it is good to have an idea of what problems you might be facing in the home so you know what to expect by way of repair bills, and what to tell an electrician when you call. Note a few troubleshooting tips for common electrical problems.
1. Lights dim when the wind blows
If your lights only dim when there is a strong wind or storm, this is usually a problem in what is called the weatherhead. This is a covering that goes over the wires outside your house, where the electrical wires that provide power from the city are connected to the wires in your home. If the weatherhead itself is damaged, this can cause the wires to become damaged or frayed. In turn, the electrical connection may be interrupted slightly when the wind blows and the wires begin to move around. This can put your home at risk for an electrical fire that starts at the weatherhead, so have this checked by an electrician as soon as possible.
2. Lack of power on new switches and plugs
If you have new switch plates or plugs installed and you notice a lack of power, meaning that appliances plugged into those plugs or lights connected to the switch plates tend to dim or work intermittently, this could be a problem with how the wires were installed. The wires behind the plate should be installed behind a screw terminal, which secures the wires in place. If the wires were simply pushed into the back of the plate, this is called backstabbing. The connection can then be very loose and cause intermittent power. Have an electrician check how the wires are connected behind the plates and plugs and have them properly screwed in as needed.
3. Continuous circuit switching off
If one circuit keeps switching off even after you switch it back on, you should call for an electrician. The circuits may be wired improperly so that larger appliances that should have their own circuit are actually running on the same circuit as other devices. Wires may have also become bare and frayed and they should be replaced so they can deliver the power needed without becoming overloaded and tripping the circuit.