Signs That Your House Might Have an Electrical Problem

Signs That Your House Might Have an Electrical Problem

A problem with the electrical wiring, an outlet, or the circuit breaker or fuse box in your home needs to be taken seriously. An unaddressed electrical issue could spark a fire that could engulf your entire house and put your family’s lives in danger.

Circuit Breaker or Fuse Box Trips Repeatedly

A circuit breaker or fuse box is designed to stop the flow of electricity to the house to prevent the circuit from overloading and causing a fire. If the unit trips frequently, especially when you use a particular outlet, the circuit may be overloaded. Call an electrician.

Lights Dim or Flicker

Light fixtures use less electricity than other appliances. If lights dim or flicker, it’s probably because a major appliance is using so much energy that the circuit cannot handle both it and the lights. Ask an electrician to wire the lights to another circuit or to install a dedicated circuit for the appliance.

Buzzing Sound

Under normal circumstances, the electricity flowing through your house should be silent. If you hear a buzzing sound, a problem with an outlet or wiring could be the cause. Call an electrician right away.


A new appliance might produce an odor the first few times it’s used, but a smell from an older appliance or an odor with no clear origin is a reason to call an electrician. There could be a problem with an outlet, the wiring in the walls, or the fuse box or circuit breaker.


If the fuse box or circuit breaker is sparking, call an electrician immediately. If sparks are coming from an outlet, turn off and unplug anything that is plugged into it and call an electrician. If sparks are coming from an appliance, call the manufacturer to have a repairperson inspect the appliance and make any necessary repairs.

Hot Outlet

Electricity may cause an outlet to become warm to the touch, but it should never be hot, even if an appliance that produces heat is plugged into it. If an outlet is hot, unplug the appliance and plug it into another outlet. If the second outlet also becomes hot, there is a problem with the appliance and you should contact the manufacturer. If the first outlet is hot but the second is not, that indicates a problem with the first outlet that requires help from an electrician.

Old Wiring

Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, you could still be at risk for an electrical fire. If you live in an old house and the wiring has not been updated in decades, there could be a serious issue that could put your family in danger.

Take Risks Seriously

Electrical fires are more common than many people realize. Don’t ignore warning signs. If you have any concerns, or if you are not sure about the age and condition of the wiring in your home, contact an electrician.

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