Shedding some light on electrical issues in the house

July 8, 2014

Are your electrical problems intent on making your life miserable? Let's shed some light on the most current electrical issues in the house.

Shedding some light on electrical issues in the house

Lights that behave strangely, bulbs that need to be replaced constantly, power failures—these are the kinds of electrical issues in the house that can really annoy a family.

When it comes to electricity, calling the electrical contractor is always a good idea, although there are some householder solutions that you can try first.

1. Lights that come to life

Do your lights turn on and off by themselves? With recessed ceiling fixtures, this phenomenon can easily be explained.

  • These lights contain an integrated mechanism to avoid overloads, causing them to turn themselves off and then back on when they have cooled down sufficiently.
  • If that happens to you, it’s a sign that the light bulbs you are using are likely not adapted to your ceiling fixture.

2. Burned out, again!

If changing burned-out light bulbs has become a full-time job, then you know you have a problem. But the cause could be very simple.

  • You might be using bulbs with a wattage that is too high for your lamps or your light fixtures.

3. Power outages

Murphy’s Law says that power outages always have to happen just before the end of a movie or while the cake is in the oven. That may be more common in the winter, but a blackout is not necessarily always caused by thunderstorms and snow storms.

Some electrical issues in the house can also cause power outages.

  • Fuses. Connecting a powerful appliance to a circuit that was designed for a lighter load could cause an electrical overload. A fuse could blow and cause a power outage. Just unplug the appliance that’s responsible for the overload and replace the fuse.
  • The circuit breaker. With newer electrical panels, an overload could trip the circuit breaker. Resetting the circuit breaker will most likely solve your problem.
  • A short circuit. A power failure can be caused by a short circuit. Finding the origin of this type of outage can be very challenging. The short circuit occurs when two conductors come into contact accidentally. Most of the time it is caused by an inadequate connection or by poor wire insulation.

Certain signs, such as sizzling or smoke, are likely to indicate the source. If the cause is only a defective appliance, it can simply be repaired or replaced.

If you can’t identify the problem or if it appears to be serious, then you would be better off calling a qualified electrician.

Well-connected advice

All in all, we are often able to solve our little electrical issues in the house. However, it is dangerous to dabble in anything more than the basics where electricity is concerned.

  • Calling an electrician remains the safest, wisest method to solving these issues.

*Not only is it dangerous, it may even be illegal in some provinces, such as Québec, to do your own electrical wiring. The solution: consider hiring a master electrician.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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