The electrical system is different from other components of your home such as the plumbing system. Not only is it delicate, but also it can be a source of most domestic hazards ranging from electric shocks to even death. However, when there is a problem with the system, most people are tempted to put on their working gear and try to fix the issue. The truth is, there are instances when DIY electrical work is okay and harmless. How do you determine whether to handle the problem or contact your local electrician? Here are some cases when you should opt for professional electrical work as compared to doing it yourself.
Are there any electrical cables with damaged insulation in the home? If so, such cabling should be handled with care to avoid electrical fires of shocks. Broken insulation can be a sign that you need an electrical upgrade, particularly if the house is old. Rodents can also chew on insulation and electrical wires and break them. Broken insulation can expose wiring which poses an electrical hazard in the home. It is wise to have an electrician repair or upgrade the system and inspect the entire home for any other underlying problems.
Electrical Sparks on Outlets
There are various reasons why there may be sparks on electrical circuits. If there is a short circuit, excessive heat builds up and melts the insulation that covers the wires. The electricity running through the wires can cause a fire, and when an appliance is connected, there can be dangerous sparking. Other causes of sparks may be exposure of the outlet to water or faulty wiring due to negligent repairs. If left unrepaired, an outlet with sparks can cause irreversible damage to electronics and appliances. In extreme cases, it can also cause an electrical fire.
Are there any burning odors on electrical outlets or switches? If so, this could be a sign of an underlying problem with your electrical wiring. Also, it could indicate that you have overloaded a circuit in the home. In this case, you can try to disconnect a few appliances from the circuit and assess whether the odors will cease after some time. If the smell persists or is accompanied by sparks and tripping circuits, you should turn the power off at the electrical panel and contact an electrician.
Refrain from replacing electrical components such as outlets unless you are an experienced DIYer. If you notice any of these problems, contact a professional electrician immediately. Also, keep children and pets away from problematic areas to prevent electrical hazards.