5 Common Electrical Household Failures

posted by Chris Valentine

Throughout any home, there are any number of points in the electrical system where problems can occur, even without much, if any, outside prompting. What are some of the more common failures to occur in residential electrical systems? Here are five of the top reasons we see for service calls today.

Breaker or Fuse Failure

Breakers and fuses act as a safety point for your electrical system. These components will only allow a safe amount of electricity to flow through to the home’s circuits, and when they continually switch or blow out, there is likely a problem. In this case, either too much load is being asked of the circuit by the user, or the breaker may need to be replaced. Buzzing or vibrating sounds from a breaker are also indicators that the breaker is no longer fully functional. Burnt smells are an additional and more serious warning sign that should be immediately addressed.

Switch Failures

The switches in your home are likely the most physically manipulated components of your whole electrical system. With such constant use, it’s no wonder that these do fail in time. Signs of a failing switch include outright non-function, spontaneous function when not being physically manipulated, or even rapid, repeated function when only slightly touched. In most cases, switch failures do not pose a health or fire danger, but any crackling sounds or burnt smells here should be treated seriously and reported to your local electrician as soon as possible.

Receptacle Failures

Residential receptacles also see lots of physical activity. The action required of these components, though, is much more than that asked of a simple switch, as components must be forcefully plugged in and out of them regularly. This repeated action over time eventually can lead to loosening of the receptacle in the wall. This loosening then can lead to wire movement and dislocation, housing box damage, wall damage, and more.

In cases where the receptacle has not become loose, there can still be problems that arise. In this case, the problem will likely be simple, internal failure of the receptacle. This issue then typically just calls for the component’s replacement.

Wiring Issues in Fixtures

Our homes are loaded with fixtures that we often forget are even there or that are even a functioning part of the larger electrical system. Taking them for granted, however, is often a good sign that all works well. When problems in these components arise, though, we notice and can be very inconvenienced right away.

Ceiling fans are a common one that can have a number of issues spring up. These fixtures operate by using incoming electricity to push a motor that then spins and turns the blades of the fan. In many cases, some of that electricity is also internally diverted to a light system so that the fan can also be equipped with its own functional lights.

Light fixtures themselves simply take in the incoming electricity and route it across a threaded socket that then makes contact with a bulb base as it’s screwed into the socket. The only moving components to these fixtures are the onboard controls if there are any. This makes them often able to function for many years without any failure.

Knob and Tube Failures

Though no longer installed today, knob and tube electrical systems were once a standard in residential home-building. These systems worked well enough but were not designed to carry the loads needed in most, modern homes today. As a result, homes still wired with this kind of system will often experience failures of numerous kinds. Because of this, it is highly recommended that any residential homeowner with this system still in place seek advice on a possible replacement from their local electrical service provider.

When it comes to your home’s electrical system, it’s always best to be responsive when an issue is noticed. Though indescribably important to modern life, electricity is also a very powerful force when not controlled properly. These five issues are among some of the most common that you can be aware of and on the lookout for in the future. In conclusion, if you’re ever in need of an electrician Brisbane Northside, don’t hesitate for a moment to reach out.

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