Common Electrical Problems in the Home

Common electrical problems in the home need to be on your watch list. Throughout the life of your home, you will no doubt come across issues with the plumbing, heating, electricity, and other aspects of home life. Some issues can be solved by you, the homeowner; others are entirely out of your grasp because they relate to the city's power issues. Issues also have varying degrees of danger: some are minor nuisances, while others can be seriously hazardous to the safety of you, your family, and your home in. Electrical fires are a huge cause of home fires, and by properly diagnosing and treating a home electrical problem; you go miles towards protecting the people you love most, and undoubtedly your largest asset.

Some of the most common electrical problems in your home are very minor, like a set of outlets or lights going dead. If an outlet doesn't work at all when anything is plugged in, the most likely cause of the issue is a poor connection along the circuit, which can be triggered by resetting circuit breakers. If you yourself are savvy about the electrical layout of your home, it is very possible for you to fix this without calling a costly electrician. However, for those who only know that the switch turns on when up, you might need to contact an electrician or at the very least ask questions to figure out what the problem is. Other issues with power include items tripping circuit breakers when they are used. With most modern homes, enough circuits are established that using the microwave and the washer/dryer at the same time isn't detrimental to the circuit itself, nor does it cause any issues with regards to shutting down. However older homes, such as ones built in the 1950s or 1960s, that have gone years without renovation, face this issue, as circuits back then weren't nearly as equipped to deal with the high voltage of some modern items. The only way to fix problems like this would be to contact an electrician and have your house rewired to establish more circuits.  A new box can cost you $2500, but you get that back in resale, as without it, a home inspection may require you to cough up prior to approving the purchase.

Power surges also affect many of us on a consistent basis. A power surge is caused by the sudden increase in the amount of power provided, and is often triggered by the electric company you are using. Whether that’s the DWP or a private organization, there is often little you can do on a consumer level to prevent such an issue. The only preventative medicine to this  is purchasing and using surge protectors, which are designed to ensure that any surges go through their circuits instead of directly hitting your electronics,  which are plugged into the outlets. Power surges are somewhat dangerous to the equipment plugged in, and can cause serious damage to computers, televisions, microwaves, and other electronic devices, so look into purchasing a few surge protectors for your home if you don’t already have some.  They are inexpensive, come in several lengths (6 outlets, 12 outlets, etc) and will save you from replacing expensive electronic items.

As with all other aspects of life, electricity can often drain your bank account in addition to draining your house's energy. With bills being what they are nowadays, everyone wants to save as much as possible, and replacing old appliances such as refrigerators or air conditioning units with newer models that have the EnergyStar label on them will do wonders for saving you cash in the long run. Adjusting your habits also helps save on electric costs: instead of leaving the air conditioning on while you go out, turn it off until you get back. The average 2.5 ton central air conditioning system left on for 1 hour a day, every day per month costs roughly $13.08. That may not seem like much, but rarely do people only turn on the air for an hour at a time, especially during the hot summer months where temperatures can reach over 110o. Let's say you turn on the same air conditioning unit for 5 hours a day: the cost rises to $65 a month, or $780 a year. It only gets worse the more you use it. If you’re looking to save money on your electric bill, start by ensuring that any and all electric products are turned off when not in use. Shut down your computer, turn off the light when you leave the room, and use a plug-in fan instead of a central air system to cool down. By amending certain habits, you will end up saving hundreds of dollars a month, and that's something everyone enjoys in the long run.

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