How To Troubleshoot Home Electrical Problems (And When To Call An Electrician Immediately)

Even though electrical problems aren’t uncommon, they can be serious – and you need to take them seriously. Some issues can cause home fires, electrocution, and irreversible property damage, so they’re not something you want to “wait and see” about.

There are some electrical problems that you can troubleshoot on your own and others are issues that need immediate attention from a qualified electrician. Here are some helpful tips on how you can navigate home electrical problems and a few instances when you need to call an electrician fast. 

How To Troubleshoot Home Electrical Problems

Some Of Your Appliances & Lights Don’t Work

If you notice that all of a sudden, your lights or some of your appliances on one side of your home stopped working, you may have had a breaker trip or a fuse blow. This is especially true if the other appliances or lights on the other side of your house are still working fine.

When your power goes out like this, it’s usually something you can handle yourself, especially if you have a breaker box. To reset a circuit breaker, simply flip the switch. Resetting a fuse box is a little more difficult and requires you to replace the fuses. While you don’t need an electrician for this, you may want one for the job anyway just for safety and peace of mind.

Your Electric Bills Are Too High

If your electric bills are steadily climbing higher and higher, it could be due to overuse, old appliances, or a mixture of several factors working together to drive your energy expenses up. Consider replacing very old appliances or electronics that are “on the fritz” with new, energy-saving models to help cut how much power you’re drawing off the grid overall.

You can also try to curb your costs by changing a few things around the house, like:

  • Turning down your thermostat when you’re away from home
  • Turning down the temperature on your hot water heater
  • Switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs
  • Opening your windows and using natural light whenever possible
  • Using the microwave or stovetop instead of the oven

However, high electric bills could also suggest that there’s a problem within your electrical system that’s causing energy to be wasted or overused. If you make energy-saving changes that should be lowering your expenses but nothing really changes, you should contact an electrician to perform a safety inspection.

During an inspection, the electrician will check for problems that could be causing a drain on your energy and any issues that could pose a hazard to you, your family, or your property.

Your Outlets Feel Warm

If your outlets feel warm to the touch, this may be an indication that your circuits are overloaded and that there’s too much energy flowing through them. This is a serious problem that requires immediate attention.

You should turn off the breaker to that part of your house and contact an experienced electrical services provider. Faint buzzing or electrical humming sounds and flickering lights are another indicator that there’s too much power going through your circuits.

Light bulbs that burn out often.

If you’re always replacing light bulbs in your house, this could be a sign that the bulbs you’re buying aren’t the right wattage.

To find the correct wattage for your lights, look for a silver sticker on the outside of the bulb receptacle. Each lighting appliance has this sticker, whether it’s a ceiling fan, a lamp, or above a vanity. This should have small writing on it that tells what watt bulbs to buy. 

While you can technically use bulbs that are lower in wattage than what you need, you definitely don’t want to use bulbs that are any higher. This can result in your light bulbs overheating, blowing out, or even starting a fire. Unless the receptacle has melted or there’s another problem, you should be able to find out what kind of bulbs you need and install them yourself without the help of an electrician.

When To Call An Experienced Massachusetts Electrician For Help Diagnosing Your Electrical Problems

At N.E.T.R., Inc., our veteran Boston electricians can help you diagnose and repair electrical problems before they cause bigger issues. Contact us today to learn more about our electric repair services or to schedule a time for our electricians to come to your home and provide a diagnostic assessment and repair quote. Call now at (781) 933-6387 or fill out our online form and our technicians will get back to you to answer your questions or help you get started.