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Understanding and Solving Common Electrical Problems

A global pandemic is undoubtedly something that has impacted just about every person and industry in some way or another. Overall, it has led to many drastic changes regarding day-to-day life, with the most prominent alteration being where people spend most of their time right now, at home. Due to social distancing and being at home more, it became the catalyst for increased residential electricity use, of which demand has spiked 22% since the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns. What is even more notable is that the rise in electricity use has resulted in a higher realization of dangerous electrical problem risks that could unearth.

Luckily, Erie, PA electrical contractors showcased key ways to prevent adverse problems from forming or worsening, and it boils down to habits changes, mindfulness, and knowledge. It is also essential to understand that a licensed electrician should address some of these issues since some projects can be far too dangerous for someone without that level of expertise to handle.

Circuit Breakers Frequently Tripping

For some, a circuit breaker tripping is nothing out of the ordinary. They consider the use of a toaster tripping a circuit breaker every so often to be “normal,” and a simple flip of the breaker switch brings the toaster back online. However, breakers that trip frequently should immediately be suspected as anything but ordinary. This can mean that either too much power is being pulled over the wire or that there is a problem with the wiring in general, provoking emergency electrical services to be called.

This issue is called an “arc fault” and is responsible for more than 28,000 home firings and hundreds of deaths every year in the US, and should not be taken lightly.

According to respected Erie, PA 24-hour electricians, diversifying devices over multiple circuits is a must to prevent such an issue. This means determining which outlets are on a given circuit is the first step. For example, if the toaster is the only unit on that breaker, then the wiring in the wall or the toaster itself is in question. This same scenario applies to light bulbs that keep burning out; assuming the bulb wattage is correct, there is likely an underlying electrical issue in-wall that needs addressing. Are the wires in the wall frayed? Is the outlet faulty? At this point, it is best to refrain from using anything on these circuits and call in a licensed electrician for assistance.

Power Surges and Fluctuations

You, and most other homeowners out there, are more than likely familiar with the device called a “surge protector.” Its primary purpose is to prevent a surge of power damaging electronic equipment, such as a lightning strike. Such surges can even be caused by damaged wiring in a wall or faulty electronic devices. To help prevent both incidents from occurring, arm electronics with surge protectors that have internal circuit breakers. These surge protectors will help prevent power fluctuations from damaging the attached equipment and stop too much power from being drawn through the surge protector. This doesn’t mean surge protectors should be used as a band-aid for underlying electrical issues, but they are certainly a fantastic mechanism to help sniff out electrical issues and add a layer of protection for devices. Home electrical fires cost the US upwards of $1.3 billion in property damage every year. So, spending $25 on a surge protector seems like the preferable expense.

Conclusion

Using electricity each day might seem like an autopilot part of life. You flip switches, turn things on, and occasionally trip a breaker here and there. But never underestimate what is going on behind the scenes that can cause severe adversities to both you and your home if left unaddressed. As mentioned above, knowledge is power here to combat common electrical problems. And though you can study the fundamental issues and become aware of situations that raise red flags, it cannot be stressed enough that attempting to resolve them without a licensed electrician in Erie, PA can end in property damage or significant bodily injury.

In summary, take the time to comb through your home and see if anything looks amiss with your electrical layout or hardware. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and never be afraid to call a professional for more in-depth assessments because these efforts are what will ultimately keep your house, you, and your loved ones as safe as possible.

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