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When To Call An Emergency Electrician

When it comes to electrical issues, you never want to wait to get them fixed. Even if an electrical issue seems harmless on the surface, by letting the issue go unfixed you are actually putting you and your family at risk (and possibly other people if the issue results in an electrical fire that spreads). But, what exactly constitutes an electrical emergency? Realistically, you should always get an electrical issue looked at ASAP no matter how small, but there are certain electrical issues that, if spotted, should become your number one priority. Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for, if you see any of these, get an emergency electrician down to your house immediately. If you ever notice anything is off with regards to home electrical system, do not hesitate in calling a professional; home electrical systems are very delicate and there could be any number of issues.

Smoking or burning smell originating from an outlet

If you notice that there is faint smoke coming from an outlet or a faint burning smell, then that is a big red flag. Smoke or a burning smell indicates that something is wrong with the wiring of your outlet. We have already done an in-depth look at some common, household outlet problems if you are interested in learning about all the possible things that could be wrong with your outlet, but the long and short of it is that smoking or a burning smell indicate that the wires are arcing. If wires are arcing that is something you need to be worried about, since arcing leads to electrical fires. This is especially true if the outlet is near something flammable like curtains or bed sheets. Another sign to keep an eye out for is discoloured outlet covers, if you notice that your outlet covers have gotten a bit darker near where the prongs of an appliance go in, then you should call an electrician ASAP. For those interested, we have also done a post on how to avoid electrical fires.

Exposed or loose wires

Overtime it is common for the wires on appliances and on light fixtures to become exposed. If this happens immediately cease using that appliances or interacting with the light fixture. Exposed wires are an extreme electrical hazard. The problem with exposed wires is that the insulation gets stripped, which means there is nothing to protect you from the live electricity running through the wire. Interacting with exposed wires can lead to some very nasty electrical shocks, and in extreme cases, death; and that is not even mentioning all the various health issues that can arise out of being badly shocked. Children are especially at risk when it comes to exposed wires. If you notice any exposed wires in your home, you are going to want to get a licenced electrician down to deal with the problem.

Electrical equipment has come into contact with water

This is probably common sense for most people, but if water (the amount doesn’t really matter, even a small amount is dangerous) has come into contact with your outlets or wiring, then you are going to want to take some precautions. First off, do not touch anything, you may be tempted to unplug appliances or try and get a closer look, don’t, simply avoid the outlet. Secondly, call an electrician and inform them of what happened (did someone spill water or other liquid onto an outlet, or did you notice moisture around an outlet that you do not know the origin of.); the electrician will take over and tell you where to go from there. In general you want to avoid handling anything electrical when your hands are wet, this include plugging or unplugging appliances.

Malfunctioning appliance

If one of your electrical appliances is on the fritz, then do not try and fix it yourself. There is likely a problem with the internal wiring of either the outlet the appliance is plugged into, or there is a problem with the internal wiring of the appliance itself. Either way, do not attempt to fix the problem yourself. If you try and fix the appliance yourself, you may end up hurting yourself, but you could also end up damaging your home’s electrical system by plugging the broken appliance back into your home’s electrical system. A licenced electrician should be able to figure out the problem and get the appliance back into working order quickly; or at the very least they will be able to tell you if you need to get a replacement. They will also be able to figure out if a problem with your wiring caused the appliance to malfunction.

Incorrect wiring

This electrical hazard is most common in homes where an amateur has attempted to do some DIY electrical work. We have done a previous post on why DIY electrical work is a bad idea. But, in general, when amateurs attempt to do electrical work on their own (especially wiring), they do it incorrectly. So, if you notice that the wiring in a specific part of your house is done incorrectly, then you are going to want to get a professional down to fix the wiring. If you notice that certain lights in your house constantly flicker and dim; or if you notice that you are constantly making a trip to the breaker, then you may have a problem with your wiring. Another telltale sign is you notice strange sounds (often described as a buzzing noise) whenever you use an appliance or turn on a light; If you are still unsure about your wiring, it is better to be safe than sorry, so call an electrician to come take a look.

It may seem like a lot of these jobs are really simple to complete, and no doubt if you look online, you can find guides telling you how to fix each of these issues. But, not only is it dangerous to try and fix these issues on your own, it is also highly illegal.