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Top 7 Signs You Need an Electrical Wiring Upgrade

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Electrical malfunctions result in more than 50,000 house fires each year in the United States of America, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International.

They are also reported to be the main cause for more than $1.3 billion of property damage each year, 450 deaths and over 1500 injuries.

Therefore, a sound understanding of potential dangers is vital to help save you from any electrical wiring troubles and related potential house fires (yikes!).

Without further ado, let's look at the top 7 signs that you need an electrical wiring upgrade:

#1. If you sniff something unpleasant, then it’s likely to be unpleasant.

First and foremost, the most underrated hint that people usually forego is the odor from an electrical outlet. If you smell something ‘fishy,’ you should immediately turn off the outlet and unplug the electrical appliance.

Next, it would be best for a qualified electrician to have a look and fix any dangers that may prevail.

#2. An excessive number of extension cords.

It is quite self-explanatory why electrical wires are kept in walls - so that wires suffer less wear and tear, reducing the potential for any damage.

Too many wires may lead to a situation where the wires could get tangled, kinked and eventually damage an outlet or even cause disastrous fire.

It is recommended that extension cords be used sparingly and for short term purposes such as a holiday. If you require more outlets, it’s best to get them installed by an electrician.

#3. The appliance may feel hot, but the outlet should never.

It is common to witness the hot temperature of a machine such as a microwave. But if you feel that the outlet is overheating due to usage or even when there is no appliance connected to it, turn it off and plug it into another outlet.

If the vacant outlet remains hot, then it may be wired incorrectly. An electrician would need to be contacted who may, for the time, advise you to remove the fuse for that outlet until it is repaired.

#4. A buzzing sound when plugging in appliances.

Normally, when everything is in a good place, electricity flows smoothly and quietly, but there may be a buzzing sound when plugging in or unplugging appliances.

Immediately call an electrician to fix the issue for you.

#5. Spark in the outlet.

Sparks from electrical outlets generate both sound and visible appearance, which can easily be heard and seen.

A sparkling appliance may mean the fixture itself may be damaged. If that happens, you must call an appliance repair person who would test the appliance and the outlet that powers it.

If your appliance has a warranty, you might just get it repaired for FREE!

#6. Dimming or flickering of lights.

Dimming or flickering of lights usually occurs in places where large or heating/cooling appliances are used, since they consume a significantly greater proportion of electricity than light fixtures.

In such a scenario, an electrician could be called for inspection to shift the appliances to different circuits or install dedicated lines.

#7. Installing the wrongs outlets in the kitchen or washroom.

Since water is an excellent conductor of electricity, places like kitchens and bathrooms require special shock-resistant outlets to add an extra layer of shock protection from water.

If the outlets in your kitchens and bathroom look the same as those in other places, swap them out with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

Parting Thoughts

The next time you see any of these signs in electrical wirings – you know what to do.

Take preventative action beforehand, or make sure to respond immediately to avert hazardous incidents.

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