Common Electrical Problems & How To Deal With Them

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Having electrical problems is more common than you think

All kinds of properties encounter electrical problems every now and then. No matter how perfectly set up you think electrical wirings are, or how new the circuit breaker is, something as simple as old light bulbs or faulty appliances can cause an electrical problem.

Having basic knowledge of these electrical issues and how to deal with them can make a huge difference in terms of safety, not only for your Sunshine Coast property but also for you and your family! 

We list here some of the most common electrical problems and suggested ways to handle them. Of course, you can always call your local Sunshine Coast electrician from Walt Electrical for any electrical concerns.

Watch out for the following electrical issues

1. Electrical surges

An electrical surge typically lasts for only a fraction of a second and can be caused by several random things like a lightning strike, damaged power lines, faulty electrical wiring and defective electrical appliances. Surges can happen frequently and often unnoticed! 

Risks:

  • Constant electrical surges, if left unresolved, can damage any property’s electrical components and shorten the lifespan of several appliances.

Solutions:

  • Install surge protectors to prevent this electrical problem. This will also help safeguard appliances and your home electrical system.
A power strip with a built-in surge protector under APC’s SurgeArrest Essential product line
Photo taken from: https://www.apc.com
  • Check the devices connected to the home grid or electrical wirings. Disconnect the power boards and devices one at a time to see if one of them is causing a power surge. Repair or consider replacing the damaged board or device.

Add Your Heading Text Here

2. Circuit breaker issues

The circuit breaker serves as the control centre that manages electricity throughout the property and common electrical problems at home include overloading and tripping circuit breakers

Overloading

Overloading a circuit happens when you power on connected appliances that consume a high-level of electricity at the same time. These high-wattage appliances include hairdryers, microwave ovens, and most types of air conditioning units.

Tripping

Overloading typically causes circuit breakers to trip and tripping is designed to occur to let you know when something is wrong with circuits or switchboards.

Risks:

  • Frequent circuit breaker tripping can cause an appliance to shut down and a power outage for the property.
  • It can also cause damage to appliances and other electrical devices/components like most electrical problems.
  • Circuit breaker tripping can also lead to electrocution and electrical fires.

Solutions:

  • Limit and monitor electrical usage on a single circuit. It’s best to spread your electrical consumption using multiple circuit breakers.
  • Make sure used devices are properly plugged in. Set high-wattage appliances to a lower setting, if possible, and unplug when not in use.
Make sure used devices are properly plugged in

3. Power sags and dips

Sags and dips in power are almost similar to electrical surges but are mostly attributed to substandard power grids, especially when faulty devices are connected to them. Some cheaper grids and devices that are made with low-quality materials tend to pull in more power than needed when switched on, causing the power sag or dip.

Risks:

  • It may not seem much of an electrical concern but when power sags and dips happen frequently, it can deteriorate your home electrical system and impact other devices.

Solutions:

  • Ask a professional electrician about the best kinds and recommended brands of electrical devices that your house or business would need. Never sacrifice quality over price.
  • Replace old grids and faulty devices when beyond repair.

4. Issues with lights and switches

Concerns with lighting are very common but nonetheless inconvenient because lights are vital aspects of any household or business. It is even often linked with some of the best security camera systems and problems with lights can definitely compromise your security recordings.

Here are some of the usual electrical problems property owners experience with lights and switches:

Flickering lights

Flickering lights, whether switched on or off, could mean either the bulb or fixture switch is faulty. Loose wiring is also a typical cause and could be the most dangerous since it can start an electrical fire.

Lights are either too bright or too dim

When the light in one room is brighter than another, even when they have the same bulbs, the lights could have different wattages. Poor neutral connection and technical problems with the main power panel can also cause uneven lighting.

Faulty light switches

Another common electrical problem is faulty light switches. When the switches don’t work or take time to work, this could mean something is wrong with the house electrical wirings or the switches are already old and malfunctioning.

Bulbs burn out too quickly

Do you find yourself constantly replacing light bulbs? If your lights at home or at work burn out too quickly, the bulb’s wattage could be too high or maybe the lights are located closely to the property’s insulation. Poor electrical wiring can also cause light bulbs to burn out faster than normal.

Replacing a light bulb that burned out too quickly

Risks:

  • Electrical issues related to lighting can seem simple but make no mistake, these problems can cause serious damage to any kind of property and even start a fire.
  • The cost of replacing bulbs can be overlooked, but the costs of fixing bad electrical wiring can be heavy on the pockets, depending on how bad the previous workmanship is.
  • Neglecting faulty lights can be a huge inconvenience. Imagine lights going out in the middle of the night or in the middle of a hectic work day!

Solutions:

  • Avoid electrical problems with lighting by making sure you know the kinds and wattage of the bulbs you use.
  • Issues with lights often go beyond the bulbs and when the problems come down to wirings, it’s best to call a professional electrician to check it out and fix the issue.

5. Electrical shocks

Electrical shocks can be caused by faulty wirings, power leakage or grounded sockets and appliances

Risks:

  • The pain from electrical shocks can range from mildly uncomfortable to dangerous, or even fatal. This is what makes it tricky when you try to resolve the issue yourself.

Solutions:

  • You can try to check the source of shock by unplugging a certain appliance and plugging it in a different socket, but this can cause another electrical shock.
  • If you don’t want to risk another shock or a worse one, it’s best to consult an electrician.

6. High electrical bills

If you find your electrical bills unusually higher, it’s easy to blame it on high-wattage appliances or maybe even your home automation system. But an electrical problem can also easily cause your power bills to spike up. Here are some examples:

  • Damaged wires and circuits
  • Old devices or outdated electrical systems
  • Issues with your service provider
Damaged wires and faulty wiring can cause electrical problems

Risks:

  • Overlooking high electrical bills will definitely weigh on your pocket at some point.
  • When it is caused by an electrical issue, neglecting an unusually higher bill also means neglecting the main problem. This can lead to worse cases and further deterioration of electrical systems.

Solutions:

  • Unplug electrical devices and switch off your lights when not in use.
  • Pinpoint sources of power surges to have them fixed or replaced. 
  • Make sure you are signed up with a cost-efficient service provider

Other tips to avoid electrical problems

Below are some more tips to keep your appliances and electrical systems at home or at work in good condition.

  • Plug your devices properly and unplug them when not in use. The same with lights, remember to switch them off when not needed.
  • Familiarize yourself with the kinds of electrical devices you have at home. Consider buying appliances that have energy-saving settings. 
  • Monitor older appliances to see if they need repairs or replacements.
  • It may be an added cost, but it’s worth it to buy and install safety devices that can help you monitor power surges and circuit issues.
  • Make sure you have enough sockets in one room and that each one works properly. As much as possible, avoid using extension cords.
  • Remember to inspect the electrical wirings of a house before moving in to a new place or make sure you get highquality materials and workmanship when you set up your home electrical system.
  • Keep reserve light bulbs at home and a basic tool kit for minor, do-it-yourself electrical checks and repairs. It also helps if you have some basic knowledge on power boards and circuit breakers.
  • Schedule regular inspections with your trusted local electrician.
Riley Hurlock - Walt Electrical Sunshine Coast

At the end of the day, it’s better to prevent problems with electricity than resolving them. But it’s best to be prepared in cases of electrical emergencies, so we recommend you keep Walt Electrical’s number handy. Call us anytime for assistance with all kinds of electrical problems!

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duncan rodley
duncan rodley
06:03 03 Sep 20
Riley was fast and efficient. They arrived on time and did a very tidy installation. I would highly recommend him to... friends and family. Thanks heapsread more
Steven Tropp
Steven Tropp
03:37 06 May 20
I needed an electrician to come out straight away as the power to my garage doors had stopped working. Riley got here... within 2 hours and fixed the problem really quickly.He was very profession, arrived on time and did great work. Would highly recommend him for any electrical work.read more
Rhys Obrien
Rhys Obrien
03:24 05 Mar 20
Riley is very professional and happy to help with anything you put to him. He is very knowledgeable and gives great... advice on which products to use. Very happy with his services and would highly recommend.Rhysread more
Jo Kay
Jo Kay
21:53 28 Feb 20
Riley was very professional and polite. He gave an honest quote for our work and that was the exact price we paid.... There were no unexpected surprises and the quality of his work was excellent Definitely recommend!read more
costa panayi
costa panayi
01:21 21 Feb 20
Riley was an excellent tradesman and great pleasure to deal with. Friendly, professional and an expert on his trade. I... have used his services many times over the years. Had him recently install an air conditioner in my home. Prompt, realiable.hardworking. The installation went really well. He works fast and is tidy. Left my home like no one had been there working. Price wise is rather reasonable. Saved me money. Will be getting him back to. Install another system in the back of home soon. Highly recommended. Thank you riley, my family feel more comfortable now in this heat.read more
Aeron Bandfield
Aeron Bandfield
07:25 30 Dec 19
Riley was amazing and so professional! I needed a 15 amp plug installed ASAP when i had my printer delivered. He... arrived soon after the quote was accepted and got the job done! Will defiantly be calling you again Riley!read more
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