8 Common Household Electrical Problems And How To Resolve Them

It’s said that people fill their modern houses with more and more electrical appliances each day. There are bound to be a number of electrical problems to sort out with so many items using electricity in one home. Luckily, not all fixes need an expert and some are easy to tackle – you can even fix them yourself.

Although many may be weary of electrical connections due to the risk of shock, handling these could be reasonably safe when handled correctly.

Switching off the main power supply of the property at the circuit breaker is a must before starting with any residential electrical repairs.

With that said, here are some common household electrical problems and how to resolve them safely either by fixing them yourself or asking for assistance from a professional electrician if the situation calls for it:

1. Exposed Cable Junctions Or Wires

Over time, electrical cables could start to wear out and get damaged. Unfortunately, the covering doesn’t last as long as the inside wires, which could cause the live wires to touch one another.

When this happens, a spark can take place and cause the main power switch to trip at the home’s circuit breaker.

Replacing the cable shouldn’t be too big of a job unless it’s a particular type of cable with sealed connections, in which case a qualified electrician will have to assist.

Nonetheless, if you’re looking to do this yourself, then you should know there are specialist tools for different types of crimps, so check which type you have and buy the appropriate tool.

2. No Electrical Surge Protection Present

An electrical surge can occur on the electrical grid at any time. The cause of these surges could be any number of things, from lightning strikes to an overloaded grid line.

The downside is that home appliances usually can’t withstand such a blast of electricity flowing through them, and thus they become damaged in the process.

Every home should have a surge protector installed on the main circuit breaker to prevent the surge from spreading throughout the home’s electrical connections.

The surge protector is something that a qualified electrician will have to install for guaranteed protection. 

3. Overloading The System

Some houses, especially those that are already decades old, may not have many electrical outlets. Perhaps because these older homes’ residents didn’t have as many electrical appliances compared to what a modern family needs today.

Most people will attempt to solve this by adding extension cords and plugging in extenders that have many plugs. Regrettably, this isn’t a safe solution for the home.

When there are too many devices or appliances that draw electricity from the same line, it could cause an overload on the system and lead to wire-related concerns like wires heating up or melting.

This can cause an electrical fire and damage appliances, as well as other belongings. A professional electrician can install more outlets in a room where the home’s residents need them, so find a licensed one in the area to be safe.

4. Light Or Plug Switches Not Working

Switches are some of the most used items in a home. They’re used to turning on or off a room’s lighting or a particular appliance like a fan.

After a few years of use, these switches could wear out, causing them to malfunction and the lights to flicker or the appliance to stop working correctly.

For something like this, it may be best to contact a reputable electrician to inspect the switch and the entire system, as there may be other problems not visible to an untrained person that they can fix while there. 

5. Frayed Wires On Cables

An appliance or device like a vacuum cleaner may have to move around a lot throughout the home while in use.

With all the movement, the cable wires could loosen from their joints or the plug and cause a short. It could then trip the entire home grid, and the residents can’t use that appliance.

Replacing and wiring a basic electric circuit or a frayed end could be relatively straightforward that someone without in-depth training can successfully carry it out.

Some professional handypersons or electricians can assist those not willing to try and fix a cable for a nominal call-out fee. 

6. Circuit Breakers That Keep On Tripping

Circuit breakers that keep tripping are usually a sign that there’s an electrical fault somewhere in the residential electrical system.

The best way to establish the cause would be to call in the cavalry as an electrician to test and repair the damaged part of the circuit.

Sometimes a faulty device could cause a trip, and if that’s the problem, it may need repairs or the homeowner will have to replace it.

7. Appliances Causing Electrical Shock

Manufacturers of modern appliances and devices will ensure that their products are high quality, especially the more expensive brands.

There are, however, companies that still cut corners and put their products on the market without ensuring that all the electrical connections are secure and grounded. 

Homeowners should ensure they buy the best quality they can afford and discontinue using any electrical device that no longer works optimally for their safety.

Should a certain gadget cause an electrical shock, an electrical appliance service technician can assist in finding and repairing the fault. Another alternative is to repurpose used residential appliances and buy new ones. 

8. Increased Electricity Usage

Apart from the fact that there are more electrical devices in a modern home, some electrical issues may cause a sharp increase in electricity usage for a home.

One of these is leaving appliances plugged in and switched on even though they aren’t in use.

Constantly remind everyone in the home to switch off any electrical thing they don’t use, like lights when they leave the room or the radio blaring for no one.

Not only do they consume excess electricity, but they may cause a spark or electrical fire as well if left unattended for too long.

Wiring It All Together

Problems related to electrical connections, devices, connections, wires, and appliances aren’t something that anyone can fix, but luckily some professionals specialize in this field.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed electrician near you to help you out with more complicated electrical issues at home for safety purposes.

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.