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In this blog post, you’ll learn 15 signs you need to call an electrician. Regardless of how advanced or new it may be, an electrical system is never immune to wear and tear. Like all other systems in a home or building, it requires regular maintenance and repairs to guarantee efficiency, safety, and functionality.
However, many people tend to overlook the signs that indicate when an electrician should be called. Ignoring these warning signs will likely lead to costly damages and dangerous scenarios.
Two out of five property owners in North America have never called an electrician to their property despite experiencing electrical issues. Electrical problems aren’t meant to be taken lightly and must be addressed ASAP.

Why Call An Electrician?

When it comes to electrical repairs or installations, opting for a professional electrician over a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach is crucial for several reasons.
First, safety is the biggest concern. Electrical work poses significant risks, including electric shock, fires, and other hazards that can result in serious injury or death. Professional electricians possess the necessary training, experience, and equipment to perform tasks safely and effectively, minimizing risks.
Second, compliance with local building codes and regulations is essential. Electricians are knowledgeable about these requirements and ensure that all work is compliant, avoiding potential legal and financial penalties.
Moreover, complex electrical systems require a level of expertise and precision that only professionals can guarantee, ensuring that the work is done correctly and efficiently, reducing the likelihood of future problems.
In contrast, DIY electrical projects can lead to faulty wiring, inefficiencies, and even necessitate costly repairs down the line. Therefore, hiring a professional electrician like Gladiator Electric is a wise investment in safety, compliance, and quality. While we don’t like to brag, we are good at our jobs and with over 500 5-star reviews, to back up our word.
However, without further ado, here are 15 signs that require an electrician’s attention:

1 – Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips

Circuit breakers are built and meant to protect your home by stopping the electrical flow whenever the system is overloaded or at risk of damage. If you’re experiencing frequent tripping, it’s a clear signal that the electrical demand within your home exceeds what your system can safely handle. This could be due to various reasons, such as too many high-power devices running simultaneously, faulty appliances drawing too much power, or deeper issues within the home’s electrical wiring.
Ignoring this issue and simply resetting the breaker each time it trips is like placing a band-aid on a wound needing stitches – it temporarily covers the problem but doesn’t address the underlying issue. Continuous tripping can cause wear and tear on the circuit breaker, potentially leading to its failure and compounding the risk of electrical fires due to overheating wires or overloaded systems. Consulting an electrician to diagnose and fix the root cause of the frequent tripping makes the most sense for the safety and efficiency of your home’s electrical system.

2 – Flickering or Dimming Lights

Lights that flicker or dim without a clear explanation, i.e., due to a storm or power outage, could signal an issue within your electrical system. This could be due to faulty wiring, an overloaded circuit, or undetected loose connections. You never want to ignore this warning sign; consult an electrician to assess and address the issue. It could also indicate an outdated or inadequate electrical system that requires upgrading to handle your home’s electricity demands.
This issue may be common, but it doesn’t mean it should be ignored. It’s best to have an electrician inspect and diagnose the problem before it escalates into a more serious issue.

3 – Burning Smell

Electrical wiring issues may produce a noticeable burning smell, which should never be ignored. This indicates overheating wires, faulty outlets, or other electrical components that need immediate attention. Unattended electrical issues are a leading cause of house fires, making it crucial to call an electrician as soon as possible. The burning smell is, without a doubt, an urgent warning sign that your electrical system needs immediate attention.

4 – Hot Outlets or Switches

Outlets and switches should never feel hot to the touch. If you notice any heat emanating from these electrical components, it may be from loose connections, faulty wiring, or overloaded circuits. These issues can lead to fires if not addressed promptly. The electrical contractor’s job is to assess and repair the issue, ensuring you don’t put your home at risk.
An overloaded circuit could cause more than just a hot outlet or switch; it also indicates that your electrical system needs to be updated to handle your home’s electricity needs.

5 – Buzzing or Humming Noises

Electrical components should not make any noise. If you hear buzzing or humming sounds from outlets, switches, or other electrical equipment, it’s usually an issue with the wiring, faulty connections, or overloaded circuits. As mentioned, these issues can lead to dangerous consequences if not addressed promptly. An electrician should be called to diagnose and repair the issue.

6 – Sparks or Smoke

If you ever see sparks coming from an outlet or switch, immediately turn off your electrical system and call an electrician. This warning sign indicates a faulty wiring or overloaded circuit that could cause a fire. Similarly, if you see any smoke coming from your electrical system or appliance, turn off the power and call an electrician immediately. Do not attempt to address these issues yourself, as it could be dangerous.

7 – Discoloured Outlets or Switches

Outlets or discoloured switches are also warning signs of underlying electrical problems. The discoloration could be due to overheating wires or faulty components, which can be dangerous if not addressed.
You need an electrician to figure out what is causing discoloration and take the necessary steps to fix it. For example, replacing old, outdated outlets and switches with new ones can prevent further damage.

8 – Frequent Bulb Replacement

Constantly replacing light bulbs could indicate an underlying electrical issue. There may be a loose connection or faulty wiring that is causing the bulbs to burn out quickly. Consult an electrician to inspect and repair potential issues with your home’s electrical system.
It’s never a normal occurrence for a bulb to be constantly replaced. It’s an issue that requires professional attention to prevent further damage or safety hazards. The issue may be as simple as a loose connection, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have an electrician address it.

9 – Warm or Vibrating Switches

A switch should never feel warm or vibrate. If you notice this warning sign, faulty wiring or overloaded circuits could be behind the issue. Electricians are best suited to diagnose and fix these issues, ensuring the safety and efficiency of your electrical system.
There could also be a risk of electric shock if you touch a warm or vibrating switch. There’ve been countless cases in which individuals have been electrocuted because they felt like a vibrating switch wasn’t a big deal. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way; contact an electrician if you notice this warning sign.

10 – Moisture or Water Around Electrical Components

If you notice moisture or water around outlets, switches, or other electrical components, it usually affects your home’s wiring and poses an electrical shock hazard. Water and electricity do not mix well, and everyone knows it. The reason is that water conducts electricity. A quick phone call to an electrical contractor will provide you with the necessary repairs to prevent any further damage. More importantly, it will keep you and your loved ones safe from potential electrocution.

11 – Deterioration Near or Around the Service Panel

Deterioration near or around the service panel is often a result of age, environmental factors, or improper installation. This can manifest in several ways, such as rusting due to moisture exposure, physical damage from external impact, or wear and tear over time. These issues will likely compromise the structural integrity and functionality of the service panel, leading to potential safety hazards.

There are two main types of deterioration to be aware of:
• Physical deterioration includes visible damage like cracks, dents, or structural compromise. Physical deterioration can affect the panel’s ability to protect the electrical components within it, leading to a higher risk of short circuits or electrical fires.
• Exposure to moisture, extreme temperatures, or corrosive substances often causes environmental deterioration. Over time, such exposure can lead to rusting or corrosion, undermining the electrical panel’s effectiveness and safety.
Addressing deterioration near or around the service panel requires the expertise of a professional electrician since it involves working directly with the home’s electrical system, which is already dangerous without proper knowledge and precautions.

12 – No GFCI Outlets at Home

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are foremost safety features that protect you and your loved ones from electrical shocks. They have a built-in sensor to detect ground faults and immediately shut off the power supply to prevent electrocution.
If your home doesn’t have GFCI outlets, installing them in moist areas, i.e., kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor outlets, makes sense. A licensed electrician can easily install GFCI outlets in your home to ensure your and your family’s safety.

13 – Your Heater or AC Turns on and Off Randomly

If the heating or cooling system turns on and off randomly, it only means there’s a lingering issue in the electrical system. It can be attributed to faulty wiring or loose connections in the thermostat that controls the system.
An electrician will inspect and repair any issues with your HVAC system’s thermostat or other electrical components. Addressing these issues promptly is the key, as they can lead to an uncomfortable living environment and even higher energy bills.

14 – Moving Into a Very Old Home

Older homes have a charm but often have outdated and potentially hazardous electrical systems. If you’re moving into an old house or planning to remodel one, consulting an electrician makes perfect sense to ensure the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical system.
An electrician inspects your home’s wiring, outlets, switches, and other components to identify hazards and recommend repairs or upgrades. This is especially crucial if you add new appliances or electronics to your home, as older wiring may not handle the increased demand.

15 – Converting into A Smart Home

Converting your home into a smart home involves installing new gadgets and devices. It also means integrating them into your existing electrical system, which can be complex and dangerous if not done correctly.
To safely convert your home into a smart one, it is best to consult an electrician who will be there to guarantee the proper installation of these devices and prevent anything that may put your home at risk. They likewise can advise you on the best practices for maintaining and operating these devices to maximize their efficiency and lifespan.

Final Thoughts About Calling An Electrician

Understanding the importance of entrusting electrical work to reputable and licensed electricians like Gladiator Electric cannot be overstated. Entrusting your home’s electrical needs to anyone less qualified endangers the safety of your dwelling and its inhabitants and risks violating local codes that can have legal and financial repercussions. Reputable electricians possess the necessary education, experience, and licensing to ensure that all work meets the highest safety and quality standards. Give Gladiator Electric a call or fill out our online form HERE.