Electrical repairs are services offered by licensed professionals that fix issues with your home’s electrical wiring and devices. These repair services range from a major installation project, like rewiring your home, to changing a faulty outlet.
A constantly tripping breaker may indicate an underlying issue that could lead to a fire hazard, such as overheated or stressed wires. An electrician at Your Home Solutions will assess the situation and provide an estimate for the repair work.
GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are mandatory in areas where the risk of electrical shock is highest. When they sense leaks in the electric current, they immediately cut off power, protecting you from electrocution. But like any electrical device, they can experience problems from time to time. Fortunately, many of these problems are easy for homeowners to fix.
Generally, GFCIs have a test and reset button on the front. If the test button pops out, it means that the outlet has tripped and is shutting off current. Pressing the test and reset buttons can fix this problem, but if the outlet continues to trip, it’s likely time for a new one.
The first step in troubleshooting a GFCI is to find out why it keeps tripping. There are a few reasons it could be doing this, but the most common is that the circuit breaker controlling that area of your house has flipped. Go to your breaker box and look for the GFCI breaker that controls this room or space. Flip it in the opposite direction to restore power, then back in the correct position to test and reset the outlet.
Another reason the GFCI may keep tripping is that the wires connected to it aren’t properly fastened. This can cause a small arc, which the outlet detects as a ground fault. Look at the terminal screws on the GFCI outlet to see how the wires are attached. Black wires should attach to gold screws, and white wires to silver ones. Make sure the screws are securely fastened and that no exposed copper is showing.
If the GFCI still trips, it’s probably past its lifespan and needs to be replaced. You can replace a GFCI outlet yourself if you’re handy with a toolbox and have a good understanding of electrical wiring, but only if you use a three-prong outlet. Outlets with only two slots and a hole have older wiring and should only be replaced by a licensed electrician.
If the GFCI still won’t reset, you will need to remove it from the wall and search for loose connections. Always wear rubber shoes and gloves when working with electricity, and use tools with rubber handles. Once you have killed the power to the outlet by tripping the circuit breaker or fuse, turn off the power and verify with a voltage tester that all of the connections are dead.
Faulty wiring can cause serious damage to your home and lead to a variety of issues. This type of problem is most common in older homes or in houses that have had do-it-yourself repairs and “upgrades” made over time. Often, these are done without regard to electrical codes and safety standards. In many cases, these faulty connections are the source of house fires.
There are a few signs to look for that indicate you may have faulty wiring. One of the most obvious is if the wires are exposed. This could mean that they are frayed or cut, which can be a very dangerous issue. Another sign is if you get shocked when touching an outlet or switch. This means that the connection is not secure and needs to be fixed immediately.
If the outlet or switch feels hot when you touch it, this is a clear sign that the wires are overheating and melting their plastic sheath. This is a major fire hazard and should be dealt with immediately.
You should also regularly check your outlets and switches for loose or cracked plates. Over time, these can become dislodged and cause a short circuit. If you notice this, the first step is to turn off the power to the outlet or switch. Then, you can remove the plate and make sure the wires are connected securely.
In some cases, you can fix a broken wire by using a butt splice connector. This is a small device that connects the two ends of the broken wire and crimps them down, establishing a strong and safe connection. To use this tool, you need a pair of pliers or a crimping tool.
If you cannot repair the broken wire, it is advisable to call in an electrician for help. It is best not to try and do this yourself because of the danger involved in working with electricity.
You can also do a simple DIY repair to your wiring system by using a wire nut or lever connector. This is a great way to prevent a fire in your home and keep yourself and your family safe.
The electricity that runs through your house arrives at your breaker panel or fuse box, which is where it’s divided into circuits. Each breaker in the panel has an ON/OFF switch that controls a specific electrical circuit in your home. If a switch flips to the “off” position, it means that the entire circuit has stopped drawing power and must be reset in order to receive electricity again. Frequent breaker trips are not only annoying, but they can also indicate an electrical issue that is posing a safety hazard.
A common cause of a tripped breaker is that it has been overloaded. This happens when an appliance draws more current than the circuit can handle, causing the breaker to trip. This can be easily fixed by unplugging devices that aren’t in use, especially high-draw appliances like space heaters, toasters, and hair dryers. You can also redistribute the electrical load to other circuits or install dedicated outlets for high-demand appliances.
Another potential problem is a short circuit or ground fault. This is when a hot wire in a circuit touches a neutral wire or a grounded metal component, such as the metallic body of a light fixture or wall switch. This can also trigger a breaker to trip, but in addition to the loss of power, it can also lead to a dangerous spark or the smell of burning wires. This should be inspected and repaired by an electrician as soon as possible, before it can turn into a fire or electrocution hazard.
Lastly, a tripped breaker can be caused by a loose connection or a corroded breaker. It’s important to check for loose connections and make sure that the breaker itself is not corroded or damaged. You may also want to look for signs of a short circuit, such as discolored outlets, melted plastic, or a burning smell.
In any case, a tripped breaker should always be replaced with a new one. If you suspect that the old breaker is not working properly, you should hire an electrician to replace it. In addition to replacing the breaker, an electrician will ensure that all of the electrical wiring in your home is up to code and safe.
A full house rewire is a big job, but it’s often essential in older homes. Most dated wiring wasn’t designed to support the demands of modern appliances and can be a fire risk. It’s worth the investment, as it can save on home insurance and energy bills and improve property value.
If your circuit breaker trips frequently, lights flicker, or you notice burning smells, it could be time for a rewire. These signs are a sign that old wires are becoming a fire hazard and need to be replaced with modern wiring.
One surefire way to tell if your home needs rewiring is by inspecting the cabling. If you see old rubber-insulated cable, fabric-insulated cable, or lead-insulated cable (used until the 1960s) around light fittings or the fuse box, then a rewire is definitely needed. Modern installations are fitted with PVCu-insulated cables in gray or white, and modern consumer units have circuit breakers and residual circuit devices.
Sparking outlets, hot switch plates, and plugs that feel warm to the touch can all indicate faulty wiring that should be repaired immediately by a professional electrician. If left unattended, overheated or frayed wires can cause electrical fires that damage or even destroy your home and endanger the safety of your family.
A full rewire usually involves changing the fuse board to a new consumer unit, installing a fuse board with modern fuses, earthing arrangements, and cross-bonding, and fitting standard sockets and switches. A full house rewire can take up to two days for the first fix, and then another day or more for the second fix to fit light fittings, additional sockets and switches, cookers, extractor hoods, and electric showers.
Rewiring a period property is a complex job that requires specialist knowledge and equipment. It’s important that your electrician is experienced with working on historic buildings and can safely remove, replace, or alter the existing components without causing unnecessary damage or disruption. Rewiring can be a costly project, and you may need to stay with friends or at a hotel while the work is done.