The average homeowner can perform a wide range of jobs around the house on his or her own, but it's highly important to avoid performing electrical repair work unless you're absolutely clear what you're doing. In most cases, it's a better solution to find a local electrician who can visit your home and take care of the problem safely. You can't risk an injury to you or a family member or even a house fire because you tried to fix the problem without the right expertise. Here are three clues you might notice around the house that should require the attention of a professional.
Lights That Flicker
If you experience a brief flickering or dimming of any of the lights in your home when you turn on an electrical product such as a blender or a vacuum cleaner, it's more than just a simple annoyance. Flickering lights are indicative of a problem with the circuit that supplies power to the wall outlet in question. In some cases, the flickering issue is due to the circuit not being correctly wired or not being strong enough to support your devices – hence the brief flickering when you plug something else in. Your electrical contractor will assess the strength of the circuit and upgrade it to make flickering lights a thing of the past.
In the electrical world, the term "octopus" describes the use of multiple cords and extension cords all drawing power from a single wall outlet. This issue looks messy, but the real issue is more than just a visual concern. Octopus connections can overload the circuit and cause your breaker to switch off. Another concern is that excessive use of cords can often increase the risk of a fire in your home because of the chance of overheating. It's important to call an electrician to fix this issue. He or she will upgrade your circuit panel and install additional wall outlets to help you limit your use of excess cords.
Lack Of GFCI Outlets In Washrooms
The wall outlets around your washroom sink should be of the ground fault connection interrupter, or GFCI, variety. These outlets are visibly different because they have a pair of buttons, labeled "Test" and "Reset," in the center of the outlet. GFCIs are built to quickly kill the electrical current upon coming in contact with moisture. This means that if you drop your curling iron in the sink, the outlet will shut off the power before you get shocked. If the outlets next to your sink aren't of the GFCI variety, your electrical contractor will perform this job to increase your safety at home.
For a local electrician, contact a company such as E.J. Gray Electric.