Is Your Electrical System Deficient?

As time has gone by, our dependence on electricity has increased. More and more of our devices have begun to depend on electricity, and those that did use electricity before, despite the fact that they are more efficient, actually use more energy than they once did simply because they offer better performance. As a result, the electrical systems that were built into our homes might not be good enough to meet our needs, especially in older homes which were built up to completely different standards.

If your home is 40 years old or more, there’s a realistic chance that your electrical system is deficient in some way. In most cases, this simply means you should consider having your system upgraded somewhat soon. In other cases, this means that you could be at risk for some serious problems. Check out our blog to learn about a few signs that your aging electrical system may actually be deficient.

Flickering Lights

The first sign of a deficient electrical system is one that you might not even think about: flickering lights. Do you notice that the lights in your home seem to flicker in brightness for seemingly no reason? Do you notice a definitive change in brightness when you turn on a high-energy appliance, like a vacuum cleaner or your air conditioner? These are all signs that your electrical system does not have the amperage capacity to properly supply your entire home. As more and more current is pulled into high-consumption devices, the amount of current going to other devices dips. With lightbulbs, this is noticeable as the brightness level decreases. If the light level continues to flicker, this is a sign of instability usually caused by either worn-out circuit breakers, deficient wiring, or a number of other potential problems.

In any case, we recommend having your electrical system inspected as soon as possible if you notice that your lights are flickering in your home, particularly older incandescent style bulbs, as these are far more susceptible to drops in voltage and current.

Breakers That Frequently Trip

Circuit breakers are a great indicator as to whether or not your electrical system is able to meet your needs. A circuit breaker is an important safety device that closely monitors the amount of current flowing through an electrical circuit. If that current exceeds the breaker’s capacity, the breaker trips and shuts off, breaking the circuit and shutting off the electrical flow, thus preventing a ton of potential problems. However, breakers can and do wear out over time, and when they do, they can’t keep you protected. This leaves you vulnerable to a ton of problems as well as potentially dangerous conditions. If you find that plugging in a few different devices in the same room causes the breaker to trip, there’s a chance that your electrical system could be deficient.

Outlets Spark When Things Are Plugged In

When you plug something into an outlet, you might notice a small spark as the leads make contact with the plug itself. While this isn’t uncommon, it isn’t something that should be accepted as normal. This sparking could mean one of several different things, such as a worn-out outlet or aging wiring. However, they all indicate a potential deficiency in your electrical system. These sparks are known as “arcing” and arcing usually means that any anti-arc safety measures you have in place, such as arc-fault circuit interrupters, might not be working as they should. We strongly recommend having this problem investigated. In a best-case scenario, replacing the worn-out outlet will solve the problem. In some more serious circumstances, you may need to have part of your home’s wiring replaced.

Is your electrical system showing signs of wear or deficiency? Call A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical at (503) 694-3396 now to request a service appointment.