Faulty or outdated home electrical wiring can be one of the most dangerous issues your home can encounter. Bad electrical wiring is responsible for tens of thousands of house fires every year, and hundreds of deaths. If you think your home needs its wiring replace, then it's time to call a professional electrician like the ones at ARS/Rescue Rooter.
Serious wiring problems
The most serious causes of a major wiring issue are ground faults and short circuits. These are much more difficult to diagnose and require a professional.
A short circuit occurs when the live or "hot" wire comes in contact with the neutral wire, or otherwise comes in contact with a sudden lack of electrical resistance. This causes a massive amount of power to flow somewhere that isn't designed to handle it, causing the circuit breaker to trip. This can also lead to arcing or a lot of energy in a place it shouldn't be, which can cause fires.
A ground fault is when the hot wire comes in contact with a ground wire or other ground part of a system like metal housing. This is technically a type of short circuit, though electricians often treat them differently. Ground faults can cause painful and dangerous electric shocks when you come in contact with what is supposed to be a safe part of an electrical system.
These issues aren't specific to the circuits in your house, and can often be the causes of electrical failures or shocks in other systems as well like appliances and computers. A ground fault or short circuit in your home, however, can lead to major issues including fires. They require a skilled electrician to diagnose and repair.
Signs of faulty wiring
If you encounter any of the following, your wiring may be faulty and you need to shut off power to this area of your house and call a skilled electrician like those at ARS/Rescue Rooter.
• Burnt outlets, strange smells
Visual and olfactory clues of burning can indicate a serious wiring problem in dire need of repair. Electrical arcing, like miniature lightning, happens when the voltage difference between the live or "hot" wire in your home jumps to a lower voltage or lower resistance area where it doesn't belong, and this much energy somewhere that can't handle it can cause fires. Signs of burning like scorched outlets, smoke, or burning smells are very serious.
• Strange sounds and warm outlets
If your wall or outlet is vibrating or making vibrating sounds, this can be a sign of a major issue. Buzzing, popping, vibrating, and extra warmth can be a sign of electricity being somewhere it doesn't belong. You should shut off the circuit breaker switch to the affected area immediately and call an electrician.
• Rodents, frayed wires
If you hear scurrying in the walls or attic or find rodent fecal matter, it may be worth calling an electrician. Rodents love to chew electrical wiring, not something we recommend you try, and damage to wires can lead to serious problems. Rodents aren't the only cause. Screws and nails from hanging art, shelves, or a wall-mounted TV can also damage wiring.
Electrical issues can be urgent and should not be put off. If you run into any of these issues, we recommend calling your local ARS/Rescue Rooter electrician to diagnose and repair your home's wiring.