How do you know when it’s time to call an electrician? Here are some of the more common issues that require an electrician:

Safety First

We depend on electricity to power our homes, devices, and even vehicles—but it is very dangerous if you come in contact with it. Don’t risk your safety by going near a live wire without the proper experience and protective equipment. You know your home needs an electrician when human hands might come into contact with open wiring. There is a real danger in handling electricity, and an experienced electrician should be consulted to help you handle it safely.

Older Homes

Houses older than 50-years-old usually contain more electrical concerns than newer homes do, which therefore require updates to dated wiring. Century homes often fall behind the most recent regulations, making professional assistance all the more important. Whether it’s for safety, convenience, or raising the value of your home, it’s important to bring your home up to today’s standards.

Circuit Breakers Trip Frequently

If your circuit breaker trips occasionally, the circuit is probably overloaded and the breaker is doing what it is designed to do and no damage is done. Circuit breakers can trip when you add extra load to the circuit by plugging in more appliances at the same time or because modern-day products consume more power. A good remedy would be to try and add an additional circuit to support the additional load.

If your circuit breaker will not reset and continuously trips, you may have a short circuit. This condition is a result of conductors coming in contact with ground or a device has failed and something internal has come in contact with ground. The circuit breaker is also doing what it is supposed to and the problem will have to be cleared before the circuit can go back into service. With the proper testing equipment, an electrician can find the problem and in most cases correct it quickly.

Out-dated Electrical Outlets

Older homes may also have outlets that simply don’t work with appliances that have modern three-pronged cord ends. This might not be a problem if your TV and sound system are older and have 2 prong plus, but modern televisions, computers, and appliances need grounded outlets.

The third prong that is missing is the grounding terminal. Changing the receptacle to a 3-prong outlet is only possible if there is a grounding conductor included in the circuit. If not, there is the option to install a ground fault circuit interrupter where you require a 3-prong outlet. Your electrician can advise you of your options depending on the circumstances at hand. Safety is the first priority.

Warm Or Hot Electrical Outlets

If your outlets feel warm or hot to the touch, there is probably a loose connection at the terminals of the device or there is too much plugged into the device and it is drawing too much current. Overheating can be a concern for fires or damage to electrical wiring and equipment. The cooler your electrical system runs the more efficient it is.

Unsafe Electrical Outlets Near Water

Did you know that outlets near sinks, washbasins or bathtubs need to be protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)? They’re necessary in most kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors. The good news is that these can be installed easily and inexpensively. A single GFCI can run for under $20, and installation can be quick in the hands of a professional. An experienced, licensed electrical contractor in Kitchener can tell you exactly where these need to be installed.

Do-It-Yourself Projects Gone Wrong

Most homeowners want to fix small problems on their own to save money or are interested in the task. Some people have enough experience to make short-term fixes, but these often leave the home prone to code violations or faulty insulation. In openly visible areas, do-it-yourself jobs tend to become eyesores as well. While interior decor might not matter in the garage, it probably does matter in your living room or kitchen. A professional electrician in Kitchener needs to seamlessly integrate these projects into your home.

Also consider the specialized tools needed to complete electrical projects. While that single GFCI retrofit might only cost $25, more complex jobs will require tools that are far out of the average homeowner’s budget—to say nothing of experience in practicing safety. Beyond that, you’ll probably need a license or electrical permit to work on your own home. These cost money and time to acquire, further driving up the price of do-it-yourself projects. Hiring a professional is a wise investment.

To make your home in the Kitchener-Waterloo area safe, code-compliant, and valuable again, call us at Tri-City Electrical. We look forward to the opportunity to help make your home or project as safe and seamless as possible, meeting your budget, needs, and schedule.