Electrical problems in your home are not only an inconvenience, they can create fire hazards. Electrical problems should be dealt with immediately, and here are some of the most common issues you should be aware of.
Poor Electrical Connections
Poor connections are often seen through flickering lights, and the best way to unravel the problem is to note which lights are affected. Poor connections in one room is a job you may be able to handle yourself, as they are likely caused by a bad or loose switch. When all the lights in the house flicker it is time to contact a professional, as there may be a problem in the panel or the area where utility line drops into the house.
If an outlet does not hold a plug properly and is discolored, it has likely worn out and gone dead. These outlets must be replaced. If outlets are bad for reasons you can't identify, there may be a larger problem with a tripped GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet. When these outlets trip they also affect any circuits connected to their load terminals. If you can find the tripped outlet, you can reset it to restore power to the others that were affected.
Your sensitive electronic equipment can suffer serious damage due to power surges, which can be caused when you turn off an appliance that uses a lot of electricity, such as an air conditioner. You should install plug-in surge protectors and hire a professional to install a panel-mounted surge suppressor. It also a good idea to plug your electronic equipment into circuits that do not also provide power to your large appliances.
Circuit Breaker Trips
You should always take circuit breaker trips seriously as these breakers help prevent electrocutions and fires. You may have a bad circuit or a loose connection, evidenced by blackening around an outlet or switch.