7 Hidden Warning Signs Your Home Has Electrical Problems

Electrical problems can be extremely serious. Not only can they start house fires, but they can also pose the risk of electrocution. The worst part is, many early warning signs of serious electrical problems often go undetected or are brushed off as minor inconveniences. In this blog, we’re revealing some hidden signs that you need to call our electrician in Melbourne to fix your home’s dangerous electrical problems.

#1: The lights frequently flicker or dim

Flickering lights aren’t just unsettling. They’re a sign that your wiring may have a loose connection somewhere along the line. Pay attention to which fixtures seem to be affected – a single light isn’t as difficult to fix as a few rooms in the house. Lights that seem too glow too bright or too dim may be signs of voltage fluctuation. In both cases, you will need to call a professional to handle the electrical issue safely.


#2: Defective or loose electrical outlets

If an outlet or switch is defective and only works sometimes (if at all), you should investigate why this is the case. A defective outlet is most likely caused by loose wiring, which of course can present safety hazards if left unchecked.

A loose outlet can be more serious. Eventually, the outlet can loosen itself from its wires, leaving them open. This can easily lead to sparks and a potential fire hazard. You can identify a loose outlet when you plug a cord in, and the insides of the outlet are moving around.


#3: You smell acrid smoke or burning plastic

Pay attention to any unusual odours, especially those that are coming from an outlet. A new appliance can sometimes produce a strange odour, however if the smell is coming from a switch, outlet or panel, this can indicate an electrical emergency. In some cases, the odour may even be from the fire itself! If you do happen to notice an unusual smell, switch off your circuit breaker and call an electrician immediately.


#4: The outlets are hot or buzzing

A switch might become warm every now and then after using an appliance, but if the outlet is uncomfortably hot to touch, there is definitely an electrical problem. The first thing you should do if you notice this sign is unplug anything connected to that outlet. You shouldn’t use it again until a professional has a look at it.

When inspecting an outlet, there are some more indicators of poor electrical work or electrical problems, including:

  • Outlets that emit a faint buzzing or clicking noise when switched on (indicates faulty wiring or a loose connection); and/or
  • Burn marks on outlets (may indicate wire corrosion, excess dust and dirt, or wiring issues).


#5: The circuit breaker or safety switch keeps tripping

Circuit breakers are actually designed to shut off their electrical flow (or ‘trip’) so as to prevent overloading. However, if you find that your circuit breaker is frequently tripping, there’s a good chance you have an overloaded circuit, short circuit or ground fault.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between an overloaded circuit and a faulty appliance. The best way to distinguish between the two is to test the appliance at different outlets. If the appliance consistently trips the circuit breaker no matter where you plug it in, it’s faulty; if the issue seems to only affect one fuse, you’ll know it’s an overloaded circuit.


#6: You suspect rodents have visited

Rodent droppings or nest material near your electrical wiring is an immediate cause for concern. Rats and mice can easily chew through your wires, leaving them exposed. These exposed wires can then spark, overheat and potentially cause a fire. Therefore, it’s important to check your wiring thoroughly to spot any bite marks. Contact an electrician if you happen to notice any.


#7: You notice your cables are poorly organised

While electricians don’t necessarily have to uphold an aesthetic standard when organising cables, extremely messy work can indicate your electrician was either rushing or inexperienced. This is a huge red flag. If you are concerned about the state of your electricals, you should have one of our trusted electricians in Melbourne review your electrical setup for any underlying issues.

Get the help of an experienced electrician in Melbourne

iSpark Electrical Solutions specialises in providing reliable electrical services to residences, businesses and construction professionals. We are committed to delivering the best service possible in ensuring all your electricals are safe to use. Our service areas extend from the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne to the Melbourne CBD.

Are you concerned that your home may have electrical problems? Give us a call on 1300 22 55 88 to speak to an experienced electrician in Melbourne today.