It's important for every homeowner to take an interest in his or her home's electrical system. You don't need to worry about trying to fix problems on your own – there are plenty of electricians available. Rather, it's beneficial to simply be cognizant of any potential problems in the home so that you can have them addressed by a professional in a timely manner. You don't want to leave electrical problems unattended; it can be easy for minor things to worsen to the point at which they can electrocute you or start a fire. Here are three electrical problems to be on the lookout for.
Burning Smell From A Wall Outlet
No one is suggesting that you should drop to your knees and begin sniffing the wall outlets throughout your home, but it's valuable to at least be aware of any smells that might be emanating from your outlets. Be especially concerned about burning smells – they're indicative of a problem with the wiring or an arcing problem; the latter means that current is leaping where it shouldn't, which could be the drywall or the wooden stud adjacent to the outlet. If you're aware of a burning smell, discontinue your use of the outlet and arrange for an electrician to visit your home as soon as possible.
Humming Or Buzzing From Fixtures
Be vigilant about noticing if there are any unnatural sounds coming from the electrical fixtures throughout your home. These concerning sounds are often symptomatic of arcing. Anytime you're facing a problem with arcing, there's a risk of the uncontrolled current in the fixture starting a fire. Once you've identified a fixture that hums or buzzes, it's best to stop using it until your electrician can investigate the problem and either fix any apparent wiring issue or replace the problematic fixture entirely.
GFCI Won't Reset
The ground fault circuit interrupter outlet located in your bathroom, near your kitchen sink and other places where an electrical device's contact with water is a concern is designed to shut off when water is present. After the outlet clicks off to kill the current, you simply press the "Reset" button to allow the flow of current again. If you've encountered an issue in which the GFCI outlet has tripped but you're unable to reset it, you either won't have power or you're dealing with a faulty, unpredictable outlet. In either case, it's important to cease using the outlet and arrange for your electrician to replace it.
For more information, contact a professional like JF Electrical Contractors, Inc.