When troubleshooting electrical problems in your home, determining when you need to simply change a faulty light bulb or to call in an electrician can be less frustrating if you have a basic understanding of the residential electrical system. When you need a qualified electrician you can depend on, contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL.
Residential Electrical System
The power company supplies electricity through your service to the home’s electrical panel, and on to the home’s electrical circuits and back. There are numerous connections along the circuits that can be disrupted or malfunction.
The Power Company
Your power company and its distribution system deliver power from the generating plant through power lines, switches and transformers to the point of connection at your home.
The generating plant, and its distribution system itself, can have issues that can affect your home’s electrical supply and the electrical components in your home. However, the residential electrical system has built-in safety features to stop excessive voltage that is effective up to a point.
Unfortunately, specific conditions may allow excessive voltage to come through the residential electrical system and possibly cause damage. Examples include faulty connections, broken power lines, lightning, and excessive surges within the power company’s distribution system. While most surges seldom cause an immediate problem, large surges with the ability to melt the wire’s insulation, damage appliances and electrical components can and do sometimes occur.
Home electronic equipment is especially sensitive to power surges, and is the reason the use of surge protectors has become a common practice. However, some surges are difficult to protect against, and can be similar to lightning strikes in their effects. In addition, extreme surges and lightning can cause serious electrical hazards in the home. When they occur, your home’s wiring and other electrical components should be inspected to ensure conditions are not present that could start a house fire. Contact Mister Sparky’s skilled electricians in Huntsville, AL to ensure the safety of your home’s electrical system after surges and lightning strikes.
The Main Electrical Panel
Your home’s electrical panel (or fusebox) directs electricity throughout your home by way of a number of separate circuits. Each circuit begins from its own circuit breaker (or fuse) on one wire and returns to another connection in the panel by means of an additional wire. Furthermore, the breaker (or fuse) will interrupt the current (the flow of electricity) if it approaches a dangerous level.
A typical electrical panel contains a main breaker that can shut off power to most or all the circuits. However, in some homes a main breaker may be located in a separate electrical panel near the power meter. As with any breaker, the main breaker can fail, disrupting some or all the power in your home. If you are having electrical problems, contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for repair.
A circuit is the path electricity makes to an electrical source. For example, a single circuit may supply power to all the outlets and lighting in a room. Exceptions apply as required by Code. For example, code requires a dedicated circuit for each large appliance such as the electric range, electric water heater, air conditioner, or electric dryer. These items will have two joined breakers to use 240 volts rather than the 120 volts used by most other electrical sources.
When you consider the number of locations served on the typical 120-volt circuit, there are numerous places where problems may occur – from the circuit breaker and its connections, through a number of connections at outlets, switches and devices.
The electrical panel should clearly label the outlets, lighting, and appliances it serves. For example, if a circuit breaker serves the living room and hall lights, the breaker should be labeled ‘living room and hall lights’.
When circuit breakers repeatedly trip, it can indicate a problem. While it is possible the breaker has gone bad, it is more likely that the circuit is overloaded. For example, you may be able to operate the microwave and toaster oven at the same time, but if you turn on a third small appliance, the circuit breaker trips. This is an indication of overload, where the demand for electricity exceeds the ability of the circuit. It is a protective mechanism designed to prevent continued overload and the possibility of damage and/or a fire. Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL can provide a code approved solution to safely ensure you have the needed electrical service.
Unfortunately, homeowner’s sometimes try to correct the issue by installing a higher amp circuit breaker. Replacing a circuit breaker with a higher amperage breaker is dangerous. The wire may not be sufficient to carry the increased voltage and could result in a fire. Trust our electricians in Huntsville, AL to provide you with a safe solution that meets or exceeds the industry code requirements.
If lights flicker, it may indicate a dangerous condition in your home, which could result in a house fire. Check the light bulbs as instructed in the following, and contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for diagnosis and repair if the flickering continues.
A Flickering Light Bulb
When the problem is limited to a single light bulb, check to ensure the bulb is fully screwed in. If the bulb is secure then it is likely a faulty bulb. Replacement of the bulb should correct the problem.
Flickering of All Lights
If all of the lights frequently flicker in a single room, area or the entire home, contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for electrical repair.
It is common for the lights dim when appliances, such as the air conditioner kick on.
Electricity and House Fires
Problems in the home’s electrical system may result in a house fire. The following are additional signs of electrical problems. Contact Mister Sparky’s licensed electricians in Huntsville, AL for reliable repair of your home’s electrical system.
• Frequently tripped breakers or blown fuses
• Heat discolored or outlets with char/scorch marks, warm or sparking outlets
• A burning wire odor
• Crackling, sizzling, or buzzing noises coming from outlets, switches, or lighting
Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL will provide the professional electrical repair you need for your residential electrical system. If you are experiencing electrical problems, schedule service with our licensed electricians today. Mister Sparky’s experienced electricians in Huntsville, AL serve the North Alabama region, providing commercial and home electrical repair. Mister Sparky is a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.