Ten Common Electrical Issues That Residential Electricians Should Know About

Every home has its own electrical system. This includes appliances, wiring, and even computer-related networks. People have become more and more reliant on electricity. This is why when there...
Common Electrical Issues That Residential Electricians Should Know About

Every home has its own electrical system. This includes appliances, wiring, and even computer-related networks. People have become more and more reliant on electricity. This is why when there is an electrical problem, normal routines can be disrupted. People also can’t safely resolve their electrical problems at home by themselves, instead needing to call an electrician.

So if you’re a residential electrician and you’ve been wondering what services you should offer, then this list should be able to help you. Here are the ten most common electrical issues that people face in their homes.

1. Flickering Lights

Issues with the grid can cause lights to flicker. There could be a downed line as well. Even after the bulbs have been changed, if the lights still flicker, then the issue could be due to poor wiring or even a fixture that’s faulty. To fix any of these issues, a residential electrician is needed. You’ll need to diagnose what the problem is, and also safely handle the repair work.

2. Using The Microwave Trips The Circuit Breaker

Homes today need to handle large wattage loads, in order to accommodate modern appliances. A home that’s older, may not be as effective at handling modern wattage loads. When the system is overloaded, this trips the breakers. As a result, certain parts of the home will have limited electrical access. In such cases, an upgrade might be needed, or a circuit will need to be added so that the larger load can be accommodated.

If the client wants a solution that’s budget-friendly, then you can think of adding subpanels. But should you be dealing with a fuse box that’s older and not big enough to meet the needs of modern electrical loads, it might need to be replaced.

3. Plugging In An Appliance Makes The Receptacle Warm

Should a switch that’s dimmer be connected to a bulb of a certain size, then it could get warm. When this happens, an electrician should be called immediately. The client should be advised to not plug anything into the affected receptacle. Meanwhile, you’ll need to check every room for either burn marks or heat marks.

A house fire can be started by wiring or a receptacle that is faulty. A residential electrician can fix this problem, and ensure that the home stays safe.

4. Rising Electrical Bills

As a residential electrician, you’ll be able to help assess how energy efficient a home is. You’ll be able to recommend either replacements or upgrades that can help lower electric bills. When the electrical rates rise, this can increase electric bills. But when electric usage also increases at the same time, the bills can become too high.

Making minor improvements around the home can help people save money when it comes to their electric bills.

5. GFCI Receptacle Not Resetting

These are outlets that help in reducing dangerous situations in homes and are a requirement placed by the nation’s building codes. If after tripping, the GCFI receptacle doesn’t reset, you may need to replace that outlet.

GCFIs are usually found in the bathroom, the kitchen, the laundry room, and also on the exterior of the home. If there’s an outlet that’s near a source of water, as near as four feet or less, then the outlet will need to be rated GCFI. Any outlets present in a garage or situated on the exterior walls will also need to be GCFIs.

Consider investing in insurance for electricians as well. This is because working in people’s homes leaves you exposed to certain risks. The client may not be happy with your work and could end up suing you. When you have insurance for electricians, you are provided with coverage that can help you protect your career and your finances, against most career risks. If you want to learn more about insurance for electricians, then click here.

6. A Switch That’s Three-Way Isn’t Working Properly

Switches that are three-way aren’t uncommon. It enables two switches to control a single fixture. Even if one switch is somehow damaged, the other one will work just fine. A residential electrician should be able to troubleshoot the problem, and may even need to replace the system entirely.

7. Exposed Wires

A lot of people renovate their homes from time to time. They could also participate in projects meant to improve their homes. As a result of such renovations, wires could be left exposed, creating a fire hazard. If there are wires left hanging, or wires lying on the floor, these could also cause accidents like tripping and falling.

Wires need to both be spliced as well as covered. Residential electricians need to know how to deal with messy wires as well, ensuring that they don’t present a risk to the family.

8. Extension Chords And Power Bars

In a modern home, there are multiple locations for outlets. This helps in avoiding a situation where too many appliances are connected to a single extension chord or power bar. A residential electrician will be able to deal with this problem by installing new outlets and also upgrading the electrical panel.

9. Plugs Falling Out Of Outlets

Outlets come with contacts that help hold the prongs in place so that the resulting connection is secure. Anytime plugs are falling out from an outlet, its receptacle may need to be replaced. If the contacts are worn or loose, then this could result in an arc. This would then lead to a house fire, so an electrician should be called as soon as possible.

10. Strange Smell Coming From Receptacle Or Switch

If there’s any kind of strange smell emanating from a switch or a receptacle, then the client should be advised to avoid using it. It needs to immediately be checked by a residential electrician. The odor could be caused by an arcing either in the fixture or the device. If this happens, the switch may need to be replaced. Since arcs have the potential to start a fire, an electrician needs to be called as soon as the issue is spotted.


Offering these electrical services will help you ensure that you get steady work from clients. You can ask your clients for referrals as well, should they know of anyone who might need your services. From faulty wiring to switches that need to be repaired, these were the ten most common electrical issues that are faced by homeowners.

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