⚡ Fix Your Power Issues with Phyxter Home Services
Power issues in a home can range from a tripped circuit breaker to flickering lights and can be caused by various factors.
In this article, we will explore 7 ways to fix common power issues that homeowners may encounter.
These include checking circuit breakers, inspecting outlets and switches, troubleshooting ground fault circuit interrupters, and replacing faulty light switches or dimmers.
🛑 STOP: However, it is important to note that some power issues may require the help of a professional electrician, so be sure to call one in if needed.
Here are seven ways to get your power back on track:
⚡ 1. Check The Circuit Breaker and Wiring
The circuit breaker is an important safety feature in your home’s electrical system that is designed to protect against power overloads and short circuits.
When the circuit breaker trips, it cuts off the power to the affected circuit to prevent damage to your electrical system and appliances.
You will need to locate the main electrical panel to check the circuit breaker.
This is typically located in a utility room, basement, or garage and may be labeled as the “Electrical Service Panel” or “Circuit Breaker Panel.”
Once you have located the panel, you need to open it up to reveal the circuit breakers.
The breakers will be arranged in rows or columns, and each one will have a switch that can be either on or off.
To reset a tripped breaker, turn off any appliances or lights in the affected circuit, locate the tripped breaker, and switch it to the off position.
Wait a few seconds, then switch it back to the on position.
This should reset the breaker and restore power to the affected circuit.
It’s important to note that if the circuit breaker trips again after resetting, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed, such as an overloaded circuit or a faulty appliance.
In this case, it’s recommended to call a professional electrician for help.
⚡ 2. Check Your Outlets and Switches
Another common cause of power issues in the home is damaged or loose connections in the outlets and switches.
Over time, outlets and switches can become loose, corroded, or damaged, leading to power outages or electrical fires.
To inspect your outlets and switches, start by turning off the power to the affected circuit at the main electrical panel.
Next, remove the cover plates from the outlet or switch and visually inspect them for any damage, such as cracked or broken plastic, corrosion, or loose connections.
You will need to repair or replace the affected component if you find any damage or a loose connection.
To replace any of these electrical fixtures, you will need to turn off the power to the circuit, remove the wires from the old fixture, and attach them to the new one.
Be sure to use the correct wire connections and screws and ensure the wires are securely attached.
If you are not comfortable working with electricity, it is best to call a professional electrician for help.
If some of your electrical sockets have stopped working, but others are still working, it could indicate that the socket is faulty, not the switch or the circuit breaker.
Ensure you inspect and test the outlet before deciding to replace it.
Sometimes, as explained by experienced electricians from Finnley Electrical, when there’s a power outage, it’s not just one outlet or breaker that’s tripped; it’s the entire system.
In this case, you’ll need to call a professional to come and fix the problem.
⚡ 3. Check for Overloaded Circuits
An electrical overload occurs when too many appliances or devices are connected to a single circuit, causing the circuit to draw more current than it is designed to handle.
This can lead to power outages, circuit breaker trips, and even electrical fires.
The first step to dealing with an overload is to identify which circuit is overloaded.
This can often be done by monitoring the current usage of each circuit using a circuit analyzer or power monitor.
Once the overloaded circuit has been identified, there are several steps you can take to deal with the overload:
- Unplug appliances or devices: Unplugging some appliances or devices connected to the overloaded circuit can help reduce the current draw and prevent further overloads.
- Spread the load: redistribute the appliances or devices connected to the overloaded circuit by connecting some of them to other circuits in your home.
- Upgrade your electrical service: If you find that you are frequently experiencing overloads, it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical service to a higher capacity.
- Add a new circuit: if the overload is caused by a specific room or area of the house, adding a new circuit for that area can help alleviate the overload.
To prevent overloads, it’s important to be aware of the maximum current rating of each circuit in your home and not exceed this rating.
It’s also a good idea to regularly check your circuits for overloading, especially during peak usage times, and make adjustments as necessary.
⚡ 4. Check Your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, are electrical safety devices designed to protect against electrical shocks caused by ground faults.
GFCIs are typically installed in areas where water is present, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas, and can be identified by the “test” and “reset” buttons on the outlet or switch.
To check for GFCIs, look for electrical outlets with the “test” and “reset” buttons.
Once you have located a GFCI, you can test it by pushing the “test” button.
This should cause the “reset” button to pop out, indicating that the GFCI is working properly.
If the “reset” button does not pop out, the GFCI may be faulty and needs to be replaced.
To reset a tripped GFCI, simply push the “reset” button.
If the GFCI trips again after resetting, it may indicate an underlying issue, such as a ground fault or an electrical problem in the circuit.
In this case, it’s recommended to call a professional electrician for help.
GFCIs are an important safety feature in any home and are required by the National Electric Code in certain areas, so it’s important to check them regularly and replace faulty ones.
GFCIs are not just used for plug sockets but also circuit breakers in the main panel.
Those are called GFCI breakers and are used to protect many outlets in a circuit.
⚡ 5. Check for Voltage Sags and Spikes
Voltage sags and spikes refer to temporary drops or increases in the electrical voltage supplied to your home.
These can cause damage to appliances and even shorten their lifespan.
To deal with voltage sags and spikes, the first step is to identify the cause of the problem.
This can often be done by monitoring the voltage level using a voltage meter or power monitor.
Common causes of voltage sags and spikes include power outages, high demand on the electrical grid, and problems with the electrical service or equipment in your home.
Once the cause of the problem has been identified, there are several steps you can take to deal with voltage sags and spikes:
- Use a surge protector: A surge protector can help protect your appliances and devices from voltage spikes by diverting the excess voltage away from them.
- Unplug appliances during outages: During a power outage, unplugging appliances can help prevent damage from voltage spikes when power is restored.
- Install a voltage stabilizer: A voltage stabilizer (also called an automatic voltage regulator (AVR)) can help regulate the voltage supplied to your home and reduce the effects of voltage sags and spikes.
- Install an uninterruptible power supply (UPS): A UPS is great at providing temporary power in case of an outage or sag in the electricity.
It’s important to be aware of the signs of voltage sags and spikes, such as flickering lights or appliances that shut off or malfunction, and take steps to protect your home and appliances from damage.
⚡ 6. Identifying and Fixing a Bad Neutral Connection
A bad neutral connection is a problem that occurs when the neutral wire in an electrical circuit becomes loose or damaged.
This can cause the circuit to become overloaded and lead to various power problems.
To identify a bad neutral connection, you can look for certain signs, such as flickering lights, buzzing or humming sounds coming from appliances, or a burning smell.
You can also check the circuit breaker. If it’s tripping repeatedly, it could indicate a problem with the neutral wire.
Once you have identified a bad neutral connection, fixing it as soon as possible is important to prevent further damage.
🛑 STOP: This should be done by a qualified electrician because it requires working with live wires.
The electrician will first shut off the power to the affected circuit to fix a bad neutral connection.
Then they will use a multimeter to check the continuity of the neutral wire.
If they find a bad connection, they will then clean and tighten the wire connections or replace any damaged wires.
It’s important to note that a bad neutral connection can be caused by various factors, such as corrosion, loose connections, or damage to the wiring.
So it’s important to address the root cause of the problem to prevent it from happening again.
Bad neutral connections are a serious issue in your home.
It’s important to be aware of the signs and to address the issue promptly and safely by calling a professional electrician.
⚡ 7. Call an Electrician
If none of these tips have worked, you will probably need to call an electrician.
There might be a problem with your wiring that only a professional can fix.
Electricians have the knowledge and tools to properly diagnose and fix any electrical problems that you might have.
They can also help you install a new circuit breaker or voltage regulator if needed.
So if you’re having problems with your power, don’t hesitate to call an electrician.
They can help you get your power back up and running in no time.
As you can see, fixing your power problems can be a bit tricky.
But if you follow these seven tips, you should be able to get your power back up and running in no time.
Just remember to be patient and to take your time.
If you still have problems, don’t hesitate to call a professional like Phyxter Electrical Services.
Check out our electrical services page and see if we service your area.
We can help you with whatever power issue you may be facing.
Want to learn more about your home’s electrical system? Feel free to check out our other electrical articles.