Below are some of the most common electrical problems that happen in the wiring system of homes in Ottawa.
Problems With Light Bulbs and Fixtures
Light bulbs are burning out at a high rate. There can be various reasons for this, depending especially on how widespread the problem is in your home and whether the bulbs you buy are ideal for your situation.
Some lights are flickering or blinking. This represents a Poor connection somewhere along the circuit. If the blink happens through much of the home, a Main wireconnection could be the one having the trouble.
A recessed light (flush to the ceiling) goes off sometimes and later works again. This is probably its built-in safety “cutout” keeping the light from overheating. It is telling you that the wrong style or wattage of bulb is being used or that ceiling-space insulation is too close around the light.
Dead Outlet Problems
Half of an outlet works, but the other half doesn’t always work. Even after years in your home, you may not be aware that one half may be energized by a wall switch. The other common cause is that use over time has loosened the hold that one half has on the cords you plug into it.
Outlets have gone dead in bathrooms, garage, kitchen, or outdoors. The outlets in these particular areas have been required since the ’70s or ’80s to go dead by means of a Ground-fault interrupter (“GFI” or “GFCI”), when it senses a problem that might shock you. That one of these devices has tripped off is the most common reason those outlets go dead.
A circuit breaker or outlet has tripped off and won’t reset. Don’t be tempted too easily to blame the breaker or GFI. It is probably responding to a condition elsewhere on the circuit it is protecting.
A circuit breaker often trips when the microwave or a hair dryer is used. If the tripping is not immediate, these high-wattage items (when running along with a few lights for awhile) are probably too much for the circuit. If these “overloads” can’t be avoided by limiting the use of other things on the circuit, a new separate circuit for the heavy item is the only solution. Many hair dryers, however, have a lower-watt setting on them; using that might help.
Common Electrical Problems With Switches
A wall switch gets rather warm. Dimming switches do this — it is normal for them when running 600 watts worth of bulbs (or less). Heat at a receptacle is another matter; a connection there needs immediate improvement.
Two switches are supposed to control a set of lights but don’t always work right.Occasionally a switch goes bad. More often this problem comes from someone having replaced a switch wrongly.
A switch does not seem to control anything at all. If you are not the first owner of this home or if you replaced receptacles recently, switched receptacles may have been disabled by how they were replaced. This applies mainly to bedrooms and living rooms.
Other Home Electrical Problems
Our new clothes dryer won’t heat up — just like the old one wouldn’t. Most likely there is a poor connection at the dryer’s receptacle or at its circuit breaker. If you have a fusebox instead, one of the dryer’s two fuses may be blown.
Our electric bill seems to be quite a bit higher than normal. One culprit I have seen is a hot water pipe leaking. Even one drip at a time, significant money is leaking out of your wallet, assuming your water heater is electric. But there are many other possibilities.