If you are experiencing problems with the electrical in your home not working properly, it is always best to leave the diagnosis of the problem up to a certified electrician. It can be extremely difficult to diagnose an electrical problem if there is no obvious damage, like a broken outlet or a cut wire. There are many points from where the electricity comes into your house from the pole, to the breaker panel to each of the outlets and fixtures connected to the home’s wiring where something can be causing a problem. This is where electrical troubleshooting comes in.
Troubleshooting your own electrical is not always something you should do, but you can help narrow it down to give the electrician a better idea of where the problem seems to be focused. The following tips can help you identify where the problem lies and in some cases, an easy fix you can do yourself.
- Check the breaker. This is always the first step and can eliminate the need for an electrician. If it is tripped, reset it. If the breaker continually trips, you have a problem that will need to be addressed by an electrician.
- If the outlet is a GFCI (the kind with the two buttons in the center), press the reset button and then test to see if the lights and power in the room work again.
- If you believe an outlet is faulty because an appliance doesn’t work, try plugging in a lamp you have tested and know to work. This can help narrow down where the problem lies.
- If one of your circuit breakers is tripping off, it may not be a problem with your electrical system, it may be that one of your devices that is plugged into on of the electrical outlets is bad. The way to check for this is to unplug everything that is currently running on that circuit. Begin plugging in and using items one by one i.e. plug in toaster, microwave, coffee maker until the breaker trips. This is information your electrician will use to determine if it is an overload or a weak breaker.
- A last resort, which should only be attempted if you know for a fact the electricity has been shut off, is to check the wiring itself. Pull off an outlet and check for loose wires behind the outlet cover. You can also check to see if a light fixture is loose just by giving it a good wiggle.
It is always best to have a licensed electrician do any electrical work in your home. A certified electrician will have the tools necessary to check connections and determine if electricity is reaching the outlets and switches, without having to go through most of these steps. It is far easier and more accurate for a licensed professional to do the troubleshooting for you.
Scheduling an electrical inspection is a great way for you to get a professional opinion about any electrical problems that may be looming in your home. This gives you the opportunity to have critical repairs before they become serious. You can trust your electrician to troubleshoot and repair any electrical problems so your home is safe again.