Flickers And Scorch Marks: Knowing The Signs Of Electrical Problems

Now that you're in the market for your first home, you're going to want to keep your eyes out for potential problems. Size and location are important, but you should also watch for potential safety hazards. Many homeowners don't know they have electrical problems until they're faced with an electrical emergency. Before you end up buy a home that has wiring issues, keep an eye out for these potential problems.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights can be a sign that there might be a problem with the wires connected to the fixture. Turn all the lights on in the home and walk through the house. An electrical system should be able to withstand all the lights being turned on. The lights should all stay lit. Make note if you see any flickering. You should also make note of any lights that dim. 

Outlet Problems

Once you've checked the lighting fixtures inside the home, you'll need to inspect the outlets. Here are three potential hazards you should look for.

  1. Two Prong Outlets. Take a look at the outlets. If they have two-prong holes instead of three, they are outdated and will need to be replaced. New homes should be equipped with three-prong outlets, which provide grounding and prevent electrical hazards. It's also important to note that the presence of two-prong outlets may be a sign that the rest of the wiring may be outdated.
  2. Scorch Marks. Faulty and outdated wiring can cause outlets to overheat. Overheating outlets can lead to electrical fires. When you're inspecting the outlets, look for scorch marks. Scorch marks are warning signs that the home may need to be rewired.
  3. Damaged or Missing CGFI Outlets. Look in the bathrooms and kitchen. Each room should be equipped with a CGFI outlet. The CGFI outlet helps protect against electrical hazards. When working properly, the CGFI outlet should shut off when electrical appliances come in contact with water or there is a danger of overheating. If the home has missing or damaged CGFI outlets, that's a safety issue you should take into consideration.

You want to buy the perfect home. Don't take the chance that you buy a home with electrical problems. Use this troubleshooting guide to inspect each home that you look at. Before you make a decision, have a residential electrician like Allied Electric Inc come out and inspect the home. They'll be able explain the work that will need to be done.