At ACM Electrical Contracting, our residential electrical contractors are continually asked by our customers what are the most common home electrical issues we encounter, as well as how we propose to remediate them. Frankly, that list would be extensive, however in this posting we’ll cite the top 7 issues we frequently discover and how we tackle their solutions. It is important to realize that electrical repairs are not tasks for DIYers and, to prevent shocks and possible electrocution, should only be performed by licensed professionals.
1. Faulty Switches
Both on/off and dimmable switches can stop working for a number of reasons. Wear and tear, arcing, even loose wiring are the top causes.
Replace the switch(es). Switches are not expensive, but for your safety, call the professionals at ACM Electrical Contracting to install these for you.
2. No GFCI Outlets
It has been mandatory for several decades now as part of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter receptacles are required in bathrooms, garages, crawl spaces, basements, laundry rooms and areas where a water source is present. The 2023 update of the National Electrical Code requires GFCI protection in all kitchen receptacles, expanding the GFCI requirements. Many older homes, especially those in private ownership for many years, still do not have them. Not only is this a safety hazard, but would impact the sale of the premises until remediated.
While these receptacles are available in any hardware or big box store, their installation is best left to our residential electrical services professionals.
3. Loose Outlets
Have you ever plugged in a device only to have the prongs fall out of the outlet? This is because over time, receptacle contacts wear out. This is dangerous as loose contacts can create arcing, that is electricity jumping from one point to another. This is a fire hazard as the arc can ignite any materials it encounters, such as dust, wood studs, or any debris inside your walls.
Again, this is not an expensive fix, but for safety’s sake, have the receptacle replaced by the residential electrical contractors at ACM Electrical Contracting.
4. Ungrounded Outlets
If your home is several decades old or more, chances are your outlets are ungrounded. This means they have two openings instead of three. When an outlet is not grounded, excess electrical current has no safe place to travel, which is a fire hazard. Also, most of today’s devices require grounded outlets to accommodate their third prong. IMPORTANT: Do not jerry-rig a workaround by using an adapter or extension cord in conjunction with an ungrounded outlet. When an electrical surge occurs due to excess electricity, not only will it destroy the device, but also pose a threat to the user.)
Have ACM Electrical Contracting as your residential electrical contractor, investigate this issue. Remediation may be more complex than simply replacing your outdated outlets with grounded outlets. It is most likely that the in-wall wiring will require updating as well. Our licensed residential electrical services professionals can troubleshoot the scope of this electrical issue and remediate.
5. Coverless Junction Boxes
High-voltage electrical wiring is spliced together and ‘dead-ends’ at your junction boxes. These splices are generally secured with plastic clips and sometimes electrical tape, but should not be exposed to prevent the possibility of electrocution. Depending on where the box is located, sometimes in a garage or basement for example, a cover prevents moisture, humidity, dust, and dirt from settling on your home’s electrical wiring. So a junction box cover is a must!
As your residential electrical contractor, ACM Electrical Contracting can ensure that your replacement cover will fit securely and prevent numerous wiring issues.
Many homeowners are overzealous and install a bulb with a higher wattage than a light fixture can handle. This poses a serious danger, as when the bulb overheats, it can damage the fixture’s socket and adjacent wiring. Next, arching will occur, which can cause a fire.
This is a very common household problem and one that can easily be fixed without hiring a professional residential electrical contractor. Most fixtures have their acceptable wattages stamped on them. If you cannot locate this information, limit your wattage to 60-watt bulbs and under. If this is too dim for reading, buy an additional lamp.
7. Over-Wired Panels
Electrical panels have limits however in some older homes, at some point a panel has been over-wired to accommodate more circuits. This usually leads to circuit breaker issues, as well as electrical fuse box problems.
As your residential electrical contractor, ACM Electrical Contracting will add a subpanel to your existing system, or we can swap out your existing panel for a larger one, depending on your household’s electrical needs.
ACM Electrical Contracting has decades of experience serving homeowners in the TriState. Contact us with your electrical issues for prompt, professional service. Call today!