Most people ignore their wiring as long as it is working. We are used to having electricity as a fact of life. However, when something goes wrong, we are brought up short and feel the urge to act quickly to restore power or full functioning. However, don’t be too hasty to simply reset the circuit breaker. Problems with electricity could be more serious and require you to upgrade your wiring and board.
Risks when an Electrical System Malfunctions
When an electrical system malfunctions, it can be indicative of a fire risk. If you don’t want to wake up to a burning house, take note that old wiring is usually the culprit in these events and have it attended to. Remember that all it takes is a spark to start a fire.
Wear and tear can result in holes in the insulation. This poses a credible threat of electrocution. This is a serious event and you need to know how to treat a case of electrocution if it happens. Defective wiring can reduce the lifespan of appliances quite dramatically or create a short in them. In particular, microwaves, dishwashers, and washing machines are at high risk of becoming unusable or dying before their time.
Reasons for a Breaker that Keeps Tripping
When your circuit breaker trips often, note that there are several possible reasons. Circuit overload is the most common cause. It happens when you exceed its capacity by trying to use too many appliances at the same time. The circuit overheats and can fry appliances like kettles and televisions. You will need to upgrade the capacity or use less appliances simultaneously. For example, when you want to boil the kettle, switch off other appliances until it is done. You can also redistribute your appliances across different circuits.
A short circuit poses greater danger than one which is overloaded. It will also trip the circuit breaker. The cause is contact occurring between a neutral wire in an outlet and a hot wire. This results in more power being pulled through a circuit and tripping to avoid a fire. The circuit breaker may smell of burning or become discoloured, even turning black. This needs urgent attention from a qualified electrician, such as Maintracts Services Ltd, which is available 24/7.
If a hot wire makes contact with an open copper ground wire, you can experience a ground fault surge. This acts in a manner similar to a short circuit. The circuit breaker will trip to avoid overheating. The outlet will develop discolouration, which can help you to identify the problem.
Other cause of problems are a faulty circuit breaker and an arc defect. The former can leave scorch marks, give off a burning smell, and be impossible to reset. An arc is detected by a buzzing sound coming from an outlet or a hissing noise from a light switch.
Faults with the Electrical Panel
Be on the lookout for moist rooms (bathrooms, kitchens) that have not been fitted with residual current device (RCD) outlets for grounding. In addition to breakers that trip constantly, you may notice the lights keep flickering or they become dim frequently. If you experience a tingling sensation from your hand making contact with an appliance, this is also a warning sign of an electric panel that needs to be replaced. Outlets might spark or feel warm, and fuses will frequently blow. A smell of burning that never dissipates is another sign to look out for.
Old and faulty wiring, circuit breakers, or electric panels need to be fully replaced to make your home safe again.