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Having Electrical Issues? Try These DIY Fixes

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Have you noticed some odd electrical problems in your home and aren't sure why it is happening? If so, it will help to know some DIY fixes to some common problems.

Light Flickering

Have you noticed that lights are flickering on and off? This could be an issue with the wires not being fully connected to the switch. You can investigate the problem by shutting down the electricity to the outlet and then taking the cover off the switch. Take a look at the wires connected to the switch and if they look like they are not fully connected. Try disconnecting the wires and reconnecting them to see if that fixes the problem.

The other reason for light flickering is because of a fixture that is overheating. Take a look at what the rating is for the fixture that is flickering and the lightbulb that is plugged into it. You may be surprised to learn that the lightbulb is too powerful and the socket cannot supply enough electricity to it, which is causing the flickering.

Circuit Breaker Tripping

Do you have a circuit breaker that is constantly turning off, causing you to go to the fuse box and turn it back on? This is likely an issue caused by that circuit overloading. It's time to investigate what is plugged into that circuit and how much electricity is being drawn at its peak.

Start by looking at the amp rating of the circuit breaker that is being tripped, which is likely 12 or 20 amps, as well as the voltage of the electrical panel that you have. You can multiply the amps by the voltage to determine how many watts of electricity the circuit breaker can handle. For example, a 12 amp circuit breaker on a 120-volt panel will total 2,400 watts of electricity per circuit breaker.

Next, you should start making note of all the electrical outlets and light fixtures that are connected to that circuit breaker, and then write down all of the devices that are plugged into it. Look up how many watts of electricity each light bulb and electrical device uses, and you'll likely see that it exceeds the limit of the circuit breaker. The quick fix is to stop plugging electrical devices into that circuit that will cause it to exceed 80% of its capacity, which will trip the circuit. 

If this is not an option, you'll need to hire an electrician to add another circuit breaker to your electrical panel and separate the circuit better. For example, putting the refrigerator on its own circuit can limit the power draw that is causing a circuit breaker to trip. For more information, contact a residential electrician


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