Common House Electrical Problems: A Guide for Homeowners

Did you know that electrical service panels can last for up to six decades? By contrast, fixtures have a service life of up to 40 years, while it’s ten years for accessories like outlets.

Despite their longevity, though, electrical components will still need repairs at some point. After all, you use some of them, especially the main panel, 24 hours a day.

Fortunately, many house electrical problems are repairable, so long as addressed right away.

We’ll talk about these typical electrical woes below and when to hire an electrician, so be sure to read on.

Breakers That Trip All the Time

According to, an electrical emergency may require 24-hour service. In such cases, an electrician should fix your home electrical problems in the next hour or two. That’s because they have the potential of causing accidents, such as shocks and fires.

A perfect example of an electrical emergency is a service panel whose breakers trip all the time. The mini (and isolated) power outages they cause can be a sign of overloaded circuits. Over time, all that frequent tripping can cause the breakers to fail.

If that happens, your home is at risk of a fire. That’s because the main job of breakers is to cut the flow of current when an electrical anomaly occurs. So, if they can’t trip, severe overloading can happen and may trigger an electrical fire.

In many cases, faulty service panels are common electrical problems in older homes. Considering the median age of houses in the US is 39 years, it’s no wonder such issues are prevalent. Thus, if your home is a few decades old and you experience these electrical woes, it’s best to call a pro right away.

Noisy Electrical Panel

An extremely noisy electrical panel is another example of a typical electrical emergency. The noise can take the form of loud buzzing, crackling, or even hissing. These sounds can indicate short or overloaded circuits.

Short circuits occur when current travels along an unintended path in a wire. As a result, excessive current flows through the circuit. On the other hand, a circuit can overload if the current flowing through it exceeds its rating.

In both cases, the excess current is behind the loud noises you can hear from your panel. Either way, get in touch with a licensed electrician ASAP. This is especially important if your panel emits smoky odors.

Ghostly Lights

Light bulbs that dim or flicker is usually an indication of wear and old age. So, before you call an electrician, try replacing one of the problematic bulbs first. If the problem goes away, it only means the replaced bulb was already old.

Using LED lights on older dimmer switches may also cause your bulbs to blink or dim. As such, check the dimmer first to make sure it’s compatible with LED lights.

However, if your lights dim or flicker each time you turn on an appliance, your wiring may be the culprit. They may be loose or outdated. Other possible causes are circuit overloading or fluctuating electrical voltage.

If your problem has to do with wiring, circuits, or voltage fluctuations, it’s time to call a pro.

Get a Pro to Deal With Bigger House Electrical Problems

Please note that electrical injuries land up to 10,000 people in US emergency rooms each year. That’s enough reason to hire an electrician to fix complex house electrical problems. Besides, state and local laws may restrict the electrical fixes a non-pro can do.

So, for the safety of your family and home, go pro when dealing with electrical woes.

Interested in more of the latest tips on home improvement? Check out our recent blog posts for more nifty hacks then!


Leave a Reply