When do you really need to call a licensed electrician?
Most of us don’t want to mess with electricity, and for very good reason. The risks of something going wrong with your home’s electrical system range from minor shock, to fire and even death. But does that mean you have to call a licensed electrician for everything related to electricity in your house? Let’s take a look at a few scenarios.
First, call an electrician at once if you have any of the following:
Your wall outlets are warm to the touch
You smell that “electrical” burning smell (first, turn off your power, then call an electrician at once)
You hear buzzing in your walls
Your circuit breaker trips often
Your lights flicker when you use appliances or turn on other lights
You notice signs of singeing or burning in your fuse box
All of these could be signs that you have a wiring issue that could be dangerous. Don’t try and diagnose this by yourself; it’s best to call in an electrician who is trained to find the source of any issues.
But what about other maintenance issues and projects? We suggest you call an electrician for the following:
Any remodel or upgrade that requires moving wiring or possibly upgrading your electrical panel to increase the load
Installing a new hot tub, sauna, or other major appliance where there hasn’t been one before
Moving electrical switches or outlets
Adding additional load to your electrical panel
Diagnosing any problem you’re having with your electrical system
Installing new light fixtures, especially if they are hard to reach
All this isn’t to say there aren’t electrical upgrades and maintenance you can’t do for yourself. As long as you’re comfortable, it’s safe (and is a good idea) to periodically do the following:
Testing your smoke detectors (at least once a month). If they aren’t working, and a new battery doesn’t help, you will need to call an electrician, however.
Replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors (as long as you can safely reach them!)
Replacing cracked switchplate and receptacle covers (the decorative plates that cover the edges of the electrical box)
Replacing light bulbs
Replacing damaged electrical cords
Moving any sort of plug-in appliance or light fixture (always pull out by the plastic part of the plug, not the cord)
Replacing standard receptacle covers with child-safe electrical covers
Testing your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets periodically, and making sure that all outlets near water have GFCI receptacles installed (call your electrician to install any new GFCI outlets you need)
Adding point-of-use surge protectors to protect home electronics. For better protection, of course, ask your electrician to install a whole-home surge protection system.
Of course, this is just a rough guideline. If you ever feel unsure, our advice is to err on the side of caution and call an electrician. Got a question about something you’re planning in your home? Feel free to ask us! We’re here to help.
IES Home Electrical Services is a McKinney-based electrical company dedicated to providing area homeowners with the best quality of work and unparalleled customer service, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Proudly serving McKinney, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Gunter, Anna, Aubrey, Bonham, Crossroads, Melissa, Sherman, Farmersville, Little Elm, Princeton, Prosper, Van Alstyne, Hackberry, and Denison.
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