The 5 Most Common Electrical Problems and How to Avoid Them

Posted in Electrical on September 15, 2018

Whether you manage a business location or are a homeowner, you’re more than likely going to run into an electrical issue at some point during your residency.

That’s why consumers spend an estimated 164 billion dollars per year bringing in electricians to help them upgrade their business’ electrical solutions, renovate their housing or fix the occasional gaffe caused by DIY electrical installations.

Having worked with both commercial and residential clients for years, our team has seen and fixed a number of common electrical problems. For educational purposes, we’ve outlined 5 common ones below and briefly describe how you can avoid them.

Connections Outside of Electrical Boxes

When doing things like installing lighting fixtures, a non electrically trained property owner or fly-by-night contractor may make the mistake of connecting wires outside of the confines of a junction box.

This represents a significant risk to home and business owners since junction boxes not only help keep your wires from getting damaged but also hold in sparks that can emanate from wiring which can cause fires.

If you have wire connections outside of a junction box, work with an electrical professional to install one and reconnect wires inside of it.

Overloading Outlets

If you’re experiencing frequent power outages on circuits within your home or business, you may be overloading the outlet. Fortunately, this is one of the electrical problems that have a relatively simple solution.

Most circuits will only be able to handle one heavy appliance. That means it’s a bad idea to have an outlet extender plugging in a refrigerator, dishwasher, air conditioner, etc. into a single outlet.

If your appliances are pulling too much power from a single circuit, power will shut off for preservation purposes. To avoid this issue, spread out your heavy appliances.

Reversing Neutral and Hot Wires

When installing electrical outlets, if you accidentally connect a hot black wire to a neutral terminal you run the risk of a lethal shock. The issue here is that appliances will still work even if you’ve committed this mistake.

That means that you may not realize there’s a problem until somebody gets hurt.

To ensure your outlets are functioning safely, have a professional check to make sure that any DIY installed outlets were done properly.

Installing Three Slot Outlets with No Ground Wire

As a business or homeowner, you may be tempted to swap out your two slot outlets for three slot ones. Doing this without an adequate ground however can be dangerous.

There are tools you can purchase to test whether or not your outlet is grounded. If you’re finding that it isn’t, stick with two slot outlets.

Poor Outlet and Switch Supports

Have you seen an outlet that looked like its surrounding plate was loose? This issue, beyond just looking bad, can create conditions where wires can loosen from terminals and cause shocks and fires.

You can address this affordably by purchasing electrical spacers which should help support your outlet related components and make your outlet’s plate gap-free.

Wrapping Up Common Electrical Problems

Electrical problems often occur when home or business owners employ cut-rate contractors or try to do electrical installations themselves. While doing this can save money in the short term, it can represent dangerous conditions which can lead to loss of property, injury, and even death.

To get started making sure your electrical work is up to snuff, take a look at our list above and make sure you don’t suspect one of our described electrical problems.

Are experiencing a problem? Do you just want a second opinion on commercial or residential electrical work you’re not confident about? If so, let our team help.

At Sea Breeze Electric, our team of professionals specializes in diagnosing electrical problems. If you’re in the Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Tampa or Vero Beach areas, contact us today to learn about what we can do for you!