The recent situation around the world has meant people are at home for prolonged periods of time, whether that is working, or under movement restrictions. The Office for National Statistics suggests that in April 2020, 46.6% of the population did some form of work at home, whilst here in London that figure rose to 57.2%. That means many more people were placing additional demands on their utilities, such as heating and electrics.
As we move into winter, there is much focus on heating your home and reducing bills, but paying attention to your electrical circuit is important also. If you suspect there is a problem, then the only solution is to call a qualified tradesman. Such is the urgency when electrics do fail, here at VCO Electrical Services we have qualified electricians on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Your electrics are one aspect of your home you should never try to fix yourself, but a breakdown can still be devastating. If you lose your electric supply, then your fridge and freezer will turn off and food can spoil. You will potentially have no heating and no light and may have to leave your home. You can protect yourself against such occurrences with regular electrical inspections, New government legislation recommends homeowners to check the electrical installation vi an EICR at least once every 5 year .More information can be found on the VCO Electrical Webpage and our sister site EICR PRO who specialise in carrying our EICR in London.Whilst that gives you a certain peace of mind in the event of a breakdown, there would still be disruption and concern should you lose your supply, to such an extent that you may not be able to remain in the home until a problem is fixed. That is why, no matter what precautions you take, being aware of a potential problem before it strikes and getting ahead of it is important.
If your electrics are on the verge of malfunction, there may be warning signs to keep an eye, or nose out for it, as we explore below.
If you have a faulty electrical appliance, you may be able to smell an unusual odour. This is not uncommon when you introduce a new appliance into the home, a fridge or freezer may give off an odour when first used. However, if it persists, you could have a problem with your wiring. Switch off the appliance you believe is faulty and call a trained professional. If you smell a fish smell, that could be an indication that you have a serious problem, according to Yours Magazine. Again, call a qualified electrician if you have any doubts.
Electric circuits should not make a noise and generally, neither should individual appliances. If you hear a buzzing from your fuse box, or from appliances which do not normally make a noise, then seek help. Do not mix this up with some appliances which may emit a noise when functioning, such as a fridge. The key thing to think about is whether the noise is new and unusual.
If you see sparks, anywhere, then you need immediate assistance. This might be with an individual appliance, or around your fuse box. If it is an appliance, turn it off and disconnect immediately, whereas if it is the fuse box, you need to seek immediate help.
Occasionally, you may find your breaker trips and turns off a certain part of your house. This tended to happen when light bulbs used to blow, for instance. Whilst it might not be an immediate sign of a problem, if it happens frequently, then you need to seek some help. If a certain appliance, such as an electric heater, trips every time you use it, then the appliance is at fault, but if different appliances trip the same circuit, then you need external help.
You may notice your lights dimming, or flickering if there is a problem in your home. This is usually caused by an overload when you have too many energy-intensive appliances wired to the same circuit. Your lights may flicker when you run appliances in the kitchen, such as a dishwasher. If this is the case, call an electrician to put an additional circuit in.