Q:

What are some tips for troubleshooting a house electrical problem?

A:

Quick Answer

Tips for troubleshooting home electrical problems include turning off all the lights and unplugging all appliances from a circuit when the breaker trips or the fuse blows. Then turn the breaker back on, or replace the fuse. If the problem occurs again without a load, the problem is in the circuit itself and usually requires replacing of the wiring.

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Full Answer

If the breaker does not trip, try turning on the lights one at a time and plugging the appliances individually. If the problem repeats upon plugging in an appliance, the issue is likely with the appliance and not the circuit itself. When breakers trip only when using all the appliances and the lights are on, the issue is likely an overloaded circuit. With circuit overloads, options include using another circuit for some of the appliances or having an electrician upgrade the wiring to handle the load.

Flickering lights can indicate loose connections within the circuit. Owners should repair the problem by turning off the circuit breaker, removing the light fixture and installing new wire nuts to ensure a tight connection. If the problem persists, they should check the connections at the light switch. If the lights only flicker when it is windy outside, the problem could be frayed wires at the weatherhead. Owners should contact the electrical utility to fix the problem.

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