Maintaining an office is a lot of work! It’s necessary to make sure everything is always in good working condition, especially if you’re responsible for lots of employees or if you rent the space to others. Managing an office space certainly means more than providing a desk and chair and perhaps a few computers for those who work there. It also means making sure utilities are functioning properly, including your HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical.
Properly functioning electrical systems are essential to the safety of your employees and others in the building. When something is “off” on your electrical grid, problems can occur that might cause fires, electric shocks, or other issues. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the signs that your office space needs electrical work.
Here are 5 of the most common signs that signify it might be time to call an electrician.
- Flickering lights – When flickering lights happen once in a while, perhaps as a result of wind or a rainstorm, then it’s a minor inconvenience. But if you or your staff notice that your fixtures are flickering a lot, it’s likely neither the weather nor the bulbs you use. If you are using old-fashioned fluorescent fittings, a starter or ballast may be the culprit. You’ll want to check this out quickly as constantly flickering lights can cause headaches or other vision problems and result in poor work quality or absence.
- Tripping circuits – If an electrical circuit in your office space is tripping regularly, it’s time to give your electrical system some much-needed attention. You could be experiencing one of several different issues: a) Your circuits are overloaded. For example, you might have a lot of 6-way power strips plugged into your outlets because that’s an easier solution than installing another outlet; b) There may be a faulty appliance plugged into the circuit, like a lunchroom microwave or refrigerator. Some cheaply made laptop or phone chargers could cause a similar issue; or c) Shorted circuits might be due to electrical conductors like wires or winding inside the motor that are touching ground.
- Sparking – If you see sparks when you are plugging in or unplugging items of any sort, you’ve got a problem! (If you’re yanking out plugs instead of doing so carefully, change your MO and see if there’s still an issue.) If sparking is consistent, a serious issue is indicated such as a worn outlet with loosened connections (which can cause internal fires), water or moisture in the outlet (which can short the circuit), older cords on appliances, or faulty appliances. It’s best to avoid using the offending outlet until you can have it checked out.
- Power points that are warm to the touch – If you find that power points are emitting heat, it’s likely the outlet is cracked or worn. Similarly or in addition, there might be a strange smell in the vicinity of that outlet, which indicates a broken or overheated circuit. These are issues that demand immediate attention by a professional.
- Dead outlets – If you find that there’s an outlet that simply doesn’t work, that’s a sign that the current is interrupted somewhere on its way to that outlet. Or it could mean that the outlet is defective. Any dead outlets should be inspected and replaced before any other dangers are allowed to develop.
Remember, as employees return to the office, many after a long time spent working from home, you want your office space to be as safe and welcoming as possible. Electrical problems can be both annoying and dangerous and most require immediate attention by a licensed electrical contractor like the experts at Stapleton Electric.
If you’ve having electrical issues in your office space, we’d be happy to perform an overall inspection of your electrical system or to address specific problems that need fixing. To schedule an appointment with one of our contractors, call Stapleton Electric at 778-985-9395.