When is it a good time to call an electrician? Let’s start out with when it’s NOT a good time to call an electrician– when your house or business is on fire. That would be sign you should have called an electrician yesterday. Or last month, or last year. Fire and electrocution are two fatal outcomes of electrical problems left unchecked. Usually, there are warning signs before electrical issues become dangerous or deadly. Here are a few of them.

1. Flickering Lights

Okay, it could be you’ve got a poltergeist or two. But before you call ghost-busters, call us. Flickering lamps or even sudden brightness in lights, TVs or other appliances is a sign of a serious electrical issue. Usually it means there’s a problem with the neutral or grounded conductor used throughout the power system of your home or business. This will be indicated by flickering or low or high voltage on the branch circuit. Voltage-regulation issues cause damage or destroy equipment. Another reason flickering happens is because of loose or broken connections. Call an electrician. If he or she tells you that ghosts are your problem, call a real electrician. That is to say, call us at Stapleton Electric, the voltage-busters.

2. Signs of Wear and Tear or Poorly-Installed Upgrades

Things like damaged switches and exposed wires are signs of wear and tear. They might also be indications of shodily installed upgrades. Don’t take a chance and take it upon yourself to determine what goes where. It could make a bad situation even worse.

3. A Lack of Power Outlets

This is a typical issue with older homes. A the time these home were built, who could imagine (aside from Nichola Tesla) the myriad of electronic devices yet to be invented, and that would each require a power source. Installing more power outlets isn’t a do-it-yourself project. An experienced electrician can work with you to upgrade your electric system so it meets both your current and projected needs.

4. Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers

Some people are okay with constantly resetting a breaker or replacing a fuse. It becomes part of their routine. Then one day the thought arises: “Maybe repeatedly resetting a breaker is defeating the purpose of having a circuit breaker.” Bingo! The light has just gone on, in more ways than one. Your circuit breaker is talking to you. “It’s time to take action and call a professional.” It’s time for you to listen to those whispers in the dark and call Stapleton.

Really, there’s only one do-it-yourself activity you should consider when fuses constantly blow or breakers regularly trip. Try to distribute the load more evenly throughout your home. That means separating the low-power loads between different circuits by connecting them to separate outlets. Higher loads, such as microwaves, dryers, space heaters, and other kitchen appliances should be on their own circuits if at all possible. If not, unplug or turn off other devices before using the higher-power appliances.

Once you’ve separated the loads, you shouldn’t need to reset a breaker more than once. Anything more often and you’ll want to contact us to so we can check and see exactly what the issue is. Likely, your service panel needs upgrading. You’ll need an experienced electrician with good knowledge of local electric codes to inspect and repair or install a service panel.

5. Inadequate Lighting

You may find that your home or business has poorly lit areas simply because adequate fixtures weren’t installed when it was built. Or, perhaps you’re doing some interior or exterior remodeling that will lead to a need for extra illumination. Whether you need exterior lighting for safety or decorative reasons, it’s best to discuss your needs with an experienced professional who can advise you on the variety, types and best placement of light fixtures. Stapleton Electric installs motion sensors, LED lighting, kitchen and bathroom lighting. We also install a variety of outdoor lighting– including pathway and decorative lighting.

Hidden Dangers: What you can’t see could hurt you, too.

Up ‘til now, we’ve been talking about electrical troubles that you can see. But there may be hidden problems if your home or business was built in the 1960’s through early 70’s. Back then, contractors often used aluminum wiring because of high copper prices. However, because of issues in installation and mismatched conductive materials, the contact points or terminals are prone to overheating, creating a fire hazard. Don’t take a chance with this type of wiring. Call Stapleton Electric, for safety’s sake.

These are but a few of the signs that say, “It’s time to call a professional electrician.” Call us at Stapleton Electric. Our number is 778-985-9395. You’re also welcome to contact us. We look forward to helping you.