The entire house is dependent on a single electrical system. When something goes wrong, visible signs are not always apparent, which can be dangerous. There have been instances where people didn’t suspect that there was anything wrong with their system, until an accident occurred, causing significant damage.

As there is only one electrical system present to operate all the electrical appliances and devices present in a house, a system overload is a very common occurrence. For this reason, consistent precautionary measures should be taken by calling an electrician to check your electrical system after regular intervals.

If you are a homeowner wondering when a call to your electrician is necessary, here are five things you should out for:

Strange odour or sounds

If you ever find strange noises or unusual odor coming from the wall switch or wires anywhere around the house, it a sign that your electrical system requires immediate inspection by an electrician in order to identify the problem. Any buzzing, humming or popping sound could be an indication of a short circuit. The odor produced might be coming from a wire which is either burnt or has sparks flying from it or due to loose connection in the wiring.

If sparks fly out of a switch and there is a flammable object nearby, they can easily collect enough thermal energy to cause a fire. Thousands of such incidents happen on a daily basis where people end up damaging their property or even losing their homes or lives in the most extreme cases, due to fires.

One similarity that is found in homeowners who suffer from loss due to such incidents is ignorance of early signs. When it comes to electrical problems, ignorance is definitely not bliss at all; it the cause of significant loss. You do not want to be one of these peoples and fall victim to your own ignorance. There is no reason to delay that call to your electrician if you ever find a problem. Nowadays, electricians can even be called in through online websites such as Mr. Sparky. You can set up appointments with their electricians and they have 24/7 service available. You can just go online at any time of the day and ask for one.

Flickering lights

If the lights of your house start flickering, it is an early sign of your electrical system in need of attention from a professional. You need to take notice of it and take action in a timely manner. This happens when the electrical system is overloaded due to appliances requiring high voltage such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, and irons. If such appliances are all used at the same time, your electrical system could face interruptions due to overload and as a result, the lights may start flickering.

This problem happens because these high voltage appliances are usually connected to the same circuit. And the lights start flickering or get dimmed to compensate for the overload. Other reasons can be faulty connections with switches, inclement weather, or a bulb that’s loose in the socket. Whatever the reason may be, it is a good idea to call an electrician to identify the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Warm to touch

You might think that it is normal for electrical systems to be warm when touched but you are wrong. Your electrical system should not be warm when you touch it. If it does feel warm, it is a major red flag. It means your system is being overloaded but not just that, it is also a major safety concern. You can have a severe electrical shock from touching a switch or the circuit. Large sparks occurring at power points when you plug an appliance in can also indicate loose wiring behind the outlet.

Ignoring such issues can be life-threatening for you and your family members. Hence, it is always recommended to keep a check by touching the electrical system after every few days to determine if it is working fine. If it isn’t, an electrician must be called in. He will simply rearrange the wiring to offload some of the voltage from the circuit.

Circuit breaker trips regularly

Circuit breakers are supposed to trip very rarely. If it starts happening often, it is an indication of a problem with your circuit breaker or electrical system. Frequent tripping of circuit breakers happens when your systems are not efficient enough or are outdated. An indication of an outdated system can be charred electrical systems with frail wires.

Additionally, if you notice rusting of your electrical system, it is a sign that it needs to be replaced as this is likely to affect the main wiring connections within the system. In such cases, the wiring is not able to take on the high load it is capable of taking in order to function well.

If short circuits and fuse installed around the house are burning out too soon, it can cause a fire, in the most extreme cases. You can carry out a few troubleshooting steps first to try and figure out if a particular appliance is the culprit. But if the problem persists, it is a good idea to call an electrician.

Too many extension cords

As per a research finding by ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International), over 3000 residential fires are caused by extension cords on a yearly basis, injuring 270 people and killing 50.

Using too many extension cords increases the risk of short circuits and fires, as it means that your wiring is working beyond its capacity. There’s also the risk that if you have too many of them lying around, people can trip over them and get electrocuted by them. One of the major causes of deaths is the incorrect usage of cords.

To resolve this matter an electrician should be consulted who will install more outlets and reduce the number of cords as they are a risk to individuals coming in contact with it. Additional circuits with duplex receptacles are needed to ensure the safety of everyone in the house.


As most of us do not have sufficient knowledge of the electrical system and how it works, we are unlikely to be able to handle any problems related to it on our own and it is best to seek help from a trusted professional.

Unless your home has been constructed recently, it is likely to require some repairs and upgrades from time to time. A qualified electrician is the best person for this job. And it is always advisable to seek expert advice as quickly as possible when you encounter a problem. When it comes to these things, it is always better to be safe than sorry.