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Scherer Electric Blog

Common Electrical Problems: When Do You Need to Call an Electrician?


Your home is a sanctuary, but when electrical issues arise, it can quickly turn into a source of stress. While the DIY spirit is admirable, there are times when playing handyman with electrical problems is like playing with fire … literally. In this guide, we’ll explore some common electrical issues homeowners face and discuss when it’s best to put down the toolkit and call in professional licensed electricians in Buffalo, NY—like our team at Scherer!

1. Flickering Lights

If your lights are flickering, it might be tempting to blame it on a loose bulb or a faulty fixture. However, persistent flickering could indicate a more significant issue, such as a loose electrical connection, overloaded circuit, or even faulty wiring. While changing a lightbulb is a simple DIY task, diagnosing and fixing the underlying electrical problem is best left to the experts.

2. Tripped Circuit Breakers

A tripped circuit breaker is a common occurrence, usually caused by overloaded circuits or a short circuit. While resetting a tripped breaker might seem like an easy fix, it’s crucial to investigate the root cause. If it happens frequently, it could signal a serious issue that requires professional attention, such as outdated wiring or a malfunctioning appliance.

3. Outlets Not Working

When an outlet stops working, it’s easy to assume that it’s just a matter of replacing the outlet itself. However, the problem might lie within the wiring or the circuit. A non-functional outlet could be a sign of a deeper electrical issue, and attempting to fix it without proper knowledge can lead to further complications. Calling an electrician ensures a thorough examination and safe resolution.

4. Buzzing or Sparking Outlets

If you hear a buzzing sound or see sparks coming from an outlet, it’s a red flag that should never be ignored. These signs could indicate a wiring problem or a faulty outlet, both of which pose serious fire hazards. In such cases, immediate professional intervention is necessary to prevent potential disasters and safeguard your home.

5. Burning Smell

A burning smell is a clear indication that something is amiss in your electrical system. It could be overheating wires, a malfunctioning appliance, or faulty insulation. Regardless of the source, a burning smell demands urgent attention from a licensed electrician. Ignoring this warning sign could lead to electrical fires, causing extensive damage and posing a threat to your safety.

6. DIY Gone Wrong

Perhaps the most crucial point to emphasize is the aftermath of DIY electrical work. While it’s tempting to save money and fix issues yourself, a simple mistake can have severe consequences. Incorrectly installed wiring or faulty repairs can lead to electrical shocks, fires, or even fatal accidents. If you’ve attempted a DIY fix and the problem persists, it’s time to bring in a professional to rectify the situation safely.

While minor issues may seem manageable, keep in mind that the risk of electrical hazards is not worth the gamble. If you encounter any of the mentioned problems or if you’re unsure about the severity of an electrical issue, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your home and family’s safety should always be the top priority, and leaving electrical matters to the experts ensures a secure and reliable electrical system for years to come.

Scherer Electric Is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician! When you need an electrician, call us—we have 24/7 emergency service available.

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