Flickering Lights? Common Electrical Problems, and What They Mean

It’s usually pretty obvious when something isn’t working correctly. A light might be dim or flickering, or a socket might stop working. However, electrical problems come in all sizes, and there are some signs that you might not recognize as meaning that your wiring needs work. Here are some of the most common electrical problems that we see, and a brief description of what it could mean: the cause of the problem, and how it will need to be repaired.

  1. Flickering Lights. A dim or flickering lightbulb could mean one of several different problems. However, you can use some non-technical examination to perform a brief diagnostic of the problem. If a light is flickering, check how it is seated in the socket, or try a new bulb. It is possible the bulb is defective or improperly seated. If this does not help, look at the other lights in the room. If the entire room is dimly lit, then it is likely that the whole circuit has a fault somewhere. An electrician will need to come, examine the circuit, and perhaps replace or upgrade some of the existing wiring.
  2. Warm Switches or Outlets. Warm outlets or switches are a serious sign that people often ignore. A warm outlet is a sign that deteriorating wiring is releasing heat into the surroundings. Sound bad? Electrical fires are a huge cause of property loss. If you notice that this is happening, call an electrician ASAP to examine the wiring.
  3. Uncovered Wires. Another sign that the house needs some attention is that the electrical work is showing or there are wires visible when they should not be. This does not mean that there is a problem, but if the surroundings have deteriorated to this point, it is likely the wiring is aging as well. Secondly, if the wiring was done recently, a competent electrician would generally hide all wiring. If they haven’t done that, it’s a good sign that there may be other problems that are hidden.
  4. Outlet Problems. There are several problems that can occur as outlets age. For one, older outlets often only have 2 prongs. This means that there is no grounding, and stray current is at risk for escaping in the surroundings, causing fire or injury. A 3-prong outlet should be installed. Secondly, a worn outlet might not grip plugs. If plugs slip out easily, it is a sign that the outlet needs to be replaced. This again puts you at risk for current escaping the circuit.
Scroll to Top