Your Senses Can Help You Spot Signs Of Electrical Problems In Your Home

Ah, electricity. Thanks to one of the greatest inventors of all time, Thomas Alva Edison, life has been simplified and new and amazing inventions have been created. However, while there is no denying that electricity is incredibly helpful, it can also be extremely dangerous – and the signs that trouble is brewing aren't always so obvious.

Your senses can help you detect if there is a problem with the electrical system in your home. Here's a look at how your sense of hearing, smelling, sight and touch can help you spot electrical troubles.


When you turn on a light, do you hear a whirring sound? How about when you plug in an appliance; do you hear a buzzing sound? If you hear any strange sounds, like cracking, sizzling or even hissing when using electricity in your home, turn off the light or unplug the appliance. Those sounds are a pretty good indication that something isn't right with your electrical system.


A safe electrical system should, in no way, have any type of odor. When you flip a switch or plug something in and you smell burning or the unmistakable scent of ozone, there is definitely a problem.

Electricity itself doesn't have an odor, but if the electricity is burning insulation around wires, or when electricity arcs (arcing is what happens when wire connections create an electrical current through floating electrons.) These are very serious issues and they need to be attended to immediately.


If the lights flicker when you turn them on, something isn't right. If just one light is flashing, check the bulb to see if it's screwed in properly. If that's not the problem, or if all of the lights in your house are flickering, then the cause could very well be arcing. Since arcing can generate heat, which can potentially cause a fire, if you see your lights flashing, you need to take swift action.  


Outlets and plugs should never, ever be hot. If you ever feel heat coming from an outlet, or you unplug an appliance and the plug is hot, you could have an electrical issue on your hands. The heat could indicate that the outlet is old and isn't functioning properly, which can cause arcing.

If you notice any of these issues, call a licensed and experienced electrical contractor immediately. Electricity is powerful and has the ability to create dangerous situations if it is not functioning properly.