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Troubleshooting House Wiring


As a homeowner in Washington Park, Providence, Rhode Island, you take pride in maintaining your property. From the lush green lawns to the well-maintained interiors, every aspect of your home reflects your dedication. But amidst all this, there is one aspect that often goes unnoticed – the electrical wiring of your house. We rely on electricity for virtually everything in our homes, from keeping us warm and comfortable to powering our electronic devices. However, most homeowners do not think about the wiring until an electrical issue arises.

This is where B&K Electric comes in – a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, Rhode Island. With over 17 years of experience, B&K Electric has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and the greater Providence area. Our team of skilled and licensed electricians specializes in electrical repairs, panel maintenance, and installation, making us the go-to electrician for residential properties in the Warwick area.

In a world where DIY projects are increasingly popular, it is essential to remember that electrical work is best left to the professionals. Attempting to troubleshoot electrical issues in your home can be dangerous, not to mention potentially costlier if things go wrong. Therefore, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of common electrical problems and how to identify them. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide for homeowners in Washington Park, Providence, on troubleshooting house wiring.

Understanding Your Home’s Electrical System

Before delving into the common electrical problems and their troubleshooting methods, it is essential to understand the basics of your home’s electrical system. Most homes in Washington Park, Providence, use a split-phase electrical system, which consists of two 120-volt circuits that are 180 degrees out of phase. This provides 240-volts of power, which is used to power larger appliances such as air conditioners, ovens, and dryers. The standard voltage for outlets and lighting is 120-volts.

The first step in troubleshooting home wiring issues is to identify if the problem is with a specific outlet or the entire circuit. Knowing the location of your circuit breaker box is important, as it is the central point from which all the electrical circuits originate. If the problem is confined to a particular outlet, then you most likely have a local wiring issue. On the other hand, if multiple outlets and appliances on a particular circuit are affected, then the problem is most likely in the circuit or the circuit breaker itself.

Common Electrical Problems in Homes

Electrical problems can range from minor nuisances to major threats. However, identifying these issues early can save you from potential hazards and costly repairs. Here are some of the most common electrical problems that homeowners in Washington Park, Providence, may encounter.

Flickering Lights: Flickering lights can be a nuisance, and most homeowners tend to ignore them. However, this could be a sign of a loose or deteriorating connection in the circuit. If left unaddressed, it could lead to a complete power outage or even pose a fire hazard. It is advisable to call a licensed electrician to inspect the issue and make necessary repairs.

Dead Outlets: If you notice an outlet that is not supplying power, it could be a faulty outlet or a wiring issue. In some cases, it could be a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Before calling an electrician, try resetting the outlet by pressing the reset button in outlets with a reset feature. However, if the outlet still does not work, it is best to leave the issue to a professional electrician.

Warm Outlets or Switches: If you have outlets or switches that feel warm to the touch, it could be a sign of overloaded circuits or faulty wiring. Overloading outlets by plugging in too many appliances can lead to overheating, which can then cause a fire. Hence, it is essential to ensure that outlets are not overloaded, and the wiring is in good condition. If you notice warm outlets or switches, it is best to call an electrician to address the issue.

Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping: Circuit breakers trip as a safety measure when circuits are overloaded or there is a short circuit. However, if your circuit breaker trips frequently, it could be a sign of a more significant issue. It is essential to troubleshoot and identify the cause of the tripping before resetting the circuit breaker. If the issue persists, it is best to seek professional help.

How to Troubleshoot House Wiring

While some electrical issues need a professional’s expertise, there are a few that you can troubleshoot on your own before calling an electrician. Here are some simple troubleshooting tips that can save you time and money.

Reset the Circuit Breaker: As mentioned earlier, a tripped circuit breaker can cause power outages. Resetting the circuit breaker by flipping it off and then on again can restore the power supply. However, if the circuit breaker trips frequently, there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Check the GFCI Outlets: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are designed to protect you from electrical shock by cutting off the power supply when a ground fault occurs. If you have a dead outlet or it is not supplying power, check if it has a reset button. If it does, press it to reset the outlet.

Replace Faulty Outlets: If you have dead outlets, it could be a sign of a faulty outlet. If a GFCI outlet does not have a reset button or pressing it does not restore power, it needs to be replaced. It is essential to replace outlets that are warm to the touch as well.

Inspect Wiring Connections: Over time, wiring connections can loosen, which can cause power failures or even fires. If you have flickering lights or dead outlets, check the connections to ensure they are secure. If you spot a loose connection, turn off the power and tighten the connections. If you are unsure, it is best to call a professional electrician.

Troubleshooting house wiring issues can be a daunting task for homeowners in Washington Park, Providence. However, understanding the basics of your home’s electrical system and identifying the common issues can help you determine when to call a professional electrician. While some minor issues can be addressed by homeowners, it is best to leave the major repairs and installations to the experts to ensure the safety of your home and family.


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