If you’ve noticed your electrical system seems off, whether it’s your outlets, switches, electrical panel, or wiring, listen to your gut! Many homeowners see the signs of a potential wiring problem, but rather than addressing those signs, they assume the issue will eventually correct itself. Unfortunately, though, wiring problems never correct themselves; they only get worse.

At Harrison Electric, we know what a significant safety hazard damaged or improperly installed wiring presents. To help you protect your home and family, below, we’re explaining 5 electrical red flags you should never ignore. 

Scorch Marks or Burns

If any of your outlets or light switches are warm to the touch, that’s a sign there’s something wrong with the wiring that feeds them. If you notice scorch marks or burns on your outlet covers or switch covers, you definitely have a wiring problem that requires the prompt attention of a licensed electrician. 

Frequently Tripping Circuit Breakers

It’s normal for breakers to trip on occasion, but if it happens regularly, your circuits are probably overloaded. To find out what’s causing the problem, contact a licensed electrician who can assess the load on your circuits and inspect your electrical system. Usually, all that’s needed is few system upgrades to ensure your electrical panel wiring can handle the amount of power you need. 

Smoke, Sparks, and Strange Noises

If you ever see smoke emanating from an outlet or appliance, shut off the breaker or fuse immediately and contact an emergency electrician right away. If you ever see sparks coming from an outlet or hear popping, buzzing, or crackling, these are also glaring red flags of a serious wiring problem. Shut off the breaker to the affected outlet and contact a licensed electrician as soon as you can.

Loose Receptacles

If any of your household outlets or switches wobble or shift when you use them, you’ve got a potential hazard on your hands. Over time, the connections between your in-wall wiring and your outlets or switches can loosen, and when that happens, those wires can become dangerously hot, very quickly.

Affected outlets may begin producing sparks or electrical arcs, both of which are a serious fire hazard and hazard to your safety. If you have loose receptacles or switches anywhere inside your home, contact an electrician for outlet replacements or wiring repairs as soon as you can.  


Have you heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet within your walls? Better call an exterminator because you’ve got more to worry about than just a rodent infestation. Mice, rats, and other pests are notorious for chewing through electrical wiring, which can cause major (and dangerous!) electrical problems if you don’t catch the issue early. If you think you might have a rodent problem, or even if you’ve only seen droppings here and there, thoroughly check your wiring for damage just to be safe. 

Need a Residential Electrician for Your Minneapolis Home? Contact Harrison Electric

If you think you have a household wiring problem, never ignore it! Get in touch with our team at Harrison Electric so we can inspect your wiring, repair any damaged components, and ensure your electrical system is safe and up to code.  To request a service appointment, get a service quote, or learn more about how we can help, give us a call today at (763) 544-3300 or contact our team online, and we’ll be in touch.