Your electrical system is the most complex component of your Twin Cities home. While you might take that system’s functionality and utility for granted, its complex nature—along with the fact that it degrades as it ages—can make the system susceptible to developing problems. And unfortunately, impending electrical hazards don’t always make themselves readily apparent.

But when you pay close attention to the way your electrical system operates, you’ll recognize when something’s not functioning quite right. If you notice any of the following red flags in your home, contact an electrician because there’s a good chance you need an inspection and electrical repairs.

1. Buzzing or Other Unusual Sounds

Humming, clicking, sizzling, and cracking noises should never be noticeable while your electrical system is operating. These noises, along with any others you might notice, all warrant prompt attention as they almost always indicate wiring problems that only a skilled electrician can repair. 

2. Sparking Outlets

It’s normal for an outlet to emit an occasional, tiny spark or two when you plug something in. What’s not normal is an outlet that discharges these types of sparks:

●        Yellow, white, or red sparks. Normal sparks are typically blue.

●        Odorous sparks. Outlets that spark and immediately produce a burning or melting plastic odor are a serious fire hazard.

●        Lengthy sparks. Normal sparks come and go rapidly. Sparks that linger almost always indicate an underlying wiring problem.

When you notice any of the above types of outlet sparks—even if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen them—shut off power to the affected outlet at the circuit breaker. Sparking outlets can be a major fire hazard since they’re typically caused by arc faults, short-circuiting, and damaged or outdated electrical equipment. To protect your home and family from a serious fire risk, call an electrician to schedule electrical repairs or outlet replacement as soon as you can. 

3. Odd Odors

Some new appliances and electrical devices may emit a mild odor upon installation and the first few subsequent uses. That odor is fairly common and usually nothing to worry about as it’s generally caused by the products’ new finish.

But if you ever detect a burning plastic odor when you plug something in or when you’ve been using a device for a while, that’s definitely not normal and should be investigated by a licensed electrician. Burning odors typically stem from wiring problems or issues with the circuit that’s in use, both of which can be fire hazards.

Before you dial up an electrician to schedule an electrical inspection, flip the breaker that controls the offending outlet. Unplug the device or appliance and don’t use that outlet or circuit again until you’ve had either one or both repaired.   

Harrison Electric: Your Minneapolis Source for 24/7 Electrical Repairs

Have you noticed something odd going on with your electrical system? Get in touch with our team at Harrison Electric right away. We provide 24/7 express electrical repair services for homeowners throughout the Twin Cities metro, and all of our electricians are fully licensed, bonded, and insured. To schedule a service appointment, give us a call at 763-544-3300 or request a quote, and we’ll reach out with more information.