6 Common Seasonal Electrical Issues to Lookout For

4 May, 2020
Common seasonal electrical issues

It’s hard to imagine living without electricity. Whether it’s a faulty electrical appliance or a complete power outage, the effect can be quite debilitating. Households are exposed to all kinds of electrical problems that can result in the loss of lighting, spoiled perishable foods, suffering from extreme cold or heat indoors, and other kinds of inconveniences. You should also keep in mind that some electrical issues can pose a threat to the safety of your family and home.

Fortunately, you can be prepared for the common seasonal electrical issues and take the necessary steps to prevent them.

Winter Electrical Problems

The cold fall and winter months often lead to greater dependence on electricity. From running your heating system to keeping the indoors warm and cozy to lighting your Christmas decorations, electrical power consumption is likely to spike throughout the season. And as consumption increases, so does the likelihood of problems.

Some of the electrical issues to watch out for during the cold months include:

1. Old electrical devices and appliances

Old electrical appliances and gadgets are at greater risk of malfunctioning and causing blowouts during the cold months. During this period, you will depend on items that have been in storage for most of the year, such as electric blankets, space heaters, and decoration lighting. All these are susceptible to getting damaged due to minimal use or poor storage conditions.

This is a serious issue, and statistics show that faulty electrical equipment, especially space heaters, accounts for about 26,000 house fires every year in the United States alone. This is compared to about 400 fires caused every year by holiday lighting decorations, including Christmas lighting. Moreover, some of the fire-related deaths that occur every year are caused by defective electrical devices.

Old and defective electrical devices can put your loved ones and valuables at risk. That being said, they should be thoroughly inspected when removing them from storage and before subjecting them to prolonged use in fall and winter.

2. Insufficient power

During the cold months, you’re more likely to overwork your sockets and electrical system by plugging in multiple electrical appliances, in addition to raising the thermostat. This increases the risk of stretching your circuit board, which may result in insufficient power to your house.

One way to identify whether the items you’ve plugged in are drawing too much power from your supply line is by checking for flickering lights when everything has been turned on. If your circuit breaker gets tripped when you turn on one more electrical device, it may be that your circuit is overloaded. Such cases of short-circuiting can result in painful electrical shocks, sparks, and accidental fires.

A weak power supply should be corrected as soon as possible by inspecting the consumption levels of your older appliances. Consider updating old cooking appliances, dishwashers, and dryers to take advantage of efficient, newer models that consume less energy. If the replacements don’t address the excessive power fluctuations, then you may need to hire a professional electrician to try a different approach, such as increasing your home’s amperage to accommodate all the additional electrical devices.

3. Electrical surges or home fires

Any of the electrical problems discussed above, including older appliances and insufficient power, put your home at risk of surges. However, other cold season practices put your home in danger, such as connecting your appliances to power strips or extension cords. Doing this can cause sparks, overheating, or even meltdowns. Moreover, some of these devices may not be fitted with fuses or circuit breakers to break the current flow.

There’s also the risk of placing a Christmas tree next to your space heater or fireplace, which causes dried branches or plastic materials to catch fire. Dry indoor air also increases the risk of static electricity that can cause electrical threats. There are many other ways that your winter electrical devices and appliances can put your loved ones and property at risk, so it’s important to prepare for such risks and take the necessary measures to prevent them.

Spring and Summer Electrical Problems

The spring and summer seasons may also lead to many electrical problems. Some common issues to watch out for include:

4. Thunderstorms and weather-related power surges

Although spring and summer have mostly beautiful weather, there are occasional thunderstorms that cause gusty winds that can blow trees onto power lines, causing surges and overloading to your home’s electrical system. A lightning strike near a power substation or pole can also cause power fluctuations in your electrical supply.

It’s important that you don’t attempt to fix such electrical issues yourself. Instead, hire a professional electrician to identify the problems and correct them effectively. More importantly, if your area is prone to harsh thunderstorms, consider installing a power regulator or surge protector device in your home.

5. Blackouts and brownouts

Massive spring and summer storms can cause blackouts that leave you without power for hours or even days. If your area suffers from severe storms, consider investing in a backup generator to keep you out of the dark during power outages.

You’re also at risk of brownouts, which occur when your power supply is disrupted, causing minimized energy to your devices and appliances. This increases the risk of overheating and, ultimately, a short circuit. Turn off and unplug any electrical appliances and devices that you absolutely don’t need until the problem has been fixed, or use your backup generator in the meantime.

6. Pests

With warm weather, pests like mice, rats, and squirrels can become a nuisance, nesting in your attic and chewing on electrical wiring. This can cause flickering lights and put your home at risk of an electrical fire. If you’re facing such problems, please contact a professional electrician to install new wiring and protect existing wires from harm.

Final Note

Nobody wants to suffer the inconvenience of electrical faults or emergencies at any time of the year. To ensure the safety of your family and home at all times, consider hiring professional electricians to inspect and update your home’s electrical system during the transition from cold to warm weather and vice versa. This will prepare your electrical system for any extreme weather conditions and prevent seasonal electrical issues.

For more information on how to prepare for the common seasonal electrical problems, please contact Hi-Lite Electric Inc. on our website.



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