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5 of the Most Common Residential Electrical Issues

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Common Electrical Issues You Should Have Fixed


Electrical issues do not distinguish between house sizes, layouts, or ages. Every home is susceptible to a variety of common residential electric problems. While some homeowners prefer to ignore minor electrical issues, these tiny problems can turn into massive hazards if left unchecked. Instead of taking a risk that your electrical issues might turn into something more, work with a local electrical contractor to keep your home safe and secure.


As the leading team of electricians in Gilroy, CA, and the Santa Clara Valley, Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric understands how difficult it can be to identify and correct electrical problems. That is why we created a list of the five most common electrical issues you should have fixed. Keep in mind that most electrical issues require the work of a skilled and licensed electrician; these are not repairs you should attempt on your own. Contact Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric to schedule a free consultation today.

  1. Certain Devices Cause a Tripped Breaker

Your electrical panel uses various circuit breakers to distribute power throughout your home. These breakers “trip” or turn off when too much wattage is drawn from the circuit to protect your electrical grid, appliances, and house.


Older and cheaply built newer homes are not always designed to handle the power requirements of modern devices and appliances. This outdated design can result in tripped power breakers.


While you can certainly live with reduced access to power or avoid using certain outlets, updating your electrical panel or installing a subpanel is much safer and more efficient. Otherwise, you will find that your lack of power will only increase as you update other electronics around your home. When a breaker keeps tripping, it’s less of an issue of convenience and more a matter of safety.

  1. Hot Outlets When Devices Are in Use

Have you ever noticed that one of your outlets gets warm when something is plugged into it? Hot electrical outlets are a sign of damage to your outlet or its wiring, and it could also be a sign that this particular outlet is being overworked.


If you do not have many things plugged into the outlet, the heat is most likely due to faulty/damaged wiring. It is essential to also look at what is plugged into the hot outlet. No single device should take more than 80% of the rated circuit. For example, if you use a Level 1 charger for your electric vehicle in a standard outlet in your garage, you could easily exceed the rating for that circuit. That is why most electricians recommend either adding a dedicated electrical line for your charging cable or installing a Level 2 home charging station.


Identifying the cause of a hot outlet can be tricky. You will want to find a local residential electrical service provider to troubleshoot your issue and solve the problem. Ignoring a hot outlet could result in further electrical damage or even a fire.

  1. Plug Falls out of Outlet

A typical electrical outlet should have contacts that grip your power cord to create a secure connection. These contacts are not meant to make it impossible to plug in or remove a plug, but they should help keep things safe when in use.


One of the most common electrical issues homeowners encounter is when plugs fall out of an outlet. This loose connection is often due to the connectors being worn out from repeated or incorrect use.


If you notice a loose outlet, you will want to have it replaced right away. Loose contacts can cause an electric arc or even result in electrocution, and this electrical issue is one that you do not want to ignore.

  1. Constant Light Flickering

Most homeowners find it easy to overlook flickering lights. This issue does not often last very long, so it does not raise many red flags. Keep in mind that occasional flickering and dimming are regular every once in a while. Consistent occurrences of flickering lights point to a more significant issue.


The first step is to replace your light bulbs. Sometimes lights flicker due to nothing more than a bulb on its last leg or a loose connection with the bulb itself. Replacing the bulb lets you know if the flickering light is an easy fix or something else.


Most electricals would explore the light fixture itself next. If the fixture is older, damaged, or incorrectly installed, it may not have strong enough connections that will cause constant and consistent flickering. If the light fixture is in working order, your electrical contractor will need to do some more in-depth troubleshooting.


Flickering lights may just be annoying, but they might also point out a deeper issue with the fixture, your electric panel, or your home’s internal wiring. Ignoring flickering lights for too long could leave you in a dangerous position.

  1. Too Few Outlets

Topping the list of the most common electrical issues in an older home is a lack of outlets. Not having access to enough outlets can be exceptionally inconvenient for families who have lots of devices to charge.


The most common solution for a house with too few outlets is to purchase power bars, extension cords, and surge protectors. While these devices in themselves are not unsafe, they can increase your risk at home. For example, too many items plugged into a single outlet can lead to tripped breakers, hot outlets, overused outlets, and more. Extension cords can quickly become tripping hazards.


Instead of loading each outlet with additional power bars and extension cords, a better solution would be to have an electrician install extra outlets. This job may require updating your service panel as well to handle the additional load. It is definitely worthwhile to have an adequate amount of available power versus trying to squeeze extra juice from too few outlets.


Let Watson’s Deal with Your Electrical Issues

No matter what kinds of electrical issues you may face, the team at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric is here to help. Our licensed residential and commercial electricians have years of experience finding, evaluating, and fixing electrical issues of every shape and size.


If you experience something out of the ordinary with your home’s electrical system, give us a call for a free consultation and a speedy resolution today.