Most Common Electrical Issues in Florida
When you flick on a switch or plug in a cord, you just want it to work, right? Malfunctions can be extremely frustrating, but they are also frustratingly common. Your friends and neighbors in the Sunshine State often experience similar issues to the ones you may be encountering, so let’s all work together to identify the root problems and formulate the best solutions.
After all, our community witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael and its seemingly endless aftermath. The numbers were staggering: over 400,000 Floridians lost power in the wake of the storm, requiring 17,000 experts in our field to join military personnel and other government officials to bring us all back online.
While hurricane season is the extreme example of Florida’s unique climate and infrastructure, it serves as a sobering reminder that we all share certain obstacles and opportunities when it comes to staying connected. Let’s dive into some examples now…
You’ve tried everything. Toasters, lamps, that annoying kid’s toy that makes the noise you can’t stand – no matter what you plug into your outlet, it just doesn’t work. So, what’s the deal? Maybe a better question to ask is: how persistent is the deal?
Is it just one outlet? A whole room’s worth? One entire wall of your house? These queries will help us pinpoint the problem and diagnose a plan of attack.
Also, you should ask if your neighbors are experiencing the same issue. The power company may be at fault for not routing your energy properly. If the problem is more benign, however, then check for scorch marks near the outlet (or outlets) in question.
Which brings us to a more clear and present danger: actively sparking electrical outlets. While the occasional flicker might be no big deal, persistent inflammations are a sign of a bigger conundrum.
Some of the older Florida estates have similarly vintage electrical systems. Over the years, the protective material coating the wires leading to your outlet may have worn down or been obliterated altogether. This means that every time you plug in an appliance, the connection has no buffer to protect the electrical surge from sparking outside of the outlet and into your room.
Circuit breakers are made to be tripped. They protect us from larger meltdowns, but if they’re breaking too frequently, then they cease to be useful. A few possible reasons why you CB is on the fritz include:
It’s maxed out – too many sources are drawing from one particular circuit, so its wattage is being pushed beyond its limits. Take stock of where your appliances are plugged and see if that solves the issue.
Your panel is outdated – as our electronics get more and more sophisticated, so too should your grid. If your circuit breaker can’t handle your daily needs, then you should consider a consultation so we can strategize your next move.
Surges abound – during one of the aforementioned power outages, whether caused by a Florida tropical storm or otherwise, power surges are quite common. These can cause your circuit breaker to fail, so we should take that into consideration as we formulate a way forward.
Short circuit alert – if your energy is being routed improperly or inefficiently, it can cause confusion in your home’s infrastructure. When power is being pulled every which way but safely, circuits will break (bad).
The symptoms of many of the issues laid out above are frayed wires and burnt cords. Be on the lookout for any such phenomenon, because it can save you from potential disaster in the form of short outs, electrocution, or worse. In fact, the earlier half of this century logged astounding statistics when it comes to electrical fires: over 45,000 blazes occurred because of power malfunctions.
So, how do you avoid falling victim to just such a calamity? Just follow your nose…
IF YOU SMELL SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
Sometimes, the symptoms of wire damage can’t immediately be seen, but they may be detected otherwise. Foul odors can be a tip-off when it comes to burnt wires, especially the ones that are tucked neatly out of sight. The telltale smell of scorched plastic or ozone in the air must not be ignored.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
Now that you’ve alerted your eyes and nose to be on the lookout, so to speak, for electrical issues in your home, listen up! Your ears can also join the fun. Buzzing noises often indicate that an outlet is configured incorrectly; the resulting hum is a beacon for assistance from one of our Pacman personnel.
Sometimes, bad electrical work is as obvious as the blinking light above your head. But here’s a bright idea: take those faulty fixtures as a sign! The lackluster illumination shines a spotlight on the fact that your home may not be wired as well as it should be, so put down the flashlight and pick up the phone.
Our talented team is ready to answer your questions, hear your concerns, and discuss any and all of the symptoms listed above. Florida is a fascinating and beautiful place to live, but it puts unique stresses on its homes electrical systems. To learn more, or to start tackling the problem (or problems) head on, dial (954) 577-7923 and let’s talk!