How to Solve Wiring Problems in Your Home With These Little-Known Tricks

Electrical issues in your home can be frustrating and even dangerous if not addressed properly. However, there are several little-known tricks you can try before calling an electrician that may solve common wiring problems. As a homeowner, being able to troubleshoot basic electrical problems can save you time and money.

Identify the Problem

The first step is to identify exactly what the problem is. Here are some of the most common wiring issues in homes:

Pay attention to what events seem to trigger the issues. This can provide clues to locate the source of the problem.

Simple Troubleshooting Steps

Here are some basic things you can try yourself before calling an electrician:

Check connections

Go around your home and check where wires and cables plug into outlets, switches and light fixtures. Make sure they are pushed securely into place and are not loose. Tighten any loose connections using a screwdriver.

Test outlets

Use a multimeter or outlet tester to check for power, proper wiring and grounding. This can identify faulty outlets that could be causing issues.

Reset breakers

If a breaker trips, completely switch it off and then back on again. If it immediately trips again, you likely have a short circuit somewhere.

Check for tripped GFCIs

GFCI outlets have a "reset" button that may need to be pushed back in to restore power. They trip easily to prevent shocks.

Replace damaged wires

Exposed, frayed or cracked wires can cause shorts. Shut off power and use wire nuts to replace old wires.

Update overloaded circuits

If you've added a lot of lights and appliances to one circuit, it may be overloaded. Have an electrician install new dedicated circuits.

When to Call an Electrician

While the above tips may fix minor issues, it's best to call a licensed electrician for:

Electrical problems can damage equipment and be a serious hazard. If DIY efforts don't locate and resolve the issue, don't hesitate to call a professional. Safety should be the top concern.

Preventing Electrical Problems

You can help avoid many wiring issues in your home through prevention:

With some basic electrical knowledge and safety awareness, you can troubleshoot and prevent many electrical problems in your home. But when in doubt, hire a trained professional to make sure the issue is properly addressed.