Electrical Issues at Home.
Getting your home prepared for winter is no different than ensuring your car is safe on an icy road.
We depend on a safe and reliable electricity supply more than ever in the Winter – many people leave appliances working when they leave for work in the morning – things like slow cookers, tumble dryers, heating and lights. This places a bigger demand on your electricity supply – how do you know whether the electrical circuits in your home are capable of the increasing loads you place on them each year?
This time last year, I saw a huge increase in calls from customers all around Manchester and Cheshire who were experiencing problems after switching on their central heating and storage heaters. They had fuses blowing and flickering lights when using appliances such as washing machines and cookers.
Many of my customers often experience problems with their electricity for some time before they call me. My electrical tip is always to call an electrician if you are in any doubt about your electricity, eg, sockets and switches feeling warm to the touch. Just because it is still working does not mean there is not a problem.
Problems left will only get worse over time and eventually can cause harm to you and/or your family and your home.
Many Winter problems are easily solved, leading to peace of mind in the knowledge that your home is safe.
Typical problems to look out for are:
- Lights flickering on and off – this is a sign of a loose connection somewhere and is often accompanied by a strong fish like smell. If this problem is left, the cables can burn and cause a fire.
- Fuses blowing or circuit breakers tripping – this always happens for a reason – these are safety devices that protect a circuit. Simply replacing the fuse or turning the circuit breaker back on without knowing the cause could potentially damage the cables or fittings on the circuit. The longer this is left, the more expensive the job becomes to repair and you also have the risk of injuring someone too.
- Before turning on your electric storage heating, carry out some simple checks first in order to save a costly repair. Ensure that the vents haven’t become blocked; make sure that furniture is not too close; watch out for a build up of dust and pet hair/fur; check that the thermostats are working.
- Check your outside lights as these tend to only be used when the clocks go back and are essential for security, convenience and safety on those dark nights.If you have older , expensive halogen security lights, changing them to a maintenance free, cheap to run LED fitting is a great idea. (See below)
You should consider having an electrical inspection of your home if you haven’t had one carried out in the last few years. The cost is not high, from around £90.00, and could save you money as any potential problems can be spotted before they become an issue requiring an emergency response. Again, this will ensure peace of mind for you and your family.
So, if you are serious about safety, add an electrical inspection of your home to your annual gas safety check, along with your car’s winter service.