Lately, you may have noticed that one or more of your home's circuit breakers keep tripping. While there are a number of potential issues that could cause this problem, one possible culprit is that there is a short somewhere within the electrical system of your home. If you suspect that this could be the case, look for the signs discussed below.
1. One or More of Your Home's Outlets Are Hot to the Touch
One sign for which you should be on the lookout is when one or more outlets in your home start to feel hot to the touch. Normally, not enough electrical current will feed the outlets to generate enough heat to warm up the outlet plates. However, if there is a short somewhere close by, the current will escape the wiring and arc outward toward the nearest metal. This will create heat, which will then transfer to the outlet cover. To test the temperature of the covers, lay the palm of your hand against them, being careful not to put your fingers in the outlet themselves. If they are hot, you may also notice black charring around the outlet, indicating that the current may be arcing out of the openings.
2. Buzzing Sound Is Heard While Your Lights Flicker
Another sign that you may have an electrical short in your home's wiring is if your lights start to flicker whenever you start an appliance or have several devices running at the same time. Along with the lights flickering, you may also hear a buzzing sound coming from inside of your walls. If you are hearing this noise, the short is creating an arc outside of the wires. Since the protective rubber coating of the wires also dampens the sound of the electricity running through them, its absence will make it possible for you to hear the electrical sound as it jumps out of the wires.
If your outlets are hot when you touch them and you hear a buzzing noise as the lights flicker, there is most likely a short somewhere in the electrical system. If the issue is not taken care of, the short could pose both an electrocution and fire hazard for your house. Contact an electrician as soon as possible to have them inspect the electric wiring to find the location of the short so that they can do what must be done to fix it. Contact a company, such as Etheridge Electric Company Inc, for more information.