There are two main categories of problems field electricians will generally face. The first is actual electrical issues that they are able to fix. The second is problems that can hamper their ability to fix problems, these are usually related to the people they have to work with or other environmental factors.
An additional problem that electricians will always have to deal with is safety. Working with electronics can be a very dangerous job. Electricians should always be vigilant to the threats around them and use proper safety practices.
Electrical issues that electricians commonly face:
Aside from installing new electrical systems, the bulk of an electrician’s work involves fixing or maintaining existing electrical work. Some of the more common issues are:
- Flickering lights in a home. This issue can be caused by power supply fluctuations from the main grid or by storms and high winds. In these cases, there is not much that the electrician can do. If there is no storm and the power supply is stable, but the lights in a building are still flickering, it points to a different issue. One of the common causes for flickering lights is faulty wiring. Electricians will need to inspect and repair the wiring in a building if this is the case.
- Appliances causing a circuit breaker to trip. Circuit breakers are designed to regulate the flow of electricity in a building. To ensure that wiring does not melt, a circuit breaker will cut off the power to a building if too much electricity is being pulled off the grid. If an appliance is causing the breaker to trip, there could be faulty wiring in the appliance itself, or the appliance could be designed to draw more power than the breaker is designed to allow.
- Warm power outlets in a room. This issue suggests an extreme hazard. If a power outlet is warm to the touch, one of the causes is poorly insulated wires coming into contact with an outside material. The result could be an electrical fire. If residents discover a warm outlet, they should immediately cut the power to the room and call a professional for assistance.
- Strange burning smells coming from outlets. Similar to warm outlets, this issue points to faulty wiring. In this case, the exposed live wires have already made contact with a combustible material. The burning smell is the smell of a material like rubber or plastic smouldering. Again, this issue should never be ignored. Residents should cut off the power to the room and seek professional assistance.
- Consistently burning out light bulbs. If a light bulb burns out every now and then, it is not a major issue. If a bulb burns out frequently, it could mean that there is a loose connection to the light fitting. This issue can cause power trips and if left long enough, electrical fires.
- Exposed wires after a DIY renovation project. Home owners will often damage electrical wiring that they did not know about during renovation projects. This poses a serious threat as live wires can become exposed. Fires and electrocution are the main risks. If a home owner suspects they have damaged an electrical wire, they should immediately cut the power to that section of their home and call a professional for assistance.
- Power trips caused by overuse of extension cables and multi-plugs. If too many leads are run from a single outlet, they can trip the circuit breaker by drawing too much power from a single outlet. The most simple solution for this is to have additional outlets installed.
- Water damage. After heavy rains or flooding, the electrical wiring in older homes can become exposed to water. Because water is conductive, it can cause a short in the electrical system.
- Lightning damage. If a home is struck by lightning, a massive surge of electricity enters the homes electrical system. Because the systems in buildings are designed for a specific voltage and power supply, this surge can melt wires and destroy appliances.
- Outdated electrical systems. In older homes, circuit breakers that were designed to manage smaller amounts of electricity can be unreliable.
Aside from the issues surrounding the electrical components of a system, there are environmental factors that electricians need to deal with as well.
Often, electricians will need to work with other professionals like plumbers or carpenters on a building site. These other professionals may not have the same understanding of electronics as the electricians, and cause damage during the course of their work.
Unreasonable clients can be challenging for any professional. Because of the complex nature of electronics, clients sometimes incorrectly assume that they are able to fix an issue. While trying to fix it, they can often make it much worse. Get electricians service software for your business today.