Fixing an electrical problem is one of the most difficult things to DIY in your home—and potentially one of the most dangerous. If you’re having these common electrical problems, it’s time to call in a licensed professional.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are one of the most common signs of electrical problems—and it’s not nearly as harmless as it might seem. First, make sure you’re using the right bulbs. Light fixtures that feel hot and flicker may be overheating, and could cause a dangerous electrical fire. Switch them out for a lower wattage. If your lights flicker when you turn them on or off, a loose wire in your circuit breaker is the likely culprit. An electrician can safely fix the loose wire. Find an electrician in your area.

Shocks

If you feel a shock when you touch an appliance, you may have a wiring problem, or a ground fault issue. Try replacing the appliance first. If you notice another shock, it’s time to call in a local professional.

Your Circuit Trips

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If your circuit breaker is constantly tripping, it may be a sign that it’s passed the expiration date, or it’s overloaded. If unplugging a few major items from the circuit doesn’t help, you may need to replace your old circuit breaker. Call a local electrical contractor to help.

Sparks, Pops, and Odors

If you smell a burning odor, see a spark, or hear a loud pop when you use appliances, you likely have faulty wiring. This is one issue you definitely don’t want to troubleshoot yourself. A local electrician can diagnose the problem, and fix any loose wiring.