Common Electrical Outlet Problems

By Springdale Electrician,

Learn about electrical outlet problems with Mister Sparky NWA electrician

Common Electrical Outlet Problems

In today’s world, almost everything in a home uses electricity. We flip a switch Call Mister Sparky NWA electricians when you have electrical outlet problems.or plug in an item. “Voilà,” it works. A properly functioning outlet is essential for the electric current to flow properly to power appliances and devices in our homes. Our small appliances are essential for making coffee and cooking. We are at a loss if our entertainment items are unable to work. Everything usually works fine until you experience electrical outlet problems. Many people encounter electrical outlet problems and should know warning signs that could lead to a hazardous situation.

Electricians are asked these question quite often:

  • Why did my outlet suddenly stop working?
  • Is this a dangerous situation?
  • Is it just the outlet or my home wiring system?

In order to give a correct response, the electrician needs to do an inspection. Until an electrician arrives, it is a good idea to leave the outlet alone, and turn off the circuit in your electrical panel box that sends electricity to that panel.

Causes of Common Electrical Outlet Problems
Sometimes one or a combination of factors may lead to electrical outlet problems that need to be addressed. These factors include:

  • Age – Over time outlets and their connections become worn, creating faulty electrical connections.
  • Amount of usage – An outlet that receives heavy usage tends to experience problems earlier than one that is rarely used.
  • Quality of materials – Most outlets are made of plastic, but differences in material quality can impact how the outlet functions.
  • Overloaded circuits – Since there are so many electrical devices in a house, your circuit can easily get overloaded. This definitely produces electrical problems with your outlets and in your wiring system.

Symptoms of Common Electrical Outlet Problems

Malfunctions from electrical outlets cause house fires each year. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, many of these fires are preventable. If you notice these common electrical outlet problems, then you know that you need to consult with a residential electrician for a home inspection.
Buzzing sound at or near an outlet

  • Burning smell
  • Loose switch plates
  • Cracks in the outlet
  • Hot switch plates
  • Sparks from the outlet
  • Blown fuses

These symptoms indicate that there are issues with your electrical outlets. Sparks from the outlet and burning smells are problems that require immediate action. Promptly addressing common electrical outlet problems can prevent further damage to your wiring system and possibly eliminate the danger of a house fire.

Basic Troubleshooting and Safety Issues
Troubleshooting does not mean trying to diagnose and repair an outlet. These suggestions are a few common sense approaches to determine if you need a professional.

Sometimes, the problem is not the outlet at all, but it may be the item Mister Sparky NWA showing common electrical outlet problems.you are using. The safest way to check to determine if the outlet or the small appliance or device is not functioning correctly is to plug the machine into another outlet. If it works, then you know that the outlet is experiencing a problem.

An often overlooked place to check for problems is the top and bottom sections of an outlet. Sometimes the top half works and the bottom does not. Plug something in each section to be sure the entire outlet is working correctly. If you discover that only one part is functional, then you do not need to use that outlet at all. This is a clue that it needs to be replaced by an electrician.

Check to see that a breaker is not tripped due to a power surge. A switch that trips often is another warning sign.

One of the most important methods to use is preventive maintenance. Use a home safety electrical checklist. As a homeowner, you need to be sure that your home is a safe place. A good recommendation is to go through the checklist at least every 6 months. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends having an electrician inspect your home for electrical problems every 10 years. An excellent place to record the time of inspection is inside your electrical panel box. This allows for common electrical outlet problems to be readily identified, repaired, and/or updated.

When it comes to electrical outlet issues, troubleshooting refers to checking not repairing. This is a job for a qualified electrician!

Electricity powers our lives with comfort and convenience, but do not forget how powerful and dangerous it is. If you experience any type of electrical outlet problems, please contact a certified electrician! Contact them to assess and repair any problems. Consider it as a life-saving opportunity and a home investment. Making any type of repair or installation that puts you in contact with electricity is not a DIY project. Call Mister Sparky NWA electricians today.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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How to Hire an Electrician

By Springdale Electrician,

Learn how to hire an electrician the smart way with Mister Sparky NWA!

How to Hire an Electrician

The electricity in your house brings you a host of benefits. You can enjoy heating and air conditioning when the outside temperature isn’t pleasant, and you can watch all of your favorite television shows. However, problems can also come into fruition with the electric, and handling these issues by yourself can prove dangerous. Learning how to hire an electrician is crucial for these situations.
Trying to tackle electrical issues could lead to electrocution, which can be fatal. Also, you might make mistakes that turn the system in your house into a fire hazard. As a result of these potentially serious consequences of do-it-yourself electrical work, calling a professional electrician is important. You can use some tips to help you find an electrician.

Assess Your Needs

Assessing your problem is important in learning how to hire an electrician.When an electrical issue is present in the home, you may very well not know what is causing it. For example, if the lights in the kitchen are constantly flickering when the washing machine is running, you know that you have a problem, but you may not know exactly what it is. In other cases, you may know for sure that you want to upgrade the number of amps in your house. Regardless, articulating what you do know to the electrician is a useful way to start the conversation. Before you start calling electricians, make a quick list of what you want to ask about on the phone.

Ask for Referrals

When it comes to how to hire an electrician, you could start by asking for referrals from other qualified experts in the field. You might be working with a contractor fix some holes in the wall or to develop plans for extending the house. Chances are that this contracting company works with an electrician or has a recommendation for one. Getting a referral from a professional whom you already trust can bolster your confidence in the electrician.

Research Online

Mister Sparky recommends online research when searching for how to hire an electrician!

Conducting research online is a useful method for how to hire an electrician though you do need to proceed with caution. For example, you may find a local electrician who has a few five-star reviews, but you don’t necessarily know that the reviews are real. People may have been paid to write them. Also, the reviews could have been written by the electrician’s relatives or friends who are biased or who never actually used the service. When researching online, use reputable sites for home services. You can check to see if the reviews are verified. Additionally, you should be seeking professionals who have many high ratings, not just a couple.

Check Certification

Checking that your electrician has proper certification is essential. It is imperative that your electrician is aware of the National Electric Code and follows the protocols established in this code. The National Electric Code is a system of regulations designed for the utmost safety and integrity of your home. Work that is not up to code puts you and your loved ones living in the home at risk. You should make sure that this electrician is operating on the most current version of the code when you are learning how to hire an electrician.

Ask for Proof

You might feel funny asking the electrician to bring proof of certification and insurance, especially when you are just learning how to hire an electrician for the first time. Remember that this step is a necessary one in ensuring the safety of your home. Also, you are probably not the first person to ask the electrician for proof. If you want to have extra peace of mind, you can search online to make sure that the electrician’s certification is current and real.

Meet with the Electrician

Learning how to hire an electrician involves speaking one on one.You can do all of the searching online that you want, but you may not feel entirely comfortable with the electrician until you meet in person. How to hire an electrician involves in-person communication. This conversation can help you to determine if the two of you can work together. Rapport is important, especially when you are looking into a larger project that could take a significant amount of time to complete. While the electrician may want to know when you would like to begin the work, you should approach an overly pushy professional with skepticism.

Ask about Permits

Depending upon where you live, permits might be required for certain types of electrical work. Contacting your town can provide you with information about the work for which you need permits. Speak with your electrician about obtaining the permits and find out if it is your responsibility or if the electrician takes care of this component. When electricians express hesitation about the obtaining of permits when the permits are required, you should definitely look into other professionals.

Discuss Payment Options

Before any work begins or any agreements are signed, you must discuss payment options with the electrician. Some companies will accept all types of payment types, and others may only be setup for cash and checks at the current time. You also need to find out when your balance is due. For example, you may need to pay in full when the work is completed, or you may have the opportunity to enter into a monthly payment plan.

Discuss Times and Days

A number of electrical projects can be completed in a day’s time. Some smaller repairs may take just a few hours. In any case, it is important that you know how long the work is going to take. If you have time constraints, you must articulate those issues now. In the event that you do not say anything, the electrician may assume that your days are entirely free for this work to be done. Figuring out the scheduling components early on can eliminate hassle later on and lead to an increase in productivity.

Learning how to hire an electrician is quite important. Chances are that you are going to need to do so at some point in your life. Once you have found an electrician whom you trust, you can then use the same company time and time again, so this process is a worthwhile one.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Should I Replace My Electrical Panel?

By Springdale Electrician,

How do you know when its time to replace your electrical panel? Check out these tips from Mister Sparky NWA electricians!

Should I Replace My Electrical Panel?

Electrical panel replacements should be left to the professionals, call Mister Sparky NWA electricians today!

If you’re a homeowner, you know that sometimes you need to fix things around the house. Plumbing wears out, air conditioners break, and furnaces need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years. The electrical panel, otherwise known as a circuit breaker, is no different. But how do you know when it is time to replace your breaker box? There are several tell-tale signs and reasons that it is time to upgrade.

Old Electrical Panel
One reason that you might consider replacing your electrical box is that it is more than 20 years old. There are several reasons for this. First of all, homes today have more electrical needs than in years past. Most homes have more television sets, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets that require electricity. Because of this, your home’s electrical system might not be set up to handle your electricity needs. Old Panels are also a problem because they are often outdated, which brings us to our second reason.

A Fuse Box
Decades ago, homes were built with the fuse box system. This type of electrical box has fuses that burn out when they become too hot. These fuses then need to be replaced. With circuit breakers, the breaker will flip off if it cannot handle the amount of electricity that is flowing through it, so you can usually just flip it back on.

Flickering Lights
An electrical panel is a critical component of your home's electrical system, leave your electrical panel replacement to a professional!If the lights in your home are flickering, this is a sign that your current electrical panel cannot meet the needs of your home. The lights are not receiving enough power. You might also notice that many of your appliances cannot run at full power.

Electrical Panel Has a Burnt Smell or Burn Marks
If your panel is warm, has a burnt smell, or burn marks, these are all signs of a prehistoric panel that is not equipped to handle the amount of power that is flowing through it. This can cause a server issue of a house fire and other home issues. If this is the case with you, be sure to call your trusted electrician immediately.

Electrical Panel Trips Frequently
If you have a circuit breaker that you are needing to reset a lot, this is another sign that your current breaker box is not equipped to handle your electricity needs. Therefore can cause a lot of damage to your appliances and can even cause them to stop working.

A Home Addition
Call Mister Sparky electricians NWA for your next electrical panel replacement.When you add to your home, your electricity needs will increase. This is another good time to assess your circuit breaker. You will need to find out if you need a new electrical panel, sub panel, or both.

Many Power Strips
If you find that you are using many power strips in your home, you are also using more electricity. You should assess your electrical system and make sure that it is equipped to handle your electrical needs.

Most of the time, there will be multiple signs that you need to replace your circuit breaker. For instance, if your circuit breaker is old, it’s also more likely that you are having problems with flickering lights or a burnt smell. Similarly, if you’ve been using more power strips, it’s even more likely that you’ve noticed that you have to reset the breakers more often. If you think that you might need a new electrical panel, you should know that this is not a DIY project. Instead, you should call your local licensed electrician so that you know that the job will be done right! Contact Mister Sparky today for all of your residential electrical needs!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Benefits of Annual Home Electrical Maintenance

By Springdale Electrician,

The benefits of annual home electrical maintenance are endless. Call Mister Sparky Electricians for an inspection today!

Benefits of Annual Home Electrical Maintenance

When it comes to the electric in your home, you might be happy as long as the appliances work and the lights go on when you need them to do so. However, home electrical maintenance is about more than just what you can see. Instead of waiting for issues to arise, consider the benefits of having an annual check of your home’s system.

Protecting against Fires

Electrical fires can be detrimental to your home. Consider annual home electrical maintenance from Mister Sparky! As you’re considering fire safety, you might think of steps such as creating a plan for the family, not leaving the stove on unattended and putting out candles before going into another room. However, home electrical maintenance also has to do with fire safety. Electrical issues can cause devastating fires that destroy your home and claim lives. By having annual checks, you can learn about issues before they have the chance to create destruction.

Upgrading Your System

After adding some new features to your home, you may feel quite eager to just start enjoying them, yet these upgrades could add to fire safety issues and other malfunctions if your house does not have the proper electrical system to support all of the devices. Home electrical maintenance can allow you to get electrical inspections to see if upgrades are needed. For example, you may need to increase the amount of amps to your house.

Grounding Your Home

Opting for inspections could also reveal that your house isn’t grounded, which could pose a serious threat to your family. While this project can take some time and cost money, it is worth it for the safety of your loved ones. Without home electrical inspections, you may not know that your house lacks grounding. In fact, you may not even know what grounding is and why it matters for safety purposes.

Protecting Equipment

Chances are that you have a number of different devices and appliances plugged in at any given moment. When the system in your house is bad, these devices might be destroyed. In addition to posing a fire safety issue, you could lose hundreds or thousands of dollars on items that are ruined by an improper electrical system. By hiring experts, you can learn about damage that has already occurred and ways to prevent future damage.

Saving You Money

Annual home electrical maintenance with Mister Sparky can save you money in the long run!You may feel hesitant to call because you’re afraid of the price tag attached to such a visit. However, failing to have proper checks done on your home could actually lead to greater costs in the long run. For example, if you have an inspection now, you can learn about problems while they are in their early stages. By waiting, the issues may have expanded into gigantic tasks by the time you recognize what it happening.

Meeting Code

While you may not realize it, the electric in your home is actually supposed to meet the standards of the National Electric Code in order to protect you with the highest levels of safety. When new work is performed, it must meet this code. Opting for annual home electrical maintenance can let you know if your home is not up to code. You may wonder why you can’t just code requirements checked once. The reason is that the code has and does change. Chances are that more requirements for your safety will be put into place in the future.

Knowing Your Home

After a year goes by, you will likely need to explain the particulars of your house to the electricians again as they have many other clients, but as time goes on, working with one electrical company can have benefits. As the electricians get to know your house and where electrical components are located, the process can run more seamlessly. You might also start to follow the professionals on social media to see when they have new features and products to offer.

Asking Questions

If you notice that something seems off with your electrical system, you should call a professional immediately. Having this service performed also means that you get the opportunity to ask questions. Knowing your home is important, especially when it comes to the parts of it that could pose a serious threat to your loved ones.

Noting Issues

By having annual home electrical maintenance, you can also learn about safety hazards and usage problems that you have accidentally created. For example, you might be improperly using extension cords in your house, or you may be running an air conditioner without having it on its own line. Without professionals, you may not even know that these situations could cause problems. Experts in the industry can identify the issues and help you determine how to resolve them.

Making Upgrades

Call today for home electrical maintenance with Mister Sparky Electricians!You might also want to make some other upgrades to your house. Putting some new lighting fixtures into the ceiling can brighten up the place, or seeking a new surge protector can help you to feel more comfortable with your electronics. Speaking with a professional about these upgrades is a smart decision. By having these conversations during your appointment, you can learn about the savviest and safest options for your home.

Preparing for Sale

Annual Home Electrical Maintenance can save you money when preparing for sale.If you’re planning to sell your house, you may need to make some changes. When you have your annual home electrical maintenance appointment, you can speak with the team about changes that can enhance your home. Also, when your house is not up to code or contains dangerous issues, you are likely to encounter a difficult time selling the property. Dealing with that stress and extra time later on can just add to the burden of selling a house. Take the time to deal with these issues now.

Waiting until a problem arises with your electrical system is not the best idea. Doing so can cost you time and money. Furthermore, waiting can even pose a hazard to the structure of your home and, more importantly, to the safety of your loved ones. Call and make an appointment with us today!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Top 5 Uses of LED Lighting

By Springdale Electrician,

Learn all about LED lighting with Mister Sparky Electricians NWA!

Top 5 Uses of LED Lighting

LED lighting can save you lots on the energy usage in your home. Get your lighting installation done by Mister Sparky Electricians!Those light emitting diodes better known as LEDs are actually 90% more efficient at producing light than the incandescent light bulbs. How do they do that? LED lighting works by passing an electrical current through a microchip. As the current passes through the microchip, it illuminates the tiny LED light producing a visible light. Performance issues of the LEDs lighting are prevented by the absorption of its heat into a heat sink.

Unlike compact fluorescent or incandescent lights, the LEDs don’t “burn out”. They simply experience “lumen depreciation” by their brightness slowly diming over time. Therefore, the lifetime of the LED lighting is based on a prediction of when the output of light will decrease by 30 percent.

You now know how LED lights work, but how are they currently used best?

#1: Every Day Uses in the Home

LED lighting can be installed in your home by Mister Sparky Electricians.You can find many LED bulbs in various different shapes including recessed lighting as well as watt/lumens that have been converted for every day uses. If a bulb that has been screwed into a normal light fixture such as a lamp burns out, you can replace it with a LED bulb. Since specialty bulbs such as those in appliances have equivalent LED bulbs, they can be replaced by a LED bulb. LED bulbs can also replace traditional bulbs in floodlights that light porches, driveways, patios, decks and backyards.

Both desk lights and reading lamps’ traditional bulbs in a home office can be replaced with LED lighting giving better visibility. Old-style bulbs in lights under your kitchen cabinets and recessed lighting can also be replaced with LED bulbs that will provide more light.

The advantage of the LED bulb is that it uses 13% to 15% of the electricity that a standard light bulb uses. Standard bulbs may last hundreds of hours, but the lifespan of a LED bulb even in recessed lighting is tens of thousands of hours.

Since LED Christmas lights are lightweight, small and last so much longer than the standard bulbs, you certainly won’t regret using the LED ones. They use so much less electricity than the standard bulbs. You can pack them away for next year, and they will work in another year. For holiday lighting, there’s none better than LED lighting.

#2: Workplace Lighting

The Harvard School of Medicine conducted a study to determine whether there were benefits of using LED lighting in the workplace. The results of the study showed that workers were more alert, exhibited better performance, had a mood that was more positive, were better able to concentrate and were less fatigued at the end of the work day when they were exposed to LED blue-enriched white light. LED recessed lighting is especially soothing at the workplace.

New and improved LED lights in the workplace had several benefits as well. Both the safety and the productivity of workers were improved by the use of LED lights that were arranged in numerous ways including recessed lighting such as with the use of retrofitted, existing or new fixtures.

#3: Community Places

LED lights often replace public space lighting and street lights. This allows local governments to save costs of lighting public places. Besides the cost savings, the LED lighting is brighter than the outmoded lighting that is much safer as well. Communities that are using LED lighting for their streets, parks, parking lots and other public locations are benefiting by major savings as well as a huge reduction in crime. Happier neighborhoods are created by the use of LED lighting for sports fields, community parks and schools.

#4: Flashlights

Flashlights with LED lighting last far longer than typical incandescent lighting. Learn more with Mister Sparky!The LED flashlight has arrived. Since the LED flashlights are extremely durable and reliable and consume low amounts of energy, they are currently the best flashlight of choice.

The LED flashlights use the same size battery as the conventional incandescent flashlights, but they last far longer. There actually are LED flashlights that can be charged by hand cranking and no longer need batteries at all. The LED flashlights can endure shocks and vibrations that would destroy the old style flashlights by shattering them. A final thought about LED flashlights is that they will, without a doubt, last a lifetime.

#5: Automobile Lights

More and more car manufacturers are now using LEDs light for both the interior and outside lights of the cars. The Audi is actually using LEDs for the running head lights during daytime.

When comparing the LED bulb to the incandescent bulb, the LED takes only milliseconds to respond whereas the incandescent bulb takes several tenths of a second to illuminate fully. It may seem that a few tenths of a second isn’t very significant, but when travelling at highway speed you will travel ten to forty feet before the brake light lights up. Therefore, LED brake lights are much safer
since they warn drivers to stop sooner making rear end collisions less likely.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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