Electrical Wiring Problems – 10 Signs Your Wiring Needs an Upgrade

Don’t let electrical wiring problems catch you in the dark—look for these 10 signs of bad wiring & seek professional help.

When dealing with wiring for residential electric, Anderson homeowners need to take heed—never tamper with the wiring in your home. Only a licensed professional should do the work. When it’s working, the wiring in your home is invisible. But when wiring starts to go bad, problems can go unseen. To the untrained eye, good wiring often looks the same as bad wiring. But according to the U. S. Fire Administration, bad wiring causes more than $800 million in damages, more than 67,000 fires, and hundreds of deaths each year.

One problem is that many myths surround electrical wiring, and most homeowners are not qualified to fix their own electrical wiring problems. Yet try they will—the Do It Yourself industry is thriving. And while many homeowners can afford to try to fix a plumbing problem or put up drywall, they simply cannot afford to fix an electrical wiring problem, no matter how minor it may seem.

You can avoid serious injury and a major disaster by following these tips about common electrical wiring problems and their warning signs:

  • Most modern homes are built with modern circuit breakers that have replaced the old-fashioned fuse box. It’s common for a circuit breaker to trip and turn off a circuit automatically. When this happens, you merely have to put the switch back. But if a circuit breaker trips frequently, you may be overloading and exceeding its safety capacity. It could also be a sign of a short somewhere in your wiring. Unrepaired, this problem could lead to a dangerous fire.
  • Frequently flickering or dimming lights are a common problem in older homes, especially those equipped with modern appliances such as microwave ovens and desktop computers. Sometimes a flickering lamp itself is the problem—you should test the lamp or fixture in question in an outlet far from its normal one. But if more than one light or fixture flickers regularly, you could have a serious wiring problem. Consult a qualified electrician to determine if your household electrical system needs an upgrade.
  • In the vast majority of cases, a modern circuit breaker is designed to hold a 15-amp breaker for maximum protection in most rooms. However, many homeowners replace those original 15-amp breakers with 20-amp breakers. This can be a fatal mistake because 20-amp breakers are meant for major appliances, not everyday use. Putting on the wrong breaker allows overloads to occur without tripping the breaker, increasing the risk of serious overheating and possibly a fire.
  • Modern electrical appliances and light fixtures are designed to work without a hint that they need electricity to work. If your lamp buzzes when you turn it on, it could be because of a bad lamp or a bad wire. If you feel a slight shock, vibration, or buzz when you turn on an appliance, it could have a serious electrical problem. If a light fixture or appliance buzzes or shocks in another outlet, you need to have an electrician check out the wiring in your house.
  • Electrical outlets should never be hot to the touch, never buzz, and never have char marks. These are warning signs of bad wiring inside or near the outlet. Another sign of bad wiring is a dead outlet. This problem could be caused by a loose wire or a faulty do-it-yourself job. Always have a licensed electrician perform even minor electrical repairs.
  • Since electricity was first included in home construction, building codes have required that all home and commercial wiring must be done by a qualified and licensed electrician. When your home was built, all of the electrical outlets had to be grounded according to code. But over time, those ground wires can come loose. Or if one outlet is ungrounded for repairs, other outlets in the system become ungrounded as well.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are required by code anywhere an electrical current comes in contact with the ground or is placed near running water. These devices save lives by preventing the potential for deadly shocks. Modern GFCIs have built-in testers and should be tested regularly. If one of yours is not working properly, it could be the result of a faulty GFCI. But more seriously, it could be the result of faulty wiring.
  • Faulty cable splices, damaged or frayed wires, or cut insulation can be an extreme fire hazard and are often a sign of an amateur electrical job. A problem like this one often goes unnoticed. If any wiring work was ever done in your home by an unlicensed electrician, you should have that work reviewed and corrected by a properly certified professional.
  • Once popular in the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum wiring can be a major problem. Unlike traditional and more-effective copper wiring, aluminum wiring expands and contracts as the seasonal temperature changes, leading to loose connections and a major fire hazard. If your home has aluminum wiring, consider replacing it. If that job is too costly, at least have all the connections pigtailed with copper wiring.
  • The odor of burning plastic or vinyl is unmistakable. But in the case of wiring, it may be hard to locate and identify. But if you smell something electrical burning, consider yourself lucky—most warning signs of electrical fires are invisible, colorless, and odorless. Electrical wiring can heat up and “burn” for years before it becomes superheated and ignited nearby materials.

If you’ve noticed any of these electric wiring problems in your home and need help correcting them, just give us a call . We specialize in residential electric in Anderson SC and would love to help!

DIY Electrical Wiring?

electrical shock anderson scMany people enjoy doing their own work on their homes. If they have the skills and tools, the DIY project can be very rewarding. It’s a great way to save money and feels good to have done it yourself. Some may think electrical work can be done just as easy as other home improvement projects. However, you should think twice when working on items electrical related. The hazards can be lethal and catastrophic.
Some risks include:
Fire: Every year hundreds of electrical fires are caused by improper connections and unstable wiring systems. Licensed electricians are well versed with a code book they follow published and updated every three years by the National Fire Protection Agency.
Bodily Injury or Fatalities: The truth. Not a scare tactic! Electricity is not only dangerous to work with, it can also cause serious injury or safety hazards to persons or property if a job isn’t performed correctly. Experienced electricians spend thousands of hours learning and implementing the safety aspects when dealing with electricity.
Property Damage: Frying or melting the wires of the appliance or equipment, or worse–the wiring inside the walls. In some states, insurance companies will not pay for any damages if electrical work is not done by a professional, licensed and insured electrician. Who wants that hassle and grief?
Many people desire to save money and have the satisfaction of “doing it yourself”, but doing DYI electrical can cost you more in the long run. Even what may look simple can be done incorrectly if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. What looks to be an easy do it yourself project can turn into a nightmare due to inexperience.

Have questions about your next project? Need advice about the electrical problem you are thinking of doing yourself? Contact Isom Electric.

Christmas Light Safety

christmas light safety

A house lit up with Christmas lights is a beautiful sight to behold. But stringing lights across your roof and around your home can be a real safety hazard if you’re not careful. So before you flip the switch to dazzle friends and family with your spectacular light show, take a few moments to run through a quick safety checklist.

Before you string up a single strand of lights, carefully check them for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.

The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly.There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down.

Modern lights have fused plugs, preventing sparks in case of a short circuit. Ditch old strands of lights that don’t have fuses and get a set of newer, safer lights.

If bulbs have burned out, replace them right away, but make sure you use the correct wattage bulbs.

Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets, so make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks.

Don’t use tacks, nails or screws to hang lights, which can pierce the cable and become electrified. Use insulated hooks instead.

When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections. Also, tape down any ground-level extensions cords to prevent people from tripping over them.

Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Indoor lights often have thinner insulation, which which can become cracked and damaged when exposed to the elements outdoors. So make sure the ones you string up on the house belong out there.

Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.

When you put your lights back into storage after the holidays, make sure to put them in a well-sealed container to prevent possible water damage and to block hungry rodents looking to turn the cords into lunch.

Adam Verwymeren is a Networx – http://www.networx.com – writer.

Home Generator Tips

Home generators can save the day during severe weather. Here are some generator safety tips to help you use your generator safely and efficiently!

Never Use Generators Indoors

Generators emit carbon monoxide With no smell or color, carbon monoxide can be deadly. Operate your generator completely outdoors. Not in a storage shed or garage. Certainly keep it far away from any home ventilation as the generators exhaust can enter the home this way.

Store Generator Fuel Outside

Store generator fuel in an appropriate container and far away from a water heater or anything else with a pilot light! Fuel can ignite with the slightest spark and cause major damage. Certainly don’t smoke the fuel and keep an extinguisher handy in case of an emergency.

Don’t Directly Connect Your Generator to Your Home’s Wiring

A generator can send power into the lines connected to your home, damaging utility equipment.Newer generators can be installed with a switch that disconnects your house from the power grid when your generator is in operation.

Choose the right size generator

It is important to choose the right size generator and not overload it with too many appliances.

If you have questions of concerns about using a generator for backup power to your home, contact Isom Electric as we will be glad to make sure you have a professional set up so that you can be safely prepared.

Hiring a Professional Electrician

Do you have an electrical repair or a project you’re moving forward on, or you want to improve the look of your home or business?  Will you do it yourself, hire a handyman, or hire a qualified electrician?

Many people are looking for ways to cut costs when it comes to electrical repairs or additions. One way people have found is through their own attempts or hire someone that claims to be a qualified electrician doing work as a “handyman”.

While many handymen are capable of doing the electrical work you need, how are you to know if they are able to do it correctly? Most work performed during a project is hidden by walls, junction boxes, or a location that has limited access. There is potential for huge liability if certain codes are not met.

Electrical work is very dangerous. A handyman may have some electrical experience, but they are not legally licensed as an electrical contractor.  You take a huge risk when you hire someone that is not licensed just to save a little money.  If the work does not get done correctly, you could be stuck and end up paying more in the end.

It is important that you make an effort to find a professional electrician that can meet the requirements for your project.

Call Isom Electric to discuss your project and how we can help you get it right the first time.

Stay Electrically Safe in your Home This Summer

A general rule of thumb to remember is that water and electricity do not mix well. The danger of this combination can actually be fatal. Most of these tips come from this basic but important rule.

• Move electrical toys and appliances away from pools, bathtubs, sprinkler systems, sinks, etc.
• Electricity travels very quickly through water and leads to electrocution! Do not touch an electrical toy or appliance if you are wet or standing in the water.
• Be certain that all of your major appliances are not plugged into extension cords. Washers, dryers, and refrigerators should always be plugged into grounded outlets.
• Consider upgrading to GFCI receptacles in all bathrooms, kitchens, garages, basements, and pool rooms if you have standard receptacles in these rooms that may see water or moisture.
• Be aware of where your circuit breakers are and how to turn them off safely in the event of an emergency.
• Do not ever plug in an appliance with a cord that shows any signs of damage.

If you have any questions about our summer electrical safety tips or need electrical updates, rewiring, and remodeling to your home, call Isom Electric at 864-226-2433 today!

Backyard Electrical Safety Precautions

Memorial Day is right around the corner. For many of us, this will be the beginning of many weekends spent barbecuing, swimming, home maintenance, landscaping and other outdoor projects.

Whether you’re going for a swim or planting flowers, it’s important to remember that you are surrounded by electricity and that outdoor electrical safety shouldn’t be overlooked.

Consider these electrical safety precautions when you’re out in the back yard.

Pools and Electrical Safety 

  • Inspections: Before the warm weather arrives, have an electrician inspect the pool, spa, or hot tub. Follow up with any necessary upgrades or repairs.
  • Battery-operated devices: Having electronics around the pool can be dangerous. Use battery-operated devices around water instead of cord-connected devices.
  • Weather ready: Do not swim or hang out near the water before, during, or after a thunderstorm. Water and lightning are a dangerous combination.

Outlet, Power Tool, and Electrical Cord Safety

  • Outlets: Check that each outlet has its own weatherproof outlet cover and keep it closed when not in use.
  • Electric gardening tools: Avoid using corded power tools in wet or damp locations. Check all tools for cord damage, such as cracks or exposed wires, and make sure they are in good condition and operating properly.
  • Extension cords: Use only extension cords that are rated for outdoor use.


Good electrical safety habits can help you make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are safe and free to enjoy a little outdoor time in your back yard this season.