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Published on
February 22nd, 2024

10 Issues That Require an Emergency Electrician

Sparks flying, lights flickering, and fuses popping — electrical problems are frightening and infuriating, especially when you have a building full of tenants. Not every electrical issue is an emergency; many are mere inconveniences. How do you tell when an electrical event requires an emergency electrician?

You can and should call an electrician any time your system gives you pause. That said, you can avoid the additional charges for emergency repair services by only requesting them when necessary. Discover the top electrical emergencies that demand an immediate response.

10 Reasons To Call an Emergency Electrician

1. Hot, Smoking, or Sparking Outlets

Hot, smoking, or sparking outlets pose an immediate threat to your building and tenants. The problem can cause a fire, leading to death, injury, and property loss. While the situation can have several potential causes, damaged outlets, overloading, or short circuits are the most likely culprits.

Tenants might cause the issue if they have too many appliances plugged into a single outlet or often exceed an outlet power rating. When use or installation results in sparks, smoke, or outlets that are hot to the touch, call Bolt Electric for an emergency response. The problem can lead to a fire.

2. Burning Smells or Unusual Odors

Not every unusual odor or burning smell indicates imminent danger; however, it needs investigating. Sometimes, the odors are harmless and a result of burning dust from compressors, fans, or other elements. It is often typical to smell unusual odors when turning on electrical equipment that doesn’t get year-round use.

Still, burning smells are nothing to ignore. The odor may be faulty wiring, melting wires, or overloaded circuits. These problems can cause fires and extensive system damage, so contact an emergency electrician.

3. Unexplained Buzzing or Humming

A buzzing or humming sound can indicate several electrical problems, from ungrounded wires to faulty circuit breakers or excess current. Circuit overloads are the most common cause of noises from outlets or electrical components. Overcurrents can destroy electronics, melt wires, and cause fires.

Every wire and circuit in your building has a maximum current they can safely carry. When you or tenants plug too many devices into outlets, it draws more current than the wiring and circuitry can handle, forcing the wires to heat. Too much heat leads to melting insulation, causing arcing. Excess heat and arcing can both cause a fire.

4. Flickering Lights and Unreliable Power

Several factors can cause flickering lights and unreliable power, but not all stem from internal building issues. For example, storms may cause falling tree branches that contact power lines, causing flickering lights in your building. Other issues, like damaged electrical components, might stem from internal or external systems.

If flickering is persistent, it is likely a result of voltage changes, which can stem from bad wiring, loose and corroded connections, or faults in the system. Call an emergency electrician at Bolt Electric to resolve your power supply problems.

5. Frequent Breaker Tripping

Damaged wires, improper installations, and loose connections are the most common causes of frequent tripping breakers. The causes can lead to arc faults, overloading, or short circuits, any of which can cause fires.

Strange odors and noises, such as buzzing or humming, often accompany the problem of tripping breakers. Tenants may complain about flickering lights or unreliable power. See, most times, electrical problems do not occur in a vacuum.

6. Electrical Shocks

Electrical shocks can occur because of incorrect outlet etiquette, like unplugging an appliance without first turning its power off. That said, it is not customary to experience routine shocks from outlets or switches. If tenants or staff often complain about electrical shocks, even just minor zaps or tingles, there is a problem in the circuit or system.

The most common culprits of electrical zaps are faulty or frayed wiring and, once again, overloaded circuits. An emergency electrician can assess the outlets, switches, or circuits and repair them.

7. Water Issues

Water and electricity don’t mix. Any time water and electricity contact, you need to call an electrician for an emergency response. The rule stands for floods and spills. Even if you don’t think the water damaged the outlet or circuit, you still need to call for an assessment. The mix of water and electricity can lead to risks of electrocution, injury, and death.

8. Visible Damage to Electrical Components or Wiring

Visible damage to electrical components and wiring can include discoloration, fraying, cracks in the outlet covers or switch plates, or charred or darkened outlets and switches. Apparent damage usually means some part of the electrical system is at risk; it can also mean the system presents a fire hazard to the building. Call an emergency electrician with Bolt Electric to assess the damage and determine its threat level.

9. Questionable or Outdated Installations

Questionable or outdated installations may not need an emergent repair response, but you should call for an inspection. Signs of questionable installations include:

  • Tripping breakers
  • Blown fuses
  • Loose outlets
  • Warm or vibrating sockets
  • Switches and outlets not working

You should always hire a licensed electrician to perform electrical repairs and installations. Call Bolt Electric to assess any older installs or questionable electrical activity.

10. Uneasiness or Questions

Not every electrical emergency is obvious. Sometimes, problems in electrical systems are subtle but still dangerous. As a property owner, pay attention to all electrical complaints or observations by tenants and staff. If you notice a pattern in reports or find something that makes you uneasy, it is best to call a professional, even if it doesn’t seem emergent.

Call Bolt Electric for an Emergency Electrician

We’re Only a Phone Call Away

An emergency electrician is someone who responds to your call with speed. At Bolt Electric, we know the risks of persistent and sudden electrical issues. Our annual service contracts ensure you always have access to a licensed and experienced electrician for yearly inspections, routine maintenance, or emergency repairs and assessments. Call Bolt Electric at 212-734-5000 to discuss annual service agreements or request emergency service.

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