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Is Your Appliance Causing Electrical Problems? 3 Common Issues

Fire and smoke on electric wire plug in indoor.

You turn on the washing machine and suddenly everything goes dark. Could your appliance be the cause of the blackout? If an appliance is malfunctioning, it can send electricity throughout your home, which can be pretty dangerous. Here are three of the most common issues you might encounter.‚Äč

1. Burnouts

Your appliance can burnout even if the circuit breakers have tripped. When too much electricity is running through a circuit, it can warm up and cause individual components to get hotter and even melt, causing a burnout. Burnouts will get also worse over time; the more it happens, the greater the damage will be.
That means that the actual components of your electrical system will become damaged, due to the appliance. This can be very expensive to fix, as you'll have to call in an electrician to both assess the damage and repair it.
How can you tell if a burnout is happening? You may find that areas of your wall are warm after an appliance malfunctions, or you may visibly see sparks in the dark. Never continue using an appliance after seeing sparks or causing a burnout.

2. Power Surges

An appliance that's malfunctioning can send excess energy into your system, causing a power surge. This is the same thing that can happen when a storm hits in your area. A power surge is generally not damaging, but it can be disruptive to your household electronics.
When an appliance causes a power surge, it usually isn't going to be usable anymore. Turn off and unplug the device entirely. Power surges are among the least dangerous issues because your home is setup to adjust to a power surge. However, if you had any electronics plugged in, they could be damaged.
If different appliances are causing your breakers to trip, it actually means that your home's circuits can't handle the load. In other words, nothing's wrong with your appliances: you're drawing too much electricity. This is an easy fix. If you don't want to rewire your house, you just need to turn off some items before you turn others on.

3. Fires

Sometimes an appliance can actually cause a short, which will cause a fire. Some appliances are more likely to be fire hazards than others. Older crock pots, for instance, had a habit of heating up too much and potentially losing the insulation on their wiring. This could cause a fire if the appliance was near something that was flammable.
A short occurs when the electrical flow becomes hot enough to ignite. Here are some signs that your appliance could be damaged enough to cause a short:
  • You may hear a buzzing or vibrating sound whenever you're near the appliance, even when it isn't active.
  • You may have also experienced a "static shock" or other electrical feeling when you touch the device.
  • You may feel that the appliance is warmer than it should be, even when it's not on; this can be caused by electrical heat.
These signs are all very dangerous, but they're particularly dangerous in a dryer. Dryers often have lint in them, which is very flammable.
A short can also be visible: if you look at the wiring leading from the appliance, you could see that some of the wiring has melted or become frayed. This can commonly happen if you have pests, as mice can chew on wiring and cause damage to it.
If your appliances are occasionally tripping your breakers, you might be fine. If your appliance is faulty and causing power surges, you could be on borrowed time. Whenever electrical problems get added to the mix, you should call a professional. Schedule an appointment with CRC Appliance Repair Service today.