As a homeowner, it is very important to make sure that you are well aware of the signs that tell you that it is time to call in a skilled electrician. To help you spot these signs, you will want to review the following points.
The Electrical Panel Is Feeling Warm
The metal on your electrical panel should never feel warm to the touch. It should be room temperature or have a slight chill to it depending on its location in your home, such as in your basement. If you find that the metal surrounding the breakers is a little warm, or even hot, you will want to turn off the main breaker and call in an emergency electrician. You could simply have a problem with a few breakers going bad and they are causing electrical arcs. There could also be some faulty wiring that is starting to heat up, which is causing the metal to warm up because the heat is radiating off of the back of the panel.
The Outlets Have Black Marks On Them
If you are starting to notice that some of the outlets have black marks on them, you will need to call an electrician. Until the electrician arrives and can address the issue, you will want to refrain from using those particular outlets. The black marks are most likely scorch marks, which is an indication that that outlet is now a fire hazard. Either the outlet itself has gone bad and needs to be replaced or the wiring that goes to or from the outlet has suffered damage from overheating or from a rodent that may have chewed on it.
The Lights Keep Flickering
Whether all of the lights in your home flicker at the same time or it is just a single room or two that flickers, you will want to call a skilled electrician. It could be that the main power line coming into your home is no longer connected properly and that is what is causing all of the lights to flicker. If the problem is with one or two lights, the problem could be within the walls where the wires tie into the light fixtures. In both instances, the problem could also be within the breaker box. You will need a licensed electrician to diagnose the problem and correct it.
With those few signs of trouble in mind, you should be able to easily tell whether it is time to call for professional assistance (go to sites like this for more info).