7 Signs it May be Time to Call an Electrician

over wiring

We’ve all been there…we’ve had flickering lights around the house that we’ve ignored or run a little extension cord under the couch to power a new tabletop lamp.

We intend for these to be temporary fixes until we have the time or money to address a long-term solution, but did you know that some electrical inconveniences around the house should not be put off, but instead need the immediate attention of a local electrician?

At McAllister Electrical Services, we want you and your family to sleep soundly each night knowing that your home is running in optimal condition, so we compiled this list of 7 Household No-Nos that need the immediate attention of local electrical experts if you see them around your home.

The 7 Signs it May be Time to Call your Electrician

Sign #1: Flickering Lights

A flickering light likely means you’ve got a significant wiring problem. This problem could be located at the fixture in a best-case scenario. Worst case scenario could indicate frayed wiring or that your wattage being used exceeds the outlet’s capabilities, both of which are potential fire hazards.

Sign #2: Rust or Corrosion

If you see any signs of rust or corrosion around your breaker box, it’s an immediate concern and time to call an electrician. These clues indicate that moisture is getting near your panel, which is a major no-no for your electrical system and your home’s safety.

Sign #3 Repeated Tripped Breakers

Fuses will blow from time-to-time, but if you have a bank of lights or outlet that regularly trips, it’s time to contact your local electrician for an assessment. Regularly blown fuses indicate that there may be an underlying faulty wiring issue that needs to be addressed in one or more of your home’s circuits.

*Note: regularly tripped fuses could also be a result of overloading the circuit. Hair dryers and home appliances running at the same time are notorious for this. So next time it happens, note your electrical usage at the time of the blown fuse to rule out overload as a cause.

Sign #4 No GFCIs

In spaces of your home where water is present (ie: your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and garage) outlets should have ground-fault circuit interrupters or GFCIs to protect you from electrocution in the event water comes in contact with the outlet. If you do not have these types of outlets in your water-prone areas, it’s time for an upgrade not only for safety, but also for state and local electrical code compliance.

Sign #5: Shock Value

This one seems pretty straightforward, but if you receive a shock when you lightly touch any switch, outlet or electrical surface, it is time to have it looked at by a professional. Warm faceplates and outlets are also a sign that there is overload or an internal wiring issue that needs to be addressed. Occasionally check the outlets around your home with this “touch test” to ensure they aren’t experiencing these issues.

Sign #6: 20+ year old wiring

If your home was built more than 20 years ago, it’s time for an electrical upgrade. In the two decades since 1999 (that was 20 years ago???), our home’s electrical consumption has dramatically increased due to technological innovations such as home computers, tablets, phones, smart home devices, etc. Have a local electrician in to check that your home is wired sufficiently and can handle the pull of your family’s day-to-day electrical consumption.

Sign #7: Too many extension cords

If you are relying on extension cords around the house to power your small appliances or regularly used items, it’s time to call an electrician to have new outlets installed. Extension cords are convenient, short-term power options, but using them for long-term solutions can trigger overheating and electrical fire risk.


If you are experiencing any of the above “no-nos” in your family’s home, it’s time to call Eastern Iowa’s Energy-Efficient Electricians at McAllister Electrical Services. We offer quick, convenient service that matters that will help you solve your home’s electrical problems. Contact our team today at 563-852-7484 to get on our schedule!



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