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    Home Electrical Troubleshooting
  • There are safety risks involved when anyone attempts to perform electrical work that requires a trained and skilled professional electrician. Everyone knows that flipping a switch makes the light come on, but there’s much more to electrical troubleshooting than that. Understanding a few things about how electricity moves from one place to another and the basic safety precautions to take when performing electrical work may help you do some electrical troubleshooting when things go wrong. For your own safety and peace of mind, let Dodge Electric handle your electrical troubleshooting needs in the Phoenix and surrounding area.

    Many home electrical problems are minor, requiring a little investigation and experimentation to resolve. If your home was wired by a professional and has worked well for years, most electrical problems are caused by one of three things.

    Electrical Short

    A short circuit is when a wire makes contact with another wire or object that it should be connected to. This could be the result of wires that are melted together or loose and touching a metal surface. Short circuits are particularly dangerous as they can often result in a fire.

    Open Circuit

    An open circuit is just a connection that is not making good contact, which causes a break in the circuit either all or some of the time. Shorts can be attributed to any number of things, specifically movement that causes the separation of attached wires or contacts or if a wire has been cut. If other appliances and devices connected to a circuit are working but one particular outlet or switch does not, it’s most often an open circuit rather than a bad switch or receptacle.

    Electrical Overload

    If you have lived in your Chandler, Arizona home for ten years or more, just think about the number of electrical appliances you have acquired during that time and hooked into the same number of circuits you had when the house was originally built. Everyone uses more electricity today than was used ten or twenty years ago and overloads are common electrical problems.

    If you know everything that is on a circuit, you can add up the amps each device pulls and see where that stands in regards to the size of the breaker. A breaker trips when more amps are needed than are allowed to go through the line; it’s that simple.

    Tracking Down Electrical Problems

    If an appliance isn’t working, the first thing to do is plug something else that does work into the outlet where the non-working appliance is attached. If the working item doesn’t work, then it is in the circuit. If it does, the appliance needs repairing or replacing.

    Very few people can look into a panel box and obtain enough information to know exactly what each breaker controls. It is usually simple for 220-volt circuits because each breaker only serves one line to the water heater, HVAC, stove, or something of that nature and they are usually marked. The 15 and 20 amp circuits don’t usually have enough detail for you to understand every light or receptacle that is on one of them.

    Electrical problems with lights or receptacles within a working circuit means a connection is broken or the electrical device (light socket, receptacle) is defective. More often than not, the device is not the problem; it is a connection issue.

    If a receptacle doesn’t work at the end of a circuit (generally the furthest from the panel box) there is a good possibility that the problem is from the receptacle that feeds it or where the wires attach to the receptacle itself.

    NOTE: Turn the breaker off in the panel box before you do any troubleshooting.

    Check the receptacle to be sure the wires are connected firmly. If it still doesn’t have power, you must logically anticipate which receptacle has a wire running to the one that doesn’t work and check the wires to be sure they are connected properly.

    If you determine that all connections are made correctly, there is a possibility that the receptacle has failed. It’s probably a good idea to buy a replacement.

    There are electrical problems caused by mice or other creatures chewing on electrical wires. Some wires are damaged when the house wiring is done, and they may break and lose contact over time. It is not always easy to determine where electrical problems originate, so if you can’t answer the questions yourself, get an electrician to troubleshoot the situation.

    Never take a chance with an electrical problem you can’t knowledgeably fix yourself. Call Dodge Electric for all of your electrical troubleshooting needs. We can fix a receptacle, completely wire new buildings, and anything else in between. We can take care of any job residential or commercial, anywhere in the Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding areas.