Electrical faults and circuit overloads create a serious safety hazard in any environment. It’s wise to take the time to learn the basic warning signs of electrical problems in the kitchen, so you can recognize and respond before they become dangerous. Some of these symptoms are fairly obvious and hard to ignore, but others are easy to brush aside if you don’t try to connect the dots. That’s why it’s important to pay attention and schedule a professional inspection when you need one.
1. Sparking or Snapping Around Plugs
Sometimes the snap and crackle from a sparking plug is enough to make you jump. This issue isn’t desirable, but it’s not a cause for urgent concern on its own. However, if you hear these noises whenever you plug something in, then it’s happening way too much. Defects with your outlets, wiring or appliances can also contribute to this issue.
2. Frequent Breaker Flips
Breakers flip in response to a circuit overload. Providing the breakers are flipping when they should, the problem lies in the wiring and circuit usage. Aging homes may need a kitchen circuit upgrade to handle the demands of more numerous and more powerful appliances. Constant breaker tripping could also indicate a dangerous fault in an outlet, wire or appliance, so stop using the circuit until you identify the problem.
3. Appliances Not Working Properly
Sometimes the signs of a wiring or electrical problem are subtle. You may not notice brownouts, flipped breakers or anything like that. Instead, you may notice an unexplained performance drop or failure in various appliances. Intermittent power disruptions can mess with anything that requires a long operating cycle — from bread makers to dishwashers.
4. Smelling Burning or Melting Plastic
The smell of burning or melting plastic is a classic sign of serious electrical problems. Normally they would be pretty obvious, but it’s easy for these symptoms to get lost in the normal use of a busy kitchen. That’s why you should take even the slightest whiff of these smells seriously and turn everything off until you can determine the source.
5. Scorch Marks
Scorch marks are perhaps the most obvious red flag for electrical issues. They may appear on outlets, along the wall or on active appliances. Any sign of scorching is a sure indicator of a fire hazard, so you should treat it like an emergency. Disable all breakers that could be connected to the damaged circuit, and seek expert help immediately.
Take Action With an Inspection
Knowledge is power when it comes to taking care of your electrical system. That’s why a comprehensive inspection by a licensed professional is the first step in developing a real solution. Contact us at Nichols Electric and Plumbing for all your home wiring needs in Rochester, NY, including inspections and kitchen wiring repairs.