1. The electrical outlets are warm to the touch.
It’s common for some devices to get hot while they’re being used, but it’s not a good sign if the outlet itself gets heated up as well. When a plug or outlet is loose, more power must pass through the plug to the appliance, and that elevated power turns to waste heat, making the outlet hot. If that ever happens to you, remove the wires from the outlet right away and don’t put them back on until the outlet is fixed.
2. Your lights blink for no apparent reason.
No, you don’t live in a haunted house. Flickering lights can be a sign of a loose electrical connection. To find the problem, check to see how many lamps are suffering from the same issue. If you find just one bad light, the problem should be in your wiring. But if more blinking lights appear, the problem could be farther back in the circuit, and you should check the breaker box or the service drop outside your home.
3. The electrical outlets aren’t fixated to the wall.
Apart from looking trashy, a loose outlet can be very dangerous. If they’re not tight enough, they can jerk its wires out, leading to sparks, short circuits, and can even pose a fire risk.
4. There are rats around the house.
Despite their small size, rats can be intimidating to many people. And if you care about your electrical wiring, you have every reason to be scared. These tiny rodents can gnaw on your circuits and leave the hazard of a shock or a spark behind.
5. The wiring is made of aluminum.
Aluminum was used in a lot of electrical wiring in the past, likely due to a shortage of copper in the mid-’60s. But a national survey conducted in the United States showed that this kind of installation posed a fire hazard to many homes. The aluminum oxidation can overheat when the wire is connected to splices, outlets, and light fixtures. Because of that, any excess current can lead to a fire.
6. A burning smell around the house
Whether you’re worried about your electrical circuits or your cookies in the oven, a burning smell is usually a bad sign. The wiring shouldn’t be heating up to the point that it could melt its plastic cover, but if this happens, you must identify the source right away to prevent a fire hazard.