Useful and smart tips from the world of energy

The fuses are constantly out and flowing water emits electric shocks? 4 electrical hazards that require the intervention of an electrician
Home, Safety


In a popular family blog, “A Mida Henry Teeb?“ or "What Does Henry Do?", blogger Henry Jakobson called for stories about unexpected events and problems related to electricity. We will explain the most common electrical hazards which indicate that you should contact an electrician as soon as possible.

The fuses are constantly out and sockets are melting

If the electrical wiring is old, but you still want to use modern, powerful electrical equipment, you may think that protective devices are the only problem, such as fuses on the electrical switchboard that switch off at higher loads. Maybe a skilled neighbour can help replace a 10 amp protective fuse for a 16 amp one, and it may seem that it solves your problem, but electricity is tricky and problems can reappear in a completely unexpected place. When a protective device is triggered, the problem is usually not the low power of the protective device, but rather the fact that the wiring is not designed to transmit this kind of power. In this situation, replacing the protective device with a higher throughput device may cause the wire to become hot due to high current. The higher the current, the greater the heat, and if the cord has poor connections or slight damage in some sections, then in the worse case scenario – a fire may start.

NB! A properly functioning electrical system (wires, sockets, switches, etc.) does not make any noise, emit smoke or unpleasant odours. Should any of these signs occur, try to immediately shut down any powerful electrical equipment and, if possible, the problematic power supply circuit. Ask for help if needed. If you are not confident in your electrical switchboard knowledge and have no one to ask for help, call 112 and contact the Rescue Board.

You get an electric shock from the stove, bath, radiator or sink

Probably a problem with grounding. Estonia is full of buildings that were built decades ago, where no separate grounding was built during the construction phase and it was customary to connect the enclosures of equipment (e.g. electric cookers, washing machines, etc.) to the water pipes of the buildings. At the time of construction, and probably later as well, the grounding worked perfectly, until at one point the water pipeline became worn out and was replaced, either partially or completely, with plastic pipes. As a result, the old grounding solution was broken. Sometimes the installation of a new water unit or the partial replacement of a metal pipe with plastic pipes is all it takes to interrupt the grounding of the entire building.

What makes the situation even more dangerous is that the owner of the electrical equipment that caused the leakage to the pipes in an apartment building may not know anything about it, because the current that flows through the house's piping usually grounds through another apartment. In reality, however, the issue is serious, and the situation requires an analysis of the entire building as a whole. Surveying and construction of grounding systems must definitely be left to the experts.

Lighting flickers and electrical devices stop working

Voltage fluctuations may be the problem. Electronic devices require high-quality power supply of 220 to 230 volts to operate. If the electrical system fails, the voltage in the wiring can start to fluctuate, resulting in a large number of electronic equipment failures. In any case, to prevent further damage, turn off the power and call a qualified electrician who will conduct a voltage quality analysis and find a solution to the problem.

Loose sockets and loose wires

Uncovered wall sockets are a danger primarily to children but are also not safe for adults. When looking for a switch in a dark room and touching the wall, you may accidentally insert your finger into the socket and get a strong electric shock.

Wires that are not plugged into a wall outlet or a switch are even riskier. It is essential to insulate their ends and cover the opening in the wall.

Loose sockets and switches that are not properly attached to the wall are also dangerous. If the socket or switch is used, the electrical cord will also move and may be damaged or disconnected. Switches and sockets should be checked regularly and replaced if necessary.

Do not do the complicated electrical work yourself, enlist the help of an electricity company registered in the Register of Economic Activities. When you are doing simple electrical work that anyone can do, such as replacing a bulb or a fuse, turn off electricity before starting work and make sure you know what you are doing.

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