Knowing When to Bring in the Pros: Signs It’s Time to Call an Electrician

Best Electrician Huntsville installs, maintains, and repairs electrical power, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories. It’s a demanding career that requires skill and precision.


While no one enjoys a power outage, it’s important to know what causes them so that you can keep your family safe. A power outage occurs when a region’s electrical grid suffers damage, interrupting electricity flow to homes. This may be due to a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane, or it can occur because of an accident, such as a truck driving into a power line or trees falling across wires. It’s also possible for a power outage to happen because of a fault on the transmission lines that carry electricity between utility companies and homes.

Occasionally, utility companies schedule planned outages to conduct maintenance and upgrades on their equipment. They will usually let customers know ahead of time when an outage will occur so that they can plan accordingly.

If you lose power, it’s a good idea to stay inside and close all doors and windows. This will help keep any intruders from entering your home, and it’s also a good idea to unplug any non-essential electronics that could surge when the power comes back on.

It’s also a good idea to check outside to see if other homes in your neighborhood are experiencing a power outage, too. If you lose power and your neighbors do, this could indicate a larger problem with your local grid. Also, be aware that a loss of power can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If this happens, call emergency services immediately.

Flickering Lights or Outlets

If you’re experiencing flickering lights or outlets in your home, it’s definitely time to call in an emergency electrician. These types of electrical quirks can be signs of serious concerns like loose wiring, power surges, or an electrical circuit overload that could lead to electric shock or house fires. In the worst case scenario, you’ll need to turn off your power at the circuit breaker until the problem is resolved.

If the flickering occurs in just one room or outlet, it may be caused by a loose wire connection that only affects that specific fixture or light switch. This can be a quick and easy fix for an electrician, but it’s still important to have a licensed professional take a look at the issue to make sure everything is safe.

Flickering lights or outlets in multiple rooms or on all devices at the same time could be a sign of a larger problem with your home’s electrical system. Homes with older wiring or those in areas with unstable power supplies often experience fluctuations that can cause flickering lights and other issues in your home. An electrician can evaluate your home’s wiring and recommend any necessary upgrades to ensure safety and reliability.

If you’re seeing these symptoms, it’s best to contact an electrician immediately. They’ll be able to assess the problem and provide the fastest, safest solution. They’ll also have the tools and experience to handle any problems, from outdated wiring to power spikes that can cause a fire.

Heat-Generating Appliances

Appliances consume a significant portion of global energy, emitting GHGs through direct combustion and indirect electricity generation. They also power a multitude of other essential services, such as cooling and lighting homes and offices, communicating between people and businesses, saving labor, contributing to livelihoods and wellbeing, and powering industrial processes across scales.

Faulty appliances can cause fire hazards, especially those that produce heat. If these devices overheat due to prolonged use, faulty thermostats, blocked ventilation, or insufficient airflow, they may ignite nearby materials and cause a house fire. Overheating can also be caused by a short circuit, overloaded electrical outlets, or old or damaged wiring.

To prevent this, it’s important to use ENERGY STAR rated appliances and never plug more than one heat-producing appliance into an outlet at a time. It’s also a good idea to only run such appliances in the evening when temperatures are cooler.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have your home’s wiring examined periodically by an electrician. Faulty wires or improper installations can lead to a variety of problems, including blowing fuses and tripping circuit breakers. A tingling sensation when you touch a plug or switch is another common sign of trouble. Finally, make sure that only major appliances like refrigerators, dryers, or washers are plugged into receptacle outlets and not extension cords. If you notice any of these issues, it’s a good idea to call emergency electrical services as soon as possible.

Extension Cords

Extension cords can make it easy to power appliances and equipment, but if you use them incorrectly they can cause overheating, electrical fires or even death. Generally, you should only use extension cords on a temporary basis and only when they are necessary. When you do, only use cords that are rated for indoor or outdoor use and have a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratory) label on them.

You should also keep in mind that extension cords have a limited capacity for current, which is known as amperage. The longer a cord is, the lower the amperage it can carry. Using an extension cord that is too light for the power requirements of the device you’re plugging in can cause the cord to overheat, which may melt or create a spark.

If a cord is damaged, you should stop using it immediately and call an electrician to inspect it. This includes examining the cord for signs of heat or fire damage, such as blackened or missing plug prongs, exposed wires from cuts, abrasion or gnawing children or pets, and plugs that separate from the cord.

You should also only use cords in a well-lit area. Never run them under rugs or in doorways, where they can become trip hazards or get hit by traffic or furniture. If you need more outlets where you’re using extension cords, you should have a licensed electrician install them in that location.

Unusual Noises

When you hear unusual sounds coming from your home electrical system, it’s important to pay attention. Some noises may signal a harmless, but others require emergency electrical services from an electrician. Humming and buzzing sounds are normal, as they’re a result of the flow of electricity through wires in your appliances. However, if the sound becomes louder and more metallic, you’ll want to call an electrician.

Hissing sounds are another common electrical problem that can be a sign of a loose wire or improperly grounded outlet or appliance. These noises often originate in the breaker box and can be dangerous if you try to fix them on your own. Loose wires can also produce electric arcs, which are discharges of electricity jumping from one wire to the next. These arcs can be deadly and should only be handled by an electrician.

Other strange electrical sounds that should always prompt a phone call to an electrician include whining or sizzling noises, which could indicate that there are loose connections in your circuit breaker or that it is overheated. You should also heed any sounds that come from the wall or ceiling, which can signal an issue with a power transformer. This is a serious problem that can cause fires and shocks, so don’t hesitate to make an emergency call for help. Turn off any devices or appliances that are producing the sound and check the breaker box to see if it’s tripped.

Unplugging Devices

Most households have one person who is always unplugging everything from the toaster to the coffee maker, presumably to save money or prevent fires. It turns out that while these people are largely right about saving energy, they are wrong about saving money or preventing fires.

In reality, the phantom power that comes from electronics and appliances that are still plugged in can cost consumers $100-$200 per year, according to the Department of Energy. While this amount may seem small, it can be the equivalent of an entire month’s electric bill.

Leaving chargers or devices like iPods, laptops, and tablets unplugged when not in use can also damage them by forcing the items to operate on an inconsistent basis. Over time, this can cause the items to overheat, leading to short circuits and other malfunctions.

Aside from causing overheating and other damage, these unused plug-ins can present a fire hazard. Studies show that most house fires are caused by electrical issues, rather than by smoking or cooking accidents. Unplugging the items that you don’t need can significantly reduce the risk of these fires. If you are having trouble identifying which devices need to be unplugged, consider purchasing an electricity monitor, which will let you know how much wattage each device is using in real time. Using this tool can help you identify any “energy vampires” lurking around your home and encourage you to make the change for the better.


The Essential Skills of an Electrician

Electrician 24/7 assembles, installs, repairs and maintains electrical wiring, fixtures and control devices. They must be comfortable working with tools and interpreting blueprints.


A career as an electrician can be lucrative and satisfying for those who enjoy working with their hands. It also offers a lot of variety. Read on to learn more about this in-demand field.

In an electrical circuit, the ground is a point where the measured voltage is considered to be zero. This is often connected directly to the power supply, and it provides a common sink for current flowing through the components in the circuit. The ground is also used to provide a safe pathway for excess electricity to discharge, which can help prevent shocks and fires.

Electricians are trained to install grounding for a home’s wiring system. It’s an essential safety measure that protects people and equipment from electrical shock and fire. Without a grounding system, excess electricity could flow through the walls, floors and insulation in a house, leading to a fire or injury. Grounding ensures that excess electricity will follow a safer pathway through the ground wire, which is connected to every metal electrical box and device in the house.

A home’s grounding system consists of a bare copper wire that connects to a metal junction box and then to a rod driven into the earth. It’s important that the electrician follows strict safety guidelines when installing a grounding system to ensure that it meets all electrical codes and requirements. This includes using a proper junction box that’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and protect against electrical failure. The electrician should also ensure that the grounding wire is properly tested to confirm that it’s working correctly. If it’s not, the electrician should replace the wire or repair the junction box to ensure that the grounding is effective.


The load is a term that refers to the amount of electricity a device requires to operate. It is used to determine how much power a circuit can handle, and it helps ensure that electrical devices are properly sized. Incorrectly sized equipment can cause them to overheat, leading to fires and other dangerous situations. Load calculation is also necessary for adhering to safety regulations and guidelines set by local authorities.

Understanding the electrical load is important for homeowners, as it can help them save money and stay safe. For example, if a home’s electric load is too high, it can lead to tripped breakers or other issues. It can also cause the electrical system to draw too much energy, which can affect its reliability.

A good way to calculate an electrical load is to add up the wattage of all of the appliances and devices in the house. This will give you a general idea of how much energy your household consumes, and you can reduce the electrical load by using energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights when they aren’t being used, and unplugging devices that aren’t in use.

An electrician can also conduct a load test on your home’s service panel to get a precise reading of its electrical load. This will tell them how much capacity is available on each circuit, and it will help them determine whether any upgrades are needed.


A conductor is a material that allows electric current to flow through it with minimal resistance. Electrical conductors are often metals, such as copper and aluminum. However, they can also be non-metals, such as graphite. The main reason metals make good electrical conductors is that they have outer electron shells that are free to move. When a voltage is applied, this causes the electrons to move through the conductor, creating an electric current. The term conductor is also used to refer to any object or material that carries heat, electricity or sound.

A wire is an example of a conductor. It carries the electric current from the power source to the end-use device, such as a light or outlet. There are three types of electrical conductors: bare wire, insulated solid wire and stranded wire. Bare wire is uninsulated, whereas insulated solid wire has a plastic coating on it. Stranded wire has many smaller strands of copper inside and is usually insulated as well.

Overhead lines carry electric current over long distances from a power station to homes and businesses. They consist of electrical conductors, which are typically metal wires, and insulators, which are made from materials like rubber, ceramic, thermoplastic or varnished cambric. The conductors are supported by steel or aluminum-alloy poles, while the insulators protect them from damage caused by lightning and other weather events. In addition to supplying electricity, overhead conductors help transmit heat from the sun and wind.


Insulators are used to separate and support electrical conductors without letting currents flow through them. They also prevent electric currents from flowing through non-conductive materials, such as wood and metal. This helps to protect people and animals from accidental electrocution. Insulators are made of a variety of materials, including glass, porcelain, plastic and silicone. They are also designed to withstand mechanical stress.

Insulator material is also used to cover cables and electric wires that will be in close contact with each other. This is because wires in close contact are more likely to produce cross-connections, fire mishaps, and short circuits. Insulators are especially important in areas with high voltages, where a single mistake can result in serious consequences.

When an electrician works with electricity, they need to make sure that the insulated material around their bodies and tools is intact. For example, they should not touch a piece of equipment with wet hands. This is because the moisture in your hands can cause the conductors to flow through you and electrocute you.

There are several types of insulators, each with its own unique properties and uses. For instance, pin insulators are usually used for communication lines with up to 33 kV. These are generally made of glass or porcelain and have a groove near their top that is used to hold the conductor. They are compact and cost-effective. On the other hand, suspension insulators are used for lines with higher voltages and consist of multiple disc units connected in a string. They are more expensive than pin insulators, but they offer better creepage distances.


Whether you use one at home or work, a generator provides electrical power when the grid fails. Understanding how a generator works can help you identify problems, perform maintenance and choose the right type for your needs. A generator uses an engine to produce mechanical energy that is converted into electricity by an alternator. It can run on gasoline, natural gas, liquid propane or diesel fuel.

A generator’s engine turns chemical energy from the fuel into mechanical energy that is used to spin an alternator rotor, turning the rotational motion into electrical energy. The alternator consists of two main parts: a stator and a rotor. The spinning of the rotor creates a magnetic field that produces electrical current in stationary electrical conductors in the stator, through the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction.

A generator has a governor that regulates its speed to ensure consistent mechanical energy is supplied to the alternator. The governor also controls how much voltage the generator can produce. A generator should only be connected to a house’s electrical system through a transfer switch that is installed by a licensed electrician. Connecting a generator directly to a house without a transfer switch is dangerous and can cause a fire or electrocute utility workers who have been called to restore power. If you use a transfer switch, always make sure it disconnects the generator from both the GFCI outlets and the neutral line in the house.


Electric coils are essential components used in many different electrical systems and devices. They are made of conducting metal wires that are wound in a spiral or solenoid shape around a core of ferromagnetic material. Their function is to create a magnetic field when current flows through them and to oppose rapid changes in electric current.

The coil’s conducting material can be made of various materials, but the best are Sendust and nanocrystalline materials. Both have low coercivity and high temperature stability, as well as excellent magnetic permeability and noise suppression. They are also very durable and can withstand rough handling.

One interesting thing about electric coils is that they do not shock you if touched with bare hands. This is because the electric current flows through the metal wire and not through your body. The reason is that the resistance of your body is much higher than that of the coil.

The amount of power that a coil can generate is called its inductance. This value is calculated using a complex formula and depends on a number of factors, including the number of turns, the diameter of the wire, and its length. It can also vary by the fill factor, which is the amount of wire that is packed in a given space. Coils with a high fill factor have higher inductance than those with a lower fill factor.