12 Electrical wiring problems and solutions.

Electrical wiring problem

Electrical wiring problems and solutions. Why have I Chosen to talk about electrical problems and their solutions? I have a simple reason, these are the problems that you see in your home and you keep on wondering what could be the solutions to these common wiring problems. Today I will help you understand why these problems happen in homes. Then I will give you a possible solution to these problems. Below I have given you a table of 12 electrical problems.

Table of Contents

1. Over lamping6. Aluminium wiring11. Frequent bulb burnout
2. Open junction box7. Backstabbed wire12. Dimm or bright light
3. Flickering lights8. High electric bills
4. Few outlets9. Tripping circuit breaker
5. over wired panel(DB)10. Burning smell

Over Lamping.

What is over lamping? This is a situation where you fix or put a bulb in a light fixture, that has a higher wattage rating than the rating of a light fixture. A typical example is putting a 100W bulb in a light fixture with a maximum rating of 60w. I know you might be saying oh Themba it doesn’t matter as long as the bulb is giving me light.

What are the dangers of doing this? First and foremost the risk level is very high, This can lead to overheating and melting of some features of the light fitting. Eventually, this can cause fires and the burning of cables.

How do you solve this problem, you should always check the rating of your fitting before you buy a lamp or bulb to put in your light fixture. Avoid buying light fixtures and bulb holders that are not rated. When you are not sure of the rating of your lamp, use a low rated bulb 60W and below.

Open junction box.

A junction box that is not covered is a source of problems in electrical installations. A junction box is a place where you can connect cables. When you expose cables in the box, you risk your cables being tampered with by people and rodents. This can be a source of electrocution, short circuits, and fires.

What can you do to avoid having open junction boxes? Replace damaged junction box covers.

Flickering lights.

This is simply the blinking of lights. They are a number of reasons that can cause blinking or flickering. The most common causes of this are listed below.

  • Loose wire
  • light bulb not tightly fixed
  • For LED lights led driver faulty
  • Inrush currents drown by big appliances.
  • Voltage fluctuations.

Loose wire.

This condition can occur either in the switch or bulb holder. If a loose connection causes your light to blink, you need to check the wires on the bulb holder or light fixture, tighten them then switch on the affected lamp. When the loose wire is in the switch, open the switch and tighten the wire on the switch connections.

Light not tightly fixed.

When a lamp is not tightly fixed, it can cause flickering. To solve this kind of blinking, you simply tighten the lamp and you are done. For fluorescent tubes, you simply twist the tube a little bit you are done.

Led driver faulty.

I have observed that most led downlights when start flickering, the common cause is the led driver being faulty. To solve this problem you simply change the led driver. At times it could be a compatibility issue, whereby you are using a dimmer switch that is not compatible with the installed led lights.

Inrush currents are drawn by other appliances.

There are times when flickering is caused by the inrush currents drawn by other appliances. You should not be worried about the inrush currents that are most drawn when you just switch on appliances like air conditioners. This is happening because when starting, some appliances require more current. You should not be worried because when the machine or appliance is running, it draws a normal current.

Voltage fluctuations.

Mostly flickering is caused by voltage fluctuations, originating from your utility service provider. In most cases, you will find that even your neighbours have the same problem. It is best practice to contact your power supply utility company

Few outlets.

This is a situation where a room has few socket outlets, as a result, you heavily rely on the use of extension cables. There is nothing wrong with using extension cables. It becomes a problem when you use the small size of a cable. When you overload the extensions, they heat up, eventually causing fires. The best solution is to provide more socket outlets.

over wired panel(DB).

It is a common practice to see distribution panels in a home over wired. I know you might be asking what is over wired panel. This occurs when you have too many circuits in a panel than the recommended number. The best is to provide a sub-panel to accommodate the other circuits. An over wired panel causes a lot of problems when doing maintenance works and troubleshooting.

Aluminium wiring.

Aluminium wiring is basically electrical wiring done using aluminium cables and conductors. Aluminium wiring causes two main problems. These problems are Rusting and creeping.


Most metals do rust when they are exposed to air or oxygen. Copper though it is a better conductor of electricity than aluminium, it does rust as well the only difference is that the copper oxide that forms on copper cables does not prevent electricity to pass through it. therefore, rust is not a factor in copper cables. How does rust react to aluminium being a conductor of electricity? When rust forms on aluminium conductors, it forms a white oxide and it is a bad conductor of electricity. This eventually reduces the ability of the conductor to allow electricity to pass through it. In short rust on aluminium conductors, increases their resistance to the flow of electricity, hence overheating and losing connections happen.


What is creeping? in a layman’s language, I would say it is a slow movement. When electricity passes through a conductor, it generates some heat. When an aluminium conductor is heating, it expands more and when it cools it contracts. The repeated expansion and contraction of aluminium wires, causes the wire to move slowly from the screwing terminal, as a result, loose connections and overheating, occur at connection points in aluminium cables.

How do you solve this problem? Since the problem happens at connection points, to solve this problem, you must use switches, connectors and light fittings that are compatible with aluminium cables. In a short connection, the terminal must be labelled Aluminium-Copper compatible.

Backstabbed wire.

Backstabbing is a form of electrical installation, where you don’t screw the wire at the connection point you just push the wire through the slot boom you are done.No need to screw the socket outlet. It makes your installation work fast, but in the long run, the wire becomes loose it can overheat and cause a fire.

What is the solution to backstabbing? The best solution is to replace the sockets and switches with the ones with a provision for screwing

High electric bills.

Many are the times when you tend to wonder why your electricity bill keeps on rising no matter what you do. This is a serious electrical problem that needs urgent solutions. Below are a number of problems why you might have high electric bills.

Not switching off your gadgets completely.

Most people including myself have a tendency to only switch off gadgets using remote controls. The gadget is left in standby mode. Here is what you must know regarding leaving your gadgets in stand by mode.

When your appliance is left in this mode, it continues to draw current from the supply. How is this possible? Yes, it is possible a lot of electrical and electronic gadgets have an indicator lamp that shows you that the appliance is in a waiting position. The indicator lamp is not the only component in the appliance that draws power thy are others you cant just see them.

Then how do you solve this problem? Simple just switch off the power from your socket or receptacle. Or when you want to be radicle just unplug your appliance from the power source when you are not using it.

Misusing lighting points.

What do I mean when I say misusing lighting points. In some homes, you will find that light bulbs are left on even when there is no one in the room. At times you may have more than one type of light fittings in a room, instead of just switching on one light point, you find yourself switching all the lights in a room even when you do not need the extra light.

To solve this problem, you might consider using task lights for specific tasks like when you are reading, switch on the lights that will help you to read. Switch off lights in a room when you are not using them.

Tripping circuit breaker.

I must mention that the tripping of a circuit breaker is a healthy thing because it protects appliances and people from fires. Here when I say tripping circuit breaker, I am referring to frequent tripping that becomes a nuisance. So you now know that the tripping I am talking about is the one that irritates you whenever it happens.

What causes a circuit breaker to trip? There are a number of wiring problems that cause a circuit breaker to trip. I am going to show you 3 electrical circuits problems and why your circuit breaker might be tripping unnecessarily.

Short circuit.

A short circuit occurs when a neutral wire touches or comes in contact with a live wire. When this happens, more current flows through the circuit as a result, the cables overheat and send a signal to the circuit breaker that there is danger. Then the circuit breaker trips to prevent fires and damaging your appliances.


An overload occurs when a circuit draws more current than what a circuit breaker can handle. A typical example could be you have an appliance that draws 10A from the supply when operating normally. Then You decide to add more appliances to that circuit. Now those appliances draw more than 10A the maximum current the circuit breaker can accommodate. The breaker will definitely trip.

Ground fault surge.

This is a situation in an electrical circuit, where a ground wire comes in contact with a live wire. A ground fault is similar to a short circuit. The result of ground-live wire contact is fatal because it causes wires to overheat. Not only do the wires overheat, but it also causes abnormal currents to flow through the affected circuit. This can lead to fires and damage to appliances and property.

How do you solve the problem for tripping circuit breaker?

Well for this problem the best option is to call a qualified electrician to help you in diagnosing this and then solve the problem for you.

Burning smell.

The burning smell is mainly experienced with air conditioning units, especially when just turned on. This may be due to dust, or some object in the air ducts. But when it persists, it might be an electrical issue cable burning due to losing connections. To be safe call a professional to help you because if it’s left unchecked, it can lead to big problems.

Frequent bulb burnout

electrical wiring problems

There are a lot of reasons your bulb burns out frequently. I am going to mention the most common one.

The most common cause of bulb burnout is overvoltage. Your house might be receiving more than standard voltage. Another cause of bulb burnout is a loose connection. When you discover that overvoltage is the cause of frequent bulb burnout, you must contact your electricity service provider to help you seek out this problem.

If the bulb burns out due to a loose connection, If you are competent to tighten the loose connection then do so if not call a qualified electrician to help you.

Dimm or bright light

There are times when you notice that a light bulb suddenly brightens and then dims. In most cases, this is caused by a loose neutral connection. The loose connection can either be at the point of connection in the service cable or in the distribution board in your house. To solve this problem call your service provider.

Electrical wiring problems and solutions. What is your experience with this topic? Do you have any suggestions? Questions? You are free to make your contributions in the comments section below.

12 Electrical wiring problems and solutions.

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