(804) 353-4928 info@us-electric.com

Every now and then, we encounter things that need fixing in our homes. A spark each time you plug in your microwave oven? Burning smell from your outlets? These may seem like minor electrical issues but can escalate to serious problems if they’re not fixed. 

Electricity, unlike other home projects, is not something you should DIY. Don’t look for step-by-step solutions on YouTube. Just get a licensed, insured, and professional electrician to do the job. Thankfully, our team at U.S. Electric is here to provide fast, efficient, and knowledgeable solutions to clients throughout Richmond and the surrounding areas.

Signs That You Need An Electrician

On and off Tripping of Circuit Breakers (System Failure)

A circuit breaker is a crucial component in every electrical system. Its main job is to track the circuit and automatically shut it off once it detects an overload. Overload happens when too much current passes through it. 

How do you prevent a circuit overload? If something goes wrong, try resetting your circuit breaker. Doing this once every few months is fine. Though, if there’s the need to reset more often, consider that as a red flag. It’s a sign that there could be more serious electrical problems that need to be addressed. 

Dimming and Flickering Lights

Are your lights flickering or dimming when using small appliances? How about when turning on multiple outlets? These are signs of potential wiring problems. Several outlets may be working off of a single circuit. It’s also possible that some of your appliances are not wired to dedicated circuits. This impacts power distribution, resulting in flickering lights. 

Over time, the wiring in your home or business deteriorates. There are many factors that contribute to this, including pests that chew on wires. The best thing to do is to update your old electrical system and hire a pro to come out and take a look at how it’s set up.

Age of Property: Older Home or Building

If your home or business is more than 25 years old, then clearly, it’s time to completely upgrade the electrical system. Consider this as an urgent matter, most especially if you have mice or other rodents around that gnaw on wires. Outdated wires spell disaster for every property.

Plastic Burning Smell

burning socket

Burnt, brown marked or discolored sockets, switches our outlets are visual signs of overheating. But, what about those signs that you don’t see? If you smell burning plastic, prepare a fire extinguisher and reach out to an experienced electrician right away. Don’t ignore it, even if the source is not visible. 

Need for More Power Outlets (Too Many Extensions Cords)

When too many electronics are plugged into one receptacle, overloading can happen. Extension cords should not be used as a replacement for permanent electrical wiring. These are only useful when it comes to delivering power right where you need it. It’s just a temporary solution. Use it with caution. Apart from being a trip hazard, they can overload, overheat, and cause a fire. 

Buzzing and Humming Sounds

Humming or buzzing sounds from the breaker box, outlet, switch or socket means that there are clearly wiring problems in your home. If you notice weird sounds, call us.  Your circuit breaker is designed to protect you from electrical damages. If it makes any noise, get in touch with us for an inspection today. 

Spiking Electric Bills

Did you get an unusually large electric bill that you can’t clearly explain? This is often the result of damaged wiring. Faulty wiring can cause all connected electronics to heat up, and consume extra electricity. Check your previous electrical bills. If it’s steadily increasing, it’s time to contact an electrician. 


Do you notice a spark each time you plug in an appliance? This is usually normal. Though, outlets can spark abnormally due to faulty wiring or improper installation. If it’s white or yellow, easily noticeable and/or lasts over a second, your electrical system clearly needs repair as soon as possible. 

Hot or Tingling Outlets and Light Switches

Do you get a mild shock when touching an outlet or switch? Black marks on switch terminals, wire ends, and switch plates? Do the electrical system surfaces feel warm to the touch? These are signs that you need wiring and electrical checkup. These could indicate that the outlets are bad, wiring issues, and present fire hazards so it should be inspected as soon as possible. 

Damaged or Tangled Wires

Never take damaged, tangled, or outdated electrical wirings lightly. Usually caused by rodents, pets, amateur handymen, or wear and tear of old age, this is a huge fire and shock hazard. Feel free to check your wiring for any signs of damage. If there are any causes for concern, we are at your service.

Hired Electrician vs DIY

when to hire an electrician in richmond - electrician working on wirings

While it’s tempting to DIY electrical work to save a few bucks, the result can be disastrous. Understanding electrical systems requires thorough training–something you can’t get from YouTube tutorials. If you end up with the wrong fuse, incorrect wire size, or one of a million other problems, you could injure yourself and even burn your house down. 

Hire a well-trained, experienced electrician. This professional is highly knowledgeable in electrical system installation, repairs, and other services. He or she has the relevant background and tools needed to get the work done in a successful way, the first time around. Furthermore, with a fully licensed, insured contractor, you can enjoy peace in mind knowing that the job is covered by insurance. 

Hiring a professional is still the best way to solve any electrical issue around your home or business, no matter how big or small it is. Need a quality electrician in Richmond, Virginia? Give us a call for a free quote. 

Need an Expert Electrician? Contact US Electric 

At U.S. Electric, we know the importance of maintaining the electrical and wiring system in your home. For repairs or other electrical issues, trust our dependable team. We do residential and commercial electrical, guarantee all work, and we’re licensed and insured.