23.08.2020By Alex Altuhov

Common Electrical Problems in Brooklyn and Queens Private Houses


One of the most distinctive features of Brooklyn and Queens or any other NY borough is its historic architecture. But it’s not all perfect. There is no denying that electrical problems are something that New Yorkers often have to deal with. Faulty home electrical systems occur even in highly sought-after properties and private houses.

We will give necessary information on electrical problems and solutions that will help to keep you, your family, and your property safe. Since some signs are clearly visible, you’re very likely to notice most electrical issues early on if you know where to look. But most importantly, you’ll know where to go when you need professional help.

Rules and Safety Tips

Regardless of whether you have home repair electrical problems, you should follow basic safety rules. They apply to all kinds of households, big or small and old or new. Here is what you should always do:

  • Don’t try to fix house light wiring if you don’t have relevant experience. If you’re experienced, remember to cut the power off.
  • As soon as you have a power disturbance or notice that something’s wrong with your electricity, check in with your neighbors. If they have the same issues, you need to call your utility company and request electrical service.
  • Keep your cords tidy to avoid damage. If they’re unused, you should store them safely without tangling them up. If they’re used, make sure they’re not overstretched, wrapped around objects, or placed under heavy objects.
  • Don’t staple or nail cords to keep them in place. If you want to put them in the desired position, use tape or twist ties instead to secure it.
  • Always follow appliance instructions carefully, including installation, maintenance, replacements, etc.
  • Give your devices and appliances enough space. This makes sure it gets proper air circulation, and they’re not at the risk of being overheated.
  • Don’t overload your outlets. All elements of electrical systems are designed with specific limits. If you plug in too many devices at the same time, you might even cause a small explosion or a fire.
  • If you notice faulty wiring, never touch them with your hands. For the same reasons, never touch electricals with wet hands or use electrical tools in water.
  • Check out local rules. The safety code may have different requirements depending on where you live.
  • Make adjustments if you have children. They tend to be very curious about devices and cords, so keep those away from kids as much as it’s possible. Also, put tamper-resistant safety caps on all unused outlets.

Remember that if you’re not comfortable dealing with home wiring troubleshooting, call Handy Kith professional electrical services. Not only is it safer, but it is also easier and with long-lasting results. Call us today or contact us through our website for a high-class consultation.

Electrical Problems in Old Homes of Brooklyn and Queens NY

Brooklyn and Queens, NYC are old neighborhoods, and the housing situation is largely equally old. In our experience, common electrical faults in these areas tend to be:

  •  Bad wiring. Up to the late ’60s and early ’70s, builders were using copper wires, which is generally safer. But due to high prices at the time, they switched to aluminum. Since it oxidizes far more rapidly than copper, it’s now considered hazardous.
  • Insulation. One of the electrical problems in old homes is that wiring was insulated with low-quality rubber and cloth. With time, this type of insulation became unable to fulfill the function. In some cases, the wiring can even hang bare without any of the insulation left.
  • Old circuit breaker used (typically 20 amp). Modern circuit breakers tend to be of 30 amp or more to sustain modern tech. Even seemingly small appliances like microwaves can overload them.
  • Lack of lines. Back in the old days, each house had 2-4 separate lines for all the devices used. The reason is that there were simply fewer devices in operation. These days, houses need more than that.
  • Lack of the main panel with circuit breakers. Many Brooklyn and Queens homes have a fuse-box. Just like many issues we mentioned, it doesn’t fit modern requirements.
  • No GFCI installed. In an older home, there may be no requirement for GFCI’s to be installed. However, now most receptacles throughout a house can be protected by one GFCI receptacle.

Let’s say you have any of the signs of improper electrical wiring listed above. Your approximate plan of action is as follows:

  1. Contact an electrician right away. It’s not the job for you nor your general contractor or handyman. Only specialists can make these kinds of repairs.
  2. Ask them to do the rewiring. Even if it seems like a big investment, it’s well worth considering the value you’re getting.
  3. Have them evaluate the work on the bad wiring in the house that needs to be done. Sometimes, it’s more than you think, or the difficulty might increase because of many separate lines your home needs.
  4. Change the fuse-box to the main panel with a separate circuit breaker for each device. Replace old outlets and switches as well.
  5. Provide your home with GFCI.

All of this can be quickly done by a Handy Kith specialist. Find out whether you need to fix in-house electrics by getting in touch with us.

Electrical Issues in Newer Households in Brooklyn and Queens, New York City

You may think that only old houses are prone to faulty electrics. However, residents and property owners of new houses have to deal with them as well.

electrical problems

As part of your residential electrical troubleshooting, you should also be aware of the following common problems:

  • Improper bonded gas line. It’s common for gas and electrical systems to be bonded together. This means there’s also a possibility for shock, fire, damage to equipment due to electrical problems or electrocution.
  • Light bulbs burn out. If you often replace bulbs, but the lifespan still seems to be very short, it might be a sign of a bigger problem. A licensed electrician should be able to come up with a solution.
  • Exposed, energized wiring. If the cables aren’t insulated by a thick layer of rubber (frayed, damaged, or loosened), it exposes electrically charged metal to the rest of the equipment. When doing home wiring troubleshooting, you or your specialist should always pay attention to that.
  • Tangled power cables. Similarly, it leads to improper electrical wiring and causes significant risks. But if it’s not damaged, you should be able to fix it quickly.
  • Wire “backstabbed” receptacles. This also increases the chances of electrocution if there is direct contact with wires that have holes and cuts in them.

These issues don’t require urgent work, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can always contact us for electrical repair work, and we’ll happily perform a top-quality job. We are experts in all sorts of electrical issues, so you’re in safe hands.

Signs of Electrical Problems in Home: When to Fix an Issue

We’ve gone over several problems that occur in new houses and in the old ones. Now let’s see the signs of electrical problems in the home that will help you identify them early on:

Hot Outlets

It’s okay for some appliances to produce heat when they’re working. But it shouldn’t affect the outlet; meaning make it generate heat as well. It might be a loose outlet plug or something far more serious. In any case, immediately unplug all cords and have it professionally checked.

Flickering Lights

Most people disregard this problem, thinking that there is something wrong with the lightbulb. But it will slowly have a bigger effect on your electric bill and other inconveniences. If it’s only one light, it shouldn’t be of too much trouble. However, if it’s affecting multiple lights, rooms, or even your entire house, there might be something wrong with your breaker box.

Burning Smell

This is probably one of the simplest signs to remember. If something smells burnt where it shouldn’t, it always raises a red flag. Act quickly as your electrical systems can be very close to catching fire. It may be caused by melted plastic from the wires, breaker box, or something along these lines.

Tripping-Breaker Problems

If a circuit breaker or outlet has tripped off, it might be the response to something on the circuit that it’s protecting. For example, one of the common light switch problems is that you turn on the light in the room, and some appliances turn off. The reason is that if the breaker tripping is overloaded, it automatically limits the use of other things on the circuit.

Frequent Electrical Surges

If you often find your electrical sockets not working, it might be caused by anything from lightning strikes, damage to power lines to faulty devices. Even if it doesn’t pose an immediate danger, it can definitely degrade the life expectancy of your devices. While you wait for an electrician to sort it out, try not to use high-power appliances.

Recessed Light ‘Goes Out’ And Comes Back On

Common dimmer switch problems occur when safety devices inside recessed lighting (like downlights) are triggered. If you notice that the lights aren’t working correctly when using dimmer switches, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there excessive heat coming out of it?
  • Does it exceed the total wattage on the circuit?
  • Is the insulation intact?

Overheated lighting can be a fire risk, so be sure to install it properly and test regularly.

Electrical Shocks

Lastly, you can experience electrical shock if you plug in an appliance or flip the light switch. First of all, it’s very dangerous to your health. Second of all, it can end up causing electrical fires. Before anyone gets hurt, it’s crucial to call for specialized help.

How to Choose an Electrician in Brooklyn and Queens, NYC

Don’t be afraid to ask your electrician some questions. Whether you need to replace a loose outlet plug or something more advanced, they should be the qualification to explain the process and carry it out. As long as you have the right professional, it will be as painless to your home as possible.

When dealing with electrical problems in the house of various difficulty, here is what you should find a qualified person:

  • Ask friends and family. They might have dealt with a similar problem, for example, an electrical socket not working, and they will gladly share their electrician’s contact with you.
  • Ask trusted contractors. If you know any tradespeople – such as builders or painters – chances are they can refer you to a quality electrician.
  • Look in your local area. A quick Google search should present you with a good number of electricians in NYC or specifically Brooklyn or Queens.
  • Check out online reviews. People that had common electrical problems at home can recommend someone with just the right specialty. Also, it will give you an idea of their skill and work ethic.
  • Ask your contractor. If you’ve recently had any work done around the house, your contractor or their team might know a good electrician. Share what kind of home repair electrical problems you have and see what they have to say.

Reduce Electrical Fire Risks in Your Home

Regardless of whether you live in a new or old house, we found that all of them have the potential for electrical problems. However, by getting ahead of them, you get rid of the risks before it’s too late. Thus, by doing proactive work instead of reactive, you will be keeping everyone around you safe.

Most of the time, residential electrical troubleshooting reveals a simple, affordable fix. The earlier you catch the problem, the better it will be for you and your budget. Remember that if you found faulty circuit breakers, broken or deteriorating wiring, or bad switches or outlets, trying to fix them on your own isn’t worth it. When mishandled, electricity can be extremely dangerous both to your health and your home.

Safety is paramount, so don’t leave electrical problems in the house unattended. Get in touch with a professional, like your local Handy Kith specialist. We will help you identify any bad wiring in the house, and we will resolve it with certified and quality products. This will give you peace of mind and safety assurance.


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