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Thread: I think my house has bad electricity?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monalisa View Post
    It will really have adverse effects on your PC so hire some electrician to fix this problem
    Seriously...

    If your lights are dimming and your outlet is making ticking noises, I wouldn't worry about your computer. I'd worry about your house burning down.
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    This is my parent's house and I already mentioned to them that these are serious issues, they don't seem to listen to me and they only worry about the cost of electrician, thats why I was asking if they are expensive to check things out. I'm a poor college student and I'm not in a great position of having financial flexibility, If this didnt cost too much, I was willing to call the electrician my self and pay for it, but right now I'm not even sure how much it is. My only worry is 2 things now, house burning down, or my computer which is the largest investment I even had being damaged.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistargill View Post
    This is my parent's house and I already mentioned to them that these are serious issues, they don't seem to listen to me and they only worry about the cost of electrician, thats why I was asking if they are expensive to check things out. I'm a poor college student and I'm not in a great position of having financial flexibility, If this didnt cost too much, I was willing to call the electrician my self and pay for it, but right now I'm not even sure how much it is. My only worry is 2 things now, house burning down, or my computer which is the largest investment I even had being damaged.
    It's a safety issue. Tell your parents the outlet was sparking.

    The reason it freaks me out is that my mother used to have a house by the beach at the Jersey Shore when she was a kid. An electrical fire happened inside the walls and the place burned down. No more house.
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    If you're sufficiently skilled and know the electrical code somewhat you could run new wire and replace the outlet(s) yourself.

    I had to do that here when I was wiring up my load testing circuit into the breaker panel. The wiring was all ok but the outlets weren't. I rent the basement of my folks' house, and they were complaining about a kitchen outlet sparking. Since my lab/office is directly under the kitchen, I looked into the issue while I had the master breaker off. Ended up completely removing the outlet in question as it was not up to code and a major fire hazard. The four other kitchen outlets were then brought up to code for being almost as bad. The previous owners had remodeled the kitchen and apparently done all the electrical work themselves. I'm glad I fixed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mistargill View Post
    This is my parent's house and I already mentioned to them that these are serious issues, they don't seem to listen to me and they only worry about the cost of electrician, thats why I was asking if they are expensive to check things out. I'm a poor college student and I'm not in a great position of having financial flexibility, If this didnt cost too much, I was willing to call the electrician my self and pay for it, but right now I'm not even sure how much it is. My only worry is 2 things now, house burning down, or my computer which is the largest investment I even had being damaged.
    Make sure the insurance covers faulty wiring, then, and your parents will be set.

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    Default IT's actually pretty easy.

    It's very rare that there are any problems with the wire in the walls itself; it's the connections at each end that are usually the problem.

    You can open various wall plates, clean and tighten the connections, and possibly replace nasty crusty outlets, and it will fix a lot.

    Don't forget to do the same thing to the breaker connections at the main panel. It requires care to work on a breaker panel with only one circuit switched off, but it's not too hard. Heck, I've repaired a lot of live circuits. Intact rubber tool handles are enough insulation that you can use pliers on live wires. Just don't let them touch anything!

    Inside a breaker panel, you will see all the white wires (assuming North American color code) going to a single neutral busbar. With a voltmeter, check the voltage between that and ground. It should be very low. If so, you can safely touch it. Like to tighten any loose connections. (If the voltage is high, you have a loose connection in your main supply. You can still try to fix it, but it's more dangerous.)

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    Still in the middle of convincing my parents... Thank you for these information, its great help from all of you. I hope I can get them to fix these problems

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    I was renting a house in this kind of situation, explained to the land lord these kind of problems. He never did jack diddly or cared; so I moved out. You need a electrician stat. If your parents are more worried about how much it is going to cost, pick up the phone phone book and start calling around; explaining your situation. You might get one that is willing to come look at it, explain whats wrong, and be able give you estimates.

    You don't have any other choices, unless you consider your house have a very good chance of catching fire.

  9. #19
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    Tell them that it's more expensive to replace the house. Look that price up and tell them that's how much it'll cost if they don't call an electrician.
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    If you are hearing "clicking" at the receptacle, you are hearing someing arcing in there. The solution might be something as simple as a loose connector screw or the electrician that did the wiring used those horrid wire push holes in the back of the receptacle instead of the terminator screws, which are famous for arcing after a period of time. Go to Walmart or Lowes and buy a duplex 15-20 amp receptacle in the color you need, then kill the breaker it's on and remove the old receptacle. Do this before your house burns down. BTW, the white wire connects to the chrome screws and the black (hot side) wires connect to the brass colored screws and the green or bare goes to the gounding (green) screw. And use the terminator screws instead of those push holes. The back of the receptacle also should label which color wires go where too.

    Wiring a receptacle isn't rocket science; it's actually pretty straightforward and easy, especially doing a replacement like this.

    What these guys say is true though; your house could very well catch fire if this isn't taken care of promptly.

    One other thought: If this house was built in the late 60's or early 70's you might have aluminum wiring in there and that opens up a whole new can of worms. If you pull the receptacle out and see aluminum wiring instead of copper, stop right there and call an electrician immediately. You can work with aluminum but an electrician will know how to deal with aluminum wiring terminating at a receptacle (hopefully).

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