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Troubleshooting Common Electrical Problems

Electrical gremlins can be frustrating, especially if you can’t determine why they are occurring or where they are coming from. The Montreal area is prone to a few common electrical problems due to a combination of climate and aging wiring.

Lights that flicker when it’s windy

This is likely due to frayed wiring in your weatherhead (the connection between the power lines and your home).

Do not attempt to fix this on your own. This has a strong potential of starting a fire and should be dealt with by the utility ASAP.

Lights dim when an appliance is turned on

This is most often due to a circuit is forced to supply more power than it was rated for. If your fridge is on the same circuit as your kitchen lights or outlets, you may see the lights flicker when the compressor is activated- particularly in older homes.

Other causes of randomly dimming lights are improper wiring, loose/damaged/corroded wiring, or problems with the power grid beyond your control.

Circuit breaker is constantly tripping

Many people simply reset the breaker and carry on- you should never ignore when your circuit breaker trips.

A breaker trips when it is overloaded. If this happens, assess the circuit to ensure that it is not overloaded. Overloaded circuits can overheat (especially true with older wiring, common in Montreal and Laval) and can be a real fire hazard.

Plugs fall out of outlets

This is likely due to one of two reasons:

  1. The prongs on the plug are bent or damaged. Damaged prongs should never be put into an electrical outlet.
  2. The outlet is damaged. If so, replace the outlet as soon as possible. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, though we are happy to help if you’d prefer to leave the electrical stuff to us.
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