Water flooding your bathroom? Call a plumber. Rain leaking through the ceiling? Call a roofer. It’s easy to know when to call these emergency services, but when do you call for an emergency electrician?
Anytime you call out a tradesman outside of normal business hours, you can expect to pay more for their services. So, what types of electrical problems in your home need to be addressed immediately, and what ones can wait until morning?
Any sign that points to immediate electrical failure − like a short circuit or faulty wiring − should be looked at right away, but if it’s anything else you’re probably okay to wait until morning.
Some signs of electrical failure requiring immediate attention by an electrician are exposed wiring, an acrid burning smell, buzzing noises, and sockets and switches that show discolouration on the outside.
Exposed wiring does not refer to the wire you plug your TV in with; rather, it is when your home’s wiring system becomes visible when it shouldn’t. Let’s say you have a child who likes to take risks and decides to see what it’s like to “ride” your ceiling fan.
The next thing you know it’s hanging halfway to the floor, and the only thing keeping it from falling is the wiring. That is exposed wiring.
Electrical fires have a very acrid smell. They can start when a wire inside your wall is faulty; maybe the DIYer in your house decided to drill holes in the wall to hang something up.
Electricity will take the path of least resistance and faulty wiring like this may catch fire as the electricity is no longer contained but can jump to other components.
This will sometimes manifest itself in a buzzing noise or discolouration at a socket or switch. Both of these are signs of great concern as they are indicators of electrical current not taking the path it should and damaging things around it.
These are all situations where you should call an emergency electrician. They will be able to come out and isolate the fault in your electrical system and repair it as necessary.