As we spend more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, our appliances are getting more use than ever before. This is evidenced in increasing utility bills across the country. The more use our appliances get, they begin to show signs of wear and tear. However, some appliances don’t just give up. While a malfunctioning appliance like a refrigerator, dryer, or dishwasher is an inconvenience, it can also cause electrical damage and other damage to your home.
It’s common to think that if your microwave is giving you trouble, it is only affecting that appliance. But, the reality is that a malfunctioning appliance can wreak havoc on your other appliances as well. To prevent damage to your home, it is important to get any malfunctioning appliance repaired or replaced right away. Here are key things to keep in mind when it comes to a malfunctioning appliance whether it is in your kitchen, laundry room, or anywhere else in your home.
How to Tell If A Home Appliance Is Malfunctioning
Your home appliance itself will likely give you some signs that it’s nearing its end. You’ll often find that it just isn’t working quite the way it’s supposed to work. For instance, your refrigerator may be getting a bit balmy and your microwave just takes longer than usual to reheat your dinner. Besides the signs your home appliance gives you, your home’s wiring may also be giving you warning signs that an appliance is causing damage. For instance, a tripped circuit breaker is often the first sign that something is wrong. If a breaker is tripping each time you turn an appliance on, your system is getting a surge of electricity from the appliance, putting your home at risk of a short circuit. Rather than continuing to turn the breaker back on, call an electrician to come and check it out.
Electrical Damage Caused By Home Appliances
A faulty or malfunctioning home appliance can cause minor to severe damage to your home. Three of the most common types of electrical damage caused by home appliances include surge protector damage, physical damage, and fire damage.
Surge Protector Damage
Just like computers and televisions, your appliances use microprocessors that are sensitive to power surges. If your appliance is malfunctioning and causing a surge in electricity, these microprocessors can easily become damaged. A surge protector only protects your appliance from surges that come from outside sources like a lightning strike or power outage, not from surges that come from within the appliance or on the same electrical circuits. Depending on the intensity of the surge your appliance’s microprocessor could be damaged instantly or slowly by small surges, essentially reducing the life of your appliance.
If the surge caused by your malfunctioning home appliance is large, it can actually burn various electrical components in your electrical system such as switches and outlets. These components may burn, leaving visible scorch marks, or may simply melt. Either way, these components often become inoperable and will need to be replaced. This can happen even if the surge happens in an instance. If you find that you have melted or scorched electrical components it is always recommended to have an electrician come to find the exact source of the damage.
Fire damage is the most dangerous type of electrical damage that is due to malfunctioning home appliances. These fires often start when an electrical short sparks. Depending on where the spark occurs will determine the extent of the damage. Some fires within the appliance itself. However, the spark could also ignite other things like insulation, wallpaper, curtains, cabinetry, etc. This is why it is extremely important to make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home.
Get Someone to Check It
The best defense against electrical issues and damage from malfunctioning appliances is a proactive approach. At the first sign of malfunction, look into the issue or call in a professional. The professionals at Wire Craft Electric will be able to assess your appliances. They will check your electrical system for signs of damage and make the necessary repairs. Call 206-542-0208 to talk to a professional or set up an appointment today.