Reasons to call an electrician immediately (and when you can wait)

If something is wrong with your electrical system, it can be alarming. It is always important you take necessary precautions when it comes to the electrical components in your home (outlets, switches, panel) and ensure that everything in your home is safe and up to code. Here we have listed some reasons when it is very urgent to call us and a few times when it isn’t an emergency.

Smoking, sparking or crackling devices

If any of the electrical components in your home are smoking, sparking or crackling, you should turn off the circuit or main breaker and then call us immediately. Depending on your situation, we may or may not have to come right away (it could be that we walk you through turning off the appropriate breaker if you haven’t already done that) but it isn’t something that you should wait to call about. Your electrical panel, outlets or switches should never smoke, spark, crackle or make any noise.

Switches are hot

If a switch is so hot that you physically can’t touch it, that is a problem and the breaker should be turned off until we can get there. However, some dimming switches will be warm and that is normal. If you are on the fence about whether it’s okay, it is probably better to call and have us check.

Flickering lights

If a light flickers occasionally, it could be that there is an issue and/or that you need a service upgrade, however, this is generally speaking not an emergency. Flickering lights tend to make people think that something is majorly wrong but, more often than not, the cause is not an emergency. However, if multiple lights or rooms (as opposed to one or two bulbs or fixtures) are flickering, you should give us a call.

Non-functioning lights

If some lights in your house are working and others aren’t and it’s random (i.e. not only in one room or section of your home but scattered all over) that generally is a larger issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. We may want to check with the utility to see if there is a problem with your incoming wiring.

If all the lights in one section or room of your house aren’t working, check to see if your breaker tripped before giving us a call. It might be that simple!

Tripping breakers

When a breaker trips and won’t reset (only attempt to reset a breaker two times) there is an issue but this is also not typically an emergency. Unless whatever the breaker is controlling is something that you need immediately (like a refrigerator or freezer), this might not require a same-day service call but it does need to be addressed.

Here are a couple overall rules and tips to remember:

  1. Never remove the panel cover from your electrical panel
  2. Do not remove an outlet or switch cover if you don’t know what you are doing
  3. When in doubt, turn the breaker off
  4. Do not do anything you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with
  5. If you are unsure, call us!
  6. Visit for how-to and informational videos

If you have any questions or comments, contact Sasha at As always, we hope we’ve made your day brighter!

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