Every home experiences electrical problems. The older it is, the more likely such problems are to occur, because wiring and circuits and fixtures and other equipment do wear out. Why is dealing with them quickly and efficiently important? Because any electrical problem can lead to fire and can quickly get out of hand. This is why, when you discover that something is wrong with a lighting fixture, an appliance or any other electrical appurtenance in your home, Reaction No. 1 should be to cut the power to the fixture immediately so that a fire cannot start.
Modern electrical systems are set up to do that for us by including circuit breakers, and the most frequent problem in today’s modern homes is when one of them trips and some part of our home loses power. Our inclination is to assume that it is a freak occurrence and turn it back on—and sometimes that is all it is. More likely, the breaker will trip again, and this should tell you that either something controlled by this circuit breaker has a genuine problem, or that a subpanel, or subsidiary, breaker elsewhere in the house has tripped and you will have to find it and determine what has happened there.
Another frequent occurrence is the flickering of a light fixture. Such flickering usually results from loose wiring, or a malfunction in the lighting mechanism itself. After cutting off the power, by unplugging the fixture or turning off a main switch, you can check the wiring visually; if the wiring appears okay, you can plug the fixture into another outlet to check whether the problem is in the fixture itself.
If a faceplate is warm to the touch, it is usually an indication that the outlet is overloaded. This can result from using the wrong kind or size of wiring, or it could be a short circuit in the system. This may be a problem for your professional electrician at ABQ Plumbing Heating & Cooling; let him or her deal with it.
Finally, if an electrical fault does indeed cause a fire, remember that it is important not to use water on such fires. Keep a fire extinguisher—or better still, more than one fire extinguisher—around your home and learn how to use it properly. It could save your home… or your life.