How Can I Confirm Electrical Problems?

I have many outlets but only one outlet is out. I thought I would just replace the one so I got a free estimate and they want over 4 grand saying the whole house needed to be rewired. It's scary because I don't want a fire. How does one know if this is true, are there other signs to look for so I can make sure that this really needs to be done before I spend 4 grand?



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By Jeneene Brengelman (Guest Post)
July 29, 20040 found this helpful

Call the local HandyMan Connection. They do electrical repairs and are reasonable. Unless you have very old aluminum wiring I can't imagine why you would need it all replaced, and that price seems high too. Do you have circuit breakers or fuses?

Changing out one outlet is an easy do it yourself job, just look at the library for a book about home repair. LIterally takes 5 minutes, including time to run downstairs and turn off the electric.

But, if you have aluminum wiring or fuses, you might want to get that second estimate, it might be time to re-wire.

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By Syd (Guest Post)
July 29, 20040 found this helpful

My first reaction is WOW.
You are right to question this expense.

Not knowing the particulars, like how old is your house, do you have aluminum wiring which is a safety issue, etc., it is hard to tell if this is a scam or on the level.


It would be to your advantage to talk to other people and have several other electricians take a look. You don't need an electrician to change an outlet, homeowners do it all the time.

If it is just a bad wall outlet that is not hard to do yourself, or a friend or relative could do it for you.

Let us know how you make out.

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By Anne H. (Guest Post)
July 29, 20040 found this helpful

Sounds like good feedback already form the previous posters. Sounds pricey to me too. But these things always sound pricey to me. If the houses around you are all similar, I would ask a neighbor if they have had to replace all their electrical work too. Usually neighborhoods are all done at the same time and have very similar wiring. Definately get a second estimate when you have a bill for anything that big.

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July 29, 20040 found this helpful

Call Your local electric company and see if they come and do free safety inspections.. that should let you know if anything at all is wrong.


I know most do energy efficiancy programs and do come look at your home. Just explain your situation.

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December 27, 20040 found this helpful

Dale wrote: "MY wall socket shorts out and it gets very hot"

Hi Dale, that sounds like a potentially serious problem. Please submit the request at the url below with as much detail as possible. We will make sure it is activated quickly.

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By Billie (Guest Post)
December 2, 20060 found this helpful

My bathroom switch wont always turn on and I had originally thought we blew a fuse but it keeps on happening. could it be the light switch or could it be wiring problems that could potentially start a fire.""

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December 3, 20060 found this helpful

Billie, I had the same problem with a kitchen light switch. Sometimes it came on, sometimes it didn't, you could wiggle the switch a little and then it would come on. I called a man that advertised in the paper as a "handy man" because I couldn't afford an electrician.


He replaced the switch with a new one and now it works just fine. I think, after watching him, that next time I would attempt to do the job myself and save a few dollars.

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By Ellie (Guest Post)
April 14, 20070 found this helpful

The power in certain rooms of our house will temporarily go out for few minutes during all hours of the day or night. It only affects part of the house and even at night when the rooms are not in use.

Editor's Note We sent this to Dear Webby who also has a lot of electrical knowledge:

That would indicate a lose connection somewhere between the affected
rooms and the breaker that serves them. It could be at the breaker,
or at the point where the line splits to the affected rooms, or
anywhere in between. The only way to fix that is to tighten the screw


on the breaker and tighten every connection between there and the
problem. It's tedious, but easy and won't take long.

Have FUN!

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