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Seven Common Winter Electrical Issues

Now that the weather is colder and the nights darker and longer, you’re probably using more electricity than usual in your commercial building. From using more lights to cranking up your heating system to keep your property warm and comfortable, it’s no surprise our electric bills often skyrocket during winter – and it’s no surprise we often run into more electrical issues during this period too.

Whether it’s a damaged appliance, faulty wiring or a power surge, electrical issues can occur at any time, leading to business downtime and causing disruptions in the workplace. Fortunately, there are plenty of electrical issues that can be stopped in their tracks before they become very dangerous and put your employees and customers at risk. Knowing what to look out for and when to call an electrician is key and could save you time, money and hassle down the line.

Below, we take a look at seven common winter electrical issues and how to keep your commercial building safe as temperatures drop outside.

Power outages

There’s no denying that the weather gets worse during winter. In addition to the drop in temperatures, there also tends to be more storms during the winter months. From harsh winds to ice and snow, there are plenty of harsh weather conditions and storms to deal with and this can have a huge impact on your electrics.

It’s not uncommon to experience more power outages in the winter months, especially when the weather is bad outside. The wind and rain can play havoc with your electrics so it’s always best to have a backup plan in case your electrics cut out.

Circuit breakers trip

Your commercial building is likely to use much more electricity in winter than any other time of year, and this can put a huge strain on your electrics. Not only will your heating system be working overtime, but you’ll be using more lights to brighten up the workspace too – not to mention all the extra appliances that will be used to make hot drinks and foods!

If your circuit breaker frequently trips in your commercial building, it could be caused by a number of different issues. Firstly, your circuit breaker could be overloaded. This can be very dangerous, so it’s important to upgrade your electrical panel so it can handle a larger electrical load or install new power outlets. Alternatively, a short circuit could be the culprit causing your circuit breaker to trip.

To ensure you get to the root of the problem and your commercial building remains safe for your employees and customers, it’s important to hire a professional electrician to inspect your circuit breaker for you.

Exposed wires

If you haven’t inspected the wiring in your building for a while, it’s a good idea to do it before the cold weather sets in. Even if you regularly check and inspect your wiring for problems or signs of damage, it’s still a good idea to get everything checked over before icy temperatures and harsh winds set in. Exposed wires are a dangerous fire hazard, especially when mixed with harsh winter weather.

It’s important to make sure your wiring is reviewed by a professional electrician before winter hits. A professional electrician can inspect your wiring and make any necessary repairs or replacements before the cold weather sets in.


When the weather is icy cold outside, it’s not just us who want to keep warm – animals, critters and pests seek warmth and shelter too and often, our buildings are the perfect place for them. Pests can be a huge problem in the cold season; animals that are normally out in the wild often come to buildings looking for warmth. Rodents can be particularly problematic if they chew through your wiring – this can be very dangerous and put you at risk.

If you suspect there are rodents in your building, it’s important you call a pest control company before the issue gets worse or your wiring is affected.

Flickering lights

As previously mentioned, it’s not uncommon for storms to hit the UK during the winter. Harsh winds and weather could have an affect on your wiring and this can lead to flickering lights. You may notice the lights in your building flickering and dimming when the wind blows or when it’s stormy outside. If this is the case, it’s highly likely there is an issue with the wiring in your ceilings and walls.

While a few flickering lights may not seem like much of an issue, it’s important the problem is not ignored. If you don’t address flickering lights, it could lead to more serious electrical issues in the future.

Old appliances

Old or outdated appliances can put a huge strain on your building’s wiring. If you can’t remember the last time your commercial building was rewired or you haven’t replaced some of your old appliances in the last five years (from computers to toasters), it’s time for an update.

Older appliances are generally not energy efficient and therefore they eat up energy, causing your bills to spike and wasting huge amounts of energy. Replacing old appliances with energy efficient models now can save you lots of money on energy bills and give you peace of mind you’re not wasting money or energy when the appliances are switched off.

Buzzing sounds or strange smells

Sometimes, you can smell or hear an electrical issue before you even see it. During winter, we generally tend to use more electricity; whether you’re putting up Christmas decorations around the office for some festive cheer or you simply use more lights to keep the office bright on dark days, it can be a lot for our electrics to deal with.

If you notice any buzzing sounds or strange smells such as the smell of burning at any point, you should get in touch with your electrician as soon as possible. Outlets and appliances shouldn’t make any strange sounds while they’re operating; if you notice an unusual sound or smell, it could be a sign you’ve got a more serious electrical issue on your hands. To eliminate the problem and ensure your outlets and appliances are safe to use, it’s crucial you get them inspected by a qualified and experienced electrician.

Mitchell’s: Commercial Electricians and Contractors in Gloucester

As a business, it’s crucial you always have a reliable electrician on hand for when things go wrong. Keeping business downtime to a minimum is essential, which is why it’s important you have a trustworthy electrician who can help you as soon as possible.

If you’re looking for reliable electricians in Gloucester, you needn’t look further than the team at Mitchell’s. Our team of qualified, experienced and skilled electricians are equipped with the skills to carry out a range of electrical services, from rewiring your commercial property to dealing with emergencies efficiently and professionally.

We can tend to all types of commercial and industrial work and service all types of buildings and facilities, including hospitals, offices, warehouses, factories, hotels and more. Regardless of your industry, we have the skills and experience required to stay ahead of your on-site electrical needs!

Next time you need a reliable, experienced and affordable electrical contractor in Gloucester, get in touch with us! Alternatively, visit our website to learn more about our services.

Posted in Commercial electricians, Refrigeration systems
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