An Introduction to Electrical Maintenance for Homeowners
There are many maintenance tasks to keep up with when it comes to owning a home. Between daily responsibilities and weekly and monthly upkeep, it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. However, one of the most important facets of home maintenance is the upkeep of your home’s electrical system.
Your electrical system keeps the lights on, keeps all of your appliances working, charges and powers your electronic devices, and does it all while absorbing and rerouting power surges on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s not difficult to see why your home’s electrical system should be regularly checked and monitored; at best, an electrical issue may result in a blown fuse or a nonfunctional outlet, but at worst, you could have an electrical fire on your hands.
You may be thinking, I’m just going to find an electrician near me and call it a day. However, performing your own set of checks as a homeowner before the electrician arrives is very important to help you better understand your specific electrical system and its needs. Plus, you’ll be better able to keep your electrical system at a high level of upkeep in between appointments with the electrician, keeping your home safer and your electrical costs down throughout the year.
How to Care for Your Home’s Electrical System: Mixing Professional Electrical Inspections with DIY Checks
Electrical wiring can be complex and even dangerous if you aren’t trained in electrical repairs, which the typical homeowner isn’t. However, there are certain signs of an electrical malfunction that you can keep an eye out for and schedule an appointment with an expert right away in order to protect the health and functionality of your electrical system. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your home’s electrical system, warning signs to look out for, and when to call in an electrician:
Get familiar with your home’s circuit breaker or fuse box. Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home, you may or may not be very familiar with the electrical paneling and whether or not your electrical system operates using circuit breakers or fuses. Once you’ve inspected your electrical panels and determined whether or not your home uses circuit breakers or fuses, schedule an appointment with an electrician to replace any blown fuses and make sure all circuit breakers are switched to the right position. An experienced electrician can help you to get more comfortable with your circuit or fuse box or boxes and even recommend electrical panel upgrades for increased functionality and efficiency.
Always unplug appliances before cleaning them. Much like electrical maintenance, keeping your home’s various appliances clean is an important part of regular upkeep for homeowners. However, using water or any water-based substance to clean any electrical appliance while it’s still plugged in can destroy the appliance, cause it to damage the outlet it’s plugged into, or both. Therefore, unplugging your appliances before you clean them is extremely important for not only the health of your appliance but also the health of your electrical system in general.
Be smart about your electronic use. There are several rules of thumb to keep in mind when using electronic appliances and devices in your home. Try not to plug too many devices into one circuit, as this can overload it and lead to a power surge or even a power outage, both of which can mean bad news for your devices and/or your electrical system. Unplug devices when not in use, especially large electrical devices that draw a good deal of power. Make sure to keep smaller appliances like hairdryers and toasters away from water sources that could potentially splash onto them, like bathtubs or sinks.
Make sure you have the right types of outlets. Most homeowners aren’t aware of the fact that multiple types of electrical outlets and outlet accessories exist. In locations of the home that tend to be wetter, like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens, homeowners should consider installing ground-fault circuit interrupters in the outlets. Because there is a greater risk of the outlets getting wet in these areas, ground-fault circuit interrupters are designed to shut off electric power immediately when they sense water or any other abnormal incident. In some situations, this measure can even be lifesaving. Ask your home electrician about whether or not ground-fault circuit interrupters could be used efficiently in your home, and whether you should consider any other outlet adjustments. Tamper-resistant outlets are another great safety option for those with small children running around.
Extension cords are for temporary use. Many homeowners have a bad habit of using extension cords for daily use due to the fact that they need electrical power in an area of their home where no outlets are installed. Though extension cords seem like the natural solution in this situation, they are not designed for this type of extended use and can become potentially dangerous, particularly when used to power high-electricity items like kitchen appliances or space heaters. Always limit your extension cord use to hours at a time, and never leave it plugged in indefinitely. Plus, make sure that the extension cord you’re using is designed for the job you’re using it for, i.e. never use an indoor cord outdoors and vice versa.
Practice good plug, wire, and outlet use. If a plug isn’t fitting easily into an outlet, it’s important not to try to force it in as this can cause damage to the plug and potential electric shock. On the other hand, if the plug can’t seem to stay in the outlet without falling out, a new plug may be in order. If a singular outlet seems to have either of these problems with every plug you try, however, you should contact local electricians to take a look at your outlets. If you notice any frayed electrical wires, call an expert right away and have the wires replaced. In the meantime, turn off or, if you can do so safely, unplug the appliance or device with the frayed wire attached. Additionally, never run electrical wires underneath rugs or carpets or near heat sources as these practices cause an extreme fire hazard.
Schedule a regular checkup with your local electricians. Keeping an eye on your electrical paneling and practicing safe appliance, wire, outlet, and plug use are all useful and effective ways to keep your home’s electrical system functioning as it should and protecting your family and belongings from electrical fires. However, prioritizing regular visits from your preferred home electrician is crucial to ensure that no warning signs go unseen. A licensed electrician can perform needed electrical repairs, check that all of your home’s ground wiring is intact and functioning, and make suggestions as to how you can make your electrical use more efficient, making your family safer and saving you money on electrical bills in the long run.
Though there are many important tasks you can complete as a homeowner in regard to keeping your electrical system functioning safely, sometimes the expertise and wisdom of a professional is what you need to put together a routine with your specific electrical system. Now that you know all of this information, you may be asking, how can I find the best residential electricians near me? Luckily, in the Denver metro area, the electricians you need aren’t far away.
MZ Electric offers a wide variety of electrical services including repair, lighting installation, ceiling fan installation, electrical panel, and outlet installation, and much more. If you think your home is in need of attention from an experienced electrician, don’t wait—schedule your appointment with MZ Electric today.