In this article, learn what your electrician wants you to know before an accident occurs in the first place.
What Your Electrician Wants You to Know
If you have an electrician who is familiar with your home’s circuitry, then you have someone who can provide sound advice about your home’s wiring and electricity system without guesswork. If you don’t have an electrician who is familiar with your home’s electrical blueprint, then Same Day Pros can help you find one in your local area.
Preventing electrical shock and removing fire hazards is half of an electrician’s job. The other half might be doling out repair work or installing and updating new wiring. With electrical safety mishaps named as one of the top causes of accidental home fires, there’s no wonder why electricians place such an important weight on electrical safety.
Below are several things that your electrician wants you to know when it comes to your home wiring:
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs of Electrical Emergencies
Warning signs of electrical emergencies include anything from an acrid or burning smell, brown smudges or burn marks across outlets, and consistent brownouts. These emergencies can be caused by anything from faulty wiring to damaged appliances, or even a worn-out electrical system.
These are all signs that something is wrong with the home’s circuitry and should be inspected by a licensed electrician as soon as possible. Even if you suspect an electrical emergency, it is better to call an electrician and be wrong than to put the call off and be the victim of a house fire.
GFCI Is an Important Household Safety Feature
As a safety feature implemented in many new home builds, GFCI is an excellent way to protect your home from accidental electrical fires and home electrocutions.
Short for Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor, this safety feature prevents electrical surges by redirecting the electricity or shutting the supply of power off to that area whenever too much electricity is produced at once.
This device breaks – or trips – the circuit any time there is an imbalance of power that might lead to a safety hazard in the system.
Know Your DIY Limits and Never Take Risks
The avid DIYer may be tempted to take care of their electrical wiring themselves, especially if “it’s only a light fixture” or “fixing the outlet shouldn’t be too hard.”
Unfortunately, this is where a lot of electrical shocks at home originate from. Without proper training, equipment, or experience of the home’s circuitry, any individual working on the wiring is taking a big risk.
Many electricians advise against this, as not only does it often cause problems with the wiring in the future, but this kind of risk is never worth saving a few dollars in the short-term. It’s better to call an electrician and get the problem taken care of professional to ensure its done right the first time around.
Low Voltage Doesn’t Mean No Danger
Some wiring may advertise that it is low voltage, and many people take that to mean that it has no danger of electric shock associated with it. As many electricians will tell you, this is not the case at all.
Low voltage isn’t a range of danger, but rather how many volts are going through the material at any given time. In most cases, low voltage means that there are less than 1,000 volts going through the wiring.
Even 600 or 800 volts is considered low voltage and can provide quite a nasty shock if mishandled. This is one of many reasons why individuals who are not trained and licensed should never handle electrical wiring, especially if it is live.
Color Coding of Wiring Isn’t Always Accurate
One rule of thumb when looking at your home’s wiring is that color coding isn’t always accurate. If you are particularly handy, you might have some experience changing out a light fixture or re-doing an outlet, learning the color coding along the way.
Unfortunately, if materials run out when the wiring is put in, or if the wiring is based on different criterion, the color coding you are familiar with might not be what is in the wall. An electrician has tools that allow them to test which cord is which, so that they don’t have to rely on color coding, especially when they are re-doing work that originated from a handyman or other non-licensed professional.
Never Plug Extension Cords into Extension Cords
Plugging in a single extension cord is typically safe, so long as the cord is properly insulated and doesn’t get hot. Likewise, extension cords should never be routed under rugs or over carpet.
Plugging extension cords into an extension cord, however, is a huge fire risk. This should never be done, no matter how temporary. Each plug that is plugged into another provides the electricity with a point of potential failure that could begin to short out, causing electricity to spark, or wiring to burn out and the outside of the cord to become hot.
The best alternative is to either have an electrician install a new outlet closer to the appliance you need to plug in, or if it is only on a temporary basis, purchase a quality extension cord that matches the length you need with by itself.
The Cheapest Electrician Often Isn’t the Best
It’s important to note that when you’re looking for an electrician, it’s best to go with the one who provides the best service and guarantees. If your only criteria when hiring is someone who charges the least, then you’re likely to find someone who doesn’t cover the problems you’re trying to solve, or whose company charges hidden fees on the backend or does not provide any kind of guarantee.
The alternative is a service who charges everything up-front and provides reasonable quotes before work begins, going through the proper channels to ensure that everyone agrees to the terms and the work can be done properly, without haggling every step of the way.
Take Precaution with Heating Elements and Appliances
Heat and electricity are two main fire starters in any home environment, which means that a large amount of fire safety begins with user precautions.
Even if we don’t think about it, every appliance that is plugged in is pulling electricity from the home, even if it is not actively turned on.
Furthermore, it’s important to take note of any electrical appliances or accessories that may get hot if left unattended for a long time. This is especially common in extension cords, devices with faulty insulation, or in appliances that are meant to be placed on a non-hazardous material like a countertop.
If these items are placed on or around fabric, such as drapes, cloths, carpets or rugs, they pose a significant risk of starting a fire in the home.
What Should I Ask My Electrician?
You should ask your electrician anything that you want to know about the work they are doing. No matter how silly the question might seem at the time, it is better to hear the answer from the certified professional in front of you, rather than looking it up on the internet, which might not be referring to your specific problem at all.
Referring to the electrician’s professional opinion or advice about your electrical system is ideal, because not only are they more familiar with your home’s circuitry, but they are able to physically inspect the symptoms and signs that might not be obvious to you at first glance.
This level of familiarity allows the electrician to provide an educated response to your question, with all the information at their disposal so they can piece together what is really happening with the circuitry out of sight.
Find An Electrician for Your Home or Business Today
If you don’t have an electrician to call when things go awry, it can be a mad dash to find anyone willing to help when you need it most. (1) Fortunately, you can find a reliable electrician before it becomes an emergency, for any type of residential or commercial electricity work.
Electricians can help with any issue tied into your home’s electrical system. That includes adding outlets, installing fixtures, replacing circuit breakers, rewiring and more.
From installing new outlets to replacing circuit breakers or upgrading circuits to accommodate more appliances, electricians are a great source of knowledge and expertise who can do just about anything with your electrical system.
Same Day Pros is here to help you find a great electrician in your area today. Simply type in your location, and we’ll help you pull up a list of local contractors who are ready to take on new work. Give it a try today and find your perfect electrician match.
- Forbes, How to Hire an Electrician, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/how-to-hire-an-electrician/