ALL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM REPAIRS MUST BE MADE BY A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN
Instruction on electrical repairs is beyond the scope of this website
Electricity is an essential part of our lives. However, it has the potential to cause great harm. Electrical systems will function almost indefinitely if properly installed and not overloaded or physically abused. Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 485 Americans each year and injure 2,305 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, but many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords.
- It is always recommended to have a qualified Electrician perform any repairs or modifications to any electrical system or related component.
- Find and correct overloaded circuits.
- Never place extension cords under rugs.
- Outlets near water or in damp areas should be GFCI type outlets.
- Don’t allow trees near power lines to be climbed.
- Keep ladders, kites, equipment and anything else away from overhead power lines.
As new technology brings us new tools to make our lives easier, it also provides new devices to keep us safer in our homes. GFCI protected electrical receptacles and AFCI protection are little technological wonders. They are outlets or circuit breakers that contain some extra specialized and micro-miniaturized electrical circuits that can detect the specific, characteristic signs of household electrical current that are present when certain dangerous situations occur. When the detect such conditions, they automatically shut down the electricity, providing an extra layer of safety, help prevent fires, and, possibly saving a life in the process. Regular circuit breakers are designed to protect the house’s electrical system, not the house’s inhabitants! The amount of electricity that is needed to kill a human being is thousands of times less than the amount that will ‘trip’ a regular circuit breaker.
GFCI Electrical Outlets:
- A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet is a special electrical outlet device that provides much greater protection from electrical shock than a standard electrical outlet does. Think of a GFCI outlet as a small, ultra sensitive circuit breaker that is built right into the outlet. it should be called an ‘Anti-Electrocution Device’. Here’s how GFCI works.
- When the amount of electrical current coming out of the ‘hot’ prong of the outlet (the smaller slot) is just 5/1000 of an amp different from the amount of electrical current coming back into the outlet on the ‘neutral’ prong (the larger one), the outlet will trip, killing the electrical flow through the outlet. In such a case, the GFCI outlet senses that it is putting out more electricity than it getting back. The only place that this missing electrical current can be going is to another source of ground, which very well may be a person.
- GFCI outlets are now required to be used anyplace in your house where there is a close proximity to the grounding of a human being. Such places are; kitchen counter tops and islands, within 6′ of sinks or water sources, bathrooms, unfinished basement, garages, laundry rooms, pool & hot tubs, and all outdoor outlets.
- Note: If your house was built before GFCIs were required, local building codes do not necessarily require them, but safety does! Going beyond the minimum safety requirements of building codes, to a higher standard of safety, is part of what a professional home inspector should be doing.
AFCI Electrical Outlets:
- An AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet is much like a GFCI outlet, but it protects against an entirely different danger. Sometimes, certain types of electrical appliances will be used to convert electricity into heat. Sometimes, these devices will also cause heating where the device plugs into the wall. This is called arcing. You sometimes see it when you quickly unplug a say a iron or a vacuum cleaner from an outlet while it is switched on.
- An AFCI protection device will detect any ‘arcing’ in a the protected circuit and open the circuit stoping the glow of electricity hopefully before a fire is started.
- AFCI protection is now required for new construction, remodeling or re-wiring, by the National Electrical Code as of 2014, on all 120-volt, single-phase, 15 and 20 amp branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun-rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas.
- AFCI protection devices are usually not found in wall receptacles, but are incorporated into your house’s main electrical service equipment panel in the form of circuit breakers with AFCI protection, but now, AFCI & GFCI protection can be found incorporated into the same breaker.
- Note: Like GFCI outlets, older homes are not required to have AFCI protection, but they are a wonderful technological advancement that is certain to save many lives.
Portable electrical heating equipment may be used in the home as a supplement to the home heating system. Caution must be taken when using these types of heaters.
- Keep them away from combustibles and make sure they cannot be tipped over.
- Keep electrical heating equipment in good working condition.
- Do not use them in bathrooms because of the risk of contact with water and electrocution.
- Many people use electric blankets in their homes. They will work well if they are kept in good condition. Look for cracks or breaks in the wiring, plugs and connectors. Look for charred spots on both sides. Many things can cause electric blankets to overheat. They include other bedding placed on top of them, pets sleeping on top of them, and putting things on top of the blanket when it is in use. Folding the blankets can also bend the coils and cause overheating.