Electrician Tips: Protective Devices For Your Home’s Electrical System | Euless, TX

Electrician Tips: Protective Devices For Your Home’s Electrical System | Euless, TX

Homeowners, as a general rule, don’t enjoy paying for repairs. Nothing lasts forever, but there are many ways to improve home maintenance and cut down on repairs. The electrical system is a vital part of modern homes in Euless, TX, so it’s a good place to start minimizing potential hazards and malfunctions.

Outlet Safety

Two-pronged outlets aren’t safe. If your home still has any two-pronged outlets, call your local electrician to install properly wired and grounded outlets instead. Grounded outlets with three-pronged cords reduce the risk of fires and accidental shocks. Replacing old outlets is also an opportunity to evaluate wiring and replace old, brittle, or damaged wires.

A grounded outlet without proper wiring can give an illusion of safety, which may be even riskier than a two-pronged outlet that carries obvious risks. Modern outlets can also be equipped with childproof connections. Safety connections have a shutter that only opens when a correctly positioned plug is inserted. The shutter stays closed in response to a single piece of metal or other object.

Warnings to keep electricity and water far away from each other are firmly grounded in reality. Many of us have experienced a slight shock by touching a coffee maker or toaster with a wet counter. It can happen while picking up power tools from the wet ground or damp floors as well. A shock is possible any time an electrical appliance is in close proximity to water.

Electrocution can be fatal, and even mild shocks are dangerous in certain circumstances. Ask your electrician about GFCI protection. Power outlets near water sources, such as kitchens, bathrooms or garages, should have GFCI devices. These safety devices sense potential shocks and function as circuit breakers. A small button pops out when the device is working. Reset the GFCI device when the risky situation is over.

AFCI circuit breakers are relatively new protective devices. They’re installed in newly constructed buildings, but older homes with their original wiring probably don’t have AFCI devices. An AFCI circuit breaker opens the circuit when it detects overloads and arcing or sparking. Call an electrician to determine the cause if your AFCI circuit opens. Arcing and sparking may be signs of frayed wires, poor connections inside outlet boxes, or malfunctioning switches or fixtures.

Surge Protectors

Destructive power surges occur in a wide variety of circumstances. External causes include lightning, accidents, high winds, and downed power lines. Lightning strikes during severe storms in Euless, TX, can cause high voltage power spikes. Even if lightning strikes far from your home, the voltage spikes can travel and make it into homes through power lines.

Voltage spikes damage appliances, equipment, and electrical devices. Power surges can originate inside the house due to overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, damaged circuit breakers, or power outages. Many power surges are short, small transient surges caused by large appliances. Transient surges may not cause noticeable damage right away, but they can cause cumulative damage and reduce the lifespan of appliances. Call your electrical contractor if you suspect transient surges are occurring in your home.

Whole-House Protection

Most people are familiar with power strips that offer surge protection to some extent, but these devices only protect a few things. Whole-house lighting arrestors protect everything in your home from lightning-induced voltage spikes. Point of use surge protectors bought off the shelf may provide surprisingly little protection. All power strips aren’t surge protectors, and even those with built-in protection aren’t always effective against large surges.

Most homes have a lot of devices, appliances, lights, decorations, and other things that use electricity. It would take a great deal of time and effort to make sure everything is connected to a point of use protector. A whole-house surge protector keeps everything in your home safe, including wires, resistors, motors, inductors, and other components of electrical systems. This is especially important during cold weather months for homes with electric-powered heat.

The device also needs to be grounded to achieve peak performance and reduce the risk of electrical fires. Many homes are filled with electronic devices and appliances that may be quite expensive. Don’t risk incorrect installation that may leave your home unprotected. An electrician should install a whole-house surge protector to make sure it’s functioning correctly.

A wide range of surge protectors are available, and it can be challenging to pick the most appropriate model. Most surge protectors contain metal oxide varistors to redirect power surges. Point of use suppressors may be destroyed after one or two power surges. This is problematic if you don’t notice the damage because you won’t realize your electronics are vulnerable. However, whole-house models can last for years and handle large power spikes.


Multiple whole-house surge protectors are installed together in a process called layering. Whole-house surge protectors send power spikes through the breaker panel instead of letting surges travel through a home’s entire electrical system. The system may detect faulty electronic devices or appliances too. An electrician can arrange and install layering to provide extra protection with additional fail safes.

Some homeowners choose layering to protect expensive equipment or devices, such as complex entertainment systems or gaming computers. A layered system is installed at the home’s point of use and connects to the electrical panel. This setup protects appliances using the same circuit. Layering also suppresses power spikes or surges effectively. Homeowners with exceptionally delicate or valuable electronic devices may want to invest in layering installed by a licensed electrician.

Businesses and home offices can benefit from layering that protects data and essential documents on devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Hiring an electrician to safeguard data is much easier than hiring a technician to recover lost data from damaged devices. Data recovery isn’t always successful, and the chances of recovering everything aren’t great.

Call the experienced electricians at Tioga Plumbing & Electric in Euless, TX, to discuss the best options for protecting your home. Tioga’s licensed and experienced electricians are happy to answer questions and handle all of your household’s electrical needs.

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