At Tioga Contractors serving Irving, TX, our electricians focus on electrical safety in our customers’ homes. We provide repairs and upgrades that help prevent electric shock hazards and fire risks, and our inspection services help homeowners identify out-of-date equipment or incorrect wiring and fixture installation that needs attention. Our electricians help raise awareness of ways to avoid problems by good decision making when household members are using electricity, such as avoiding the use of extension cords and power strips that could cause trip hazards, dangers to young children, and cord wear issues as well as overloads from the equipment plugged into these expansion devices. Electricity is, of course, a powerful source of everything from vehicle charging and woodshop enjoyment to home theater excitement and home office technology. It makes a lot of sense to keep your home’s electrical systems updated and as safe as possible. Here are some traditional precautions and some new observations about keeping your home’s power well managed.
Water-Related Shock Protection
Keeping your appliances like blow dryers and space heaters away from water in the bathroom and kitchen is an important way to avoid shock hazards and other potential electrical issues. The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) can help. If your home is not fitted with GFCI outlets in those areas, that’s an added source of protection that you should consider and a modern requirement for newer homes. These devices sense potential electrical conduction that could represent, for example, a person touching the water faucet and a faulty appliance at the same time. The GFCI breaks the circuit to avoid injury, saving the lives of adults and children who might otherwise have received a potentially fatal electric shock. If you do have GFCI units and they’re more than ten years old, our electrician can test and, if necessary, replace them for continued protection.
Circuit Protection Against Loose Wire Sparks and Poor Connection Arcing
A newer device that’s included in modern homes is the AFCI, or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter, which is a feature of certain types of circuit breakers. In addition to circuit overloads and short circuits, these devices monitor for signs of wiring defects such as arcing that, in the past, showed as buzzing or zapping sounds in your walls or electrical fixtures, electrical smells, and heating up of poorly wired outlets. AFCI equipment breaks the circuit to avoid what could be the source of an electrical fire, especially in wiring hidden in your walls, allowing you to call our company to investigate instead of the fire department. Of course, to install AFCI protection you need to have a modern circuit breaker panel, not a fuse box.
Lightning Protection for Your Whole House
One reason people collect power strips and create nests of wires connected to them is to take advantage of the lightning protection provided in some units that can help delicate electronics survive the effects of nearby lightning strikes, especially when you’re not home to unplug them. This is an important protection, but these days it’s also available as a whole-house electrical system feature, installed on your circuit breaker panel and protecting all of the circuits connected to it. This ensures that every device throughout your home, even a phone plugged into a charger in the kitchen, is protected. With this protection, you can retire the power strips, perhaps have our electrician install a few more electrical outlets such as quad outlets that provide more connections, and improve your electrical safety as well.
Surge Protection for Your Whole House
Power strips also provide surge protection, which protects you against power spikes caused by equipment operation in your home or electrical issues in your neighborhood power lines. As with lightning protection, our electrician can install power surge protection to protect your whole house, so when heavy electrical equipment starts in your home or power line issues arise at your local substation, your home is covered.
Grounded and Child-Resistant Outlets
If your home’s electrical outlets only have two openings, and won’t take modern three-prong plugs, there are significant advantages to upgrading your wiring and outlets to provide safety grounding throughout your home. Our electrician can make the upgrade in the most efficient manner, making sure that the end result is proven protection for your family. Some homes may have what appear to be grounded outlets but are either simply replacement outlets improperly wired to old two-wire circuits, or outlets connected to grounds in other ways that should be evaluated and tested. Homes now have grounded outlets that include child protection features that prevent a single piece of metal such as a screwdriver or knife from being inserted, while allowing a dual-blade or three-pronged plug-in.
Adding Convenience Outlets Where Heavy Power Usage Is Anticipated
The solution to a heavy extension cord and power strip use is simply to have our electrician add more outlets to your rooms that need it. Your home office is a likely candidate, kids’ rooms these days need lots of places to plug in equipment, and your kitchen could probably use a few outlets for internet-based devices and other upgrades that weren’t anticipated when homes were designed with power for a mixer and toaster.
Ensuring That Your Protective Equipment Can Do Its Job
One of the most important electrical system protections for your house is taking full advantage of your protective devices. That means getting upgraded outlets rather than using three-prong adapters that allow plugs to fit, but don’t provide a ground, not resetting protective devices such as GFCIs without locating the problem they were protecting against, and most of all, ensuring that it’s easy to get to your circuit breaker panel in an emergency.
Your Safety-Conscious Local Electrician in Irving, TX
At Tioga Contractors in Irving, TX, our electricians want your family to be protected from electrical risks so you can enjoy its advantages without worry. An electrical inspection is a great way to start, why not give us a call and schedule one?
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