Electrician Services And Electrical Safety
A few simple electrical maintenance jobs around the house can be done without the help of an electrician, however, safety comes first. It is thus very important to know the difference between do-it-yourself tasks and repairs that should be handled by only a professional electrician. However, if you do decide to conduct electrical work at home, there are few tips to follow.
Do-It-Yourself Electrical Safety
The basic electrical safety rule to follow before starting any kind of electrical work at home is to turn off the power to the circuit that needs working on. For this, the circuit breaker in the main service panel needs to be switched off, but double check the wires to check there is no flow of electrical current before touching them. This can be done by testing that the black and white wires are grounded to the box. It is however advisable not to touch gas pipes or plumbing during the home electrical project. Unplugging an appliance or lamp before working on them, and not standing on a damp floor are some of the basic electrical safety norms to be followed under all circumstances.
Electrical Inspections and Permits Required
Understanding the condition of the different electrical systems, capacities, and limitations will ensure there are no potential hazards. However, certain state and local laws may require a permit be obtained before working on them. Sometimes even an inspection will be done to check that proper electrical wiring safety norms have been adhered to. Some of the home projects that require a permit are installing or adding a receptacle, the wiring for central air conditioning, adding or extending a new circuit, and/or wiring for a hot tub. Wiring or re-wiring of new structure like a shed or garage will entail an inspection as well even if done by a licensed and practicing electrician.
Home Electrical System
Knowing how the electrical system in home works will help in the prevention of being electrocuted at home, which is surprisingly high at 400 people injured every year. The basics of an electrical system at home are simple enough to understand: electricity enters a home through a service head from outdoor power lines. Sometimes it can also be an underground connection and a typical service head has two 120 volt wires. And an electric meter measures the amount of electricity entering a home and is usually mounted outdoors where the electricity actually enters the home.
The Service Panel
The service panel at a home is the central distribution point. It delivers electricity to outlets, switches, and appliances. The service panel is located near the meter and is equipped with breakers which protect the wires from overheating and leading to a fire. A breaker can trip if there are too many appliances overloading the circuit. A tripped breaker can be reset after turning off all the appliances. However, if it trips repeatedly, an electrician’s help is required. When there is a tripped breaker, the switch will either be in the off position or in the middle between on and off. Pushing it to the on position will work if there is no other serious problem(s).
Safe Guarding a Home
Activities that require the use of electricity in a home has increased by 10-fold in the recent past with multiple television sets, air conditioners, cell phone charges, and so on. The energy distribution to homes has also increased accordingly. Keeping the service panel safe and in good working condition will help prevent minor issues turning into major accidents. Children are prone to inserting objects into electrical outlets which can cause serious injuries. Using tamper-proof outlets which are now available in the market which comes with a spring-loaded safety shutter is a good option.
Holiday Lighting and How to Prevent Danger
During the holiday season, there are increased numbers of circuit-breaker tripping than normal because of the tendency to plug too many strings into a single socket. But preventing overload is simple and easy. Most homes come with 200 amps of electrical power which is ample, and just keeping the lighting arrangements within that limit will prevent any tripping. A typical 15 amp circuit can handle 1,440 watts of extra lighting, but you also need to consider the various household appliances already connected to the circuit before buying too many holiday strings, lights, and/or decorations. Wiring safety should be the priority rather than lighting up the house with thousand watt strings.