Electrical Panel Safety and How You Can Check to See Potential Issues

2019 Feb 18
Posted in: Electrical

While it is easy to blame electrical problems on the power company, oftentimes, the problem is because of issues within our home. We should check our home electrical supply regularly as it might be outdated and cannot sufficiently supply electricity through our home and to the lighting, appliances, and electronics that we use.

If you live in an older home, you should know that the circuits fitted during that time wasn’t designed to power different kinds of electronic equipment or the advanced lighting that we use today. When you are purchasing new household appliances, you should put your family’s safety first.

If you have encountered higher utility bills, flickering lights, power surges, and damaged appliances, it is time to check your electric system and determine that your home’s electrical circuits aren’t the cause of the problem. Here are some warnings of potential issues that might indicate your home’s electrical system needs some work or upgrades:

Electrical surges

If you notice electrical surges, it isn’t necessarily the power company’s fault. It could be caused by lightning strikes, poor wiring in the home, or faulty appliances. Surges are very common and only last for a microsecond, but frequent surges can damage your equipment and reduce life expectancy for appliances and electronics.

Overloads

Sometimes you might have a bulb that has higher wattage than that fixture calls for. This is much more than a code violation. It is a high-risk level that can cause serious problems – including fire. The bulb’s high heat could lead to the electrical socket melting, and even spread down into the insulation used for the fixture wires. Sparks might jump from one wire to another then cause an electrical fire. Below is a picture of an electrical box that caught on fire.

Uncovered junction boxes

Plenty of wires connected to each other make up the junction box. If the box isn’t covered, then you can be shocked from the damaged wires. This is not only a code violation, but if the wires are within reach, it could be deadly. Be sure you have the box covered properly.

Switches that don’t work

If the switches aren’t working or they don’t properly adjust the lights, then that is a sign of sub-standard products or bad workmanship. A faulty circuit, bad outlet, or poor wiring can cause these problems as well.

Flickering lights

You might have suffered some frayed wiring that causes shorts outside when the wind blows, and the cables move.  This could cause a fire, so you need to have the problem promptly addressed.

Tripping circuit breaker

If you are using appliances that are consuming high amounts of power, then you plug in a hairdryer or microwave and the circuit breaker trips, you know that your home is protected. You need to know what is causing the tripping, though, and you should adjust settings as necessary.

Fewer outlets

Too often, we rely on power strips and extension cords so we can plug up everything that we plan to use. If you are planning on using an extension cord, reduce your risks by using 14-gauge or thicker.

No residual current circuit breaker

RCCB is used to disconnect the load from the main supply when the circuit has current that is residual. By using a RCCB you can protect your home from both indirect and direct contact, electrical fires, and the earthing from suffering corrosion.

Call George Brazil if you have questions

If you are concerned about electrical panel safety at your home, or if you are experiencing frequent power surges, flickering lights, or other problems, call (602) 257-9000 to speak with one of the experienced electricians at George Brazil Plumbing and Electrical today.  Don’t wait until it is too late and there has been a fire or your appliances have been damaged, get your home’s electrical system up to par today.