What would the world be without electricity? If anyone in the modern era had to be sent back to ancient times, they probably wouldn’t make it. It’s hard for some to make it when the cell phone battery hits 0%. Of course, no one really waits for that to happen. The same idea or habit can be applied to electrical systems.
When it comes to maintaining electrical systems, it is important to keep a few handy tips in your back pocket. Sure, at times maintenance for most things gets pushed back. It’s tedious and can be time-consuming, but it is vital and secretly instrumental. Maintaining your electrical system is less about appearance and more about safety. Everyone should know different tips to keep their electrical system up to code. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should know what to look out for and good processes to establish for your home. Here are some tips you should know to maintain your electrical system.
Unless You Are 1000% Sure, Don’t DIY
A good DIY project can be fun, engaging, and usually inexpensive. However, your electrical system is not the area to cut corners and try to be cost-effective. It certainly isn’t the place to try your hand at your first DIY either. Working with electrical systems requires some know-how or advanced experience. While there are plenty of resources made available through the internet, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the work that goes into maintaining electrical systems and strongly consider the best avenue. There are serious risks involved in handling electrical systems. Cost efficiency doesn’t override safety and getting it done right the first time is a lot safer and cost-effective in the long run.
Take Care of What is Broken and Old
You don’t want to let your electrical system fall by the wayside. Broken and old electrical systems create very present dangers. You want to repair or replace damaged power cords. Change or update the wiring in your outlets. These are simple solutions that you can actually do. Still, when it comes to new wires you can always bring in a professional. When larger issues occur, do consult a professional. For example, when your circuit breaker is continuously popping, the problem needs to be found and fixed, not bandaged with tape. Holding breakers down with tape is a recipe for a dangerous outcome. You want to make sure they are grounded. Replace and upgrade circuit breakers to keep your system safe and working properly.
Keep Electricity and Water Separate
Needless to say, this is a match that won’t end well. It is well-known that electronic appliances and equipment and water should not interact with each other, yet still, there are numerous cases of electrocution due to appliances and equipment coming into contact with water. Be mindful in common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. In these locations, it’s recommended to have Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI). Avoid having too many things plugged in close to sink, bath, and shower areas or other places that are likely to get wet. Also, be careful when multitasking.
This applies to outdoor locations as well. Although the outside of your home is subject to weather, do not forget to be watchful and not handle any equipment such as lighting, extension cords, and the like when they are wet or in bad weather. An additional note here is that on the flip side, also keep your electronics away from secondary heat sources such as radiators to avoid fire hazards.
Routinely Monitor and Control Your Electrical System
One of the key elements in maintenance is monitoring and controlling. If you are keeping a schedule, checklist, and regularly staying watchful of warning signs to be able to resolve any issues that may arise, you are staying on top of maintenance and keeping your electrical system at home in good shape. The advantage here is getting ahead of any problems or detecting them early. You can avoid hazards, malfunctions, and big expenses. The great thing is that you don’t necessarily need to call in anyone for system checks. There are inexpensive resources and tools, such as testers, that can be found at your local hardware store that are simple to use.
Make Sure Everything is Up to Code and Certified
Once again, as with DIY projects, this is about not cutting corners. Get things done the best and right way the first time around. Do not settle for low-grade, poor quality, or knock-offs. Do not pick up the no-name, random colored item that is extremely cheap. There is a reason certain brands are trusted and certified. Products of trusted and certified brands come with the reassurance of safety and extensive testing. Your odds of experiencing a malfunction, short, or break is significantly lower in comparison. Tamper-resistant outlets are required by national code in all new homes, indoors and outdoors. If you live in an older home, you may want to consider replacing your outlets and making sure the accompanying wiring is up to code.
Avoid Overloading Your Electrical Outlets
Have you ever looked at an outlet and felt physical pain by seeing the number of things plugged in? You just know that it is a disaster waiting to happen. Overloading electrical outlets is a big problem in regards to wiring. When there are not enough outlets, there is a tendency to build on with extensions and extenders upon themselves. Filling up your outlets is not the way to go. This can lead to power outages and overheating components due to exceeding the wattage consumption, which may result in sparking or tripping breakers and potential melting.
If you must have extra outlets, carefully read the product details for safety strips and specially made extension cords or consider installing additional outlets in your home. In the beginning, it may be best to refer to a professional to maintain your electrical system, but don’t let that deter you from going out and learning for yourself. New skills can be learned. With time and patience, you can gain the experience to eventually take charge of maintaining your electrical system.