Monthly Archives: May 2015

Home Electrical Checkups

Home Electrical Checkups

As National Electrical Safety Month comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to perform an electrical safety checkup for your home! Electricity is essential in our homes, powering the devices and appliances we rely on every day; but without proper safety measures in place, it can be dangerous. Follow our guide to inspect the electrical components around you home for safe operation, and contact us if you find areas in need of attention!

Switches and outlets

Faulty outlets and switches create fire hazards, and may indicate wiring or connection problems in the home. Walk around the interior and exterior of your home to identify all outlets and switches. Test their operation by turning them on and plugging in devices. Look for these problems:

  • Warm to the touch
  • Switches that stick
  • Discoloration
  • Crackling or sizzling noises when used
  • Plugs not fitting tightly

If you identify any of the above problems, please discontinue use of the outlet or switch until they are inspected by an electrician, and replaced if needed.

Electrical panel

Electricity comes into your home through the electrical panel, where it is then routed safely to the needed areas throughout your home. Check your electrical panel for the following issues:

  • Fuses and breakers are sized wrong: If you’re using the wrong size of fuse or breaker in your electrical panel, wiring can overheat which can lead to fire. Determine the right size of fuse or breaker for your panel and check to see that all existing ones are correctly sized; if you need help, don’t hesitate to call an electrician!
  • Fuses blow and breakers trip often: This is a sign that the system is overloaded, and an indication of possible serious electrical issues. If you are experiencing this problem, you’ll need to have your system evaluated by an electrician.
  • AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters) are not present: AFCIs offer homeowners improved protection from electrical fires versus standard circuit breakers. If you don’t have AFCIs in your electrical panel, consider having them installed by an electrician. If you do have AFCIs, make sure to test them for proper operation once a month.

Cords

Cords are plugged in to electrical outlets around the home to power your devices. It’s essential that any device you are using have a safe cord, to prevent shocks and fire. Look for these issues when you inspect your cords:

  • Cracked or fraying cords
  • Exposed wiring and damage to the cord’s safety coating
  • Penetrations to the cord, such as nails
  • Furniture sitting on top of cords
  • Cords running under carpeting
  • Bundled cords

All cords need to be in good condition; if you find problems, replace the cords and have devices rewired. Cords need to remain uncovered to prevent overheating, so never run them under carpeting and unbundle them when in use so they can receive the necessary air flow to keep them cool. Also, extension cords should not be in use regularly. If you find you need an outlet where one does not exist, don’t use an extension cord for long periods of time; instead, have an additional outlets installed in locations that are more convenient for use.

Choosing an Electrician

Choosing an Electrician

Whether you’re looking to upgrade service, install a new fixture, or have an electrical emergency on your hands, you need an electrician you can count on to get the job done quickly and correctly. Phoenix is a big city, and there are many electrical companies in the area to choose from; how do you decide which electrician to work with? While many people make their choice on price alone, the dollar amount provided on the estimate will not give you a clear picture of the quality and customer service experience that each electrician will provide. When getting estimates and interviewing different electrical service providers, ask the following questions to help you decide which is the best fit for your family or business.

May I see your license and proof of insurance?

Always work with a licensed electrician; it’s the best bet to ensure your safety and to get the job done correctly. Licensed electricians go through rigorous coursework and job training to meet the professional standards required by the city and state. Also, contractors need to carry proper insurance to protect their clients as well as their employees, such as liability and workers’ comp insurance, so don’t hesitate to ask to see proof that these policies are up-to-date.

Do you have experience performing this type of work?

For your safety and to ensure the quality of the work you’re having performed, you want to choose an electrician who is experienced in performing the type of electrical work you need done. Ask them to tell you about previous jobs they’ve done, and ask if they have experience working with the equipment you’re having installed (if applicable to your project).

What warranty is included?

Ask the electrician if there is a warranty included on the labor they are to perform, and the length of the warranty term. If you are having appliances or fixtures installed, ask for information regarding those equipment warranties, as well as if the contractor is equipped to perform any warranty work.

May I have a list of references?

A quality contractor will not hesitate to provide you with references you can contact. Before hiring a contractor, call a few references and ask if the customer was pleased with the work performed and their experience working with the company. Keep in mind that a contractor is likely to only provide you with positive references — it’s best to do some research on your own to as well. Check out the company’s listing on online review sites and see what previous customers are saying for themselves.

 

In addition to meeting these qualifications and answering your question, it’s important to choose an electrician you feel comfortable with. A professional and courteous attitude is a great trait to see in an electrician, and can make you feel at ease as your work is completed. You want to feel confident that the electrician you choose will perform quality work that meets safety standards, for the protection of your home or business, and all occupants.