Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tamper Resistant Receptacles for Your Phoenix Home

Electrical outlets are located throughout the home, creating an ever-present danger when not used appropriately. Electrical shocks and burns send around 2,400 kids to the hospital each year, causing as many as 12 fatalities annually. Childproofing is an excellent way to reduce electrical accidents. Installing tamper resistant receptacles can make your home safer and protect your children.

Electrical accidents at home

Electrical shocks and burns are an unfortunate consequence that can occur when children play with household electrical outlets. Nearly a third of electrical-related injuries are caused by children inserting foreign objects into household electrical outlets. Bobby pins, keys, silverware, and other common household items can be easily inserted into one side of an unprotected outlet, causing injuries in an instant. Even in homes where children are well watched, a child’s curiosity can lead to tragedy when you’ve only looked away for just a moment.

What are tamper resistant receptacles and how do they work?

Tamper resistant receptacles, also referred to as TRRs, look very much like the wall outlets you already have in your home. What makes them different is that they have spring-loaded shutters which close the receptacle openings. When a plug is inserted, it compresses the springs, allowing the shutters to open so the plug’s metal prongs can make contact. With a tamper resistant receptacle, both receptacle openings must receive pressure at the same time to move the shutters, preventing accidents caused when a child inserts an object into one side of the outlet.

Why use tamper resistant receptacles?

Plastic outlet covers have been a popular childproofing device for many years. These covers must be removed each time you need to plug something in, and can be lost or forgotten about, which leaves the outlet exposed. These small pieces can also pose a choking hazard. Children can learn to operate sliding outlet covers by watching parents use them, defeating their purpose.

Installing tamper resistant receptacles

Tamper resistant receptacles have been mandated for all new home construction by the National Electric Code since 2008, so if your home was built since then, you should already have these receptacles in place. They are also required to be installed in renovated dwellings. With tamper resistant receptacles in every home, children are protected in their homes as well as while visiting friends and relatives. If you live in an older home, consider upgrading your electrical receptacles for the safety of your family. Tamper resistant receptacles can be installed safely and effectively by a licensed electrician.

How much do tamper resistant receptacles cost?

The price of tamper resistant receptacles will vary based on the style of device you choose. These receptacles only add about $0.50 to the cost of each receptacle being installed, compared to a standard, unprotected model. There are approximately 75 receptacles in the average home, so to upgrade an entire new home to tamper resistant receptacles, the cost is under $40.00 — a small price to pay for the safety of your family.

 

Whole Home Surge Protection in Phoenix

 

Your home is filled with expensive electrical appliances and devises that could be damaged in the event of a power surge. Without surge protection, you may be left with the hassle and expense of replacing these items. A whole home surge protector will keep your essential systems and important devises safe. Read on to learn more about surge protection and the solutions Mister Sparky offers.

What is a power surge?

A power surge is a rise in the electrical current running through your home. The surge usually lasts less than one thousandth of a second, but even in that brief about of time, serious damage can be caused.

Power surges can occur due to a number of causes, including:

  • Lighting
  • Downed power lines
  • Utility equipment problems
  • Faulty wiring in the home
  • Appliances within your home

While most people think of a lightning strike causing a power surge, that is actually fairly rare compared to other causes. More often, devices in the home cause electrical currents to spike. Appliances which use more power, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, can trigger a power surge strong enough to cause damage to the electrical devices throughout your home. This typically happens when the system is switched on, which requires a sudden high demand for electricity.

Not all power surges are strong enough to cause instant damage to your electrical devices. Reoccurring power surges cause damage over time, as equipment is repeatedly subjected to power fluctuations. Appliances and other devices may fail much earlier than their expected service life without surge protection.

What a whole home surge protector does

A whole home surge protector will detect excessive electrical currents in the event of a power surge. The device will absorb increased voltage and divert the electrical current, preventing it from reaching your outlets and the devices that are plugged in. Once voltage levels are detected in the normal range, the whole home surge protector will restore power to the home.

Whole home surge protectors provide protection to the entire electrical system and the devices plugged in throughout your home. They are effective in eliminating power surges caused by both internal and external sources.

Whole home vs. individual surge protectors

A whole home surge protector is connected to your home’s electrical panel, protecting all devices plugged in anywhere inside or outside the home. Whole home surge protectors will offer protection from surges of 40,000 amps, or more depending on the model installed. An individual surge protector only protects the devices plugged into it, and may not have the capacity to protect multiple devices on the strip.

Whole home surge protectors and plug-in surge protectors can be used simultaneously to protect your devices from damage caused by excess current. Plug-in surge protectors are often used by homeowners as a “backup”, especially for expensive electronics of high-power systems like a refrigerator.

 

Ready to have a whole home surge protector installed in your Phoenix area home? Contact Mister Sparky today to schedule a free estimate.