Monthly Archives: June 2016

Upgrading Your Phoenix Electrical Outlets

Most Phoenix home and business owners don’t give much thought to their electrical outlets unless they aren’t working. Because of this, many residences and commercial buildings have older electrical outlets in place.

Though they seem minor in the grade scheme of your home or business’s electrical system, older outlets have the potential to cause some pretty serious problems. Over time, the original outlets may not be the best choice for the inhabitants. Upgrading your electrical outlets can improve the safety, performance, and functionality of your Phoenix electrical system.

Older Outlet Issues

With age, outlets can degrade, causing them not to operate at the level they once did. Modern homes and businesses have a much higher electrical demand than those of decades past – if your Phoenix home or commercial building was built in the past century and the electrical system has not been upgraded, odds are that the outlets currently in place aren’t efficiently meeting the demands of the devices plugged into them. Or, the outlets may not be compatible with the technology you’re using.

They may not be delivering the proper level of electricity to these devices, causing flickering and power interruptions which may lead to permanent damage. As outlets degrade, settling can cause improper contacts to occur, which could cause sparks, arcing, and electrical fires.

Upgraded Outlet Solutions

Upgrading your outlets will help you make your home or business safer and more practical. Some common outlet upgrades we perform are:

  • Upgrading to GFCIs: Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors automatically cut electricity to the outlet in the event it becomes overloaded or exposed to water. They are a smart addition to kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms.
  • Grounded outlets: Many years ago, grounded outlets weren’t a requirement; if you live in an older home, you may have some of these in place still. Not only are ungrounded outlets unsafe, many modern devices and appliances cannot be used with ungrounded outlets.

Improved Childproof Outlets

Around 2,400 children suffer electrical shocks and burns each year, resulting from inserting objects into electrical outlets; as many as 12 child fatalities occur annually. If you have little ones at home or run a business where children are frequent visitors, it is important that your electrical outlets are childproofed to prevent their curiosity from becoming dangerous. While outlet covers have been around for ages, they can be inconvenient as well as difficult for adults to handle when access to the outlet is needed.

Today, there are advanced outlets available which make childproofing automatic! Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs) look like standard outlets, but the receptacles are covered. When equal pressure is applied to both receptacles, such as when a plug is inserted, the cover plates will open to allow contact. TRRs prevent children from inserting objects into the outlet, preventing serious injuries.

TRRs can be installed by a licensed electrician for just cents more than standard outlets – a small price to pay for a child’s safety. For professional installation of quality new electrical outlets in your Phoenix home or place of business, contact Mister Sparky today.

Water Damage and Electricity

Phoenix homes and businesses can sustain water damage from a variety of sources, including storms, leaks, broken pipes, appliance malfunctions, and more. While water damage causes obvious visible damage to your floors, walls, and other construction components, you may not realize that it could have also impacted your electrical system’s wiring.

Dangers of Water Damage to Wiring

If the wiring within your Phoenix home or business has been compromised by water, it is critical that you not use your electrical system at all until it has been inspected and repaired. If no action is taken, you could face many dangers, including:

  • Fire hazard: Water exposure has the potential to damage your wiring, which poses a fire risk. Exposed wires and dangerous contacts can result when water comes in contact with your wiring.
  • Electrical shock: If you were to handle water damaged wiring, you could be shocked. Electrical shocks range in severity from minor to severe. Operating tools or appliances which were damaged can also cause shocks, as well as coming into contact with standing water.
  • Increased damage: If you fail to correct damaged components, your initial water damage could cause more damage to your electrical system as well as appliances and devices throughout the home. Your damaged wiring may arc and you may experience power surges or other issues which can permanently damage devices plugged into the system.

Spotting Water Damage to Wiring

To reduce your risk of the hazards mentioned above, you should learn to identify the signs of water damaged wiring.

  • Wires and devices under water: If you see any wiring, appliance, or device that is sitting in standing water or if you know they were in an area where they could have been exposed to water, do not handle them. A licensed electrician can inspect the components and perform necessary repairs.
  • Buzzing wires: If any appliance, switch, or electrical component makes a humming or buzzing sound, do not handle it. This indicates a rogue charge which can result from water damage, which will cause electrical shock if you touch it.
  • Standing water: If you find standing water which is in contact or could be in contact with electrical components, do not go near it. Water carries electrical charge and contact could cause a dangerous shock.

If you suspect your electrical wiring has sustained water damage, please call Mister Sparky right away. Our licensed electricians will inspect your electrical system and provide the needed repairs to keep you safe.

Injury Risk a Reality with DIY Electrical Work

While there are some electrical projects you may feel are within your capabilities to do yourself, we cannot stress enough that doing electrical work yourself without the proper knowledge or training can be dangerous. In addition to making sure all electrical systems and devices in your Phoenix home are in good working order, our electricians also want to keep you safe.

DIY can be very valuable. It can help homeowners save money and learn new skills. But, without the proper knowledge, it’s a bad idea. When it involves dangerous electrical current, please never attempt to do your own electrical work if you are not qualified to do so!

Dangerous Electrical DIY

Electricity is highly volatile, and the electrical current running through your home is enough to do harm when not handled properly. Shoddy DIY electrical work can do more harm than good to your appliances and devices; while there are plenty of “how-to” videos and tutorials on the Internet, they rarely give all the information you need to safely and accurately perform the task.

Doing your own electrical work can increase the risk of fire to your home or business. Of the estimated 360,900 residential structure fires that occur in the U.S. each year, the top cause is errors and mistakes concerning the electrical work.

Electricians go through extensive training in order to become licensed in Arizona, as well as most of the country. We are trained to safely handle electrical systems and devices – please take advantage of our specialized knowledge and training to protect yourself, your family, and your home.

Injuries Related to DIY Electrical Work

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are approximately 400 electrocutions every year. While the term electrocution refers to death by electrical shock, it is commonly used to describe damaging electrical shocks which result in injury, which are a risk when you perform DIY electrical work. Significant electrical burns may also occur when electricity is not handled safely during a DIY project. Fatality is another real risk you face when you choose to tackle electrical work without the knowledge and skill to do so.

Please don’t attempt DIY electrical work at your Phoenix home or business if you are not skilled in doing so! Mister Sparky will be happy to assist you – we provide quality electrical work at affordable prices! Our licensed electricians have the knowledge and training necessary to perform your job safely and accurately. Protect yourself and your belongings by turning to the pros when it’s time for your next electrical project.