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.

How Many Circuits Does My Home Need?

Think about all the appliances, lights, and devices plugged in around your home – we bet there is quite a few. Every item plugged in is connected to the electrical circuits in your house; in order to effectively power all the items you need, your home needs numerous circuits. Just how many will depend on several factors!

What’s a Circuit?

A circuit is a connected, circular path which electricity follows throughout your home. It consists of a wire (your home’s electrical wiring) and a load (a device plugged in or multiple devices on the same path). Circuits begin and end at the same location, as electricity flows full circle.

Dedicated Circuits vs. Regular Circuits

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “dedicated circuit” and have wondered what exactly it means. There is very little difference between dedicated circuits and regular circuits, they are both engineered the same; the difference is that a dedicated circuit serves the sole purpose of powering one specific device, such as an appliance, a tool, or other system.

Major appliances, such as your heating system, air conditioner, or refrigerator, can cause voltage to fluctuate, which would negatively impact other devices plugged into the circuit. Some devices consume a lot of power to operate, such as hair dryers and power tools, which can prevent other devices from operating at the same time if plugged into the same circuit. To prevent these problems, dedicated circuits are used; in fact, the National Electric Code (NEC) requires dedicated circuits to be installed to operate all major appliances in the home.

How Many Circuits Does My Home Need?

Now that you have some basic knowledge of circuits, let’s talk about how our electricians determine how many you need. Simply put, there is no standard answer; the number of circuits your home needs will depend on several factors, such as:

  • How big is your home?
  • What is the capacity of your breakers?
  • How many outlets are required throughout the home?
  • How many appliances are in use in the home?
  • What devices do you use and where do you use them?

When designing a complete electrical system for a new home or upgrading an existing system, we consider these factors and more to determine how many circuits are required to allow you to power all needed systems and devices.

Do I Need More Circuits?

Electrical needs seem to always be evolving these days, as new devices become household staples and appliances which were once considered luxuries become standard. Especially in an older home, you may not have all the circuits you need in the existing electrical system. Below are some electrical problems you may experience when you have too many devices utilizing few circuits:

  • Breakers flip / fuses blow constantly
  • Appliance use is interrupted
  • Lighting flickers
  • Lightbulbs burn out quicker than expected.

If you experience these troubles, you likely need additional circuits installed, and it’s time to call an electrician for assistance.

Mister Sparky can set your Phoenix home up for success, creating a residential electrical system with the right amount of circuits to power all your essential systems, appliances, and devices. Call us today to schedule a free estimate.

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning for Your Phoenix Lighting Fixtures

Spring will be here officially on Sunday, and many Phoenix homeowners are compiling their spring cleaning chore lists. One area we want to remind you not to forget is your lighting fixtures! The fixtures throughout your home can benefit from some annual cleaning just as other areas can. Below you’ll find some helpful tips to help you safely clean lighting fixtures throughout your home.

CAUTION: Before cleaning your lighting fixtures, be sure lightbulbs are turned off and are cool. As an added precaution, you may also wish to cut power to the fixture you’ll be cleaning at your home’s electrical panel.

Cleaning Light Bulbs

Dust buildup on lightbulbs throughout the home can actually dim their output by as much as 30 percent. When lightbulbs aren’t putting off their expected brightness due to their surface area being dirty, it may cause you to turn on extra lamps or lighting fixtures, essentially wasting energy. If you ever notice that a room seems a bit dimmer than it once was, it’s a good idea to inspect the lightbulb and see if dust could be to blame.

  • To clean lightbulbs, always use a dry cloth. Turn off the fixture to avoid burns, and gently wipe down the surface of the lightbulb.

Cleaning Ceiling Fixtures

Ceiling fixtures can accumulate a great deal of dust and debris throughout the year, in part due to the fact that they are not always cleaned regularly. Before cleaning ceiling fixtures, turn off power to avoid electrical accidents. Carefully use a ladder to access the fixture.

  • Carefully remove the fixture cover or globe shades over the bulbs; you may have to remove the lightbulbs to do so, depending on your fixture.
  • Using a dry cloth, dust the surrounding area.
  • Clean the fixture cover with warm soapy water, and dry with a microfiber cloth.
  • Never put fixture covers in the dishwasher!

Cleaning Recessed Lighting Fixtures

Recessed lighting canisters can be accessed using a long-arm extension, step stool, or ladder; use what you feel comfortable with!

  • Insert a dusting wand inside the canister and gently clean between the canister walls and the bulb.
  • Wipe down the lightbulb with a dry cloth or the dusting wand.
  • If there is still grime or debris after dusting, remove the lightbulb and wipe down the inside of the canister as well as any exposed surfaces.

Cleaning Pendant Lighting Fixtures

Depending on the height and location of your pendant lights, you may require a ladder or step stool to access them for cleaning. Before cleaning, turn off the fixtures and allow the lightbulbs to cool down.

  • Using a cloth and a cleaning solution approved for the material, spray the globe shade with cleaner and wipe clean.
  • Using a dry cloth, dust the bulb inside the fixture as well as the rods and cables which hold the fixture.

During your spring cleaning routine, if you find your fixtures are damaged and are in need of replacement, call Mister Sparky for quick assistance!