The Importance of Electrical Maintenance
Just like a person, the electrical system needs yearly checkups and regular maintenance. This ensures its proper function and helps catch small problems before they become large ones.
Licensed industry professional electrician performs electrical maintenance inspections. They normally have building specs, wiring and equipment diagrams, and blueprints to ensure all areas get inspected.
Overloaded outlets are one of the main causes of electrical fires in homes. It’s easy to overload a circuit by plugging in more than it can handle, but it’s also a common problem that you may not realize is happening until it’s too late.
When a device draws more power than the outlet can handle, it causes the circuit wires to heat up and melt, which can lead to short circuits that are very dangerous and can damage appliances. The problem is exacerbated during holidays when households use more electricity to light displays, cook meals and entertain guests.
The good news is that there are many ways to fix the problem of an overloaded outlet or circuit. The first thing to do is check whether the outlet in question is a GFCI outlet. These are designed to prevent injuries caused by shock, and they are usually controlled by a reset button. If the outlet isn’t a GFCI, you should then go to your home’s service panel and see whether the circuit breaker controlling the outlet has flipped off. If the breaker is on and still shut off, you can replace it with a new fuse and then flip it back on to restore power to the outlet.
Another way to avoid an overload is by spreading the load across multiple circuits in your home. This will require some effort on your part, but it’s a simple and cheap solution that can save you from the stress of dealing with an overloaded outlet.
You should also consider putting high-power appliances like heaters and electric ovens on dedicated circuits. This will reduce their risk of overheating and increase the lifespan of the appliances themselves. If you’re concerned about your electrical system, a professional electrician can help you plan for the future and make any necessary upgrades. Some electrical repairs will require a permit, so always consult your local permitting authority before beginning any work. In most cases, though, a licensed electrician can handle minor electrical maintenance without the need for a permit. This can include replacing outdated outlets with new, energy-efficient ones and repairing damaged cords and wiring.
Many appliance failures are caused by damaged cords that either don’t make good electrical contact or have become frayed and expose live wires. If you find a cord that has become damaged, do not use it and instead inspect it for a possible repair. If the cord appears to have significant damage, it’s a better idea to purchase a new cord and avoid the possibility of an electric shock or fire.
The best preventive measure you can take to protect the electrical cords in your home or business is to inspect them regularly and get rid of any that are damaged. In addition, you should never run cords under carpeting or rugs and should not hang them on nails or other fixtures. You should also take steps to reduce the likelihood of people accidentally tripping over them, such as rearranging the layout of your workspace to keep cords out of the path of traffic.
It’s also important to have a plan in place for dealing with damaged cords. One of the simplest things you can do is to wrap the affected section of the cord with electrical tape several times, but this isn’t a permanent solution. A better option is to slip heat shrink tubing over the individual wires that need to be reconnected and then apply heat with a heat gun, which will give the newly soldered connection stability and insulation.
If you decide to do the soldering yourself, it’s important to have a high-quality soldering iron that can reach a higher temperature so you can melt away the plastic around the cord’s terminal block. After the solder is set, you should remove the terminal block cover plate and inspect it for signs of damage. If the cord is still faulty, you can replace it with an identical replacement.
Another option is to use a multimeter on the RX1 (resistance times 1) scale or a continuity tester to test the cord for an open circuit. First, disconnect the cord and remove any loose ends. Then clip the tester’s probes across the cord leads or insert them into the plug holes and bend and pull on the entire length of the cord. A steady zero ohms reading means that the cord and plug are working fine.
When a wire is exposed it can cause problems like short-circuiting, which is dangerous. Exposed wires can also tangle or kink, which increases the risk of a fire or electric shock. It is recommended that you call a licensed electrician as soon as possible and have them repair or replace the cord.
Electrical wires are often insulated with a plastic or rubber sheath. This protects them from the outside elements and also keeps the copper conductor strands safe from touching each other. When a wire is damaged the sheath can be nicked and the strands can become exposed. This is particularly common when people use power cords that are not plugged into an outlet.
If you notice an exposed wire, turn off the power supply to the area first. Then, carefully cut away the exposing wire and strip off about 0.5 – 1 inch of insulation from each end. Next, match the corresponding wire ends together and twist them tightly to prevent them from separating. Finally, wrap the twisted wires in black electrical tape until there are no exposed areas.
It is important not to try to be a DIY hero when it comes to exposed wires and never attempt to patch an electrical cord with duct tape. This can actually make the situation worse and lead to a much bigger problem down the track. It is best to get the cord tested, repaired or replaced as soon as possible when you notice exposed wires.
Exposed wires in your home or workplace can pose a significant danger, so it’s vital to take them seriously. If you’re unsure about your wiring, it’s best to call your local licensed electrician and have them test, inspect and repair any issues.
If you want to keep your electrical system up to date and in good working order, then it’s a great idea to have Jim’s Test & Tag come out and do an inspection and test of your building or home. Our expert team will ensure that your wiring is up to code and can help you with any repairs that may be needed.
There are many things to keep track of when it comes to household maintenance, including the upkeep of electrical systems. While electrical systems may not rank at the top of the to-do list, it’s important to do what you can to avoid an electrical disaster down the line.
Prior research indicates that work inappropriately performed on energized equipment accounts for a substantial share of electrical injury incidents. This type of work typically occurs as a result of inadequate pre-job planning, time pressures to meet production schedules or other factors that compromise safety requirements.
Businesses must continually reevaluate their processes to reduce costs and maximize uptime. One area that is frequently targeted for cost reductions is the inspection of electrical equipment. Many companies stretch equipment inspection and maintenance schedules, rush the disassembly process to minimize downtime and/or conduct less thorough inspections. Unfortunately, these short-term gains in efficiency translate into long-term losses due to unexpected equipment failures and safety risks for maintenance personnel.
When it comes to home electrical maintenance, avoiding shortcuts is essential for keeping your family safe. Take the time to go through your home and check all of your outlets to make sure they’re working properly. Look for burn marks, cracks in the outlet plates and other signs that an electrical problem is present. It’s also a good idea to invest in an inexpensive outlet tester and use it on a regular basis to ensure that all of your outlets are functioning as they should.
Another area where it is crucial to avoid shortcuts is in the circuit breaker box. Taking the time to maintain a clean, organized wiring system within the panel is vital to ensure that no circuits are double-tapped (two wires connected to a single breaker designed for one). Over time, vibrations and thermal expansion can loosen connections, increasing resistance and creating an unsafe condition that can lead to arcing or electrical fires. If you have a circuit breaker box that is overcrowded, consider having it professionally upgraded to ensure adequate space for the distribution of electrical power.