17 Methods You are Ruining Your Home, In accordance with Electricians
When was the last time you thought about the electrical load your power strip can hold or checked the wiring on your circuit breaker? If you’re like many homeowners, your answer is likely “well never”. However, if you want to keep your home safe, these are just a few of the things to think about. Why? Because, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are approximately 51,000 electrical fires each year, causing more than 500 deaths and $ 1.3 billion in property damage. With that we have gathered all the electrical errors that professionals say you need to stop making mistakes.
Just because there is room for multiple plugs doesn’t necessarily mean your living room power strip is set up so that they can all be used at the same time.
“This is unsafe because most of these power rails or strips are not designed to carry heavy electrical loads and can cause fire, melted plastic, and other problems,” he says Darrell Fielded, Managing Director of Brighter Day Electric. Instead, he recommends adding extra electrical outlets to your home to meet your electrical needs.
This unreliable outlet will still cause problems if you just plug in an extension cord to power devices without plugging them in directly.
“Most extension cords are designed for devices that use little power. They aren’t designed for devices that use a lot of electricity [like] Heaters, coffeemakers, toasters, toasters, and cappuccino machines, “says Ingeveld. This could add to the risk of fire in your home, so get an electrician to fix the problem before trying to find a workaround.
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If you don’t have an outdoor outlet, then don’t try a dangerous workaround when hanging your Christmas lights or powering landscaping equipment.
“Never run an extension cord through a window, even if it is only being used temporarily,” he says Nicholas Fattizzi by Paul Fattizzi Electric. He also notes that doing so can fray the wires, which is a fire hazard, and that most indoor extension cords are initially unsuitable for outdoor use.
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Long-term use of extension chords instead of specific, finite situations is a fatal mistake.
“If there are extension cords in your house or apartment you are putting your electrical system at risk and causing serious injury or worse to curious children and pets,” says Fattizzi. Not only are they a serious tripping hazard, but they are also a fire hazard if used carelessly or over a long period of time.
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By connecting multiple extension cords, you can provide power to devices in areas away from electrical outlets. However, this is also an unsafe solution.
“When it comes to electricity, you have to be responsible and careful about it,” he says David Walter, Founder of Electrician Mentor, who states that piggyback extension chords are a potential fire hazard. Instead, move your devices closer to your electrical outlets or have additional devices installed.
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A circuit breaker that trips frequently cannot be solved by simply replacing it with a larger panel.
“Inserting a larger breaker can cause the cable to overheat and melt the surrounding material,” says Ingeveld. Before doing anything, have an electrician diagnose the cause of the problem.
Just because you have five outlets in your bedroom doesn’t mean you necessarily have five separate electrical circuits. It’s worth knowing how many circuits you have – and what kind of electrical load they can carry – before putting yourself at risk.
“As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t exceed 80 percent of [the electrical capacity] of every single circuit, “says Fattizzi. There is, however, an easy way to avoid this mistake. He says,” Everything you connect should have a label that tells you how much electricity it uses. “
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Your home may have recently been renovated, but what about the electrical wiring?
“The wiring that was used 30 years ago is very brittle and protected by below average insulation,” says Fattizzi. “After years of abuse, the cable is at a much higher risk of failure.” What to do? “If you want to play it safe, have an electrician replace your older cables and upgrade your electrical service to accommodate your equipment,” he says.
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Space heaters use a large amount of electricity, so it is best to give them their own circuit. “When that single device is plugged in, the circuit is at its maximum and everything else plugged in overloads it,” says Fattizzi.
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While there are converters out there that will allow you to insert a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet, using them can cause more problems than any convenience you were originally given them for.
“These adapters have a small circular tab that attaches to the metal part of the box in the wall behind it,” explains Fattizzi. Skipping this step means your electrical outlet is not grounded, which can be “very dangerous”.
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Ignoring the wattage of your bulbs because you want to avoid having to buy the right lightbulbs is not a shortcut that is worthwhile.
“The reason for maximum lamp size is because of the heat generated by the lamp,” says Fattizzi. “If you overload this outlet, the excess heat will degrade the insulation of the device’s wiring and the cables that power the device.”
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Attaching a traditional electrical plug or switch to an aluminum cable in an older home may seem harmless, but it is actually surprisingly dangerous.
“Aluminum wire and copper devices expand and contract at different rates, which often results in loose connections and can generate heat and cause fire,” he says Joel Wilson, Co-owner of Floodlight Electric, Inc.
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There’s an easy way to make your home safer in seconds: clean up clutter on your power strips or appliance cables.
“Covering wires can cause the cables to overheat, which can lead to an electrical fire,” explains Adrian Faull, Director of Fix Electrical Contractors.
If you don’t have proper power outlets in all bathrooms, it’s high time you got an electrician to help.
“All sockets in the bathroom should be equipped with earth fault breakers (FI circuit breakers) that can detect when an electrical current is not properly earthed and automatically switch off the power supply,” explains Mark Dawson, Chief Operating Officer of Mister Sparky.
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Continued use of wires or power cords that are in an unsatisfactory condition doesn’t seem like the most egregious mistake you can make, but the reality is that it can pose a major safety risk.
Whether it’s a wire in your walls or a frayed appliance plug, “If you notice a worn or damaged wire, replace it right away,” he says Keith Pinkerton, Owner of Mr. Electric in Huntsville, Alabama.
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Your home sends you the signals – the loud ones Brianne Deerwester of Electrical Safety Foundation International include “frequent breaker tripping or fuse blown, dimming of lights when other appliances turn on, buzzing of switches or sockets, discolored sockets and appliances that appear to be energized” – why not do something to address them?
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Electrical work can cost a pretty penny, and you’re the type who likes to do things for yourself, but when it comes to the safety of you, your family, and your home, sometimes you have to leave it to the professionals.
“As much as you want to think that you can fix your own problems when it comes to something that could harm you for life, give a professional a call,” says Walter.