Why Tamper Resistant Outlets Are a better Option for Child Proofing Electrical Outlets

March 22, 2021

Experts estimate that around 2,400 children a year get an electric shock or burn by sticking something metallic in an outlet. Most rooms in the average home have electrical outlets, and many have outlets in every room. Young, curious children face electrical hazards virtually anywhere in the home. You should consider making each outlet tamper-resistant. What Is a Tamper Resistant Outlet? A tamper-resistant outlet has spring-loaded shutter plates that block the socket openings. You insert a plug into the outlet by using pressure. You have to apply pressure to both openings at the same time. This protects kids from pushing a paperclip, other metallic objects, or anything else into the socket. Homes built after 2008 are required to have tamper-resistant outlets. Older outlets can be upgraded. Are They Better Than Other Child Proofing Products? There are other ways to childproof outlets, but they’re not as convenient. For example, receptacle caps are an option, but they have to be removed whenever you want to use the outlet. Caps can provide an effective barrier to curious young hands, but they can also be difficult for adults to remove; plus, they present a potential choking hazard. You can also get sliding receptacle covers....

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Three Common Home Electrical Hazards and How to Fix Them

March 10, 2021

The modern world largely depends on electricity for its operation, and most homes can’t properly function without it. Unfortunately, when electricity is handled in the wrong way, it poses potential safety hazards in a residence. Electrical fires can be very dangerous, and they constitute a large percentage of home fires. The results can be property damage, injuries and even fatalities. Fortunately, you can prevent electrical accidents by learning about some common residential electrical hazards. Here are some you might encounter and what you can do to correct the problems. Overloaded Outlets Many people don’t realize they are making a severe mistake by plugging in multiple appliances or gadgets to a single outlet. Each electrical outlet has a maximum number of amperes it can deal with simultaneously. When you stack several plugs to the same outlet, you increase the chances of short circuits and electrical fires. You can fix this issue by reducing the number of plugs per socket. Limit the number of power bars per outlet, and avoid using them all in one room. Outdated or Poor Wiring Faulty wiring is a common electrical hazard in homes. Outdated or old wiring is sometimes unable to withstand the electrical demands necessary...

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Why It’s Important to Hire a Licensed Electrician

February 20, 2021

When you need something done to the electrical system of your home, it’s important to hire a licensed electrician. There are several reasons these are not do-it-yourself projects. Safety Working with electricity can be dangerous if you aren’t a licensed electrician. When you don’t know what you’re doing, the result can be short circuits, fires and getting electrocuted. Your homeowner’s insurance policy likely won’t cover damage to your home if electrical work isn’t performed by a licensed electrician. Liability Insurance Licensed electricians carry general liability insurance. This means that if they don’t do the job right and damage results, their insurance will cover it. An electrician that isn’t licensed doesn’t carry liability insurance, so if they mess up the job you’re going to have to pay out of pocket for any resulting problems. Most licensed electricians are also bonded, so they need to do the job right or get your money back. Better Use of Time Licensed electricians have spent years learning their craft. This includes ongoing education. Watching a YouTube video about how to fix an electrical problem simply can’t replace actual experience and knowledge. A licensed electrician can fix your problem efficiently and correctly in a way you...

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Why Are the Lights in My Home Flickering?

February 10, 2021

If you’ve noticed that the lights in your home frequently flicker, you may wonder why this happens. Lights that flicker could suggest that there’s an issue with your home’s electrical system or the light fixture. Here are three possible reasons why your home’s lights keep flickering. 1. Problem With the Bulb Your flickering light could be due to a problem with the light bulb. It may not be screwed all the way into the fixture. It could also be the wrong bulb type for the fixture. For example, dimmer fixtures aren’t compatible with all light bulb types. A light bulb may flicker when its element is ready to burn out, also. 2. Faulty Fixture or Switch The lamp or fixture in which the light bulb is installed may have a fault. The socket may have come loose. A wire may be corroded or bent. The light plug could be loose. It’s also possible that the fixture or switch has gone bad. 3. Wiring or Voltage Problem Sometimes, there’s a bigger cause of flickering lights. If lights in every room of your home flicker, and they flicker at the same time, pay attention to what happens when they flicker. If all...

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Four Tips for Extending the Life of Major Appliances

January 20, 2021

Electrical appliances often fail because they are not maintained properly or because they are misused. Many homeowners and renters are not only unaware of how to properly care for their major appliances, but don’t know how often to replace them. What can homeowners and renters do to maintain their appliances to prevent a constant need for service? Read on for some safety on extending the life of major appliances. Adhere to the Instruction Manual It may be obvious, but it is a tip that many of us may overlook. Most appliances come with an instruction manual that details the best care practices and proper ways to use the appliance. If you bought the machine used and without an instruction manual, you might be able to call the manufacturer’s customer service line to request one. Better yet, many instruction manuals can be easily found and freely accessed on the internet. Start by looking on the manufacturer’s website. If that doesn’t work, try a general internet search of the specific product and model. Use Proper Cleaning Methods Many appliances like dishwashers and washing machines can malfunction or become damaged if you use the wrong soap or cleaning methods. For example, using dishwashing...

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Seven Tips for Safely Using Extension Cords

January 10, 2021

Do you grab an extension cord when you need to plug in something, but aren’t close to a wall outlet? GVEC experts offer these tips for extension cord safety. 1. Do Not Buy an Extension Cord Unless It Is Certified as Safe Like many other electrical devices, extension cords by reputable manufacturers undergo a series of quality control and safety assessments by one or more third-party safety certification companies. Among the best known and most prominent of these companies are UL, CSA and ETL, but there are others. Extension cords that have been tested and certified by one or more of these third-party regulatory agencies will include a logo of the testing organization somewhere on the label. If an extension cord you’re considering for purchase doesn’t include a seal by one of these organizations, don’t buy it. 2. Buy the Correct Size Gauge is the measurement of the wire inside the cord. The gauge and length of the cord are coordinated. The higher the gauge, the more power the cord can supply. If you need more length or power, buy a longer cord. You risk starting a fire or melting cords if you try to create a longer cord by...

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Should I Upgrade My Electrical System If I Remodel My Home?

December 20, 2020

Remodeling your Seguin, TX, home can be a great way to add style, convenience and value. When performing a remodel, though, it’s important to do it safely. One important component of safely remodeling your home is ensuring that any electrical changes are done correctly. To help better understand why home remodeling and electrical work go hand-in-hand, we offer this basic guide. Basic Remodels Are a Judgment Call If you’re only performing a basic remodel to existing spaces, you may not need the services of a fully licensed professional electrician like those available at GVEC. For example, if you’re only changing the cabinets in your kitchen or the tile in your bathroom, your electrical demands should largely stay the same. However, it’s a good idea to have your home’s electrical system regularly inspected, and a home remodel, no matter what it entails, offers a great opportunity to have this service performed. Major Renovations Are a Must To perform major renovations, even on existing rooms, you’ll want to call in a professional electrician from GVEC as part of the process. For example, any lighting fixtures or electrical outlets you change or add could put a particular circuit over its capacity limit, causing...

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Five Tips for Making Sure Your Home Electrical System is Ready for Winter

December 10, 2020

Ready or not, winter will be here soon in South Central Texas. With the change in seasons comes some unique electrical demands. The following five tips from GVEC Electrician services are suggested to help you avoid the electrical winter blues. 1. Properly Label Your Circuit Breaker If an unexpected electrical problem arises in your home, it’s important to have your circuit breakers properly labeled to help you better understand what caused the problem and address it as quickly as possible. If your breaker box is located outside, this is especially important, since the short days could make it exceptionally difficult to navigate your way around a mislabeled or unlabeled electrical panel. 2. Understand Your System’s Limits Hanging festive, multi-colored light displays can be a great way to brighten your home for the holidays. Remember, though, that these lights can draw significant amounts of power. If you have any doubt whether the display you’re planning is too much for your home electrical system, we strongly suggest consulting a professional, fully licensed electrician like those available from GVEC. We can help you better understand if the number of lights and size of the display you’re planning is well-suited for your home electrical...

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How Much Will It Cost to Rewire My House?

November 20, 2020

If you’re having intermittent issues with your home’s electrical system, there could be several culprits behind the problem. If the problems persist, or you home is old enough to have very outdated electrical technology in it, you may need to replace some or all of your home’s wiring. While rewiring your home is usually the last option for the pros at GVEC, it can help solve a lot of problems and ensure your home is safe from electrical fires caused by faulty wiring. How Much Does It Cost? It is difficult for GVEC to provide an exact cost for rewiring without seeing your home in person. The cost of a job will be based on the size of your home, the existing electrical system, the design of the new electrical system, and other factors. How Long Does It Take? Rewiring a home is no small job, even for an experienced company like GVEC. As with the cost, the time it takes to rewire a home depends on a variety of factors. These can include removing the old wiring, running new wiring and making all necessary connections. Older homes, whose breaker may need to be replaced, may take a little longer....

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Christmas Light Installation Safety Tips

November 5, 2020

Christmas lights are great for getting everyone into the holiday spirit. However, they can put your home and safety at risk if not handled correctly. Here are several safety tips to follow for safely installing them. Check and Test Your Christmas Lights Check your lights to make sure there aren’t any frayed or loose wires. These can short circuit and cause a fire. It’s also a good idea to test your lights for bad bulbs before you hang the lights because it’s easier to replace them when they’re on the ground. Switch to LED Lights LED lights are safer than incandescent bulbs. They stay cool, unlike traditional lights that can overheat and start a fire. Connect Outdoor Christmas Lights to a GFCI Outlet Your outdoor lights should be plugged into a GFCI outlet. If there’s a short or overload, the GFCI outlet will trip the breaker in your electrical panel. This can prevent fires. If you’re in Gonzales, Cuero, La Vernia, Seguin, Schertz, or surrounding areas and need additional GFCI outlets installed, GVEC handles outdoor electrical needs. We serve South Central Texas. Limit the Length of Holiday Lights If you’re using incandescent Christmas lights, don’t have more than three sets...

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