Should I Use a Three-Prong Adapter or Upgrade My Outlet?

May 26, 2022

In many older homes, it’s not uncommon to come across two-slot outlets. These outlets can make it impossible to run many modern-day appliances that require three prongs. As a homeowner, you have two options. These are to utilize an adapter or upgrade your outlet to a three-prong outlet. Understanding Safe Amp Draw One of your biggest concerns should be understanding the amount of amperage that a potential device may pull from your outlet. Many older homes have a 100-amp circuit. These are typically too small to handle the amperage draws that are necessary to run today’s bigger appliances like refrigerators, dryers, and electric stoves. Before you utilize an adapter to plug in an appliance, you should go check the circuit to see how many amps it has. Most modern appliances will need a 20-amp circuit to be run safely. If you use an adapter and do not have enough amperage on the circuit to power what you plug into it, it can lead to overheating and a fire hazard in your home. You can identify the amount of amperage a specific circuit has by looking at the number present on the circuit breaker or by calling a professional electrician to...

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Three Reasons Why USB Outlets Are Better Alternatives to Standard Models

May 26, 2022

Universal Serial Bus (USB) outlets are the ultimate alternative to standard wall sockets. USB wall outlets have built-in UBS ports where you can plug in manufacturer-approved cables and cords to charge your devices fast. But are USB wall outlets a good investment? Let’s find out below. Declutter Your Outlet Space Standard wall outlets support multiple adapters and give you the flexibility of charging several devices at once. However, plugging in multiple adapters to the wall outlet adds bulkiness, making the outlet space look cluttered. With USB outlets, you can connect one or two USB cords and cables to charge your gadgets. Installing USB wall outlets is a practical way to declutter and organize your outlet space. Fast and Efficent Charging Smart USB wall outlets blend advanced technology to charge devices faster and safely. Computer and adapter ports have a limited power output of 0.5A. Such low power output makes these electronics take longer to charge your devices. As for USB wall outlets, they have power outputs of up to 0.9A. The high power outputs guarantee fast and efficient charging. Most USB wall outlets have a charging speed almost twice that of power adapters. Usb Outlest Are Versatile The versatile nature...

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How Floodwater Can Damage Your Home’s Electrical System

April 20, 2022

Floodwater usually contains impurities and charged ions such as sodium, calcium, and magnesium. These ions can conduct electricity. You should keep all your electrical system components and appliances away from water. However, some of these components may come into contact with water when your home gets flooded. Below are more details on how floodwater can damage these components. Floodwater Can Corrode Your Electrical System Floodwater may contain sewage, harsh chemicals, and debris. These things can corrode your electrical system components, reducing their reliability. For instance, they may reduce the integrity of rubber and plastic protective components of this system. When these components get destroyed, your circuits will not perform well. Moisture from the water may also damage your circuit breakers. Floodwater Can Make Your Electrical System Dangerous and Unstable When your electrical system’s wires come into contact with floodwater, the current flowing through them may be affected. That can make the wires unstable and dangerous. A fire may also start as a result of this. To ensure that the wires holding such charges do not pose a danger to you, stay away from wires and electrical items that have been submerged in floodwater. You should also have them replaced. can...

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Why Upgrading an Old Electrical Fuse Panel Is a Must

April 10, 2022

These days, people have more electrical devices in their homes than ever before. If you look around your home, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to spot an array of things plugged into your outlets. The trouble is that many homes — particularly older ones — weren’t designed to accommodate the power demands of the 21st century. If you want to change that, replacing your home’s electrical fuse panel may be the place to start. Here’s why. You Can Accommodate Higher Amperage If your home has an old fuse panel, there’s a good chance that it only handles a limited amount of electrical service, and that will restrict the number of electrical devices and appliances you can use at once. This is why 200-amp service is now the norm in new residences. To upgrade your home’s electrical service to meet your expanding power needs, you may need to replace your fuse panel with a more modern circuit breaker panel. Getting Insurance May be Easier If you’re looking for an insurance carrier to issue you a homeowner’s insurance policy, you may encounter another reason to upgrade your fuse panel. Some insurers won’t insure homes with fuse panels, or they might...

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Four Simple Steps for Childproofing Your Home’s Electrical System

March 24, 2022

As a parent, you obviously want to do everything in your power to protect your children and keep them safe. For many households, there may be numerous potential hazards that could pose a risk to kids. Still, few parts of your home pose as great of a potential risk as your electrical system. With this in mind, here are a few simple steps you can take to help childproof your home from electrical hazards. 1. Use Covers on All of Your Outlets Statistics show that approximately 2,400 children in the U.S. each year suffer from burns or electrical shocks from unprotected wall sockets. Most of these cases result from a child sticking something into the outlet, which is why it is important to keep all of your outlets covered when not in use. Installing outlet covers is a quick and easy way to help prevent your child from tampering with the outlet or sticking anything in it. But remember, outlet covers are only useful for outlets that you’re not currently using since your child could gain access to an outlet simply by unplugging a cord. 2. Replace Your Old Outlets With Tamper-Resistant GFCIs Although outlet covers are always a good...

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Making Electrical Safety Part of Your Spring Cleaning Routine

March 15, 2022

You depend on electricity for just about everything, from lighting your home and cooking to charging your electronic devices and even vehicles. However, you probably don’t think too much about its safety or risks until something happens to bring it into focus. Rather than waiting for a mishappening, make electrical safety a part of your spring cleaning routine to keep your home safe. Inspect Your Outlets Start by inspecting each of your outlets around your home. Look for cracked face plates or damage to the outlet itself. Any signs of scorching or cracks in the plastic indicate you need to replace both. An electrician should replace any outlets that have signs of scorching to determine what caused the issue. Face plates are simple to replace if they’re cracked. Inspect Wires Next, inspect the wires of the appliances around your home. Be especially mindful of minor cables like those for your phone, tablets or other handheld electronics. These are easily damaged, so keep an eye on them. While it may not seem like a big deal, even small wires can be hazardous when the insulation is damaged and the wires are exposed. Any wires that have damage to them should be...

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Staying Safe When an Electrical Transformer Goes Out

February 18, 2022

Transformers and power lines are hugely responsible for the electricity you benefit from every day. Electrical transformers carry significant amounts of energy from electrical plants or substations to whole neighborhoods and cities. Here’s everything you need to know about transformers and what to do if you see one go out near you. The Purpose of Transformersr Transformers are widely used across the country to carry essential power of varying voltages across great distances. The transformer itself is the metal box or can that sits near the top of the utility pole. Your home may be directly connected to the power lines and transformer through several thick wires. Transformers are sturdy components that can withstand most storms, animals and even pesky tree branches that grow out too far. They’re frequently maintained and repaired by professional line workers who check the circuitry for damage. How to Stay Safer Avoid approaching the transformer if it’s smoking, sparking or on fire. Stay inside and immediately call the power company to report the issue. You should also notify any family members outside the home to be careful when returning. If the transformer “blows,” you’ll likely hear a lound pop or boom sound. Your power may...

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Understanding Smart Thermostats

February 4, 2022

There are many advantages to getting a smart thermostat for your home. These units can be controlled from your phone and set up to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Smart thermostats can learn your habits and adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. This helps reduce the load on your heater or air conditioner when you’re not home. Simply set your thermostat to return your home to your desired temperature by the time you get back. Wi-Fi Capabilities Smart thermostats are connected to your Wi-Fi network and can be accessed with your phone. This means that you can adjust the temperature of your home from wherever you are. If there’s an internet outage, the units can still be adjusted manually. Improved Energy Efficiency By adjusting the temperature of your home when you’re not around, smart thermostats can lower your energy bills. You won’t have to worry about remembering to change your thermostat when you leave for work in the morning. When you return home after a trip, you won’t have to wait for your home to cool down or warm up. Additional Features of a Smart Thermostat Many smart thermostats are equipped with an array of features. They...

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Safe Ways to Put Out a Small Electrical Fire

January 18, 2022

Although it’s difficult to imagine, an electrical fire can suddenly start in your home. If the fire is small you may be tempted to handle it yourself in order to prevent extensive damage. However, this can be dangerous, especially if you aren’t well-versed fire safety and safe ways to put out a fire should you be faced with one. Learning how to extinguish an electrical fire, even without a fire extinguisher, could help prevent a small problem from becoming a major emergency. Put Your Safety First It’s always most important to keep yourself safe before deciding if you should attempt to extinguish the fire yourself—even if it’s a small one. Before trying to put out the fire, make sure you see two clear exits. If one of those exits becomes unsafe to approach, leave immediately. Don’t risk your life.If an electrical fire proliferates and you cannot switch the electricity off (which we’ll discuss more in the next section), you must prioritize your safety. Get out of the home or building the fire is in, and call the fire department or 911. Tell them there’s an electrical fire. Give as much information as possible to help first responders identify the most...

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Issues With Electrical Outlets

January 4, 2022

Having a faulty electrical system in your home can lead to a dangerous situation. This includes things that may seem like no big deal—like loose electrical outlets. It’s important to have a professional address electrical problems so that they get resolved in a safe manner. There are several signs to watch for that can indicate you have a loose electrical outlet in your home. Most loose outlets are caused by damaged contact points. This can occur as an outlet ages. Poor wiring can also lead to heat and sparks that will damage an outlet and cause it to fail. In many situations, you’ll need to have the entire outlet replaced. Non-Functional Outlet If you have an outlet that has suddenly stopped working, it could be because the wires it’s hooked up to have come loose. Outlets that only work some of the time can also have loose wiring issues. Faulty wiring or wear and tear on an electrical system can cause an outlet to fail completely. Flickering or Dimming Lights Inconsistent lighting in your home can indicate loose outlets. In many of these situations, wires aren’t fully in contact and can’t transfer electricity evenly or reliably. Lights that aren’t wired...

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