When to Fix-It-Yourself and When to Call an Electrician

Messing with electrical appliances and components is serious business. Hello, my name is George Tanner. I’m a retired electrician. I can’t even begin to tell you how many horror stories I heard over the years of working as an electrician. People who thought they could quickly fix something in their homes but never should have even tried. Some got hurt and others were lucky. My goal here is to provide you with some guidelines as to what electrical malfunctions are easily fixable by nearly any adult, and what you should never attempt on your own. One thing you are going to hear me stress more than once is that electrical components are not to be taken lightly. We protect our children from them; we also have to protect ourselves. I hope you find this blog to be helpful!

Three Reasons to Have New Electrical Circuits Installed

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Although it's not as small and easy of a job as, say, installing GFCI outlets, adding circuits to your house is all in a day's work for your electrical contractor. You may not even know you need new circuits, though, so read through these three reasons for new circuits, and you may find that this could be the solution to a problem you've been having for a while.

1. Your home has an old, inadequate wiring system

If your home was built several decades (or a century or two) ago, the electrical loads that houses were designed to carry back then aren't the same as the electrical loads we expect our wiring systems to carry today. If your wiring system hasn't been updated for a few decades, it's probably best to have your electrician inspect it with an eye toward deciding whether it needs to be upgraded. But even before the electrician comes over you may notice some signs of an insufficient wiring system, such as:

  • Occasionally (or frequently) tripping a circuit breaker when you're using too many appliances at once
  • Having too few electrical outlets in each room compared to how many you'd like to have
  • Having so few electrical outlets that you frequently or constantly use power strips or extension cords

2. Your appliances have been making your lights flicker

If you've recently noticed that your lights are flickering, it could be due to something fairly innocuous, like not having enough power in the circuit, or it could be due to something more serious, so having an electrician analyze the situation is your safest bet. However, if the lights only dim briefly when a large appliance cycles on, the problem is probably just that there's not enough power in the circuit. This can be remedied by having a dedicated circuit added for that appliance. AC units should be on dedicated circuits, and other large appliances can be placed on dedicated circuits as well if they're causing problems.

3. You're worried about power surges

The most frequent type of power surges don't come from lightning strikes outside your house; they come from within your own electrical system when larger appliances turn on or off. These aren't generally large power surges, but they can still shorten your electronics' lifespans if you don't have enough surge protection. In addition to using surge-protecting power strips, setting these large appliances off on their own circuits can help increase the working lifespan of everything else you plug into the wall.

These are three reasons to have your electrician come out and wire some new circuits for you. Be sure to have the electrician do a thorough inspection of your wiring system too, especially if it's old or if you haven't had an inspection in a few years to make sure there's nothing else that needs upgrading.

Talk with companies such as Skyline Electric, Inc. for more information. 

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9 November 2016