Knowledge is power. When enlightened, you make the right decisions, avoid expensive risks and, most importantly, keep your family safe. Because electric work can be dangerous, paying attention to what your electrician says is even more critical. Here are six things they want you to know:
Never Underestimate the Importance of a Qualified Professional
It might seem like you’re working extra hard to find the right experts, such as Dr. Watts Electric, Heating & Air, but it’s worth the trouble. It may cost you more, but the years of experience and expertise are invaluable.
Take time to qualify the available candidates. Get to know the company and the individual electricians. Does the company have a good reputation? Are the employees certified and insured? How long has the company been in business?
It’s Not Just About the Wires
When you have an electrical problem, it’s tempting to focus only on the wires. However, your electrician will also consider the outlets, switches, and other factors. All of these components are interconnected, and a problem with one can affect the others. For instance, a panel not up to code can cause flickering lights. Have a comprehensive inspection before any work starts.
Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs
When everything works as it should, you might ignore the warning signs until a significant problem occurs. If you notice any sparks, strange smells, or burning wires, it’s time to call an electrician. Ignoring these signs can result in a fire or severe injury. Be proactive and address the issue before it becomes a significant problem.
Note that there are also silent warning signs to watch out for. A loose connection can cause arcing when electrical current jumps from one wire to another. It often happens when two wires touch each other.
Arcing can cause a fire; have loose connections fixed immediately. Another silent warning sign is dimming lights due to a loose connection or a problem with the breaker panel.
Don’t Do It Yourself
Fixing electrical problems yourself is tempting, but this is dangerous. Don’t attempt to do the work unless you’re a qualified electrician. Even if you’re good with tools, it’s not worth the risk. Leave it to the professionals. You will not only be endangering yourself but also those around you.
Not that you can void the warranty of some electrical equipment by doing work yourself. For instance, if you have a problem with your breaker panel, the manufacturer might not cover the repairs if you attempted to fix it yourself. Also, in case of major disasters, such as fire after the DIY work, the insurance company could refuse to pay out.
Not All Outlets Are Equal
There are three main outlets: 15-amp, 20-amp, and 30-amp. The difference is the amount of power they can handle. Most homes have 15-amp outlets, but some have 20-amp or 30-amp outlets for appliances that require more power, such as air conditioners.
If you’re not sure what type of outlet you have, don’t hesitate to ask your electrician. They’ll check and recommend the best course of action.
GFCI Outlets Are Your Friend
GFCI outlets have ground fault circuit interrupters that protect you from electrical shocks. They constantly monitor the current flowing through the circuit. If there’s a drop, it indicates that there might be a ground fault.
The outlet will then shut off the power to prevent an electrical shock. GFCI outlets are usually installed in areas with a risk of electrical shocks, such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, you can have them throughout your home for added safety.
Knowledge Keeps You Safe
As you will realize, there’s so much your electrician wishes you knew. The knowledge keeps you safe and enables you to make the right decisions all the time. Don’t hesitate to ask your electrician anything you want to know about your system. Also, never compromise on quality or professionalism to save a few bucks. Hire the best electrician in town for the job.