Most of us have little to no knowledge of the components and working of our home’s electrical system. Instead, we make the assumption that electricity will always be there and, should anything go wrong, an electrician can be contacted to come and sort the problem out.
As any electrician will testify, the electrical system of most homes is complex and sensitive. While electrical systems are designed to be robust and dependable, their balance can be disturbed through improper treatment, resulting in the need for specialized electrical services.
And so it follows that particular feature of any home’s electrical system needs to be treated with care. Unfortunately, these important electrical features are not always treated so mindfully and many common mistakes with their treatment occur. These mistakes can easily be avoided when a person knows what to do.
In many households, a fuse blows and is replaced only to be followed by the fuse blowing again. This becomes a repetitive cycle with a member of the household seeming satisfied to keep changing the fuse without questioning the reason for this occurring.
It is a similar situation when a circuit breaker continues to trip shortly after it has been reset. The fact that the breaker trips or the fuse blow on an ongoing basis is a definite indicator of a broader problem.
Persisting in changing the fuse or resetting the circuit breaker is not the answer. Be aware that the purpose of breakers and fuses is the protection of the ampacity rating of the wire and the appliances and devices to which it is connected. If the incorrect ampacity is connected, the wiring is liable to overheat and in the worst cases, this can lead to a fire.
#2: Light bulbs
Light bulbs too are something that many of us take for granted and know little about. In most homes, sixty-watt bulbs are recommended but many people choose to use a one-hundred-watt globe without understanding that while it fits the socket and looks brighter, it also carries a particular danger.
When a one-hundred-watt bulb is used in a socket designed for a sixty-watt bulb, more power is used. As a result of drawing and using more power, the temperature of the one-hundred-watt globe quickly becomes hotter than it would for its sixty-watt counterpart and, as the contact points of sockets are not designed to cope with such heat, they too become extremely hot, can cause overheating and in the most serious cases, a fire.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from this danger, always use light bulbs of the suggested wattage for your socket – the wattage limit is usually marked next to the socket in order to promote safety.
#3: Power outlets
In so many households power outlets are completely overloaded. It is not uncommon to see double adaptors, power boards, and extension cords attached to power outlets and for these to be loaded with a number of power cords. Dangerous!
Always remember that circuits are designed and made to manage a defined number of amps. If you load an outlet with more amps than it is designed to manage, be prepared for the circuit breaker to trip…over and over again.
We all rely on electricity and use it incredibly often, but there are problems that are commonly seen with domestic electrical systems. By taking steps to address these three problems, your home will be much safer and your electrical system better able to function.