Is Electrical Maintenance Necessary?
The electrical wiring in your Oregon home is mostly out of sight and likely out of mind, even though you use it every day. So it is no surprise you have questions about electrical maintenance.
You flick a switch or plug into an outlet and expect immediate, safe results. When your electrical system works well, it runs appliances, lights your Portland home, powers technology, and drives heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
When it fails, the consequences can be disastrous.
Electrical fires damage or destroy 45,000 homes in the United States every year, and half of those fires involve faulty lighting or defective wiring, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
In addition to fires, electrical system failures can lead to serious injuries and deaths in the home. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) says approximately 300 Americans are electrocuted in the home each year, and thousands are shocked and burned.
The statistics underscore the importance of regular inspections and maintenance. Experienced professionals, such as the licensed electricians at Ben’s Heating, AC & Electrical, can identify potential hazards and recommend upgrades or repairs to the electrical system in your Portland home.
Bring Your Electrical System into the 21st Century
Our electricians suggest an inspection every three to five years, but your home’s age and the number of appliances you use also factor into the timeframe.
ESFI says the electrical systems in homes built before 1980 should be examined for potential updates and compliance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and local electrical codes.
Our professionals can determine if your electrical system is adequate for the array of appliances and technological devices you use at home.
Standards have evolved over the years as lifestyle, safety needs, and power demands have changed. If your home, for example, is equipped with polarized outlets—those simple wall sockets with two vertical slots—it is time for an upgrade.
At the minimum, you will want us to install grounded outlets, but the better option is ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets. They can detect changes in the electrical flow and break the circuit, cutting off the power to the outlet, if necessary.
GFCI outlets are a must in areas where water is present, such as a kitchen or bathroom. They prevent shock and electrocution.
Electrical Maintenance: Make Outlet, Wiring Improvements
Ask our electricians about tamper-resistant receptacles (TRRs). These outlets have a covering that prevents children from jamming items into the socket. They are a great security measure for families with young children.
Additional upgrades you might consider include surge protection devices to guard your appliances against electrical surges, and adding arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) to your service panel to prevent electrical fires.
During an inspection, our experts will check for frayed or damaged wires, and loose connections, to determine whether the wiring is adequate for your home.
Here is What You Can Do to Maintain Your Electrical System
Follow these steps to improve the electrical system in your Portland home:
- Pay attention to your electrical system and recognize potential problems, such as circuit breakers that frequently trip, fuses that often blow, outlets and switches that feel warm or have scorch marks, and lights that flicker when an appliance, furnace, or air conditioner turns on.
- Test your GFCI outlets monthly.
- Use only bulbs with the recommended wattage for lighting fixtures.
- Use surge protectors.
- Schedule a maintenance inspection.
Upgrade Your Electrical System Today
Do not underestimate the importance of an electrical system inspection. The licensed electricians at Ben’s Heating, AC & Electrical in Portland, OR, can enhance your safety by upgrading your home’s outdated wiring, outlets, service panel, lighting fixtures, and more. Call 971-213-2810 or request service online today.