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May Is Electric Safety Month!

Home Electric Safety Month is upon us once again. Home ownership is worth it, but it isn’t without its drawbacks. Proper maintenance and care is essential to keep your home in top-working condition. To do that, it’s important to stay current on what you have and haven’t had done in your home. Older wiring needs to be inspected every 10-15 years and any electrical issues should be remedied swiftly. Of course, taking the time to keep an eye out for new residential electrical code updates is important for safety, efficiency, and for keeping your home in ‘ready-to-sell’ condition.

Code Updates

The National Electric Code (NEC) is responsible for maintaining strict guidelines on wiring for buildings, residential or commercial. As technologies change and advance (whether because we learn about the dangers of existing technology or because homes adopt new technologies such as USB outlets), the NEC is updated to reflect these changes.

Of course, houses and buildings don’t automatically update when changes are approved by the NEC (that would be nice, wouldn’t it?). From simple changes like the location of outlets in a room, to major safety revisions for mandatory GFCI receptacles, keeping your home up to code is just one problem with buying or living in an older home. Staying up to date can be challenging, but the rewards when it comes to safety are immense.

Home Inspections

1. Burning Odor or Sparks

If running an appliance or flipping a switch fills the room with a burning odor (burnt plastic or a urine-like smell), or if you see sparks attached to an electrical connection, then there is a major electrical problem.

2. Non-Functional Outlets

An outlet or switch that isn’t working can be as simple as a disconnected circuit or a tripped breaker. If a socket is too loose to hold a plug in place, then it should be replaced as well.

3. Electrical Shocks

It doesn’t matter what the source if, if anything in your home delivers an electrical shock when you touch it, then it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately.

4. Faulty Breakers

By design, breakers trip when there’s a problem on the circuit. When you place too high of a load on your breaker or a sudden spike in load occurs, the breaker can trip. Changing high loads to other circuits will fix this problem. If it doesn’t, there may be a problem with either the breaker or the circuit itself.

5. Hot fixtures and Outlets

Just like with your breaker box, if screws, switches, faceplates, or cables around fixtures and outlets are heating up, you’re either overloading your circuit, or there is a serious electrical issue within the walls. Your wires may not be up to the task of handling the load, or could be damaged due to aging.

6. Flickering Lights

Flickering lights, not just dimming when you turn on the microwave, can be a symptom of bad electrical wiring or dirty AC power coming through the line.

Don’t forget, at Mainstream, we’re always ready and willing to help you with any code-related issues or inspections. We’ll perform a full walk-through of your home from circuit breaker to light switch and identify issues and solutions. Whether it’s a minor repair or just preparation for selling your home, it’s important to have your home inspected by people you can trust to do the job right the first time!