Your Home Electrical System

Your home electrical system is very important to the safety and well being of your entire family. The job of wiring a home is rigidly controlled by local code requirements and safety standards. In order to properly install an electrical system it is crucial to find a highly qualified electrical contractor to wire your home or to make changes to your current system.

Any accidental overload will blow a fuse or trip a circuit breaker.

To insure greater safety, to simplify repairs and to save repair time, keep a card showing which circuits activate which outlets in your home taped to the door of the main service panel.

Safety is Paramount

If you cannot get a hold of a qualified contractor and you need to make an electrical repair, always shut off the power to the main service panel to the wires you will be touching. To ensure that no one accidentally flips the circuit breaker back on during the repair, put a sign on the circuit box with a warning that no one is to touch the circuit breaker.

Be sure all tools you use are well insulated. Work only in dry areas and make sure that you and your clothing, including your shoes are not wet. Buy only the best switches, wiring, and outlets. Buy only those products that are approved by Underwriters Laboratory

Test for electricity with a neon circuit tester before disconnecting any wires.

Circuit Breakers and Fuses

A blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker is a sign that lights and appliances are drawing more power than the circuit can safely handle. It may also be an indication of a short circuit. Be sure to locate and eliminate the problem before you restore power. If you do not, you will have a recurrence of the problem. Always replace the fuse with one of the same amperage

When a circuit fails, note how long the appliances connected to it had been operating. If the items were operating for just a few moments, you probably have a current overload. Plug appliances into other outlets on different circuits. After you install a duplicate fuse switch the lever of the tripped breaker fully to off, then back to on.

Short Circuits

When a circuit fails the instant an appliance is plugged in or a switch is turned on, the problem is probably a short circuit. Short circuits are usually caused by damaged wiring or connections in the circuit, item, or switch. If a fuse or breaker continues to blow after you have reduced the amount of current going to the circuit, an electrical contractor should check the wiring and make the necessary repairs before the circuit is used again.

Unplug all items and turn off all wall switches on the circuit until you repair the faulty area. If you see sparks, you’ve found the short. To see if the fault is in one of your appliances, check them individually with a continuity tester or have an electrical contractor locate and correct the problem for you.

Circuits near water, plumbing, or outdoors should be protected with a safety device known as a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI senses minute changes in current flow and quickly shuts off the power before shock can occur.

Electricity is dangerous only when it flows outside your wiring system. Pulled by the earth’s magnetic force, it automatically seeks to return to earth along the most convenient path. If electricity leaks and finds a path outside of the established wires, shock or fire can occur.

To prevent leaks, otherwise known as short circuits, electrical networks depend upon a grounding system. If circuit wires fail, the grounding system provides a channel for electricity to safely follow.

As stated in the beginning of this article, in order to properly install an electrical system it is crucial to find a highly qualified electrical contractor to wire your home or to make changes to your current system