8 Things Your Electrician Wants You to Know

9 August, 2023
8 things your electrician wants you to know

Any experienced electrician in Etobicoke will tell you that homeowners don’t have to call a professional for every electrical issue. Some electrical problems, like tripped circuit breakers, can be fixed by yourself.

Before calling an electrician, it’s essential to understand some basic troubleshooting skills. This way, you can avoid a home emergency and avoid calling someone over when you don’t need to.

With that said, here are eight things your electrician wants you to know about your home’s electrical system.

1. Understand the Purpose of GFCI

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is installed in most bathrooms, usually at least six feet from a water source. You should be able to find the GFCI on the outlet next to your bathroom sink.

This mechanism has a safety function which will cut off power to an electrical socket in the event of a power surge. This feature protects the homeowner and occupants from a deadly mix of electricity and water.

It’s important to note that many buildings have interconnected circuits, meaning the GFCI can cut off power to other sockets if triggered. If other areas of your home aren’t receiving any power, your GFCI could be the culprit.

Press the “reset” button on the GFCI socket, and your power should return to normal. Otherwise, call an electrician in Etobicoke right away.

2. Don’t Tape Down Your Circuit Breaker

It’s common for some people to tape down a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. In their mind, if they tape the breakers, they don’t have to worry about their power going out during a surge.

This event is an electrician’s worst nightmare. A circuit breaker is designed to trip as a safety precaution during an electrical overload. A tripped circuit breaker is your first defense against fire and electrical shock.

If your circuit breaker frequently trips, you should instead unplug some appliances in affected areas of your home.

3. Wiring Does Need to be Replaced

If you’re living in a new home, you don’t have to worry about replacing your home’s wiring for a while. Wiring generally lasts at least 50 years. When it gets old, the insulation around the wires can break and become hazardous in your home.

For this reason, you should consider calling an electrician in Etobicoke if your home is over 50 years old. Another thing to note is that many homes built before 1973 usually are constructed with aluminum wiring.

Aluminum wiring is much more of a fire hazard than copper wiring found in modern homes. Therefore, anyone living in a historic home should contact an electrician for a wiring inspection.

4. Turn off Your Appliances During a Power Outage

If your power goes out during a storm, you should first turn off your appliances.

While the power outage won’t damage your home’s electrical system, it’s essential to remember that all your appliances will turn on at once when your power is restored.

This simultaneous power usage can cause a circuit overload, damage your electrical system, and leave your home without power again.

5. Pay Attention to the Warning Signs

You should never ignore the symptoms of a faulty home electrical system. As a homeowner, here are some warning signs you should pay close attention to:

  • Beware of malfunctioning circuits that get too hot. Malfunctioning circuits are a fire hazard that shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you’re likely dealing with a dangerous electrical short that should be taken care of immediately.
  • If you smell any burning electrical odours, turn off all power at your master circuit breaker and call an electrician immediately.

None of these issues aren’t DIY repairs. Contacting an electrician in Etobicoke is typically your best and only option for a long-term solution.

6. Don’t Always Trust Wire Colour Codes

Electricians, no matter their level of experience, do make mistakes sometimes. A possible mistake is mislabeling electrical wiring. Depending on the person that does or previously did work in your home, they could mislabel the wires. If so, this could be a significant problem.

For example, you must perform minor electrical work, like installing a new ceiling fan. In that case, you must know the basics of electrical wiring colours. They are as follows:

  • White wires are neutral
  • Green wires are ground
  • Black wires are hot

If any of these wires is mislabeled, you could risk starting an electrical fire. Therefore, you should never trust that the above wire colour codes will work for your home. Doing so could lead to a rude awakening if you aren’t careful.

7. Always Make Sure There is a Ground

Many homeowners are left wondering what to do when they discover a plug they want to use has three prongs, but their outlet only has two. A great idea is replacing the outlet with a three-prong design.

Before doing that, ensure all your plugs have a grounding bar. This grounding bar is the third prong. Plugging a wire into your outlet without a grounding bar can damage the appliance and cause an electrical shock.

8. Switch to Tamper-Proof Outlets

Tamper-proof outlets are electrical outlets that are safe for children and pets. Installing them doesn’t take any extra work, and they drastically reduce the chance of accidental electrical shock.

If you don’t already have these in your home, you should strongly consider buying them to keep your kids and pets safe.

Need Help from a Reliable Electrician?

Overall, it would be best to understand how your home electrical system works and some warning signs to watch out for. This knowledge will keep you safe and save you money in the process. If you are facing an electrical emergency, you should immediately call an electrician in Etobicoke for an inspection.

To request service, call Hi-Lite Electric Inc. at 416-800-5536 (in Toronto), 289-236-1333 (in York), or 289-236-1347 (in Peel), or contact us here.

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