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As a leading emergency electrician in the Wilmington, NC area, we’ve seen a lot of wiring gone wrong. It reminds us that what we’re doing helps people live well and also safely with the power of electricity. We want our customers to feel comfortable in their homes, knowing that their wiring and fixtures are professionally designed and installed. We know that every detail is essential to ensure that your family’s safety is protected, from the right choice of wiring strategy and materials to the connection of each outlet, light fixture, and appliance. When we respond to emergency service calls we often see the cost of improper wiring and installation as families deal with the consequences. At Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC, our skilled professionals are here to help you live safely with the convenience of electric power.
What Was Once Great Wiring Can Become Troublesome Over Time
Nicks, twists, and pulls on the wires in your wall can cause problems that increase over time, leading to breaks in-ground wires, wires heating up across bad connections, and poor outlet, switch, and fixture connections due to changes in the wire tension. Water leaks and moisture in the walls and ceiling can also cause issues with wiring including corrosion and eventual heat generation from the corroded connection, damage inside the wires from moisture finding its way through the wire’s insulation, and corrosion hidden in fixtures that develops dangerous issues over tie. The most significant problem with moisture in the short term can also be the risk of shock as power is conveyed through wet surfaces, and over the long term, the corrosion can lead to significant heating and fire that originates in hidden areas. If these problems occur in the electric panel, the dangers can be severe.
Wiring Materials and Techniques
What was once a great idea during a past copper shortage turned out to be a headache for homeowners and electricians alike as we deal with aluminum wiring in homes that are now decades old. Combining dissimilar metals such as aluminum and copper can be problematic, too, leading to more training for electricians as we learned how to safely connect aluminum wires to copper and to outlets, switches, and fixtures.
It’s not safe to simply twist wires of the two metals together, and special splicing materials and mechanisms need to be used. Without these precautions, issues can arise that lead to heating, melting of socket and switch materials, and ignition. Our licensed electricians can help homeowners with aluminum wiring determine how to safely work with it.
Another issue that requires specialized knowledge is the use of push-in connectors on power outlets rather than the screw-based connectors most people are used to. Push-in can be just fine in many cases, but certain types of wire used in the past may not be appropriate for use in these connections. It’s safer to just use the screw connector with older wires and avoid an emergency electrician call.
The Right Wire and Fuse or Circuit Breaker for the Purpose
Mix-and-match materials are another hidden hazard that our emergency electricians sometimes find. It’s another case of wiring that often works until it doesn’t, and then there are problems, sometimes big ones. Your home’s circuits are rated for a certain current, such as 15 Amps or 20 Amps. The wiring used usually corresponds to that rating, and the fuse or circuit breaker is selected to interrupt the circuit if the load goes higher, demanding more current from items like hairdryers and space heaters, or from a short circuit at some location along the line.
If there are problems with the circuit breaker or fuse, such as improper rating or somehow disabling its protective operation (unfortunately not uncommon), excessive current loads can lead to heating up and emergency electrician calls. If the wire is not rated for the current being allowed by an improper breaker, it could also heat up from the high current draw with an emergency electrician call to follow. The same principle applies to extension cords and power strips.
Power outlets should be configured to use plugs that correspond to the proper voltage and current also, but could be misconfigured. Temporary, unwise “fixes” performed years ago are often left in place, leading later users to make unfortunate assumptions about electrical protection and requiring a visit from an emergency electrician.
Extension Cords Provide a Host of Hazards
The thing about extension cords is that they tend to be used where proper wiring isn’t available. They are run across walkways, under rugs, even strung through the air to reach a destination. Along the way, they can encounter water, vacuum cleaner wear, shoes crushing them, hidden damage occurring under the rug, breaks in the wire from frequent bending, and of course, curious children and pets. Extension cords damaged in these ways can heat up from broken and thus thinner wiring, items in the outlets, corrosion from liquids straying into them, and crimps that cause shorts. They can also bring shock hazards to unexpected places. All of these lead to, you guessed it, emergency electrician visits because the problem may arise in the extension cord or power strip. However, it may also affect the house wiring and require repair.
When to Call an Emergency Electrician
Safety is the key to our success, and we want you to know that it’s important to recognize potential hazards and act. Acrid smells, buzzing or sparking sounds, irregular power dimming lights or disrupting your devices, and smoke are key signs of possible trouble.
Your Electrical Safety Resource and Expert Electricians
At Mister Sparky of Wilmington we’re your emergency electricians and general purpose professional electricians who are ready to answer your questions about electrical safety and help you avoid problems with existing wiring hazards. As licensed, experienced electricians we’re also your best call for quality wiring and electrical services for your home and business. Give us a call and stay safe.