Electrical outlets are essential to any person’s daily life and are among the most used electrical fixtures. Despite their importance, some homeowners often overlook them. Often, such homeowners will only think of their electrical outlets when they start malfunctioning. However, you should be proactive and take steps to address the problem early before it causes damage to your home. Therefore, it is recommended that you enlist an electrical services provider for a regular inspection of your electrical systems to catch the problems early. Below are some of the instances where you should change the outlet.
When Changing from a Series Circuit to a Parallel Circuit
Many homeowners have now embraced switching from series to parallel circuits. If you’re still stuck using a series connection, it might be about time you think of shifting too. Unlike series circuits, parallel connections allow you to deduce some appliances to individual switches. Many modern homes consider the benefits of parallel-connected outlets as the motivation for switching from series connections. With parallel connected outlets, the electrical system will have mechanical resistance to current flow, increasing current. Are you still using series-connected circuits? Consider enlisting an electrician to help you change to parallel. This has the additional benefit of ensuring the outlets don’t experience faults simultaneously.
Was your home built in the mid-60s? It could still be having the 2-prong outlets, which aren’t grounded. The NEC (National Electric Code) mandates installing 3-prong grounded wire in all buildings constructed after 1965. Ungrounded, 2-prong outlets pose a shock, electrocution, or fire hazard. They also damage devices whenever power surges arise. Hire an electrical services provider to install modern GFCI and 3-prong outlets to avoid the risks above. GFCI outlets prevent ground fault accidents whenever they detect a current drop by shutting the circuit off.
The Outlet Contacts are Worn Out
Do your outlets feel loose whenever you plug in something? You should check the device to see if the plug doesn’t fit into the electrical outlet. Maybe the plug is bent. If it is not, then try to plug in something else. If the same problem arises, then the contacts of your electrical outlet may be worn out. Loose, worn contacts are a ticking time bomb because they could cause missed electrical connections, resulting in arcing. Guess what? Arcing is the leading cause of electrical fires. Hence, if the electrical contacts of your outlets are loose or worn, enlist an electrician for a replacement service.
When You Want to Install Smart Outlets
Technology has evolved a mile and continues to evolve. There are smart thermostats, pipes, ACs, and electrical outlets today. If you want peace of mind while away from home, enlist an electrician to install smart electrical outlets. With these outlets, you’ll never have to wonder whether you’ve turned off an appliance or unplugged it. Their smart operations mean they’ll only power an appliance when needed and disconnect it when fully charged or not in use. This means you’ll save on electrical utility bills. These wireless, smart outlets can control and monitor appliances from anywhere. They allow you to turn the lights, heaters, electronics, and other appliances on and off, whether at home or away. They allow you to stop the phantom load from increasing energy utility bills.
To Avert the Danger of Electric Fires
According to USFA, 20% of all direct property damages in the US are caused by fires resulting from electrical faults. The worst thing about electrical fires is when you see smoke on the outlet; electric sparks may already start a fire within your walls. In many instances, unattended electrical outlets might result in arcing.
Electrical arcs could heat up to 1500F -1800F. With such high heat levels, flammable materials and wood-studded walls might catch fire within seconds. Replacing the malfunctioning and old electrical outlets could help you avert the risk of such fires. Do the electrical outlets at your home show signs of scorching, smoke, or discoloration? Are they hot to the touch? It might be time you have an electrical services provider inspect your system and replace such outlets.
If the Outlets Have Visible Burn Marks
Do some of your electrical outlets have burn marks? This is a surefire sign that they need some facelift. When the burn marks appear on your electrical outlets, that is normally a sign it may be melting. This is an indicator of shorts within your electrical system. The burn marks on the outlets are major because of recurrent sparking. If that outlet is directly connected to your appliances, like refrigerators or TVs, you risk damages that could prove excessively expensive.
In such an instance, your best option is to enlist an electrician to replace them immediately after you notice this. The professional electrician will inspect the fittings within your walls to ensure any other faults are addressed. Hence, you’ll have peace of mind that your home will be at such risk by the time they are through. With a revamped power system and new electrical outlets, you’re unlikely to face electrical outlets burning or melting.
The Outlet Isn’t Working
With continued use, there comes a time when the outlet will stop functioning altogether. Unfortunately, some homeowners insist on repairing the electrical outlet even when they are no longer functional. If yours has ceased functioning, the best thing is for you to replace it. Are you unsure if the outlets are functional? Enlist the help of an electrical services provider for an inspection. In many instances where the electrical outlets stop functioning, the issue could be deeply rooted in your system, not just around them.
We Can Help with Your Electrical Needs Like Outlet Replacement
Do you need help with whatever electrical problem? Contact us at Mister Sparky of Wilmington. Our knowledgeable, licensed, and friendly electricians will inspect your system and recommend the best solution.
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A Simple Guide For Finding A Good Electrical Services Provider
The electrical system forms an integral part of almost every home. In addition to making it possible for you to keep your home adequately lit, it helps you to safely power the various appliances that make a living in your home more convenient and comfortable. Although your electrical system may be quite durable and reliable, it is not indestructible. This is because it can develop problems that can make it ineffective and even pose safety concerns. For instance, some electrical faults can cause a power outage in your house or cause your light bulbs to blow out. The wiring might also overheat and put your house at risk of catching fire.
However, no matter how simple you think a given electrical issue is, you should never be tempted to fix it on your own. This is because electrical jobs, in more cases, are more complex and dangerous than they seem. Therefore, if you decide to try DIY electrical solutions, you may get seriously hurt and eventually fail to fix your issue as expected. As such, you need to have a professional electrical services provider you can call when you have an electrical problem in your house. Unfortunately, since there are many electricians who cannot be trusted, finding a good electrician near you may not be easy. If you are looking for an electrician you can trust with all your residential electrical issues, here is a simple guide you can follow.
Search the Internet and Ask Around
If you have never hired an electrician again or are new in town, you are probably wondering where you should start. Fortunately, you can simply take your smartphone or computer and search for the best electricians near you. Furthermore, you can talk to your friends and acquaintances and ask them to refer you to the electricians they know. By taking these simple steps, you will create a list of the electricians you can potentially hire. However, we don’t advise you to settle for an electrician simply because they have been recommended by a person you know. Instead, you need to do more research about the electrician on your list for you to make an informed choice.
Check Online Customer Reviews
Of course, after creating a list of the electricians, you can potentially, you want to know what other people have to say about them. To this end, you can go to online customer reviews websites like BBB and Yelp. Of course, it is very hard for you to find a business without some negative reviews. However, if an electrical services provider has received so many negative reviews that their overall rating is way below average, you should not trust them with your electrical system. This is because they may be incompetent or unprofessional. Therefore, although online reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, they can help you to identify the electricians that are not worthy of your attention.
Considering the dangers that poorly done electrical jobs can pose, electricians are regulated by local authorities. Indeed, for electricians to offer their services legally, they need to get adequately trained, acquire some experience, and pass some tests. Qualified electricians have to be issued with licenses that serve as proof of their competence. If you make the mistake of hiring an unlicensed electrician, you will risk receiving substandard electrical services since they may be incompetent. Therefore, as you shop for an electrician, licensing is one of the most important factors to consider. A good electrician will be happy to show you their licenses. Therefore, if the electrician you are about to hire is reluctant to prove they are licensed, it is likely that they are unlicensed, and you should not take the risk of trusting them with your electrical system.
Electrical jobs usually involve the risk of accidents. Therefore, even if you hire the most competent electrician near you, they will be at risk of getting involved in electrical accidents that could leave them with severe injuries. Unfortunately, this means that you might be at risk of getting held financially liable for the physical injuries they might sustain while working on a given electrical issue in your house. The good news is that some electrical services providers protect their customers against such risk by ensuring that they are adequately insured. If your electrician is insured, you will not have to worry about such risks since their insurance will cover them. Therefore, as you shop for a residential electrician near you, insurance is a critical factor to consider. Indeed, before you can trust a given electrician with your electrical system, you need to ask if they are uninsured. If they aren’t, then you should not hire them.
Ask About Warranties
No matter how competent an electrician may be, they can make mistakes and fail to address a given electrical problem as it should be addressed. In other words, even a seemingly good electrician can fail to meet your expectations. Unfortunately, this means that you might end up spending more money on the same issue soon. The good news is that some electricians are willing to back up their promise of quality with their own money. They do this by offering warranties for the services offered. With a warranty, you can rest easy knowing you have the right to get the job at hand redone for free should your electrician fail to resolve it decisively. As such, before you can settle for a particular electrician, you should ask them if they will give you a warranty for the services you need. If the answer is negative, you should not hire them.
Although finding a good electrician can be tricky, this guide should make it easier for you. If you are looking for a dependable electrician near you, Mister Sparky of Wilmington is an excellent choice. We have been handling residential electrical issues for many years, and our reputation is above board. Call us for more information about our company and service.
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Can Electrical Issues Affect The Performance Of Your HVAC? Tips From Your Trusted Electrician
An HVAC system guarantees the comfort of your home during the extreme weather season. This is a heating or cooling electrical appliance comprising different parts. An HVAC system is among your home’s biggest electrical power consumers, and all that power guarantees comfort. Unfortunately, the same electricity that powers the unit can also be why it becomes faulty. HVAC systems are high-voltage appliances. It means that unless you are an electrician, HVAC professional, or trained to handle electrical repairs, you shouldn’t try repairing the unit yourself. So, how can electrical issues result in damage to your electrical unit?
Has your HVAC stopped working after a huge storm or hurricane? That could be because of a power outage. If there’s been a thunderstorm around your area, the lightning strikes and heavy rains may cause power outages. The wet ground around the electrical poles might not be able to sustain them, making them fall and submerge in water, resulting in short-circuiting. The same will happen when the trees fall on electrical transmission lines. Lighting strikes cause power surges, triggering surge arrestors and protectors, opening the electrical circuits at your home to protect the appliances.
If power returns after the storm, there’s a sudden surge of power to the system, tripping the circuit breaker. This happens to protect the appliance from getting too much power suddenly. This is an issue that can be addressed by resetting the breaker. However, if, even after setting the breaker, the HVAC doesn’t turn on, that means the unit might have sustained more damage, such as blown start capacitors. To protect your home from outages, liaise with an electrician to install backup power sources and pair them with an automatic transfer switch.
Circuit Breakers Tripping Too Often
Does your breaker trip too frequently? This can be mainly caused by either one of two things—a power surge or a circuit overload.
When you turn on the HVAC, a tripping breaker is a sign your home might be experiencing too high a current flow, otherwise called a power surge. Power surges are too common in North Carolina because it is among the most vulnerable to storms and hurricanes. During thunderstorms, lightning is among the main causes of power surges. The tripping of the breaker is to prevent that much power from flowing into your electrical system and appliances and causing damage. Hence, a circuit breaker is a protective electrical fixture. Does the breaker trip when you turn on the HVAC? Try resetting it. If it trips again, you should turn off the HVAC and immediately call an electrician for a further inspection.
Many issues could be causing the breaker to trip frequently, both from the unit or in your electrical wiring. For instance, the system might have low refrigerant, a bad capacitor, a short fuse, or even faulty wiring. There are electrical problems that could also see the breaker trip, especially when you turn on the HVAC. If the HVAC is not properly grounded, it could be exposed to ground faults. Other issues include short-circuiting, resulting in problems like arcing. Nonetheless, if the breaker is tripping when you turn on the unit, You should have it inspected by an electrical technician.
The other electrical issue affecting your HVAC is if connected to an overloaded circuit. As explained in the introduction, these cooling and heating appliances are high-power-consuming. Resetting the breaker after it trips differs from the answer to such problems. It is like treating a symptom without addressing the cause. Eventually, the breaker will trip again. Instead, you should have a professional inspect your unit or electrical system for faults causing this. If the appliance pulls, it takes more power than your circuit is designed to handle. Any changes in the system use or blockage in the airflow will result in the system staining, pulling more electrical power that results in the circuit breaker tripping. There are many causes, including blocked airflow, clogged filters, and faulty thermostats.
The wiring to or in your HVAC can also experience issues like damage to insulation caused by wear and tear. If the insulation is damaged, that leaves the wires exposed. This could cause shorts that shut the entire system down. Naked wires in the HVAC or other parts of your electrical system can result in arc faults. This is where the electrical current jumps in from one conductor to another rather than flowing safely within the wire. Unfortunately, this results in sparking or arcing that can cause an electrical or HVAC fire. This especially happens when the vibrations caused by the HVAC blower motor shake the wiring loose from its connections.
Electrical wiring issues in the thermostat will also affect your HVAC’s working. The thermostat is like the brain of your unit, and if it isn’t working correctly, then the unit won’t. Faulty installations, damaged wiring, loose connections, jammed heat anticipator, or circuit board failure are all issues affecting thermostat performance. Does your HVAC seem to run without achieving the intended temperatures? That could be because of the many electrical wiring issues listed above. Additionally, the electrical wiring to the thermostat may be faulty, showing a blank screen.
When the HVAC starts up, they experience power surges. This surge and that which happened immediately after a power outage could result in current overflow in the HVAC wiring. Unfortunately, this might result in electrical shorts or a fire hazard within the unit. If the air conditioner or furnace starts shutting off immediately after a power outage, have an electrician inspect the wiring for loose connections, damaged capacitors, or wiring.
Many electrical issues could make your HVAC not heat or cool your home as efficiently. Hence, regular inspections and electrical maintenance are critical to your comfort. Do you need such services? Contact us at Mister Sparky of Wilmington to book an appointment.
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What To Consider When Hiring A Professional Electrician
When your home or business is hit with electrical faults, you need an experienced person to look into the issue and restore power to your property. However, finding the right professional for the specific job at hand can be challenging for many homeowners. The market features different types of service persons with diverse training, rates, and services. We have compiled a list of things to consider when hiring electrical repair services near you.
Licensing and insurance
Electricians are typically required to have a license issued by the state or local municipality. However, not all maintenance specialists are keen to observe this rule. Before you contact any professional, you must verify their current license to ensure it is in good standing. Ideally, damaged wires and faulty electrical components can cause fires or injuries. For this reason, ensure the technician you are hiring is also insured. This will give you peace of mind should anything go wrong during your work.
One of the great ways to find the right expert is to ask friends and family about their experience with past electricians. Referrals minimize the risks of falling victim to scammers since people will likely tell the truth about their experience with specific services. If they had a good experience, they would always be more than happy to recommend them to you.
If you require stellar electrical services, it is crucial to hire an experienced person. Qualified personnel leverage their vast experience and training to fix electrical issues and maintain high standards of safety measures. Before contacting anyone, check out the number of years they have been in the industry. The right expert should have over three years of experience in the field and several certifications.
Another vital factor to consider when looking for an electrical service is its reputation. Researching online reviews is an easy way to determine whether past customers have been happy with the electrical services done on their premises. Check out customer reviews on the business website and other sites like Facebook and Google My Business.
Working with a technician who maintains high professional standards can make all the difference. An easy way to determine whether an electrician is professional is by observing their attitude during your initial interaction. The right person should be polite and attentive. They should also show compassion to make you feel valued when you first meet them. Subtle things such as appearance and honesty can reveal much about the person’s character.
The tools and equipment
Ensure the company you are hiring has the right tools and equipment for the job. They should have invested in basic tools such as voltage testers, wire strippers, wire cutters, and equipment such as cranes. If your emergency technician doesn’t have these things at hand, it could be a sign they are not fully prepared for the task ahead.
During emergencies, you need someone who will respond quickly to your needs. Electrical faults can happen at any time of the day, and having a responsive service gives you the peace of mind help is only a call away.
Comparing the electrical fees of different services is another easy way to find the right service for your needs. Get estimates from different services and choose the one with reasonable pricing. Once you have a list of licensed and well-reviewed services, contact each of them, describe your electrical repair, and ask them to send their estimate. Research the standard charges for similar repair services in your locality and compare them with the estimates you received from the electrical contractors.
It is also crucial to make sure the company you are hiring provides a warranty for their work. A warranty shows the company you are dealing with cares about its clients. Electrical works pose serious hazards that could damage appliances in your home. If something goes wrong, you are rest assured the company’s warranty will cover it.
When reviewing different electrical contractors, finding out about their teams might be a great idea. Ask about the team of experts who work for the company, including how long they have worked there and whether they have any electrical specialization. You should also determine their qualifications, including the required level of education. By getting answers to this question, you will know whether the service men coming into your home can help resolve the issue professionally and safely.
Safety and precautions
Before hiring an electrical service, determine whether they have outstanding safety clients for their workforce and clients. The right service should equip their team with crucial pipes that mitigate workplace hazards. They should also provide them with regular training to raise safety awareness during electrical work.
What constitutes an electrical emergency?
An electrical emergency is any event where people are at risk of electrocution, injuries, or fire resulting from an electrical failure. The following are some of the signs you have an electrical emergency in your home:
- Flickering lights: flickering lights are a typical sign of a severe problem, especially where the rest of the home electronics are also malfunctioning. Flickering lights are typically caused by faulty or overloaded wiring.
- Burning smells: burning wires produce a distinct smell of metal or plastic. If you can perceive the smell of burning wires, it is a sign of overheating. Shut off the power and call a 24/7 expert.
- Noisy breaker box: buzzing breaker box is a sign of a severe electrical fault. Contact a local electrical company with emergency services to look into the issue.
Contact the professionals for your electrical needs
As long as your home or business is connected to electricity, expect issues to occur with your electrical system. When this happens, contact a local electrical service to rectify the problem. Unfortunately, not all electricians are created equal. The tips we have shared above will help you find someone qualified and experienced for the job.
For decades, Mister Sparky of Wilmington has provided quality electrical services for homes and businesses. Our licensed and insured experts are ready to help resolve any electrical issues impacting your home. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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Electrical Problems? Hire An Electrician
Your electrical system is essential to your daily life, and many electrical problems can put your home and family at risk. You should never attempt a DIY electrical repair because, without the necessary training, you can make a mistake that could start an electrical fire or get electrocuted, which can be deadly.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, around 51,000 home electrical fires occur each year, resulting in billions of dollars in property damage, thousands of injuries, and hundreds of deaths. You should hire an electrical tech if your electrical system develops any of the following problems.
Circuits Trip Frequently
Your breaker box has a safety feature that trips a circuit when overloaded. This often occurs when there are too many high-power devices at the same time. If the circuits trip frequently, you should hire an electrical expert.
If the circuit trips due to an overload, but everything plugged in is necessary, the tech can upgrade the breaker box to handle your family’s electrical demand. If they find that you don’t have enough devices and appliances plugged in to cause an overload, there’s likely a shortage in the wiring that should be fixed immediately.
This problem should not be ignored for long because the longer you wait, the greater the risk of an electrical fire that can destroy your house in minutes.
An Outlet is Warm to the Touch
The outlets in your house should be the same temperature as the walls, and if an outlet feels warm to the touch, you should hire an emergency electrician. This problem is considered an emergency because it creates a significant fire hazard.
The most common cause of this problem is an overloaded circuit, which requires an upgrade to the breaker box. The problem could also be due to faulty wiring that must be fixed immediately to prevent an electrical fire. A device plugged into the outlet could also be the issue, so you should try to plug it into another outlet to see if it gets hot.
A tech will assess the issue to determine what needs to be fixed to keep your home and family safe.
Do your lights flicker when you run something that consumes significant energy, such as a vacuum cleaner or a major appliance? Ignoring the flickering lights is easy if it only happens when you run certain appliances. You shouldn’t ignore the problem because this is your electrical system’s way of telling you there’s a problem.
An electrical tech can upgrade the electrical system to handle your electrical demand, eliminating the risk of an electrical fire.
A Light Bulb Doesn’t Last as Long as the Rest
Incandescent light bulbs last around 1,000 hours, and fluorescent bulbs can last from 15,000 to 20,000 hours. If the bulb in just one light burns out frequently, there’s an issue with the socket or circuit.
You can keep replacing the bulb whenever it burns out, but this is just a band-aid solution. An electrical tech can repair the socket or circuit to prevent the bulbs from burning out quickly and will eliminate the risk of an electrical fire.
If you see quick blue sparks from an outlet, it isn’t cause for concern. If you plug and unplug a device when it’s on, it will create a blue spark, which isn’t dangerous. However, yellow or white sparks are a significant cause for concern, and you should hire an electrician immediately.
A few issues can cause these dangerous sparks, including:
- Electrical surges: An electrical surge can melt the coating off the wires behind the outlet. The wires are a conduit for heat and electricity, so the outlet will short circuit, creating a yellow or white spark.
- Water damage: If water gets into the outlet near the kitchen or bathroom sink, the water will damage the electrical outlet creating dangerous sparks. The same is true if a pipe behind the wall leaks and gets into the outlet.
- Normal wear and tear: When your outlets get old, normal wear and tear can break down the wire’s casing, causing the wire to break or loosen the outlets, creating dangerous sparks.
Dangerous sparks can cause an electrical fire or electrocution, so you should call an electrician as soon as the trouble starts.
You Use Extension Cords as Permanent Outlets
Old houses weren’t designed with outlets on every wall; a family’s electrical demand wasn’t what it is today. If you’re using extension cords in place of electrical outlets, you should hire an electrical tech.
Multiple extension cords and power strips can overload the electrical system because it can’t handle your electrical demand, which can be dangerous, creating a fire hazard. Also, extension cords create a tripping hazard. Some people hide the cords under an area rug, which increases the fire risk considerably.
The tech will install more outlets in each room and upgrade your electrical system to eliminate the need for extension cords, and you can run every appliance and device safely.
Call Mister Sparky of Wilmington Today
If your electrical system develops problems and you need to hire an electrician, look no further than Mister Sparky of Wilmington. Our owner, Tony Zack, started working in the electrical industry in 2004 and opened Mister Sparky Electrical in 2010.
Our techs are professionally trained and have the knowledge and skill necessary to diagnose and repair electrical problems safely.
We understand how serious some electrical problems are, so we provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you have an electrical emergency, we’ll get a tech to your house quickly to resolve the problem, ensuring your home and family are safe.
We know that your time is valuable, and we guarantee our tech will arrive on time. If, for some reason, they’re late, the service call is free. When the tech completes the job, they’ll leave your house in the same condition as when they arrived. Our techs drive fully-stocked trucks to make most repairs on the same day, eliminating the need for a second service call.
Call Mister Sparky of Wilmington to schedule an appointment or book online.
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