If you're a new homeowner, it's important to take a proactive approach to your home's electrical system. While it's useful to call a licensed electrician to perform any necessary work and inspect any problems that you notice, you can take some ownership by keeping regular tabs on how things are running. Even if you don't have much experience, a little attentiveness -- and a follow-up call to an electrician, if necessary -- can prevent you from having dangerous problems or major repair bills in the future. Here are three important electricity-related home maintenance steps.
Testing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Commonly known as GFCIs, ground fault circuit interrupters are a special type of wall outlet found in areas close to water. It's common to find this type of outlet in your bathroom and even around your kitchen sink. GFCI outlets are characterized by two buttons located between the outlets, labeled "Test" and "Reset."
The system is designed to quickly cut the power in the event the electrical item plugged into the outlet comes in contact with water. For example, if you drop a hair dryer in the sink, the GFCI will quickly shut off to prevent you from being electrocuted.
Press the "Test" button monthly. When you press it, doing so will pop the "Reset" button out, which is all you need to see to know that the outlet is working correctly. If it doesn't respond as it should, get in touch with an electrician.
Check Your Outlets
It might not be glamorous, but regularly checking the outlets throughout your home can provide an early warning sign of an issue that requires professional attention. Place your hand on each outlet to note if it's warm; if so, call an electrician immediately because there's a problem with the wiring.
Dusting or vacuuming outlets is a simple way to prevent them from getting clogged with dust and breaking down, while using safety covers is an important safety step if you have children in the home.
Take Note Of Cords
If you have multiple extension cords running into a single wall outlet or are running lengthy extension cords throughout your home to keep up with your electricity demands, it's time to take serious stock of this situation.
Overloading an outlet can not only cause the convenience of the associated circuit breaker tripping frequently, but can also be a fire hazard. Unplug some of the electronic devices that you don't use on a regular basis. If you can't come up with a solution that prevents you from overloading certain outlets, it's smart to call an electrician. One company that might meet your needs is Dr Electric.