You probably don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about the state of your home’s electrical system. It’s one of those things that’s vital for your day to day life, but which typically doesn’t demand a whole lot of attention. Still, there are some possible upgrades to your electrical system that you really should consider, both for safety and convenience.
Every home has a breaker box, whether it uses circuit breakers or fuses. Now, fuse boxes are perfectly fine for their function, which is breaking the circuit in case of a power surge. However, they are at a disadvantage when compared to circuit breakers because of their need for more fuses. The fact that circuit breakers can just be reset without any part of them needing to be replaced makes them an attractive upgrade option. If you’re using a fuse box in your home right now, it might be worth replacing it with a circuit breaker.
There are two risks most commonly associated with electrical systems: electrocution and fire. Both of these are the result of the electrical current moving down a path it isn’t meant to follow. One of the best ways to prevent both of these issues is to install GFCI or AFCI outlets around the house. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, while AFCI stands for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. Both of these are designed to add an extra layer of protection to your electrical system.
A GFCI monitors the flow of electricity moving through it, which should be balanced between the system and the appliance. If the current is suddenly thrown out of balance, it usually means that it is flowing in a direction it should not be (into a person, or out of an appliance through a short circuit.) If this occurs, the outlet cuts off the flow automatically.
An AFCI outlets monitor the electrical current in the other direction, back through the wiring of the electrical system. Most house fires caused by electrical issues are due to a wiring problem inside the walls. When an AFCI outlet detects that the current inside the system is acting unusual, it shuts down the current to prevent further damage.
When you think about surge protection, you probably think about those plastic strips that you plug into your outlets. Those are all well and good for smaller power surges, but they can’t deal with higher voltage. If there is a possibility of stronger power surges that can affect the entire house, it might be better to install a dedicated surge protection system. This kind of system is a kind of advanced lighting rod, designed to redirect stronger electrical currents away from the system to prevent it from becoming damaged. It’s not necessary for every home, but it can be quite beneficial when it is.
Bell Plumbing and Heating provides a full range of electrical services in Lakewood, CO. if you need electrical services of any kind, contact us today for an appointment.
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