The electrical system of a house is the lifeblood of its residents and helps turn the house into a home. Electricity helps do more than turn on the lights. It keeps the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The television, refrigerator, microwave, and stove are all the main consumers of electricity throughout the year. Without electricity, your hot water heater would be nothing more than a space saver or a fancy water fountain.
While electricity is not necessarily as important as food, water or air; it enables survival and comfort that were historically unimaginable. With the critical role of electricity in the modern world apparent to everyone, it is important that homeowners know what symptoms are indicative of a failing electrical system.
The simple and most basic truth is that you are not in control of all the variables that affect your home. The electricity that you use is provided by the power company that can use a variety of resources to generate electricity. Some of the methods are coal, steam, or nuclear, and they are all different. In ideal circumstances, you will receive a nice even flow of electricity to your home that is modulated and regulated.
The power company takes responsibility for the supply of electricity from the power origin from the power plant all of the way to the pole outside of your home.
The power coming from the electric company through the wires you see going from pole to pole as you drive down the road is stepped down at the transformer before it reaches your home. In most cases, the responsibility for maintenance by the power company will end here although the output side of the meter on the side of the house is where most homeowners identify the beginning of their repair responsibility.
The meter does belong to the power company and may be a better place to begin the conversation of identifying electrical problems in the home.
Blackouts are when there is a total loss of power in a segment of supplied electricity. Rarely is there a single home blackout but it does happen. In the case where neighborhoods experience blackouts with a regular frequency it may be an indicator that your home is going to have major electrical problems. There are many causes of blackouts, but they are symptoms of a more pervasive problem.
Fluctuations in electricity cause significant harm to the entire system and will result in expensive problems. If the current from the electrical company falls below the basic necessity of the homes supplied electricity, you may notice your 60 watt bulbs at home burn with less intensity than your 60 watt bulbs at work. Low currents destroy the switches and relays causing them to generate excessive heat and weld the moving parts together.
When relays stick and weld the current can run unimpeded, and the risks of a fire dramatically increase. Admittedly, it is very difficult to demand better service from the utility company in the form of user-friendly electricity. There are measures that can be taken on the homeowner side to help smooth out the flow of electricity and consultation with a local electrician will help you identify some of the options available.
If your home experiences many blackouts, you should have regular inspections for component damage by a professional annually and install some for of current regulators in the homeowner side of the system.
Flickering lights are telling you a story about your home, and it is a good idea to listen. There are no moving parts in a light bulb with the exception of the flow of electricity. When lights throughout the home blink in Morse code and you are blowing many bulbs for no reason, it is time to call an electrical inspector. The modulation of electricity should result in a nice and even flow of electricity from the electrical panel to the light bulb.
The circuit panel regulates the maximum amount of power that can pass through the line, but it does not make the electricity flow in a steady stream. If the electricity is in a constant state of flux, the risk of damage can result in more than a blown light bulb. If the lights are not receiving even currents than the other devices in your home are not either.
Have you been replacing electrical devices more frequently and unexplainably? When electrical systems begin malfunctioning, they will have voltage swings that are cause destruction to your sensitive, and often expensive products such as computers, televisions, hair dryers, and anything else you plug in. Circuit boards are responsible for complex electrical signal conversions and any deviations in system protocols can leave you empty handed.
Warranties do not replace electrical surges that result from consumer causes. Unfortunately, what is classified as a consumer cause is interpreted very loosely and includes external power surges. If you are replacing too many items, you need an electrical makeover.
If you suspect your home of falling short of providing you good, safe electricity, you should call a repair technician with experience in electrical repair like Bob Heinmiller. Homes that use too much electricity do to power losses through heat transfer may not give you many symptoms of bigger problems. Electrical energy converts into heat loss and costs you money.
Heat is an issue in and of itself raising the potential for fire hazards leading to potential property damage or bodily harm. Inspections are not expensive and can put your mind at ease. An inspection will identify opportunities for improvement, hazards needing attention, or even a clean bill of health.
Ray Donato is a do-it-yourself enthusiast who strives to keep his home in working order. However, he can’t handle everything himself, and for electrical problems especially he reminds readers to call an expert. If you wish to learn more about Ray you can visit on Google+.