This week’s Your Home covers electricity, something you don’t really think about unless it goes out, or if it’s not working properly. Ryan Peterson tells us everything we need to know, and how to do a few things ourselves.
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Electricity. It really has become one of those every day, modern conveniences we take for granted ever since the first light bulbs arrived over 140 years ago. Which means, when the power is out, life often becomes difficult. So it pays to understand how certain things work, and have an electrician on speed dial.
Electrician, Rob O'Keefe said, “It either works or it doesn't. A lot of times you don't know where the problem is because it's hidden inside the walls. Sometimes it's hard to find exactly where the problem is. As the homeowner shares more information it helps us diagnose the problem.”
Let's face it, when you're buying a home, if the lights work then you're usually satisfied with the electrical service. But you shouldn't stop there, especially if it's an older home.
O'Keefe said, “What they may not be aware of is missing ground wires, wrong light bulbs installed in fixtures and outlets that may not be working correctly. They may not be the right outlet for that application. Bathrooms, kitchens and the exterior all have to be GFI receptacles. A lot of homes still have the regular, standard receptacles.”
Now these look familiar. This is the main switch panels and circuit breaker in your home. Everyone knows how to switch the switch back if you blow a fuse. Everyone knows how to change a light bulb. But there are a lot of things, especially when it comes to installing panels like this one, that you are not going to want to do yourself.
“Go find the circuit panel box. If it's labeled, see if the name matches the number on the circuit breaker. For example, kitchen, look on the directory for it and reset it. If it doesn't reset, there's probably a problem you need to call an electrician for,” said O’Keefe.
O'Keefe reminds us to keep an eye out for trouble spots that could lead to serious problems like a fire. Warm outlets, corrosion, an obvious burning smell or flickering lights are all signs that there's a problem within your wiring.