Owning a home often comes with a long list of ongoing tasks that we need to constantly keep up with – not least of these tasks is electrical maintenance. Whether you like it or not, inspecting, maintaining, and repairing your home appliances or built-in wiring is something you will have to deal with sooner or later. Maintenance and prevention are hugely important when it comes to keeping your house’s electrical systems in tip-top shape.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of five essential tips you should keep in mind when preparing to do some electrical maintenance in your home.
Don’t overload your circuits
Circuit overloads occur when one socket is connected to too many appliances, usually due to extension cords and multi-plug adaptors that bring a flow of electrical currents that are too strong for the circuit. Overloading your circuits is a sure-fire way to overheat your electrical wiring which could cause an eventual house fire.
It’s essential to make sure you are using the appropriate amount of electrical appliances per power outlet. If you are using multiple extension cords or multi-plugs in your house, then your home does not have enough power outlets. As a general rule, your home should have at least one power outlet per 12 feet of wall space.
Keep an eye out for flickering or dimming lights and warm outlet/switch covers – these are good indications that you have too many appliances plugged into your outlets.
Check your power cords and outlets regularly
An overloaded circuit is just one major risk of poor electrical maintenance. Another is faulty electrical cords and outlets, which can also result in house fires and possible electrocution. It’s vitally important that you regularly check your power cords and outlets to make sure they are still in working condition.
Look out for cracks in the plastic and any fraying – if you notice any signs of damage to electrical cords or power outlets you should replace them, repair them, or call a professional for further inspection. But no matter what they should be unplugged until further notice.
While you’re checking for damage you should also ensure that your cords are in the right place – make sure they aren’t a potential tripping hazard, too close to water sources, or under rugs or furniture.
Label Your Circuit Breaker Box
A circuit breaker box is an essential component of your home electrical system, as it contains circuit breakers for every circuit in your home. When too much electrical current is flowing through one circuit, the breaker will cut off the circuit, giving you a chance to fix the overloaded circuit before disaster strikes.
You will need to access your circuit breaker box whenever you suspect this issue is occurring, so you can turn breakers on and off at will. But there are often so many different switches it can be hard to tell which needs to be turned off. For this reason, it is vital that you make sure every switch in your circuit breaker box is adequately labeled so you don’t cut off the wrong circuits.
Follow Safe Practises
If you’re about to do any maintenance or repairs on your home’s electrical system or appliances, make sure to follow all safety recommendations beforehand. This includes:
- Make sure to unplug anything that you are inspecting/repairing/cleaning
- Only use the correct and advised safety tools for repair
- Never use a metal ladder
- If you’re working outside, only use outdoor cords
- Place plastic protectors on unused outlets, particularly if you have small children in the house or visiting
Schedule Routine Checkups
Think of dental care – you do have to brush your own teeth every day, but it’s also vital to get a regular dental checkup. Well, the same can be said for electrical maintenance! We recommend scheduling a professional inspection of your home’s electrical system at least once per year. They can test your circuit breakers and electric panel, and replace any faulty or damaged wires in the house, as well as other important things that you will struggle to do on your own.
Don’t leave your electrical maintenance until it’s too late! If you need to schedule your annual electrical maintenance check-up in Atlanta, get in touch with our team at Way’s Electric. We offer one of the best affordable electrician services in the city and can address any electrical issues you might be experiencing.
Pros and Cons of Working As An HVAC Electrician
In recent years, millions of Americans have been returning to trades as a viable and lucrative career path. And many of those people have become interested in working as HVAC electricians. After all, virtually everyone has an HVAC system in their home, so there should be plenty of work to go around.
But it isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Today we’re going to share the pros and cons of working as an HVAC electrician, so you can decide if it’s the right career choice for you.
Pros of Working As An HVAC Electrician
There are plenty of pros to working in HVAC. Take a look at the major benefits below:
Work and Live Where You Want
HVAC systems are used practically everywhere in the US, and the number of systems that need servicing is only growing by the day. No matter where you go in this country, you’ll find people who need repairs, installation, maintenance, and all other services HVAC electricians provide.
For that reason, there’s an enormous amount of locational flexibility in this career. Whether you want to work in Georgia, California, Minnesota, it doesn’t matter – you’ll find demand for HVAC electricians.
Earn While You Learn
Once you’ve completed training, you’ll still need to do further on-site training – almost like an internship. But unlike internships in many other sectors, you’ll be paid from the moment you start on the job. This means that you’ll be earning while you gain those essential skills and experience, and you are likely to get pay raises as you learn and master more skills.
Build Your Problem-Solving Skills
Working as an HVAC electrician, you will find yourself constantly being thrust into positions where there is a problem, and you need to figure out how to fix it. You’ll have to constantly examine systems and draw on your skills, training, and experience to figure out which step to take.
Trouble-shooting and problem-solving are essential skills that you will develop on the job, but both of these skills transfer to almost every other part of your life. Being faced with new problems also keeps your work life exciting, so you’re unlikely to get bored on the job.
Refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating systems will be around for a long time, and people are going to need electricians to maintain and repair them. Future employment prospects for HVAC electricians look very good, so you can feel confident that you’ll be gainfully employed throughout your career.
You also don’t have to worry about your work being outsourced, or being replaced by AI technology. People will always need real electricians on the scene to work on their systems.
Cons of Working As An HVAC Electrician
Working in this field isn’t for everyone. Here are the cons of working as an HVAC electrician:
It’s Physically Demanding
Long hours, occasional heavy lifting, and having to move around in cramped, tight spaces are all side effects of the job. As a result, some people can find HVAC work too physically strenuous in the long-term. Working in these spaces in particularly hot or cold weather can make these issues worse. If you’re not prepared for physically demanding work, this may not be the job for you.
You May Have To Be On-Call
Some HVAC companies will provide 24-hour service, so depending on who you work for you may end up working some truly strange hours – anywhere from the middle of the night to excessively early in the morning. You can also expect to work more/fewer hours depending on the season.
Occupational Safety Hazards
While we wouldn’t describe the job as “dangerous,” there certainly are occasional occupational safety hazards. You will be working with heavy machinery and extreme temperatures so accidents can occur from time to time. Risks can be lowered significantly by getting certifications to work with specific machinery, so you can work more safely.
You Have To Keep Learning
For some people, this might actually be a pro of the job. But for many others, not so much.
HVAC technology is constantly evolving, and new products are always on the horizon. This means that HVAC electricians need to be constantly learning and developing new skills to keep up – it’s not enough to get licensed and leave it at that. If you’re not looking for a job that requires you to keep learning and evolving, it’s not the field for you.
There are good and bad sides to working as an HVAC electrician, but it really can be a very rewarding career path for those who are willing to embrace the challenges involved. Building new skills, career longevity, and flexibility are just some of the benefits that you can look forward to. If you’re having any issues with your own HVAC system, get in touch with our Atlanta-based team of electricians at Way’s Electric.