Preventive electrical maintenance saves money. Not only can it prevent emergency calls to an electrician (which always costs more money), but it could save your life. Between 1999 and 2003, arcing started 10% of the total home fires reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). That’s 3,770 homes in which 240 deaths occurred.
Of these fires, 45% occurred without any equipment being involved, yet 41% of these arcing caused home fires could be attributed to the electrical distribution system, lighting and HVAC system in the home. A mere 6% occurred in the kitchen.
These are all electrical systems that can be checked by a qualified electrician. Resistance in electrical wires can be detected by the proper equipment. By having your home inspected once a year, you ensure that you aren't letting potential problems build up.
Electrical Maintenance - HVAC Systems
With HVAC systems causing 11% of arc related electrical fires, a regular inspection of your HVAC system is important. One of the advantages of performing routine maintenance on an HVAC system is that you can identify signs that a problem is developing before you’re faced with a serious issue. While this won't tell you when the problem will actually occur, it will help you plan your budget, so major repair or replacement costs don't come as a surprise.
Electrical Maintenance - Electrical Panel
Circuit breakers wear out and so do power supplies. If your home still uses fuses, seriously consider replacing the fuse box with a circuit breaker panel. Of if your home has an older electrical panel with only 60-amp service consider an upgrade. Signs that an electrical panel is developing problems include lights flickering, snapping sounds coming from the electrical panel, lights turning off without explanation or power still going to outlets after the breaker has been turned off. These aren't problems to take lightly. Prompt action is necessary to prevent the potential for a house fire.
If a breaker feels warm, it could be going bad. Or it could have too many outlets attached to it. An electrician can test for the number of outlets connected to the breaker and evaluate whether the right breaker has been installed and whether modifications may be needed on the electrical system.
An electrician can help you identify what each circuit in your home is able to handle. You might discover that adding a new circuit or two may be all that is necessary to prevent tripped breakers and overheated wires.
Electrical Maintenance - Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets wear out. If plugs won't stay in the outlet, it's time to replace the outlet. Both arcing fires and overheating fires can be caused by worn out outlets.
Electrical Maintenance - Hiring an Electrician
There are many things a licensed electrician can discover that most home owners don't have the equipment to test for. The key is to make sure you are hiring a licensed electrician who is also properly bonded and insured.
Many electrical maintenance jobs don't require a permit, but anything major, such as replacing the electrical panel will. Beware of an electrician who does work without proper permits. It could be sign that the contractor does shoddy electrical work. It's just not worth putting your life on the line.
At Baker & Sons we have years of residential and commercial electrical experience. We have helped Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte County property owners maintain their electrical systems in safe condition for 23 years.
Call us today at (941) 377-3602 for an evaluation of your electrical system. We'll give you an honest assessment of the status of your electrical system. If we discover any electrical issues, we will explore all the solutions and help you as a Florida property owner to find the best short and long-term option for your budget.