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Heading Back to School with Home Electrical 101

Discover the Basics of a Home Electrical System

Home electrical systems can be a mystery to many homeowners. This is understandable, as it takes considerable time and effort to learn all the details and dangers of dealing with electricity. But, as kids head reluctantly back to school and learning is in the air, many homeowners can benefit from a little education. The basics of a home’s electrical system aren’t complicated. And a basic understanding of how electricity works with that system can help homeowners properly maintain their home’s electrical system for years to come. 


Outlet Basics

Outlets and light switches are the places where household members most often interact with the electrical system. They both see a lot of use, which is why it’s important to know a little bit about them. While outlets might all look similar, there are several kinds out there. The most common are GFCI and 15A, 120-volt outlets. The National Electrical Code requires GFCI outlets to be installed in rooms with access to water, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and garages. These Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets reduce the chance of electrical shock by tripping quickly if they sense an imbalanced electrical load.
Other outlets in the home may all look similar if they don’t all have the “Test” and “Reset” buttons like GFCI outlets. Still, homeowners who notice that an outlet or a light switch is particularly warm to the touch, scorched black, smoking, or emanating a funny smell should shut off electricity to that room and call a professional. 

Outdoor Electrical

Like indoor rooms with access to water, all outdoor outlets should also be of the GFCI variety. Since outdoor outlets are exposed to the vagaries of weather, they need to protect against electrical shocks just like those indoor GFCIs. But it’s not the outdoor outlets that need these safety measures. Any outdoor appliances, such as ceiling fans or lights, also require special protection to prevent electric shock or fire. 

Those homes with pools will also have pool pumps and pool lights that one should also connect to a GFCI breaker or outlet. But GFCIs aren’t infallible. They can wear down over time and so need to be checked periodically by a professional electrician. 

Professional Helpprofessional

Most homeowners expect a certain amount of DIY home maintenance. After all, little things come up constantly that would cost a small fortune to fix if a professional was called in every time. But, there’s a fine line between responsible and dangerous DIY work. And when dealing with electricity, it’s best to err on the side of caution. 

A mistake when working with electricity can be deadly. Not only can electric shock stop the heart, among other unpleasant happenings, but installing an electrical appliance incorrectly can result in an electrical fire. This is why it’s important to call in a professional for significant electrical repairs and annual inspections. 

About Edison Electric, Inc.

The professional electricians at Edison Electric, Inc. have been serving Minneapolis, MN since 2007. Their techs are friendly, punctual, and always show up in fully stocked trucks. They also offer upfront pricing and hassle-free scheduling! Call now for electrical services!