Debunking Home Electrical Myths

senior man attempting DIY electrical repair

As a homeowner, you may have heard various myths and misconceptions about home electrical systems. These myths can lead to confusion, unnecessary expenses, and even safety hazards. In this blog post, we will debunk some of the most common home electrical myths and provide useful tips for homeowners in Marietta, GA.

Myth 1: Power Surges Only Occur During Storms

While it is true that lightning strikes can cause power surges, they are not the only source. In fact, the Department of Energy states that up to 80% of power surges are caused by appliances and other electrical devices within the home. To protect your valuable electronics and appliances, it is essential to invest in surge protection devices, such as power strips with built-in surge protectors or whole-house surge protectors installed by a licensed electrician.

Myth 2: All Extension Cords Are Created Equal

Contrary to popular belief, not all extension cords are suitable for every purpose. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), extension cords are designed for specific uses, and using the wrong type can lead to overheating, fires, or electrical shock. Here are some tips to help you choose the right extension cord for your needs:

  • Check the cord's amperage rating to ensure it can handle the electrical load of the device you plan to use.
  • Choose an extension cord with a grounding wire (3-prong) for appliances that require grounding.
  • Opt for cords with a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label, which indicates they have been tested for safety.

Myth 3: You Can Safely DIY Electrical Repairs

While it may be tempting to save money by tackling electrical repairs yourself, it's important to remember that working with electricity can be dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), electrical hazards cause more than 30,000 non-fatal shock injuries each year. To avoid injury or damage to your home, it is best to hire a licensed electrician for electrical repairs and installations.

Myth 4: Flickering Lights Are Always a Sign of a Serious Problem

While flickering lights can sometimes indicate a more significant issue, such as loose wiring or an overloaded circuit, they can also be caused by less severe factors like a loose light bulb or an incompatible dimmer switch. Before assuming the worst, try tightening the light bulb or replacing the dimmer switch. If the problem persists, it's time to call a professional electrician to diagnose and repair the issue.

Myth 5: Turning Off Appliances Is the Same as Unplugging Them

Many people believe that turning off an appliance means it is no longer using electricity. However, this is not always the case. According to the Department of Energy, many devices continue to draw power even when they are turned off, a phenomenon known as "phantom energy" or "vampire power." To save energy and reduce your electric bill, unplug devices when they are not in use or use a power strip with a built-in switch to cut off power to multiple devices at once.

In conclusion, understanding the facts about home electrical systems can help you make informed decisions, save money, and keep your home safe. If you have any questions or concerns about your home's electrical system, the experts at Lightning Bug Electric are here to help. Our team of licensed and experienced electricians can provide a range of services, including debunking home electrical myths, to ensure your Marietta, GA home is safe and efficient. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

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