If you’re like the average homeowner, you probably expect the lights to come on when you flip the switch. When you plug something in, you expect that thing to turn on, as it has been connected to a stable and safe energy source. What you don’t expect is something to go wrong, resulting in potential damage to your home or failure in your electrical infrastructure. However, this is exactly what can happen when your electrical system becomes deficient. Deficiency can develop over time, as wear and tear from daily use take their toll on various components, but it also is happening each and every day as our dependence on electricity increases.
Here are four ways your electrical system may be deficient, and what you should do to rectify the issue in order to keep your electrical system safe and secure.
Insufficient Safety Features
While electricity is tremendously powerful and convenient, it’s also a potentially dangerous form of energy. Electrocution injuries can be extremely serious, and potentially even fatal, meaning mishandling electricity could have serious consequences. Fortunately, the risk of using electricity has gone down significantly as the decades have gone by, thanks to radical improvements and the implementation of safety features and systems that both stabilize our electrical connection and shut off to keep you protected in the event of a sudden problem.
If your home is missing one or more of these key safety features, your electrical system should be considered deficient. Not having things like ground fault circuit interrupters installed where water might be present or appropriate outlet protection to prevent accidental short circuiting opens you up to a substantial amount of risk. By installing these protections, you can enjoy a safer and more reliable electrical system.
All modern electrical systems have a ground wire connected to them. A ground wire is sort of like a “safety valve” for electrical current—should too much current flow through a line, the excess will be dumped onto the ground where, where it can be safely disposed of directly into the ground. This prevents problems like wire overheating, which can cause fires and plenty of other issues.
While most homes these days are built with a ground circuit installed, not all outlets or electrical devices are properly grounded as well. In fact, if you pull an outlet out of your wall and find that the ground wire is simply connected to a metal nail that’s hammered partially into a stud in your wall, then that outlet is not protected by a proper ground. If you have any outlets in your home that are not connected to your ground circuit, then your home is not properly protected, and your electrical system should be considered deficient.
Lack of Surge Protection
Surge protection is growing increasingly necessary in today’s electricity-dependent world. Our electrical grids are slowly wearing out due to age and wear and tear, and the demand on them has never been higher than it is today. This means surges, while rare now, may become increasingly more common, and that means your entire electrical system could be at risk. That’s why you need surge protection, and yet the average home doesn’t have nearly enough.
What do you stand to lose in the event of a power surge? The answer: possibly everything. Anything not plugged into active surge protection could be irreparably damaged in a power surge, including data centers, expensive appliances, and medical equipment. While single-outlet surge protection is one way to solve the issue, we recommend whole-home surge protection so everything connected to power in your home is protected at all times.
Older homes are great because they possess charm and history that modern buildings simply can’t match. However, older homes also come with a number of additional issues and challenges that make owning and maintaining them more difficult. One of the biggest challenges is that older homes were not built with modern living conditions and expectations in mind, and thus they’re usually not designed to handle what we need from them. This is particularly true when it comes to electrical systems, as most older homes were built to different standards and with different demands in mind.
What does that mean for you? It means your electrical system could very well be pushed to its limits by simple day-to-day living, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. When your electrical system is used to capacity, various components will wear out faster. When this happens, they’ll stop working, and when they stop working, damage could happen. That’s why it’s important to update and rebuild your electrical system and modernize it—this allows you to keep your older home both reliable and safe, even under modern electrical demands. This may involve a full electrical remodel, replacing your panel, or installing new high-voltage lines that have the capacity to feed modern appliances like HVAC systems, EV chargers, or electric washers and dryers.Tired of your deficient electrical system? Call Lightning Bug Electric at (404) 471-3847 today to have your system inspected and let our team perform the upgrades needed to keep you and your home safe.