This Month is Electrical Safety Month!

Practice Electrical Safety This Month and Always!

May is National Electrical Safety Month, meaning it’s the perfect time to check the electrical systems in a home or business to ensure they are functioning correctly and safely. Electrical issues can quickly cause dangerous problems, including electrical fires, so preventing them is essential. This blog post will discuss tips to avoid electrical hazards, like installing electrical safety devices, knowing what signs to watch for that indicate an overloaded electrical system and the importance of surge protection

Electrical Safety Devices

electricalIt’s essential to have electrical safety devices throughout a property to protect a household or business. Some common ones people should ensure are installed and functioning correctly are:

  • Fuses: These devices help prevent too much current from flowing through circuits. If too much electricity flows, the fuse will break – protecting appliances from power surges and helping prevent fires, but it cannot be reused. 
  • Circuit Breakers: These devices detect faults when the electrical current exceeds the maximum level. It interrupts the power supply to prevent fires and other risks. 
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): These can detect anomalies in the system and will cut power. It will trip, but it does not need to be replaced after every electrical fault. They should be used in areas with water to help prevent electric shock.

Warning Signs of Overloaded Electrical Systems

If someone has an overloaded circuit, it can pose numerous risks to their property. Overloading can cause breakers or fuses to shut off and stop electrical services. It can also pose the risk of electric fires if the wires overheat. 

Fortunately, people can help prevent the consequences of an overloaded circuit by watching for the signs before other problems develop. Some symptoms of an overloaded circuit include:

  • The circuit breaker keeps tripping and shutting off the power
  • Dimming or flickering lights when turning on or plugging in appliances
  • Buzzing outlets or switches
  • Warm outlets or switch covers
  • Burning odors 
  • Scorched outlets

If someone notices these signs, they should call an electrician right away because these issues must be repaired before they cause serious problems for a home or building.

Surge Protection

surgeWhen checking an electrical system, ensure the home or business is protected against power surges. A power surge is an unexpected increase in voltage, and if it’s strong enough, it can damage electronic devices plugged in throughout the home or business. Power surges may be caused by several events, such as lightning strikes, utility switching operations, and downed power lines. Sometimes, even normal operations of large appliances can cause minor surges.

People should install a whole-house surge protector to protect their televisions, computers, appliances, and other electrical devices. They are hard-wired to the electrical system to protect the entire property. They block electrical voltage spikes and surges to protect devices. Electricians should install these whole house surge protectors since they are connected directly to a breaker panel or main service entrance. 

About ICT Electric

ICT Electric has over three decades of experience serving Rhinelander, WI, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat rate pricing, on-time arrivals, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for electrical and whole-house surge protector services in Rhinelander, WI

Signs of a Faulty Electrical Panel

3 Signs You May Need Electrical Panel Repair

An electrical panel is one of the most vital components of home electrical systems. This discreetly placed panel of circuit breakers is meant to control the flow and distribution of electricity into different parts of the home. It has a mechanism for safely shutting off power to sections of the house when there is an overcurrent, protecting devices and appliances, and minimizing the risk of a house fire. But for the panel to do its job correctly, it must be in good working condition. If it’s malfunctioning, signs indicate the electrical panel may need repair.

Dim or Flickering Lights

lightA light bulb replacement often follows dim or flickering lights in the house for a good reason. A dim or flickering light bulb might mean it has reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. There are some instances, however, when even a new bulb still doesn’t seem to solve the problem. If this is the case, it can indicate a problem with the electrical panel.

Lights that flicker could indicate that an electrical panel can no longer meet the supply demands of a particular circuit. This could be especially true if new appliances were plugged into that circuit before the lights began to dim or flicker. In this case, the electrical panel needs to be upgraded to increase its capacity and meet the demands of adding more electrical appliances to the house.

Burning Smell

A burning smell, especially one that smells like melted plastic, isn’t just a sign that something is wrong with the electrical panel. It’s also a big red flag that should tell homeowners to call trusted electricians immediately. The smell of something burning indicates that something is overheating or experiencing an electrical malfunction that could lead to something as serious as an electrical fire

In this situation, homeowners should turn off important electrical appliances, cut the power, and call an electrician right away. If the burning smell is particularly strong or smoke is visible, homeowners should also evacuate the house and everyone in it to be safe. 

The Panel is Old

panelElectrical panels can last a long time, anywhere from 25 to 40 years on average. If the electrical system has been well-maintained and everything has been installed correctly and up to safety standards, homeowners may not need to worry about their electrical panels for a while. However, electricians should routinely perform inspections to ensure there is no damage.  

But there are instances when electrical panel replacement may be necessary. A panel will need replacing when they get too damaged or experience too much wear and tear from age. In the case of old houses, especially those built more than 50 years ago, a thorough assessment of the electrical panel is necessary, and, in many cases, they must be upgraded to meet current safety standards.

About ICT Electric

ICT Electric has over 30 years of experience on their staff serving Rhinelander, WI, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, an on-time guarantee, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for electrical panel repair or replacement in Rhinelander, WI.

Electrical Tips to Make a Home More Green

Three Ways to Save on Electric Bills

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that the average household in Wisconsin spends around $100 a month on their electricity bill. That’s nothing to scoff at. Many homeowners wonder how they can reduce their energy usage and save money. Luckily, they have options. This blog post will share tips to help homeowners save money on their electric bills.

Install Ceiling Fans

install a ceiling fanInstalling ceiling fans in a home can save energy by allowing the heater and air conditioner to be used less. The direction of ceiling fan blades can majorly impact regulating temperature in a home. Set the fans to spin counterclockwise during the summer and warmer months for a cooling effect. It will create a wind chill that helps keep homes cool and comfortable.

In the winter and colder months, reverse the direction of the ceiling fan blades by flipping a switch or pressing a button on the fan itself. When spinning clockwise, the fan will help push warm air near the ceiling back down into living areas, allowing homeowners to run their heaters less frequently and save on energy costs.

Turn Off Lights and Unplug Appliances

turn off the lightsMany homeowners don’t know about a phenomenon called “phantom power.” Imagine a space heater plugged into an outlet, but it’s not on. Even though the appliance isn’t on, it still consumes energy and costs money. To reduce phantom energy, homeowners should unplug devices when not actively on. Of course, this doesn’t apply to appliances that constantly need power, like the refrigerator. Homeowners should consider unplugging:

  • Microwaves
  • Toasters
  • TVs
  • Video game consoles
  • DVD players
  • Phone chargers
  • Laptop chargers
  • String lights and lamps
  • Coffee makers and espresso machines

Homeowners should also turn off the lights when they’re not needed and before they leave a room. Natural light from the windows should also be taken advantage of during the day to reduce electricity use and costs. Alternatively, homeowners can install dimmers on their lights to save even more energy.

Install LED Lights

More and more homeowners are installing LED lighting in their homes because it offers many benefits. LEDs are the most energy-efficient lighting technology available, so they can help save homeowners money on their electric bills. Some additional benefits of LED lightbulbs include the following:

  • LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs. This means they are more durable and don’t need to be replaced as often.
  • LEDs emit very little heat compared to incandescent and CFL bulbs, making them safer. Because they don’t emit a lot of heat, they’re less likely to cause fires.

About ICT Electric

ICT Electric has over 30 years of experience serving Rhinelander, WI, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, on-time arrivals, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for LED lighting installations or ceiling fan and chandelier services in Rhinelander, WI.