First-time homeowners are on the adventure of a lifetime, and if you are one of them, congratulations on your new house! Buying your first house is exciting, but it might also be a steep learning curve. Electrical safety and knowledge, for example, are crucial to happy homeownership. You can learn many ways to save money and avoid unpleasant surprises with simple electrical check-ups. Check out these essential electrical safety tips for first-time homeowners that will give you peace of mind.
Tip 1 — Know Your Power Box
Your main power box is not only the area where all the electricity comes into your house, but it’s also your first line of defense when you have electrical problems. Locate your power box and know how to work it. Every breaker in your box should be labeled with which rooms and outlets it controls, allowing you to quickly turn off the power in any part of the house. You should also know where the main breaker is to turn the power off for the entire home.
If your power box has fuses, you may want to have it upgraded to use breakers. Breakers are the standard and much easier and safer to deal with than fuses. They function as switches with an on/off positioning.
Tip 2 — Understand Wattage and Circuits
Check all your appliances and fixtures against the circuits in your power box to ensure that the wattages match up – every circuit should be labeled for the maximum wattage it handles. The breaker could trigger if you run too many appliances on one circuit. Use tips from our Home energy saving guide to help reduce wattage and energy output for your home.
Tip 3 — Understand What a GFCI Is
GFCI stands for “ground fault circuit interrupter.” If you’ve ever seen an electrical outlet with a “reset” button in the middle (and may have lights), it’s a GFCI. These outlets give safety in spaces with potential moisture; according to electrical codes, any outlet within 6 feet of a water source must be GFCI. You’ll often find these outdoors, in bathrooms, and in kitchens. If you do not see them, it is best to install them immediately.
GFCIs can cut power to anything downstream of the circuit if it loses amperage. Sometimes you can start them again by pressing the reset button. If that doesn’t work, you may want to call an electrician.
Tip 4 — Get an Inspection
Getting an electrical inspection is among the most consequential items first-time homeowners should complete. You may even want to get an inspection before you buy the home. An electrical inspection is different from a regular home inspection. An electrical inspection looks at the wiring and outlets in the house. It’s performed by a certified electrician, who spots troubles before they happen. Spotting potential hazards in advance is critical for first-time homeowners.
Tip 5 — Know When to Call in the Pros
Know where to find your best local electricians. Some small tasks you may do yourself, but messing around with electricity is dangerous. Calling a professional may be the best thing any new homeowners guide recommends. Never be afraid to ask for help. When it comes to electricity, it could save your life. For more first-time electricity tips and guides, contact Sin City Electrical.