Are you keeping up with electrical maintenance in your home? Maintenance may not be fun, but ignoring it is a mistake. Ailing electrical wiring and appliances suffering from age, wear-and-tear, and improper installation could put you and your family at risk as well as affect the value of your home.
Ensure each light fixture incorporates a bulb with the proper wattage. This prolongs the life of both fixtures and bulbs as well as prevents fire.
Regularly test GFCI outlets by pressing the test/reset button. Replace them immediately if they are malfunctioning to reduce electrocution risk in moisture-prone areas of your home.
Test monthly for reliability and replace batteries annually at a minimum. Be aware of expiration dates and the need for new smoke detectors every 10 years as expired detectors are not reliable.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors should also be tested monthly and have batteries replaced at least annually. Note replacement needs, with older models offering a limited life span of 2 years, and newer models requiring replacement every 5-6 years.
Check outdoor outlets, cords, and extensions for damage, replacing frayed wires and plug heads.
Regularly inspect your whole house surge protector for proper function, damage, or signs of overloading to ensure the protection of sensitive and expensive electronics.
Homes without a properly functioning backup generator could leave your family unprotected in the event of an unexpected power outage. Ensure the safety and comfort of your family by performing routine generator maintenance, including starting the generator to check function bi-annually, keeping the area around it clean, changing oil as recommended by the manufacturer, maintaining fresh and proper fuel levels, replacing distilled water in the battery, cleaning spark plugs, and routinely checking wires, buttons, bolts, connections, elements, and the ground for functionality and safety. Professional maintenance and calibration once or twice a year is also highly recommended.
Electrical Panel Maintenance
Older electrical panels present functional and safety issues, and are not as safe or reliable as today’s panels. They typically suffer multiple issues including improper wiring and over sized or undersized breakers. Some panels, as new as the 1980s, have been deemed defective and unsafe. Have you ever had your panel inspected?
Home Rewiring and Code Updates
Every 3 years, wiring codes in the U.S. are updated to ensure home electrical safety across the country. Older homes are especially at risk of electrical maintenance issues, including outdated knob and tube or aluminum wiring, exposed wiring, ungrounded outlets, and lack of compliance with current electrical code requirements.