Your electrical system is one of your Ellisville, MO, home’s most complex setups and requires occasional maintenance to ensure safety and efficiency. Spring is a great time to check over your electrical system and make repairs and upgrades as needed. This will allow you to enjoy the entire year with peace of mind.

You may be wondering what is involved in electrical maintenance, so we’ve provided a list of items that should be checked and handled routinely. Some of the maintenance items on our list are easy and safe enough for the average homeowner to tackle. For more complex issues and anything that involves touching electrical components, you’ll need an experienced and trained electrician.

Inspect and Upgrade Outlets and Sockets

A simple part of electrical maintenance is to inspect electrical outlets. Visual examinations involve looking for discoloration on the outlet itself that may indicate the outlet has gotten too hot or singed. Any outlets that appear damaged should be reported immediately to a professional electrician. These outlets should be repaired or replaced before further use. Continuing to use a faulty outlet can lead to electrical shock or fire.

Any old and outdated outlets should be upgraded. Your electrician can switch these outlets to new GFCI outlets. A GFCI outlet provides a safety buffer to reduce the risk of electrical shock and tripping breakers. Unless you have special training in handling electricity, you should never switch your outlets yourself. One wrong move can put your safety at risk. Let a professional electrician make these upgrades to reduce your risk of shock, electrocution, electrical fire, and power surges.

You should also check the power cords on any appliances or devices plugged into your outlets. Pay special attention to those powered through outlets showing signs of damage. These devices may have damaged cords from an overworked or hot outlet. Carefully inspect the cords on your larger appliances, such as the refrigerator, clothes dryer, and oven. These electrical appliances use much more energy and are of higher concern when the power cords are damaged. If you find a frayed, excessively worn, or loosely connected electrical cord, do not plug it back in until it is repaired or replaced. Any electrical cord with bare wires showing should be discarded and never plugged back into an outlet.

Assess Electrical Panel

Your electrical panel contains circuit breakers that divide the power load, so you can run multiple electronics without overloading your system. Your electrician should inspect the electrical panel, most typically found in the basement, garage, or closet. The electrician will look for any signs of damage or wear to the breakers and connected wiring. If a breaker malfunctions, you may lose power to all outlets, switches, and fixtures connected to that breaker. If there is excessive wear in the wiring, the electrician will repair the wires immediately before electricity runs through them again.

If you have an older home and have not made upgrades in many years, you may still have a fuse box powering your home. As the name suggests, a fuse box uses fuses rather than breakers. Fuse boxes are far less safe than breaker panels and are more susceptible to electrical fires and power surges. If you know you have a fuse box in your home, schedule an upgrade as soon as possible for enhanced electrical safety.

Change Batteries; Test Detectors and Alarms

Changing the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms is a relatively simple task you can handle without an electrician. Many experts recommend changing the batteries and testing the alarms at a scheduled time each year, such as when the clocks change in the spring and fall. After changing the batteries, you should test the alarms to ensure they work as intended. Most smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms have a manual button you can push to make the alarm sound. If your alarm device does not sound, be sure to replace it immediately. Doing this testing prior to your spring maintenance allows you to ask for help from an electrician if you have any problems.

You may also want to ask an electrician for professional advice. Your electrician can tell you how many smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms you need for your home and where they should be placed. If you need more or have ones that are incorrectly installed, the electrician can help you make changes and keep your home and family safe.

Upgrade to Whole-Home Surge Protection

An electrical surge happens when a sudden increase in electricity flows through your home. Power surges are common during high energy consumption periods, such as during the summer. This is when the scorching heat leads everyone to rely heavily on air conditioning. Power surges may also happen after a power outage when electricity returns to your home. Whole-home surge protection is an excellent option to protect your home and belongings from the dangers of a power surge. A sudden surge of electricity can destroy anything connected to your electrical grid, including appliances, lamps, your television, and other electronics.

Inspect Outdoor Electrical Fixtures

Don’t forget the electrical fixtures and devices you have connected outside your home when working through spring electrical maintenance. Check your outdoor lighting and electronic decor for signs of damage incurred over the winter. Inspect the wiring to ensure it is intact and not frayed or worn. Check outside outlets during this time, making sure that they are safe to use. Replace any outlets or fixtures that are damaged. Spring is also a good time for you to check your electrical tools and yard equipment before you begin using them for the season. You should ensure that they work properly and that all cords and chargers are in good condition.

Schedule a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is conducted by a professional electrician who will walk you through your home and pinpoint various ways you can save money on energy. An electrician will show you which devices and appliances use the most power and detail ways you can conserve some of that energy. Suggestions from the electrician may include upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient appliances, installing insulation, upgrading to programmable thermostats for your heating and cooling system, or even installing new windows and doors. You’ll also learn tips on how to use your existing devices in a more energy-efficient way to lower your electric bills.

For professional and reliable assistance with your spring maintenance checklist, call Potts Electric for the best electricians in the Ellisville area. Our skilled electricians are ready to provide you with upgrades, safety checks, and expert tips to better use the energy in your home. In addition to electrical maintenance, we offer all kinds of residential and commercial electrical repairs and installations. Count on us for EV charging stations, generators, smart home technology, and anything else related to electricity at your home or business.

To check all the boxes on your spring electrical maintenance checklist in Ellisville, call the experts at Potts Electric today.

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