Are there any common errors in home electrical maintenance? Yes, and it could be dangerous not to pay proper attention to maintaining your home electrical system. If left unattended, it could start a fire or could even become fatal to you or your family.

Did you know that 1,080 of the non-fatal electrical injuries were caused by electrical shocks, whereas 490 were caused by burns? But what if you had electrical maintenance performed, and it still doesn’t work? Below, we cover common errors in home electrical maintenance and how to avoid them.

1. Incorrect Wiring of Outlets

Not checking to ensure that outlets are correctly wired can lead to a variety of risks such as potential shock or even fire. Older outlets may have aging and deteriorating wiring, which could further heighten safety risks.

It is important to check that the wires are connected to the terminals of the outlets and that the wires are fastened. This includes making sure that the polarity, grounding, and connection of the outlet wires are correct. Grounding should be verified to ensure no electric current can flow between the ground and the outlet.

Wire splices should also be sealed. It is also important to never overload an outlet with too many appliances as this can cause the wiring to overheat. It is important to install appropriate electrical cords to ensure that the correct gauge of the wire is being used.

Checking for dark spots or heat coming from outlets is also a good idea, as this may signify a wiring fault. If DIY electrical work is not your forte, it is best to leave the work to a professional electrician.

2. Poor Maintenance of Outdoor Receptacles

Outdoor receptacles are exposed to all kinds of weather and environmental conditions. This can cause wear and tear on their electrical parts.

If not maintained properly, it can lead to a variety of problems. These include water infiltration, corrosion of wiring, and even a potential electrical shock. To avoid these issues, it is important to inspect and clean the outdoor receptacles.

Make sure that all visible parts are in good repair. Ensure the receptacle is grounded by checking the grounding screw. Also, replace receptacles that are outside and exposed to weather elements.

3. Using an Extension Cord as a Permanent Wiring Solution

Short-term use of extension cords is safe when used with compatible and regulated electrical plugs. Their reliance on wire gauges and cheap materials makes them inappropriate for long-term use. Overheating from frequent use and excessive electricity consumption are some of the consequences that come with using an extension cord as a permanent wiring solution.

To avoid these issues, it is important to use the correct cord for the required current load. Extension cords should be used for temporary applications. They should not be plugged into multiple outlets to extend their reach.

The extension cord should be plugged into an outlet that supplies the correct voltage and current. The amperage should not exceed the rating of the cord.

Extension cords are also not suitable as permanent wiring solutions for large electronic devices. It is important to have qualified technicians install a permanent wiring connection to ensure the safety of your home and save you from electrical maintenance costs.

4. Ignoring Loose Connections

Loose connections can cause a host of problems. These include overloaded circuits, sparking, and malfunctioning equipment. It is important to inspect all electrical outlets and switches for any loose wires or connections.

When performing any wiring maintenance, test all connections for tightness before completing the work. If a loose connection is found, it is important to contact a qualified electrician to make sure it is repaired.

5. Not Shielding the Wiring from the Elements

This type of error can lead to many dangerous issues, such as short circuits or fires. It is important to install weatherproof coating or plastic shielding around outdoor electrical wiring.

If the outdoor wiring is exposed to the elements, it should be inspected every few months. You may check this page for outdoor electrical services if you wish to have your outdoor wiring inspected. Taking the time to shield and check outdoor wiring as part of your electrical maintenance routine will help save time, money, and even life in the long run.

6. Not Labeling Circuit Breaker Panels

Having the residential circuit breakers clearly labeled can save time, energy, and money by identifying which breaker may be the source of the issue. To help avoid this oversight, begin by taking a detailed inventory of the devices and equipment connected to the electrical circuits. This includes both the breaker number and a detailed description of what each breaker is powering.

Once the inventory has been completed, be sure to label the breaker panel with the same information. Homeowners should never guess which breaker panel controls which circuit. Proper labeling includes marking all breakers with their associated circuit numbers and room names, if applicable.

An effective way to label the breakers is to write down the circuit information on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet, cut out labels, then affix the label near the respective breaker. With the proper labeling of both the panel and breaker, the homeowner can locate and remove any panel cover. Proper labeling will reduce the number of misidentifications.

7. Not Installing Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are essential for the safety of a home and should be used to prevent any unforeseen damage or hazards. They protect the home’s electrical system from power spikes that can cause significant damage.

Not installing surge protectors can void warranties of electronic equipment within the home. It can also lead to dangerous overheating from electrical outlets.

It is also important to research the types of surge protectors available. Different types protect against different levels of hazards.

Ensure a qualified electrician is consulted if unsure of how to install a surge protector. Regularly inspect and replace surge protectors if any signs of wear are present.

Avoiding Errors in Home Electrical Maintenance

By following these simple guidelines shown in this article, you can ensure that you are properly maintaining your home electrical system. Take the time to inspect your electrical wiring, appliances, and outlets as recommended to reduce any risks associated with improper electrical maintenance. It’s important to stay safe, and following these guidelines on errors in home electrical maintenance will help you do just that!

If this article touches on some key aspects of your home electrical maintenance needs, be sure to read some of our other blog posts!