Did You Know? Electrical Facts You Should Know

Did You Know? Electrical Facts You Should Know

  • Did you know that there is a thick coat of dust on a light bulb? The dust can block out about half of the light that could be coming from the light bulb.
  • A circuit breaker can appear to be ON but really be tripped
  • A simple ceiling light fixture replacement in older homes (approx. pre 1950) could potentially lead to a major wire repair or total circuit rewire!  The typical reason is due to the fact that throughout the ages, homeowners would install high wattage bulbs (75 or 100 watt) in fixtures rated for only a 60 watt bulb.  The heat produced by these high wattage bulbs radiates upward into the junction box above the fixture and also through the conductor.  The insulation of the aged wire breaks down due to this extreme heat and also the wire itself is well past it’s lifespan.  When accessing this splice in the junction box to remove the fixture’s wiring, the wire’s insulation crumbles into dust leaving you, the homeowner, with a serious fire hazard that needs immediate attention.
  • If you have Knob and Tube wiring (1890-1910+) in your house, you cannot insulate around these conductors!  Also, insurance companies are actively involved in seeing this removed from your house.
  • Household dryers need to be properly grounded.  If they are not or if they are plugged into a 2 prong receptacle, there’s a good chance that you could get shocked through the dryer’s metal housing.
  • Portable generators are useful during power outages. However, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50 people die every year from accidental electrocutions involving residential wiring, panel boards, circuit breakers, and outlets. Another 40 electrocutions each year involve household appliances that are connected to the wiring of homes.By making sure you have a thorough electrical inspection completed by a qualified electrician before buying, selling, or remodeling a home, you can help ensure your home’s electrical system operates at the highest level of safety possible.

Electrical Hazards



Warning sign: A tingling sensation when you touch an electrical appliance or other metal objects. Getting a shock when you touch appliances in your house can indicate a more serious problem. Be sure to unplug the appliance and discontinue use.



Warning sign: Discolored or warm wall outlets, or sparks from an outlet. This can indicate arcing, smoldering, burning happening behind your outlets, damaged or improperly installed wiring in the outlet, or a problem with the receptacle itself. Avoid using the outlet or switch and contact a qualified electrician as soon as possible.



Warning sign: A persistent burning smell coming from an appliance, room, or area. This can indicate that the appliance is overheating or malfunctioning. Unplug the appliance or turn off the circuit breaker.



Warning sign: Flickering or dimming lights. This sign could indicate a short in the wiring, dangerous arcing, or an over-extension of your home’s electrical systems. Contact a qualified electrician to discuss potential reasons for this problem and to have an inspection completed.




Electrical System –  According to NFPA, every year, fires that start in electrical systems or lighting equipment result in 320 civilian deaths and 830 civilian (non-firefighter) injuries, with damage to more than 24,000 homes.



Lamps, Light Fixtures, and Light Bulbs –  According to the National Fire Protection Association, lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs (28%) and fixed wiring (22%) accounted for the largest share of fires among major types of electrical distribution equipment. Cords and plugs (39%) accounted for the largest share of civilian deaths. Lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs (30%) accounted for the largest share of civilian injuries.



Extension Cords – According to NFPA, extension cord fires outnumbered fires beginning with permanent or detached (cords that can be detached from appliances) by more than two-to-one. For civilian deaths, the ratio is more than three-to-one. For civilian injuries, the ratio is more than four-to-one.


The Danger of Power Surges

The Danger of Power Surges

What you may not know about DANGEROUS Power Surges when we think of power surges and damage to electronics, we always think of thunderstorms and lightning. But did you know that lightning related surges account for only about 5% of the total surges that can  enter your home in a year? It’s true that lightning can wreak havoc with electronics and your electrical system. It gets all the publicity because it’s so obvious when it happens.

But what about the other 95% of the surges that enter your home? Where do they come from and what damage can they do? Well the rest of these surge events are generated through your power lines. The causes can range from simple load changes on the grid your house is fed through. Transformer failures, large usage customers coming on line every morning, extreme hot and cold weather, and even traffic accidents where poles are struck by vehicles. Electrical surges are defined as variations in the regular line voltage. Most appliance and electronics can handle minimal surge events. But the medium to larger surges are the ones that hammer your equipment and leave you wondering why that Big Screen Television isn’t working or why the electronics in your microwave or furnace stopped working. We at Advanced Electrical Service Co can install a surge protection system in your house.  This system can be installed on your existing electrical service panel and will protect everything being served by that panel.

Saftey Tips from NFPA

Saftey Tips from NFPA

In 2007, an estimated 51,800 home structure fires reported to U.S. Fire Departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 451 civilian deaths, 1,641 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage.

Safety tips (from NFPA)

  • Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  •  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time. If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
  •  Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.
  • Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry, basement, and outdoor areas.
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets.