Skip to Content

Blog Archives

Home Grounded Properly For Home Safety

Is Your Home Grounded Properly?

As a homeowner, you may have heard an electrician or home inspector talk about how important home grounding is. Even though you may not know it, this is an essential piece of your home’s electrical system. While you don’t need to be an expert, it’s important to have a general understanding of what this means as a homeowner to help you keep your home safe. Here are the basics you need to know about having your home grounded properly to avoid electrical issues.

What Does It Mean to Have Your Home Grounded?

When your home is grounded your electrical system has a backup pathway or alternative route for electricity to go back to the ground in the case of a fault. Essentially, it gives your appliances and other electronics a direct route to the ground. All electrical circuits in your home there are three wires: an active or live wire, a neutral wire, and a grounding wire. Grounding wires are routed to the service panel where they are attached to a set of terminals designed for ground connections.

Why You Need Your Home Wiring Grounded

Electricity, by nature, always seeks out the shortest path to the earth. Having your home properly grounded means there is a direct path to the ground in the case the neutral wire gets broken.

Stabilizes Voltage levels

Having your home grounded also helps distribute power throughout your home. With the grounding wire giving excess electricity a way to the ground, the circuits are protected from overloading. This is because the earth serves as a common reference point for all voltage sources, thereby stabilizing the voltage in your home’s electrical system.

Protects Against Electrical Overloads

At any time your home is at risk of having a high influx of electricity through a power surge or by being exposed to lightning during a storm. The grounding wire allows the excess electricity to exit the home into the earth without damaging your appliances or electronics. Without grounding, the extra electricity will cause irreparable damage to the wiring of your appliances throughout your home.

Prevents Damage and Death

If your home is not properly grounded, electricity will continue to seek out the shortest path to the earth. The grounding wire acts as a path of least resistance. Without this path, high electrical voltage can pass through your appliances and electronics. This will fry its wiring and damaging it beyond repair. If you use an appliance that is getting high electrical voltage you could be severely shocked, which could even result in death. Moreover, high voltage puts your home and your family at risk of having an electrical fire.

How to Tell If You Home is Properly Grounded

Determining if your home is properly grounding is part of the home inspection process. However, you can also test whether your home is properly grounded without a home inspection as well. The easiest way to check if your outlet is grounded is by visual inspection. If an outlet has three prongs, then there should be three wires, with one being the grounding wire. To make sure the grounding is working as intended you can use a circuit tester.

If the tester does not light up then the outlet is not grounded and it is not safe to use. If you’re still unsure whether your home is grounded, our team at Wire Craft Electric can help you confirm that.

Request an appointment or give us a call at 206-542-0208 to have one of our professional electricians give you a hand.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Outdoor Electrical Outlets Importance and Safety Tips

With summer around the corner, your days of social distancing and self-isolation are likely filled with dreams of barbecues and backyard parties. Get your home ready to entertain by making sure your exterior outlets are safe. Outdoor electrical outlets are exposed to the elements and therefore, extra precaution must be taken to prevent fires and electrical shocks. Here are some tips for getting your outdoor electrical outlets ready for summer.

Install Weather Resistant Outlets

Installing weather resistant outlets is an absolute must! The National Electrical Code requires that all outside electrical outlets be weather resistant ground fault circuit interrupters (WR GFCIs). This special type of outlet has a cover that helps keep out rain, snow, ice, and humidity when installed correctly. Additionally, WR GFCIs use components that are corrosion-resistant and are designed to protect users from getting an electrical shock by cutting off the current if there is a surge. While these outlets are standard in newer homes, you may want to double-check your existing outside outlets if you are in an older home. If you do not have weather-resistant outlets, you’ll want to get them installed ASAP.

Check Your Wires

Keeping your outdoor electrical outlets also means checking your wires regularly. This will help you spot potential problems. Always make sure you untangle any wires. Additionally, you want to examine your wires for any nicks, cuts, or grays. These can all lead to problems and possible injury.

Lay New Wires Carefully

If you are installing new outdoor electrical outlets you need to be cautious as to where you lay the wire. You want to avoid laying wires in areas with high foot traffic, such as walkways and sidewalks. You should also avoid laying new wires near trees as well.

Keep Outlets Clear

It is also important that you keep your outlets visible. This means keeping grass, landscaping, etc. away from the outlet box. When you keep your outside electrical outlets visible you are less likely to forget they are there, preventing injury.

Watch for Water

Just as you want to avoid mixing outlets and water inside your home, the same is true outside too. Obvious places to avoid placing exterior outlets include near swimming pools, jacuzzis, or fountains. However, you also want to consider areas of your yard that tend to pool water or flood. Avoid putting any electrical work in these areas.

Avoid Storms

Another important point to consider in keeping your outdoor electrical outlets safe is to not use them during storms or rain. Using electrical appliances during storms puts you at risk of electric shock. Therefore, it is best to avoid using electricity outside during a storm.

Double Check Appliances and Extension Cords

When using appliance or extension cords outside, you should always make sure they are safe for outdoor use. This means double-checking the manual warnings for appliances and extension cords. If an appliance says “not for outdoor use” keep it indoors and avoid using it outside.

Get a Professional Opinion for Your Outdoor Electrical Outlets

If you’re confused as to whether or not your existing outside electrical outlets are weather-resistant, don’t hesitate to get a professional opinion. Our electricians at Wire Craft Electric can help you make sure you have outside outlets that are up to code through an electrical inspection. They can even help you install new outlets or do some electrical outlet repair if you’re coming up short.

Request a services and give us a call at 206-542-0208 to schedule an appointment to get your outdoor electrical outlets summer-ready.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Electrical Safety Tips This Fall

Another season means another reason to have fun! While summer had people depending on air conditioners and cooling equipment, autumn is generally colder. Expect to switch the use of appliances and electrical equipment in this upcoming season, which means you have to look into a new set of electrical safety checks.

Don’t fall into the trap of disregarding electrical safety during the fall season! Check out our tips to keep your autumn as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Safekeep summer electrical equipment

You probably won’t be using trimmers and lawn mowers as often as last summer, and so it’s good practice to put them in their proper storage locations. Leaving them exposed to the elements may degrade these tools and increase the risk of damage.

Prepare your fall tools

Likewise, it’s time to take out your leaf blower and snow clearing equipment. Have a quick check on the tools and their respective wires for signs of damage or malfunction. Don’t use them if you see some issues and have them either repaired or replaced before fall comes.

Check your extension wires

Summer may have been brutal for your electrical system, especially as you use cooling equipment more often. This is the best time as ever to check the integrity of your extension cords. Immediately replace any cords with signs of wear and tear.

Clean up leaves as soon as you discover them

Don’t let fallen leaves collect and cover your outdoor electricals such as lighting installations or power outlets. Failing to clear them away may invite moisture into your electrical system, which will definitely increase the risk of short circuits.

Protect your outdoor electrical outlets

Because the fall season is wetter than summer, make sure that your power sockets are protected from moisture. You may install a screw cover or replace it with a GFCI outlet for better protection.

Prepare for more frequent light bulb changes

Because fall has generally less daylight hours than summer, expect to use your indoor lighting more frequently. Having said that, check the status of your existing light bulbs. Are they still working well or are they showing signs of becoming busted?

It’s also a good idea to stock up on replacement bulbs because the higher frequency of use will definitely shorten the life of your existing lamps. Just be sure that what you’re buying is the correct wattage and compatibility with the lighting receptacle.

Final Word About Fall Electrical Safety

We at Wire Craft Electric are concerned about your safety. If you think there are some electrical issues in your home as fall arrives, give us a call as soon as possible. Our skilled professional electrical staff will attend to your needs pronto!

0 0 Continue Reading →

Electrical Safety Tips This Summer

electrical safety

Bathing under the sun and frolicking with family and friends all sound like perfect summer fun. However, if you disregard the importance of electrical safety, you might be spending the rest of summer recovering from an injury or depressed over property damage. Let our quick guide help you enjoy summer more by keeping safe in terms of electrical use.

Tips on Electrical Safety For Summer

Don’t let accidents and injuries ruin your summer! Follow these electrical safety tips so that you can enjoy the warm season as much as you can:

1. Stay away from plugged-in devices when your hands are wet.

Summer is a great time to dip in the pool or take a bath as often as you can, but it’s also exposing you to a higher risk of electrocution especially when your body is still wet.

Before handling appliances and devices that are plugged in, make sure to dry your hands first. Water (whether tap or chlorinated) and electricity form an electrifyingly deadly combination.

2. Keep electrical devices away from water.

Another common blunder is when people put power strips, extension wires, or charged devices near the pool or bathtub. A few splashes of water onto electrical devices is all it takes to damage property or cause physical injury. If it’s possible, place electrical wires and devices at least 10 feet away from any source of water.

As an alternative, consider using charged or battery-operated devices instead of plugging them into live electricity.

3. Cover electrical outlets and receptacles near wet areas of the house.

Whether it’s the bathroom or your pool deck, make sure that your power outlets are covered when not in use. The same is true with exposed receptacles. This will prevent water from splashing onto them and causing untoward incidents.

4. Consider installing electrical safety devices.

For areas where moisture is common – such as the bathroom or kitchen – you may want to think about replacing your existing power outlets with GFCI variants. These devices shut off the power to the outlet when it senses short circuiting caused by moisture seepage.

5. Learn how to address electrocution cases.

In the event that there is electrocution, do not attempt to rescue or resuscitate them. They may be carrying extra charge that may also electrocute you as you touch their skin. Instead, immediately dial 911 so that the first responders can address the issue.

Final Word

Being in the know in terms of electrical safety will definitely make your summer memorable for the right reasons. If you live in Seattle and have electrical concerns, give us a call at 206.855.5061 and Wire Craft Electric personnel will get in touch with you.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Why Does an Electrical Outlet Spark When You Plug In An Appliance?

why does an electrical outlet spark when plugging in

Fireworks may look amazing up in the sky, but it’s definitely going to send you in panic mode if you see sparks flying out of your electrical outlets! These may not look like it can cause a huge amount of damage, but there might be a need to look into it. In this article, let’s list down some of the most common reasons why you see a spark when you plug something into an electrical socket.

Are All Sparking Incidents Cause For Worry?

Before we get into the list of reasons, let’s get one thing straight: An electrical outlet sparking is a pretty common occurrence that (in most cases) is considered normal.

Electrical current runs continuously through your home electrical system, from the main panel to the wires, fixtures, and outlets, and back. The moment you plug in an appliance into the socket, a portion of the electricity gets transferred to the plugged device. The transfer is fast and may result in a visible spark caused by static electricity.

Reasons for Electrical Outlet Spark

Having said that, there are some cases wherein the spark may be an indication of a more serious electrical issue. Here are some potential reasons behind electrical outlet sparking:

Moisture

When water seeps into an electrical outlet, it may cause a spark as soon as you plug in an appliance. Check the source of the moisture entry – it may be an accidental spillage or a roof leak.

If you have a ground fault interrupter outlet, the power may automatically get shut down as a safety mechanism.

Old system

Electrical systems that have been in existence for decades contain wires and outlets that may have deteriorated over time. Loose connections or worn out wires may result in a short circuit and lead to an electrical spark.

Short circuit

As its name implies, this occurrence involves a potential shortcut in the electrical current. Short-circuiting is one of the leading causes of electrical outlet spark. It is something that you need to address immediately.

Worried About Electrical Outlet Spark at Home?

If your power outlets have any of the electrical spark mentioned above, give us a call at Wire Craft Electric.

We can help you fix the issue as soon as possible. An electrical spark may be common. Still take note that it may also be telling you about an undiscovered problem in your electrical system.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Keeping Your Pets Safe From Electrical Shock

Keeping Your Pets Safe from Electrical Shock

It’s inevitable for dogs, cats, and other pets to become curious about wires and electrical outlets. When left unattended, this may lead to electrical shock, causing injury and accidents at home. We’ll look at important safety tips to protect your beloved pets from one of the most common causes of electricity-related accidents.

Why should we think thoroughly about electrical safety for pets? For one, most pets are naturally curious, leading them to sniff and lick unusual items such as plugged appliances. Another reason is that most electrical sockets are within the reach – and are about the same vertical distance from the floor – as your pets.

Electrical Safety Tips For Better Pet Protection

If you care for your pet’s welfare, you need to put electrical safety as a top priority. Here are some tips to make sure that your pets are safe from electrical shock:

Cover electrical sockets

Pets may become curious with sockets and lead them to poke their noses and paws in them. Protect your beloved pets from electrocution by installing socket covers.

Organize power cords

When your power cords are disorganized and splayed on the floor, your dog or cat may chew on them. You can solve this potential hazard by binding your wires in clips and tubes, as well as keeping your wires way above your pet’s height.

Fix exposed wires and electrical issues

Exposed wires are accidents waiting to happen, regardless if it involves your pets or the people in your home. Address any exposed wiring or unusual electrical problems as soon as you discover them.

Turn off appliances when not in use

Aside from saving on power costs, shutting off unused appliances can also improve the safety in your home. Appliances plugged into sockets may be too inviting for your pets and lead them to touch these things.

Take your pets away from areas with electrical equipment

A sure way of protecting your pets from electrical shock is to put them in an area where there is absolutely no electrical connection. You may place them in a kennel or a section of your home without nearby electrical wires and sockets.

Most electricians are focused on technical matters, but we at Wire Craft Electric go the extra mile by conducting home safety inspections, troubleshooting common home issues, and other related services. Part of our service include advocating electrical safety and helping you live in an electrically safe home.

0 0 Continue Reading →

How To Make Sure That You’re Buying Electrically Safe Appliances

electrically safe appliances

Practically every home in urban communities has at least one electrical appliance. No matter how few or how many your home appliances are, you need to make sure that you’re keeping safety in check. Today, let’s look at some tips on how to ensure that the home appliances that you’re about to buy are electrically safe.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Electrical Safety Training Tip #1: Overlamping

overlamping

Keeping your electrical system safe is an effective preventive measure against fires and accidents. While many people know some of the basic techniques to maintain electrical safety, one of the most commonly disregarded conditions is known as overlamping.

What You Need To Know About Overlamping

In a nutshell, overlamping is a situation when a light bulb has a higher wattage requirement than the load capacity of the lighting fixture. Most light fixtures have a capacity of 60 watts, which can handle a wide variety of light bulbs designed for home use.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Safety Tips for Christmas Lights

Safety Tips for Christmas Lights-WireCraft

The holidays are all about celebrations and joy, but it’s probably going to turn sour if accidents come your way. During this season, a lot of people hang decorations and lights outside the house, inside the rooms, and around buildings. Now more than ever, safety when handling Christmas lights is a priority that we need to focus on. As the season wraps up, we thought it would be helpful to put out some safety tips that you can keep in mind for the remainder of the season and as a preventative measure for 2018.

Here are some safety tips for Christmas lights when you want to brighten up your holiday mood this year:

0 0 Continue Reading →

3 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Appliances Safer from Electrical Issues

kitchen safety

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house. It also has a great number of electrical appliances in it including but not limited to light fixtures, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee machines, etc. It also happens to be the only room where you can find water on the floor, and even on the countertops, which makes electrical works in the kitchen immensely dangerous, and thus any DIY projects should be avoided unless you are a professional. Keep the following tips in mind to help you keep your kitchen safe from any electrical hazards, major or minor.

Build Good Kitchen Habits for Kitchen Safety

While working in the kitchen is a lot of responsibility, the bigger responsibility is when you have completed your work and are about to leave the area. You have to make it a habit of turning off every electrical appliance in your kitchen before leaving. Turn off your stoves before plugging in blenders and food processors if your wall outlets are near the cooking area. Perform checks on your electrical boards periodically and be sure to remove that grease which forms time to time near the stove. Do your best to avoid splashing water on your power outlets and switchboards.

Be Mindful of Your Refrigerator and Microwave

Always keep refrigerators at a distance from the walls to allow circulation of air. One of the most common mistakes made by most families is putting stuff on refrigerators and microwaves. They are not places to keep your stuff, especially stuff that contains liquids. And no, don’t even put your cup full of coffee there thinking that you will be back in a minute.

Be Careful to Not Overload Outlets

Use one outlet for one appliance at a time. Are you often require plugging in multiple appliances in the same outlet but don’t want to risk overloading it? Give us a call.

Our Wire Craft Electric professionals will be there at your doorstep to make things easier and safer for you. As intuitive as it sounds, most people don’t care about touching buttons and plugs with wet hands. Replace your buttons or call Wire Craft Electrical professionals if your buttons become loose, i.e., switching on a light causes it to flicker and you hear funny sparking sounds coming from the button.

Once again, take it as a reminder or warning. It is best that you let professionals handle all your electrical works for all the safety reasons, especially any electrical projects inside your kitchen. Kitchen safety matters.

0 0 Continue Reading →