Electricity is the invisible force that keeps our lives running, but often we don’t pay much attention to what is happening with our electrics until something goes wrong. Being well informed about the electrical items you use every day is paramount to your safety, not to mention can save you loads of time and money when you are faced with a problem. Flickering lights? High bills? Damaged goods? There are plenty of things that can go wrong with your electrics, that is why we have compiled answers to these 10 must-know electrical questions.
- How does electricity work in the home?
Electricity flows into homes and appliances via a central power company, through a panel, its breakers and circuits, then back out. It is integral that all parts of the electricity grid are functional in order to have an uninterrupted flow of electricity into your home.
- What causes surges?
Electrical surges can be caused by lightning, external damage or faulty devices/wiring. If you are experiencing surges you could try unplugging any cheap devices or power boards to see if that fixes the problem. If the problem persists, you might need an electrician to check your wiring.
- Why do I keep getting electric shocks?
Shocks happen most often when you are turning a device on or off. It might be a fault of the device, but could also be a fault in the wiring. Try plugging the device into another outlet to see if the problem still occurs; however, in order to be most safe, it is best to enlist an electrician.
- What are some causes of a high electricity bill?
High electricity bills can be caused by power surges and faulty or damaged circuits. Be sure your devices and circuits are in good health to keep costs down.
- Why are there dips in my power supply?
Dips in your power supply can occur when there are too many things connected to a power grid, or if there is something connected that is faulty and is draining the power. You can try isolating the problem by checking your devices one by one to determine the culprit.
- Why am I burning through so many light bulbs?
Your light bulbs could be burning out because the wattage is too high, your wiring needs to be repaired, or your insulation is too close to your lights.
- How can I save money on electricity?
Consider turning off your devices at the wall when not in use, and limit using appliances like air conditioners, heaters and dryers to save money on your next bill.
- What are some of the biggest electrical hazards?
Frayed and exposed wires are a leading cause of injury in the home. Do not switch on or touch any devices with frayed or exposed wires, that are emitting smoke, or are unusually hot.
- How many things can I plug into one outlet?
It is very easy to overload power outlets, and it is never a good idea to plug more than one power board into a single outlet. Don’t piggyback power boards onto each other by plugging them together as this can lead to surges and damage.
- How do I know if my home wiring needs an upgrade?
If your home was built in the 60s and 70s there is a good chance it contains aluminium wiring which is now considered a hazard. You should have a professional check your wiring to be sure it is up to modern standards.