Everyone relies on their home electrical systems to keep things running properly. As long as the electrical system is operating, though, most of us don’t pay any further attention to it. However, there are probably plenty of ways that you can upgrade your electrical system. Whether you’re looking to improve the operation of the system, or just want to make things a bit safer, follow the tips below to get started.
Your home very likely has either a circuit breaker or a fuse box installed in it, in order to protect against power surges that might damage appliances. If you have a fuse box, you should ask your electrician about whether or not you would be better served by a circuit breaker. There are pros and cons to each, but circuit breakers are often preferred for a number of reasons. For one, there are no disposable parts of a circuit breaker. When a switch in the breaker box trips, it’s relatively simple to reset it. With a fuse box, you need to replace the burnt out fuse entirely. For another, circuit breakers can be used with GFCI’s, while fuse boxes cannot.
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. AFCI stands for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. These two outlet types are designed to improve the safety of your electrical system. A GFCI outlet monitors the flow of electrical current between it and any appliances plugged into it. Under normal circumstances, the electrical current is balanced. If there is a sudden imbalance in the current, it usually means that the electricity is flowing in a direction that it is not supposed to be (like into a person). When the outlet senses this, it shuts off the current. This helps to prevent electrocution, but can also prevent fires from breaking out due to a short circuit in an appliance.
AFCI outlets, by contrast, are designed to prevent electrical issues from causing damage inside the walls. When there is a melted wire or short circuit in the walls, the current can flow in the wrong direction and ignite a fire. This is perhaps one of the most dangerous problems that can afflict an electrical system. AFCI outlets monitor the circuit, and shut it down if they detect behavior indicating a short circuit somewhere.
The infrastructure in our country is in deep trouble in a lot of areas. The power grid, especially, is not what it once was. This is especially problematic during storm season, when blackouts are more common. If your home experiences a few blackouts a year, it might be a good idea to have a generator installed. A standby generator will be able to keep the lights on until the power comes back. Consult with a professional to determine which generator might fit your needs best.
Anderson Electric Corp. provides electrical services of all kinds throughout Caldwell, NJ. If you need electrical services of any kind, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.