Is Your Home Electrically Safe?

Smoke Detectors – 24 Hour Protection, Awake or Asleep

By providing early warning in the event of fire, smoke detectors can allow you and your family sufficient time to reach safety. Experts report that you can increase your chances of surviving in a home fire by 50% simply by having smoke detectors. Click here for more information about installing  smoke detectors in Los Angeles, my electrical company’s service area.

Old Cloth Insulated Wires

If your house was built before 1950, it likely has electrical wires with cloth insulation. Over time, the cloth dries out and becomes brittle. Eventually, it crumbles off the wire, exposing bare wires that can short-circuit and cause shocks or fires. Old cloth-insulated wires should be replaced with plastic-insulated wires. Plastic insulation lasts indefinitely and completely resolves the safety issue. Click here for more information about replacing cloth  wiring insulation.

GFCI Outlets – A Lifesaver

The National Electrical Code requires that outlets in the vicinity of water be equipped with a device called a “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter” or GFCI (also called GFI). GFCIs are required in all bathrooms, kitchens, garages, pools, and some outdoor areas. GFCIs can protect your family against deadly electrical shocks and are inexpensive to install. Click here for more information about GFCIs and GFIs.

Knob & Tube Wiring – Fire and Shock Hazards

Knob & Tube wiring gets its name from the white ceramic knobs around which wires were wound and the short ceramic tubes through which wires were guided. This type of wiring is usually found in homes built before 1935. In the Los Angeles and some other parts of the country, knob and tube can sometimes be seen in houses built as late as 1950. My electrical company specializes in replacing Knob and Tube wiring in the L.A. area — much of it is in Pasadena and other parts of the San Gabriel Valley.

Knob & Tube systems use old cloth-insulated wires and are not grounded. We strongly recommend that Knob & Tube wiring be replaced to eliminate fire and electrical shock hazards.

Whole House Surge Protection for Your Appliances

An electrical surge is a sudden increase in power that flows through electrical wires. Surges can cause damage to computers, phones, entertainment systems, microwaves, stoves, fridges, washers – any device that has electronic components such as sensors and timers. Today, that’s most appliances. A Whole House Surge Protector can save your appliances and electronic devices and save you thousands of dollars in damage.

Look for our $50 discount coupon for the installation of whole house surge protectors at www.theelectricconnection.com.

Is Your Home Properly Grounded?

A properly grounded electrical system routes occasional leaking electricity through a “ground wire” into the ground. Without grounding, excess electricity can cause fires, damage to electrical appliances and computers, and also shocks to residents.

Older homes built under earlier electrical codes will often have outlets for two-prong plugs. This is often an indication of an ungrounded electrical system. Sometimes, the outlets have been replaced with the modern three-prong type, but without actually adding a ground wire. This can make it appear that the system is grounded when it’s not.

Even when your wiring system has a ground wire, the grounding may fail due to loose or corroded connections and splices. A qualified electrician can check your wiring with a special tester to determine if it’s fully grounded. The Electric Connection offers this testing as a free service with every electrical job that we do in the L.A. area.

Zinsco and Federal Pacific – Electric Panels

There is now conclusive evidence that both Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) “Stab-Lok” electrical panels can fail. (Electrical panels contain your circuit breakers or fuses.) Fires and electrical shocks can result. These brands were installed in the 1950s to 1980s. The failure rates as they age are much higher than for other brands and represent a real electrical hazard. We recommend all Zinsco and FPE electrical panels and circuit breakers be replaced with modern electrical equipment. Click here for more information about Zinsco and Federal Pacific electrical panels. One of the specialties of The Electric Connection is panel upgrades. We’re possibly the most active company in Los Angeles when it comes to electrical panel replacements. We offer a free safety check of your L.A. electrical panel box with every job.

Old Circuit Breakers and Fuses – A Fire and Shock Hazard

Circuit breakers and fuses protect your electrical wiring from overloads of electricity. Overloading can melt wires and cause fires and electrical shocks. Whenever a wire is overloaded, the circuit breaker or fuse is supposed to cut the flow of electricity.

Sometimes older circuit breakers don’t work fast enough and allow too much current through. Fuses can also be a safety concern. Sometimes, they’ve been replaced with improperly-sized fuses and no longer protect wires from overloading. These safety issues can be solved by installing modern circuit breakers. Click here for a coupon for a free check of your electrical circuit breaker box with your next electrical job.

Aluminum Wires – A Hidden Danger

Most homes have copper electrical wires. However, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, over 2,000,000 U.S. homes were wired with aluminum. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has determined that aluminum wiring is hazardous as, over time, connections and splices can fail, resulting in fires and shocks.

Fortunately, a qualified electrician can upgrade an aluminum wiring system without replacing all the wires with copper. It’s possible to eliminate the fire hazard by upgrading only connection points and splices. Aluminum wiring safety retrofits should be done only by electricians specifically trained to upgrade aluminum wiring safely.

If you think it’s possible that your Los Angeles home has aluminum wiring, you can get a free checkwith your next electrical job. One of the specialties of The Electric Connection is efficient and effective safety upgrading of aluminum wiring in the Los Angeles area.

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