Inspecting your Electrical System

 

By Matt Moyer – Master Electrician

Whether you have a house, a business or a large manufacturing facility, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your electrical system is operating safely.  When you have a problem with your car, for example,  you may have a warning light come on many miles before you become stranded on the side of the road.  An electrical panel has no such warning lights and often by the time you notice you have a problem there is nothing you can do to solve it.  Here are some simple things you can do to make sure your electrical panels are safe and ensure that when you do have a problem, it will not be a catastrophic one.

First, start at the main electrical meter outside and overhead lines coming from the power company.  If there are branches hanging over your power lines that could come down and damage the wires you should hire an experienced tree trimmer to have them removed.  If a storm causes the branches to fall, it could disconnect the power from your house.  Reattaching the power lines to your house is often the responsibility of the power company, but the damage to the meter base and your house is your responsibility.  Avoiding damage to your electrical system can save an expensive after hours service call.

Second,  find the main service panel and make sure the cover is attached and there are no open holes in the cover or on the sides of the panel box.  This metal box is designed to contain sparks or fire associated with a short circuit or failure of one of the components, but it must be closed to safely protect you and your home or business.

Third,  check for open junction boxes throughout the building.  Over the years, many times covers are removed and never replaced.  Outlets and switches should also have covers, even if they are behind things or on the ceiling.  These covers not only keep fire and sparks inside the box and keep it from spreading,  they keep fingers away from energized wires inside the box.

Fourth,  with the electrical panel cover in place and all holes in the panel box plugged,  feel the front of the circuit breakers.  You will quickly tell if some of the circuit breakers are really warm.  This can indicate a heavily loaded circuit and will eventually cause a breakdown in your electrical system.

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns about your electrical system, always contact a licensed electrical contractor to inspect your system and ensure it’s safety.  Additionally, repairs to your electrical system should always be done by a technician who is knowledgeable in the current National Electrical Code so that your home or business can be as safe as possible.

Moyer Electric Inc. is an Electrical Contractor serving northern Indiana since 1980. We offer Residential, Commercial and Industrial electrical service. Please visit our Contact page or call our office at 574-862-3181

 

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