Tech Talk 05: The Importance of Electrical Safety Checks

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The Importance of Electrical Safety Checks

Did you know that electrical fires account for around 50,000 fires in the United States each year? That’s a lot of homes and businesses that are at risk! The good news is that by conducting regular electrical safety checks, you can help to reduce the risk of an electrical fire happening in your home or business.

As a home or business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your property is safe from fire hazards. One of the best ways to do this is to conduct regular electrical safety checks. By checking for things like loose wires, overloaded outlets, and damaged cords, you can help to prevent an electrical fire from starting.

Here are some tips on how to conduct an electrical safety check:

  • Before tackling any other projects, inspect your outlets to make sure they’re in top condition. Double-check that you haven’t overloaded them and investigate the cords for any signs of harm– it’s a crucial first step towards success!
  • Inspect each light and appliance for potential issues, making sure to check in uncommon areas that may have been neglected. Keep an eye out for cracks or general deterioration – a thorough examination can save time and money down the line!
  • Finally, secure all your cords and wires to ensure that everything is properly connected. After a thorough scan, make sure no exposed wiring poses an electric hazard.

If you find any damage or potential hazards during your electrical safety check, it is important to have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. By taking these simple steps, you can help to keep your home or business safe from fire hazards.

Electrical Problems Uncovered

I was here helping a customer upgrade some lighting to LED. I opened the electrical panel up, and nothing was labeled.  Next, I pulled the cover to find where the wires to this pipe were going to.  Right away I noticed a burnt wire. Wires can burn due to several different factors.  This one does not appear to be loose. But if you have a loose connection it can actually cause arcing in there and cause the wire to burn back and possibly start a fire.

In the breakers, the same thing I suspect that this one here could be because it has a ground fault in it.  This main grounding screw bonds your can and ground to your neutral. This is only supposed to be on the primary panel, and this is a sub-panel. Otherwise instead of allowing the electricity, in case of a fault, to come out and go through the ground as it should, it recirculates it and could have caused this (burnt wire).

Wrong sized electrical wires for the breaker

This 200 amp breaker is meant to safeguard the service wires coming in from the main disconnect, but these cords are surprisingly inadequate. Able to handle just 100 amps before heating up enough to spontaneously combust, it’s clear that this tiny fuse won’t be able make a big impact against such intense wattage!

Next we need to remove this screw. This separates your panel and ground from your neutral. We’re going to either need to change this breaker to 100 amp breaker and make it a 100 amp sub-panel. Or we could remove these wires and this undersized pipe to fit 200 amp wire and re-pull the whole thing.

Unveiling the mystery of why this caught fire and melted requires us to carefully trace the power source, locate which breaker needs fixing, and swap out whatever is at fault. Let’s get sleuthing!


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