Start the Year Right with Electrical Maintenance

It’s easy to put electrical maintenance on the back burner, doing little more than changing light bulbs as needed. However, this isn’t the best way to handle your home’s electrical system. 

Regular electrical maintenance from a professional electrician can reduce your energy bill, keep your home safe, and help electrical components last longer.

If you haven’t had electrical maintenance done in some time, you might want to consider reaching out to schedule an inspection and any residential electrical repair you might need. Annual maintenance is typically the best way to go, and there’s no time like the present to get started.

What Does Electrical Maintenance Include?

Residential electrical maintenance can cover a wide variety of different practices designed to keep your home’s electrical system running right. This entails a thorough inspection, monitoring, and testing components, replacing or repairing them as needed.

Electrical maintenance is largely diagnostic and requires specialized tools to carry out. While homeowners can identify obvious signs of electrical problems like a loss of power, tripped breakers, or sparking outlets, there are much more subtle clues that an electrician will be able to identify.

The idea behind regular electrical maintenance is to catch problems before they reach a critical point. Once a problem is obvious, it’s often too late to avoid costly repairs. With precise and accurate measurement devices, an electrician can uncover hidden faults within your home’s electrical system.

Once problems are identified, a professional electrician can recommend one of several courses of action. These will be different depending on the specific issues or potential hazards that your home’s electrical system is facing. You might need an extensive service like home rewiring installation or electrical panel upgrades. Or it might be a simple matter of replacing a faulty electrical outlet installation.

In any case, the electrician will be able to clearly explain what your options are and why you should take the needed steps to remedy your home’s electrical system. Safety, durability, and reliability are all key factors when making these kinds of decisions, and a professional electrician will understand what’s needed to ensure all three.

What Are the Different Types of Electrical Maintenance?

Electrical maintenance can be broken down into a few distinct categories. Not all of these categories will apply to all homes, and some of them are strictly for industrial applications. However, you should make sure to keep up with any maintenance that’s recommended for your home’s electrical system.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is when problems are dealt with as they arise. The repairs that a professional electrician carries out after you call them for faulty outlets or a broken light fixture are corrective maintenance.

Ideally, you should focus on maintaining your home’s electrical system to avoid ever needing corrective maintenance. That’s only in principle, though. In practice, you’re going to have unexpected issues at some point or another, and calling an electrician right away is the best way to handle them.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance refers to the regular inspections and maintenance you can have done for your home’s electrical system to catch issues before they happen. While many homes wouldn’t require anything more than annual inspections, you could require more regular maintenance if you have certain types of electrical equipment.

This type of maintenance is the most important for most homeowners when it comes to avoiding safety hazards and keeping repair costs low. Almost all electrical issues become worse over time. This means that catching them as soon as possible is in your best interests, potentially saving you the cost of replacing or repairing additional electrical components.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is generally more important in terms of industrial electrical applications. However, it’s being applied more often in residential homes. Predictive maintenance involves continuous monitoring of electrical components to alert the homeowner when maintenance is necessary.

If you have a standby generator, chances are it has built-in predictive maintenance monitoring that will provide you with alerts when something needs attention. The same is true for the latest HVAC systems on the market, many of which have a wide variety of alerts and monitoring options available to enhance predictive maintenance.

What Do Electricians Check During an Inspection?

An inspection of your home’s electrical system from a professional electrician will be largely focused on safety and electrical code standards. Preventing electrical fires and shocks is the most important thing when it comes to your home’s electrical system, although these inspections also check for other problems as well.

These inspections may include checking for signs of wear or potential failure in various components and fixtures. An electrician will also be able to identify areas where you could use an upgrade. 

Electrical panel upgrades are some of the most commonly recommended actions, with modern panels featuring improved safety features and greater capacity.

If your home has never had an electrical inspection, you could be dealing with many unknown dangers. This is particularly true if your home is more than 40 years old. Many electrical components can last for decades without issue and only become a problem suddenly. Even if everything seems fine, these outdated components could be a significant fire or shock hazard.

An electrical inspection should include these key areas:

  • Verifying that the correct light bulb wattage is being used for lighting fixtures
  • Checking the condition and performance of switches and outlets
  • Inspection of potential electrocution hazards
  • Double-checking arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) functionality
  • Verification of proper ground for electrical circuits
  • Testing and placement verification of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Ensuring the electrical panel is operating correctly, safely, and up to code
  • Inspection of outdoor lighting and outlets

These are all common areas where a lack of regular maintenance can lead to minor issues turning into big problems over time. By focusing on these areas, electricians can ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe and dependable.

Common Issues Found During Electrical Maintenance

While electricians check for a wide variety of potential electrical problems, most homeowners find themselves dealing with one or more of these widespread issues. Luckily, a professional electrician will also be highly experienced in repairing these common problems.

Exposed Light Bulbs

Are there any light bulbs in your home that don’t have a shade or other type of enclosure? You might think that this is fine in closets, garages, or other lightly-trafficked areas. But shades aren’t just for looks.

An exposed light bulb presents a potential fire hazard. Particularly in closets, it’s too easy for something flammable to rest against the exposed bulb without you noticing. There’s also an increased chance of hitting the bulb with something, breaking it, and getting a dangerous shock.

Ungrounded Outlets

Grounded outlets are an essential part of what keeps your home safe. The ground connection provides a path for major surges to exit the circuit, reducing the risk of these surges affecting you or whatever you’ve plugged into the outlet.

You might find yourself dealing with completely ungrounded outlets, those that only have the two vertical slots. These should be replaced right away. A new electrical outlet installation will help protect your home.

Faulty GFCI Outlets

Ground fault circuit interrupter outlets are the ones you find in your kitchen or bathroom with the little “reset” button on them. Basically, they have a tiny breaker inside of them that prevents shocks. They’re usually installed in areas where water or moisture might affect the outlets.

However, these specialized outlets aren’t always installed properly. If you or anyone other than an electrician handled the electrical outlet installation, they might not be working correctly. An electrical maintenance inspection will verify that they’re operating as intended.

Overwired Circuits

Every circuit in your home connects to a specific circuit breaker in your electrical panel, and each circuit often powers many different lights, outlets, or appliances. That’s why when you shut off a breaker, you could be shutting off power to several rooms.

If you have too many outlets or appliances on a single circuit breaker, you probably won’t be able to turn everything on at once without tripping the breaker. In this case, you’ll likely need electrical panel upgrades to increase your home’s capacity.

Exposed Wiring

If your home has ever had amateur installations or repairs done, chances are you could be dealing with exposed wiring somewhere. Exposed wiring presents a serious electrical fire risk.

Whenever you need home rewiring installation, you should always go with professionals. An electrician will be able to ensure that the installation is carried out safely.

Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring was widely used during the 1960s and 1970s because it was cheaper than copper and seemed at the time to be a safe alternative. However, we now know that this isn’t the case, and home rewiring installation hasn’t used aluminum since.

While aluminum wiring isn’t a code violation, it can be dangerous. This is because any connections between aluminum and copper will corrode over time. Luckily, there are relatively simple measures to remedy the situation once discovered.

Professional Electrical Maintenance in Mint Hill, NC

Are you concerned that your home might have hidden electrical faults? The electricians at GB Electrical Services can provide for all of your electrical maintenance needs here in Mint Hill, NC. Give us a call today to get started.