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Categories
Safety

Busting 5 Electricity Myths

Busting 5 Electricity Myths

With electricity being used in almost every aspect of our lives, it’s important to know what’s true about how it works.

 

If you turn off your appliances and electronic devices, they’re off and stop using energy.

While this used to be true with older appliances and devices, newer technology today doesn’t always work that way. Many appliances and devices will still draw power, often just as much as they do when they’re on,  just by being plugged in. These ‘off’ settings sometimes are more like standby or sleep settings, not powered all the way off so that they’re ready for the next use. However convenient that may be, they’re wasting electricity, and therefore, your money, so make sure they’re unplugged.

 

Wearing rubber makes handling live wires safe.

Shocking, right? Yes, rubber is an insulator, so electricity doesn’t travel through it naturally. Because of that, some folks believe that wearing rubber cleaning gloves or rubber rain boots protects them from harm while handling live electric wires. They have the right idea, but it’s not quite foolproof. Only pure rubber is an insulator, which is hard to find in your household items, often made with rubber and mixed with other chemicals. Using this hack may lessen conductivity, but can’t eliminate it, so they don’t offer you protection from electrocution. Better to leave the cleaning gloves for cleaning and the rain boots for stomping in puddles.

 

Overhead power lines are insulated.

If this were true, line workers would be working constantly to replace insulation, as most materials wouldn’t last more than a few months in outdoor and high-voltage conditions. That’s why the lines are so high up, where they can be exposed and out of reach. This makes fallen lines extremely dangerous, as the entire line is a live wire, posing the danger of immense currents and voltage levels. 

 

The bottom pin on a plug just holds the plug in the outlet.

That bottom pin is called a ground pin, and while yes, it occasionally makes the connection more stable, it has a more important use. The ground pin provides a crucial safety feature, preventing injury, overheating, and electrical fires. It connects to a ground circuit, which is the path where electrical devices dump their extra current and voltage if there is a short or power surge. During these unpredictable electrical system problems, surges can cause overheating, melting lines, and fires. To avoid these, the extra energy flows through the ground circuit where it is safely grounded to keep your home and loved ones safe. 

 

The voltage isn’t what hurts you, it’s the current. 

While it’s true that higher voltage traveling with extremely low current is less dangerous, it doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous. Both high and low voltages and high and low current levels can cause serious harm. 

If current and voltage was like water flowing through a pipe, a pipe with a bigger diameter would have more voltage, and more water pressure would be more current level. So if you have a small pipe with a lot of pressure, the pressure would still hurt. Or, if you had a big pipe with a very slow flow, there would still be enough water to cause harm. With something like a fire hose, you have a fairly wide diameter, but since the water is under a ton of pressure, it could easily hurt you. Voltage at any current can be dangerous, so be cautious. 

 

Categories
Safety

5 Most Common Electrical Problems in Your Home

5 Most Common Electrical Problems in Your Home

Electricity is a lot more vital to our day-to-day lives than it used to be. That’s why, when you face a problem with the electricity in your home, it can throw your routine out of whack. Today we’ll uncover some of the most common electrical problems in your home. 

 

Voltage Sags

Typically, voltage sags, also known as brownouts, are not indicative of a larger problem with your home electrical. This issue, sags or dips in voltage, visible when your lights dim and get brighter without turning off, only lasting a second, is usually caused by equipment failure at your power plant or natural events like lightning. So, this home electrical problem isn’t usually something you need to worry about fixing, they will most likely get fixed at the plant.

While voltage sags are typically not dangerous, if they happen too frequently, they can become dangerous by causing malfunctions in digital equipment. 

 

Power Surges

Surges, similar to voltage sags, are common and usually only last for a moment. But frequent surges can cause damage to any electronic devices connected to the home electrical reducing, its lifespan. Generally, these surges are caused by high-voltage disruptions in the flow of electricity, improper house wiring, electrical faults, or damage to power lines. When you notice a power surge, the best thing you can do is disconnect electrical devices from your power outlets. If these surges continue, you can call us at Coffin Electric to get to the bottom of it. 

 

Electrical Shocks

Typically, electrical shocks are uncommon in your home electrical system and are a sign of something going wrong–like poor insulation, ungrounded wiring, backstabbed wires, or faulty appliances. However, if you live in an older home with an older electrical system, these shocks might be more common than their newer counterparts. To get to the root of the electrical shocks and be sure of the cause of the problem, calling a trusted electrician like our team at Coffin Electric, is the best bet. Trying to fix this problem by yourself can prove to be very dangerous and result in injury or damage to your system.

 

Trip in Your Circuit Breaker

Your circuit breaker is an extremely important part of your electrical system, protecting you and your home. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it’s a sign of a problem with a circuit. 

Likely, you have too many high-energy devices drawing power from the same source. The best thing you can do to avoid tripping the breaker is to reduce your devices that connect to a single power source or to lower the power draw settings of your appliances. If neither of these solutions works, you’ll want to call in backup from a professional. 

 

Frequent Bulb Burnouts

Obviously, your lightbulbs will burn out eventually, they do so to prevent electrical fires when equipment overheats. But, if they’re burning out earlier than they should, there could be several causes. Bulbs can burn out due to high voltage, a bulb fixed too tightly, improper air circulation, loose circuits or sockets, or excessive use. If this is a consistent issue, Coffin Electric can help you find the cause.