While change is a natural part of life, and staying abreast of the latest tech-advancements and innovative products is at the top of mind of most families, there is a potential danger lurking behind the scenes. With all these new electronic devices, gadgets and gizmos being used, the outlets in your home may not be up to the task of powering them all. In fact, if your electrical system is stuck in the past, you may be putting yourself, your family and your home at risk.
The good news is, there are some obvious signs you can watch for to know an outlet upgrade is needed.
You are Constantly Searching for an Empty 3-Prong Outlet
A two-prong, ungrounded outlet is not only inconvenient, it actually represents a rather large safety risk. These outlets pose a serious shock risk to you, and may even fry your sensitive and expensive electronic devices and appliances. As a result, you need to put three-prong, grounded outlets at the top of your must-have list when it comes to technology.
Unfortunately, when making this change, you won’t be able to do a simple outlet switch. The entire panel will need to be rewired with a three-wire circuit, and it will be necessary to make sure your electric box is also properly grounded. If this isn’t done, the newly added outlets and surge protectors won’t work.
Your Home is Still in the 1950s
If you live in an older home, the large number of electrical devices you have may overwhelm the electric system in place. If you notice the breakers in your home are tripping constantly, or if your lights dim and flicker regularly, then the service panel needs to be upgraded before overloaded wires cause a shock, overheat or start a fire.
While upgrading your service panels is important, there are many older homes that may require a service upgrade. If this is needed, it means the amount of energy that is wired into the home from your electrical system would only be adequate for past decades. If your home is running on a 60-amp service, it is time to have a 100-am (or even higher) upgrade installed.
There are No GFCI Outlets in “Wet” Areas
A GFCI outlet is designed to cut off the electrical current if an overload occurs. These have been a required installation according to the electrical code in any environment where water was present for a while now. If you don’t have this type of protection in place, then you are putting yourself and your family at risk of a deadly electric shock if an appliance accidentally comes in contact with water.
If your home is still living in the past when it comes to the electrical system, it is time for an upgrade. Changing out the outlets will ensure that you can power your tech-heavy lifestyle without the risk of shock, fire or other issues.