TOP SAFETY CONCERNS - If you encounter any of these you should turn off the circuit breaker at the electrical panel, and CALL JAN RUTA ELECTRIC: 802-279-2854.
- Wires with insulation that is damaged, cracked, brittle, discolored, or falling off.
- A receptacle, switch, or appliance that feels hot to the touch, (keeping in mind that some dimmers do get warm).
- A burning smell around a receptacle, light, switch, appliance, electrical panel, etc.
- A popping, crackling, or sizzling sound.
- A circuit breaker or fuse that trips continuously.
THINGS TO CORRECT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
- Extension cords should not be under rugs, under furniture (without a space), run through doorways or windows, or be used as a permanent way to electrify something.
- Light fixtures should not be overlamped. Light fixtures are rated for the maximum size bulb the fixture can accept. This rating can be found on new fixtures. Check all fixtures, and only use 40 60 watt incandescent bulbsespecially for enclosed fixtures. Or use compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs.
- Fuses and circuit breakers should not be oversized.
- Electrical space heaters and air conditioners with old ungrounded wiring generate a great deal of heat and should not be used.
- Receptacles into which plugs fit loosely or fall out should be replaced to avoid arcing.
- Mice running in your ceiling and/or walls will chew the insulation on wires, exposing the copper.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) must be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, unfinished basements, crawl spaces, outdoors, and within 6 feet of any sink. (Check the National Electrical Code [NEC] for required locations.)
- Insulation must not be installed over or in wall cavities where knob and tube wiring is present.
- Cords on which the ground prong is missing or broken off need the cord end replaced.
- Overburdened powerstrips, or powerstrips plugged into other powerstrips, generate heat and indicate that it's time to add another receptacle.
- Water & electricity don't mix! Keep all cords off floors, snow, and the ground.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Electricity is heat!
- Before doing any electrical work, turn off the power to the circuit. If in doubt, turn off the main breaker. Always test the circuit to be sure it is off!
- Check with your local municipality to find out: the electrical codes for your area, if you are allowed to perform your own electrical work, and if the work needs to be inspected.
- All electrical connections must be made in boxes, and these boxes must be accessible & have cover plates.
- All electrical wires must be placed on the correct size circuit breaker or fuse.
- The electrical box you use is determined by its size & the number of wires & devices that will be in it (aka, box fill).
- Tight connections are critical in wire nuts, on devices, and under screws.
- Don't overtighten clamps, connectors, or staples.
- All wires entering metal boxes must go through a connector.
- All metal boxes, devices, etc. must be bonded. This is done by connecting all ground wires together and connecting them to the ground screw on the deviceor in the case of metal boxes, to a ground screw in the box.
- When adding or changing a box, be sure to label/diagram/photograph how the wires are connected before you take them apart.
- All living spaces and bedroom circuits are required to be protected by Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).
- All openings in boxes or panels must be covered with knock-out seals or panel blanks.
- Hardwired smoke and CO detectors are required. Check with your local jurisdiction for the specific types and locations.
- To reset a tripped circuit breaker, you must push it to the off position until it clicks, and then turn it to the on position. You should feel & hear it click in.
- Fluorescent lightbulbs and fixture ballast must be disposed of properly. They are hazardous waste. Contact your local electrical supply companies or waste removal companies for disposal.
- When working on lights that have ballast, beware: Ballast up the amperage!
- Be sure to install fan boxes whenever you install a ceiling fan or a heavy fixture greater than 50 lbs. All ceiling fixtures must be installed in boxes rated for 50 lbs, as of 2008. Be sure the box you install is rated to hold 50 lbs.
- Purchase a good quality surge protector for your computer and any expensive electronic equipment. The protector must have an indicator light to tell you when it is no longer functioning and a reset button.
- When installing lights, be sure to identify the neutral (white) wire. It is the one that is identifiable: It has ridges on it.
IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS OR FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE, CALL JAN RUTA ELECTRIC: 802-279-2854.
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