Electrical hazards

How To Avoid the 3 Most Common Electrical Hazards

javierStay on the Lookout for These Electrical Hazards

Electricity remains one of the few home projects that most people won't try to DIY, and this is the way it should be. Not only is dealing with electricity illegal for unlicensed individuals, but it is also dangerous and can present long-term hazards if not properly installed. While professionals should always be called when problems arise, everyone can do a few things to avoid the hazards that electricity can present. 

In this quick article, local electricians share some knowledge about things they've seen in the field. By avoiding common mistakes, homeowners can make their homes safe from the dangers of electricity. 

Overloaded Power Strips and Outletspowerstrips

Everyone is guilty of this one. Who hasn't been inside someone's home or office and seen a power strip completely overloaded or outlets with multiple extenders? In an age with so many electronics, this is an easy mistake to make. 

Adding power strips or outlet extenders isn't always a bad thing. Most electronics are low-wattage devices that pull very little power. This is why power strips are completely acceptable for running a desk at home. However, as more things get added to an outlet, it can cause an overload without anyone noticing. 

When outlets have too many devices plugged into them, it increases the amount of electricity flowing through a home's wiring. This excessive heat can slowly cause problems that can lead to fires. Always try to spread devices, especially high-wattage devices, across different circuits around the home. 

Outdated Wiring or Handyman Wiring

Wiring a home is not a project for anyone other than a licensed electrician. Often in older homes, homeowners will try to replace old wiring themselves. While it is a good idea to replace certain outdated portions of a home's wiring during a renovation, a professional should always do so. 

Apart from handyman wiring jobs, old wiring can also be a hazard. As for wiring ages, the insulation can become damaged and become a source of fires or electrocution. Modern wiring has been engineered to not have these problems as it ages, so upgrading outdated wiring is a great idea to protect a home. 

Incorrect Light Bulb Wattagebulb

This one may sound trivial. Why does it matter what size of the light bulb gets put in a fixture? In truth, the properly sized light bulb is of vital importance. Just like how outlets and power strips get overloaded when too many devices are plugged in, a light bulb that is too high of a wattage for a fixture can cause dangerous overheating. When a high wattage light bulb is screwed into a fixture that requires a lower wattage, the bulb's demand for electricity can cause the fixture to overheat and melt or cause a fire. 

Luckily, now that most light bulbs are switching to lower wattage LEDs, the problem may soon be a thing of the past. However, it is still an important detail to pay attention to when upgrading lighting. One of the problems with LEDs is that it can be hard to determine the wattage equivalent for a traditional incandescent bulb. This could lead to confusion that could cause someone to install an oversized light bulb that may cause damage to the fixture or even an electrical fire. 

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning is the only trade company a homeowner will ever need. With high-quality plumbing, HVAC, and electrical services available, they can attend to every need. Call Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning today for fast and competitive electrical service in Sun Prairie, WI. 

Sump pump maintenance

Common Signs a Sump Pump Might Be Right for Your Home

What Exactly Is a Sump Pump?

Basements are a great place to entertain, and for homeowners that have a finished basement, there is a good chance they put quite a bit of money into it. Whether it be from the carpet, the entertainment center, or furniture, they probably don’t want anything to get destroyed. 

Unfortunately, basements are prone to flooding, which is why many homeowners invest in a sump pump. These can prevent damage as they pump water out and away from the foundation. This helps the area under the house dry after a storm so that the excess moisture doesn’t find its way into the basement or other living areas.

3 Main Signs Homeowners Might Need a Sump Pump

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  • They’ve experienced a flood in the basement before: Unfortunately, if they’ve experienced one, there’s a good chance there will experience another. A sump pump can help eliminate the chance of multiple floods!
  • They live in a climate that experiences a lot of rain or snow: With more storms comes a higher risk of flood. After a heavy rain or snowstorm, homeowners should take a look at their basement for any freestanding water. Make sure to check crawl spaces as tiny hidden leaks may turn into large floods in the future.  
  • They live in a flat or low-lying area: For those that live in an area with hills or mountains grading down towards their home, this may be a sign they should get a sump pump. Flowing water will find its way to their basement if it’s the lowest point.

Sump Pump Options

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For homeowners convinced that a sump pump may be a good choice for their home, there are a couple of options to choose from, including:

  • Pedestal: A Pedestal sump pump is more economical, but it doesn’t tend to last as long as a Submersible sump pump. Pedestal sump pumps have the motor located above the sump, which is less appealing, but also much easier to service. 
  • Submersible: A Submersible sump pump is more expensive but lasts a bit longer. The motor from this pump is sealed inside the sump. This makes for a safer and nicer looking option, but it is harder to access for service. 

How To Choose the Best Sump Pump

confused woman

Choosing the right sump pump comes down to personal preference. For homeowners willing to spend a little extra money, the Submersible pump may be the better option - especially if they have children because it is completely hidden. However, a pedestal sump pump can also do a great job at protecting valuables in the basement, but they may find themselves replacing the sump pump more frequently. 

When in doubt, it is best to contact a professional to see which option would work best!

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving Sun Prairie, WI, and the surrounding area for over 35 years. For all plumbing, heating, AC, and electrical needs, call Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning for professional, fast, and clean work.