Tag: GFCI Outlets

Everything You Should Know About Your Home Electrical System

everything you should know about your home electrical system

Every homeowner should know at least the basics about the electrical systems in their home. If something were to malfunction or cause problems, you should know what you might be dealing with and how you can fix it (or prevent it from happening in the future). To help you get started, the pros at Roman Electric have prepared a guide on everything you need to know about your home electrical system.

1. Understand the Importance of a GFCI

Most homes have ground fault circuit interrupters pre-installed. However, if you have an older home, you might have to install it yourself. GFCI outlets can prevent electrocution—essentially, if the GFCI senses electrical difference flowing into the current, it will immediately shut off the circuit. This is especially useful in places where appliances are exposed to water. A GFCI can protect human life so it is important that you them installed around your home. The National Electric code requires them installed in places like your bathroom, kitchen, basement and even outdoors.

2. Find Ways to Save Electricity

There are numerous simple steps you can take to save electricity and on your electric bill. Here are some ways you can easily save electricity in your home:

  • Reduce Energy Vampires

Energy vampires are devices or appliances that eat up electricity even when they are not being used. As long as they are plugged in, they are slowly increasing your electricity bill. Make sure that you unplug devices like your laptop charger, hair dryer, and coffee machine when they are not being used. If you’re going on vacation, consider unplugging other larger appliances as well.

  • Turn Off Unnecessary Lights

If you are not using a certain room in your home, make sure the lights and fan are on. During the day, make use of the sun!

  • Switch to LEDs

LED lights are significantly more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer.

3. Know the Main Parts of Your Electrical System

Here is some home-electrical vocabulary you should know:

  • Electric Meter

The utility company’s lines extend to your home and are connected to your electric meter. Here you can measure the amount of electricity your home is using.

  • Main Service Panel

Electricity comes into your house from the main service panel and is essentially distributed to your electrical home appliances on hot wires. The current is then returned back to the utility on neutral wire which completes the circuit.

  • Disconnect Switch

Located on the exterior of your home next to the meter, the disconnect switch can shut off power from outside your home.

  • Main Circuit Breaker

The main circuit controls the power going to the branch circuit breakers, which control the power being distributed to your home appliances. Turning it off shuts off power to the branch circuit breakers and your home. If you don’t have a disconnect switch, the main breaker can be used to shut off power to your home.

Have any more questions about your home electrical system? Contact the pros at Roman Electric at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service online.

The INs and OUTs of GFCI Outlets

GFCI Outlets

The colder weather means you might have to use outdoor tools a bit more than during the hotter part of the year. When you use those tools — one that needs an extension cord, for example — then it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re plugging it into a GFCI outlet.

How do you know which outlets are GFCI outlets? And what’s the difference between those outlets and normal ones? Good questions. Follow along and let the pros at Roman Electric help you understand the ins and outs of GFCI outlets.

Breaking Down the Acronym

A GFCI outlet can seem intimidating if you’re not sure what it is, but there’s no need to worry. All a GFCI outlet does is protect your electronics from things that could harm them — specifically from ground faults and short circuits.

That’s actually what the acronym stands for: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. These types of outlets are easily identified by the “RESET” and “TEST” buttons on the plate, which you won’t find in a regular outlet.

What a GFCI Outlet Does

A GFCI outlet functions the same way a regular outlet does, but it has a built-in layer of protection. This outlet constantly monitors the electrical current going in and out of it, and if it notices even the tiniest difference between the power levels, it shuts the circuit down.

That’s where the “RESET” and “TEST” buttons come in handy. Once the GFCI outlet trips itself, it has to be manually reset or else it won’t work. All you’ve got to do is push the “RESET” button, and the outlet will be back in working order.

This way, you’ve got a guaranteed defense against any type of electrical problem that would harm you or your devices far quicker than you’d be able to prevent otherwise. And all it takes is a little upgrade to the outlet!

Where GFCI Outlets Are — Or Should Be

Short circuits and ground faults tend to occur in places where the electrical current finds a quicker way to complete itself than through the usual wires. This happens where water is abundant, so GFCI outlets are usually installed outdoors and near water sources.

Your bathroom, kitchen and any other outlet near a water source in your home should already have GFCI protection capabilities. If they don’t, that’s something you should get checked out and corrected as soon as possible.

All it takes is one accidental spill, and you could have a serious electrical hazard on your hands. Better to be safe than sorry!

Roman Electric: Your GFCI Outlet Experts

As we’ve explained, GFCI outlets are essential to maintaining a proper defense against dangerous electrical problems. They stand guard around the clock to keep you and your family safe, and all homes need them.

Whether you need maintenance on your GFCI outlets or you’ve realized that your home is under-prepared, give us a call at 414-369-3798! Roman Electric offers the most reliable and comprehensive electrical service in Milwaukee, and we’d be glad to help however we can.