#1 Electrical Mistake: Home Edition
Do you want to know the #1 electrical mistake we see on the job? Well buckle up, because in today’s
post we’ll not only share what the mistake is, but why it’s dangerous and how to fix it.
Click here to see the #1 electrical mistake in commercial buildings. Homeowners, read on:
Incorrectly Installed 3-Prong Outlets
This is the #1 electrical mistake we see in residential properties. As electrical work improved in the 1950s and 60s, 3-prong outlets were introduced to add grounding. “Grounding” is a safety measure where excess electricity is directed back into the ground, instead of to your home or body.
In many homes an outlet appears to be updated to a 3-prong setup, but in reality there is no ground wire added. There’s just a 3-prong outlet with no ground wire attached. This allows you to use 3-prong plugs, but has no safety benefit and lacks the importing grounding of a proper 3-prong outlet. This is a terrible oversight that is not only a huge safety hazard, but may go unnoticed for years because it outwardly appears to be properly wired.
So how do we fix it? There are two ways to properly upgrade a 2-prong outlet. One involves adding that ground wire, which must be done by a qualified electrician. This is the safest option and requires running a ground wire from the outlet all the way to the main electrical panel. The second method is to add a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI, to the outlet. Instead of grounding the outlet, a GFCI monitors the flow of electricity and cuts off power to that outlet if the voltage ever exceeds a safe level.
We encourage homeowners to have their outlets inspected by a licensed electrician if you have any question about the safety of your home’s wiring. Proper wiring adds value to the home, keeps your family safe, and also helps protect your electronic devices.
Ready to get started? Give us a call or submit the contact form here for help with your next home electrical project.