Please forgive my tardiness in getting back to you. It was a crazy week. It was a great week for us, but not a fun week for others. We had five emergency calls in 2 days while also navigating the path of getting the team back to 100%.
After looking into the questions you had about Wareham’s Point area of Kingsmill, I have some information for your friends in that area to consider.
My goal is to provide knowledge that will help save money, the lifespan of appliances, and potential hazards that could cause issues in the future.
I found that the majority of the homes in your area were built in the early nineties. Electrical safety requirements have improved since then.
Current technology has been updated in the electrical code requirements, which will help to achieve the same objectives that I mentioned above.
The National Fire Protection Association develops the National Electrical Code and updates it every three years.
Examples of this are energy-saving LEDs, Fire-Guard breakers which reduce the risk of electrical fire by 98%, Ground-Fault protection which reduces the risk of electric shock, tamper-resistant outlets, Carbon Monoxide detectors, and whole-home surge protection which increases the life of major appliances.
All of which were either non-existent or were proven to be so effective by the NFPA that they expanded the need for them to a larger scale today.
Here are a few tips to help you be proactive to help you stay safe and extend the life of your electrical system.
Cycle Your Circuit Breakers
Turn the breakers in your electric panel off and on at least once a year. Circuit breakers have a mechanism within them that is spring-activated.
Leaving a spring under tension for an extended time, like 10 or 20 years, will compromise its effectiveness and keep it from tripping when it is supposed to.
Breakers with a “test” button should be tested once a month. Just push the test button and after the breaker trips, turn it back on. Manufacturers typically recommend replacing the panel after 20 years.
Change the Batteries in Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors Semi-annually
I would suggest Daylight Savings Time. Please, please, please make sure that if you have an appliance that uses natural gas to install CO detectors that will alert you of a leak. These detectors should talk to each other and alert you on each floor of your home, at the same time. The idea is that if you have a CO leak in your garage at night, the detector will alert you on any floor where you may be sleeping.
Test Your GFCI Outlets Semi-annually.
Just a quick push of the “test” button, then push the “reset” button. If it doesn’t test or reset, it needs to be replaced.
We Understand That Safety Is Your 1st Concern:
And the second is the expense of updating or replacing a system. Options range from rejuvenating the old panel to a complete service replacement, including Fire-Guard breakers, grounding upgrades, whole-home surge protection, and electrical meter base replacement with a disconnect.
Please take note that a licensed professional should inspect the state of your electrical system before giving a true estimate.
Some homes may only need one or two of these items when others may need more. An accurate estimate will also consider the homeowner’s preferences regarding what they want to fix now or plan to repair down the road.
A panel rejuvenation can cost around $1400, while other options will increase from there.
Asbury Electric does offer an electrical maintenance plan that will help save on costly repairs. As part of the plan, we come out once a year and change batteries in the smoke detectors, tighten connections in the electrical panel, and silicone around the electrical boxes outside the home. We also provide you with a complete electrical safety report.
The membership also includes lifetime warranties on installations, no service fees during business hours, front-of-the-line service, double the warranties on repairs, and a 15% discount on any work we perform.
Owner, Professional Electrician at Asbury Electric in Gloucester, VA