How To Prepare For Halloween Lights
With the new light trends springing up everywhere this Halloween, many homeowners wonder if their outlets can keep up. There's nothing more frustrating than putting up decorations just to have them fail!
Electricians are here to share information about when to replace outlets, what options are out there, and why homeowners should never attempt these replacements themselves.
When To Replace Outlets
Any outlet that malfunctions regularly or has trouble keeping up with a home's demands needs replacement. However, it isn't always that obvious. Not every day comes with twinkling purple and orange Halloween lights.
Outlets don't last forever, and aging outlets can be a larger, more dangerous problem. This is due to wiring that is far more likely to break down and create a fire hazard, and not as much about the outlet's inability to do its job.
Signs that the outlets in the home may need replacement include:
- Hot or sparking outlets
- Crackling outlet covers
- Two-pronged outlets
- Flickering lights
Some places may also have specific codes for how long outlets can be used before being updated or replaced. If the outlet's age is unclear, no matter how well it seems to be functioning, it should be replaced for safety. Contact an electrician for more information.
What Are the Different Types of Outlets?
When replacing the outlets, it's essential to understand the types that are out there.
- GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupters) are useful because they can protect the wiring and the home by breaking the circuit when an imbalance is noted. It has three holes - two for the neutral, hot wire, and one in the middle for the ground wire. They are especially important for outlets that will be located close to water. GFCI should never be used with refrigerators or freezers that can trip without being obvious.
- AFCI outlets (arc-fault circuit interrupters) also protect the home but in a slightly different way. These outlets are more aware of damage, like a wire being chewed or an accident during construction. Instead of being out in the home, AFCIs are found in the service panel or non-water heavy rooms like the bedroom.
Both outlets were developed to increase the home's electrical safety and reduce the risk of electrocution or fire. That's why replacing old outlets without these features is strongly urged.
Always Hire a Professional
In either case, always have new outlets installed by the professionals. Outlet installation includes potential electrical interaction, which should never be attempted by someone without the training. This can lead to electrocution or home damage, and the money saved is not worth the risk.
Besides, some services may require the use of a permit as they may be considered construction. Doing it without the necessary permits can lead to fines and cost even more money in the long run.
About Beltz Home Service Co.
Belt Home Service Co. is located in Findlay, Ohio. They are a family-owned and operated company and have been in business since 2001. Beltz Home Service Co has an A+ BBB rating and provides award-winning service. Contact them for reliable outlet services in Findlay, OH.
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