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Check Your Electrical System Before Plugging in Holiday Lights!

holiday-lights-cozy-settingIt’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Goodwill is in the chilly air, gifts are being purchased, and evenings are being spent in comfort by the fire (or simply enjoying the modern marvel of central heating). If you are like us, chances are you are already in the process of decorating your home for the holidays. Multiple strings of lights and decorations will bedeck your home inside and out.

Before you dive in too deep on plugging in all those light, we want to give you a quick warning that you may want to check your electrical panel. The reason why we are offering this word of caution is that the wrong string of lights could overload your electrical panel and cause a decent amount of trouble.

If you aren’t in the mood to deal with electrical trouble this holiday season, our advice to be to find out what you need to be cautious of and what you can do to keep this month free of unwanted sparks.

Tripping a GFCI Outlet

In most cases, you’ll be plugging your outdoor light into a GFCI outlet in your garage. This type of outlet is meant to protect the home against an electric shock should water or moisture finds its way into it or if it detects that the electrical system is overloaded.

Tripping a Circuit Breaker

Let’s say you plugged in lights for the tree, the banister, the kitchen cupboards, and about four other decorations when you notice that some of your outlets don’t seem to be working right or working in any way. Chances are shortly after this you will have a tripped circuit breaker because you are overloading an outlet or circuit with too many amps to manage.

Avoiding Electrical Overload

The question that remains is how can one plan ahead to avoid overloading their circuit breaker? There are a few different signs you can watch for to warn you that a circuit breaker is about to trip such as flying sparks when you use an outlet, flickering lights, etc. If you notice these types of signs, your best option is to stop using this outlet or to see if there is a way to reduce the number of amps you are using.

Another way to avoid an overload is to update your electrical panel. If your circuit breaker is between 25 and 40 years old there is a strong chance it needs to be replaced. Updating this part of your electrical system can help it better handle to electrical demands of your home on a regular basis.

How We Can Help

If you are having trouble with inoperable outlets or frequent circuit breaker trips, you may want to seek assistance from our team of electricians in Coeur D’Alene, ID. You never want to try to handle electrical work on your own, it is easiest and safest to leave this to a professional.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice. Reach out to us today to schedule your next service appointment.

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