How safe is your home electrical system?

Is your home equipped with three-prong receptacles? The third prong on a typical electrical appliance plug provides an extra measure of safety against electrical shock. Two-prong outlets, often found in older homes, may not be grounded adequately and should be upgraded. Is your home protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)?

The National Electric Code requires that GFCI outlets – with Test and Reset buttons – are installed in areas of the home where water may be present, such as your kitchen, baths, utility room, garage and outside locations. Is the wiring in your outlet boxes old and crumbling? If the wiring for your light switches or outlets is wrapped in cloth sheathing or bits of black rubber, you need to upgrade your home wiring to keep your family safe. Do your lights dim when your appliances start? Appliances such as air conditioners, clothes dryers, refrigerators and furnaces use extra electricity when they start. This may be more than just a nuisance. An overloaded system can damage sensitive equipment. Do circuit breakers trip often? Do fuses blow regularly? Too much electrical current causes breakers to trip or fuses to melt. Don’t ignore this warning. Have your electrical system inspected and upgraded. Do you use extension cords to reach outlets? If you need to use extension cords on a regular basis, you probably need more outlets in your home. When you use extension cords to make up for a lack of outlets, you run the risk of placing too much demand on your electrical system. Extension cords placed under rugs or furniture may also be a safety hazard, causing people to trip. Do you use outlet strips on a regular basis? If you use outlet strips to make up for a lack of electrical outlets, you may be creating more demand than a single outlet or electrical line can handle safely. Outlet strips are not the answer. You need additional outlets and possibly new wiring to service these outlets. Is there rust on your main electrical service panel? Rust on your main electrical service panel indicates a moisture problem, which can lead to further problems. Do electrical switches or outlets feel warm? Does your hand tingle when you touch a switch or outlet?


This may be an indication of a loose or deteriorating electrical connection, which could lead to shock or fire. Have you ever upgraded your electrical service? If your Mukilteo home is more than 25 years old, you should have your system inspected and if necessary, brought up to electrical code standards. If you have electrical problems or concerns, give Electricians Today a call.