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08

May 2014

When you want to hire an electrician

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Whether you talk to Vons or someone else, these are the steps you’ll want to ensure are included in an inspection of the electrical system in your home or business.

Inspect interior and exterior wires. Damaged, frayed or unprotected wires can be dangerous, especially in basements, attics, and tight enclosed spaces. Wires that come into contact with hot surfaces or pipes are also a hazard and must be reported and remedied.

Check the installation and functioning of any GFCI outlets. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets are an important safety mechanism for any home or business and should be installed anywhere – indoors or outdoors – to replace an outlet that may come in contact with moisture or water. They are designed to shut off in the event the outlet becomes overloaded or short circuits. A licensed electrician can ensure new and existing outlets are correctly wired and can advise where you should replace ordinary outlets with a GFCI.

Test all outlets and wall switches. Checking the health of a wall switch or outlet can often reveal unsafe wiring hidden behind it, before it becomes a major and dangerous issue. An electrician can test for ungrounded circuits and reversed polarity, look for blackened, smelly or discolored (dangerous) outlets and replace any that are loose or damaged.

Inspect the electrical panel for moisture or damage (also known as the breaker box). It is critical that your electrical panel has sufficient clearance; the circuit breakers and wiring within it are “to code”; and there is no sign of overheating, corrosion, moisture, or oxidation. The electrical panel needs to be properly grounded and bonded to the water pipes. Never attempt to remove or inspect an electrical panel yourself as they can be dangerous.

Check the electric meter to make sure it was installed securely and that there are no signs of water damage. Rust at the base could indicate water entering the meter which increases the risk of water getting into your main electrical panel. The meter also needs to be checked for broken seals or other defects.

Vons would rather have a longstanding, satisfied customer than one quick job.”

Vaughn Hazen

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