Do I Need to Call a Professional to Have My Electrical Outlet Wiring Tested?

Any time you have an issue with an electrical outlet, it’s advisable to call a professional electrician to test the wiring. Electrical work is dangerous, and checking wiring requires special knowledge, skills and tools. A professional electrician can inspect your wiring, find problems and assure safety. Regular expert inspections prevent electrical fires and guarantee electrical system dependability, making them a smart home safety investment. Consider 11 reasons to have a professional test outlet wiring.

1. Will Childproof the Outlets

Childproofing is a service that electricians provide when they check and test electrical wiring. To preserve electrical outlets, avoid accidents and protect children, childproofing is essential. Electricians childproof outlets with outlet covers, sliding plate covers or tamper-resistant outlets. To prevent youngsters from inserting objects that they should not, covers and tamper-resistant outlets work best at limiting access. This precaution prevents electrical risks and makes these electrical receptacles work longer, giving homeowners peace of mind.

2. Can Install GFCI Outlets

Testing outlet wiring helps electricians determine whether to install ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. These outlets improve safety by identifying power surges and other electrical problems. To avoid electrical shocks and fire hazards, they quickly turn off the power. Kitchens and bathrooms, which are prone to dampness, must have GFCI outlets. Their lightning-fast response time to ground faults dramatically enhances safety.

3. Will Ensure an Effective Installation

During your inspection, the electrician may determine that you need new outlets. For maximum safety and conformity with electrical rules and regulations, it is essential to have outlets installed by professionals. Professional electricians know how to connect wires correctly, calculate load needs and follow all safety regulations. Do-it-yourself projects pose risks of electrical shock, system overloads and damaged wiring.

4. Give Proper Wattage Advice

Outlet testing tells the electrician the proper wattage for each outlet. Incorrect wattage poses the risk of overheating, which increases the risk of fire or outlet damage. To keep the outlets safe and extend the life of the electrical system, you must follow the electrician’s wattage recommendations. For ordinary illumination in a normal household, it’s usually safe to use bulbs within the 40- to 60-watt range. You can also check fixture specs and manufacturer recommendations to determine the proper wattage. By following these guidelines, you can keep your electrical outlets in top condition, avoid overheating and increase safety.

5. Can Properly Label Circuit Breakers

Electricians can label circuit breakers when they perform outlet testing. Labeling the circuit breakers is essential for easy identification in case of emergencies or maintenance. Breakers for kitchen outlets, lights and large equipment like air conditioners and freezers are commonly labeled; however, professionals will ensure every breaker on your panel receives adequate labeling. To help you and others in your household know which sections each breaker regulates, electricians will use color-coded markings, explicit explanations or even make a map. The correct identification of these circuits is crucial for better control of household electrical systems and increased safety.

6. Will Teach You How to Avoid Extension Cord Overuse

Electricians will show you how to avoid overusing extension cords when they test outlets. Using too many extension cords poses risks of fire, electrical shock and equipment damage. Not only does this reduce the efficiency of electrical outlets in your home, but it also endangers the safety of those in your household. There are several things an electrician may suggest to help you avoid overusing extension cords, and these include installing more outlets, using surge-protected power strips, procuring heavy-duty extension cables, avoiding daisy-chaining and regularly checking the cords for wear and tear. When talking about electrical appliances, daisy-chaining usually means stringing up several extension cables so that you can plug them all into a single outlet. Although this seems like a good idea at the time, it increases the likelihood of overheating, voltage loss and resistance. You should not partake in any form of daisy-chaining since it does not comply with safety regulations and can cause serious electrical hazards to occur.

7. Instruct You on Proper Cord Placement

During outlet testing, an electrician will instruct you on how to properly place the cords that you plug into the outlets. These professionals will advise you to never put cords under rugs or furniture. This usually leads to damage and extreme wear and tear on the cords. It’s also smart to keep the cords away from high-traffic areas, as this prevents tripping hazards. Always make sure the cords don’t crimp or pinch; this can cause exposed wires, which is a major safety hazard. Instead, carefully position the cords and avoid dangerous spots where the cords are likely to endure a significant amount of stress.

8. Possess the Expertise to Replace Damaged Wiring

When inspecting the wiring of an electrical outlet, a licensed electrician can swap out damaged wiring. Attempting to use outlets that have damaged wiring can lead to serious electrical hazards, such as electrical fires that can cause property damage or a loss of life.

9. They can Install Surge Protectors

Outlet wiring testing is paramount to determine which outlets need surge protection. To protect linked equipment from harm, these protectors send excess voltage to the ground. Some examples of surge protectors include power strips designed to withstand power surges, whole-house protectors that attach to the electrical panel and standalone surge protectors. An ideal setup will consist of both individual power strips and a whole-house surge protector. For the best possible device protection, look for surge protectors with greater joule ratings. This will increase their ability to absorb surges.

10. They Help Secure Outdoor Outlets

After testing the wiring, electricians secure and cover outdoor outlets to shield them from danger. This is because elements like moisture or debris can compromise their safety and functionality. They may install in-use covers to add an additional layer of protection for outdoor installations. To further increase longevity, electricians may install outside electrical boxes designed to resist environmental stress. To ensure the safety and lifespan of outdoor outlets, it’s important to examine them regularly and replace broken covers promptly.

11. They Have the Right Equipment

When testing electrical outlets, electricians use several pieces of special equipment, and these include continuity testers, wire tracers, infrared thermometers, multimeters, cable analyzers, voltage testers and circuit analyzers. These instruments are useful for finding problems like overloaded circuits, damaged wiring or short circuits. Because of their extensive training and experience, only a licensed electrician can perform this type of testing and interpret the findings. Certified experts are familiar with the necessary safety procedures and have access to cutting-edge testing equipment that makes the testing process safe. Attempting a test on your own without the right equipment and training increases the risk of incorrect results or, worse, an electrical accident.

Have Professionals Test Your Wiring Annually

It’s best to have an electrician check the wiring and outlets once a year for any damage. Frayed wires, overloaded circuits and obsolete components are just some of the dangers that a certified electrician might find. Investing in this preventative measure boosts system performance, safeguards your home and reduces the probability of electrical issues.

Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning makes home maintenance easy for residents of Seattle and the surrounding areas. We specialize in all types of HVAC and electrical work, including installations and repairs. Contact us now to learn more about protecting your home from electrical hazards today.