It goes without saying that a house or business would be incomplete without proper electrical wiring. It’s an essential part of modern life, and for this reason, most electricians recommend delegating major electrical services or repairs to the pros.
However, there are some electrical wiring tips that every home or business owner would benefit from knowing!
Below, Gulf Coast Electric outlines the top 4 things everyone should know about their electrical wiring. Keep reading to learn more about basic wiring terms as well as how to recognize the most common wiring problems!
Copper vs. Aluminum
Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, copper has been the traditional wiring material for most homes. However, in 1965, the United States saw an increased demand for copper due to the Vietnam War.
Consequently, copper became increasingly scarce and its price soared. Electricians had to come up with cost-effective solutions as a result, and that was aluminum.
While aluminum can get the job done, it doesn’t come without risks. When heated, it expands significantly more than copper. And if your cables grow and shrink too much, they may become loose over time.
This is just one of the many issues that can arise from aluminum wiring.
If your residential or commercial building has aluminum wiring, our electricians at Gulf Coast Electric recommend scheduling a partial rewire or full rewire. That way, you don’t risk dealing with any potential fire hazards.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a circuit breaker that’s designed to cut off electricity in the event of a ground-fault. This happens when the grounding path from a tool or electrical system is broken. A GFCI monitors the amount of current going to and coming from your home equipment. If there is an imbalance in the current, the GFCI will shut it off to prevent a fire.
Most homes today have GFCI outlets already installed, especially in areas where there is water. In fact, GFCIs are required by the National Electric Code (NEC) in all kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, garages, and outdoor receptacle locations.
However, if you’re building a new home or perhaps have an older home that doesn’t have GFCI outlets, then Gulf Coast highly recommends having them installed.
Damp environments can make you vulnerable to harmful electric shock; however, using a GFCI outlet significantly reduces your chance of injury.
Electrical Wiring Labeling & Color Coding
All electrical wiring typically has markings on its insulation that provide important information about the wiring. This includes:
· Wiring name
· Insulation type
· Wire size
· Wire material
· Number of wires contained
· Special ratings
In addition to the markings, electrical wiring often uses color-coding. The colors are determined by the size of the wires within the cable as well as the amperage rating of the cable. White-sheathed NM cable, for example, is rated for 15-amp circuits, whereas yellow NM cable is suited for 20-amp circuits.
Be Careful with DIY Projects
Gulf Coast understands that it may be tempting to take on electrical wiring projects on your own instead of contacting an electrician in order to save money. However, electrical wiring within a building is a complex network of wires and outlets. With little or no electrical wiring experience, it might be difficult to distinguish between wires.
Wiring problems can cause electrical fires, arc faults and electrocution, among other dangerous consequences. As a result, rewiring your home or company yourself is never a good idea. If you’re unsure about how to go about a wiring issue, we recommend getting help from a trustworthy electrician. The money you might save is not worth the potential safety hazards.
Have Electrical Wiring Issues? Contact Gulf Coast Electric!
Not sure how to go about an electrical wiring issue in your Destin home? Gulf Coast Electric is ready to help! Our electricians have provided electrical repairs for the Florida area for more than 80 years. We are committed to providing cost-effective, reliable electrical services through a dedicated and responsive workforce. Contact us today!