Do you have the right type and right number of electrical outlets in your home or business? Here are a few safe and practical types of outlets you may need.
Do you have GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) everywhere you need them? You should, of course, have one in your bathrooms. But, what about your kitchen, garage or outdoor areas where water is present?
GFCI outlets “trips up” the normal electrical flow when water is present. They kill the power before it travels through you to your wet feet and kills you. That’s no small reason to have one. The normal flow of electrical current is through the hot wire, returning back through the neutral wire. But when you’re standing in wet feet using your hair dryer, the electricity wants to travel through your feet to the ground. That’s a recipe for electrocution. CFGIs have the good sense to say, “Hey, this isn’t right.”
Water and electricity in close proximity is always a potentially shocking situation. Don’t risk it! Take a look around your home for possible dangers from appliances that may accidently come in contact with water. See potential trouble? Call AJ’s Electrical Service & Repair, for your safety’s sake!
Outdoor and Soffit Receptacles
You may want to add outlets outside your home for Christmas lights, Diwali lights, Halloween lights or a “I Love Coloured Lights Day.” (We made that last one up. But we think it could fly.) You may also want to add receptacles for power tools, fountains, or lawn equipment. These specialty outlets, whether installed in your home’s soffits (underhang of eaves) or elsewhere, need proper housing and grounding. This is to protect you from shock– and your equipment, tools and various devices from damage by the elements. We’ll make sure they’re “up to code” and installed properly.
240-Volt Receptacles or 3 or 4 Prong Receptacles
240-Volt outlets are designed specifically for equipment and appliances needing 240-volts of power– typically laundry dryers and electric ranges. Matching 240-volt appliances with the right outlets seems simple enough. But is your 240-volt receptacle wired properly? It’s vitally important that the installer knows right type of type of conductor and wire strength needed.
240-volt receptacle installations are an area where a do-it-yourselfer needs to use extra caution. Even if you’ve successfully installed a 110-volt outlet in the past, a 240-volt receptacle has precise recommended material specs for installation. These specifications may vary depending on where you’re installing the outlet. Improper installation of these — or any — receptacles is an electrocution or fire danger.
Tamper Resistant Receptacles
TRRs are designed primarily to spare children from potentially lethal shock that comes from sticking ordinary household items such as keys and paperclips into the outlet’s sockets. TRRs have been required in hospital pediatric care facilities is some parts of North America for more than 20 years. Hospitals should indeed be at the safety forefront, but many more accidents occur at home, not the hospital. Thousands of children in North America are injured by electrical receptacles each year. You can take simple precautions to make sure your children don’t become statistics.
With Canadian Electrical Code requirement that TRRs be installed in all new home construction, hopefully the number of injuries to children will drop over time. If you’re living in a home built prior to 2010, there’s a good chance you don’t have these very inexpensive receptacles. They’re designed with spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that close off the receptacle openings, or slots. When equal pressure is applied to both sides at once, the receptacle cover plates open to allow the standard plug to make contact with the receptacle contact points. This system makes it challenging to insert foreign objects into the socket.
Cords running every which-way across a room or two in your home? Consider an outlet in the middle of your floor to plug in a lamp, a computer or other electrical device. A floor outlet can prevent a tripping hazard that’s probably an eyesore as well.
This type of outlet allows you to hide plugs behind TV’s, monitors, your signed Andy Warhol original art, or anything else mounted flush against a wall.
2 Duplex Receptacles
Having receptacles that have more than more than one duplex sockets allows you to plug more things in at a time. You won’t need multi-plug extensions with this type of specialty receptacle. Pop out outlets are one popular variation of 2 duplex receptacles. A simple push of a button increases the number of disposable outlets doubles so you can accommodate all your electronic devices.
The variety of pop-up and expansion outlets available is impressive.
Our blog “Wall Outlet Upgrades: Tips for Safety, Style and Practicality” deals with some of the nifty, practical types of expander and flexible outlets available. A cautionary note, though. You may need an electrical panel upgrade along with your new and expanded outlets. AJ’s Electrical Service & Repair is happy to inspect, advise and install a new panel if necessary.
AJ’s proprietors Shawn Willis and Darren Martin have 50 years of combined experience in residential and commercial installation and repair. We’re your outlet for outlets and much more.