How to Label Your Circuit Panel in Your Charlotte Home

We’ve discussed the importance of your Electrical Panel in your home and its safety. The power that you receive from the electric company comes into your house through your electrical panel. That power is then distributed throughout your home using electrical circuits.

Why Label Your Circuit Panel?

As a homeowner, you know that there are often times when you need to shut off power to a particular part of the house in order to make a repair/upgrade. Knowing which circuit breakers controls which part of the house should be a part of every homeowner’s wealth of knowledge. You will be glad you did!

Circuit Panel Labels

The first thing you should decide is how you want to label your circuits. Some homes may have been lucky enough to have an electrician provide a clear map to all your home’s circuits. The labels for many homes, unfortunately, have aged, become illegible or just didn’t exist to start out with.

Labels can be done right on the circuit panel, or they can be written separately and attached to the panel. They can be written in permanent ink or they can be written in pencil. Whatever you choose make sure that it will stand up to the test of time.

You should also realize that some of the rooms in your house may change to reflect your family’s changes. A nursery may become a den, a spare bedroom may become a home office. Your labels should provide a location of those kind of rooms. For example the room next to the kitchen or the room on the southeast corner.

Flipping Switches

There are 2 approaches to the daunting task of mapping out your circuit breakers. Whether you start with the house ablaze with light, or you wish to start with the house in darkness, either approach will provide the same resuilt. It will show you what power you are controlling when you flip a switch.

In order to do a complete map of your circuits, it is advisable to check the outlets in the room. A non-contact voltage tester can help you do that. A small one is inexpensive and can easily test the circuits for you. You might be surprised that not everything in a single room is always on the same circuit.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need quality electrical service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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Is Do It Yourself Electrical Work a Good Idea?

Spring is upon us, and some of you may be thinking about taking on an electrical project on your own. Here’s something to consider before you get started on your adventure.

Fun Project or Dangerous Decision?

There are always things around the house that homeowners want to get done this time of year. Working on electrical projects should probably not be one of them. While some things, like changing out a faulty outlet or switch, seem pretty simple on that video you just watched, it’s the little things that can go wrong that are the problem.

Do you have the correct tools for the job? Do you know why the outlet or switch stopped working to begin with? Will you know how to figure that out? What if something doesn’t go as expected?

While you may think you’ll be saving money by tackling those “small” jobs on your own, you might want to consider all the things that can go wrong. One bad move could bring your whole house’s electrical system to a shockingly fast halt.

Douthit Electrical is licensed and insured in both North Carolina and South Carolina, and we’re especially proud of our A+ rating with the BBB. We’ve been figuring out how to solve electrical problems since 1990.

If you’re itching to work on a project, now is a good time to start looking around outside. It’s been a long winter and perhaps you have a landscaping project in mind that motion detector lighting would be a perfect accent for. Coming home in the evenings to your well-lit Charlotte home is always a welcoming sight.

If you have a project you’d like to get started on, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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Whole House Surge Protection of Your Charlotte Home

In today’s electronic world, whole house surge protection is a must!

Surge Protection has been a priority for homeowners for quite a while now. But with the technological advancements the last few years, electronics have crept into most of our everyday systems. From the obvious cell phones and tablets, to the everyday appliances we use like washers and dryers, surge protection is a necessity. Protecting our Charlotte home’s system from electrical surges has never been more important.

Spring will be upon us soon and that will bring the accompanying electrical storms. Those storms can wreak havoc on our home’s electrical system. Whole house surge protection helps to provide a shield against the sudden surges of power those storms can bring.

But remember, it’s not only the lightning strikes that can cause damage … it’s also the sudden changes caused by nearby power lines … and more.

How does a Whole House Surge Protector work?

The whole house surge protector is usually wired into the circuit panel and then attached nearby. We’re all used to hearing about surge protection on our power strips. This helps to protect your whole house at the source, letting in only the power your house needs.

A surge protector has one essential purpose … to reroute excess voltage to the ground wire. The faster (in a nanosecond) the better. Whether it is done by our small power strips with surge protection or by our whole house surge protector, the goal is always the same. Excess voltage running through our home’s electrical system can cause major destruction and costly repairs.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. If you are ready to upgrade your home with a whole house surge protector, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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Our Children and their Electrical Safety in our Charlotte homes

Never before have there been more electronics, gadgets, gizmos, and chargers that leave us with so many electrical cords. Most of our homes have become both a technological wonder and an electrical hazard in the making.

Now is a good time to make sure all these advancements have not left our homes with forgotten dangers for our children to find.

Electrical Safety Checking for Children

Outlets. Outlets should always be at the top of your list for childproofing your home. There are choices ranging from simple outlet plugs to electrical outlet covers. Give Douthit Electric a call and we can discuss a few of your childproof outlet options with you.

Appliance Cords. Always keep appliance cords out of the reach of children. Especially those that can cause burns when plugged in like hair dryers.

Chargers. Never leave unconnected chargers plugged in. They could end up in little ones mouths.

Large Appliances. Never leave large appliances like washing machines and dryers running unattended or at night. Curious children might want to investigate the interesting noises coming from these items.

Bath Time. After bathtime, your children may be in a hurry for playtime, but make sure they are thoroughly dried off. Water and electricity never mix.

Extension Cords and Power Strips. We all use them from time to time. The easiest way to make them more safe around our children is to not have them accessible. Putting them out of reach or hiding them behnd furniture is a temporary solution. Douthit Electric can suggest more permanent answers to those problems.

General Home Safety

Douthit Electrical is an expert at working on the safety of your home for you and your family.  AFCIs (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters) are an added protection against electrical fires in the home. GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupter) are special outlets that stop the flow of electricity when they sense that a person is being shocked. Give us a call to discuss how these options can increase the safety of your home.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and give us a call to help you make your home as safe as possible for your family!


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Let’s Check the Electrical Panel in Our Charlotte Home

Earlier we discussed the health of our indoor outlets and last time we spoke about the proper use of extension cords. This time let’s talk about checking the safety of the Electrical Panel in our Charlotte Home.

What is an Electrical Panel?

Most of you probably know what an electrical panel looks like. It is usually located in the basement or somewhere near your electrical meter. The power that you receive from the electric company comes into your house through your electrical panel. That power is then distributed throughout your home using electrical circuits.

Electrical Panel Safety

Have you needed to reset a tripped circuit breaker very often? If so, it’s trying to tell you that you are running too much power through that circuit. You should have a licensed electrician find and fix the cause.

Do you have AFCIs (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)? AFCIs are advanced circuit breakers that are an added protection against electrical fires in the home. Douthit Electrical can explore this option with you if you are considering updating your electrical panel.

If you’ve never needed to find your circuit panel, now is the time! Don’t wait until the lights go out to go searching for it. It’s the heart of your electrical system in your home.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. If your electrical panel may need an upgrade, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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The Safer Way to Use Extension Cords in your Charlotte Home

Last blog we discussed the first step in a basic electrical safety checkup of your Charlotte home: the health of your indoor outlets.

This week let’s take a look at a few tips about the use of extension cords, and simple “do nots” on how to use extension cords in our homes.

  • Take a look at the extension cords that are connected inside your home. Do any of them look damaged in any way?
  • Over time, have any of them become pinched by furniture, doors or windows?
  • Did someone unwisely attach them with nails or staples to keep them from moving?
  • Are any of your extension cords hidden under rugs that could overheat without needed airflow?
  • Finally, are you using any extension cords permanently?

Once identified, most of these threats to your home’s safety can easily be taken care of. But if you are using any extension cords on a permanent basis, you should consider hiring a licensed electrician to install outlets where you need them most.

Watch for our next post on tips about checking the status of your fuse box. Our simple list of things to look for can help keep your house away from future electrical disasters.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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New Year Checkup for your Charlotte Electrical System

It’s always a good time to do a basic electrical safety checkup of your Charlotte home. This week let’s take a look at the health of our indoor outlets.

  • Have you noticed any of your switches or outlets not working?
  • Do any of your switches or outlets seem to be discolored?
  • Do any of your switches or outlets get warm when in use?
  • Have you noticed any popping or cracking from any of your switches or outlets when you use them?
  • Do plugs still fit snugly into all outlets?

Take a look around your room. How many outlets do you see? We often don’t realize just how many outlets we have in our homes until one stops working. It only takes 1 faulty outlet to create a disaster. In most cases, a licensed electrician can quickly fix a faulty outlet and recommend any additional safeguards you might need.

Watch for our future posts on tips about the use of extension cords in our homes and the safety of our fuse box. Our simple list of things to look for can help keep your house away from electrical mishaps.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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How to Make Your Outdoor Decorating Easier Next Year in Charlotte

OverloadOh no! It’s time to put all those beautiful decorations away! There are so many storage possibilities and gadgets to try to make the process go more smoothly now. Here is just one website you can check out: www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/12-smart-ways-to-store-holiday-decorations.

Common sense will also prevail to make the process go easier. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Before recycling all that packaging material that came with those presents, consider if any of it can be used to wrap fragile ornaments in.
  • If any strands of lights are not working, don’t put off until next year what should be decided today. Now is the time to either fix them or trash them. Do you have essential decorations that need to be replaced for next holiday season? Seasonal sales might have just what you are looking for at a much lower price.
  • Label boxes or consider clear bins for storage. You know what items are used first, store them last for easier access next year.

Few of us like taking the time to pack away decorations correctly. Just remember that you will have so much more holiday cheer when you can reap the reward from your labor next holiday season.

Lastly, were you held back from decorating by the lack of electrical outlets available or outdoor lighting safety? Now is the time to consider doing some upgrades to increase the potential for lighting next year … and also your year-round lighting options. Everything from landscape lighting to flood lights to preparing for next year’s holiday spectacular … Douthit Electrical can help!

Douthit Electrical has been helping the residents of Charlotte and surrounding areas with their electrical upgrades since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and then give us a call for prompt courteous service.


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Outdoor Holiday Lighting Choices for your Charlotte Home

What a beautiful time of year this can be! If you’re considering making your Charlotte home a holiday wonderland, have you decided which lighting is the right one for you?

There are so many types of lighting now to choose from.  Here’s just a few decisions you should make before going on that lighting shopping trip:

1. LED or incandescent? Incandescent lights are cheaper, but LED lights will last longer and are much more energy efficient.

2. Bulbs come in so many shapes and sizes. There is no right or wrong answer, but consider where you will be attaching your lights before you go shopping. Will you be attaching to the house, decorating the bushes, lighting up trees? You can have bulbs, net lights, rope lights, oversized ornaments, and the list goes on and on.

3. Do you have everything you need to install the lights correctly? Do you have a power source to turn all those lights on?

We can never stress the importance of GFCI Installation enough. Douthit Electrical can help you decide if you need an upgrade. Don’t let all that work go to waste. Ensure that your Charlotte home is safe and that your home is a joy to behold.

Call the experts at Douthit Electrical to make sure your home is ready for holiday lights! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call. We’d love to help keep your home lit for the holidays!


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Electrical Kitchen Appliance Safety for the Holidays in Charlotte

Holidays mean different things to different people, but for most of us it means time with family/friends and huge holiday dinners. The kitchen is where almost two thirds of home fires start. That’s why making sure to practice electrical kitchen appliance safety is so important.

GFCI outlets are at the top of the list when it comes to making sure all those kitchen appliances are hooked up safely. Find out why at our blog post, “Why GFCI Installation in Charlotte is So Important for Electrical Safety“.

Microwave/Blender/Food Processor should always be kept away from water sources. Also, if they don’t seem to work as well as they once did, they should be replaced. Take care to keep their cords away from anything hot.

Stoves will see a lot of use during the holidays. Make sure they are clean and in good working order for all that cooking. Keep an eye out for anything that could catch fire while your guests are “checking” on dinner.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of fire in the home … usually caused by unattended cooking. While it is easy to get distracted with so many guests, take special care to not have a fire interrupt your holiday.

When it comes to electrical repair and replacement, call the experts at Douthit Electrical to help keep your Charlotte home and business safe! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call to make an appointment.


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