I don’t know about you, but we’ve been waiting what seems like a very long time for winter to end. You may be beginning to think about preparing for your summer air conditioning options. If a wall unit is in your future, we hope you plan for its location safely.
Most home owners that use wall units have defined spots where they can go. Because of that, don’t overlook the need to make those areas a safe choice for the electrical power an air conditioning unit requires.
Air conditioner units run on more electric power than the average home appliance. That is why they have a fatter (typically shorter) cord. When plugged directly into a home outlet, that cord is expected to be the correct size to do the job.
Never ever use an extension cord for your air conditioner or any other major appliance that has not been rated for the use of a major appliance. They are not made to withstand that much power and can put your family in jeopardy.
If you are purchasing an extension cord for temporary use, we suggest at least a 12 gauge cord. An air conditioner uses an excess of power when it is first turned on, and we prefer to land on the side of safety for you and your family.
Always remember to keep extension cords away from main walkways that could cause tripping, and make sure to never cover them up with carpet or taped to walls. Extension cords can get hot, and we only recommend using them on a temporary basis.
Douthit Electrical can upgrade your current outlet(s) to be a safe source of power for your air conditioning needs. You may find that your new AC unit is drawing too much power from the circuit, and the breaker keeps tripping. We can help take care of that problem. Give us a call to discuss your options.
Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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It’s happened to most of us. We’ve just taken our morning shower … switch on the hair dryer and nothing happens. We turn it off and on and off and on until we finally give up. Now it’s time to find out what is to blame for this inconvenience.
The most obvious next step is to try the hair dryer somewhere else. Find another outlet that you know is currently working and plug in the hair dryer. Does it work now? If it does then you’re on your way to discovering the problem.
Go back to the bathroom and see if that is the only outlet not working in the room. All the outlets in your bathroom should be updated to GFCI. Check the button in the center to see if it needs to be reset. In some cases, outlets in the bathroom and kitchen are updated by installing a GFCI circuit breaker in the main electrical panel. If you are not sure what the importance of GFCI outlets in your bathroom is click here.
The next step is to see if you have a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. Locate your main electrical panel. Check to see if a circuit breaker needs to be reset or a fuse replaced. If that’s the culprit of your hair dryer misery, reset or replace and check on the outlet. If that has resolved the problem, good job! If this becomes a common occurrence, you will want to find out the reason for it. Douthit Electrical can help!
If that did not restore the power to the outlet, then we suggest giving us a call to do more troubleshooting of the problem.
Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. If you need experienced electrical service or installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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Gas dryers require very little electrical power. They use gas as their heating power source and their electrical needs are mainly to turn the drum. They typically use the same 120V amount of power as a small appliance.
Electric dryers are quite different. Electric power is converted to heat and has much more power needs. These require an electric outlet that is specifically for dryers and the extra power they need to run properly.
3 Prong vs. 4 Prong
If your previous dryer was older than 2000, then it may have very well been quite happy with the 3 prong outlet in your home. Since that time, many electrical safety advances have been made. That is reflected in the current electrical code that requires 4 slots in newer home 220V outlets. The extra slot was an added safety measure to add an additional neutral path to the circuit.
What do I do?
Douthit can update your outlet to the new safety standards. Just give us a call for an appointment.
But, if you would like to wait to change to a 4 prong outlet, you may be able to convert the dryer cord yourself.
Changing the Dryer Cord
We always recommend having a licensed electrician help you with your home’s electrical projects, but if you are feeling confident, here’s our suggested steps:
1. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE DRYER IS UNPLUGGED.
2. There should be a metal plate covering the area on the back of the dryer where the cord attaches. Remove it and make sure to put those small screws where they won’t be lost.
3. You should now see a restraint that keeps the cord stable and helps to relieve the stress and strain of movement. Remove the restraint.
4. Disconnect the existing dryer cord
5. Connect the center wire of the new 3 prong cord to the center silver terminal.
6. You have 2 wires on the new cord that now need be attached. Attach these to the 2 terminals beside the silver terminal.
7. Reattach the restraint collar. This can be frustrating and can take a bit of patience. Slide the tab ends one at a time into the cord wire hole. When you’ve been able to match up the 2 halves and can get the screws to catch, you’re done with the hardest part. Tighten.
8. Replace the safety plate.
YOU MUST GROUND THE DRYER. Return the frame ground strap to the central terminal post (neutral).
All electrical home projects should be done carefully to ensure the safety of your home. Always err on the side of caution when dealing with electricity.
Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical service or installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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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!
Written by: admin+