Category Archives: Electrical Problems

How to Prevent Rodent Damage to your Electrical Wiring in Charlotte

Mouse.Although some may think they’re cute, the problems that mice, rats, raccoons, and squirrels can cause homeowners are very ugly! Not only do they pose a threat to your family’s health, but they can also do a number on your home’s electrical wiring. These uninvited house guests love to chew on everything in sight, especially the insulation surrounding your electrical wiring.

After time, the damage rodents cause to your home’s electrical system can lead to a series of major problems, including breakdowns, malfunctions, and even electrical fire. At Douthit Electrical, customer satisfaction and electrical safety are always our top priorities. Our highly rated Charlotte electrical services can repair the damage done by pests to keep your home’s electrical system running properly.

Not sure if you have pests in your home that could be feasting on your electrical wiring? Here’s what to look for.

  • Listen for scratching or scurrying Rodents usually aren’t shy about taking up residence in your home and often leave droppings and nest material as they scratch and scurry about your home. Whether there’s a little or a lot, this is a clear indication that rodents are present, which means the threat of rodent damage to your electrical wiring is too.
  • Inspect wiring periodically to make sure insulation is intact The insulation surrounding electrical wiring is no match for rodent teeth and appetites! Bite marks and damaged insulation are clear signs. Unfortunately, taking a look at your home’s wiring is easier said than done since much of it is concealed behind walls. A home remodeling project that tears opens walls is a perfect opportunity to check for rodent damage.
  • Take note of unexplained electrical problems Is the power or circuit in a certain room or a particular area of the house unreliable? Is one or several of your breakers tripping for what seems like no reason at all? If any of these electrical problems sound familiar, rodents could be the culprit.
  • Be sure to seal cracks The most effective way to prevent rodent damage is to keep them out of your home altogether! Cracks and holes are like open doors for pests, so be sure to seal these up with caulk or foam spray to keep them out.
  • Know when to call an exterminator If you can’t keep pests out despite all these efforts, then it’s time to call a professional exterminator. Doing so is an investment in the overall safety of your home.

If you have any suspicion about rodents in your home and are concerned about the damage they can cause to your electrical wiring, call Douthit Electrical immediately to schedule a thorough electrical inspection in Charlotte! This simple step can save thousands in costly repairs in the future and is the best way to spot rodent damage.


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How to Safely Handle Common Minor Electrical Problems in Charlotte

freehand retro cartoon faulty toasterEveryday electrical safety is important, and seemingly minor electrical problems are no less inconvenient or dangerous than major ones. For example, kitchen appliances and cooking equipment are responsible for thousands of household fires each year, many of which started out as minor issues.

At Douthit Electrical, we believe regular maintenance of your home’s electrical system in addition to electrical safety education are the best ways to prevent minor electrical issues from turning into major problems. With a variety of highly reviewed electrical services in Charlotte, our electricians are committed to keep your home safe!

Use to these tips to safely handle common minor electrical problems in Charlotte with ease!

A smoking blender
With health foods such as homemade juices and smoothies becoming more popular than ever, people are bound to experience this minor electrical problem. If you’re blender, juicer, or food processor starts smoking suddenly or emits a burning plastic smell, do not touch it! Instead, unplug it as soon as possible. If you’re unable to do so without touching it, cut power to that area via the electrical panel or circuit breaker. Give the blender time to cool before tossing it and replacing it with a newer, more reliable one!

Shattered light bulbs
The sudden loud popping noise of a breaking light bulb can be a real shock! Before cleaning up the mess, it’s always a bright idea to unplug the light or lamp before attempting to replace the broken bulb. To get a better grip and minimize the chances of getting a cut, use a bar of soap and wedge it into the broken bulb to create a sturdy handle that’s easy to twist and turn. To clean up the broken glass, be sure you’re wearing footwear and use a piece of bread to mop up glass shards.

A sparky toaster
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded roughly 162,000 home fires that involved cooking equipment such as toasters between 2009 and 2013. As such, toaster safety is extremely important! Always keep a fire extinguisher within reach in your kitchen to put out sparks and small fires. While you may be tempted to use water to put out any sparks, never do this! After putting out the sparks, call 911 and our electrical service number right away (704-SAMEDAY) to ensure the wiring inside your home hasn’t caught fire as well.

If at any time you’re unsure of how to handle a electrical problem, no matter how small, call us right away. When it comes to electrical safety hazards, it’s always best to err on the side of caution! For safety, satisfaction, and expert electrical service in Charlotte, call Douthit Electrical!

 


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Four Bright Ideas for Avoiding Electrical Problems in Charlotte This Winter

heater isolatedWinter can take a major toll on your home’s electrical system. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year there are over 26,000 fires caused by electrical problems, with December and January being the most dangerous months.

From routine inspections to appliance maintenance, the wide range of services performed by the professional electricians at Douthit Electrical can not only keep you safe but can help save you time and money this winter — and all year round — by ensuring your home’s electrical system in tip top shape.

Check out these four bright ideas for avoiding common electrical problems in Charlotte in this winter.

Schedule an inspection

Schedule an electrical inspection of your home’s wiring if you haven’t already or if you haven’t had one done within the last decade. This is especially important for older homes where outdated and deteriorating electrical wiring can be a common problem. Never assume your home’s wiring is okay without a thorough professional inspection. Today’s modern electrical gadgets and devices can be especially taxing on older circuits that were never designed to meet their demands. Inspecting and replacing any outdated wiring will not only make your home safer, but it can also improve efficiency.

Exercise caution when using seasonal electrical appliances

It’s important to inspect the condition of seasonal electrical appliance such as decorative lights, electric blankets, and space heaters, especially since it’s likely you haven’t seen or used them since last winter. Look out for frayed or worn cords and other signs of damage. Be sure to use appliances and lights per the manufacturer’s instructions, being especially careful of possible fire hazards. Buying new? Choose appliances and festive lighting with a safety seal of approval from a reputable safety organization such as the Underwriters Laboratory for added security and peace of mind.

Ensure your CO and smoke detectors are working

When was the last time you tested your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors to make sure they’re working? The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends testing your CO and smoke detectors at least once a month and replacing the batteries at least twice a year. For an extra measure of safety consider upgrading to hardwired fire and carbon monoxide detectors, which only use batteries as backup.

Always call a professional electrician

There are plenty of DIY projects to do around the house during the winter, but taking on electrical problems simply isn’t one of them! Without proper knowledge of electrical safety and systems, performing DIY electrical work can be dangerous if not fatal. While it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of potential electrical problems, always leave it to the professionals to repair them.

Regular maintenance of your home’s electrical system is an excellent way to avoid the hassle of dealing with electrical problems during the winter, a task we’re happy to help with at Douthit Electrical. Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities year round! We’re only a phone call away!


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How to “Sleigh” Common Electrical Problems in Charlotte Right in Time for the Holidays!

Christmas Room Interior Design, Xmas Tree Decorated By Lights PrElectrical decorations are a great way to get into the joyous spirit of the season but failure to properly install them can pose some pretty serious risks. According to recent data from the Electrical Safety Foundation International, home-based electrical systems are the cause for nearly 55,000 fires a year, resulting in over 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. Furthermore, electrical fires cost a whopping $1.4 billion each year in property damage.

At Douthit Electrical, electrical safety and your satisfaction are always our top priorities. We understand how important the holiday season is, and our experienced electricians are happy to help with your electrical holiday lighting in Charlotte.

Whether you’re hanging a few lights or creating a spectacular lighting display that’ll leave the neighborhood Joneses green with envy like the Grinch, here are a few easy ways to avoid common holiday electrical problems.

Inspect your electrical decorations

You won’t be able to safely put on much of a holiday lighting display with electrical decorations that are worn, frayed, or otherwise damage. Considering it’s likely you haven’t seen them since last year, it’s important to closely inspect your electrical decorations for signs of wear, such as torn insulation which can drastically increase the risk of short circuits and fire. Repair or replace any faulty equipment before installing it.

Use the right kind of lighting

The best kinds of electrical decorations are those that have been approved and tested for safety by a nationally accredited laboratory such as the Underwriters Laboratory. Look for the seal of approval on the packaging. In addition, never use lights and electrical equipment designed for indoors use only outside. Looking for ways to save on lighting energy costs? Consider using energy efficient, low wattage LED lights instead of old incandescent lighting. Not only do they use less energy, but they also produce less heat, reducing the risk of electrical fire.

Avoid using the same outlet

It can be tempting to string holiday lighting and decorations together from the same outlet, but spreading electric decorations across multiple circuits is the safest way to install them. Plugging too many things into the same outlet puts a significant amount of stress on the circuit and may cause it to overload or worse, spark a fire.

Consider using a timer

Leaving electrical decorations unsupervised can be potentially dangerous as they can become overheated due to being left on for an extended period of time. Use a timer or be sure to remember to turn the lights off before bed or when leaving the house.

Exercise caution in all areas

A jolly “ho-ho-ho!” can easily turn into a big “Oh-no-no!” if you aren’t careful! In fact, hospital emergency rooms experience an influx of patients with injuries related to hanging — or falling over — holiday decorations during this time of year. Never use a metal ladder when hanging or taking down string lighting to reduce your risk of electrical shock or fire. Always keep walkways shoveled and when necessary, tape cords down to prevent falls. And remember to always keep your tree watered! Fresh, green trees are far less likely to ignite than dry, brittle ones. Buying an artificial tree? Make sure it’s fire-resistant.

Our electricians want you to have the happiest and safest holiday possible. We understand how frustrating and intimidating troubleshooting electrical problems can be, so never hesitate to give us a call for all your Charlotte electrical needs, both big and small!

 


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Easy, Mind Blowing Tips for Learning How to Fix a Blown Fuse in Charlotte

I think this fuse is blownBlown fuses are among some of the most common electrical issues homeowners can face, especially during this time of year. Between cranking up your favorite holiday tunes, hanging decorative lights, vacuuming before guests arrive, and popping a bag of popcorn just in time for watching Home Alone, your fuse box can easily become overloaded. When this happens, your fuse box will automatically cut the flow of electricity as a safety measure to prevent damage or a fire.

At Douthit Electrical, we understand how annoying, frustrating, and even intimidating replacing a blown fuse can be. That’s why we’re proud to offer comprehensive electrical services such as safety inspections and electrical panel service that will help you become better acquainted with your home’s electrical system. These services can also help identify any potential hazards before they become problematic, saving you time, money, and the irritation of a power outage due to a blown fuse!

Learn how to fix a blown fuse safely and easily by following these simple steps!

Find your fuse box

Also known as an electrical panel, fuse boxes are typically located in garages and basements. Knowing where yours is before a fuse blows can help save you from the hassle of stumbling around in the dark trying to find it. Always have a flashlight nearby and always keep this area free of clutter.

Turn out the lights

Turn off all lights and appliances in the room or area that have lost power. If you recently added a new appliance, such as a vacuum or gaming system, that just might be the culprit so be sure to unplug that too. This is especially important because leaving everything on could blow a fuse all over again once you replace the blown fuse and restore power!

Proceed with caution

Working with electricity can be dangerous, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Always be sure your hands are completely dry and be sure the surface you are standing on is completely dry as well. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or unsure of what you’re doing, just give us a call and we’d be more than happy to help!

Identify the blown fuse

Inspect each fuse for signs of damage, which often includes a melted metal piece on the inside or the glass window at the top of the fuse becoming discolored and turning brown or purple. Voila! That is your broken fuse! To replace it, simple unscrew the broken fuse and replace it with a new one that is exactly the same amperage, size, and type of the broken fuse. The best way to do this is to take an old or broken fuse to the hardware store and find the exact match. Keeping a few of these handy can help make the process of replacing one even quicker and easier.

Try turning the lights on again

Now that the blown fuse has been replaced, plug in one or two electrical appliances and turn them on to test the new fuse. If it blows again it’s likely that you may be using too many amps for the fuse to handle. You may need to move some appliances around or even better, call an electrician for help identifying the underlying problem.

With the holiday season in full swing, now is a great time to learn how to replace a blown fuse! Here at Douthit Electrical, no job is too big or too small for our experienced Charlotte electricians, and we’re happy to help you troubleshoot your electrical panel. You can trust Douthit Electrical for all your electrical needs all year round!

 


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3 Common Electrical Problems That Our Charlotte Electricians Fix

Man Checking The Electrical Fuse BoxTripping Circuit Breakers – Many times circuit breakers are not prepared to handle the many electronics and appliances that we have in our lives today…microwaves, computers, coffee makers, televisions, toaster ovens, and so forth.  When you power multiple appliances at once, your circuit breaker may trip, and you lose power to those appliances.  This can be annoying, especially if it happens frequently, but it can also be dangerous because the circuits and wiring can overheat, potentially starting a fire.  Our electricians can upgrade your circuit breaker  so that it will operate safely while giving you the power you need to run your appliances.

Flickering Lights – Before you contact an electrician about a flickering light,  check to make sure that you have a bulb of the appropriate wattage in your light fixture and also make sure that it is connected properly.  Using a bulb that is not the correct wattage can lead to overheating and potentially a fire.  If you determine that your bulb is not the reason for the flickering, contact our electricians so that we can examine your system for faulty electrical wiring.

Non-Working Electrical Outlets – When an outlet doesn’t work, this can be a sign that the circuit breaker has tripped.  You can check your electrical panel to see if the breakers are in “on” position and switch them if needed.  If your outlet still doesn’t work with the breakers in the “on” position, it’s time to call your local electrician to investigate the issue.

At Douthit Electrical, we’re here to help you with these and any other electrical problems that you have in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.  Just give us a call!


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