Monthly Archives: July 2019

What is a Polarized Receptacle?

Polarized Receptacles came on to the scene in the 1920s. You may have wondered why the slots are different sizes. The larger slot is to connect to the neutral wire and the smaller slot is to connect to the hot wire. This polarized system was devised to add an element of safety, and is still used today.

Unfortunately, 2 slot polarized receptacles are often not grounded in older homes.

How to Check for a Ground

If the receptacle is contained in a metal box which is then connected to a metal conduit, your receptacle may be grounded. But remember that does not include any protection for a plugged-in device.

If the receptacle does not include both a metal box and metal conduit, you cannot expect the circuit to be grounded.

If your polarized receptacle is already grounded, you should be able to replace the existing older outlet with a more modern 3 slot one. If you have any doubt, you can purchase a receptacle analyzer at your local hardware store. Safety should always be your first concern.

3 Slot Receptacles

Today’s outlets are equipped with an extra round slot to give us the advantage of adding grounding to our outlets. That grounding offers electrical current a safe destination, should a problem arise, such as a short circuit for example.

We know that electrical projects can be a bit overwhelming. We always suggest using a professional electrician, such as Douthit Electrical, to handle your home’s electrical needs.

Give us a call about a home electrical inspection. Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990.


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What is electrical tape?

Black Vinyl Insulating Electric Tape On The White BackgroundFor many of us, electrical tape can be found in that drawer that has everything, right next to the screwdriver, pliers and duct tape. But you might be wondering what exactly makes electrical tape different from the rest of the tape family?

Since its invention in the 1940s, electrical tape remains one of the most common ingredients to simple electrical jobs around the house. Its ability to keep electrical current from passing through it, makes it an essential insulator, to not only keeping wires from touching and shorting out, but also from a live wire being accidentally touched by someone.

How to use electrical tape

Electrical tape is wrapped around minor wire or cord damage to give it the insulation it needs and the strength it requires. As you wrap the tape, pull on it slightly so that it fits snug, and no space is left uncovered. Vinyl is the most commonly used substance for the making of electrical tape because of this stretching ability. Remember electrical tape is meant for repairing minor electrical wire damage. You should always consult a professional electrician if you are unsure of the proper usage.

Electrical tape colors and strength

Black is the most common color. Its ability to stand up to UV rays, makes it the tape of choice for all jobs in direct sunlight. White tape is sometimes used to indicate neutral wires, and green or yellow for grounding wires. No matter what the color, electrical tape is very strong. It is made to last, does not tear easily, and stands up to corrosion.

Remember, if you are trying to find your roll of electrical tape and tools for a sudden unexpected project, Douthit Electrical is always here to help! And when you call, ask us about our home electrical safety inspection offer. Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990.


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