Category Archives: Electrical Inspections

The Gift of Home Electrical Safety

Winter can be tough on our homes. We rely on it to protect us from the harsh weather conditions outside. Now is the perfect time to have a Home Electrical Inspection before winter strikes full force.

Most of us are about to bring out the decorations we’ve stored away all year, and for some of us, we’re also taking out the space heaters to bring heat to that one spot in the house that never seems to be warm enough. All of these changes can take its toll on our home’s electrical system. Especially if it was already feeling the strain of its current day to day usage.

Carbon Monoxide – These are the early warning systems that every home cannot be without. As furnaces and other heating units are used daily, it is important to be vigilant in allowing these detectors to monitor the carbon monoxide levels our family is living with.

Smoke Detectors – This time of year brings not only heating systems back on, but it’s often a time for holiday lighting and Christmas trees. This can create potential fire safety situations. The only time you want to hear your smoke detector alarm is when it is being tested. But knowing these alarms are in good working condition goes a long way for our peace of mind.

Surge Protection – Along with the beauty that snowfall can bring, those winter storms can cause havoc and create electrical surges that can run through our homes causing damage if not protected. We can discuss the benefits of Whole House Surge Protection.

Outside Lighting – If you are decorating outside, make sure any outlets you use that are out in the weather are GFCI protected. Water and unprotected outlets do not mix at any time of the year.

Douthit Electrical can perform a home electrical safety inspection to check on these things and more. We can offer the best solution to any problems that we find. Check out our current specials and give us a call. Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990.

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What is a tandem breaker?

IThe circuit breakers found in our home’s electrical panel are not all created equal. The most common is the standard single-pole breaker for the everyday 120 volt circuits used in our homes. A double-pole breaker combines 2 spots to allow us to safely have a 240 volt circuit where needed, such as certain kitchen appliances for example.

A tandem breaker takes up only 1 spot, but handles two 120 volt circuits. It contains 2 different levers to control each circuit. If one of the circuits overloads, only that circuit will trip a lever. This allows a breaker box that is already near full capacity to be able to add an additional circuit.

Tandem breakers safety

Tandem breakers can be a quick fix but remember, because they are handling 2 circuits instead of only one, they can heat up faster and trip quicker. You should also remember that circuit breaker boxes are built to handle only a certain amount of wiring safely.

Unfortunately, tandem breakers cannot provide AFCI or GFCI protection and are now rarely used in new(er) homes.

Should I use tandem breakers?

A tandem breaker can be a solution when you need to add another circuit to your box. But if you are already at or near capacity, we recommend that you consider upgrading your panel to safely handle your electrical needs.

Before making any changes/additions to your circuit breaker box, you should always check the manufacturer’s specifications to see if and how many tandem breakers are allowed. Having an electrical inspection done can give you an idea of the safest and most affordable way to add circuits to your breaker box.

If your home’s electrical panel is in need of an upgrade, 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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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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The Importance of Getting an Electrical Inspection in Charlotte before Buying a Home

Real Estate Home Inspection ReportPurchasing a home is likely to be the biggest investment that you ever make. It’s important when looking at a home to see beyond its basic aesthetic qualities and look carefully at key systems that you’ll need to function properly, particularly the electrical system. It is well worth paying for an electrical inspection prior to purchasing a home, to ensure that the home will be safe, and to assess the costs of any changes that will be need to be made. You don’t want to discover any surprise, expensive problems after it is too late to back out of the purchase. At Douthit Electrical, our licensed electricians do thorough home electrical inspections in Charlotte so that you can have the knowledge needed to make the right decision regarding a potential home.

Here are just some of the things we do during electrical home inspections in Charlotte:

When buying a home, you’ll want to use all of the information available to you to make your decision. Through an electrical inspection with Douthit Electrical, you’ll receive important information about a potential home’s electrical system that you can then take into consideration. For an electrical inspection in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, give us a call today!

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