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Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

By Rogers Electrician,

You should always have a cover for you Outdoor Electrical Outlet.

Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

Using an outlet outdoor is almost as important as using outlets inside. If you want to mow the lawn, you need electricity to power the lawn mower. An electrical outlet is very convenient to avoid the usage of a lot of extension cords during Christmas and Halloween. It also makes an outdoor kitchen more convenient and more functional. In addition, there will be less hassle in setting up the electric leaf blowers and pressure washers.

Overall, an outdoor outlet is a very convenient addition to your outside functionalities. It cuts off the travel time needed in order to access electricity from the outside. In addition, it also saves you from using extension cords, which can be very inconvenient sometimes. For families who like to take their activities outside will even find it more useful. However, there is an extra precaution when using an outlet outside of the house. Because of its location, it is more exposed to outside elements, which might cause damage or other safety hazards. This includes weather elements such as snow and rain.

What Happens When Outdoor Electrical Outlets Gets Wet?Don't let your outdoor electrical outlet get wet.

If an outdoor electrical outlet gets wet, serious issues can occur. A powerful electric shock can injure a person or even cause death. This also applies to electrical outlets, which is connected to the wirings where electricity is being distributed. When the outlet becomes wet, the flow of electricity will run in the water.

When this happens, anyone who is not observant enough will receive an electric shock. The most at risk here are unsuspecting children and animals who happen to be playing outside. Outdoor outlets are important for convenience, but to eliminate the chance of water getting inside, homeowners need to use an outdoor cover.

Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

All outdoor outlets should be covered whether it is used or not, especially those that are likely exposed during the rain. It is even required to be installed in special boxes, alongside the electrical covers, For example, all outlets installed in damp locations, as well as in locations unprotected by rainfall, must be protected with a weatherproof cover.

The most common danger related to outdoor outlets is the possibility of someone being shocked by being in contact with the water near the outlet. Fire can also happen when an unsuspecting person put a plug inside a wet outlet, which can cause a short circuit that can start a fire. The short circuit can also cause power outages throughout the house and can cause damage to your appliances.

What To Do When The Outdoor Outlet Gets Wet?

1. Turn off the GFCI Outlet
GFCI Outlets are designed to switch itself off automatically when the electricity has been cut off. The common occurrence of this happens when water or any liquid compromises the flow of electricity. If for some reason, the GFCI outlet did not turn itself off automatically, you can do it manually by pressing the reset button and the test button at the same time.

2. Shut Down The Breaker Box
In case of a flood or any other events where there are a lot of outlets affected, shutting down the Breaker Box is the most reliable solution. It is even recommended even when the GFCI outlets successfully stopped function automatically. If you’re not sure what circuit breaker should be flipped, call an electrician for help.

How To Prevent Elements From Getting Into The Outlet?

Selecting the kind of outdoor outlets is one of the most important parts of ensuring safety. Only GFCI outlets are the standard that NEC mandates. Also, make sure to follow the installation of the GFCI outlet. Use brackets that are designed for exterior outlets. Last but not least, install a weatherproof cover.

A weatherproof cover, usually made with plastic, is a covering designed to protect the outlet from moisture and water. Different kinds of weatherproof exist for different usage and locations. Use the right cover for the right outlet design and configuration. It is worthy to note that using a cover with the wrong design and configuration will likely let the water leak inside the outlet even when it is covered.

The Different Types Of Covers And When To Use ThemOutdoor electrical outlets should always be protected by a cover.

The National Electrical Code or NEC mandated to use Bubble Covers for all types of outdoor outlets in wet locations. The flat electric cover is no longer viable for outlet protection, as per NEC, so it is not an item for a recommendation. For the “in-use” outlets that are located in places unprotected from rainfall, or in underground places in direct contact with the Earth should use covers designed for wet locations. This type of cover lets the outlet sealed even while in use.

Another one is for outlets which are located in damp locations. Damp locations are defined by the NEC as locations that are protected by roofs, canopies, and marquees. Covers that are used in damp locations protect the outlet and keeps it sealed while not in use. These practices are mandated by the NEC and are recommended by a lot of electricians. Using a cover that is meant for other location reduce the efficiency of the cover. Water and other particles are expected to leak when the wrong cover is used.

Should You DIY Cover Installation On Outdoor Outlets?

Outdoor outlet covers are usually made with silicon and extra-duty plastic. These items can come in different colors and different configuration. Although these items seem easy to install, it is always recommended to call a professional for installation. You might think that you’re doing the installation right until you hit the wrong place and endanger yourself.

If you’ve been using an old cover for outdoor outlets, it is also recommended to seek the help of a licensed electrician to uninstall it. These items are needed to be removed with precision and care.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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How do I fix a Noisy Ceiling Fan?

By Rogers Electrician,

Is your ceiling fan making a lot of noise?

A great way to cool off a room is by turning on a ceiling fan. Homeowners save countless dollars by using wind chill instead of air conditioning on hot days. However, a noisy ceiling fan is an incredible frustration. Get to know how anyone can fix these fans with only a bit of elbow grease. The results are a long-lasting fan for years to come.

1. Clean off the Blades

The simplest way to calm a noisy ceiling fan is by cleaning the blades. Some fans sit idle for many months. Cleaning your noisy ceiling fan can help reduce the noise.Dust and grease accumulate on the blades’ surfaces. They become unbalanced as a result.

Carefully wipe down each blade with a damp rag. Clean the blade mounts too. The noise may abate with just a simple cleaning. After you clean the blades, Test them afterward to see if this made a difference. Those Ceiling fan blades can hold quite a bit of dust.

2. Tighten the Blade Screws

All ceiling fan blades will be connected to a mount on the assembly. They typically have a decorative appearance, but they’re more functional than residents might realize. Because of the blades’ rotational speed, the screws within the mounts can loosen over time.

Take a look at these screws. Tighten them as necessary. In many cases, a noisy ceiling fan can be resolved with this step. Residents may want to perform this task regularly so that noisy conditions aren’t a regular occurrence.

3. Tighten Light-Fixture Fasteners

Many ceiling fans come with light fixtures. It makes sense to combine these features into one appliance. The globe or cover on the fixture, however, might loosen.

Access the cover and check the fasteners. Take this opportunity to remove the cover. Wash it, and check on the bulb still attached to the fan. Replace the bulb if necessary.

Reattach the cover while carefully tightening the fasteners. The fan should operate without any noise now.

4. Examine Any Warped Blades

All of the blades on the fan should have about the same shape and orientation. This troubleshooting tip requires a keen eye for warps at the ceiling level.

Use a ladder to access the fan’s blades. Look at the blades’ profiles as a resident manually turns them. No blades should look higher or lower than the next ones.

Bend any blades into the shape that aren’t matching the others. In some cases, residents may need to replace one or two blades to achieve a balanced look.

5. Secure the Upper Canopy

If residents take a close look at their ceiling fans, there’s an upper canopy that covers the transition point into the ceiling.Install Ceiling Fan properly can help reduce a noisy ceiling fan. Although it’s tightly adhered to the fan’s post, the canopy can loosen over time.

Tighten the fasteners or screw the canopy back into place. Its design depends on the manufacturer. Residents may want to use a locking liquid on the fasteners so that the canopy doesn’t loosen frequently. It will take a trip up the ladder to access this ceiling fan part.

6. Lubricate the Fan Motor

Fan motors use lubrication as a way to reduce friction during operations. A buzzing sound often occurs if lubrication is lacking, however. Access the motor if a noisy ceiling fan is an issue. Verify if there’s any lubrication left within the motor.

Add several drops of oil into the motor if it’s dry. The fan’s instruction manual can guide your way.

If the buzzing sound continues after successful lubrication, the motor may be breaking down. An electrician can help residents make that determination.

7. Balance the Blades

When residents have cleaned and checked their blades for warping, another issue might be balanced. Some ceiling fans are poorly constructed, and use different materials for the blades.

Because the blades aren’t balanced, the fan wobbles as it rotates. Residents can buy a balancing kit to fix a noisy ceiling fan. They’re sold online and in stores. Follow the directions to add those weights to individual blades, and they’ll be balanced with little effort.

8. Check the Pull Chain

Some ceiling fans come with a remote control today, but many models still have a pull chain. They are usually installed away from any moving parts, but it can end up causing a noisy ceiling fan.

Observe the pull chain with the fan turned on to high. It shouldn’t strike any parts of the light fixture or blades. If it has a swinging motion, the blades aren’t correctly balanced.

Shorten the chain if the blades are standard. It only has to be long enough for easy access as you walk past it.

9. Tighten the Motor’s Cover

Most ceiling fans have a motor that’s located directly above the moving blades. The issue occurs when the motor cover comes slightly loose from its position. Residents end up with a noisy ceiling fan because the motor’s cover scrapes against the moving blades.

Turn off the fan, and access the motor cover’s fasteners. Tighten them so that the lid lifts away from the blades. Test the fan by turning it on low. Quiet operations should be consistent now.

10. Secure the Junction Box

A noisy ceiling fan can have issues that emanate from an item that’s not even visible. Every fan has a junction box that’s hidden just inside of the ceiling. It holds wires and acts as a middle ground for the fan’s connection point.

Residents must remove the fan’s top mount from the ceiling to reveal the junction box. Check if the box is loose from the ceiling. Tighten all of these connections. Reattach the top mount. In most cases, a simple tightening of these fasteners will stop a clicking sound.

If residents require a new ceiling fan, contacting an electrician is the best way to complete this project. The electrician can add ceiling fans to a room in little time. Residents might consider multiple fans to cool most of the home. At the end of the project, the entire household is more comfortable on those warm days than ever before.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Top 10 Home Electrical Safety Tips

By Rogers Electrician,

Mister Sparky Springdale electrician shares electrical safety tips to prepare you for national safety month.

Top 10 Home Electrical Safety Tips

Homeowners always strive to keep their family and property safe from accidents. With so many different systems and appliances to consider, there are many things to be mindful of when securing your home. Electricity is one of those things. Check out some of our tips own electrical safety tips to keep your home and family safe!

Don’t Overload Outlets

Plugging too many items into outlets is the cause of many house fires. Outlets are designed to handle a certain amount of current. Power strips or extension cords are often used to allow several different electrical items to pull power from one outlet. If the outlet is overloaded, it can cause issues with the breaker box. In the worst cases, outlets can spark and start a fire. Keeping outlet load at a reasonable level is one of the electrical safety tips that can save lives.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

This is common advice and should go without saying. However, there might be a couple of things that even moreMister Sparky Springdale electrician explain Electrical safety tips about water and electricity do not pair. experienced homeowners aren’t aware of concerning electricity and water.

One of the primary electrical safety tips that everyone should know is that water will conduct electricity. Many unsuspecting people have been shocked by touching their appliances with wet hands, or when using electronic items too close to water. Having an outlet by the kitchen sink additionally increases this risk, so be careful.

Water typically puts out fires, but electrical ones – not so much. While water may seem to put out the flame at first, it will fuel the electrical fire more. Only fire-retardant chemical extinguishers should be used to put out such a fire. Its recommended that there should be an extinguisher installed and easily accessible on every level of the home.

In the event of flooding, basements can become lethal. If there is standing water in a basement, don’t go into the basement. It could be carrying a current from any electrical equipment that it comes in contact with. Standing water like that should always first be tested for electric currents before anyone attempts to walk through it.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

GFCI outlets are safest and most recommended electrical outlets for any room that has running water. They’re also great when you want to make the room child-proof. If an outlet gets wet, has a foreign object inserted into it or if it is overloaded, a GFCI will cleverly detect the power surge and disable the outlet.

Power Tool Electrical Safety Tips

They make big jobs more accessible. Although, they can be dangerous. Here are some ways to be more careful with them:

  • Never stand in or near water when using a tool that is plugged into the wall.
  • Always wear goggles when using power tools. (This is not an electrical issue, but a good idea.)
  • Outlets being used for power tools need to be strong enough to supply the correct current. It helps to check for this when either buying a new tool or before getting ready to work with one.
  • Place extension cords strategically, to avoid accidents.

 

Electrical Cord Safety

Be mindful of both the power cords on appliances as well as of any extension cords. Here are a few things to consider when dealing with cables:

  • This may be hard to accept, but extension cords are designed for short-term use only.
  • If you have any pets living inside, you should definitely consider hiding the cords away from their reach. Pets can create safety hazards if they try to chew cords or wires.
  • Use cords that are in good shape, with no fraying or exposed wiring.
  • Don’t stretch cords across walking spaces.
  • Cords should never be yanked out of the sockets. Doing that can damage the cable, the outlet or both.

 

WallsElectrical safety tips 101. Make sure you are aware of the wires before you drill.

Don’t get too carried away with your next house project! Nails or drilling often damage the wiring inside of walls. You should find out where all of the internal wirings is located before you do any work on the walls.

Fixing Appliances

It’s recommended to have a professional take care of any repairs on home appliances. Homeowners are often tempted to fix appliances themselves or have a friend do it. This is another one of those electrical safety tips that if not followed correctly, can lead to health risks.

Electrical Safety Tips for Light Bulbs

Light fixtures will have recommended wattage requirements, usually noted on the outside of the socket. Using the wrong bulbs can cause them to overheat, which can cause a fire. If a bulb breaks while in the socket, unplug the lamp first if possible before removing the bulb to ensure your safety.

Don’t Ignore Issues

A home’s electrical system will usually give some hints if something is wrong. Here are some general electrical safety tips to keep in mind when at home:

  • No matter the weather outside, outlets should not be warm. If they are, there are several potential causes that an electrician will be able to diagnose quickly, like a bad connection or high voltage
  • Loose outlets can cause problems too. It usually is just a matter of securing the outlet. However, if it is loose for too long, the wiring will be affected and you are in danger once again.
  • Breakers that trip often indicates an overload of a specific circuit or an issue with the panel itself.
  • Flickering lights are an easy sign of an electrical problem. If the light bulb is not going out, it could be caused by faulty wiring or an issue with the amount of power that the main panel is attempting to supply.
  • Even if you know you just burned something in the oven – don’t ignore burning smells. It can mean that there are hot wires somewhere that can potentially turn into a fire, so make sure you know where it’s coming from for sure.

 

Outside Tips

If you are looking to make the outdoors around your house a safer place, or you are just beginning to build an outdoor area, here are a few things to consider:

  • Power lines are dangerous, electricity can be conducted through tree limbs, rakes, ladders or just about anything else that touches them. If you have power lines near your home, it would be a good idea to keep long/tall structures away from them. If you are planning really far ahead, don’t plant trees close to them.
  • Digging is a popular backyard pastime activity. If you like working in the backyard you may want to dig here and there on occasion. Unfortunately, power lines may sometimes be buried underground. Local electric companies should always be consulted before you do any digging, they will often be able to provide a schematic (or at least they should) – so that you know where you can dig. Don’t take your chances.
  • Extension cords: There are types of these specifically made for inside or outside. If not used as intended, they can be a fire hazard.
  • Exterior lights: The same causes for concern that exist for interior lights should be kept in mind with exterior lights. Any flickering, burning smell, frayed wires or any other suspicious issue should be addressed. Also, unlike indoors – outside there are different weather conditions. Keep that in mind as you are planning exterior lighting. For some tips on exterior lighting possibilities, take a look at our blog “5 Outdoor Light Fixtures You’ll Love For Spring.

 

For more information about electrical safety we recommend you visit the Electrical Safety Foundation Internationals website and stay tuned for the upcoming National Electrical Safety Month campaign during the month of May. For all of your residential electrical needs contact your trusted Mister Sparky Tulsa electrician today!

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections

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