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Electrical Truths and Myths

How do these Myths get Created?

It is easy for the myth to have circulated over the years. All it takes is a nonexpert to provide someone with false information that is then passed along. Knowing the truth will help to keep you safe and have a better understanding of how to handle electrical problems in the future.

Myth #1: It’s Only 110 Volts

For those who do not know much about electrical currents, 110 volts may not seem like a lot. Often times people with little experience in the subject are will say that 110 volts aren’t strong enough to do any real damage. Experiencing any kind of electrical shock no matter how small, can be a very unpleasant experience. 110 volts is more than enough power to give you quite a shock. Depending on how you approach the electrical current can ensure that you are safe and at less risk of injury. If you begin to feel a “poke” from touching an outlet or another object a current is going through, you should take a step back, and let go of whatever it was you were touching. In this situation, it is still possible to feel some pain or discomfort no matter how fast you can jump back. It is important to be alert and attentive when dealing with any amount of electricity to eliminate any injuries or pain. It is important to make contact with the charge with only one hand so the current will not flow through your body. If you use two hands, it could be fatal. The current will flow from one hand to the other possibly passing through your heart.

Surge protectors are better than nothing and are highly recommended, but it will not ensure full surge protection.

Myth #2: Volts Don’t Hurt You, Amps Do

There is some truth to this myth. Volts do have the potential to hurt you, but the amps determine whether the volts hurt you or not. When it comes to volts, the greater the number, the stronger the current is. When we speak of amps, we are talking about how much current is flowing. When you multiply the total amount of volts by the total of amps then you get the wattage. The total wattage shows just how much electricity is being generated. So, amps do matter, but so do the volts! You can’t have one without the other.

Although your house seems safe, have you ever had your electrical system inspected in the last year?

#3 Home’s Electrical System

Many people who live in homes that were built decades ago may feel that because of its age it needs to be rewired. It is important to understand what the rewiring process is like before deciding to go through with any decisions. Electrical cables run through all of your walls, ceilings, floors, attic, basement, etc. The cost to replace all of that can really add up. Wiring doesn’t expire like food. Just because your home is on the older side, does not mean your wiring is compromised. If it has not been damaged, then it may not necessarily be time to take this step. However, there are signs that show if your house needs rewiring:

  • Flickering or dimmed lights.

  • Blown fuses.

  • Overloaded circuits: Older homes sometimes do not have the electrical load capabilities that we demand of them today.

  • Loose outlets.

  • Feeling a shock when plugging anything into an outlet.

If your house is experiencing any of these issues, contact us with any questions and we can help make sure your house’s electricity is running smoothly.

Myth #4: Higher Voltage is Cheaper to Operate

No one wants to deal with a high electric bill, so many people look for ways to cut down the cost. Most people think that their electric bill is based on volts when actually it is based on kilowatts (KW). Watts are a measure of the total power used. It’s the product of the voltage and the current. Appliances will always need a certain amount of watts in order to operate properly. Increasing the number of volts by double would cut the number of amps in half but the total amount of watts would stay the same. The only sure way to decrease your electric bill month to month would be remembering little things like turning off the TV and lights when not in use. Just using a higher voltage will not make the bills cheaper.

Myth #5: Flickering Lights Equal a Short

The term, short, is usually used as a “catch-all” term for any electrical issues going on. However, a “short” is a very specific electrical issue. It means that an electrical current travels outside of its intended circuit. The source of a short usually comes from improper wiring, damaged cables, or loose cables. Having the current flow in the circuit that it was not intended for can cause the wiring to overheat which could even lead to a fire. Circuit breakers are in place to prevent such things by stopping the current if it detects a build-up of heat. If your lights are only flickering then it is most likely a loose connection. Be sure to check for the loose connection first before attempting to locate the short circuit. The solution can be simpler than it may seem. If you do not feel comfortable looking into issues like this yourself, we always advise that you hire a professional electrician - safety should always be your number one priority!

Myth #6: Electricity Can’t Hurt Me if I’m Grounded

An electrical grid is a grounded system. This means the current wants to flow to the ground. Many people associate the ground, when it comes to electricity, as a safe place. Nearly everyone has heard the term “grounded” referring to where an electrical current goes where it can not be harmful anymore. It will take any path to the ground that it can find, even if that pathway is through you. Even if you are grounded, it can still cause a lot of harm to you. The electrical current will not think twice about using you as part of its pathway to get to the ground. This means the current will pass through vital organs and blood vessels which could be fatal. Please be careful!

Know your Facts!

Knowing the truth when it comes to electrical safety can help to save your life. It is important to fact check any information you may hear from others to be sure that the information you are receiving is correct. You can view our website to find out any additional safety information, or feel free to contact our professionals if you have any other questions or feel more comfortable letting a trained electrician handle your projects!



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