November 21, 2022 Home
Thanksgiving is this week and Christmas is around the corner. Many of us will soon find our homes filled with friends and family. Thanksgiving meals require greater use of appliances in the kitchen and throughout the home. Christmas time brings an increase in food preparations, as well as a host of new items, many of which require electricity to operate.
As these holidays take place during colder and darker months of the years, there is an additional demand for electricity. This increase in electricity usage (heat, lighting, holiday activities and appliance use) is usually not a problem in terms of power supply. However, it is important that we pay attention to any electrical problems as we prepare to enjoy the holidays.
Following are some common household electrical problems that may create larger problems – if not taken care of. Many of these problems can be resolved easily; but some might require attention of a qualified electrician.
Many electrical appliances generate heat during operation. However, the outlet itself should never get hot. If you notice heat at an outlet, immediately unplug any cords and do not use the outlet until you can troubleshoot the issue.
Flickering lights usually indicate a loose electrical connection. If the flickering is in a single light fixture, the fix is usually fairly straightforward. If it’s affecting multiple lights or rooms, the problem is likely farther back in the circuit. If it’s the whole house that flickers, the problem may lie in the breaker box or at the utility drop outside your home. In that case, contact a qualified electrician to troubleshoot for you.
If you notice a burning smell (not biscuits or turkey in the oven), the wiring in your electrical system might be the cause. If there is enough heat to melt the plastic sheathing around your electrical wiring, there is a risk of fire. Try to identify the source of the smell, whether at one fixture or the breaker box, and get it resolved quickly.
BOGUS UNDERWRITERS LABORATORY (UL) STICKERS
Underwriters Laboratory is an organization dedicated to ensuring that products meet minimum safety standards. Items ranging from extension cords to smoke detectors carry a UL sticker, indicating that the device and its manufacturing facility have passed inspection. Unfortunately, some manufacturers step around UL inspection by using counterfeit labels. If you’re buying cheap electrical devices, give that sticker a second glance, and look for typos or other signs that seem off to you. The usual approved UL sticker has the letters U and L in a circle. The letters are not on the same line: the “L” is a step down from the “U”.
PVEC Member Voices wishes everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. There is plenty to be thankful for. Everyone needs to learn more about our electric cooperative. For more information, go to pve.coop.