If you live in Conway, SC, there is a chance of experiencing a hurricane, especially during the summer season between August and November. A hurricane could catch you unawares. There are many preparations homeowners should make to protect their homes against hurricanes. During this season, your electrical system also needs attention because it is the most affected during these tropical events.
To ensure your electrical system stays safe during the hurricane season, you should consult with an electrician, to conduct inspections and check for any weakness in your system. Continue reading to discover ways to protect your electrical system from a storm.
Install GFCI Outlets
Electrical safety is essential for homeowners; hence, newly constructed homes feature a ground-fault circuit interrupter commonly referred to as a GFCI.
Electricians normally install these units in garages, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor areas to protect homeowners from high-voltage shocks. As a matter of fact, GFCI outlets have significantly reduced the number of home electrocutions by 83 percent.
As you prepare for the hurricane season, ensuring that the rooms at risk of flooding have a properly working GFCI outlet is essential. When a ground fault occurs due to flood waters coming in contact with the electrical system, these units will break the circuit and protect your electrical system from damage. When there are hurricanes, power outages occur, and in that case, a GFCI outlet will be necessary if you want to power your home with a portable generator.
If your residential building does not have GFCI outlets, it’s important to have them mounted in your house. Although they are not complex to install, it’s never wise to attempt to take the DIY route. Always contact a qualified electrician in Conway, SC, to avoid electric shock or even accidental death.
Get a Whole House Surge Protector
During the hurricane season, you must take every precaution to ensure your property is safe from the destruction of severe summer storms. Since it’s impossible to predict the force of these strikes, it’s a good idea to have protective circuits in place to ensure the electrical storm does not wreak havoc on your electrical system.
To protect your home from minor and significant power surges, it’s crucial to have an electrical contractor mount a whole-house surge protection device in your home. The professional connects this device to your home’s electrical service box.
A whole-house surge protector uses a metal oxide varistor to deter surges away from your home. In fact, many new houses equipped with expensive electrical systems often come standard with whole-home surge protection.
Once you have this device, you don’t have to worry about the hurricane because your electrical grid infrastructure will be equipped to deal with the power surges, and your appliances will be protected from any damage.
Although you have the option of using point-of-use surge protectors, these units are not built to protect your residential property from lightning or other high-energy surges. You will need an electrician to install whole-home surge protection to protect your system from powerful electrical surges or direct lightning strikes.
Make Sure Wiring Is Up to Code
As the hurricane season approaches, most homeowners forget to check if their electrical system wiring is up to code. An electrical inspection from a certified electrical contractor will give you peace of mind knowing that your home’s wiring is up to code.
In fact, it is against the FEMA regulations to use nonmetallic cabling, commonly referred to as Romex, when wiring a home in a flood zone or conducting electrical repairs in a flood area. Romex is built with a paper filament that becomes an electrical danger once exposed to water.
Therefore, the paper filament has to be replaced if it gets wet. This exposes your family to possible fire hazards over time if the wire is not replaced. Even if there are no obvious electrical issues immediately after the hurricane, damage to the wire still occurs over time unless an electrician conducts a replacement.
According to the National Electrical Code, the nonmetallic cabling should be replaced with a UF or underground burial cable, which does not have a paper filament and is built specifically for damp environments, especially crawl spaces and flood zones.
Therefore, you should consider hiring an electrician to mount underground or UF wiring to meet the code.
Learn Where and How to Shut Off Your Home’s Electricity
Surprisingly, some homeowners are unaware of how to turn off their home’s electrical system to avoid damage. You don’t have to wait until a hurricane strikes to learn how to shut off the electrical system. Preplanning this will help you save time and frustration.
If flooding is expected in Conway, SC, you should unplug unnecessary electronic devices and monitor the situation. If the emergency officials advise you to turn off your electricity during a hurricane, you will need to turn it off at the circuit breaker.
In cases where you are unsure how to shut off the electrical system or have concerns about the electrical panel, you should reach out to an electrician.
Invest In an Emergency Generator
During hurricanes, an emergency generator has been known to save the day. Homeowners planning to use a small portable generator to operate their appliances during a power outage should know the proper operation of the generator to avoid creating a fire hazard or risk of electrocution. They can also contact an electrician for options.
The Ideal Time for Hurricane Preparedness Is Now
No one wants to get caught by surprise by a hurricane; hence, it’s a good idea to prepare for the hurricane season when the weather is nice. Suppose you need help to ensure your electrical systems meet the required standards. In that case, you can turn to the Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach for trusted electrical services.
Our electricians will help you with electrical needs ranging from appliance hook-up, electrical remodeling, and AC and heat circuit repairs. We also provide electrical wiring as well as fuse and breaker replacement. Give us a call today or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.