There are still a few weeks left in Arizona’s monsoon season.
When those storm clouds roll in, they can bring electrical blackouts or surges that can mess up electronic devices in your home as well as your appliances. Here are some ideas for coping safely with electricity problems during a storm:
Prevent electrical surges due to lightning or power problems by hard-wiring a whole-house surge protector directly to your electrical service panel.
These devices operate like a giant version of those surge protector strips that many homeowners use to protect PCs or flat-screen TVs, and they often come with guarantees. We recommend hiring a trusted electrician to install these units since working with wiring on your electrical service panel can be tricky and sometimes dangerous. Installation should cost a few hundred dollars.
If the lights start flickering or dimming in your house, don’t assume that it’s because the wind and rain is blowing outside.
Sometimes this problem can be the result of loose connections or other problems in a receptacle/outlet, a switch or your electrical panel. The panel is the box in the garage or on the side of your house. If the flickering happens when large appliances turn off and on, like your air conditioner or dishwasher, a repair person may need to check out the appliance. If an electrician can’t find the problem pretty quickly, don’t start redoing all the wiring in the house; it might be a situation your utility company has to solve in its transmission equipment.
Don’t assume that your electrical panel will last forever.
Believe it or not, the entire panel can burn out. They don’t last indefinitely. The breakers can overheat and damage the panel. The extreme hot and cold in much of Arizona is partly responsible. But the good news is that the panel can be replaced. If the size of your panel is inadequate, it can also be expanded to provide new circuits. An electrician can refurbish your old panel to give it a longer life.
Be careful with the wattage on light bulbs.
If a manufacturer recommends a particular wattage for a lamp or a fixture, don’t stick in a bulb that has more watts. The bulb’s extra heat can scorch or melt the socket and insulation on the fixture’s wires and may lead to an electrical fire.
Relabel the circuit breakers on your electric panel.
In most older homes, a few marks or labels have been scratched next to the breakers on the panel, but often the labels are nearly unreadable. Then when you have to shut down electricity in an emergency, you can’t find the right breaker.
Have two people on cellphones – one inside the house and one outside – who can talk back and forth. One person turns on all appliances and lights in the house. Then the person at the panel turns off the circuit breakers one-by-one and the person in the house can report on what areas go dead. Or someone turns off all the breakers at once and turns them on one by one.
One worker needs to draw a sketch of the box and then indicate which breaker serves what appliances and what areas. Once a service panel is labeled, you will know how to turn off the power in a particular area if you need to in an emergency. You will also be better able to identify which areas of your home are having an electrical problem when you have to reset a circuit breaker.
And if you are in need of a contractor you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com, Arizona’s most trusted referral nnetwork.
Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- December's Rosie-do list: It's time to get ready for the Arizona winter
- November's Rosie-do list: Time to get ready for the holidays
- October's Rosie-do List: Keep your home running smoothly this month
- September’s Rosie-do list: Get your veggies, trees and yard ready for fall
- August’s Rosie-do list: Fix the monsoon issues, get ready for fall
- July's Rosie-do list will help you fight bugs brought on by the monsoon
- Ready your home for monsoon season with June's 'Rosie-do' list
- Eight things for homeowners to add to their 'Rosie-do' list for May
- 6 to-do items for your April 'Rosie-do' list
- Your 'Rosie-Do List' for March: Time to start gearing up for summer
- Rosie-Do List for February: Get outdoors to prepare for spring
- Here’s your ‘Rosie-Do List’ for January