Regular electrical maintenance isn't only important for safety and preventing potential accidents; it could also improve the energy efficiency of your office and help you to save on your power bills. While having a regular maintenance schedule is probably the best approach, it's also useful to be aware of the signs that your office needs professional electrical maintenance. Here, we've listed the five key indicators that suggest your office should contact an electrician for maintenance work.
A tripped circuit breaker is a common occurrence, but if it's happening fairly frequently in your office, you'll probably want to find out the underlying cause(s). While you might decide to simply reset your circuit breaker each time it trips, this means you won't be addressing the underlying cause.
In most cases, circuit breakers trip due to either a circuit shorted to ground or a circuit overload. Shorted circuits might be due to electrical conductors like wires or winding inside the motor touching ground. Alternatively, the issue could have its roots in a specific component. A licensed, experienced electrician can carefully review the relevant wiring and connections to identify the source of the issue and repair the problem so your office experiences minimal interruptions.
Overloaded circuits can be more complex, and an experienced electrician will have the appropriate equipment to test for overloading and identify the source of the overload. Your electrician can also attach grounding wires to outlets and devices. This helps to minimize the risk of serious injury in the event of a short circuit, protect against electrical overload, and stabilise voltage levels.
Flickering office lights might seem like a minor problem, but when it's a regular occurence, it becomes a major nuisance and source of distraction for your office staff. Persistent flickering lights could be associated with headaches, vision issues, and reduced morale and energy levels. It could also increase your electricity costs.
A licensed electrician can diagnose the cause of the issue. For example, is it an issue with the light bulb itself or something more serious like an overloaded circuit? With the latter, too many devices and appliances plugged into the same line can lead to a power shortage. Alternatively, your circuit wires could be outdated and no longer in line with the latest standards.
If your flickering lights involve more than one room or circuit, your office likely has a more serious issue. This could be a problem with your cable connections or some other power source. In this case, it's even more critical to consult a licensed electrician for maintenance work right away.
Are your office's electrical outlets warm to the touch? If so, you're probably overdue for a maintenance visit from your electrician. Outlets that are warm or hot after you unplug a device, or even when you have nothing plugged in, are a sign that you might have an issue. Worn, broken, cracked, and chipped outlets should also be checked by your electrician and replaced if necessary.
Electrical outlets can warm up during the process of converting AC to DC power, which is the process of changing the voltage input (AC) to a usable, storable output (DC). Unplug the appliance and check back after one hour. The outlet should be at room temperature.
Generally speaking, avoid plugging in too many devices into the same circuit. However, it's not easy to tell which outlets are linked to the same circuit-wire series without asking your electrician. Similarly, in older properties, you might have an older breaker that was replaced with a high ampacity breaker, which could lead to higher levels of current than the circuit was designed for. In this case, a warm outlet could be a symptom of this mismatched wiring, and your electrician can rectify this for you.
Sparks when you plug and unplug your appliances are another potential sign you should have an experienced electrician in to check on your office outlets. Sometimes this is a normal occurrence – a brief spark due to a rapid draw on the available power – with no serious underlying issues.
However, at other times the sparks can be a sign of a dangerous problem. The sparks, for example, could be due to excessive heat building up in your outlets. This could lead to other issues like melting insulation covering your wires, which in turn could set off an electrical fire.
Alternatively, the sparks could be due to water exposure, which could short out the circuit. The age of the outlet could be another issue, where an older, worn-out outlet with loosened connections heightens the risk of short circuits and electrical fire. Older appliance cords and poor repair jobs could be other potential causes.
A thorough electrical maintenance plan can empower your business to reduce risks, enhance safety, and lower costs. By working with an experienced, licensed electrician, you could eliminate energy and overhead wasters and potential causes of business interruption, and in the process provide your employees with a safe, efficient work environment.