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Electrical Safety Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it all right to replace a fuse or circuit breaker with a larger one to prevent them from blowing or tripping?
In most cases the answer is no. They are designed to blow at certain levels to protect equipment and for fire safety.

What is the difference between a floodlight and a spotlight?
The floodlight will have a broader light pattern, while a spotlight will focus on a more narrow area.

What is a polarized plug?
One prong is bigger than the other. This feature is designed to make sure that a 110-volt plug is never put into a socket that is not a 110-volt outlet.

Will a three-pronged plug adapter protect me against electrical shock when I use it in a two-prong receptacle?
Only if the wall plate screw is grounded.

I am installing a ceiling fan; do I need a special electrical box?
Yes, special fan support boxes are designed for hanging heavy fixtures-up to about 50 pounds. Since a ceiling fan moves, these boxes are good for about a 35-pound ceiling fan.

What is a ground fault interrupter?
It's a safety device that shuts off the power if a wire in an outlet develops a leak that could electrocute someone. This hazard is so serious that the National Electrical Code requires all new homes be equipped with them in the bathroom, kitchen, workroom, outdoor, basement, garage and swimming pool circuits.

I’ve always heard that fuses are better than circuit breakers. Is this still true today?
While at one time this was true, it’s not so true today. Fuses blow faster than a circuit breaker on an overload condition. While a breaker may take a few seconds longer, it still protects your home’s wiring from overheating very efficiently. Unfortunately, fuses have not been installed regularly in homes since 1950, the birth of the circuit breaker panel. So any fuse panels still in existence in homes for the main service are over 50 years in age. The equipment’s failure is eminent.




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