7 Simple Spring Electrical Maintenance Ideas
Surprisingly, there’s a lot you can actually do when it comes to home electrical maintenance. From cleaning to appliance updates and performance checks, you can make a real difference at home with little effort.
Now that we’re in spring there’s no better time for electrical maintenance. Just combine it with spring cleaning and it truly could not be any simpler.
It could keep you safe from undetected electrical hazards, too.
Here are 7 simple spring electrical maintenance ideas to keep your home safe and tidy.
1. Test Your Safety Switches
Let’s start with arguably the most important tip, testing your RCD safety switches!
Safety switches provide protection from electrical shocks caused by faulty wiring, appliances or power outlets. The reaction time of a safety switch is almost instantaneous, just milliseconds after a fault is detected.
They should really be tested every 3 months as routine electrical maintenance.
When looking for a RCD safety switch, there should be clear labelling, while the actual button you want has a T on it, for test. Colour, size and shape will vary but the T is always there.
To test, just hold the button down for a few seconds and the switch should flick off. Do this for each switch, so you can ensure each circuit is protected.
If the RCD safety switch is not triggered, contact a licensed electrician from Metropolitan Electrical Contractors as it means your electrical circuit is unprotected.
2. Clean Fans and Air Con Filters
While cleaning the curtains, dusting shelves or washing windows, give the air conditioning filters and ceiling fans a refresh.
The best time to do this is in between seasons during periods of lower usage. In spring this means beating the heat and preparing the air con for summer.
You can use a vacuum to remove much of the dust and dirt before rinsing out the filters with warm, soapy water, then drying. For split systems, this will be easiest, while ducted systems or evaporative coolers will most likely require a professional service due to heights and accessibility.
A heating and cooling technician can also provide a full inspection of the motor and fans, any ducts, and make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned and working efficiently.
Keep up the momentum by wiping down ceiling blade fans and cleaning out ceiling exhaust fans too. Dust impacts efficiency and can lead to a nasty environment with additional dust and debris in the air.
3. Change the Ceiling Fan Direction
This is not really electrical maintenance, but a useful tip while you’re up cleaning the fan! Flick the switch and change the setting from winter to summer mode (if you remembered to swap it in the first place).
Hot air naturally rises. Therefore, the winter setting helps push warm air down in a clockwise direction. Meanwhile, in summer when the entire room feels warm and stuffy, anti-clockwise movement creates airflow while dispersing hot air. There’ no better time to change this than in spring.
4. Run a Smoke Detector Test
A smoke alarm should be tested every 12 months as a part of your electrical maintenance. If there is a battery also replace it yearly.
To test a smoke detector you only have to press and hold the test button for a few seconds. The great news is you’ll know if it works because there will be a loud wailing siren! But if there’s silence, that’s bad news.
You want a working smoke detector for safety assurance in case of fire. If the alarm doesn’t work and your alarm is hardwired, contact a qualified electrician.
5. Replace Power Cords, Light Switches and Powerpoints
Alongside wiping down powerpoints and dusting behind the TV cabinet, take a look at your light switches, power cords and powerpoints.
Are there any signs of damage?
If so, the best course of action is a replacement. Light switches or power outlets which are cracked, damaged or regularly spark may be an indication of faulty or problematic wiring.
Likewise, damaged power cords and power boards should not be used. So stop using the extension lead the dog’s chewed on! A quick replacement may cost a few dollars but it will save your home from a serious electrical hazard.
6. Clean Your Appliances
One of the most helpful spring electrical maintenance ideas is putting together a checklist of appliances to clean. Often we do forget about dusting behind a fridge or cleaning lint filters.
Leaving appliances in below par conditions impacts efficiency and energy usage. So, for example, here are some of the simple tasks you could put on a list:
- Fridge: Dust condenser coils, clean out the freezer
- Washing Machine: Clean lint filter, dust behind the washing machine, check taps
- Dishwasher: Run an empty load with 1 cup of white vinegar or baking soda
They are quick and easy ways to clean your daily appliances and help elevate performance.
7. Electric Hot Water System Service
Lastly, head to your storage tank hot water system and test the pressure relief valve. Just pull the small handle up on the pressure relief valve and a small amount of water will be released.
But, be careful! This will be boiling water at about 60°C and will come out quite fast. Make sure you’re not in the way and just hold the handle up for about 5-10 seconds.
That’s not all you can do, though. Electric hot water systems should be serviced regularly for top performance. This includes testing the thermostat, heating elements, maintaining insulation and making sure parts such as the sacrificial anode or tempering valve are in working order.
This may sound like a challenge, which is where Metropolitan Electrical Contractors can step in to help. Just contact us for any hot water system service and we can be there within an hour* to help!
We can also provide a thorough spring electrical maintenance checkup on the whole home, from RCD safety switches to smoke detectors and powerpoints. We can do it all. If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call today for more information.