How and Why You Should Check the Electrical Voltage in Your Home
One of the things we take for granted here in the good ole’ U.S.A. is that the electricity that comes out of the outlets in our homes is the right amount. Unfortunately, as some people discover every year, the nation’s utility companies are not perfect, and sometimes the wrong voltage is sent to a customer’s home causing damage to anything that runs on electricity – stereos, televisions, stove/oven, lights or even a furnace. In severe cases, a fire can ignite inside equipment. Electrician Mount Pleasant SC shares this article so that people are aware of this.
The problem is that the utility company doesn’t have any means of knowing if the correct voltage is running to your house, except for driving over to your house to test it, which is clearly not good because by that time, all your stuff is ruined.
Another problem is that minor variances in voltage can damage sensitive equipment, such as a computer or your HDTV, but leave other equipment unscathed. This leaves you scratching your head wondering what they heck happened.
This is why you, and everyone else should invest in a voltage meter. They are small, inexpensive and are sold at pretty much any big box store. And then, once your tester is at home, it’s easy to test your own voltage by yourself. All you do is unpack the little gizmo (they are generally about the size of a pack of cards) hook up the terminals, set the adjustment knob on the front to ACV (for AC voltage) and then push one terminal into one of the electrical socket openings, the one into the other opening, and then read what is displayed on the LCD. It should read 120.0, for 120 volts, which is what homes in this country are supposed to have.
That is the ideal, of course. Very few, if any, homes have exactly 120 volts of electricity running into them, but it surely ought to be something very close. If yours is above 125, for example, you probably ought to call your utility company to have someone come adjust the amount that is sent to your house.
The reason the voltage that is sent to your house can run amok is generally attributable to weather, specifically thunderstorms and lightning. If it strikes close enough to where you live, it can damage the transformer that sends electricity to your house, causing it to behave incorrectly. This means it is sending too much or too little voltage to your home.
This is why you should always unplug sensitive equipment when there is a thunderstorm approaching and then test your current with your voltage meter before plugging everything back in. This is especially true after power outages. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you’re talking about your expensive electronic stuff.