When it comes to the subject of home electricity, there are plenty of myths, half-truths and an abundance of bald-faced lies. It is awfully difficult for homeowners to separate fact from fiction. Fret not, our Forest Lake Electricians are here to debunk the most pervasive home electricity myths. Without further adieu, let's take a look at some common misconceptions about home electricity.
Myth # 1: No Energy is Used When an Appliance is Turned Off
As time progresses and our planet's finite resources gradually deplete, more and more homeowners are becoming aware of the fact that energy is still used after their appliances are turned off. If an appliance or other electronic device is plugged in, it will still use energy. However, there is an exception: if the device is in standby mode, just about no electricity will be used. Merely turning off a device still results in energy use.
The bottom line is devices put in the off position are not actually off. If possible, put your electronic devices in standby mode to minimize your electric bill. If you are heading out for vacation or a long work shift, go ahead and unplug the devices known for being energy-eaters. This little bit of effort will save you a bundle of money as the years progress.
Myth # 2: Fallen Electrical Wires Automatically Shut Off
This is one of the most dangerous electricity myths. An electrical wire that falls on something a poor conductor such as asphalt will not result in a short circuit. Position yourself a minimum of 25 feet away from downed power lines to be safe. There is a good chance the electrical wire is still live even if sparks are not visible.
Myth # 3: Power Lines are Safe as They are not High Voltage
Though few know it, amperage is what kills people, not voltage. A single amp has the potential to lead to a deadly heart irregularity. Most houses have between 100 and 200 amps moving through them at any given time.
Myth # 4: All Power Lines are Fully Insulated
The vast majority of power lines are not insulated. Even the power lines that are insulated might have lost that insulation after exposure to a storm. The moral of this story is it is never safe for a person to touch a power line. Do not be deceived by the fact that birds can sit on power lines without negative ramification. Birds rest on power lines that hang in the air; not those that are dangling down to the ground as a result of storm damage.
Myth # 5: Household Electrical Currents are too Weak to Kill
The electricity in your home is dangerous. Household electricity really can kill you or anyone else in your living space, regardless of their size, strength or health. Household electricity is that much more dangerous when water is in the equation.
Myth # 6: You can Save Money by Keeping the Lights On
Plenty of people have heard it is cheaper to keep the lights on rather than turn them on and off. The truth is it is cheaper to turn off the lights and turn them back on when necessary. Furthermore, leaving the lights on for an extended period of time is a fire hazard. Get into the habit of always turning off the lights after use and you just might prevent an electrical fire.
Myth # 7: Wood Ladders are Safe to use Around Electricity
Wood is a conductor of electricity, albeit a poor one. It is a mistake to use a wood ladder or anything else made of wood when performing any type of electrical work. If the wood is wet, it will prove that much more potent of a conductor. Be extra careful when you are near wood, especially wood that might have been energized.