It seems like everything you buy today requires an electrical outlet. If you find yourself living in an older home or one with out-dated wiring, you could also end up at a loss for power. With electrical outlets spread sparsely around your home, it can be difficult to find enough outlets to plug in a lamp at the location you want or plug in all your electronics in the same spot. Fortunately, you do have some options for expanding your electrical accessibility and capacity.
The most common fix for this problem is to use extension cords. Extension cords can go extend as far as 150 feet, but are not always an ideal permanent solution. If you were running a significant amount of power through a long running extension cord on a regular basis, it would be a better idea to install an outlet at that location. With a heavy loaded extension cord you run a greater risk of fires and overloading the circuit. Undersized extension cords can overheat and cause a fire. If you will be running several electronics of the same outlet (television, computer, entertainment system) you should invest in a power bar with a surge protector. A power bar will be able to handle the larger electrical load and protect your valuable electronics from surges.
Another option would be to use an adapter to split two standard electrical sockets into four. This can be helpful when you need to plug in an additional lamp or phone charger in your room. If you find that you are tripping your breaker when you are plugging in more devices or appliances onto an adapter, power bar, or extension cord, you are probably overloading your circuit. The best course of action would be to have an electrician install a new outlet on a separate circuit.
Installing New Outlets
While having new outlets installed by a professional electrician is the safest idea, it is not always possible in every situation. If you are a renter you may not be able to or want to upgrade the current electrical system. Or it is possible that your current breaker or electrical panel may not be able to handle additional electrical outlets. If that is the case, have a licenced electrician inspect your home electrical system to ensure that you are able to safely add on additional outlets. While planning for new outlets, identify areas that would be optimal for having power and covering the room appropriately. This way you can avoid problems down the road and installing an excessive amount of outlets in one room.
It is important to use undamaged extension cords and not run one extension cord off of another. For the best peace of mind, have one of our electricians install an additional circuit and outlets in your home. This will keep your home up to code and reduce the risk of fires significantly. If you have any questions about the outlets and circuits in your home, contact your local Expert Electric and arrange an appointment with one of our electricians.