Tag Archives: outlets

Tell-Tale Signs Your GFCI Outlet is Bad

You may wonder – what’s the big deal about a bad GFCI outlet? To put things simply, these exist to help protect you from suffering an electrical shock. According to the electrical code, these outlets are located in your home where there’s an increased risk of electrocution. This includes the kitchen, bathroom, outside, and any other location where water is found. Continue reading

How Problems with Electrical Outlets are Diagnosed and Repaired

If you have ever attempted to plug in an appliance to discover it wouldn’t turn on, there’s no question it can be frustrating. The entire purpose of the outlet is convenience, but that’s non-existent if there are problems with electrical outlets. Continue reading

Safety Tips for the Two Common Killers in Your Home – Carbon Monoxide & Electricity

electrician installing carbon monixide detector

You hear tragic stories on the news about people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning or electrical shock and you think, “That will never happen to me.” But do you think they thought it would ever happen to them? No, they didn’t. The team at Fusion Electric has put together this helpful information about carbon monoxide safety to keep your family safe from these common dangers in your home that could actually kill you. Read on and make sure your home is safe,

Scary Facts about Carbon Monoxide

  • On average 430 people die every year in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning
  • Carbon monoxide gas is colorless, odorless making it undetectable
  • Carbon monoxide is typically vented outside of your home
  • More than 20,000 Americans visit the hospital each year for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Carbon monoxide can be created by stoves, generators, fireplaces, water heaters, vehicles, and furnaces

Safety Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Your first line of defense is to make sure you have working CO detectors installed in several areas of your home
  • Make sure you test your CO alarms once a month
  • Replace the batteries in your CO alarms twice a year at least
  • Know what sound your CO alarm makes when it’s set off
  • If your CO alarms do sound, make sure everyone inside the home gets to a place where they can get fresh air, preferably outside. Call the fire department quickly
  • Never let your car idle to warm up inside of a closed space like a garage. Always move your car outside first
  • During and after a snowstorm, clear the exit vents to your dryer, furnace, and stove
  • Always open the damper in your fireplace for proper ventilation when in use
  • Only use gas and charcoal grills outside because they produce CO gas

Shocking Facts about Electrical Accidents

According to the ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International), more than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur each year.

  • More than two hundred people die from electrocution each year
  • According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 70 percent of child-related electrical accidents occur at home, when adult supervision is present
  • Each year, there is an estimated average of 60 electrocutions associated with consumer products. The three most common product categories are

1. small appliance
2. power tool
3. lighting equipment

Electrical Safety Tips

  • Faulty appliances – never use an appliance with cracked, worn, or frayed cords
  • Throw out all extension cords that are damaged or frayed
  • Electrical appliances – never let electrical appliances come into contact with water.
  • Old wiring – replace incorrect or deteriorated household wiring
    Electric outlets – if there are young children at home, it’s recommended to use outlet covers.
  • Swimming pools, hot tubs & spas – faulty wiring in pools and hot tubs pose the serious risk of electrocution and electric shock due to defective underwater lighting, faulty and old wiring, and improperly grounded vacuums.

GFCIs are regarded as one of the best ways to prevent electrocution. Have an electrician check to be sure you have properly working GFCIs on all outlets near water (kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor).

Related Read: 3 Reasons Your KC Home Needs an Electrical Inspection

Three Ways to Make Your Home Safe

1. Early Education about the Dangers of Electricity

One of the biggest ways to protect children from being electrocuted is by teaching them about safe electrical practices. This should start when a child is a toddler. Parents should continue electrical safety education during family safety drills while children are under the age of twelve. However, annual training is not enough since children need constant reminders.

2. Preventative Maintenance for Electrical Appliances

Making sure that all cords on lamps, kitchen appliances, and other electrical items are free from wear and tear is an important part of protecting young children. Cords that are broken, damaged, show wiring, or do not work properly should be discarded.

This includes extension cords. Outlets should be replaced if they are cracked or broken. Lights and appliances with a short in them should also be replaced. They are a fire and electrical shock hazard.

3. Make Sure Your Outlets Have GFCIs for Shock Prevention

Most parents know that installing outlet covers is the most basic way to protect their children from being shocked. Another big part of childproofing a home includes upgrading kitchen, bath, and outdoor outlets to Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s).

GFCIs prevent shock or electrocution if an appliance comes in contact with water (or any time it senses a surge in electricity). The GFCI measures the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral, so when there is imbalance, the circuit trips. Normally a GFCI can detect variations as small as 4 milliamps, and it trips quickly cutting off electricity.

How to Test a GFCI

To test your ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), plug in a light or other device into the outlet then just press the test button in. You will hear a snap sound that trips the outlet and cuts power off to the two plug in connections. If the light goes out, you’ll know the outlets don’t work and the safety mechanism performed correctly. Once you know the GFCI is functioning properly, press the reset button and the outlet should once again be on.

The U.S. government recommends that GFCI’s should be inspected after every storm and once per month. They also say that more than twenty-five percent of people in the country do not know how helpful GFCI’s can be, and half of those that use them do not test their GFCI’s.

If you’d like a carbon monoxide detector installed or for more information about electrical safety, or perhaps a whole-house safety inspection, call Fusion Electric your Kansas City Electrician at 913-563-7975.

Electrical Home Safety Inspection in Kansas City

6 Clever Outlet Solutions for Eliminating Electrical Cords

The beginning of any remodeling project is full of excitement amidst a whirlwind of planning. Adding new appliances or bath fixtures, flooring and more is sure to improve your home’s aesthetic appeal, efficiency, and comfort. Your remodeling project may include plans to upgrade your electrical system, or maybe add a few more outlets to rooms where there just aren’t enough of them.

If so, now would be the perfect time to add a few electrical features that aren’t as obvious as a new floor or new countertop, but will improve the functionality of your space nonetheless. Consider adding some of these clever electrical solutions to your home remodeling plans:

Pop-Up Countertop Outlets

pop-up outlets on tabletop

You’ve likely experienced the frustration of adding a new countertop appliance and realizing the nearest outlet is across the room or out of reach.

While a mess of wires streaming across the counters are pretty unsightly, four or five outlets lining the wall beneath the kitchen cabinets isn’t exactly a desirable look either.

Pop-up countertop outlets can offer a much sleeker look while maximizing your kitchen’s functionality, not to mention they can eliminate the mess of wires at the same time. Another option would be to have an outlet installed on the side of a kitchen island, where it’s both inconspicuous and handy at the same time.

Related Read: A Bright New Trend: Edison Bulbs

Outlets In Drawers & Medicine Cabinets

outlets in cabinets and drawers

Installing outlets in kitchen and bathroom drawers or cabinets is another overlooked option.

You can easily stash your hairdryer in the bathroom vanity, and have the outlet right there, out of sight and residing with the appliance that needs it.

In-Floor Outlets

Installing your outlets in the floor offers convenience and efficiency, especially in a living or family room where furniture is often set up for ease of conversation – away from walls and outlets.

in-floor outlets

Being able to plug lamps into the floor directly eliminates the need for extension cords and wires running across the floor or underneath rugs.


Related Read: 3 Electrical Ways to Improve Your Home’s Value during Winter

Crown Molding & Baseboards

If you’re home has a lot of electronics that reach across entire rooms, this is a great and inexpensive option.

hollow crown molding for wiring

You can buy crown molding or baseboards at most home improvement stores that are hollow on the inside.

These are perfect for hiding the wires and cords for those electronics . Not only will this help keep your room organized and wire free, this decorative feature can can add extra character and elegance to a room.

Shower Curtain Rod

This is another easy, do-it-yourself project to hide the wires and cords in your home. This tip is especially popular for hiding mounted television cords. All you need is a hollow shower curtain rod. String the cords through and secure the rod vertically to the wall. Painting the rod the same color as the wall will make it almost indistinguishable.

False Paneling

false paneling behind tv

Like crown molding, false paneling is a popular home improvement project, but it’s also a great way to organize your home while also adding more appeal.

When mounting your television on your wall or mantel, make it the focal point with this easy technique.

All you’ll need is hollow paneling so that you can hide the wires inside. Make the design a symmetrical, geometric pattern. This project is beautiful and a useful addition to any room.

If any of these projects seem like too much to take on alone, call the Fusion Electric Team.

Related Read: 4 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Electrical DIY

It’s easy to overlook these sorts of conveniences when planning a remodel. But sometimes small, seemingly insignificant changes pay big dividends!

Contact us at (913) 563-7975 for more great electrical ideas and solutions!

How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season

patio-outlet-prep-tipsThere’s nothing like relaxing outside on your very own backyard patio. When preparing for spring and summer, there are a few electrical safety tips that you will want to keep in mind when it comes to your home’s outdoor electrical outlets. Fusion Electric put together our top tips for homeowners below.

Outdoor Outlet Cover

Every outdoor outlet needs an outlet cover. Why? Elements ranging from rain to wind, morning dew or even dirt, can cause all sorts of problems if they make their way into the electrical outlet. An outlet cover also acts as a safety feature with regards to moisture.

Related read: 4 Ways to Make Your Outdoor Space Amazing After Dark

Adding Outlets Instead of Extension Cords

Did you know that extension cords were created as a temporary solution? Their purpose is not to connect your fountain bubbler to the outdoor outlet connected to your home season after season. In fact, it is extremely hazardous to use them as such. The pros at Fusion Electric recommend never using an extension cord as a replacement for an outdoor outlet. Instead, call your electrician to help spruce up your outdoors with a few new outlets.

Related read: Creative Ways to Protect Your Outdoor Television

GFCI-Protected Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets were created to prevent electrical shock in wet locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor areas. Not only do we recommend that your home’s outdoor outlets are GFCI protected as a safety precaution, it is required by code. While the covers we mentioned before can certainly help prevent moisture from getting into your outdoor outlets, you can never be too careful when it comes to the electricity around your home!

Whether you’re looking to install brand new power outlets outside of your home or you need some assistance with maintaining your existing outlets, Fusion Electric is ready to help you out, every step of the way. Give us a call at 913-563-7975 or contact us online to set up an appointment with an electrician!

3 Ways to Keep Electronics Safe During the Holidays

May your holiday season be merry and bright! To ensure that it is, Fusion Electric is sharing three ways to keep your electronics safe and your mind sane this holiday season. Follow our tips for a smooth winter.

holiday sting lightsInspect Electrical Holiday Displays Before Using

It’s that time of the year again, full of sparkle and cheer. Before you hang the tinsel and the lights, make sure you do a double take. Christmas lights that you hang outside your home or on your Christmas tree can end up with unscrewed bulbs or frayed wires – neither of which are conducive to a safe holiday display. Always check your holiday lights or displays with lights or electrical components to make sure they are still safe to use in their desired location. This small step can keep your family safe from electrical shocks, and can prevent a fire hazard in your home.

Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Outlets for Winter

Electrical SafetyDon’t Overload Electrical Outlets

Between the holiday lights, displays, and new gadgets, it’s easy to put extra stress on your home’s electrical panel without even realizing it. Taxing your electrical demands can cause some real issues though. You can blow a fuse, or even a circuit, cutting off power to part or all of your home. Make sure your home’s electrical panel is up to date and replace it if need be. The average home’s electrical needs have increased dramatically over the past decade or so, so upgrading your electrical panel might be a good move, especially before all those holiday parties.

Also, steer clear of power strip usage this season. They can overload quickly with the high demand of the season, which can lead to a blown fuse, or worse – irreparable damage to expensive electronics. Add more outlets to your home where you know demand will be high if need be – think kitchen, living room, media room, etc..

Holiday HouseTurn Off Holiday Light Displays at Night or When Away

Letting lights burn 24/7 is not a good idea – even if they are newer LED displays. You might be saving money on your energy costs with LED lights, but they can still cause issues if overused, especially outdoors. We all know that electricity and water don’t pair well together. Late fall and winter are typically filled with days and nights of rain or snow showers. Do yourself a favor, turn off or unplug those outdoor lights during the day when they are barely visible anyhow and when there is a heavy downfall. This will keep your lights from malfunctioning and dying on you, and keep your family safe from electrical shock.

It’s also in your best interest to turn indoor light displays off at night and when you are gone during the day. Keeping them on inside all day can increase your risk of a house fire.

For electrical improvements prior to the busy holiday season, call Fusion Electric today at  913-563-7975.

How to Prep Outdoor Outlets for Winter

Outdoor Outlets Winter Prep

They key to a successful and restful winter is preparing for it. The first freeze and snowfall aren’t as far off as they seem. With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to ensure that you don’t have an electrical meltdown during the peak of the season. Fusion Electric came up with four things you can add or do to your home’s electrical outlets now for an easier and safer winter.

Add Electrical Outlet Covers

One of the most important things you can add to your home this season are outlet covers on your exterior outlets. This small addition to your home can save you a lot of hassle down the road. Between the wind, rain, snow, and ice that are so common in the winter months, it’s likely that liquid will get into your uncovered outdoor outlets – and wreak havoc in the freezing temperatures. Installing these plastic or metal covers to your outdoor outlets will keep unwanted things out, and ensure that your outlets continue operating like they’re supposed to all winter long.

Related Read: Electrical Must-Haves for Hanging Holiday Lights

Install GFCI Outlets

Piggy backing on the last point, you should also consider installing GFCI outlets, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets , in place of all your non-GFCI outdoor outlets. Doing so will ensure a much safer holiday season when it comes to your holiday decorations and outdoor lights. GFCI outlets prevent electrical shock in wet locations by shutting off electric flow when it senses a disruption in the electric current. This can help prevent blown fuses as well as shocks and electrocutions.

Add More Outlets if Needed

Just put the power strip away. It’s tempting to use power strips everywhere during the holidays, with all the lights, decorations, sound systems, etc. that are used in abundance this time of year. It’s really in your best interest not to though (unless it is an advanced power strip). Power strips can become overloaded and can be a fire hazard. Instead, call a local electrician to install more outlets inside your home and along the exterior to accommodate the needs of your holiday decorations.

Light Timers

Another item to have on hand this winter is light timers. Instead of leaving holiday decorations on until you remember to turn them off, use a light timer. This can not only help keep that electrical bill down, but it can also help lower the risk of an electrical fire. You can buy light timers that you can permanently install or simple plug in versions that will do the trick for the season.

Call Fusion Electric at 913-563-7975 today to help you prepare your home for the electrical demands of the winter season.

Outlet Not Working? 3 Possible Reasons Why

Outlet not WorkingNon-working electrical outlets are a common problem homeowners run across, yet getting to the root of the problem can be troublesome. At Fusion Electric, we’ve found that many times the reason behind the problem is small and easily fixable. Before you call a trusted electrician, see if one of these three issues are the culprit.

A Power Surge Blew a Fuse to Your Circuit Breaker

Power surges are actually quite common, and much of the time can be harmless. But they can cause a little frenzy among your home’s electronics. A lot of times these power surges can disrupt the flow of electricity, causing your home’s circuit breaker to trip, shutting off power supply to some, or all of your home’s electrical outlets. You can check to see if this is the reason why your outlet isn’t working by checking other nearby outlets. If they too aren’t working, go check out your circuit breaker and flip the switch.

It’s a GFCI Outlet That’s Tripped

GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are usually installed outside, near a water source, or where shock hazards are great. They are a safeguard against deadly electrical shocks. These act as a minicircuit breaker of sorts, shutting off power to the outlet when it senses an electrical imbalance. Try pressing the “reset” button on the outlet to restore power. If the “reset” button trips again every time that you press it, there may be a dangerous current leak somewhere on the circuit. In this case, it’s best to call an electrician for help.

Related Read: Troubleshooting Tips When Your Lights Won’t Turn On

You Have a Bad Connection

If none of the above have worked, try turning off your circuit breaker and removing the outlet from the box and looking for loose connections. Look for things like loose terminal screws, loose stab-in connections, and loose wires at wire connectors. You may find one or more of these when you remove your outlet and look in the electrical box. You may find a charred outlet or melted wire insulation that are a result of heat generated by the loose connection. Unfortunately these signs aren’t always there when a connection is loose, so we recommend double-checking the connections by gently bending each wire to see if it moves under the screw. If you find a loose connection, we recommend replacing the outlet with a new one to play it safe.

If you’re unsure of your electrical fluency, call the electricians you can trust in your home at Fusion Electric at 913-563-7975.

Are Your Outdoor Outlets Safe?

GFCI Safe OutletsHow often do you use your outdoor outlets? Probably more than you realize, especially in the summer months. Plugging in a phone charger, a radio, outdoor lighting, etc. But are your outdoor outlets safe? Outdoor outlets need to be cared for correctly, and also need the right characteristics to ensure their safe use. Here’s what you can do to make sure your outdoor outlets are not a health hazard to you and your family.

Install GFCI Outlets

Regular outlets just won’t do for outdoor use. While they deliver proper electrical power, they aren’t equipped with the proper safety guards. Instead, install GFCI outlets outdoors and in any room in your home near a water source. A GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, measures the balance of the electrical flow to the outlet. If the GFCI senses an imbalance in this electrical flow, it shuts off power to the outlet. This protects appliances from getting fried, and people from being shocked or electrocuted.

Related Read: Patio Kitchens: 5 Electrical Items You Didn’t Think of Installing

Use an Outlet Cover

Installing a cover on  your outdoor outlets is another good way to protect your family and to keep your outdoor outlets safer. These covers will help keep water from making its way into the outlet, which we all know can cause electrocution, and will also help keep debris, like dust, dirt, and dead leaves out of the outlet openings. Debris can interfere with the outlet’s ability to conduct and deliver electricity..

Call the electrical experts at Fusion Electric to install GFCI outlets on your Kansas City home’s exterior, and keep your family safer. Call us today at 913-563-7975.