Have you ever had any doubts about your home’s electrical system? Is it more than 50 years old, and is it properly grounded?

While most people focus on the cosmetics of their property, a home’s electrical system is often taken for granted until an electrical hazard occurs. And that’s a risk no one should be willing to take, according to Chad Matsumoto and Bronson Apana, co-owners of Alternative Electric in Honolulu.


“With all the house fires that recently have been occurring on Oahu, an increasing number of homeowners are questioning the safety of their home’s electrical system,” says Matsumoto. “If you ever thought about having your system checked out, why wait any longer?”

Matsumoto offers a few do-it-yourself checks that can be done before you even call an electrician:

• Do you have loose outlets in your home? Loose outlets may lead to loose connections, thus creating an arcing effect. Arcing may cause sparking and excessive heat, leading to a possible fire.


• Have you ever had rodent problems? Rodents may chew away the insulation around your wiring, leaving the live portion exposed.

• Are there GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets in your kitchen and bathroom? Today, GFCI outlets are required in these rooms because of their close proximity to water. These outlets trip off when an imbalance of current is sensed, thus eliminating potential shock hazards.

• Does your home have knob-and–tube wiring? This type of wiring was generally installed before the 1960s. As time goes by, the insulation around this type of wiring gets brittle and starts to fall off — leaving live exposed wiring. Today, most insurance companies will not open a new policy if the home has knob-and-tube wiring.


• Do you have problems with circuit breakers tripping off? Circuit breakers are a source of protection for your home’s electrical system.

“While most electrical contractors shy away from rewiring older homes, Alternative Electric welcomes all types of electrical work,” says Matsumoto. “We are a full-service electrical contractor offering solar photovoltaics, new construction, rewires, renovations, maintenance, trouble calls or just changing a light or outlet.” Call Alternative Electric at 630-6741 or 285-3663.


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