Preventing electrical problems after a storm—tips from the San Luis Obispo electricians

-A storm can do more than cause the power to go out. High winds and pounding rain can cause structural damage to a home or business that can lead to serious electrical problems. The damage to the electrical system might not be immediately apparent. The electrician team from San Luis Obispo’s Electricraft, Inc. has some important inspection tips.

If you notice smoke, sparks, or odd smells coming from electrical wiring, switches, and outlets, immediately shut off the main power switch and call 911. Electricity and water don’t mix.

  • If the storm loosened roof shingles or caused other structural damage, rain may have dripped into the walls and attic crawl space, causing electrical shorts and potential fire.
  • If there’s standing water or you suspect damage to electrical appliances, don’t touch anything.
  • Keep people and pets away from the suspicious areas.
  • Once the danger of a fire is over, call the electricians to assess the extent of the damage and make repairs.

Finding hidden damage

After the storm has passed, conduct a thorough inspection of the building’s exterior and interior for any visible signs of damage. Look for downed power lines, damaged electrical panels, exposed wires, and water infiltration near electrical outlets or appliances. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure your safety.

  • Check appliances and electronics—Inspect all electrical appliances and electronics, including refrigerators, washing machines, computers, and HVAC systems, for signs of damage or water intrusion. Even if they appear undamaged, it’s essential to have them professionally inspected to ensure they’re safe to use. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, so exercise caution when dealing with water-damaged appliances.
  • Check gas line connections— The San Luis Obispo electricians remind us that it’s also important to check gas line connections after storms. Any power source, including solar panels, can also be damaged in a storm.
  • Clear debris and fallen branches—Fallen branches and debris can pose a significant risk to your home’s electrical system, especially if they’re in contact with power lines or electrical wires. Safely remove any debris from your property and ensure that branches are trimmed away from power lines to prevent potential electrical hazards.
  • Inspect outdoor electrical equipment—Outdoor electrical equipment such as generators, outdoor lighting, and electrical outlets are particularly vulnerable to storm damage. Check for signs of damage, including exposed wires, water infiltration, and loose connections. Repair or replace damaged equipment as necessary to prevent electrical accidents.
  • Test GFCI outlets—Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are designed to protect against electrical shock in wet or damp conditions. After a storm, test GFCI outlets to ensure they’re functioning correctly. Press the “Test” button and verify that power is cut off, then press the “Reset” button to restore power. If a GFCI outlet fails to trip or reset, replace it immediately.
  • Invest in surge protection—Storms can cause power surges that may damage sensitive electronic devices and appliances. Invest in surge protectors for your home’s electrical system to safeguard against voltage spikes. Consider installing whole-house surge protection to protect all connected devices from potential damage.
  • Schedule professional inspection and maintenance—While you can perform basic checks and maintenance tasks yourself, it’s essential to schedule a professional inspection of your home’s electrical system after a storm. A licensed electrician can identify hidden issues, perform necessary repairs, and ensure your home is safe and up to code.

Electricraft, Inc., is the company to call for any electrician service in San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast. Founded in 1984, Electricraft is a family-operated business that provides electrical and solar installation services to residences and businesses throughout California’s Central Coast.

Are you looking for electrical or solar services for:

  • Residential, commercial, or industrial?
  • Public works project?
  • Solving an electrical problem?
  • New or upgraded electrical system?
  • Electrical service for solar?
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations?
  • Answers to questions about your electrical system?

Call Electricraft! The company’s pledge to its customers is to assure professional on-time, quality service at a fair price and complete the work right the first time.