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Outlet & Switch Installation

Our skilled Edmonton electricians would love to install your outlets and switches.

Whether you are changing out your outlets and switches for aesthetic reasons or are adding new ones, we can help.

Residential electrical service, installing new light fixture, light fixture installation in Calgary Edmonton or Red Deer

Yes, a competent DIYer can switch out old outlets and switches for new ones. But you are busy and do you really have the time and necessary knowledge and skills to safely change out your outlets and switches? 

There are plenty of different outlets and switches to choose from. Do you really want to spend your weekend travelling back and forth from the hardware store because you keep getting the wrong ones?

Adding additional outlets and switches is a complicated job. In this case, you are adding electrical demand to the branch circuit. You can’t just plonk in a new outlet or switch. You need to know if the circuit can handle the additional demand. 

If you are adding a new branch circuit, you need to know all the implications for your entire electrical system. For example, does your electrical panel even have the capacity or room for another circuit breaker for the new branch circuit? In this case, you should use a licensed electrician, like one of ours.

Contact us at (780) 628-1734 and one of our helpful agents will book one of our expert electricians for you. Don’t like the phone? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can either click the Chat With Us button on this page or fill out the online scheduling form.

Are There Different Types of Outlets? Part 2

There are so many types of outlets that we turned this into a two-part series. 

A quick refresher, outlets allow you to temporarily add items to your electrical circuit. This is just a fancy way of saying the outlet supplies power to the device or appliance plugged into it. 

When you insert the device’s plug into the outlet, you are closing the circuit to the device. When you unplug it, you are opening the circuit and electricity can’t travel on an open circuit. 

For more information on open and closed circuits, read this.

All modern outlets have three slots, one for the hot connection, one for the neutral connection, and one for the ground connection. 

For information on outlets not listed here, check out Part 1.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlet

This is your standard electrical outlet with an additional safety feature. 

What is this additional safety feature? A GFCI outlet stops electricity from entering it when a ground fault is detected. This also halts the supply of electricity to the outlets and switches downstream from the GFCI outlet. They are similar to GFCI circuit breakers that stop the flow of electricity to the entire branch circuit when a ground fault occurs.

This brings up another question. What is a ground fault? A ground fault is when electricity has left the designated circuit and is using another path instead of the neutral wire for the return portion of the circuit instead. Hopefully, it is using the grounding system and not another path, like you. Hence the name ground fault.

The GFCI outlet detects a ground fault by measuring the current (in amps) on the hot wire and the current on the neutral wire. The measurements should be the same. If they aren’t,  the electricity flow is unbalanced and unstable, indicating some electricity has escaped the circuit. 

The GFCI outlet is your second line of defence against a ground fault. The first is the grounding system. In most locations, the grounding system is a strong enough protection. But in locations where water and electricity are used in close proximity to each, you need another layer of defence. This is where the GFCI outlets come in. 

Ground faults are especially dangerous when water is present. Water is conductive and the stray electricity will travel through it. And there is a good chance that you or a loved one could be touching the water and become the next section in the electricity’s path.

GFCI outlets must be installed anywhere water and electricity are used close to each other, like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. 

You can reset or test your GFCI outlet by pressing the reset button (often red) or the test button on its front.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Outlet

Just like a GFCI outlet, AFCI outlets have an additional safety feature. They protect you from arc faults which are unintentional arcing. Arcing generates a high level of heat and is responsible for many electrical fires.

When an AFCI outlet finds arcing in the branch circuit downstream from its location, or in the device or cord plugged into the outlet, it shuts down the electricity to the outlet and everything downstream. If an AFCI outlet is installed in the first outlet of a branch circuit, it could protect the outlets and connections on the entire branch circuit.

AFCI outlets use sophisticated sensors to detect arcing. If you are interested in a more detailed explanation, read this.

They are a more economical option than AFCI breakers which protect the entire branch circuit starting at the electrical panel.

Switched Outlets

Switched outlets consist of an outlet and a switch which turns on and off the electricity to the switch. These are used when you have a device you want to stay plugged into the outlet. For example, a lamp. If you plug a lamp into a switch outlet, you can turn on and off the lamp using the switch.

Surge Protection Outlet

Plugging a device into a surge protection outlet will protect the device from spikes in voltage called electrical surges. Power surges can do significant damage to your devices and appliances. 

We recommend you use a surge protection outlet or other surge protection device to help protect your expensive or sensitive electronic devices.

USB Outlet

You get the best of both worlds with this outlet. USB outlets are three-pronged outlets that include a USB port or two depending on the size of the outlet.

You can charge your devices using the USB port, freeing up the socket to power another device.

Smart Outlets

Smart outlets let you control your appliances and devices wirelessly and remotely. You can even program some to supply power on a schedule. Meaning you can program the outlet to supply power at 6 a.m. to your coffee machine so your coffee will be ready when you get up.

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