Use Caution When Installing Gas & Electrical Appliances!

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As a homeowner, getting new appliances can be extremely exciting. New appliances not only look great, but work better and are more efficient than the ones they’re replacing, which means you get to enjoy the savings in your energy bills as well. However, when the new appliances arrive, whether they’re delivered by the retailer you bought them from or you bring them home yourself, you’ll need to have them installed. Installing new appliances can be a challenge, and improper installation can have devastating consequences.

Shock & Fire Hazards

Most new appliances require an electrical connection and some also require gas. When installing these connections, it’s extremely important to make sure they’re all tight, firm, and are not showing any signs of wear and tear that may jeopardize their ability to work correctly. For any electrical connections, the plug should fit snug and secure, with no signs of accidentally falling out.

Thoroughly inspect the electrical cord that goes from the appliance to your electrical plug for any fraying or signs of defect, as these could lead to sparking. Do not plug in any appliance that has a frayed cord, no matter how large or small. Finally, if the plug is worn out and the connection is no longer snug (or the plug falls out with very little effort or pressure, then you’ll want to have the socket replaced before finishing the installation. It’s a smart idea to replace the socket with one that has an arc-fault circuit interrupter installed for added protection.

Gas Leaks

If your appliance has a gas connection, you’ll need to make sure that the gas connection is solid and leak-free. When removing the old appliance, close the valve that connects the appliance to your home’s gas lines. Make sure it’s completely closed and sealed off in order to prevent a serious gas leak. Use this opportunity to make sure the connection line (a flexible line that’s usually connected to this shut-off valve and feeds into the gas input on your new appliance) is still in good shape and leak-free. If your connection line is old, you may want to consider getting a new one from your local hardware store to replace it. Old, rubber-style lines are particularly vulnerable to aging, and disturbing them only exacerbates the problem.

When you’re confident that the connection to your gas line is safe and secure, double check to make sure the connection to your appliance is also solid before turning the gas connection back on. Before putting the appliance into its place (which usually hides the gas line, wait a few minutes to see if you can smell gas at all: if you can, immediately turn the connection off and test for leaks.

Don’t Pinch Lines

The easiest way to create a huge problem with your new appliance is to pinch either an electrical or gas line. Pinching is when the line is forced to bend beyond its tolerances allow, creating either a crack or even causing the line to break entirely. For obvious reasons, this can be a disaster. In electrical lines, a pinch can cause the line to spark and fray, leading to fires. In gas lines, it can cause a crack, which means a leak and potentially devastating consequences. When the two combine, you get the recipe for a tragedy—one which could have ultimately been prevented.

Know City Codes

Lastly, make sure you’re familiar with local electrical and gas connection codes to make sure you’re not accidentally violating one. Codes regulate everything from the hoses you’re required to use for gas connections to the type of electrical sockets and receptacles that you connect your appliances to. Do yourself a favor ahead of time and make sure that your home is up to date with code requirements and you’ll have a far lower risk when using appliances!

The easiest way to make sure your home is up to code and your new appliances are installed correctly is to leave the installation to a professional! Call the Virginia Beach home services team at American Mechanical today at (757) 347-8549.