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Tips on how to keep your plugs in good condition

Te explicamos en qué consiste la energía minieólica como alternativa de ahorro y cómo puedes implementarla en tu hogar.

The correct maintenance of your electrical installation, with a special focus on cables and plugs, provides a number of benefits. You not only avoid breakdowns, with the inconvenience and expense that this entails, but you also prolong the useful life of your installation. Finally, and what is most important: You improve the safety of your home, by avoiding accidents.

Here are a few tips on how to keep the electrical installation of your home in the best condition.

 

1. Always make sure the electrical wiring is correctly set up

  • Before doing anything to the installation, a plug, socket, switch or apparatus, make sure it is safe to do so. Switch off the differential and use suitable material.
  • If any cable, plug, socket, switch or appliance gives you an electric shock or emits sparks, switch off the differential, unplug or disable it and call a technician to check and repair it.
  • Because electricity and water coincide, the kitchen and the bathroom are especially dangerous places. Be careful.
  • Install protections in the sockets that are within reach of small children, so they are not able to handle them. They can also be installed in sockets that you do not usually use to prevent dirt from getting inside.
  • Always remember that depending on the country in the world where you are, plugs and sockets have a different design and voltage. Forcing a plug into the wrong kind of socket can cause an accident, and it can also damage the appliance. Find out before you travel and go to an ironmonger's or a shop specialising in electronics and buy an adapter.
  • Be careful when handling: Never pull the cable to unplug an appliance. The proper way to do this is to hold the socket with one hand and gently remove the plug.
  • Make sure the cables are not tight: They should always be slack to avoid accidents.

 

2. Clean your plugs regularly

You should also take care when cleaning plugs and sockets. It is common for them to accumulate dust and fluff, which can lead to problems.

First switch off the differential at the mains to make sure that there is no electric current in your home. Use a swab to dust the plug holes. Next, moisten a cloth with propanol (a type of alcohol that you can buy in hardware shops) and wipe the surface of the plug. You can also use diluted washing-up liquid.

Where the plugs are greasy (this usually happens with kitchen plugs) you can use diluted vinegar or lemon juice. You can always use a small brush to remove persistent dirt. Make sure no liquid gets into the plug holes. Next, moisten the end of a swab with propanol without dripping and clean the outside of the holes. Finally, use a dry cloth to dry the outside. Wait a few minutes to make sure it is dry before turning the electricity back on at the mains.

 

3. Throw away broken or worn out cables

Avoid using wires that are not in perfect condition: broken, exposed or very old wires. Nor do you try to repair them, the best solution (and the safest) is to replace it with a new one.

 

4. Avoid overloading

Overloads are one of the main reasons for the deterioration of plugs and sockets. This usually happens when plugging several appliances into an adaptor. Overloads cause accidents. To avoid them, use multi-socket adaptors with an on/off button. You can also unplug any appliances that you do not immediately need to avoid overloads.

Always bear in mind that you should not place multi-socket adaptors near textiles, for example, next to a curtain or on top of a carpet or rug. It is also not advisable to use them outdoors or in damp areas (bathrooms).

Calculate the power of the appliances you are going to plug in. If they add up to a lot of power, do not plug them in to a multi-socket adaptor or plug them in together with other appliances. Finally, never plug one multi-socket adaptor into another one.

 

5. Use different circuits

Distribute the use of the different electrical points in your house as equally as possible and never concentrate activity in a single point.

 

6. Read labels and certificates carefully

Finally, always check the labels and certificates for all the electrical appliances, cables, plugs and multi-socket adaptors that you are going to use to check that they are suitable for the installation in your home. 

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