Are you wondering what is considered low voltage? As Woodstock’s trusted electricians, Long View Lighting has an answer to all your questions about your electrical system.
In this article, they discuss everything you should know about low voltage, including what it means, when low voltage becomes a problem, and how a Woodstock electrician can help.
What Is Low Voltage?
Simply put, you can conceive of voltage as a type of electrical pressure. In other words, it is the difference in the amount of power between two points in an electrical system. Whereas high voltage can travel a long distance without losing power, electricians use low voltage in systems that require shorter distances.
Electricians categorize low voltage as anything between zero and 1,000 volts. Don’t confuse the term low voltage with being safer.
The standard voltage level in American homes is 120, which still presents a serious risk of electric shock, depending on the current. In fact, 42 volts can kill a person.
The most common low-voltage systems in your home include the following:
- Lighting systems that use LEDs and halogen lamps, including recess, landscape, and track lighting, use low voltage.
- Alarms and cameras used in security systems rely on low voltage levels.
- Communication systems like telephones, intercoms, and data networks use low voltages to reduce interference.
- HVAC controls, such as thermostats and control panels, require a low voltage to maintain efficiency.
- Doorbells use low voltage to make operating them safer.
- If you have a small-scale solar system for your home, a low-voltage system can adequately store and distribute the electricity you generate.
Signs Your Voltage Is Too Low
Now that you know what is considered low voltage, you should know that sometimes your voltage can drop too low. Numerous issues can cause a drop in voltage, including a faulty switch, a lightning strike, an overloaded system, and old wiring.
Your home’s voltage might be too low if you notice the following signs:
- If your lights flicker and dim, it could indicate any number of electrical problems, but one common culprit is low voltage. The flickering occurs when your lights experience a momentary reduction in electrical power.
- Outlets that briefly lose power or turn on and off randomly mean they’re not drawing enough power. In severe cases, it might seem like the outlet has permanently lost access to electricity.
- Appliances that use motors, such as your furnace and air conditioner, constantly draw a current while they’re running. If you notice these devices starting and stopping, it might be a problem with your voltage levels.
How a Woodstock Electrician Can Fix Low Voltage
How does a Woodstock electrician test and fix your low-voltage wiring? First, remember that even low-voltage wires can deliver a powerful enough current to seriously injure you. Always rely on a trained and qualified electrician to address electrical problems.
The first step is inspecting your electrical system for visible problems. Your electrician will start at the electrical panel and examine it for any tripped circuits or signs of burning. If they believe the problem resides here, they’ll repair or replace the panel and see if the low voltage problem disappears.
If you can’t pinpoint the problem, the electrician can use special voltage equipment, like a multimeter, to measure the voltage coming from various outlets throughout your home. This helps determine whether your problem is in a single outlet or you have a larger problem with your home’s wiring.
Fix the Outlet
If only your outlets have low voltage issues, the electrician can perform a simple fix. First, they’ll shut off power to that outlet using the circuit breaker. Next, they’ll perform a series of adjustments, depending on the actual problem.
Potential fixes include:
- Tightening the screws that hold the wiring in place
- Stripping and cleaning the wires that look corroded
- Upgrading the wire gauge
Repair or Replace Wiring
If the electrician determines your wiring is causing the problem, they might need to replace some or all of the wiring in your home. This is a big job, but it prevents future electrical problems, including fires and shocks from exposed wiring.
Contact Long View Lighting for All Your Woodstock Electrical Needs
Now you know the answer to, “What is considered low voltage?” If you’re seeing signs of low voltage within your Woodstock home, reach out to Long View Lighting. Whether you’re wondering about the signs of a bad outlet or need complete rewiring in your home, their team provides quality service at competitive prices.
To learn more about their services or schedule an appointment, contact them today.