Use Caution When Installing Gas & Electrical Appliances!
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
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
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!