Coachella Valley is the vacation destination of many. So popular is the Museum, that many vacationers end up buying a home and living here part-time! However, the responsibilities of those staying at hotels, condos, and rentals are very different than when they put out their welcome mat and call a place home. One of the biggest things Snowbirds must think about before leaving for the season or even a week is their circuit breaker.
Yes, circuit breaker, one of the least visited places in any home. But, when living in a tropical paradise there are many factors, especially in the summer months, such as daily thunderstorms, high humidity, and lots of heat that directly impact the electrical well-being of your house, making this an area of your home you must know well. Therefore, it is important to understand where your circuit breaker is located, ensure it is clearly labeled, and know the best way to set your circuit breaker when you are gone for the season.
How to Find Your Circuit Breaker
The circuit breaker is the nerve center in the home for all things electrical. If you live in a home with a garage, such as a villa or Single-Family home, the circuit breaker is usually located in the garage.
While, if you live in a condo you will usually find your circuit breaker in the laundry room. Note, these are the two most common places, it can be found. Sometimes in smaller condos, it can be in the master bedroom or the kitchen. However, identifying its location is the easy part.
Labeling your Circuit Breaker
Once you’ve located the circuit breaker, double-check that it’s properly labeled and legible. The county requires that each electrical panel be prominently identified.
Whether it is a hastily written scrawl or simply the erosion of time, take the time to re-label the panel so it is easy to read. It is important to have a marked box to assist you, your home watch professional, or electrical work if ever the need to use the panel arises.
Another useful activity is to double-check that the box is not only properly labeled, but also specified for what should be turned off or left on when they go. Any great house watch service in the Coachella Valley should be able to help you with this when you leave and when you return.
How to set your Circuit Breaker
If you are a seasonal Homeowner or have ever gone for more than a week it is vital to actively take steps to mitigate potential risk to your home while you are away. One of the most important steps you can take is setting your circuit breaker appropriately before you leave. The below is a detailed breakdown of what to leave ON and OFF when gone for the season to help protect your home!
The garbage disposal is a powerhouse in the kitchen, think of it as a glorified food processor. The garbage disposal can rust out and non-use can cause them to lock up. Therefore, it is important to keep the Garbage Disposal ON at the circuit breaker for periodic maintenance.
When operating the disposal unit regularly, run cold water down the drain for at least 10 seconds. A homeowner may also use a few techniques to eliminate rust, clean their trash disposal, and keep it clean.
A/C and Air Handler
The two biggest issues in Coachella Valley for seasonal homeowners are water damage and mold. It may seem counterintuitive, but your electrical panel plays a vital role in preventing these issues due to the HVAC unit. The A/C and Air Handler is the main control of humidity in the home, it can remove up to 30 gallons of water a day in the summer!
As a result, it is critical that you or any of your visitors never switch off the air conditioner or air handler; the money saved will never be worth the stress of arriving home to a mold-infested house! As a result, turn on your air conditioner and air handler at the circuit breaker.
Dryer and Washer
Unlike the refrigerator, the washer and dryer do not suffer technical difficulties if turned OFF/ON. Further, given the frequency of powerful electrical storms in Coachella Valley, sometimes daily in the summer, it is prudent to turn the appliances off while the house is unoccupied.
Most Home Watch Companies recommend turning the Washer and Dryer OFF at the circuit breaker due to the ease of flipping a switch vs the cumbersomeness of having to get behind the bulky appliances to unplug and plug upon return. Further, it will also save you time when you return as you will be able to control everything from the electrical panel instead of going to each area of the home and manually re-engaging (water heater, garbage disposal, dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc.)
Hot Water Heater
As we said earlier the two biggest issues are water damage and mold. We talked about mold, now for water damage. The main precautionary measure taken to avoid water damage is to simply turn off your main water valve to the home before leaving for the season.
However, for homeowners with an electric water heater, this can lead to complications if the water heater is not turned off as well. The reason, the water heater is fed water from the main water line to heat and then push throughout the home, but it also uses that water to cool the heating elements found in both the top and bottom of the tank that is doing all that heating in the first place.
Does turning things off at the Circuit Breaker cause wear?
Over time and with usage, the circuit breaker, like any mechanical system, will fail. Furthermore, the circuit breaker is not intended to be used daily.
Periodic usage, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable for a home circuit breaker.
Contact 760-205-2072 or for more information visit Coachella Valley Home Watch.