Household Wire Maintenance Tips

Read these 13 Household Wire Maintenance Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wire Management tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I attractively hide the electrical cords in my home?

Hiding Your Cords In Style

Wire management can be planned with your home's decor in mind. A surface raceway is a PVC cover for your home's electrical cords to run through. There are many instances where a surface raceway can come in handy, such as around a computer, when running a cable line to the television, or for phone cords. Rather than having unsafe groups of cords lying around, it is best to bundle them. However, common wire management accessories that bundle may not match the look of your home's decor. With surface raceways, you may choose a matching color, thus rendering the system discreet and attractive. Installation is simple and can be put in along walls as well as the floor. When baby-proofing a house, installing a surface raceway system can put new parents at ease, yet it won't compromise the style of the house.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Cable and Wire Safety

If you have kids or pets in the house, then that maze of cables is an accident waiting to happen. Wire Loom is a great way to organize cables and cords into color-coded bundles that will help keep your electronic equipment tidy. Some pets, like rabbits or young puppies, are known to chew on cords. But extra tough wire looms can keep you pet from damaging your cables and preventing equipment failure or fire hazards.

Where should I place my home office desk?

Where To Place Your Desk?

When determining the best place to put your desk in a home office, consider the wiring that may be involved. Tripping and fire hazards exist when wires are haphazardly routed throughout the room. Ideally, a desk should be placed against a wall, near an outlet. That way, all of the wires can be organized to be out of view and out of harm's way. Modern desks are often equipped with desktop grommets and raceways, which aid in wire management. However, you don't need a fancy new desk to properly tame your wires. With good placement of the desk and some accessories, your workspace can be safe and aesthetically pleasing for all.

How can I protect my toddler from electrical shock?

Retractable Outlets

For added safety around your household wires, try retractable outlets. A retractable outlet can be installed on a desktop, where you are able to plug in any equipment and then push down the retractable outlet out of view and touch. This conceals the outlet holes as well as excess cords that may be otherwise cluttering your workspace and causing a safety hazard.

What should I use to bundle large, industrial cables?

Bundling Industrial Cables

Wire management accessories like cable ties and clips are great for home offices. However, most run-of-the-mill cable ties are meant for bundling smaller wires. For an industrial-size bundle of cables, use a heavy-duty nylon tie with a high tensile strength. As industrial cables can be heavy and difficult to bundle, you may want to purchase installation tools for the job. Cable tie guns are available for a nominal fee and will ensure the cables are as tightly bound as possible.

How can I organize my home office more effectively?

Computer Workbenches For A Versatile Workspace

A computer workbench is a great way to set up a workspace to your own specific needs. Instead of putting your home office computer equipment on a bulky desk, you can try a computer workbench. Modular computer workbenches allow you to customize the height of the surfaces and the layout of the equipment. Since they are made with heavy-duty materials, you are able to safely place equipment like printers and monitors on the workbench shelves. Also, the open space means you can more readily organize the equipment wiring. Another great aspect of the computer workbench versus a standard desk is the mobility of it. A workbench is very easily constructed, dismantled, rearranged and moved.

How do I baby-proof my home's electrical outlets?

Wire Management and Toddlers

Baby-proofing your house is a must when your infants grow into toddlers. One of the biggest safety risks for curious children is outlets and cords. Stray cords pose strangling hazards as well as a risk of electrical shock. As many of us know, the first thing a child does with something new is put it in their mouth. With proper wire management, such as organizing cords neatly and securely, a child is better protected. Also, the use of outlet covers is vital when baby-proofing. Rather than using cheap plastic plugs, which are choking hazards if pulled off, try a retractable outlet cover instead.

What is a surge protector for?

Protect Your Computer From Surges

A computer battery backup, or surge protector, provides added insurance to the life and memory of your computer. It also protects your home from fires and electrical shortages. When a surge of power hit your outlet, such as during a thunderstorm, you run the risk of losing your computer's memory. Anything you were working on before the surge can be lost. With a computer battery backup, the surge will be stopped before it travels through the wire into the computer. Additionally, an Uninterruptible Power Supply will enable the user to continue to use their computers and components even while power has not been restored to their facility. The battery in the power supply will give the user enough time to finish their work and save it before their data is lost. Many computer battery backups are sold with a connected equipment warranty.

How can I hide my power sources when they aren't in use?

Pop-Up Outlets For Discretion

In instances where a power source must be put in an odd place, on a high surface, or somewhere that demands aesthetic perfection, a pop-up outlet is the way to go. A pop-up outlet, when not in use, is merely a flat, round plate. That means a pop-up outlet works great in high traffic areas on the floor or on desktops that must appear flawless. When the outlet needs to be used, it merely flips open to reveal a power source. Pop-up outlets are available in a variety of finishes, so choosing one to match your workspace's needs won't be hard. Today, these outlets are being used in corporate offices, boardrooms, shopping malls, and universities.

How can I protect my computer's memory?

CMOS Backup Batteries

Paying attention to the lives of backup batteries, along with the use of a surge protector, will give your computer's memory the best protection. The most common type of computer battery is a backup battery known as the CMOS, or Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor. The CMOS is the IBM-compatible backup battery that stores computer information such as the calendar day or time. If you ever see a prompt for the computer's day and time when you turn it on, it may be time to replace the CMOS. Although this battery is designed to last a decade, certain conditions and temperatures can easily shorten the life of a backup battery.

How can I manage my wire problem on a budget?

Low-Budget Wire Management

When connecting electrical equipment on your desk, you are frequently left with stray wires going in every direction. There are often multiple wires for a computer monitor, speakers, CPU, printer, telephone, etc. Inexpensive, yet handy gadgets like cable clips, clamps, and saddles can easily tame your wire frenzy. Although there are very sophisticated systems for wire management, those on a budget should be able to afford a few clamps for cable bundling. That's not the most low budget alternative, however. Although not the most attractive, the cheapest route can velcro wraps. The tape can at least hold you over until a more stylish system can be implemented.

What can I do with all of the wires around my desktop?

Desktop Outlets For Convenience

Using a desktop outlet can streamline your workspace tremendously. Routing many cables and wires to and from all of your home office equipment can be a nightmare, not to mention look unattractive. It can also pose a safety risk, as you can easily trip over them or maybe even cause a fire. With a desktop outlet, you easily plug in any equipment without having to duck under a desk or strain your back. Also, a desktop outlet allows you to neatly bundle the wires with wrap cords or a mounted wire organizer just underneath the desk. Desktop outlet kits can be bought individually or in groups and are very simple to install.

How can I maximize my desktop workspace?

Maximizing Your Desktop

Desktop grommets are a simple and practical way to attractively manage the wires around your workspace. Most desks have more than a few machines around it, including the computer, fax machine, telephone, and printer. Most of these machines have more than one cord each, too. In order to attractively and effectively route wires around the desk, a hole can be drilled in the most practical location and capped with a grommet. The grommets are available in a variety of discreet and attractive finishes. Many modern desks come with grommets already installed. However, they may not be where you want them. In that case, you can install more. There is no need to worry about installing a few more, as the desktop grommets are designed with aesthetics in mind.

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