Things to Consider – Part 3

This is a 5 part Series covering the procedure for considering a rewire of an older home and the steps we take to rewire a home. We have also answered a few common questions.

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  • To even start the process you need to think of a couple of things first; like where do I start, well .  .  .  thats easy.  The first thing any good Electrician is going to do is to start outside at the meter base, we will asses it and see if it has grounding, exterior disconnect, the right size conductors up to the utility, the condition of those conductors, and are they falling apart, are they showing the wire, is the insulation in good shape, and if there is any grounding and its condition.

Disclaimer:   This is meant as an informational blog only, as always contact your local licensed and insured electrical contractor to work on your home and business.

 

Things to Consider – Part 2

 

This is a 5 part Series covering the procedure for considering a rewire of an older home and the steps we take to rewire a home. We have also answered a few common questions.

Part 2

  • When a meter Base is replaced we start with the permitting process (No Matter Where you are located this is required by either a city, county, or state). 2nd we arrange with the power company to get the power transfer done. 3rd after power is disconnected we then do the installation and replacement. 4th we have our inspection then they send off paperwork to the power company showing everything is completed and up to code. 5th we clean up and help as needed with the power company then we test the power and bring the house back up as we continue to test things. We then do a complete clean up of the area and disposing of the old equipment. I know this sounds easy but there is allot of prep work and this ends up being one very long day for a couple of Electricians. This is just a general idea of what is done it does not include all of the specifics like how we do the grounding etc.
  • Common Questions
  • Will my Refrigerator/Freezer be okay will it stay cold?   Yes we try to have power back up within 6 to 8 hours so if you keep it closed it will stay cold.
  • Will you bring a generator out?   Yes most of the time we bring a generator out to your home just in case. This is a smaller gen set not a large one it is not to run your home but if you need to charge a phone or need a temporary light that would work. We use it for some of our power tools like a large jack hammer to install the ground rods, or maybe a hammer drill etc.
  • I love this one, Will my shower still work?   Yes most hot water heaters don’t use electrical power. There are a couple that do but most don’t. The only exception to this is if you are on a well it won’t have any power for the down time.

Disclaimer:  This is meant as an informational blog, as always contact a licensed and insured electrical contractor to work on your home and business.

 

Things to Consider – Part 1

This is a 5 part Series covering the procedure for considering a rewire of an older home and the steps we take to rewire a home. We have also answered a few common questions

Have you ever thought about how much it would cost to rewire a house? Or maybe the steps you would have to take? What about the cost of an upgraded electrical panel and the steps for that? If you answered yes, then pay close attention because I am going to go through the steps and process to these questions to help you get a better understanding.

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  • Before you get to deep into our process on what a home needs for a rewire. Lets talk about the options. First we can usually break this up into sections for you. We would start by 1st (permitting) then Upgrading the meter base. 2nd we would then replace the feeders from the meter to the Electrical power panel. 3rd we would replace the Main Electrical panel with all new breakers. Then after this work we would start on the branch circuits these are for the outlets, switches lights etc throughout the home. This is usually the process if not we run into road blocks like not having enough breakers or a multitude of other things get in our way. so we think of the meter base, main feeders and the panel Like being the heart of your home then the circuits are the arteries running everything out to where the energy is used.

Stay tuned for the next part of this 5 part series!

Disclaimer:  This is meant as an information blog only, as always please contact a license and insured electrical contractor to work on your home or business.

Normal Electrical Behaviors

Normal Electrical Behaviors

There are some things that electrical equipment and systems actually do on a consistent basis, but can still sometimes concern us. Let’s point these out, so you can spot the “normal” stuff in the future:

  • Breaker trips are not always dangerous. When your breaker kicks off, what it’s doing is protecting your home from an electrical overuse that it has detected. Much of the time it is totally normal, and the odds are that you plugged too many things into a single circuit. If it starts happening all of the time, that’s when you need service.
  • Breaker keeps tripping and won’t reset. If this happens the first thing you should do before reseting any breaker is to unplug everything that is involved with this breaker.
  • Reset the breaker by pushing the handle completely into the “OFF” position (this will reset the breaker). Move the handle back into the “ON” position. If the breaker trips, don’t try again, this means it is in the wiring and at this point, give us a call. If it resets, then start plugging your fixtures back in one at a time. If it trips again while doing this then you now know what was causing it and keep it unplugged until you get it repaired.
  • Flickering lights can just happen. Light flickering happens as a result of a sudden large charge moving through the home. It can sometimes happen when you turn on heavy power tools, or even high wattage appliances like space heaters. Storms can also cause it.
  • Outlets can spark a bit sometimes. Now this one’s a bit harder to define, because it can go either way. If an outlet sparks unprovoked, or sparks a lot/for an extended period of time, it is an emergency. However, the charge that generates a spark actually always happen when something is kicked on or plugged in for the first time. When it happens in this way, it’s more of an indication that you need new outlets, since you shouldn’t really see the spark happening.

Disclaimer:  This is an informational blog only, always hire a licensed insured electrical contractor to work on your home or business.

Time to Check your Smoke Detectors

With the changing of seasons it is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.  

Always keep up on that to keep your family safe and also to avoid that annoying beeping sound that wakes us up in the middle of the night.

Disclaimer:  Remember to always hire an insured and licensed Electrical Contractor to work on your home

 

Stapled Wires and Arc Fault Breakers and Why We Need Them

Lets talk stapled wires, why is it code to staple wires and what happens when the staple goes through the wire?

Cables are typically secured with cable staples or with stacker devices that secure multiple cables in one location. There are a few important rules to follow when choosing and installing staples and other cable fasteners:

  • Use the proper size of fastener for the size and number of cables being secured.
  • Use insulated staples and fasteners. Avoid plain metal staples, and never use standard staples or other fasteners that are not designed for electrical installations.
  • Position cables flat against framing before securing them; do not fasten cables on-edge.
  • Secure cables snugly but not so tightly that the cable is damaged or indented from the fastener.
  • Use stacker-type fasteners to secure multiple cables to the same framing member. These allow the cables to be stacked for a neater, safer installation. The clips are either nailed or screwed to the framing, and the cables are secured by clipping them into the slots.
  • Avoid sharp bends in the cable immediately after a box, a drilled hole, or a staple or clip. Cables must not be bent in a radius smaller than 5 times the cable diameter.

Arc Fault Breakers, why do we need them?

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters or also known as AFCI, is a circuit breaker that is designed to sense an arc, which is an electrical “leak” often caused by damaged or deteriorating wires and cords that can cause a fire.

Now don’t forget about GFCI or also known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters which monitors the electricity flowing in a circuit. This device reduces the risk of electrical shock by shutting off the electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing an unintended path, such as water or a person.

So basically you need these breakers to live in a safe environment.

 

Disclaimer:  This is an informational blog only, always hire a licensed insured electrical contractor to work on your home or business.

Burnt Wires

Well I came across another burnt up wire today.  This was to a dryer it appears durning construction the electrician didn’t tighten the terminal down enough and over time it became loose.   When this happens corrosion will build up and over time this will cause more resistance and this causes heat, then you end up with burnt and damaged wires at the least. In this case it burnt out the side of the plug and caused damage to the box as well the box did its job it contained the fire damage but it was no longer usable.

So to fix this- the wire had allot of damage I cut in a new box below this old one because the conductors fed up from below this gave me more length to work with and I was able to cut out all of the damaged conductors to get to clean copper and good insulation. Then I installed the new plug (in this case we up graded to a 4 wire dryer plug and we replaced to dryer cord as well) we then proceeded to test the plug then the machine everything was back to normal and working correctly.

If you look close you can also see the damage to the box the top right its sagging down and no longer has the correct protection to use for Electrical at all.

Disclaimer:  This post was meant as an informational post.  As always, have a licensed insured electrician work on your home.

DIY Lighting projects

I was recently at a Customers home as we where headed through to look at anther project I noticed his kitchen lighting it was a little bit different.

He had installed a set of offset metal wall art hanging under the existing fixture now in this case it worked out great they were none flammable there was a good space between them and the fixture and they weren’t supported off of the fixture itself and on top of all that the fixture was an LED so great light output with very low heat and great energy use.

Oak Trim lensed Fluorescent Kitchen lighting.

This gives you anther option instead of ripping your kitchen ceiling out when you have that dated oak trim lens set up. We can install some flat panel LED lighting then you can find a design you like and hang it below to give you a nice decorative look no one else has thats fits your personal taste. This gives you the options you have never had before to design like the pro’s

Yes things like this can be done throughout your home please remember to never hang anything off of the fixture itself and check the rating on the anchors or supports you are using.

 

Disclaimer:  This is for informational purposes only.  As always, consult a local expert in your area oral laws and codes.  Only hire a licensed insured Electrician to work on your home.

 

Find Asbestos Before it Finds You

We had a recent training on the dangers of asbestos exposure and we want you, our customer, to have access to the same safety information. Here’s what you need to know about asbestos.Image result for asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that is chemically resistant, heat and fire resistant, durable, and non conductive to electricity.

Asbestos

Over a hundred years ago, this cheap material was used in several textiles until the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned it due to health risks.

Here’s a list of symptoms that develop after exposure to asbestos:Image result for asbestos

  • Mesothelioma
  • Loss of appetite
  • Wight loss
  • Fatigue or anemia
  • Persistent or worsening cough
  • Swelling of the neck or face
  • Difficulty swallowing

The problem is, several of these symptoms only manifest themselves once it’s too late.

Here’s what you can do now.

Prevent and repair damage 

Crumbling drywall or disturbed installation could allow fibrous materials to become airborne and enter your lungs. Frequently monitor your home and make repairs as needed.

Test your home

Image result for asbestos can hire trained asbestos professionals from institutions like the EPA to conduct sample tests and ensure your home is safe from hazardous materials.

Wear protective gear

Image result for dust mask with protective eyewear

If you find yourself doing a remodel or making repairs- make sure you wear proper protective equipment. Use a high quality dust mask and protective eyewear throughout the project. If there is even a slight possibility of exposure, make sure to quickly shower and wash the contaminated clothing separately.

Homes containing asbestos are dangerous for our electricians. Sometimes we spend hours around insulation and construction debris. But the threat is even greater for homeowners. Prolonged exposure only heightens the risks. Feel free to learn more from the links below and let us know how we can serve you!

https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/us-federal-bans-asbestos

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2007/07/how_much_asbestos_is_too_much.html

https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/protect-your-family

Electrical DIY Mishaps

Every now and again, our team is called out to fix a DIY electrical job gone wrong.

 

As a homeowner myself, I consider myself a handy person and I try to fix a lot problems without calling in professionals.

 

In fact, I recently hung a new door in our entry way and stained it with my family.

 

But, I also understand how important it is to know when to draw a line. Painting a door yourself saves money and any possible problems have a simple solution. If something goes wrong doing your own electrical work it can lead to serious health and safety risks and severe damage to your home.

 

Earlier this year a man in Indiana was working on electrical without proper training. Police later found his body underneath his mobile home. It appeared that he had been working on a live electrical wire and was electrocuted.

 

Electricians have received the proper safety training along with the necessary experience to minimize and foresee potential electrical dangers. No amount of money is worth risking electrocution or a fire.

 

We encourage our readers to seek out trained professionals anytime you need electrical work. Let a skilled and qualified electrician do the job safely and correctly. You don’t want to make one of these common mistakes:

 

Learning electrical from a youtube video

 

The internet does have a lot of valuable tutorials on home improvement and DIY techniques, but very few electrical videos go over safety instruction. With car repairs you can search the exact make and model you are working with. While it would be nice to search “1978 home built by Weston Services and remodeled by the Johnson family in 2001” – you won’t be able to find a tutorial that safely explains how to work you YOUR home specifically.

 

Mismatched materials

 

Cable size, outlet fittings, overloaded breakers, circuit wiring mishaps, light bulb wattages, you name it. We’ve seen it all. Electrical has so many small moving parts that greatly impact your home. Improperly installed wiring can become loose in your walls and overloaded wires can heat up within your home and create damages that are easy to miss until it’s too late.

 

Avoiding a problem

 

I have a good sized family and we are constantly going to schools, practices, and performances. I love my family and our busy schedule, but it can be difficult to find time to approach some of our home projects. And sometimes electrical problems show up at an inconvenient time. Some homeowners will wait to call when they have more time to take a closer look and that’s fine in some instances. Simple things like a broken bathroom fan can wait but there are some dangerous problems that need to be addressed immediately (and it’s often more cost effective to address the initial problem rather than letting damage spread).

 

If you have an electrical concern, please feel free to call our offices. We can help you access the situation to determine the urgency of the situation and the risks involved.

 

As electricians, we take our training seriously and we take your safety seriously. Please do not attempt to do any electrical work that will put you or your family in harm’s way.