GFCI vs AFCI; Do YOU know the Difference?

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Your local Electricians

Do you know what these mean and what they do in your home protecting you and your family? Do you know if you have these in your home?

Yes we can install them, If you don’t have them!

GFCI — Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

GFCI helps prevent burns, electric shocks and electrocution, it measures the current going out and coming in.Unknown

Okay so the simple explanation is you need these anywhere there is water, such as counter tops bathrooms, laundry, garage and anything outside, there are other rules this is just the basic info.

AFCI — Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters

AFCI helps prevent electric fires, by sensing leaks and shutting down  electricity before it overheats.  Electricity can leak out of bad wiring and start a fire in your walls.  

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Okay so for Arch fault breakers these protect your home from tiny little shorts inside the walls of you home they will shut down the circuit if any shorts are detected they are not a normal breaker the most common use is for bedroom circuits (they are prone to trip if you use a older or even a dirty vacuum this is normal.   Please service your vacuum then if you need plug it into a different circuit.

Make sure you call a qualified/licensed Electrician to work on your home!

We are fully licensed and insured Electrical Contractor.  We do work all around Salt Lake County and Utah County.  We have the experience and expertise and do work in all of the electrical areas including residential, commercial, industrial and service work/electrical repair.  Give us a call 8013585170.

24/7 emergency service available

Disclaimer:   We are not liable this is info only. You must verify with your local authorities on or about your local lays and ordinances.

Things to Consider – Part 5

This is part 5 of 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.  Take a look at our other blogs.

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  • Outlets, switches and branch circuits, This would be the next step. We would then asses what you have and what you need (Like if you have GFCI outlets and the proper protection).  The condition of the existing wiring if and what should be replaced. At this point is where we see if any of the home has been rewired and its condition. This is the point that we usually have to tell the home owner that they are looking at a complete rewire. I’ll personally tell you its not fun to be the guy telling someone that its going to cost allot of money but its great that we can at least give them an option to help get their house up to this century.
  • Copper wire is increasingly expensive, so just the materials alone for rewiring a typical home can have a high cost
  • Having an electrician rewire your home can take allot of hours and speciality trained guys. To upgrade to a 100 amp electrical panel generally takes about 6 to 10 man hours and that is for a trained professional – licensed Journeyman.
  • The average older home of about 1200 to 1800 sqft takes on average around 2 weeks of labor to rewire for 2 guys minimum. This is with good attic and basement access
  • These can vary from home to home
  • This is why we always come out and give you a free estimate before we proceed with any work

Things that could be included:

  • If your house is on a concrete slab or doesn’t have an attic (or both), it will probably be necessary to cut open the walls about 2 feet up from the floor, as well as cutting through the ceiling joists.
  • Rewiring a home requires a building permit and inspections of the work at certain stages in project; check with your local planning department for specifics. All wiring must meet the National Electrical Code, but local building regulations can also affect the scope and cost of your rewiring project.

 

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

Things to Consider – Part 4

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.  Take a look at our other blogs.

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  • The next step we would go in and check the electrical power panel inside the home we check the overall condition of the panel, we would also check the manufacturer of the panel there are a few that are prone to problems like not tripping correctly or tripping without anything even on them these are problems (That would be fixed with a new panel).  We would then go on to check the feeders coming into the panel and their condition, then then grounding, neutral and if they are separated or not this could be a problem. While we are in the electrical panel we would also asses the branch circuit wiring and see what condition it was in, depending on the year the home was built has allot to do with the type of wiring it has, for instance if it has knob and tube these are run with two separate conductors they will run throughout the home through porcelain insulators and these are what give this wiring it name one is a knob that holds the wires up the other is the tube that the wire runs through the wood with to protect and insulate it.

Disclaimer:   This blog is meant as informational only.  Please consult a local licensed and insured electrical contractor to work on your home and business.

 

 

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.