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.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detectors, they are extremely important life saving little nuisances.

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We had some neighbor boys over the other day and I was cooking and the smoke alarm starts ringing, so my kids all jump into well rehearsed action and start opening windows and fanning the smoke alarm.  I look at the boys and they are a little frightened standing by the door ready to escape. I said “don’t tell me you guys don’t use the smoke alarm as a dinner bell?”  They just smiled a little more frightened and then played outside the rest of the time.

But lets be serious, these have saved countless lives and could save countless more if people install them correctly and change the batteries 2 x a year.  What a pain, I know, but when it comes to protecting your families lives, is that really too much to ask?  There are so many different types and laws and preferences on smoke alarms.  My wife just learned that you are supposed to change the smoke detector out every 10 years.  

So what are the different types of smoke detectors?  There are heat detectors and smoke alarms.    Heat detectors  have a lower false alarm rate but they are slower than smoke alarms at detecting fires.  Smoke alarms have different choices also.

So, does it matter where my detectors are and if they are connected to each other.  Absolutely!  many laws require the 120 volt interconnected alarms with the battery back up in case of power outage.   It is especially important for the interconnected in town homes or apartment buildings, and condos, large buildings and shopping strips.

What about Carbon Monoxide/smoke alarms?unknown-1

Definitely!   Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance/heater, attached garage or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide alarm.  If the home has only one carbon monoxide alarm, it should be in the main bedroom or hallway outside of the sleeping areas.  An alarm should be on every level of the home and in sleeping areas.  Make sure nothing is covering or obstructing the alarm. Test the carbon monoxide alarm once a week by pressing the test/reset button.  Remember, it may be a nuisance but it is for protecting your family.

Well, this has been fun, I am off to check my carbon monoxide alarm!

Disclaimer:   Remember, always call a licensed insured electrical contractor to work on your electrical.  Always check with local and state laws before you do any work.

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Knob and Tube Wiring – Dangerous!!!!

Do you live in a home that was built between 1880 and 1940?  Have you had the Electrical replaced since then?  Commonly used in these old houses are what is called Knob and Tube Wiring.  It is considered to be DANGEROUS!  If you do, you need to have your home inspected right away and new Electrical system installed.

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Some of the biggest safety problems are the lack of a ground conductor, and the switches were often placed on the neutral wire, turning off the circuit, but not the current.  Some people say when this was installed correctly, it was superior to how it is done now.  Due to age and new safety procedures, though, these practices are severely outdated and cause a significant safety hazard.  Some people try to tie into the old wires with new wires which the old wires are not rated for the new loads.  This can cause the disintegration in the insulation around the wire, which is there for your safety and for your homes safety.  Also, through the years, dust and mice are most likely to have corrupted the protection tubing also, leaving copper wiring open and unprotected.  People have also tried to insulate their homes around the Knob and Tube wiring and this is also a huge fire problem, the Knob and Tube Wiring were meant to be left open to cool, so covering them with insulation, is very, very dangerous.

When these systems where built they had no idea that we would have all of life’s extra little things to help us out.  All they had was one light and outlet in each room and if they were lucky a fridge.  Now there is an outlet or two on every wall, custom can lighting and iPhones, I pads, computers, laptops, and iPods to charge daily and everything else you can think of.  The old systems just can’t hold the loads.  I can go on and on about the dangers but I want you to be able to sleep at night !

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Homeowners Insurance Companies don’t like to insure homes with this type of wiring in it because of the potential danger.  Some require it to be inspected and signed off to be safe and some require it to be replaced. So, like always, have your home inspected by a certified, qualified, licensed, insured, Electrician.  Know your local and state laws about home requirements.

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Sabin Electric is a licensed, insured Electrical Contractor who works with all the different Electrical needs.  Giver us a call – 8013585170!

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Space Heaters overloading Circuits

During the cold months lots of people use other resources to warm up; space heaters, electric blankets, etc.  But if they are putting too much load on your circuits this can cause problems. Sometimes it is better to layer up or just go ahead and turn the heater up a notch than to  overload the circuits.

UnknownFor example a common bedroom circuit is rated for 15 amps, a normal space heater (1500 Watts the same as 15 100 Watt lightbulbs) on High (low pulls about 750 Watts) will pull  about 12.5 amps, your lights are on, your radio is on, and bam, lights out–you tripped your breaker.  

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Now, some people like to use extension cords to make sure the heater is right by them, did you know that different extensions cords are rated for different amounts of Wattage? So yo can overload your extension cord and overload the circuit and cause all sorts of damage and fire danger!!!!!

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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 from Salt Lake City to Payson including Spanish Fork, American Fork, Orem, Lehi, and from Heber to Magna. 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.

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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 laws and ordinances.

 

Hot plugs/Electrical Fire Awareness

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 11.46.59 PMMy wife brought me her phone charger the other day and asked “Is this suppose to be this hot?”  No, it is not.  If you have plugs or cords that get hot you need to call a licensed and insured Electrician right away to check out your wiring.  If you have a hot electronic device, replace it immediately.

This photo (below) is from overloaded Christmas Lighting incorrectly installed.

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 This photo (above) shows what happens when a light fixture is incorrectly wired and wires are tapped incorrectly.  We had to replace over 4 feet of wiring to fix this problem.

 I have gotten lots of Emergency phone calls where people have hot breakers or outlets and are worried about their house burning down and that is a real worry.

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Ways to prevent Electrical fires:  Don’t use frayed extension cords, don’t overload circuits, have a   licensed and insured Electrician check the wiring in your home if it is older than 30 years old, have AFCI (refer to last post) and GFCI installed, know the load on your breakers and don’t overload, use only “UL Listed” products – make sure all electrical cords and products are “UL Listed”.  Electrical fires are one of the biggest causes of home damage, keep your home and family safe, call an Electrician today to make sure your home is safe!

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 from Salt Lake City to Payson, from Heber to Magna. 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.

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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 laws and ordinances.

SAFETY TIP: Multiple Plug Strip Safety

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Here’s an electrical tip for all of you!  It’s okay to install and use one plug strip, but it is never okay to use them in multiples.  Never plug one into another to get more outlets.  This is a big fire hazard!  Always follow the manufactures instructions.  If you need more outlets call a Licensed Electrician like Sabin Electric!

The next time you need a job done right, and want to be able to sleep at night,  call Sabin Electric at (801) 358-5170.

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Handy Man – Not So Handy?

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Okay, so a heads up to all of you that are thinking of using a not-so-handyman.
If they do anything more than change a light bulb it’s breaking the law, at least here in Utah. Please check for yourself by calling Dopl (Department of Public Licensing  of Utah, they are very helpful.

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A licensed Electrician has been trained, tested,  insured and has the experience to do the job right and most stand behind their work.

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A good Electrician will do it right the first time and charge you once.  Most handyman charge and charge until they figure out how to do the job. So you pay for them to learn and ? what type of work you have left in your home.  Is it worth it ????

The next time you need a job done right, and want to be able to sleep at night,  call Sabin Electric at (801) 358-5170.

 

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