Wow check out this Meter Base

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Wow check out this Meter Base

At first it all looks okay but they were losing power. If you look closely you can see that the Meter Base itself is recessed into the meter base and they have applied Silicone around the meter its self. This was just the first indicator of the problems to come.

At first It looks okay but then

After looking inside the base and talking to the owner the power company was called it was just to Dangerous to chance of shorting out to try and do anything even the power company turned the power off before opening it up. Yes it was that bad, after the power was off he removed the meter base and I was able to start checking it out and this is what

Before we even start with the list What they did before was a real danger you can see that at one point it shorted out even with the proper protection the person that did this should have gone to the Hospital to be checked out this was bad really bad. You have to remember that there is really no protection on the side of the power company that is why we install Main breakers.

1st – To start off we found the the socket itself had been Retro fitted from another meter base

2nd – They had relocated the top left lug different from what it was designed to be (These are designed this way to keep clearances so there is no shorting out each and every voltage requires different distances to protect from shorts)

3rd – top left of the breaker the home made buss work obviously has been shorted out even if this was rated for the 200 amp load before it isn’t now when it was shorted they lost material and now it no longer has the design or rating it once had

4th – the lug on the top right of the breaker was modified and has lost its rating as well.

5th – if you look close you can see that the grounding/bonding/neutral Lug is loose and just hanging around to short out when someone moves it just right

6th – The neutral was loose inside the lug

7th – 5 and 6 Were not bonded correctly to the can/housing so if the feeders did short out to the box then it might not trip as needed or required.

Side Note. if you modify the equipment it no longer has the rating it came with and at that point you need the local jurisdiction to approve it.

We highly recommended to the owner to get this meter replaced by a licensed contractor even if we didn’t do it ourselves. They needed to get this Replaced ASAP.

Look close they blew this meter up bad

You can see here the buss is just hanging there and was intentionally removed out of they way for there mods

This is showing the lug being tightened by the power company

 

Disclaimer:  This is an information blog only.   Always contact a licensed and insured Electrical Contractor to work on your home or business.

 

Home Electrical Must Checks

Electrical Must Checks When buying Or owning a home the first of a series

Now everyone likes great lighting (You always have some options so don’t stress) let’s look at More Important things like. Does your new Home have the correct sized, Protected Meter and Electrical power panel.

Meter Base Upgrade Example

This is very important  – think of this equipment as being the Heart of your Home and if it’s not healthy then you know that the rest is stressed as well.

What to look for 1st – do you have a Main Breaker outside?   Now this isn’t always required on the outside of the home but in most areas it is (This is a Safety thing in case of a fire or possibly another Emergency) You want to be able to shut down all the power at one point.

A couple of other things to check would be  –

1.) Do you have Grounding this can be done a few different ways such as a couple of ground rods below the panel these should be at least 6’ apart to work correctly.

2.) Does it have Overhead or Underground Service feeding it overhead should have at least 2 different supports holding to the wall of the home. Underground should have at least one support / strap.

This is something that should be checked by a Licensed Electrical Contractor in your area

Then after the meter base head into the Electrical power panel now this is what we use to protect the wiring inside the home this will be one of our next blogs upcoming soon.

This is a Good Example of an Electrical power panel should look like

Replacement Electrical Panel Example photo

 

Here are a few with Problem we have come across in the past some are much worse then others. you can also see a few after they have been replaced with new meter bases.

These all had problems most of witch where shorts of some sort the last one is just on a whole new level my next post will be just about it and the problems it has .

Disclaimer:   This is meant as an informational blog only.  Always contact a licensed and insured Electrical Contractor to work on your home of building.

 

 

 

Business Time Savings

A little bit of foresight can go along ways when hiring out a Service.  Having the right people with the knowledge and know how to do the maintenance and repairs correctly the first time is not only a Money Saver but it is a Time Saver. I have found the time savings to be very important. So please take into consideration the cost of your time and schedule when you hire anyone especially in a service industry. 

 

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.

  • 5
  • 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.

  • 4
  • 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.

  • 3
  • 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.

 

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.

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

Financing Electrical Work

New meter, new panel, whole house upgrade, finishing basement, emergency rewiring, solar power, generator, there are all sorts of work that costs a lot of money that need to be done quickly, some you can save up for, but sometimes they have to be done immediately  or on an emergency basis.   There are lots of different ways to get financing for them.

We have exciting news!  We are working with David Mickelson at Banner Bank to  help get you a Home Improvement Loan quickly so you can keep your electrical working correctly and your home safe!

All loans are OAC through the bank not Sabin Electric we will line you up with the bank.  This program has worked great for our customers so far, it is now an option if you need it.

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Sabin electric logo

 

Disclaimer:  As always, do your homework, always hire licensed, qualified, insured contractors and when looking at loans, always be aware of what you are signing!