Electrical Informative Videos

We are glad to announce we are creating some basic videos for our customers. We will update you as to when we will be releasing these videos.  We are currently working on them.

First will be for removing and replacing broken light bulbs and why you should upgrade to LED bulbs.

We are currently working on some basic videos for some of the standard calls we get like How do I reset a GFCI outlet and what is a GFCI outlet.

Another one we get is why don’t my eve outlets work – this is usually a switch that is strategically placed for it to never be found – just kidding –  but we do hide them on purpose.

We also get the call of MY POWER IS OUT or only HALF my house Works (This one starts with a call to the power company first then to us if it isn’t a problem on their side)

We would appreciate your input on some basic questions on HOW YOUR ELECTRICAL  around your house WORKS and we will see if we can add it to a video.

Thank you for being such great customers!

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.

 

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.

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.

 

Meter/Panel Upgrade

Here’s the before and after photos of a panel we just completed:

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Notice how much cleaner it looks, and safer this is. All of our work is inspected and approved by local jurisdiction.

This Home had a short in the meter they were dropping one of the legs so they lost their 220 and were without their dryer and their A/C we got on this fast and got their power up and going restoring their comfort in their home and life.

Here’s a meter that needed an upgrade. This old meter has a few problems. It was only designed for about 60 to 70 amps and the new meters we install are a minimum of 100 amps. The new meters have the ever important disconnect to not only turn off the power to your home in an emergency but to provide additional protection from overloads shorts etc.

On top of all that, the old meter has no grounding protection. We added the required grounding and went above and beyond whenever possible. There was also the clearance issue with the overhead wires/conductors. We made sure they are at the right height. We did this using what is called a “mast” or a “riser” going through and above the roof and when required supports back for the load.

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Here is the box we cleaned up and replaced.

To provide additional wiring, sometimes we need to cut a hole into the wall. If we are just replacing the panel then most of the time there are no cut outs/repairs.
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It’s important to keep your electrical in repair and we were happy to help this home with a new panel. If you have any concerns about your electrical – please give us a call. Our highly qualified staff offers competitive prices before we do any work. Let us know how we can help!

Disclaimer:  This is an informational blog, please always call your local licensed and insured electrical contractor to work on your electrical!

 

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Electrical Permits

UGH!!!  We all hate that word  “Permits”  You mean I have to get permission to do my own work what !!!!!!!!!
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A very important thing to remember is that this work still requires a licensed Electrician to do this work that is properly trained.

  • There are some misnomers about working on your own home as to what we understand you can work on your own home with the understanding that it can not be a multi family dwelling such as a condo twin home rental like it says if its a multi family then NO the law requires you to hire a licensed and insured Electrician ( No a handyman is not licensed to do this work ) to prove the point a Handyman doesn’t have the license to pull a permit.

Its just another way for someone to get more of your money, right?  Some electrical work you need permits and some you don’t (ALWAYS check your local and state laws and  ALWAYS hire a licensed insured knowledgable Electrician).    Lets talk about the different times you are required to or not to get a permit for Electrical work.

Some of these might still require a permit depending on the city you live in.

Remember these are examples of certain possibilities not all situations or city’s are the same there are areas that  require permits for most anything please always check with your local jurisdiction, City, State, County etc. on any project you are planning on doing before. It is always a good thing to plan out a project before proceeding with it.

Change a light bulb            No

Change a light fixture        No

Change out an outlet         No

Change a few outlets         No

Basement remodel           yes

Basement finish                Yes

Finish a bathroom             yes

Replace your panel               Yes

Change out a Breaker            No

Change out your Meter          Yes

New Construction                    Yes

Run Electrical to Shop/Unattached Garage/Outbuilding      Yes

Put outlets in Eves                   No

Run undercounted lighting        No

Hang a huge and heavy Chandelier         No

Install a residential generator          yes

Install a commercial generator         yes

Installing solar             Yes – ALWAYS research the company you  choose, we have seen so many messed up jobs that aren’t hooked up correctly or at all and therefore saving any money.

Installing yard lighting       No

Installing a light pole in your yard             yes

 

 

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Disclaimer:   These are just some examples, this was meant as a fun easy to read blog, but remember hiring a licensed, current on continuing ed, insured, qualified electrician and they will know the laws for your area and the codes, Handyman aren’t watched by the state so they don’t have to obey all the laws and codes and regulations.  Knowing, researching and learning the local codes and laws will help you also.

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Home Electrical Inspections

How many scary stories have you heard about someone buying a house and then finding out that their electrical system is completely shot and the new home owner now has thousands of dollars of work to do to get it all fixed.  Unknown-5

So coincidental, as I typed those first sentences I actually got a call from a lady that just signed on her house yesterday and her son got shocked today from a wire sticking out in the lawn and the snow was causing problems.  So, why are Home Electrical Inspections important?  We offer 2 types of Electrical Inspections, one, (for a limited time this month only) the Basic Inspection $39.00, where we go through the house , look at things and say everything looks ok, takes about 30 minutes, no report.  Then we have the Complete Inspection $300, up to 4500 sq ft house, where we take a few hours, pull out plugs, check wiring, thoroughly check the electrical in your home.  We have a written report we fill out and then we send you detailing things that need to be taken care of or things that you should consider in the near future.  Again, these are safety things, to keep your home and family safe, not frivolous fun things.

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Things we check:

Electrical panel  – breakers, grounding, clearance, and code.

Electrical Meter Main outside

Furnace and A/C Wiring

Attic – access and wiring

Basement/Crawlspace – access and wiring

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Every Bedroom and room – wiring and outlets

Garage   – wiring and outlets

Outside – outlets

These are all very important.  Like this morning, the kid got shocked from a wire touching the snow outside through the house when he plugged something in.  That sounds pretty dangerous to me!  Let stay safe!

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Disclaimer:   This post is meant as informational.  As always, please contact a licensed, qualified, insured electrician 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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