Most Common Electrical Questions!

I decided to do a post on the most common electrical questions.  Lets see if we can help you with any of your questions.

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1.) I want to install a fan, but why do I have to change my light box to a fan rated box?

A fan rated box, although it may look like a light box, is rated to hold the weight and the movement of the fan.  You do not want the ceiling fan to break the box and fall out of the ceiling putting you and your family in danger.  Important to remember, it is required by the National Electrical Code.

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2.)   Why does my breaker keep tripping?

One reason is too many devices plugged into that circuit and you are overloading the breaker.  There can be many other simple or complex reasons also, please call a licensed insured electrician to check your wiring, it could be a mis-wired outlet or switch, A nail holding a picture up is sticking into the wire, an outlet could have a short, failure of a device. another reason is possibly rodents in the attic or walls this create a big  problem if the short is in theses it can spark and ark in the walls an its a possible fire hazard

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3.) Do I really need a surge protector for my whole house?

Yes, any extreme weather can short out your tv, fridge, computers, any electrical appliance.  A surge protector for your home costs only a small percentage to replacing all of your appliances, plus the peace of mind during a lightning storm! or if there is a transformer that gives out at any possible time.

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4.) Should I worry about outlets that don’t work?

Yes, because you don’t know if the problem is with that outlet or further down the wiring causing future problems for the rest of your wiring.

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5.)  Why should I pay an electrician when I can u-tube the problem and do what the video says?

The Main reason is they have the experience train and know how to find and repair in a timely and most of all a safe manor and Because qualified, licensed electricians have continuing education they have to complete every two years to keep their licenses.  They have worked and studied to help you with your electrical problems.  They are professionals and know what they are doing and a video can’t watch for other problems that could occur.

Most of all its dangerous after all it is Electricity your dealing with.

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6.) How many smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors do I need in my house?

You must have 1 smoke detector on every floor, 1 inside each bedroom in every hallway and at the highest peak of the interior. Code also requires at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home.

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Disclaimer:   This is an informational article only,  Please always all your local licensed and insured electrical contractor to do your electrical work!

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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Service – before and after photos

We have taken some photos on some jobs to post and show you what your service should look like on the side of the house.  Lets have some fun!

If you have hanging wires like this, call me!  We can get it cleaned up and safe!

They will be above the roof correctly when we are done.

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Before, See the dangerous wire mess!

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During, a closer look at the mess!

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After, not completely all done, but look how nice and clean that looks!

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Before, see all the wires handing and all over.

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After, look how nice this looks with the wires in conduit for protection.  Nice and clean. and They are Safely above the roof and much higher above the drive way.

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Before:  Do you see this conduit, its not even connected.

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During, We care about your lawn and plants.  We carefully removed the plant and dirt around it.

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During, We got the pipe fixed and bolted to the house.  Repaired done and safe.

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After, notice we got the plant back in, and everything looking nice and clean.

Almost like we weren’t even there.

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Disclaimer:  Always have a licensed, insured, electrical contractor take care of your electrical needs.  Always know the state and local laws when working with electrical.

Sabin Electric is a licensed, and insured Electrical Contractor.  Call for all of your Electrical needs including, residential, commercial, industrial, solar, and any service work!  We serve everywhere in the Salt Lake County and Utah County areas.  No job too small – Give us a call  8013585170.

Solar – Most common questions

K, so we have been focusing on solar, So I decided to scan through the internet and see what the most common questions people have on solar panels and see if I can answer some of your questions.

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1.) Will I notice a difference in my lights or in how appliances run, like on a generator?
Solar electricity is the same as grid power, so you will never notice your home or appliances running on solar power, but you will notice a smaller electric bill!

2.) How will I know if my solar system is working?

Nearly all inverters come with built-in monitoring. By checking your production with your electric bill, you can get a good idea what your household’s electric load is and how much of a difference your system is making.

3.) How much roof space will I need?

Every kilowatt of solar array takes about 75 square feet. Your tech and you will decide what you need and what is best for your system.

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4.) Why should I go solar now? Aren’t new technologies always on the way?

The sooner you get solar, the sooner you will enjoy its benefits!  Solar is like saving for retirement – the sooner you start doing it, the better

5.) If the grid goes down, I stay up, right?

Not if you have a grid-tied system, that means that the solar system is tied to your utility,  If the grid power goes out, so do you.  But you can do a battery back up which is optional but not done that often.

6.) Solar power doesn’t work when it’s cloudy, right?

Yes, it does. Ambient light and lots of UV light still get through. Somewhere between 10-50% effectiveness depending on how cloudy the day is.

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7.) How is it attached to my roof?

Solar panels can catch wind like sails, and if they’re not attached to your beams, they can rip right off your roof and cause other damage.  Make sure your installation team will attach them securely to the rafters so they are a part of the infrastructure of your house.

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8.) Don’t I have to clean them like all the time?

Nope, just hose them off once or twice a year and get any large items like bird poop or twigs off  and dust and water spots off of them.

9.) Can my electric bill really be $0?
Some solar systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimum connection fee to remain connected to the electrical grid, contact your power company to find out what it is, but your salesman should know what it is for your area and your power company.

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10.) I don’t plan on being in my home for 25 years. Why would I add solar?
People move more frequently now than ever before, but that shouldn’t impact your solar decision. A solar system can save you money today and even pay for itself in about 8 – 12 years. Even if you move before your solar investment is completely paid off it will improve your home value and could be a big selling point.

 

I hope this answers some questions you have and some that you didn’t even know you had.  Give us a call if you are interested in installing a solar system on your home!

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We are fully licensed and insured Electrical Contractor. We do work from Salt Lake City to Payson including Spanish Fork, American Fork, Orem, Provo, Lehi, and from Park city, Heber to Magna. We have the experience and expertise and do work in all of the electrical areas including Residential, Commercial, Industrial, service work/electrical repair and solar installation. Give us a Call Now 8013585170  for an appointment.

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Disclaimer:  Always verify with your local and state government laws.  Always hire a licensed, qualified electrician to do your work.

Solar — Costs vs. Savings

SOLAR Systems and Can I afford it.

The up front cost of a Solar Array is pretty expensive, there are programs to help you finance them.  Lets talk about some Estimate Costs on savings vs up front costs for the solar array.

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I am finding that many business and homeowners are reporting to save anywhere from 50% to 90% on their system, bear in mind that everyone’s system is completely individualized for what works best for you, where you live, how much sunlight you get for your location, and what you are looking for, so unless you meet with a company one on one and get an actual estimate, you won’t know for sure.  My power bill every month ranges from $50.00 to $200.00 depending on time of year and how many kids are home leaving lights on.   For fun, lets use the $200.00 and say with a solar array we save 80% of our bill, as far as my math skills go, that is saving me $160.00 for that month!!  I like that!  so on a $50.00 a month, it would save me $40.00! I like that too!  Lets add some random numbers between the two for 12 months –  $1360.00 for the year roughly!   The solar array will also increase your home value and could be a big selling point if you decide to move.   Plus there are a lot of tax credits and incentives for having a solar system.

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So, an average 5kw system is about $23,000.00, again a lot of companies will help you with financing for this if you don’t have the money just laying around under your mattress.  SO, lets say I  get an average 5 kw system and I am saving the $1360.00/year so after 16.9 years it will be paying for itself.   Again, a very rough estimate, contact a licensed solar company with licensed electricians that install the panel to get a real estimate for you and your needs.

The standard requirements are a min 660 credit score and if your house will work with it we would need to check it out and see.  Of course all credit is oac from the lender.

 

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We are fully licensed and insured Electrical Contractor. We do work from Salt Lake City to Payson including Spanish Fork, American Fork, Orem, Provo, 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, service work/electrical repair and solar installation. Give us a Call Now 8013585170. for an appointment.

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