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Three Reasons Your Home May Be At Risk For An Electrical Fire

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Reasons Your Home May Be At Risk For An Electrical Fire

Some factors that cause electrical fires start in the wiring between your walls, meaning there’s not a lot you can do to prevent them except by having regular safety inspections by a licensed electrician (and noticing danger signs early). However, some of top causes of fires are actually preventable things like misusing extension cords and using heaters unsafely. Here are three electrical fire risk factors you can watch out for and how you can avoid each one. 1. Overloaded circuits Some homes with ancient wiring systems have a very low capacity by modern standards, meaning that you may be overloading the wiring without even realizing it. Be sure to have your electrician analyze the wiring system for load capability each time you have an inspection done. Some signs that your wiring is ancient and potentially unsafe include: Having only a couple of electrical outlets in each room Having visible knob and tube wiring somewhere in the house Having a fuse box instead of a circuit breaker box Not having GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bathroom Be sure to contact your electrician for advice if this sounds like your house. Some of these things, especially a lack of GFCIs, can pose an immediate threat of electrocution rather than just a threat of electrical fire. 2. Unsafe workarounds If you do have an old wiring system with too few outlets and too-small wiring to support your modern lifestyle safely, what are you doing about it? The safe option is to have your electrician either re-wire the whole house or just add a few circuits. If instead you’re draping extension cords across the floor (especially cheap, inferior ones from a flea market) or using devices that allow you to plug more items into each outlet, you’re living an unsafe lifestyle. These methods explicitly try to load up your outlets with more appliances and devices than they can handle. There’s a reason each outlet only comes with space for two plugs.  3. Appliances and light fixtures The space heater is one of the most dangerous types of appliances. Why? Because it’s actually designed to emit heat, and heat is an inherent fire hazard. Read the warnings that come with your space heater carefully and make sure to keep it more than the recommended distance away from everything else in the room, especially anything that could potentially burn, melt, overheat and die, or produce toxic fumes. Other appliance and light fixture hazards include: Using very old appliances (that may not have been built to the same safety code) Placing things on top of lampshades Using light bulbs that exceed the recommended strength for that fixture These three reasons your home may be at risk show that there’s a lot you can do to prevent electrical fires. Even the type of fires that start inside your walls can often be prevented by making sure you aren’t overloading your electrical system, are getting regular inspections, and looking out for warning signs such as hot or smoking outlets. Contact a company like Dunedin Electric Co., Inc. for more...

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Three Benefits Of Electric Fireplaces

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Benefits Of Electric Fireplaces

If you enjoy the flickering glow and ambiance of a fire but don’t want to deal with ash and chimney cleaning, you might want to think about installing an electric fireplace instead. Here are a few of the reasons you might want to consider an electric fireplace for your home. Energy Efficiency An electric fireplace will save you on your heating cost because the insert will block most of the draft sources in the fireplace structure. You won’t need to have an open flue, so that eliminates a significant source of heat loss. Maximize this efficiency by calling a chimney sweep to seal the chimney completely before you install the fireplace. Not only do you have less heat loss, but all of the energy that an electric fireplace uses is turned into heat. That means you get the maximum possible heat production and the full benefit of that heat. Environmental Friendliness Electric fireplaces don’t require the combustion that happens with gas or wood burning fireplaces, so there’s no carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide produced. That limits the environmental effect without reducing the comfort levels of your home. Zoned Heating For particularly large homes and those that are a challenge to heat, an electric fireplace allows you to create a new heat zone in the home. Putting the fireplace in the largest or most open space in the house adds extra heat to that area so that you don’t have to turn the thermostat up so high to warm that space. This reduces the risk of overheating the other areas of the home, essentially creating heating zones for more balanced heating throughout the house. You can also choose to install your fireplace with a controllable fan so that you can turn off the heat production at will. That comes in handy when you want to be able to enjoy your fireplace even in the summer months. All you have to do is turn off the heat production so that you get all of the ambiance without the excess heat. Now that you understand some of the benefits of installing an electric fireplace, you’ll be better informed to decide if it’s right for your home. If you do decide to install one, you should work with a local electrician like Advantage Electric to connect it directly to your home’s electrical circuit. That way, it is safely connected and has a consistent and reliable power...

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3 Common Electric Motor Problems

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Common Electric Motor Problems

Electric motors play a vital role in everyday life for most people. Motors are used in many different systems, and luckily they do require minimum maintenance. There are a few different types of electric engines, which include mechanical and magnetic. The most common type of electric motor is magnetic, and both AC and DC engines are common. Although the motors generally do not need a great deal of maintenance, problems can arise in electric motors. This article will outline 3 common electric engine problems, and how to diagnose the problem.  Too Much Current  In some systems, an electric motor will start to draw a great deal of current. In fact there are many times that an electric motor will draw more current than they are capable of properly handling. The problem can burn out an engine extremely quickly, and is for the most part unpredictable. In order to be ready for this problem, it is important to take preventative caution. The best thing that can be done is installing a device that will shut down the extra current that wants to travel to the motor. This will effectively prevent an electrical overload.   Over Heating With most mechanical, combustion, or electrical motors, there is a chance of over heating. Most people have experienced an overheating engine in their vehicle, and have seen how devastating the consequences can be. This is also one of the causes of electrical motor failure. Once again the best medicine is preventative precautions. One of the most common problems is an electric motor operating at a current that is not the specified current for the motor. This causes the motor to work at a much hotter temperature. Another major problem for electric motors is operating in a hot environment. Resistance  A problem with resistance is one of the hardest problems to diagnose and is a good time to get a professional (such as one from Hackworth Electric Motors Inc) to fix the motor. Insulation should be over one thousand megaohms. Over the life of the motor, the insulation starts to decrease. If the resistance is not up to par, there can be some drastic consequences for the motor. Preventative measures can be taken by installing insulation testers. It is always a good idea to test the insulation.     Electric motors can be very low maintenance, but it is very important that they are checked routinely. Many larger companies will have a maintenance program that involves routine checkups, and personal electric motors should be checked routinely as well.  ...

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Sit Back And Relax: Leave These Jobs Up To The Pros

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sit Back And Relax: Leave These Jobs Up To The Pros

As a homeowner, there are likely many things you can do on your own, such as clearing a clogged drain, painting a room, or replacing a doorknob. There are some things you should not attempt to do yourself, however. Below are two things that should be left up to the pros. Electrical Problems If you have an electrical problem or want to install something electrical in your home, if not done correctly, can cause electrical shock and even a house fire. Some problems that would require you to call an electrician include: Fuses blowing frequently Electrical socket not working Lights flickering Any of the above problems could mean you have outdated or faulty wiring in your home. Depending on the town you live in, you may be required to show an electrical permit for any electrical work you do. For example, if you live in the state of Washington, you could be subject to penalties if you do not have the proper permit before you do electrical work. By not obtaining a permit, it could affect your ability to sell your home, prevent you from obtaining home insurance, and your electricity may be disconnected. Before you do anything yourself, contact a local building inspector to find this information. A professional electrician will already know all of this information, and will be able to provide you with a permit that you can keep on file in your home in case you need it in the future. For electrical repair, contact a business such as Morris Electric Contracting & Service, Inc. Roofing Problems Climbing up on a roof is dangerous, especially since you will have to climb up and down the ladder carrying your tools. It is even more dangerous if you have a two or more story home, as you would need to use an extension ladder. Your roofing repair work may not result in perfection. Experienced roofers have the skills and know the techniques to use. They also have the right tools, which you may not have access to. If you attempt to repair your roof on your own, you may end up causing larger problems if you do not know what you are doing. This would result in a high repair bill from a roofing company. You could also cause structural damage to your home if you try to repair a leak by replacing a couple of shingles. What you don’t know is there could be a larger underlying problem, and water could still leak into your attic. It may save you money in the beginning, but you could very well spend a lot more money in the end by choosing to do these jobs on your...

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Four Warning Signs You Need Rewiring In Your Home

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Warning Signs You Need Rewiring In Your Home

When you trip breakers often or have frequent electrical issues, it is not considered normal. These are usually signs that you need to have an electrician visit your home to inspect the system and possibly rewire it. Here are the different warning signs that it is time to get rewiring in your home. You Find Frayed Wires If you are completing a basic home electrical project and notice some of the wires are frayed, stop what you are doing and call an electrician right away. Having old wires that are worn, frayed, or bent is a sign that you need to have them replaced. This is not uncommon in older homes that still have the original wiring, though it is often difficult to know the condition of the wires. Pay close attention when installing a new lighting fixture, as it gives you the opportunity to look at the condition of the wiring. The Electricity Goes Out Often If you have rooms that lose their power on a regular basis and you need to reset the breakers or fuses, then you need to call an electrician. Overpowering a circuit every once in a while is one thing, but if you find that it is a routine when you are tripping breakers or blowing fuses, there is a problem. It is likely that you have older wiring in your home that isn’t quite ready for the number of appliances and electronic devices you are plugging in every day. There Are Sounds Coming From the Outlets When you suspect that you might have electrical issues in your home, one good way to tell is by listening closely near the outlets. You might hear different sounds coming from the outlets, such as a sizzling sound or a low buzzing sound. These are never normal signs and require a visit from your electrician. It is possible that the wiring in your home is not only faulty, but dangerous, and needs to be replaced right away. If you only hear these sounds in certain outlets, avoid using those outlets until you talk to an electrical contractor. The Lights Flicker A common occurrence with older homes that simply need to be rewired is when the lights flicker when they are turned on. This probably doesn’t happen every single time a light is turned on, but periodically. This is another thing that should not be ignored and just dealt with. Aside from flickering, also pay attention to the lights that seem to be getting dimmer over time, even after replacing the light bulb or using a new lighting fixture. For assistance and more information, talk to a professional like Mid City...

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Signs That It Is Time To Call In A Professional Electrician

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs That It Is Time To Call In A Professional Electrician

As a homeowner, it is important to make sure that you are always well aware of the signs that indicate the need for a professional electrician to be called in. This way, you are less at risk of having your home catch on fire. To help you with this, you might want to take a few moments and review the following signs of electrical trouble that will require a professional. The Sparking Outlet You should never see an outlet give off a spark whether you are plugging something in or unplugging it. If you do, then you need to stop using that particular outlet until the issue is resolved. In many cases, the problem is nothing more than a faulty outlet that can be quickly swapped out by an electrician. However, it could end up being a problem with the wires themselves, especially if a rodent had chewed at them a little bit. Either way, this is not a problem that you want to wait to fix. The Warm Electrical Breaker Box The electrical box is metal and should be cool to the touch. Even if you open the front door of the box and gently touch your hand against the metal that surrounds all of the different breakers, it could not be warm. Therefore, should you feel a warmth to the metal, you will want to call in an electrician. This could very well be a sign that there are electrical wires behind the metal that are starting to overheat or spark. This could quickly lead to a house fire, which could happen at any time of the day or night. The Lights Keep Flickering There will be times when the lights in the house flicker due to work that is being done outside on the electrical lines or due to a really bad storm. However, if you are noticing that the lights in your home flicker on a more consistent basis, it might be time to get the problem checked out. There could be a bad connection with the main power supply that comes into your home and into the electrical panel box. Then again, it could be that many of your breakers in that box are starting to go bad due to excessive moisture causing them to develop rust. Either way, flicking lights in a sign that you need to get an electrician over to your home to inspect and repair the problem. With the previously mentioned signs of electrical problems, you will now know when it is time to call in a professional like Genesis Electrical Service...

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Here’s How To Make Life More Cozy And Convenient Next Winter

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Here’s How To Make Life More Cozy And Convenient Next Winter

Preparing your property for winter is important to help keep unwanted cold air and moisture from entering your home. Luckily, it isn’t typically necessary to hire a contractor for major repairs or insulation replacement. Having your HVAC system inspected and cleaned by a professional is a good start, but there are a few other things you can do to make sure that life is cozy and convenient no matter what the winter months bring your way – try one or more of these tips and tricks: Insulate Your Windows A great way to ensure that your home is protected from moisture, mold, and unwanted cold air circulation is to use spray foam insulation or caulking to seal up the window sills in your home. Sealing the windows will help you maintain a comfortable temperature indoors without having to make your HVAC system work overtime, which can save you some money on your monthly energy bills. You’ll also find that sealed windows help to keep allergens, such as pollen, outdoors where they belong. Don’t forget to seal the windows in your basement, garage, and attic spaces. Plant Some Trees in the Yard If there are not already trees growing in your yard near windows that get direct sunlight during the day, consider heading to your local nursery and picking out a few deciduous trees to plant. While deciduous trees are full of leaves during the summer to keep your home naturally cool, they tend to lose their leaves in the winter months so your home can soak up the sun’s heat for easy temperature management indoors. Trees can even increase your property’s value by up to 20 percent, and they will surely improve your home’s curb appeal overall.   Have Your Generator Serviced You never know what the winter months will bring, so it’s essential to have a source of backup power in case the power grid goes down due to a storm. If you don’t have a generator, consider investing in a model that will at least keep your lights and fridge running in case of a power outage. You should have your generator serviced once a year sometime during the weeks leading up to winter to ensure that it will perform properly if it’s needed during an emergency. Your service provider will check the coils, oil chamber, and power source so repairs or replacements can be made before any serious problems arise. The filters will also be cleaned, and the starter primed to ensure that the generator starts up on the first try when it’s pulled out for use in cold weather. These ideas work well in combination with one another and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg or a lot of extra time to put into place.  For more information, contact companies like Powell’s Electric Service,...

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How To Become A Journeyman Electrician

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Become A Journeyman Electrician

Every state has slightly different requirements for becoming a master electrician. There are also many different ways to go about achieving your license. Every electrician might end up taking a slightly different path to a career as a licensed electrician. In some states you are required to attend vocational or trade schools, while other states only require a certain amount of work experience as an apprentice or trainee. In some states you will even need to do a combination of both. This article will explain why trade schools should not be overlooked. Becoming a Journeyman The path to becoming a licensed or master (these terms mean the same thing, but the terminology does change from region to region) electrician is long and takes some planning. This is why it is a good idea to set a personal goal to becoming a journeyman electrician. This is the last big step before becoming a master electrician. Here are a few different approaches to becoming a journeyman electrician. Get A Formal Education In many states you can get a contractor (like Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati) to vouch for your experience. This a common way to bypass trade schools and become earn a journeyman license based on informal work experience. However, this is not an advisable path if you want to go on to become a master electrician. At a trade school you will learn valuable information, especially in relationship to electric building codes, that will be invaluable when it comes to taking the journeyman test. Trade schools also introduce you to all of the different disciplines and possible paths you can take within the field. Of course, some electricians have very specific areas of expertise. You might find some disciplines more interesting than others. For instance, you might not be interested in residential electric work, but you might find commercial work more interesting. It is important you just a discipline that intrigues you because you will need to repeatedly take tests throughout the years to maintain your license and stay up to date with current technologies. As a master electrician, you stand the chance of earning the best pay. However, this path will take some patience and hard work. Many electricians are satisfied and make enough money as journeyman electricians. As a master electrician though, you are able to set yourself up to be a project manager. This a great position for your later years when you have an advanced knowledge of the discipline but are unable to handle the physical work on a daily...

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2 Common Signs Of Electrical Wiring Problems

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Common Signs Of Electrical Wiring Problems

Home electrical systems are usually installed according to strict building codes in order to ensure safety. Unfortunately, problems with wiring emerge with time as outlets become ungrounded, wires fray or connections get loose. This can lead to a host of problems, including short circuits, fires or damaged appliances. To protect your family from such electrical problems, it is important that you learn the signs of faulty wiring so you can have the problem fixed early on. Here are two common indicators of faulty wiring that need immediate repairs. Breakers that constantly trip If your circuit breakers are constantly tripping, this could be a sign that your system is overloaded, mostly due to the use of too many high amp appliances. If the total amps in your electrical circuit are more than your circuit breaker rating, there are bound to be frequent problems that can only be solved by having the breaker replaced with a new one that has a higher rating. However, this should be done by a certified home electrician, as installing a new breaker without upgrading the wiring could cause overheating and make your home prone to electrical fires. The electrician could also check for short circuits that could be causing the breakers to trip. By testing the amount of amp load on your circuit, the electrician can determine whether your current appliances should be overloading the breakers. If not, this would indicate a short in the circuit that could be caused by loose connections or frayed wiring. Sparking or shocking outlets and switches Faulty wiring or loose connections within switches and outlets could cause them to produce sparks when turned on or when appliances are plugged in. This could cause the outlet to get charred, discolored or even produce a burning smell. Any such occurrences are signs of potential danger and should be looked into by an electrician immediately. Replacing the faulty outlet or switch is part of the solution, but the permanent fix would be to have any faulty wiring that is causing the short replaced. Another indicator that something is wrong is slight shocking on an outlet. This could mean that an appliance plugged in is causing a short, or that a frayed wire is shorting out to the conduit enclosing the wires. If the shocking continues after unplugging all items from the receptacle, turn off your breaker and call in an electrician to examine the wiring near or inside the outlet for...

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6 Signs You May Need A New Furnace

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Signs You May Need A New Furnace

The last thing you want to do in the middle of winter is to have your furnace quit suddenly. Losing your furnace during the cold season is a disaster that carries serious ramifications. Once you lose the source of heating in your home, your water pipes are in danger of freezing, even as fast as overnight. To help figure out if you should start thinking about replacing your furnace before your old one gives out, follow these six simple steps. 1. Determine how old your furnace is. A furnace can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. After that, it’s living on borrowed time. One way to figure out the age of your furnace is to find the manufacturer’s name and model number on the unit itself. Try calling the company, and they might be able to tell you when that particular model was made. Your HVAC maintenance person may also be able to tell you just by looking at it. 2. Consider your heating bills. Have they been rising even higher than standard rate increases? The reason may be because your furnace is getting sluggish. Older furnaces tend to lose efficiency as they get older. Moreover, they started out with much lower efficiency than most new furnaces. Their lack of efficiency translates to higher fuel bills for you. Furnaces today are built to be more energy efficient than their predecessors. With a new high-efficiency furnace, the energy savings you’ll realize in your bills will offset the purchase price over time. 3. Pay attention to how much your furnace cycles on and off. This is another good indication that the furnace may be struggling to keep up with your home’s heating needs. The fact that it keeps going on and off itself can cause excess wear and tear that will shorten your furnace’s lifespan. 4. Is your furnace “talking” to you? Specifically, is it groaning, moaning, creaking, whining, rattling or humming? A furnace that is operating efficiently doesn’t do this. If your furnace is constantly complaining, it’s probably time to talk to an HVAC technician about possibly getting a new furnace. 5. Examine the areas around your furnace. If there’s evidence of fuel oil leakage, soot, black dust, dirt, rust particles or any other debris, you may need a furnace replacement. If you spot wet oil, call an HVAC person immediately, because there could be a fire hazard as well. 6. Finally, if you’ve recently built an addition to your home, this puts extra strain on your furnace. Even if you converted an existing garage or storage area into a living area, your furnace may struggle to heat the extra square footage. Remember that furnaces are chosen to fit the original size of the house. If you’ve added to the furnace’s workload, it will feel the strain. The best time to find out if you might need a furnace replacement in the near future is before you have a furnace emergency. Consider these tips today to find out if you should start shopping tomorrow, or call companies like Allied Mechanical & Electrical,...

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