Keeping My Home Safe For My Kids

How To Stop Overloading Your Circuits

Everything was fine until you tried to run your clothes dryer and pop popcorn in the microwave at the same time. When you did, the lights went out in the kitchen. If you are continually blowing a fuse or causing your circuit breaker to flip, you may need an electrical upgrade. First, you can try to reduce the load on your fuse box. If that doesn’t work, you can have additional circuits added.  Track the Circuits When you have problems with overloading the circuits, you need to find out which circuit is being overused. Check your fuse box to find out which breaker switched off and then read the label. If your box was set up and maintained correctly, each circuit should be properly labeled such as “laundry room and kitchen,” “bathroom and bedroom 1,” etc. If “laundry room and kitchen” is the culprit, take a look at how many electrical items are in use in those rooms and figure out what can be plugged into another circuit. If your breakers and fuses are not labeled, you need to discover which circuit goes to which room or rooms. You can switch off each circuit one by one and note which areas go dark. Mark the sites in the fuse box with a permanent marker.  New Circuit In some instances, you might have added new appliances to your home that your current circuits just cannot handle. You may need to add a new circuit to your house. Before you have an electrician perform that task, you should do a load calculation to see if your electrical panel is able to handle that addition. You cannot just add up the amperage that your panel is officially able to carry. You need to calculate the average amperage you are using in your system. You can estimate this load by using an online calculator. You will need to enter all the electricity used by the appliances and lights in your home.  Experts suggest that you keep your electrical load below 80% of the maximum amps your system will allow. If you can add a new circuit while staying in these guidelines, go ahead and have an electrician perform the task for you.  They can even add a circuit dedicated to one appliance such as your new, powerful washer.  When you have problems with your circuit breakers flipping off, or you keep blowing fuses, you […]

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What Can You Do When Your Light Sockets Keep Burning Through Bulbs?

Light bulbs are relatively cheap and fragile, and a few prematurely burnt-out bulbs can often be attributed to simple bad luck. But if you start noticing a pattern of one, two or even all of your light sockets going through bulbs faster than they should, you may be facing an electrical issue that should be resolved both for your own safety and for your budget. These four steps will help walk you through the process of finding and fixing the problem with your light socket. Correctly Screwing in a Light Bulb It may sound like the start of a bad joke, but it is possible to incorrectly install a light bulb and many people are not aware of their own bad habits. Screwing the bulb in too tightly compresses and may even break a small tab located along its bottom, which can begin conducting electricity inappropriately and destroy the bulb over a much shorter-than-normal lifespan. When you install your bulbs, twist them gently into place until the bulb is snug but still able to twist and wiggle slightly.  Checking the Flow of Electricity to Your Sockets and Outlets In some cases, your bulbs may be burning out because they are receiving more electricity than they are designed to handle. Most modern homes and appliances in the United States follow a 120V system, but that number is more of an estimate than a precise figure, and your home’s electrical system may be carrying a significantly stronger signal. You can check this by using an electric meter on an outlet in the room with the offending socket, following all safety protocols in the process. If the reading comes back higher than 120 volts, it is likely the reason your fragile bulbs keep burning out. A professional electrician will be able to help you get your power flow back under control.  Testing the Consistency of Your Power Flow Bad wiring is typically a lazy response to any electric problem, but it may actually be the culprit behind your faulty sockets. Loose wires have more difficulty regulating the flow of electricity, allowing brief surges followed by periods of relative inactivity. Larger appliances can handle these minor variations, but they put too much stress on individual light bulbs and can lead to rapid failure. If you notice that the problem only affects one socket, or if the light has a tendency to flicker, this may […]

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Helpful Information About Electrical Arcing In A Building

Are you puzzled as to why the electronics in your business always need repairs or to be replaced? The root of the problem may be in relation to what is called electrical arcing, which requires fast attention from an electrician because your building might catch on fire if not. Take a look at the article below for helpful information about electrical arcing so you will know the importance of getting the problem fixed.  What is Electrical Arcing? When arcing takes place, it is due to electricity flowing through the wires the wrong way. For instance, rather than flowing through the wires and going directly through the outlets to power your electronics up, electricity jumps between conductors. Basically, jumping between conductors leads to a high amount of volts that causes the wires to overheat. The overheated wires can then cause the electronics in your business to short-circuit and need frequent repairs or replacements. One of the common types of damage that arcing can cause is melted power cords that are plugged inside of outlets. What Causes Electrical Arcing to Happen? There are various things that can cause electrical arcing to happen, such as if your business is conducted in an old building that has bad wiring. For instance, the wires may not have been replaced in a long time and have become frayed. Even if the wires are not damaged, they might not be sufficient enough to handle the power of modern electronics. Another thing that leads to electrical arcing is small wires in outlets. The only way to know what is causing the problem is to hire an electrician to perform an inspection. What Kind of Repair Might Be Required for Electrical Arcing? If the outlets have damaged or small wires that are unable to handle your electrical equipment, an electrician will simply have to rewire them. He or she might only need to rewire a few of the outlets if they are the only ones that are affected by electrical arcing, but in the worst case scenario, you will need to get the entire building rewired for handling modern power demands. The electrical panel might need to undergo an upgrade, especially if it has never undergone one before and the building is old. Consider getting an electrical sub-panel installed as well. Make an appointment with an electrician (such as one from Sun Coast Electric & Networking Inc) as soon as you […]

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The Best Benefits Of A Standby Generator For Homeowners

Power outages can cause a lot of costly problems in the average home, even more so if the outage lasts for more than a week due to severe storm damage to power lines and associated electrical equipment like transformers. For some homeowners, the need for uninterrupted power is great because of their dependency on medical equipment like oxygen machines. You may have a home business that would suffer down time and profit losses from a power loss. No matter what your vital need is for having an uninterrupted power supply, learning more about how you can maintain power with a standby home generator is important. Standby Generators Are Designed For Smooth Change-Overs If you have ever had to wait for power lines to be repaired before you can turn on the lights, you know how long it can take. This is especially true in areas that have suffered severe storm damage. For many people, a severe storm during the winter can mean more than just loss of lights, but the loss of heat sources as well. With a standby home generator, you never have to worry about power interruptions because they are designed to automatically come on when power lines fail. If you have a generator that kicks on as soon as lines fail, you never have to worry about: Food and medication loss because your refrigerator is off The loss of power to medical devices like oxygen machines Data loss on your home business computer Pipes freezing and bursting because your house is cold If you wonder about a generator being too small or too large for your home, you should know that several sizes are available for you to choose from. You can also have one installed for powering only certain parts of your home, a great benefit if you have areas like guest bedrooms or baths that do not require constant power supply. Money Savings With Superior Power Surge Protection Today’s standby home generators are design to disconnect your home from power line supplies during an outage so that when electricity is restored to them, your home’s electronics do not suffer damage from surges. When the power is restored, your standby generator will not re-connect your home until voltages become safely stabilized, a huge benefit if you have a lot of money invested in home computer equipment and home entertainment electronic devices. Having a standby home generator […]

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Simple Ways You Can Ensure Your Generator Has A Long Life

Regardless of how heavily your generator gets used each time you pull it out of storage there are certain practices you should be following. Not only will good upkeep and usage practices help prolong your generator’s life expectancy but they’ll also help ensure you get the best possible performance from it each time you use it. Further, good maintenance practices will also prevent catastrophic break-downs and potentially dangerous failures. Best Practices for Periods of Downtime There are certain behaviors you need to make a part of your regular habits when dealing with your generator. One of the most important is removing any fuel from the tank before storing the device, as gasoline can contain sediment which will settle out during storage. Draining the tank will help prevent this particulate from clogging your fuel line and preventing a clean start. Even if you’re unlikely to use it for a while, a few simple checks can tell you whether or not you’re ready for a storm. Just fueling it up and letting it run for 20 minutes can often be enough, and feeding power to a device will tell you if it’s producing electricity. If either of these aren’t the case it’s a good idea to have your generator looked at by a small engine mechanic or generator contractor. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have your generator  serviced prior to a big project or the beginning of severe weather season to check for potential problems before they come up. Maintenance During Operation Before running your generator for a long period make sure you’ve stocked up on oil, oil filters and fuel. This will help you avoid making a mad dash to the store at the last minute, such as during a major renovation or in the middle of a severe storm. It’s also a good idea to make sure your generator is grounded prior to beginning operation, especially if you’re using it during severe weather conditions. You can do this by sinking a steel rod into the ground and securing a chain around the base of your generator. During refueling, make sure you shut down your generator completely and allow it to cool. This will help you avoid potential flare ups in the event you spill or splash while pouring. You should also be ready to change your oil and filter based on your generator’s manual. For most generators that works […]

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What Are The Signs That Your Home Needs An Electrical Panel Upgrade?

Your home’s electrical panel supplies the electrical service to your home. The maximum amperage of the electrical panel is the maximum amount of power that your home can draw for its lights, appliances and other electrical devices. Although modern homes often have a maximum electrical service of 200 amps, older homes can have far less, because in years past many households had less need for electricity. If your home’s maximum amperage is not enough to meet your electrical needs, you’ll notice warning signs that indicate the need for an upgrade. What are the signs that your home needs an electrical panel upgrade? Flickering or dimming lights. If your lights flicker or dim when appliances turn on, this is a sign that the electrical devices in your home are competing with one another for electricity. Your circuit breakers trip constantly. Your home should not trip the circuit breakers on a regular basis. If this happens multiple times in a week or a month, this is a sign that you need an upgrade. Your electrical panel makes crackling or buzzing noises, or shows other signs of distress. Your electrical panel should run silently and smoothly. Noises, smells and signs of corrosion or fire are all red flags that indicate your panel needs an upgrade right away. What could happen if you don’t get an electrical upgrade? If you fail to get an electrical upgrade, you’ll continue to experience flickering lights and problems running multiple electrical devices. In addition, there are other problems you could also experience in the future: Insufficient power for a home remodel. Many modern appliances require higher amperage in order to function. If you plan to remodel your home any time in the future, or if you plan to install new appliances in your home, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to proceed with those plans until you’ve upgraded your electrical service. Circuit overload and fire. If your home is drawing too much electricity through your panel box, this could result in a circuit overload and a fire. Although many circuit breakers and fuse boxes are designed to shut down in the event that your electrical devices draw too much power through the circuits, your older panel may no longer be working as it was designed. In addition, if you have a fuse box, there’s always a chance that a previous homeowner replaced a fuse with a […]

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Top Reasons Why Baseboard Heat May Be Right For You

Are your feet always cold when you’re at home? Does it seem like the floor is always freezing, no matter what the temperature on the thermostat says? Even when your furnace is working as efficiently as possible, it can still seem quite cold inside. Fortunately for you, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here are some reasons why installing baseboard heat may be just what you need: Quiet: With old radiator systems, there can be knocking or hissing if the pressure in the system is incorrect. A forced air system has its own set of possible noises that can occur when the system is running. But with baseboard heat there are no fans needed to circulate the warm air. Instead, a baseboard heater takes advantage of the fact that warm air rises and cool air sinks. When on, the heater will warm the cold air near the floor, causing it to rise to the ceiling. Taking advantage of physics like this means that the heaters can be used even when people are trying to sleep. Even heating: If your rooms feel quite warm from the waist up, but cold from your belt downwards, your current heating system obviously doesn’t heat very efficiently. Many homes have the heater vents near the top of a room, with a single centrally located return vent that is also near the ceiling. Unfortunately, filling your rooms with warm air from the top down, and reheating already warm air, can mean that there can be a significant temperature difference between the thermostat on the wall and the floor at your feet. With baseboard heat, you’re not fighting against physics. Instead of heating and reheating the same already-warm air over and over again, the heater will warm the coldest air first. Supplemental heating: Discussion about adding a new heating system to your home usually means that you’ll be ripping out your old furnace and replacing it with a different type. However, for reasons already discussed, this may not actually lead to much improvement. Baseboard heat can be installed throughout your home or just in the areas that need it the most. For example, you may have a picture window that is beautiful to look at, but that also radiates cold in the winter. Installing a baseboard heater beneath the window can help lessen the impact of the uninsulated window, allowing you to enjoy the room once again. For more information, […]

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Put Aside Your DIY Attitude And Call An Electrician For These Three Jobs

Provided you have the right selection of tools and you’ve carefully researched the right way to complete the job, performing some of your own electrical work around the home can be rewarding. Changing an overhead light or replacing an outlet, for example, is something homeowners can often do safely and with a relative degree of ease. While your do-it-yourself attitude can apply to several projects, it shouldn’t always be the answer. Many electrical jobs should require the intervention of a licensed electrician to ensure they’re done not only so they look correct, but also so they’re safe. Here are three of those jobs: Installing A New Wall Outlet The addition of a new wall outlet in a room that you use frequently can add convenience to your life, but this job is best to reserve for a professional. Without the right experience, it can be challenging to mount the new outlet box in the location of your choosing, let alone run wires behind the wall and get the entire job done correctly and tidily. The good news for you is that electricians can often do this work with a great deal of ease, which means the service call won’t be long and it won’t cost you very much money. Pot Light Installation Upgrading an overhead light from a traditional track light to a series of pot lights can improve the look of your kitchen, living room or any other room in your home. Like installing a new wall outlet, this job can be arduous without the proper experience. It involves working above your head, which is always a challenge, and ensuring the pot lights are evenly spaced and perfectly and aligned, all before running wires safely through the ceiling and connecting them to your home’s power. Whether your pot light job is big or small, it’s best to leave in the capable hands of an electrician, who will be able to get the work done correctly. Baseboard Heater Upgrade If you live in a home that’s heated with electric baseboards, upgrading them to high-efficiency models can often reduce your electricity usage. This isn’t a project to tackle on your own. It involves removing the old baseboards, determining the right models to buy and then wiring the new ones into place — all of which can be time-consuming and challenging for you. An electrician will be able to tell you the […]

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2 Easy Lighting Changes to Transform a Your Restaurant

There are a lot of aspects of a restaurant that make it successful as a whole, but when you start breaking things down, the appeal and functionality of the building is easily a prime component. This is especially true when it comes to commercial lighting. Too many restaurant owners put a lot of funding into creating a building that works, but don’t give enough attention to how well it works. Just by making a few key lighting changes in the restaurant that you own, you will see a dramatic difference in not just how well the business can function, but how well it caters to your customers.  Install Mood Lighting in the Dining Area  The dining area is a good place to keep lighting low key, if not in every area, at least in some areas like corner booths or more secluded dining tables for cozy couples. For this reason, it is nice if you have the ability to adjust the lighting in the dining area of your restaurant. By having a commercial electrician install a programmable dimming switchboard and making a few lighting fixture changes, you can offer alterations in available lighting with the touch of a button. This can be useful to cater to customer requests, but also to make the transition from morning service to evening dinner, as dim lighting may not be desirable throughout the day.  Make Changes to the Kitchen Lighting  The kitchen of your restaurant may be in a separate sector of the building, but it is likely visible at some point in the dining or service area. Customers who do get a glimpse of the kitchen will get a good impression if the area appears well-it and clean. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the lighting in the kitchen bright with cool-burning LEDs. These lights distribute radiance evenly to light everything in an equal manner, eliminating shaded ares and shadowing to a degree. Therefore, just the use of LED bulbs can transform the kitchen space in the eyes of a customer. Additionally, cool-burning LEDs mean a better quality light for people cooking in the kitchen.  Before you delve into making giant changes in the way your restaurant building is designed, make sure you take a few minutes to consider small changes that could make big differences like the lighting. Talk to commercial electricians like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc for more information about commercial lighting […]

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How To Install A Ceiling Junction Box For A Light Fixture

If you want to install a ceiling light fixture, you need to install an electrical junction box. The electrical junction box joins the wiring, and helps give the fixture support. Though it would seem simpler to just insert the wires through the drywall, a shortcut such as this could result in fires, or cause the fixture to fall along with part of the ceiling. Here are some tips to install an electrical junction box in the ceiling. Prepare to Install For this task, you need: stud finder voltage tester tool belt safety glasses work gloves ladder drop cloth pencil or painter’s tape electrical cable and connectors 4-inch hole saw and cordless drill center punch mallet junction box Before you begin, check local building codes to ensure you follow the jurisdiction’s wiring guidelines. Lay a drop cloth over the area to catch falling debris from the ceiling. Shut off electricity to the room from the circuit, then test with voltage tester. Mark Location and Cut a Hole Locate a joist in the place where you want to install the fixture with the stud finder, preferably in the center of the room.  Wearing work gloves and safety glasses, climb the ladder carrying supplies in the tool belt, mark the position between joists, not on them, with a pencil or painter’s tape.   Lay the box between the marks, and trace around it. Cut a hole in the drywall along the trace marks with a hole saw attached to the drill, and tuck insulation that falls out of the hole. Attach the Box Set the brace in the opening with the brace feet sitting on the drywall inside the ceiling. Turn the brace legs to the right until you meet resistance, which indicates they are secure with the joists. Don’t make it too tight, or it could damage the ceiling. Locate wiring from the main breaker or a switch, and run it to where you are installing the box. Place the center punch on one of the holes, also called the knockout, and use the mallet to remove it from the box. Feed the cable through the box, and fasten with a cable lock connector. Slide the U-shaped bracket over the bar with the bracket ends pointing to the floor. Insert the cable from the hole into the cable lock, then insert the box on the U-shaped bolt, securing it with the provided […]

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