4 Signs Of Home Electrical Problems

Posted by on 10:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Signs Of Home Electrical Problems

As a homeowner, you may not think about your electrical system at all until there is a problem. If you have an older home or problematic wiring, though, it’s important to pay attention since electrical problems can quickly turn into a dangerous fire hazard. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, an average 51,000 electrical house fires occur every year. Luckily, there are clear signs of electrical problems at home if you know what to look out for: Electrical Shocks It’s normal in the winter to sometimes shock yourself when you touch an appliance, especially after walking across carpet, as this is a typical side effect of static energy. If you frequently shock yourself at home, however, and this happens regardless of the time of year, you may have a more serious problem on your hands. Frequent electrical shocks are often related to a grounding problem or loose wiring. Call an electrician to check things out, and in the meantime, try wearing rubber-soled shoes at home as a safety precaution and to save yourself the annoyance of being shocked regularly. Flickering Lights Sometimes a flickering light just means you need a new lightbulb or the light itself needs repaired. On the other hand, if  lights throughout your home flicker and dim frequently, especially when you plug in an appliance, it may be a sign you are overloading your electrical system. If your home is older and has the original electrical wiring, it may not be set up to handle today’s modern electrical needs. In this case, you may need to have your electrical system upgraded and modernized. Scorch Marks on Outlets If any of your electrical outlets are hot to the touch and have scorch marks, it’s a sign that you have bad wiring, at least near those particular outlets. An electrician will need to determine the extent of the wiring problem and suggest the best course of action. Frequently Tripping Circuits Having to constantly go reset your circuits is annoying and time-consuming, but it’s also a sign that you have electrical problems. Like flickering lights, frequently tripping circuits can be a sign that your electrical system is overloaded, possibly because it’s outdated and needs to be upgraded. If you notice any of these things occurring in your home, it’s time to call a qualified electrician. They will be able to determine the cause of the issue and make repairs before it becomes more...

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How To Add An Electrical Outlet For A Stair Glide Chair Lift

Posted by on 9:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Add An Electrical Outlet For A Stair Glide Chair Lift

If you intend to install a chair lift for a loved one who can no longer ascend or descend stairs unassisted, you’ll need an electrical outlet within ten feet of the upper or lower end to power the lift. Even if you use a battery operated chair lift, you’ll need an outlet to recharge the battery. Luckily, you don’t need a dedicated outlet, because these units will not require a separate or higher powered line. You can wire an outlet from an existing outlet that is just out of range for use with the chair lift. Here’s what you’ll need An outlet, outlet box, and cover plate  The outlet will be placed inside the outlet box, which fits inside the wall. Purchase an outlet box that has an upper and lower screw for attaching the box inside the wall, not the type with two sideways nails for attaching to a wall stud. The cover plate will hide the outlet from view. Wire  You’ll need fourteen gauge wire for a fifteen amp line and twelve gauge wire for a twenty amp line. Check the breaker that controls the line for the amp rating. The wire you will need will be in a three wire bundle, with a hot wire, a neutral wire, and a grounding wire inside a plastic sheath. Determining the length of wire needed will require measuring the distance from the existing outlet to the location of the new outlet. Add a few feet for connection purposes and for compensating for a possible indirect pathway between outlets.If you’re connected to a close existing outlet, a twenty five foot roll of wire will suffice. Wire cutter/ stripper tool Screwdrivers (flat and philips head) Pry bar Utility knife Preparing to install the outlet Place the open end of the outlet box against the wall in its intended location, and trace an outline of the box. Cut along the trace mark with a utility knife until the rectangle of drywall can be removed. You will need to use a pry bar to remove the bottom molding along the drywall between the existing outlet and the proposed outlet to run wire. When the molding is removed you can begin the connection of the outlets. Connecting the outlets First, turn off the breaker to the existing outlet. If its not marked on the breaker box, plug something into the outlet and flip breakers individually until power is turned off to the outlet. Remove the center screw holding the cover plate, then the upper and lower screws that attach the outlet to the outlet box. Pull the outlet from the wall. Remove the outlet box by loosening the upper and lower diagonally placed screws until the box can be pulled from the wall. Knock out one of the lower punch out tabs on the back of the outlet box, then place the box back inside the wall, tightening the screws until it is secure. Begin feeding the sheath of wire through the punch out hole in the outlet box until you reach the floor. If there is no gap between drywall and floor, cut a small hole in the drywall at floor level so the wire sheath can be pulled through. Feed the wire gradually as you pull it along the wall from which...

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Three Things You Need To Know About Extension Cord Safety

Posted by on 2:47 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things You Need To Know About Extension Cord Safety

Now that autumn is in full swing and the holidays are on the horizon, homeowners are beginning to decorate both the inside and outside of their homes to match the spirit of the season. This often means using extension cords for things like exterior lighting, but many people also use extension cords indoors, but this isn’t always the best practice. Extension cords are meant to be used temporarily instead of acting as solutions for inadequate household electrical wiring. Following are three extension cord safety tips that you need to know. Inspect Extension Cords Thoroughly Before Using Whether the extension cord you’re about to use is new or an old standby that comes out of the drawer every year for seasonal use, be sure to inspect it thoroughly before plugging it in. Look for cracks, loose or frayed wires, and loose connections, and replace any cords that show these obvious signs of damage. Check all cords periodically after you plug them in to make sure they don’t feel hot to the touch — if they do, discontinue their use immediately. Use the Right Cord for the Job Don’t use an indoor cord to do an outdoor job. If you’re placing holiday lights on and around your home, be sure to use a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord designed to stand up to outdoor weather conditions and heavy usage. You should never allow outdoor extension cords to lie in standing water or snow. Look for the wattage rating on the object that you’re planning to power with an extension cord and use a cord with the same or higher wattage rating. You should also never use an extension cord to power space heaters. Always Purchase Quality Cords Extension cords and other electrical products aren’t the place to cut costs. Faulty electrical products have been on the market for years and are usually available from dollar stores and other discount retailers. Even when you buy an extension cord from a reputable home and garden retailer or other trusted outlet, always make sure that the cord has been approved by a testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Approved products will carry the UL’s trademark red log consisting of the initials UL inside a circle. If you find yourself using extension cords indoors on a regular basis, that’s probably a sign that you need to contact your local electrician to determine whether your home’s electrical system needs an...

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How To Add An Electric Line For Your Christmas Tree

Posted by on 10:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Add An Electric Line For Your Christmas Tree

If you’re afraid of tripping a circuit breaker every time you turn on the lights to your Christmas tree, you can add an additional circuit, as long as there’s an available slot in your circuit box.  What you will need: A 15 amp circuit breaker. You must buy a breaker that fits into your breaker box, so check the manufacturer of the box and buy the same brand or an aftermarket equivalent. An outlet, outlet box, and cover plate for the outlet. Buy an outlet box for additions to existing construction, with finished walls and floors. The appropriate box will have an upper and lower attachment screw, to which plastic flaps are attached that secure the box inside your wall. Don’t purchase an outlet for new construction, which has two nails for attachment, and is designed to be nailed from the side into wall studs in unfinished walls. Electric wire. You will need a three wire sheath of 14 gauge wire for this project. Measure the distance from the breaker box to the proposed location of the outlet, then add several feet to the measurement to determine the length needed. Wire cutter/stripper tool Utility knife and keyhole saw Drill with 12′” long and 3/8″ diameter bit 3/4″ plastic electrical cable staples You’ll need a hammer for the staples.  Running the wire to the breaker box Basement breaker box. Begin by tracing the outline of the opening of the outlet box on the wall, then cut out the resulting rectangle with the utility knife or keyhole saw. Assuming that your new outlet will be placed near floor level to power your Christmas tree lights, you will then place the drill bit inside the hole in the wall as vertically as possible.  You will then drill through the floor and the basement ceiling until you feel no more resistance. Move the bit in small circles as it rotates to enlarge the holes slightly. Begin to feed the wire sheath slowly into the hole in the floor and then the second hole in the basement ceiling. It may take a few attempts, because the holes are drilled at a slight angle. When the wire is through the lower ceiling, go to the basement and begin to pull it toward the breaker box. Ground floor breaker box. If your breaker box is on the same floor as the new outlet, you will need to remove the floor molding from the wall and run the wire behind it. You only need to remove the molding from the area below the breaker box to the location of the new outlet. When the molding is removed (don’t be shocked at the accumulated dirt behind it), you will cut out a small horizontal slot of drywall at floor level below the breaker box. Cut another small hole beside the breaker box, and begin to feed the wire into the upper hole until it reaches the floor slot. Pull the wire sheath through the floor slot and along the walls from which the molding has been removed. When the wire sheath reaches the location of your new outlet, pull several inches of wire through the pre-cut outlet hole. You will then begin to replace the molding as you push the wire under the gap in the bottom of the drywall. you may need to...

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Interior Lighting Fluctuations: Three Potential Causes

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When your home’s interior lights dim, no matter how briefly, it can be a cause for concern. With the complexity of electrical systems, it can be tough to determine the source of the problem. It’s important that you don’t dismiss it, though, because some of the things that can cause this may be serious electrical problems. If you’re noticing this kind of behavior from your lights on a regular basis, you’ll need to determine the cause as soon as possible. Here are a few of the common causes of dimming lights. Outside Power Issues Sometimes, fluctuations in your lights can be the result of variations in the power supply coming into your home. If your local power supplier is experiencing a problem at the power plant, it could cause power surges in the house. This can be a cause for the flickering and dimming of the lights. Many electricians will start their troubleshooting by reaching out to the local power company to see if they’ve experienced any anomalies with the power supply in the area. This can often save a lot of further troubleshooting. Old Wiring The older the wiring in your home, the greater the risk you’ll have of problems like this. Some homes may still have their original wiring in place many years after construction. Those older electrical panels and wiring structures just weren’t designed to hold up to the electrical demand that we put on things now. From multiple household appliances to electronic device chargers, computers and all kinds of other electronics, there’s a lot of draw on your household electrical system on a regular basis. If you’re seeing fluctuations in power such as dimming lights, that means you may have old wiring that is struggling to keep up. Since old wiring can increase your risk of electrical fires, it’s important to address this with an electrician right away. Loose Wiring Connections Even new wiring can cause dimming like this if the wires aren’t properly connected at the fuse box or electrical panel. Sometimes, a loose connection will cause a brief interruption in the power flow, which can lead to dimming of the lights. Luckily, this is a fairly easy repair. If you’re comfortable working with the electrical panel, just shut off the breakers, including the main breaker, pull the panel forward and tighten all of the wires. If you’re not confident in your electrical repair skills, you may want to have a licensed electrician, like Advantage Electric, do the work for you to be...

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Keep Wires In Your Home Neat And Organized With These 3 Ideas

Posted by on 8:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Wires In Your Home Neat And Organized With These 3 Ideas

If you are like many home owners, you deal with a lot of cords on a regular basis. From appliances to electronic devices, you are likely plugging in and unplugging multiple cords a day. That can lead to a disorganized, unsightly, tangled mess of cords in your home. Here are some things you can do to keep your cords untangled, neat and organized. Use Bread Twist Ties and Clips If you’ve ever bought a loaf of bread before, you may have noticed the little twist ties that come with each loaf that help you keep the bag closed. When you’re done with the bread, instead of throwing the twist tie away with the bag, hold on to it and use them for your cords organized. You can wrap a twist tie around a particular cord so that you know which appliance is plugged into the wall, for instance. If you wrap a red twist tie around your laptop cord, you won’t have to spend time trying to distinguish it from the other cords when you’re ready to unplug it and take your laptop on the road with you. If your bread comes with clips instead of twist ties, you can use those as well. You can even use a marker to describe the cord so you know what it’s for at a glance. Use Paper Towel Rolls to Conceal Wires In an effort to keep wires hidden and out of sight, you can use paper towel rolls. Simply insert appliance or device wires into the empty tube and plug them into the wall. Keeping them in the empty rolls will help you avoid looking at a mass of wires. If you’d rather conceal the rolls too, opt to use wrapping paper rolls that still have a bit of decorative paper on them. Have Additional Electrical Outlets Installed Another idea which may help you to keep your wires organized and neat is to put in more electrical outlets. Doing so will ensure that you don’t overload existing outlets with too many plugs. Overloading your outlets can put your home at risk for electrical problems or even a fire, so contact an electrician to install more outlets around your home. Now that you have some ideas that will help you with your wires, use the information laid out above to help you tame the wires and avoid mess and danger with electricity in your house. Talk to your electrician for more suggestions. For a professional electrician, contact a company such as Dunedin Electric Co.,...

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Avoid Scary Electrical Problems At Halloween

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Halloween is just around the corner, and lights and displays are going up in yards all over the country! Halloween may be fun, but it can also be a scary time for homeowners who neglect safety concerns with their outdoor electrical Halloween displays. These tips will help you avoid accidents and electrical fires during this spooky time of year. Install Covered GFCI Outlet Boxes GFCI stands for “ground fault circuit interrupter.” GFCI outlets can sense changes between the input and output of electrical current running through a circuit. When the input and output become imbalanced for whatever reason, the GFCI outlet shuts down the flow of electricity. These devices help prevent electrical shock and are critically important for outdoor electrical safety. Many older homes don’t have GFCI outlets indoors or outdoors. If your outdoor outlets aren’t GFCI outlets, have them replaced by a certified, experienced electrician. Talk with a place like Royal Plus Electric for more information. Protect Your Cords from Lawn Care People If your Halloween display includes electronic ghouls and strobe lights on the ground, your yard could have extension cords running along the grass in every direction. Be sure to show your lawn people where the extension cords are to avoid accidents with the lawn mower. If possible, keep the extension cords near your home and away from the middle of your yard. If you must run an extension cord through the middle of the lawn, use extension cord covers for extra protection. Use Outdoor Grade Extension Cords The difference between outdoor grade extension cords and indoor grade extension cords is that outdoor extension cords have extra insulation for greater protection from moisture, temperature changes, and UV rays. They’ll hold up better in your yard and that can protect you and your family members from possible electrocution. Use Outdoor Grade Decorations Strobe lights, fog machines, and other accessories meant for indoor use just aren’t safe to use outside. Water that leaks into the internal parts of these electronic devices can result in electric shock for anyone who touches them. If you must use indoor accessories for your outdoor Halloween displays, use them under surveillance on Halloween night only. Be sure to turn off any outdoor sprinkler systems during this time, and don’t use indoor grade electronic devices if there’s threat of rain or dew. Following these tips can help you have a fun and safe Halloween. For more information about how you can set up a safe electronic Halloween display in your yard, talk to an...

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How To Replace An Overhead Bulb Socket With A Fluorescent Light

Posted by on 8:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Replace An Overhead Bulb Socket With A Fluorescent Light

Your workshop area may suffer from overhead light deprivation if you are using a ceiling light fixture with a light bulb. A fluorescent light will provide a much brighter and widespread light source. Switching out the existing light fixture for a fluorescent shop light is relatively easy, and requires only a few simple tools and supplies. If you are able to perform a simple electrical task without fear, you can get the job done in less than an hour. What you will need: Fluorescent light fixture. A simple four foot long model is sufficient. Because you are installing it in place of a surface mounted light fixture, you will need to buy a fluorescent fixture with a plastic cover, rather than a bare bulb model designed to be installed inside the ceiling. Be sure to buy the correct bulbs to match your fluorescent light fixture. T-12 bulbs are the wider fluorescent bulbs that are used in many commercial and professional buildings. T-8 bulbs are narrower and more energy efficient, but also more expensive. Check the packaging on this light fixture for the proper size bulbs. Wire nuts and electrical tape. You will need these items to connect the power wires to your new light fixture. Screwdriver or drill with Phillips head screw chuck. This will be used to remove the existing fixture and install the fluorescent light. While you can easily use a screwdriver to remove the old light, a drill would be helpful when screwing your new light into the ceiling. It is very difficult to hold the light fixture while attempting to install screws overhead with a screwdriver. Removing the existing light fixture The most important part of the entire task is to turn off the circuit breaker that controls the flow of power to the overhead light. if you’re unsure which breaker is the correct one, turn the light on and turn off breakers individually until the light goes out. Using your screwdriver or drill, remove the two screws that are holding the existing light in place. Hold the fixture when loosening the screws, so it doesn’t fall suddenly and hit you in the head. Beware of dust and debris that may be inhaled or get into your eyes. You may choose to use a dust mask and safety glasses when removing the old light fixture. Lower the light until it dangles by the power wires from the ceiling. Remove the black electrical tape and the wire nuts that are covering the connected wires. The wire nuts, which resemble the caps of toothpaste tubes, can be twisted counterclockwise to be removed. When both tape and wire nuts are removed, untwist the joined wires and lower the light fixture to the floor. Installing the fluorescent light fixture The fixture will have a detachable plate between the outer bulb area and the enclosed top, to protect the wiring from being exposed. This metal plate is usually slotted and can be slid or squeezed to remove it.  In the center of the top portion of the light fixture, you will see a large round opening for the ceiling wires to enter. Pull the wires through this opening and push the light fixture against the ceiling. You will see two smaller holes that are equally distant from the center hole. Using your drill and screw...

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5 Creative Ways To Hide Or Make Use Of Excess Electrical Cords

Posted by on 7:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Creative Ways To Hide Or Make Use Of Excess Electrical Cords

Electrical cords just lying around can be a huge eyesore, but they don’t have to be. Here are a few ideas that you can implement to either hide the cords or make good, decorative use of your wires. 1. Hide the Cords in Trim Work. If you have your flat-screen television placed above your fireplace, you probably have cords going a little bit each way. These aren’t pretty and can often take away from the aesthetics of the rest of the room. To hide those unsightly cords, consider building onto the existing fireplace and mantel. This post shows how some added trim work can create a gorgeous backdrop for the flat-screen TV while also hiding the electrical cords. 2. Use Those Cords to Create a City Skyline. One of the most gorgeous things in the world is seeing the skyline of a big city. Even if you don’t live in the city or don’t want to opt for a framed piece of art on the wall, you can still have this in your home. You’ll need to use your imagination a bit or get a picture of your favorite skyline, such as Chicago or New York City. Although it looks great on a white industrial wall, it could look fantastic on any colored wall and in any room. To do this, though, you’ll need to make sure that you have an extra-long cord and a decent-sized wall. 3. Write a Message with Your Cords. While the skyline is pretty impressive, you don’t have to go all out in order to create a good look in the home with your cords. In fact, you can use the wires to simply write a message, such as “I love you,” or a word, such as laugh or hey. It can help add a personal feel to the space while making perfect use of the once-unsightly cords. 4. Create an Electronic Vine. If you haven’t been impressed so far, this one will probably get your mind kicking a bit. You can use stickers or clip-on decals to turn your electronic cords into leafy vines. The clip-ons, which can be found in bird and leaf shapes, help the cord stay in place while adding a decorative feel. You could even get leaf and petal/flower stickers to create a flower out of the cord. 5. Create a Line for Photos or Birds. Another option is to use the cord straight across the wall or in unique shapes and then “hang” photos on them. You can use clothespins to attach the pictures to the cord to create a unique look. If you don’t want to hang photos, you could consider getting some bird stickers or decals and placing them so that it looks as if they are sitting on the “wire.” With a little bit of imagination, you can come up with a ton of ideas to make use of that excess cord without it looking silly or making the space appear ugly. If you need help hooking up your lights, lamps, or other electrical items, you’ll want to speak to an...

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Radiant Electric Floor Heating Systems: The Pros & Cons

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Are you tired of the noise coming from the blower to your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? You may want to consider investing in a radiant electric floor heat system, as it comes with many benefits. Find out in this article about the pros and cons of radiant electric floor heating, as well as what an electrician might charge to install the system. What are the Pros of Radiant Electric Floor Heating? One of the pros of a radiant electric floor heating system is that there is no need for a noisy blower. You will actually not have any air coming out of the vents, because the heat is generated via a series of tubes under the flooring materials. Basically, the tubes are attached to mats that can be placed in one or multiple rooms. The mats will be wired to circuit breakers for safety, so the breakers can trip if there is a problem with the wiring after installation. Another pro is that you won’t have to worry about allergens circulating through air vents when the heat is on. An HVAC system sends a lot of air through the vents via the blower, which can cause allergy flare-ups if there is a lot of dust, rodent droppings or mold in the vents. You should also consider radiant electric floor heating if you have tiled floors in your home. The heat will prevent you from having to walk on cold floors, especially in the winter. Heated floors can retain heat long after the system is off. Are there any Cons to Consider? One of the cons is that although radiant electric floor heating systems are able to retain heat for a while after being turned off, it takes a while for a room or house to heat up when turned on. Rather than a large amount of heat blowing out of vents as with an HVAC system, the heat will slowly rise out of the floor. You should also consider that a floor heating system can be expensive to install if you already have flooring materials. For instance, the floors will have to be removed and reinstalled in order for floor heating to be installed. You can expect an electrician to charge $30 to $100 or more per hour to install your radiant heating system, depending on the complexity of the task. Invest in a floor heating system and contact an electrician to install it as soon as...

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