Thursday, November 1, 2012

Professional Electricians - Home Electrical Fire Safety

Prevent Home Fires With Professional Electrician

Published on by: Mike Daniels

In 2009, almost 45,000 houses across the United States experienced fires resulting from electrical malfunction or failure, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These fires claimed the lives of 472 people, and caused 1.6 billion dollars in property damages. These sobering statistics prove that as a homeowner, you must take action to protect your family and property from sudden demise and destruction resulting from hidden home electrical safety problems.

EXAMPLE: Electrical Fire Prevented

Electrical Fire Risks are quite common in older homes.

This week we handled a residential service call to correct what was close to causing a very serious house fire. A home with a 220v electrical outlet for a dryer, almost 25 years old, had apparently been overheating for quite some time.

The dryer plug-in had begun to melt and become fused to the electrical outlet. (see melted rubber at prong. prong had been cleaned of a coatin gof melted plastic from the receptacle.) The wiring in the junction box had melted insulation (see bulging black wire insulation in lower photo).

For just over $100 we repaired the wiring, repalced the outlet and replaced the dryer's electrical cord. The owner reported having smelled something unusual for several weeks. This problem never tripped a breaker but fortunately caused the dryer to stop working. The home owner discovered the problem when trying to disconnect the electrical cord to service the dryer. This is a common situation in older homes.

Are Your Old Outlets and Wiring Safe

Numerous telltale signs of old outlet and wiring malfunctions usually exist way before an all-encompassing house fire consumes people and possessions. These include regularly blown fuses, tripping breakers, flickering or dimming lights, and a faint burning smell coming from an appliance or kitchen gadget. Other home electrical safety concerns include warm-to-the-touch switch plates, or even discolored switch plates. These occurrences can usually signal overheated wiring that might soon turn into a full-fledged electrical fire.

Additionally, if your home was built in either the 1960s or 1970s, the electricians could have used aluminum wiring in your home, instead of the now-standard copper wiring. This aluminum wiring is a safety hazard in itself due to the fact that its wiring connections can loosen over time. When this happens, gaps between the connectors and the actual wiring can overheat, and cause fires when overextended from constant lighting and appliance use.

Replacing Old Electrical Outlets and Fixtures

Often, homeowners feel confident that they are preventing home electrical fires by simply replacing old outlets. Sometimes changing out outlets does eradicate loose wire terminal and internal connection problems. Old outlets that have partially or completely come out of the receptacle should be immediately replaced, also. However, more often than not, the outlet is not the culprit that initiates house fires. Unfortunately, replacing old electrical outlets and fixtures will only lead you to the conclusion that the problem is inside the walls of your home.

The Danger is Usually Inside Your Walls

Truth be told, if you are were not the first person to own your home, you might find that several different handymen or women tried to fix electrical problems within the walls of your home themselves, instead of hiring a certified electrician. Therefore, you might be stuck with a literal mess of different kinds of wiring pieces and parts. If this is the case, trying to fix the problem yourself would probably only serve to make it worse. It is highly unlikely that you know the ins and outs of several different types of wiring, or have the knowledge on how to correctly replace the wires without burning your house down.

Upgrade for Style and Energy Savings

The first thing many people usually experience after hiring a licensed electrician is massive energy savings. Because the newly repaired and/or redesigned wiring within your walls is no longer overloaded, energy expenditure decreases significantly. Additionally, you will find, like most homeowners, that the new outlet covers you picked out for the home improvement project really give each room's d├ęcor the added boost it so desperately needed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Home Electrical Innovations in 2013

Ways To Reduce Electrical Utility Bills

Published on by: Mike Daniels

Reduce Home Energy Costs Today!

As energy costs continue to skyrocket people are increasingly seeking new ways to reduce home energy costs. One of the first places to start is with your electrical system including fixtures, lighting and electrical controls.

Energy Efficient Home Lighting

When you're ready to take the plunge into using energy efficient home lighting alternatives, you might find yourself quickly overwhelmed. The wide variety of current energy efficient lighting for the home includes both immediate and long-term options that range from mere dollars, to tens of thousands of dollars in price. The key to finding the right mix of energy efficient home lighting is to consider how much you want to spend on the initial investment, how long you will live in your present home, and how much you can potentially save during the life of the home lighting device.

LED Lighting

According to Energy Star, LED lighting, or light-emitting diode lighting, works by casting light and heat in a specific direction. In contrast, fluorescent and incandescent light works by emitting light and heat in all directions. Therefore, LED light bulbs work more efficiently than other types of light bulbs, and are cool to the touch whereas other types of light bulbs can literally burn your skin when left on for several hours. LED lighting is also more durable and long-lasting than either incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs.

Timers and Dimmers

Dimmers are great tools for setting romantic moods, or allowing the whole family to better relax around the TV after a hard day at work or school. However, dimmers can also save on electricity costs during your family's rest and relaxation periods in the late afternoons and evenings. On the other hand, timers allow you to control when the lights in your home go on and off. For example, you can set timers to turn outdoor lights on at dusk and off at dawn. You can also set indoor lights to go off at your family's normal bedtime. Therefore, you save money by not having to worry about turning heavily-used lights on and off throughout the day and night.

Solar Tube Lighting

Solar tubes,unlike skylights, are installed on your roof down with a direct channel to the room you want to naturally light throughout the day. The clear dome on the top of the solar tube lighting captures sunlight during the day, and lights up your room with the free sunlight, instead of charge-by-the-kilowatt electricity. Solar tube lights are generally affordable, easy to install, and can even transmit small amounts of light during cloudy days. Solar tube lighting can help you significantly cut down on daytime energy costs, as you will only need to use the regular lighting in the room once the sun goes down.

Solar Energy Panels

In contrast to solar tube lighting, solar energy panels are quite pricey to install in your home. However, you can get up to 80 percent off of the total price given back to you in federal and state tax rebates. You can also slash your monthly energy costs by up to 50 to 90 percent by having solar energy panels installed along the roof of your entire home. Solar panels are also very easy to maintain, as most owners report only having to clean them of dirt, tree leaves and branches, and other types of fallen debris just once a year.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Lighting Trends in 2013

Stylish and Functional Home Improvements

Published on by: Mike Daniels

Energy Efficient Lighting

One of the top trends in home lighting in 2013 will be upgrading to fixtures and elements that save energy. LED lighting is perfect for lowering indoor energy consumption. Low voltage lighting is ideal for lowering outdoor energy consumption.

LED Lighting

LED Lighting Saves Energy and Produces Better Light Output

LED lighting will provide crisper, brighter lighting and lower energy costs. LED lighting is vastly superior to incandescent lighting and the very unpopular CFL lighting. To provide you with an idea on light output and energy consumption you can ponder this fact; a 7 watt LED light generates light output equal to a 40 watt incandescent bulb. There are many reasons to use LED lighting. Changing your home's lighting from traditional light bulbs to LED light bulbs does not require changing any fixtures or wiring. A professional electrician can change your home's system from incandescent to LED in a single day.

Low Voltage Lighting

Switching outdoor lighting to a low voltage system is relatively easy. As with LED indoor lighting, low voltage lighting provides great energy savings. Low voltage lighting typically uses only 33% of the amount of energy used by a 120-volt lighting system. Low voltage lighting, whether for security or accent lighting, can deliver the light you need for the job.

Some features of low voltage lighting include an ability to better illuminate your property without increasing energy consumption, a great selection of low wattage lamps (light bulbs), and a wide selection of timers, controls and fixtures.

Sleek and Stylish Lighting Design

Recessed Lighting is a Stylish and Smart Home Improvement

We believe that in 2013 there will be a continued trend to use recessed lighting, also known as canned lighting. Recessed lighting is anything but obtrusive and allows for better control of light disbursement. Recessed lighting looks better because it allows you to light a room with style and keep th light source relatively hidden.

The use of track lighting continues to be popular. Tracj lighting is especially popular with people who have unique lighting needs. Whether it is providing accent lighting on wall art or built in bookcases, or providing focused task lighting, track light systems offer a lot of functionality.

A skilled electrician can retrofit most homes with recessed light fixtures and track lighting. Bu using the existing wiring the new fixtures can be installed to work with your exisitng light switches and electrical circuit breakers.

For more information on ways to improve your home's lighting, get price quotes or energy saving information simply call a local electrician. Obviously we would enjoy speaking with you to answer any questions or provide a free estimate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Common Home Electrical Dangers

Troubleshooting and Solving Electrical Problems

Published on by: Mike Daniels

Home Improvement Electrical Safety – Hire an Electrician

Avoid Home Electrcial Dangers By Hiring A Licensed Electrician

You might pride yourself on being handy around the house. Maybe you can fix a broken toilet and leaky sink, and repair broken wooden shelves and steps. However, when you experience an electrical problem, it is not wise to do it yourself if you have not had any formal training in electrical repair. Electricity is a delicate, dangerous entity that can literally kill you if you make the slightest off-hand mistake. Find out why you should hire a licensed electrician to fix your problem to safeguard your home from potential future ruin, and your life from potential serious harm.

Flickering Lights and Tripped Breakers

Although you might be more than marginally adept at electrical troubleshooting, one teeny-tiny mistake on your part could leave your lights flickering and your breakers continuously tripping. While flickering lights are usually just an annoyance that you can learn to live with, tripping breakers are often more serious. If your electrical circuit is being overloaded because of your electrical mistake, the error could cause an electrical fire that could burn down your entire house – and everything in it.

Additional Safety Risks

Every single time that you come into contact with a live wire you could be electrocuted. Although you might believe with all of your heart that shutting off the power supply to the part of the house you are working on will eliminate that risk, it might not. Your house could be wired in such a way that leaves electricity running to seemingly “dead” locations. While a licensed electrician would be wary of that situation, you might not be. Your mistake could cost you your life. Furthermore, if you do safely rewire parts of your home, your quick fix might backfire on you in the long run. Many electrical fires begin with an owner's best do-it-yourself efforts coming back to bite them weeks or months down the road.

Lingering Dangers of Improper Electrical Work

Even if you've done your absolute best electrical troubleshooting and repair work, you might be in for bigger problems than you ever anticipated doing electrical work yourself. Improper electrical work can nullify your home owner's insurance policy, and make all benefits normally due to you invalid. You could potentially lose thousands of dollars in claim money because you did not hire a licensed electrician. To make matters worse, you could create personal liability that allows future residents of your property to sue you for the botched electrical repair. Therefore, you might actually have to pay money months or years down the road for seemingly easy electrical work that you did yourself for free. If you had hired a licensed and bonded electrician, any of the work he or she did for you under contract would relieve you of any legal liabilities that might arise over the completed work.

Hiring Your Licensed Electrician

To learn more about the electrician you are thinking about hiring you can quickly qualify the electrical contractor with a 10-15 minute internet search for customer reviews on Kudzu, BBB, Merchant Circle and similar consumer websites. After you find a company with a solid reputation you can easily call them to discuss your electrical problem and get a free quote for your specific electrical project.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why You Should Hire an Electrician

Published on by: Mike Daniels

Why You Should Hire an Electrician

Electrical Work Presents Avoidable Dangers

Electricity: when it works right, you do not think about it at all. When it stops working, it's all you can think about. Flickering lights, tripping breakers, sudden, random appliance resets, and blown fuses all get under your skin and stay there until the problem is fixed for good. While you might want to save a few bucks attempting to fix your electrical problems yourself, you really should pause to better assess the situation.

While you might be a highly skilled home carpenter or plumber, your exaggeration of your own amateur electrician skills could put your life at risk. You could inadvertently start a home fire that could endanger the lives of others, and cause you, your loved ones and neighbors to lose everything. You could also provoke your local law officials to cite you for performing work without a proper permit, and your homeowner's policy to nullify any future claims resulting from your botched electrical repair attempts. Learn now why hiring a licensed electrician can save you the headache, potential safety risks and legal hassles of performing your own electrical work.

Home Electrical Work Might Require a Permit

Electrical work permit laws vary from state to state. Therefore, it is always best to get one or more estimates from resident electricians to precisely pinpoint the cause of the problem. With this information in hand, you can call your local building department to inquire about the needed permits. Generally speaking, you need a permit to alter or install permanent wiring devices, and alter or install low-voltage computer, stereo, or security alarms. You also will probably need a permit to convert from a fuse box to a circuit breaker system, run additional wiring, and to install a new garage-door opener receptacle.

If you fail to get the right permits, your local building department might fine you up to $2,000 per day that you violated your local or state laws. The city could also disconnect your electricity, and serve you with additional fines for failing to correct your violations before your next state-mandated electrical system inspection.

Bad Electrical Work Can Cause Fires

Amateur electrical work can literally cause your home to go up in flames. Some examples include connecting neutral and hot wires to the wrong terminals, using the wrong wire sizes, and ignoring loose connections and nicked wires. A whole slew of other electrical mishaps can also cause immediate fires, or fires that transpire weeks, months and years down the road. Licensed electricians are trained to look for factors inside of your home that could contribute to fires. These resident electricians eradicate these risks as they come across them to ensure that you and your family are saved from these potentially life-threatening circumstances.

Homeowner's Policy Claims Can Be Rejected

If you insist on performing electrical home work yourself, you might be setting yourself up for future denied home insurance claims. Many insurance companies have clauses in them that clearly state that work resulting from unlicensed electricians proven to cause the current problem will not be covered under your policy. Therefore, doing the work yourself instead of paying a licensed electrician to do the work can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses in the long run.

Hiring a Licensed Electrician Guarantees Safe Results

Like plumbers and carpenters, resident electricians are required by law to receive state-approved training. They must also pass rigorous written and hands-on testing to ensure that their skills are up to par with the industry standard. Because they devote their working lives to installing and fixing electrical systems, licensed electricians can perform the work safely, accurately and efficiently, meaning that you can depend upon them to have your electrical system in tip-top shape in mere days.

SOURCES:
Permits Protect
Articles - McCall.com
Washington Government Website

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hiring An Atlanta Electrician

Atlanta Electrician Help Can Be Handy

Published on by: Mike Daniels

Hiring An Electrician Is A Good Idea

Home owners often get burdened with having to run back and forth to a hardware or home improvement store to buy the electrical parts and tools to do common home electrical projects. Hiring an electrician can be handy, and will assure a home owner that the work is done correctly and safely. In roughly half of the United States, a qualified, professional electrician is not required to be a Union member, thus you can hire a licensed, quality electrician without paying excessive labor costs.

Common Tasks Done By Elctricians

Current Demands is a licensed Atlanta Electrical Contractor

Some of the many projects that can easily be done by an electrician, and at a reasonable cost, include replacing switches and outlets, hanging ceiling fans and new light fixtures, installing security lighting, pulling computer network cabling, and troubleshooting mysterious home electrical problems. Other specialty services, which often baffle home owners, are installing low voltage systems for outdoor lighting and home automation. In non-union areas, such as Atlanta, the cost to hire a professional electrician can make it easy and affordable to do the electrical projects you have in mind.

Save Time and Money - Get Better Results

To compare the costs of do it yourself versus hiring an Atlanta electrician you have to look at the total cost of doing the project. Driving to your local home improvement store will cost you about $5 in gasoline, the full retail cost of the parts, about1-2 hours of time, and perhaps additional costs for tools, supplies or manuals. Additionally you may spend time on do it yourself websites, looking at Youtube videos, and then spend time to plan your project including making parts lists. Add in the time to do the work and you may find that what seemed like a small project actually took you 2-4 hours to do, and cost you the cash for the parts and supplies. How much is your time worth? You can call an electrician in Atlanta in five minutes, show them what to do in five minutes, and write a check in five minutes. No risk of injury, no risk of electrical fires or problems, and have time to do other activities.

Electrical Safety Concerns

Safety is another very real consideration in the decision making to hire an Atlanta electrician or do it yourself. A professionally installed electrical system is done after proper determination of circuits, breakers, wire sizes, and the appropriate switches, outlets and fixtures. Modifications to an electrical system, without adequate knowledge of electrical design, can result in overloaded circuits (which frequently trip breakers), undersized wiring which can cause fires and improperly installed boxes which mean crooked or loose fixtures, and possibly electrical fire hazards. It is worth mentioning that if you should have a house fire caused by electrical work that did not meet building codes, or was done without the proper Permits, it could be grounds for your homeowner’s insurance company to legally deny any claim for damages. All of these problems can be avoided by spending a small sum to hire a professional electrician.

Hiring A Professional Electrician

If you are planning a larger project such as a basement finish out or addition to your home, you definitely need to hire a professional electrician. Almost every job of this nature will require an electrical permit, and on-site inspections by your local building department inspectors. Any electrical work done without a Permit and inspection can become a serious problem when trying to sell your home. In the event of a house fire your insurance company has a right to not pay for damages if the fire was started by shoddy electrical work.

Hiring an electrician can indeed be very handy. Besides saving your precious personal time, you get peace of mind and a first rate job.