Maintenance of your electric panel is necessary to ensure that your electric system is working smoothly and efficiently.
Maintaining the electrical system in a home is a crucial part of home ownership that may sound difficult and time consuming to many people. However, it is not as difficult as one may think. The electric panel is the heartbeat of a home’s entire system. They control every circuit that runs through the house, supply the power to each outlet, and are often responsible for running important components of the home, such as air conditioners and hot water heaters. Because of this, it is important to prevent damage to your system to ensure they work properly.
As a homeowner, there are preventative measures you can take that go a long way in assisting electricians that may come to work on your system. The first is to keep all doors and box covers closed at all times to prevent water damage, as many of us know that water and electricity do not mix well. Also, routinely wipe the outside of the door during household cleanings. This protects the system from dust. If dust enters the components of the electric panel, this can cause the system to overheat. If it becomes hot enough, it may cut off, leaving you without power until it cools down enough to be turned back on. Overheating may also damage other components, causing malfunctions in anything from a power outlet to a ceiling fan. Lastly, if there are instruction manuals, diagrams, or any other types of information on your system, do not throw it away. Tuck it away somewhere for safekeeping, as this information could be valuable and beneficial to any electricians who may be called to repair parts or perform maintenance on the system.
Also, pay attention to how electrical appliances, lights, the AC, or any other items that run off of electricity are functioning. This helps allow for early detection of any part of the electrical system that may be malfunctioning to be repaired. If a problem is not caught and handled accordingly, you may be left replacing the entire panel. If you believe that something is wrong with your system, do not hesitate to call an electrician to come check it. Time is of the essence when dealing with an electrical problem, and it must be addressed in order to keep you and your family comfortable and safe. Do not try to perform the maintenance or repairs yourself, as this could be highly dangerous and should only be done by a licensed and experienced professional. Many electricians offer timely and cost-efficient services, guaranteeing when they will show up (which is often the very next day), complete the necessary work, and, most importantly, your satisfaction. Also, their workmanship is usually covered under some type of warranty.
The daily operation of your electric panel does not need to be something you lose sleep over at night. There are many more things in your life for you to stress over. With the help of your electrician for maintenance and repairs and your preventative measures, you and your family will be able to enjoy all of the comforts that electricity has to offer.
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Electrical shock is very serious. It can make your entire skeleton glow in a brilliant flash of light, after which you slump to the floor with your hair smoking. Or maybe that’s just in the cartoons. In the real world, a good zap is a lot less cool, although it is theoretically possible for your hair to smoke. So what’s the best way to prevent a life-threatening jolt? Calling an electrician, of course for any electrical repairs . If you don’t like that plan, at least do whatever you can to avoid the following no-nos, and understand that this is NOT a complete list.
6 Electrical Repairs Tips to avoid to do yourself
1. Mess with the service lugs in a breaker box
First of all, if you don’t know what service lugs are, you shouldn’t be doing anything in your breaker box (service panel) except resetting tripped breakers, if that. If you happen to know that the lugs are the big screw terminals or posts securing the service cables, you should also know that they’re always hot (energized), even after you shut off the main breakers. Obviously, you should stay well away from the cigar-size cables connected to the lugs, too. Definitely not a good smoke.
2. Work on the weatherhead
This is another one for the “don’t even think of it” category. The weatherhead, also called the service mast or periscope, is the metal pole or other structure that connects the electrical service lines leading from the utility power pole to your house. Since this is part of your house, you might be tempted to upright the pole if it’s leaning or tighten a bolt here and there. Can the thought of 200 amps coursing through your body convince you otherwise?
3. Do any wiring with the power on
If you’re a reader of builders’ magazines, you’ve certainly seen photos of someone doing something dangerous without the recommended protective gear, along with the caption: “Don’t do what this guy’s doing.” (And more often than not, the “guy” happens to be the author.) The point is, just because electricians sometimes work with hot wires doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to do it. It’s not safe for them, either.
For more information about Electrical Repairs Tips visit the http://www.networx.com
Our modern lifestyles now include many new technologically advanced products that challenge old electrical services. If you’re remodeling an older home, odds are your local building department will require you to upgrade electrical circuits service to 100 amps. Why? It’s to ensure that there’s enough power in the home for all the modern electrical needs without causing a fire. Older homes didn’t need to support so many appliances.
When upgrading your electrical service and rewiring for a remodeled kitchen, a new spa or other home improvement project, you should think beyond your immediate needs and anticipate other features that you or a future owner may want. Spending a little more now to upgrade your electrical wiring may save a lot of time and money in the long run.
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Most standard home electrical circuits are on a 120-volt line. To run major appliances and heavy electrical equipment, you need 220-volt current in the house. And unless your clothes dryer runs on gas, it will require a 220-volt outlet to operate, so it’s necessary to upgrade to 220 to handle this kind of appliance.
Here are 10 Ways to Upgrade Electrical Circuits :
1. Appliances: With the wide variety of kitchen appliances such as food processors, blenders, coffee grinders, cappuccino makers and bread machines, there needs to be plenty of electrical outlets in a modern kitchen.
2. Cable/Satellite TV: Where might you want to watch TV? Consider adding cable to an upstairs bedroom or guest room or perhaps downstairs for a family recreation room.
3. Computers: Which rooms might someone want to plug in a computer and modem? A guest room could double as a home office. Consider adding additional electrical outlets or a phone or modem line.
4. Ceiling fans: Additional wiring will allow you to control the lights and fans separately from the wall switch, to adjust the fan speed and to turn off the light while leaving the fan on.
For more information about upgrade electrical circuits visit at http://www.homeadvisor.com/
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can help avoid electrocution. If an individual’s body begins to get a shock, the GFCI senses this and cuts off the power before he/she can get injured.
GFCIs are usually installed where electrical circuits might accidentally come into contact with water. They are frequently found in kitchens, bath and laundry rooms, and even out-of-doors or in the garage where electrical power tools might be utilized.
Exactly what is a ground fault?
According to the National Electrical Code, a “ground fault” is a conducting connection (whether intentional or unexpected) in between any electric conductor and any carrying out product that is grounded or that may end up being grounded. Electricity always wants to find a course to the ground. In a ground fault, electricity has found a path to ground, however it is a course the electricity was never planned to be on, such as through a person’s body.
Because of this capacity for shock, GFCI protection is used to secure human life.
How do Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters work?
The ground fault circuit interrupters will “sense” the difference in the amount of electricity flowing into the circuit to that flowing out, even in amounts of current as small as 4 or 5 milliamps. The GFCI reacts quickly (less than one-tenth of a second) to trip or turned off the circuit.
Exactly what are the kinds of GFCIs?
There are 3 types of GFCIs. The most typically utilized “receptacle-type” GFCI, just like a typical wall outlet, is the type with which most customers recognize. Additionally, breaker GFCIs are often utilized as replacements for basic circuit breakers and provide GFCI security to all receptacles on that individual circuit. Temporary or portable GFCIs are frequently utilized in building and in outdoor settings with electrical tools, lawn mowers, trimmers, and comparable gadgets. They ought to not be utilized as a permanent option to a routine GFCI. Short-lived ground fault circuit interrupters ought to be checked prior to every usage.
How should GFCIs be checked?
Many consumers don’t inspect their GFCIs to verify they are working. GFCIs are electronic devices that can be damaged or wear out. The electrical receptacle in a GFCI might continue to work, even if the GFCI circuit no longer works. If this is the case, have a certified electrician change it as quickly as possible.
Ground fault circuit interrupters ought to be checked regular monthly to ensure they are in working condition. Whether you have a receptacle or breaker GFCI, pressing the TEST button should turn off the power to the circuit. For the receptacle-type GFCI, pushing the TEST button ought to trigger the RESET button to turn on. (Remember to push the RESET button to re-establish power and protection.) For the circuit breaker-type GFCI, pushing the TEST button ought to cause it to relocate to the tripped position. (Remember to reset it to re-establish power and protection.).
When should you check GFCIs?
GFCIs must be inspected month-to-month to figure out if they are running appropriately. A portable GFCI needs to be utilized out-of-doors with various electrical power tools (i.e., drills, lawn mowers, trimmers) and ought to be tested prior to each usage!
Where should GFCIs be used?
It is suggested that GFCIs be installed in areas where appliances and power tools are utilized in close proximity to water. Faucet water or wet things have the ability to carry electricity extremely easily and can link your body to a ground potential, hence increasing your opportunities of getting a shock from a ground fault. Appliances that have integrated GFCI defense, as now needed for hair dryers, may not require additional GFCI defense, however there are still many appliances not equipped with GFCI security.
What is nuisance tripping of a GFCI?
It takes just 5 mA (0.005 A) of present leak from the hot wire to the ground to trigger a GFCI to travel. A percentage of leak current may be difficult to avoid in some regular circuits. Hand-held power tools do not cause a tripping problem if the tool is kept in good condition. Some stationary motors, such as a bathroom vent fan or fluorescent lighting fixtures, might produce enough leak to trigger problem tripping. Another problem might be a long circuit with many splices. If possible, keep GFCI circuits less than 100 feet long. To avoid problem tripping, a GFCI must not provide:.
- Circuits longer than 100 feet.
- Fluorescent or other types of electric-discharge lighting components.
- Completely set up electric motors.
Electricity is one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. This is pointed out by the National Fire Protection Association, the same agency that writes the National Electrical Code (NEC), which all electricians are supposed to abide by. Every aspect of the NEC has been developed based on accidents and casualties and is designed to prevent them.
Furthermore, all electrical components used today must have a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listing on it before it can be sold in the United States. All insurance companies abide by the UL listing, and anything done to void this listing can also void insurance coverage. Additionally, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all professional electricians to be licensed and all electrical work to be inspected by a local electrical inspector.
Many times, homeowners and handymen tackle small jobs such as changing outlets or installing lights – seemingly easy, trivial projects. However, all too often, the end result is that they put in a grounded (three-prong) outlet where there is no code-compliant grounding. They hang lights without a junction box or put them in a closet where they are subject to damage. They put outlets near water that are not GFCI protected outlets, or worse, they extend a circuit using wire that is too small and is bound to heat up and fail.
Electricity is power moving from one point to another and back again. It will always take the path of least resistance and does not care who it hurts or how.
Over time, I have seen many strange and dangerous situations. The following is a list of things I commonly see done by homeowners and others that lead to shock hazards, UL listing violations and worse:
• Installing grounded outlets where there is no grounding. BX wiring used in older homes is not a listed and acceptable grounding method, but many people assume it is.
• Installing a breaker in a panel that is not listed for that panel or putting a “mini” breaker in a place not designed for it. It may work, but if there is a problem it will void the listing and the insurance company won’t cover any damages. As a rule, all single family homes should have a minimum of a 200 amp service and breakers. Older homes usually have a smaller panel and should be upgraded.
Read more on electrical safety in your home at AngiesList.com
Rudolph Electric offers a wide variety of professional services for our residential and commercial clients. As a electrical contractor our work spans across all industries and includes small projects on existing facilities to larger projects in new construction.
A professional and experienced electrical contractor can attend to all your general contracting requirements. If there is and electrical problem in the home, a homeowner might wish to try a do-it-yourself job on an electrical issue they are experiencing if it is a minor one. The outcome of a do-it-yourself task might end up causing a fantastic quantity of aggravation, added damage, and costly repair services. If you have a minor electrical issue in your house and do not have the proper training to repair it, the problem can worsen and you can produce a hazardous living scenario.
The best alternative to select when you have an electrical problem in your home is to work with an electrical contractor that is well-informed in the field and has a proven record of providing reliable and fast solutions to their clients. This kind of company will provide you with craftsmanship where you never ever have to stress about professionals that arrive to your house late for their task or ones that are unprepared to manage the work you need then to complete.
Your electrical contractor should also be completely insured and licensed for your security. This gives you the guarantee that you will not be accountable if a contractor is injured while they are at your home doing a service job. It is never a practical time to have an electrical issue in your home however dealing with a company that offers emergency service in addition to offering you with a fast solution to all you general electrical contractor requirements is a business you need to pick. Electrical service and repair services are developed to get your house up to code and in working order.
Services Performed by an Electrical Contractor
– Outlet repair
– Electrical cable repairs
– Panel and switch repair
Additional services finished by an electrical contractor for a homeowner may include ceiling fan setup, code compliance, recessed lighting, emergency electrical service, and San Diego CA smoke alarm system setup. If you work with an expert, knowledgeable, and reliable specialist, you never ever need to stress if you are putting your house at risk of an electrical disaster, or high quality electrical items. Call the professionals in electrical system repair, replacement, and installation for options that will save you cash, meet your requirements, and will fit into your budget plan.
As professional electricians we take pride in delivering only the highest quality work in a courteous and professional manner, which includes service maintaining a clean and safe job environment.
At Rudolph Electric in San Diego CA safety is top priority, both for our electricians and for the personnel of our clients.
How to Choose the Right Home Power Generator
Choosing the right San Diego CA home power generator can be very confusing There are just too many home power generator nowadays that come in various shapes, sizes, models and prices coming from different manufacturers and retailers. More often than not, instead of going home with a home power generator,, one ends up going home with nothing other than more confusion.
The article below outlines the pros and cons of two types of emergency electrical generators—the portable type and the larger standby type—and tells you how to decide between them.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
The most basic method of supplying backup power is running a portable generator in your yard, then plugging in extension cords that plug into your appliances. It’s also the least expensive solution since you don’t need to hire an electrician to install a subpanel. The downside is you have to run extension cords everywhere you want power and you’re limited to how many things you can plug in at once (most generators have either two or four outlets). You also have to start and maintain the generator.
When the power goes out, place the generator on a flat surface outside, at least 10 ft. from the house. Don’t set it under awnings, canopies or carports, or inside the house or garage. It’s absolutely critical that you keep the generator away from your house and especially away from doors and windows—your life could depend on it! More people die from carbon monoxide poisoning from the gas engines on generators than from the disasters causing the power outages.
Plug in a carbon monoxide detector when using a portable generator. It’ll alert you if generator exhaust reaches a dangerous level inside the house.
Extension cords must be at least 14 gauge to carry adequate power. Follow the cord’s maximum wattage rating (listed on the cord’s label). Start up the generator, then plug in the extension cords (photo above). Be careful not to overload the generator by plugging in high-wattage appliances that you didn’t plan for. It’ll trip the breaker or blow a fuse on the generator, or damage the appliance motors.
Portable generators range in price from $500 for a 3,250-watt unit to $1,500 for a 10,000-watt unit. Options include wheels (get them—generators are very heavy to lift) and electric (key) starts rather than pull-starts. Consider how long the generator can run on a tank of gas. Some run just a few hours, so you’ll have to get up in the middle of the night to add fuel. Others have 16-gallon fuel tanks that can run up to 10 hours.
For help in wiring or installing a home power generator in San Diego CA call (619) 419-8813.
Old wiring—even knob and tube wiring that dates back to the early 20th century—isn’t inherently dangerous, but unless you were around when the house was built, you can’t be sure the electrical system is up to code. Plus, materials such as wire insulation can deteriorate over time.
Safety issues with old wiring
Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires, according to a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. And the older your house is, the greater the chances that old wiring might be outdated or unsafe.
If you don’t know the condition of your wiring, it’s worth paying a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system. Expect to pay $150 to $300 for this service.
A good reason to consider replacing old wiring, aside from electrical home safety, is that some insurance carriers may refuse to insure houses with older electrical systems, or they may insist owners pay higher premiums.
Warning signs of outdated, old wiring
- Breakers trip or fuses blow regularly.
- A tingling sensation when you touch a wall switch, appliance, or receptacle.
- Dimming and flickering lights.
- A burning smell in a particular room or from an appliance.
- Discolored outlets and switch plates that are warm to the touch.
- Ungrounded outlets throughout the house (ungrounded outlets accommodate only two-prong plugs).
- A lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in your bathrooms, your kitchen, and other areas that may be exposed to damp and wet conditions.
- Your house was built more than 40 years ago.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/electrical/should-you-replace-old-wiring/#ixzz3o0HTmgkB
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If you have a house with old wiring or other electrical issues, like a panel upgrade, flickering lights, faulty circuit breakers or any electrical repair or installation such as lights, ceiling fans or whole house surge protection call Rudolph Electric, your San Diego CA Electrician today.
Don’t Ignore Flickering Lights
Household lights that flicker and even dim periodically can be normal if not annoying, but they can also be dangerous, which is why flickering lights should never be ignored. In most cases, a slight flicker or brief dimming that becomes more pronounced over time indicates the presence of a poor connection somewhere in the system that needs to be addressed. Prior to calling an electrician, there are several factors to look at for flickering lights, such as when the lights flicker (and whether it’s associated with the start-up of a large appliance), how often the flickering occurs, and whether the flickering occurs throughout the house or only in one room or area. Here’s a look at the main causes of lights flickering in a house based on the type or pattern of flickering that’s occurring.
A situation where the same light or lights are flickering in one area and not throughout the home. The most obvious cause of this type of problem is a bad light bulb or a bad connection between the light bulb and the light fixture socket. However, if the problem is spread across multiple light fixtures but contained to a single area within the home, then it could be a circuit issue as well. An electrician can conduct a complete circuit diagnosis in this case to pinpoint the loose hot or neutral conductor that’s causing the issue, which may be located in a receptacle, a switch, a light, a j-box, or at the main electrical panel. Since loose connections can be dangerous, it’s important to identify and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
Lights in the home only flicker when a large appliance (such as the air conditioner) kicks on. This is actually a common problem, often associated with large outdoor A/C units that can draw up to 100+ amps when first turned on. Most homes have only a 200 amp main electrical service, so this draw can cause a brief flickering. In this case, the best thing to do to solve the problem is to contact an electrician to make sure that the outdoor unit is wired to the max ampacity, and that the wire size and fusing is correct, and all connections are tight. If everything looks good, then you might consider having a soft start kit installed on the outdoor unit to mitigate the amount of current required all at once to start the motor.
Read more at Enlightenme.com
If you have flickering lights in your home call a professional electrician like Rudolph Electric today to check out the problem. You could have a dangerous situation so don’t delay. Call 619-419-8813
What common electrical problems are you likely to encounter in your San Diego home? The most common household electrical “problem” is a sudden loss of power when a safety trigger has been tripped. Other electrical problems are light bulbs and fixtures, dead outlets, appliances and switches. If you have an electrical problem we are ready to help you at Davitt Electric.
Many homeowners are capable of replacing light switches, installing ceiling fans and other basic wiring jobs, but safety experts warn do-it-your-selfers against dabbling in most elements of household electricity.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, home-based electrical systems are the cause of nearly 55,000 fires a year, resulting in more than 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. Electrical fires cost $1.4 billion a year in property damage.
Whenever working with electricity, remember these tips:
- Always assume overhead wires are live and fatal to the touch. If a limb falls on one during a storm — leave it alone and call the utility company.
- Never operate electrical equipment in or near standing water.
- Never repair electrical equipment without proper training.
- Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment if it has come into contact with water.
- Use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in any area that comes in contact with moisture.
Typical Household Electrical Problems
Because of the risks inherent in electricity, there are many safety features designed to cut off the power at the first hint of anything wrong. As a result, the most common household electrical problem is a sudden loss of power when a safety trigger has been tripped.
So whenever power goes out in one part of the house, but not the entire house, the most likely cause is a tripped circuit breaker.
Homeowners should be able to find the main breaker panel (what used to be called the “fuse box”), typically located in the basement or a utility closet.
If the individual breaker switches are not labeled, it would be good to switch them off one at a time and identify what each is connected to. This is best done as a two-person job. Also, a professional electrician can track down and label all of your circuits.
Either way, it’s important to know which switch controls the flow of electrical current to which outlets, light fixtures or appliances in an emergency.
Read the complete story at Angie’s List: http://www.angieslist.com/electrical/common-problems.htm