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.
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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.