Whether you are attempting to rewire your whole house or just replacing that balky three-way switch in the hallway, there are a few very basic safety precautions you should always take. These few, but important, principals of electrical safety are the result of many a shocking moment experienced by yours truly in my thirty-plus years in the building trades.
The net, the bookstores, the public library - and maybe even your own bookshelves - are rife with "How To" tombs dedicated to electrical repairs and wiring you can use for step-by-step guidance. This is not such an article. Electrician Fayetteville NC team discusses about what you should know before you ever pick up that screwdriver or wire nut, starting with:
The Power Is Always On
The biggie. Most electrical mishaps occur because the victim "thought" the power was off before working the circuit. Just like "a gun is always loaded", you must assume the power is always on, even if you've turned off the breaker (or pulled the fuse) yourself.
How can this be? Lots of ways. The breaker labeled: "Kitchen" may indeed be just the kitchen lights and not connected to that faulty duplex receptacle above the counter. In fact, in most modern electrical installations, the circuits for lights and receptacles will not be the same. Perhaps the breaker is marked "Kitchen Plugs". This may be referring to the kitchen wall receptacles and not the back-splash device you intend to replace.
The only way to be sure the power is off is to check the circuit with a testing device that tattles on the current. These devices are numerous in configuration and use, but for everyday homeowner use the "Widget" type is best. (Yes there truly is a device called a "Widget") This is a small light bulb with two insulated wire probes with conductive tips. When touched to the proper wires, the bulb lights up when current is present. Which leads us to the next tip:
Your Widget Is Always Broken
That's right ... you have to test the tester. The only response you can trust from your Widget is a positive one; if the bulb lights up, you know there is power. If it doesn't, that does not automatically mean no power is present. The bulb could be burnt out, for instance. To assure yourself your Widget is working, test a known live circuit just prior to testing the one you wish to work.
If the test is positive, it still doesn't indicate absolutely that the device you are testing (a light socket, duplex receptacle, etc.) is not "hot". The device itself could be faulty. You need to check the actual "hard" wires - the ones coming out of the
wall that the electrical device connects to - to be certain. Which, in turn, gives us our next precautionary tip:
The Wire Doesn't Know What Color It Is
Conventional wisdom has it that the black (or red) wire is hot, the white wire is neutral and the bare wire is ground. Don't bet on it ... you could be betting your life. There are many instances where the white wire carries power, not the least common of which is that the circuit - or an electrical device on that circuit - is wired incorrectly. The white wire will not instinctively refuse to accept power, nor will the black wire demand it. Always check - to the bare ground - both the black and white wire for power before assuming the circuit is dead.
The most basic electrical safety tip of all, of course, is to be assured that you know what you are doing as you effect electrical repairs or wiring. If you aren't, call an electrician. It's expensive, sure, but it beats the cost of a funeral, no matter what the price. If you need electrical repair service around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote.
Electric baseboard heaters warm air that passes through it by using electric cables. If you have these heaters in your home, there are a few things you should know to get the most out of them. This article will give you a few tips for using electric baseboard heaters.
Electric baseboard heaters release heated air out of the top, while pulling cooler air into the bottom. Therefore, it's important that they sit up a half-inch or so above the floor. If anything blocks the flow of air into electric baseboard heaters, it will decrease the energy efficiency. If you use these heaters in rooms with a thick carpet, you should cut away a small area to allow air to enter the heater from beneath.
You should also make sure to clean the coils of electric baseboard heaters regularly. Dirt and dust will accumulate on the coils and reduce the amount of heat they are capable of producing. This will in turn increase energy consumption. A collection of dust and dirt on the heating coils will also reduce the lifespan of the heater. You can clean the coils easily by vacuuming.
If you don't want to use electric baseboard heaters to heat unoccupied rooms, you shouldn't shut them off. Water pipes under the floor could freeze if temperatures decrease too far. Also, the unheated room will cause cold air to seep around the rest of the house. Instead of shutting down electric baseboard heaters, you should simply turn the thermostat down to 50 degrees or so.
Electric baseboard heaters usually have line-voltage thermostats attached directly to them. Unfortunately, they aren't capable of providing a consistent temperature. You would be better off using wall-mounted thermostats with electric baseboard heaters. They will provide more accurate control over the temperature.
There are two types of electric baseboard heaters. Some use strip-heat while others are liquid-filled. The strip-heat variety are less expensive, but make creaking noises whenever they turn off and on. They also release heat only in short bursts. Electric baseboard heaters that are liquid-filled release heat evenly. They provide better comfort due to there being less variation in the room temperature.
These are a few tips for using electric baseboard heaters. You should make sure nothing blocks the airflow because it will decrease the energy efficiency. You should also clean the coils of electric baseboard heaters regularly. The line-voltage thermostat that is attached to these heaters is usually not effective, so you should use wall-mounted thermostats instead.
If you need your electric baseboard fixed or if your sockets need some inspection due to malfunctioning, we can take care of it. Electrician Fayetteville NC handle all sorts of electrical services around Fayetteville, NC. Call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote today.
Basic electric blenders aren't usually worth taking to a repair shop should they become broken. Labor charges would surely be more than the cost of a new blender. Small appliances such as electric blenders are now so affordable they are usually thrown away when they seem to be broken. This is typical in our throwaway society. Some items have become so affordable, from a monetary standpoint they aren't worth fixing.
If your electric blender is broken, don't just throw it away without trying to fix it. Blenders aren't very technical, and chances are your blender can be repaired by trying a few simple repair solutions. Help do your part to help the environment by recycling and repairing small appliances whenever possible. Try the following repair solutions before buying a new blender. If you can fix your broken blender you'll feel a sense of accomplishment, you'll save money, and you'll be helping the environment.
Leaking blender jars are a common problem, especially in older blenders. Leaks that occur at the base are probably due to a worn or damaged gasket. Carefully examine the rubber gasket for cracks or other damage. Replacement blender gaskets can be purchased at major discount stores, small appliance shops, or they can be obtained from online retailers that sell small appliance replacement parts. If the gasket appears to be in good condition, the problem may be within the blade assembly. A blade assembly can also be replaced for a much lower cost than replacing the entire blender.
Blades Won't Turn
If the power to your blender is on, and the blades unsuccessfully try to turn, the blade assembly may be clogged with sediment. A clogged blade assembly will also cause a blender to run slower than it should. Check the blade assembly by removing it from the blender. Carefully turn the blender blades by hand to see if they move with ease. If the blender blades are hard to turn, soak the blade assembly for at about twenty-four hours in a solution of dishwashing liquid and water. After the blade assembly has soaked for a sufficient length of time, scrub the crevices of the blade assembly with an old toothbrush. Wash the blade assembly as usual, and rinse it with hot water. Try turning it again by hand. If it's still hard to turn, the blade assembly needs to be replaced.
If some of the buttons on your electric blender don't work, there may be food encrusted around them. To clean electric blender buttons, unplug the blender, and if possible, carefully pull back the label surrounding the buttons. Depending on the type of blender you have, it may be necessary to remove the hex nut beneath the blender to separate the switch assembly from the lower housing. Once the buttons are revealed, use a small toothbrush or another instrument to remove any caked on food. This may be all it takes to repair your electric blender.
If your blender is plugged into a working outlet and won't operate, the problem by be within the plug, or there may be a problem with the blender cord. First test the cord with a continuity tester to see if the blender cord needs replacement. Continuity testers are well worth the money since they are useful tools to have on hand. If the continuity tester doesn't reveal a problem with the blender cord, the blender plug more than likely needs to be replaced. Replacing a faulty blender plug is a cheap and easy solution for repairing a broken blender.
Handling these electrical appliances are very hazardous and potentially harmful to you if you do not how to fix them. Fortunately, Electrician Fayetteville NC is here to help you out with our professional electrical services of all kinds around Fayetteville, just call us at (910) 407-5678 for free quote. You will get the quality service at the quality price.
Overhead electrical service cables are still one of the most common methods of supplying electricity to homes and businesses throughout the United States. Like all aspects of a home, proper initial installation and maintenance practices should be used to keep your service lines in good condition. Electrician Fayetteville NC has outlined some of the followings below:
One of the most important parts of overhead service cables, is making sure that water does not enter the service head (area where the wires go into). To prevent water entry, a drip loop should be present. It looks just like it sounds. The service cables have an area with slack next to the service mast and a guild wire attached to the house that keeps the service line taught, creating a loop for water to drip off of. This loop should always be present. If the line has no loop, you need to call your utility company immediately to have them fix the problem.
Service Wire Height
The service cable should be a certain distance off of the ground and from certain areas of your home. This will prevent damage to the service cable and keep your family safe. See the attached diagram, "Service drop clearances" for specific measurements.
The service mast should either be attached to the side of the house, or be supported through the roof and down to the meter. A good practice is to have the service cable ran in conduit that is attached to the service cable mast or weather head that is attached to the building. The conduit should be secured with a C-bracket every 4 to 6 feet. Masts should have a water proof roofing boot flashing installed around it, properly water sealed to prevent water infiltration. If the mast is over 5 feet tall, it should be secured by a guild wire on the opposite side of the service cable.
Aluminum or copper service wires are both common. In the case of the actual service cable, it does not matter much what type of wire this is. This is very different from your branch circuits (outlets, lights, switches) that require specific breakers for specific wires.
The electrical service cable is the most important part of your electrical system. Make sure that it is in good condition to not only provide you and your family with electricity, but to keep you safe as well.
If you need electrical services around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote.
Electrician Fayetteville NC: Home Wiring Fixes Using Multi meters, Wire Connectors, and Strippers
There are good reasons why home builders must pull permits, know the local electrical building code, submit to municipal or city building inspections, and hire or contract licensed electricians. Running electrical wiring can look like a maze, and construction mistakes can cause fires.
However, with a bit of electrical theory understanding, an idea of the home circuit map, some basic tools, and a safety mindset, homeowners can make basic power component repairs, like replacing light switches and electrical outlets. Where to begin? With an overview of component and configuration concepts.
Basic Electrical Terms and Tools
The Configuration of an Outlet on an Electrical Circuit
There are 3 common outlet configurations encountered in residential wiring. When replacing an outlet, it's best to make a drawing of the wiring so that the new one can installed the exact same way.
The terminal outlet is the final outlet on a circuit so the wiring is simple. Since there is only 1 incoming cable, the wires it contains are simply secured to the terminal screws.
The first or middle outlets on the circuit can be wired differently. Here are the 2 most common methods.
Switched Electric Outlets
Switched outlets are handy for things like floor lamps. The plug can be left in and the power can be controlled with a wall switch. In many areas, the electrical code actually specifies a few of these in new home construction. In some cases one socket is switched and the other is constant. In other cases, both sockets are switched. If you need electrical repairs around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote.
Shopping for electrical supplies online. The benefits including lower cost and wider selection. Many homeowners who are interested in interior design will be happy to learn that there is a new range of websites offering electrical supplies. These sites offer a large variety of items such as brass sockets and switches, which can really improve the appearance of a house. These websites stock a wide range of electrical accessories and tools which range from light switches and plug sockets to smoke alarms, doorbells and just about any other small electrical items found in a home.
The good thing about these websites is that they offer fantastic prices when compared to high street stores such as hardware and home improvement stores. The reason for the low prices is simply because websites cost much less to run than the physical stores. For example, there is no need for sales staff, warehouse staff and other expenses which come with operating a physical store. Electrical supplies websites then pass the savings onto consumers which means that they get a real bargain.
Another benefit of shopping online for these items is that this election is humongous. There is literally no limit to the options available when shopping on the Internet. Also websites rarely run out to stock because they operate from a centralized location in the country. Some people will still prefer to shop on the high street because they need items immediately. However almost all electrical supplies retailers online offer next day delivery as standard. Many of these items are relatively lightweight which means that delivery charges are extremely low.
Most people have always shopped for these items in hardware stores or home improvement stores. When shopping in these places it can be rather confusing to find certain items because there are so many on display. Online websites have a very easy to navigate system which groups things into categories that are quick to find. Therefore, there is no need for the effort of searching around a large warehouse for a small item such as a plug socket. Now it is possible to simply click on the plug sockets category on a website and browse the different options available.
The selection is extremely varied, which means that people will now be opened up to a whole new range of electrical supplies for their home. For example, many people are unaware that there is a wide range of alternatives to the standard light switches and plug sockets in their home. Most people have white ones already fitted but there are many attractive alternatives available such as brass sockets and switches. These attractive alternatives can be purchased in bulk for very low prices online. When searching through a hardware store there is only likely to be one or two variations of plug sockets available whereas online stores will have many different options available such as brass sockets, chrome, acrylic, white and others. Electrician Fayetteville NC provide electrical services around Fayetteville, NC. Call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote.
Using Variable Resistors as Measurement Devices
For measuring linear or angular displacement, potentiometers offer engineers a reliable sensor choice. Potentiometers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations for many different measurement applications. What is a potentiometer sensor, and how does it work? Electrician Fayetteville NC has outlined it for you.
What is a Potentiometer?
A potentiometer is a resistor with three terminals, two that are fixed and one that slides, forming an adjustable voltage divider. The first patent for a rheostat (variable resistor) was granted to Thomas Edison in 1872 (US patent 131,334).
When one of the fixed terminals of the potentiometer is used along with the sliding terminal, the resistance provided by the resistor is variable. When the position of the sliding terminal is connected to an outside object, the motion of that object changes the position of the sliding terminal, also called a wiper, and therefore the resistor value scales with position of the outside object.
The resistive element of a potentiometer is often made from graphite to provide a low-friction electrical contact. Resistive elements can also be fabricated from cermet or a carbon/plastic matrix.
Types of Potentiometers
Potentiometers can be used to measure both rotary displacement and linear displacement
Applications for Potentiometers as Sensors
Engineers like to use potentiometers for a variety of measurement applications because they are very reliable and repeatable sensors. String potentiometers are available in a wide range of displacement values, allowing engineers to measure displacement of a few inches or several feet. Rotary potentiometers can measure angular displacements with excellent accuracy, and are relatively inexpensive.
In addition to their function as displacement sensors, potentiometers are used extensively as adjustment mechanisms for electronic systems. Potentiometers are often incorporated into other sensors to act as a trim mechanism to offset baseline measurements for calibration. If you need electrical repairs around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote.
The United States Department of Energy, and the office of the President are pushing for a new form of electrical power distribution; a National Smart Grid. Electrician Fayetteville NC has been following closely to the ever changing trends when it comes to electrical advancements so that we can provide the best possible quality service to our clients in Fayetteville, NC.
Brad Gammons, vice president, IBM Global Energy and Utilities stated at the Clean Energy Venture Summit, “We're sitting on an aged, old infrastructure while emerging countries like India and China are moving to the next generation of networks and generation sources."
Our Aged National Power Grid
The nation’s aging and fragile power distribution grid struggles to meet the electrical supply needs of our society. The main problem is that electrical power on this scale must be used as it is generated; it is not stored as a hedge against a spike in usage later.
Likewise, when a spike in usage occurs, the power plants generating the power must scale up production to meet the higher demand. If they can not ramp up production quickly enough, brown-outs or rolling black-outs result. Most power generation networks keep a few “peaker plants” in their system to help generate power during an expected high demand period, but they are costly to run and can not be brought online quickly enough to prevent power drop-outs during an unexpected spike in demand.
Smart Grid Advantages
The National Smart Power Grid would allow all the nation’s power distribution grids to work cooperatively to respond to the electrical power needs of the country. If a sudden demand spike occurred in New York on a hot summer day, power could be drawn from a low demand area, perhaps Montana to meet that temporary increase.
While the nation’s current, aged power grids are interconnected and can sell power to neighboring grids, the technology in place can not handle sudden shifts in demand nor can it handle the kilowatt load that would be required to affect this system.
A smart electrical power distribution grid will use a number of new technologies to solve the problem. As one industry expert at the Clean Energy Venture Summit stated, “It’s not a silver bullet, more like silver buckshot.”
In a nutshell, high capacity electrical transmission corridors must be established as power expressways linking the major distribution centers. Automated Demand Response (ADR) switching centers will monitor demands around the country and shunt power from low demand areas to high demand areas. Likewise, the distribution centers will monitor and supply power around their region to suit demand. The advantages of such a system are obvious. There are, however, four basic and immediate problems with this plan.
Smart Grid Problems
1) The biggest problem is that the technology needed must be installed, nation wide, while the nations current power grid is up and running – full tilt.
2) The technology needed is not cheap and, with few exceptions, utility companies are notoriously reluctant to risk big bucks on new technologies because doing so means having to borrow through municipal bonds or raise rates to their customers – or both.
3) The nation’s power grid is made up of separate and individually owned electrical cooperatives, getting all of them to adopt a uniform set of standards and a unified costing model is difficult.
4) The end result is going to include smart technology that will reach inside customer’s homes and is often seen by customers as an invasion of their privacy and personal rights.
Stepping Stones to the Smart Grid
The first step of this in-home smart technology is, in many places, mounted on the outside of customer’s home right now: smart meters. These electric meters were touted to customers for their ability to be read remotely by the utility company, so a meter reader would not need to come to their home. These meters also allow the electric utility to monitor the amount of electricity being used by any individual home, collection of homes or region of the county at any given time. This ability helps the utility company monitor trends in usage and to predict demand peaks.
The next phase is the web enabled smart home, where electric utility companies can monitor and control power consumption by various appliances within the home. The purpose is to be able to reduce consumption in areas in immediate danger of a power drop-out. Some utility districts are testing smart homes by offering customers incentive rates for participating.
The Power Line Bottom Line
Consumer advocacy groups are mobilizing to prevent the construction of smart grids, decrying an infringement of individual rights and citing the fact that electric rates for customers in cities where smart grids have been implemented have risen sharply.
Industry experts explain that while costs may increase over the short term; as the grid is being implemented on a national scale, they will be reduced when the project is finished and the national smart grid is fully implemented. The system will also reward energy conscious homes. If you need electrical repair needs around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote today.
An electric fireplace offers a cost effective alternative to a natural gas or wood burning fireplace in Fayetteville, NC. Electric fireplace maintenance is not complicated and an electric fireplace offers lovely ambiance without the hassles of a wood burning fireplace such as the dirt and cleaning. Even though maintenance with an electric fireplace is not as labor intensive, it still requires it's share of maintenance. Electric fireplace maintenance does not require the chimney ventilation or making sure that the fire is not burning out of control. Electric fireplace maintenance doesn't require you to clean up soot or ashes. The best thing about electric fireplace maintenance is that you don't have to worry that the logs aren't completely out when you go to bed and therefore cause a blaze. Here are some tips on electric fireplace maintenance.
1. First and foremost, make sure that the wires and electric components are safe and in good working order.
2. If any wires are frayed in your electric fireplace, remove and replace them. Never use your electric fireplace if the wires are frayed or damaged in any way.
3. Maintain your electric fireplace mantel with cleaning products specific to the material it's made from. You must work at keeping your electric fireplace mantel clean or it will start to look run down after a while.
4. Work to keep the brass work clean by using a compatible brass cleaner to shine it up.
5. Never use abrasive cleaners on your electric fireplace so you don't cause scratches. The gentler the cleaner the better. There are many effective non-toxic green cleaners on the market that can do a superb job cleaning and maintaining your electric fireplace.
6. To avoid undue wear and tear on your electric fireplace, do not use it as a storage space. Believe me, people do it!
7. Electric fireplace maintenance includes cleaning the firebox and control compartment with a vacuum and brush.
8. Do not use glass cleaner when cleaning the back of the glass. Use only a mild soap and water for fireplace maintenance.
9. Replace light bulbs when the ember bed is dark on one side when maintaining your electric fireplace.
10. Consult an electric fireplace or heating and cooling professional to clean the heater system in order to extend the fan's life as a part of electric fireplace maintenance.
By following these suggestions electric fireplace maintenance can be simple and cost effective. Electric fireplaces are almost maintenance free, but not 100% as you can see. Always maintain your electric fireplace. With good electrical fireplace maintenance, you will be enjoying your electric fireplace for years to come. Some electric fireplaces can even be taken with you if you move. Keep your electric fireplace maintained to keep it working and looking great for years.
In a sharp contrast to gas fireplaces or wood burning fireplace which need lots of maintenance, such as cleaning out the firebox, removing the ash, making sure you open and close the damper as appropriate, choosing the correct wood and worrying about starting a fire, your electric fireplace is an extremely clean, effective and enjoyable addition to your home. Now gas and wood burning fireplaces do have their place in homes too. The cozy hearth does wonders for the atmosphere, transforming your home into a beautiful warm roaring fire landscape. You can have almost, but not quite the same effect from your electric fireplace with proper the maintenance. If you need electrical services around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote. Electrician Fayetteville NC will take of your electrical installation and repair needs.
In the quest for the electrical help, the most suitable person is an electrician. By all means you would have to pay them in exchange for their services, but what kind of cost can you manage is a question you need to ask yourself.
Electrician charges whether it's per hour or it's a call-out cost. The cost all depends on the type and amount of work that's needed to be done as well as the amount of materials that must be used. The cost vary in a wide manner, the cost may also vary depending on the country and area of the work to be done. That's why it's best to get an estimate cost from several electricians before finally choosing one for the job to be done. The variety of prices for electricians therefore allows a choice for the best electrician.
The cost for the work to be done as well as the amount of work to be done is one thing that must be considered. The quality of the work provided is another thing that needs to be checked before paying or agreeing to the cost for work done. An electrician with a lot of qualifications, good recommendations and experience is a means to determine the cost he will charge or the right cost to pay. As much as some electricians may have a fixed cost per hour there is a sometimes additional cost which also needs to be checked out before hiring an electrician.
Most electrical work requires materials to effectively carry out the tasks required, sometimes the electrician may have to purchase these parts before he begins his work, as an electrician and according to the amount of materials needed he may be able to get a discount for the items needed. These things are very important to check before hiring him.
The cost for labor done varies widely depending on the work to be done from day-to-day. Some companies may have a more expensive charge than what private electrical contractors cost, another thing to check when wondering how much an electrician cost. As we know the companies make their charges to you based on the amount of money the employee will receive for the work as well as other benefits. When the work is carried out during the work it's cheaper, because work on weekends and after the nine to five work periods is mostly considered overtime which may attract additional cost.
The price overall may be expensive, may be cheap or affordable depending on the work to be done, the time it I done within, the materials needed and the person who is doing it.
If you want to get professional electrician service around Fayetteville NC, call us today at (910) 407-5678 for free quote. Electrician Fayetteville NC will make sure you get the best quality service at the best price.