When to Fix-It-Yourself and When to Call an Electrician

5 Tips For Safe Outdoor Use Of Extension Cords

Posted by on Aug 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Safe Outdoor Use Of Extension Cords

Have you ever wanted to put up holiday lights but were afraid to do so because you worried that you’d start a fire if it started to snow and the cord got wet? Or, is the idea of having a travel trailer in your backyard enticing but the thought of providing power to it for your in-law’s extended two-week vacation a bit intimidating? If you have ever wondered how to temporarily supply power to an outdoor location safely with an extension cord, here are 3 tips that will set your mind at ease. Choose to Use Cords Rated for Outdoors Choose a cord that has been specifically manufactured for outdoor use. This fact will be clearly mentioned on the store label. Outdoor cords have a thicker, weather resistant jacket, as well as modified connectors that prevent water from seeping inside the cord to the metal wiring. Even though they are rated for outdoor use, it is still important to never expose the cord to standing water. In addition, it is important to select a cord with a wiring gauge that can safely deliver the wattage that your trailer or spectacular light display requires. Cords with 16 gauge wires safely deliver power to small appliances, while lower gauge wire, such as 12 gauge, are needed for heavy duty power tools.  Store the Cord Properly When Not In Use And Always Do an Inspection Prior to Plugging It In Extension cords should be loosely wrapped and stored inside once you’ve finished using them. They are made of durable materials, but if they are left outside for extended periods of time, that material will crack and fray. This damage increases the potential for sparking and fires. When cords are hung from nails or other hard materials, the risk of damage increases. Instead of hanging them, they should lie flat on the ground. Before use, always inspect the cord for cracks or exposed wiring. Lower the Temperature for Safer Use While it might be tempting to keep your work area tidy by keeping long extension cords coiled, they will remain much cooler when they are fully extended. Cords should never be plugged into each other or covered with any materials while in storage. In addition, they should not be run through walls or attics. All of these choices raise the heat level in the cord and increase the potential for a fire. Extension cords should never be used outside on a permanent basis. If you regularly need electricity outside of your home, hire a residential electrician to run power lines and install an electrical outlet. Your home will be much safer....

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4 Ways To Save Money On Your Electric Bill

Posted by on Jul 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Save Money On Your Electric Bill

Many families struggle with being able to afford their monthly electric bill. Fortunately though, there are many different ways that you can reduce the cost of this bill.  1. Clean Your Dryer’s Lint Filter  You should try and make sure that you always take a few moments to clean your dryer’s lint filter whenever you dry a load of laundry. Keeping the filter clean will help your dryer perform much more efficiently. You will be able to get your loads of laundry done much faster with a  clean filter which should help you save money on your monthly electric bill.  2. Cook Your Meals Wisely Whenever possible, you should avoid cooking with your regular stove top oven. It’s much better to prepare your family’s meals using a microwave, toaster oven, or crockpot instead. The reason for this is that these smaller appliances are much more energy efficient than a regular stove top oven.  Another advantage of cooking with these smaller appliances is that they tend to cook food much faster than a regular oven. Crockpots are especially great for busy families. Just toss the ingredients in the crockpot before you leave for work in the morning. When you and the rest of your family members arrive home at the end of the day, you will already have a delicious meal waiting for you.  3. Plant Trees In Your Yard Planting trees in your yard is an excellent way to save money on your electric bill. The reason for this is that the trees will help shade your home so that you won’t need to run your air conditioner as often as you usually do.  4. Install Lighting Timers  Installing lighting timers in your home is a really wise thing to do for a couple of different reasons. First of all, it helps you save money on your electric bill by enabling you to control what times of the day your lights are turned on and off. Lighting timers are also great to have for security reasons. You can vary the times that you program the timers to go off. This makes it less likely that your house will get robbed. The reason for this is that having lights on gives potential burglars the impression that someone is home, even when you might not actually be there.  There’s no doubt that dealing with a costly electric bill can be really stressful. Luckily, trying even just one or two of these tips should help make this particular bill much more affordable for you. For more information, contact companies like Mid City...

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Troubleshooting Frequent Issues With Electric Baseboard Heaters

Posted by on Jun 26th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Frequent Issues With Electric Baseboard Heaters

Baseboard heaters are a popular home fixture in many homes, especially when a central HVAC installation would not be an economical feat. Even though these heaters are very effective at providing heat and will last for years without incident, they can have their fair share of problems. Here are a few of the most common issues you could have with the baseboard heaters that you have in your home and what you will need to do to make them work properly.  Problem: Heater kicks off intermittently throughout the day even though it has not reached temperature.  Cause and Solution: In most cases, this is an indicator that the temperature control sensor inside of the heater is not working. Because electric baseboard heaters are each equipped with their own thermostat, it is not uncommon for the thermostats to go bad after several years of use. If you are not getting an adequate level of heat in a specific room, and you are positive that the control knob is properly set, you will likely have to have the thermostat of the unit replaced by a heating professional.  Problem: The heater throws the breaker after being on for a few minutes.  Cause and Solution: If the heater is throwing the breaker, it is most likely because it is overheating. This could be because there is not adequate air flow around the heater itself. Check to make sure that you do not have furniture,drapes, or any other objects too close to the heater. If the problem persists afterwards, it could be an electrical issue and will need to be addressed immediately.  Problem: The heater kicks on, but is blowing cold air instead of warm.  Cause and Solution: A baseboard heater that is not producing heat and only blowing cold air is experiencing heating element failure. This means that the unit is on and the blower system is working as it should, but there is nothing inside producing heat to distribute. In some cases, this can be caused by the build-up of dust and debris inside of the heater, which will prevent the heating element from kicking in as it should. However, it could mean that the heating elements will have to be replaced.  With a little time and attention, you can get many years of use from baseboard heaters. If you are having issues that you cannot diagnose on your own, contact a heating professional (such as Feldman Brothers Electrical Supply Co) for help or...

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The Dangers Of Pet Hair

Posted by on Jun 19th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Dangers Of Pet Hair

You can tolerate the vet’s visits, the potty accidents, and the occasional yard-break from your dogs, especially when they cuddle up next to you with that loving look in their eyes. Yet no matter how much you adore them, you may find it hard to live with the problems their endless hair shedding brings.  Allergies The piles of dog hair alone are not what cause the sneezing, watery eyes, and respiratory problems — t’s the dander that comes with the hair. Your long-haired dog isn’t going to make you sicker than a short-haired pooch. Also, the levels of allergen given off by dogs differ per animal, so you might be more allergic to one dog than you are to another. You can be tested for these allergies, and treatments such as antihistamines and decongestants are effective. Allergy shots administered by your doctor are also a possibility.  Cleaning Even if you are not allergic to dander-ridden dog hair, you are probably sick of the mess. Keeping carpets, furniture, and floors free of this troublesome matter is extremely difficult. People with hardwood or laminate floors are the most successful at keeping their flooring presentable. Daily sweeping and frequent damp mopping is a necessity. Also keep air purifiers going and change the filters frequently. If your dogs sleep on your beds, wash all the bedding every week. For your furniture, consider buying slipcovers or use throws that can be washed frequently. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner and prepare to use it several times a week.  Furnace and Drains Dog hair can do more than mess up the house and your sinuses. It can affect your heating and cooling system. Pet hair ends up getting sucked into your furnace filter and clogging it, making your system less efficient. The pet dander also gets pulled into your furnace, only to be redistributed throughout your house. Before you call in a heating services company, change the filter on your furnace and see if that fixes the problem. You should also frequently bathe your pets to limit the furnace issues. Ironically, the pet hair may clog up your tub. To combat this difficult plumbing problem, try pouring 1 cup washing soda into the drain. Let it sit in there for 15 full minutes and then pour one or two quarts of boiling water into the drain. If this method does not work, you should contact a plumbing services company so a professional can get rid of the clog, perhaps by removing the pipes and cleaning them out.  Your dogs are worth the trouble that their hair brings to you and your home. You do need to manage the hair problem by establishing a routine of sweeping, vacuuming, mopping and pet bathing. Keep your air and furnace filters changed, and then you’ll be free to enjoy your...

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Redesign Electrical Cables For Computer Support

Posted by on May 22nd, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Redesign Electrical Cables For Computer Support

Whether you need to redesign a home office to work as a tech center or rebuild a department for a large delivery of computer workstations, you need to evaluate your electrical capabilities. Accidental unplugging, awkwardly placed outlets and electrical overload can challenge your ability to run a reliable computer center. As you look through the desired area for improvements, consider a few ways that an electrician could help you with the new design. Loose And Poorly Placed Electrical Outlets Older electrical layouts have a few things that could go wrong. The most noticeable issue is the inability to plug up all of your devices in an area that makes sense for your computer. With small offices, you may have a few issues moving things out of the way and making room for a desk with a chair. Larger companies have to deal with dozens or hundreds of computers with only a few places to connect. For both levels of difficulty, the easiest answer is to install more electrical outlets. It’s a reasonably easy task for an electrical contractor; by entering the walls, floor and ceiling structure of a desired area, an electrician can either modify existing wiring to accommodate new electrical outlets or pull in new electrical wiring to create less burden on existing wiring. In the case of larger computer centers, an electrical contractor team can get around a lot of the electrical outlet installation by suggesting desks that have built-in electrical wiring. If not available, it isn’t difficult to modify furniture with a two-sided electrical device that simply extends the electrical load to each desk. In many cases, it’s an issue of how much of the building foundation you want to alter and if you want a large or small number of new outlets. Bring In The Networking Cables While you have electricians working on the wiring, you can make your computer network a lot more convenient. Instead of dragging wiring across floors or ceilings with noticeable covers (or no covers at all, depending on how thorough you want to be), an electrician can bring your network cables into different rooms through the walls. In some cases, an Information Technology (IT) professional with a bit of construction knowledge can drill a hole and do the same general job. Unfortunately, there are some safety concerns that IT professionals may not be aware of. Some wiring in the building can reach high temperatures on a regular basis. After all, electricity is a form of heat, and the electrical load is almost constant in some businesses. Some network cables such as Ethernet (Cat5, Cat5e) cables have a protective cable shielding that can be toxic when burned, which can create a slowly poisoning disaster if the installer doesn’t know how to identify such wiring. Contact an electrical contractor to begin planning your new electrical layout for safety and...

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About Me

Messing with electrical appliances and components is serious business. Hello, my name is George Tanner. I’m a retired electrician. I can’t even begin to tell you how many horror stories I heard over the years of working as an electrician. People who thought they could quickly fix something in their homes but never should have even tried. Some got hurt and others were lucky. My goal here is to provide you with some guidelines as to what electrical malfunctions are easily fixable by nearly any adult, and what you should never attempt on your own. One thing you are going to hear me stress more than once is that electrical components are not to be taken lightly. We protect our children from them; we also have to protect ourselves. I hope you find this blog to be helpful!i