Why choose a licensed electrician over a handyman?
Most homeowners or business owners find it rather expensive to hire the services of a licensed electrical contractor for a project. While some try to save some money by watching DIY videos on the Internet and trying to do the work themselves, others opt to hire an unauthorized electrician or a handyman for what they thought was “easy work.” Yes, they hope to achieve the same result as a certified electric contractor, probably at half the price and timely too.
But, have you paused to think about the quality of the job and the possible risks and dangers that may follow? It is important to know that incorrect procedures, techniques or products used for electrical installations or repairs will expose you to risks of electric shock and fire, damage to property and will accumulate additional costs for corrections.
Here, we’d be looking at the importance of choosing a licensed contractor.
Let’s get started!
A Certified electrical contractor is properly trained
A licensed electrician has the required skills, experience, and knowledge to perform your installations, maintenance, and other repairs as the case may be.
They also provide suggestions about the best facilities and materials to use in your home.
By tracing back to the source of your electrical problem, you can rest assured that a certified electrical contractor will make the necessary repair.
In the end, you’d have realized that hiring a certified and licensed electrician is a cost-effective solution as it saves you time, money, and frustration.
Ensures security of your life and property
Licensed electricians know the procedures and know how to work so that no injury is inflicted on anyone.
He knows that even a “small job” done carelessly or improperly can put the lives of the occupants of the house at risk.
Faulty circuits can damage electronic devices by delivering the wrong amperage (current intensity) through excessive voltage variation or excessive voltage.
A licensed electrical contractor will help you avoid these problems that may affect the safety of your property and your loved ones.
Guarantees quality service delivery
A certified electrical contractor guarantees satisfaction and proper operation of all systems installed or repaired for the period indicated.
Of course, he won’t want to have complaints against him; as appropriate authorities may revoke his license, which could also damage his reputation as an electrical contractor. He understands that good reviews will earn him good publicity.
However, when you hire a licensed electrical contractor, ask for references from clients that he has served in your neighborhood.
Increases your return on Investment (ROI)
For those property investors, if your electrical grid does not meet the standards, probably it’s not assembled correctly, it could affect your property assessment. You may not be able to claim the amount you had planned for your home. You may have to pay hefty amounts to rectify your electricity network or significantly lower the price of your home so that the new owners restore everything.
However, when you hire a licensed electrical contractor to carry out electrical installations on your property, you’re sure to increase your quotes hence increase your ROI.
An inexperienced handyman would take all day to fix complex electrical problems. However, many amateur electricians would have to watch videos several times and consult other search engines to tackle even simple jobs. In such case, a small task lasting only a few minutes is prolonged and finally takes all day.
A professional such as a licensed electrical contractor could do the job for a fraction of the time.
Amongst others, a professional electrician;
Provides a complete analysis of your electrical system.
A licensed and experienced contractor will carry out a thorough review of the job before providing you with a quote. You can be sure of a comprehensive electrical work on your property.
Provides you with valuable information on how to avoid future electrical problems.
In addition to their primary electrical works, licensed professionals will provide you with advice on how to protect your property and how to avoid any electrical issues that may likely occur in the future.
Most electrical work requires specialized knowledge, skills and safety precautions. It is not recommended for the average DIY especially when you’re not sure of the project. You may be putting yourself at risk of electric shock and fire when you hire an inexperienced and unlicensed handyman to carry out this job.
A licensed contractor will ensure good service delivery, provide you with advice on how to avoid future electrical problems, saves time and money.
You can be sure of the safety of your life and property!
Residential Vs Commercial Electricians: What Are The Key Differences?
When it comes to commercial vs electrical services, there are some very significant differences. Fact is, all electricians are not equipped to handle both cases. The flow of electricity is strong and powerful. If channeled improperly into your property – you can end up suffering a great deal of damage. This flow of power into your property is controlled by your electrical panel. It controls the flow of the electricity and ensures that your electrical system is not underpowered or overloaded. Here, various different building types need need different electrical loads in order to function as intended. Hence, there comes to be a huge difference between commercial and residential buildings, and which kind of services they require.
These differences include the different environments where wiring is installed, the different grade or quality of materials, and the different level of energy demands. A bunch of factors are involved in installing and designing any kind of electrical system. Hence, it is important to work with an experienced trained for your particular project and property type.
Residential Vs. Commercial: What’s The Underlying Difference?
As the names suggest, commercial wiring is wiring and electrical work that caters to residential buildings and houses. The scope of such wiring is confined to homeowners. Commercial wiring, on the other, happens to be a much more complex form of service that pertains to commercial setups such as malls, hospitals, warehouses. The varying level of electricity demands, atmospheric conditions and accessibility within these two different setups makes up for a range of differences in the way wiring is installed and repairs. In this article, we break the key differences between commercial and residential buildings. These consist of wiring, phases of power, quality, accessibility, types of electricians, and licensing:
The first and foremost difference between commercial and residential electrical installation is the type of wiring used for the particular building. In commercial buildings, the wiring is contained in a tube-like conduits for protection. The wires are situated run in open spaces to allow access. On the other hand, in residential homes, plastic sheathing is wound around narrow , thin wires. This sheathing is essential in order to protect anyone from being harmed by touching the wire directly – as these wires may be situated in crawl space or attic space. Residential wiring usually doesn’t use conduits, although they can be used sometimes.
Phases of Power
Commercial buildings use three phase power which consists of a neutral wire, a 208-volt leg and a 120-volt leg. On the other hand, homes use single phase power that has a neutral wire and a 120-volt wires.
The power supplied by the utility company also differed massively when it comes to commercial vs residential applications. As imaginable, commercial buildings require way more power than residential buildings. To help make sure that all buildings receive the magnitude of power they require without overloading a property, utility companies categorise the electrical load by phase – residential and commercial buildings.
The grade or quality of electrical materials also differed significantly between XX. Commercial materials have to be more chemical exposure, corrosion and heat. They have to comply with different standards, and governed by different codes. Moreover, commercial buildings like hospitals need a backup source of power so they can withstand more demanding usage. Therefore, devices in places like hospitals have to be more durable and also able to work in a temperature range wider than that in residential sites.
Type Of Electricians
There is a notable difference in the type of electrician you will employ for your particular property type. While the residential electricians and their scope is often just limited to home owners and their applications, commercial electricians are more involved with contractors, designers and architects. Their job is to view a project from a different perspective and implement their role on a large scale. They might also be required to provide detailed plans and drawings for installations, whereas residential electricians are often not required to carry out as detailed planning regarding their tasks or projects.
Accessibility is another factor involved here. In the case of residential buildings, home owners don’t want unsightly electrical wiring to be visible. Moreover, if there happen to be pets or children in the house, you definitely don’t want the wiring to be accessible easily. Hence, with residential buildings, it is important to ensure that the wires are hidden behind the drywall. Moreover, all the wiring kit be implemented perfectly the first time round, because it’s extremely difficult to go back inside the wall and make repair.
On the other hand, the wiring needs to be easily accessible to make repairs or updates as needed. Wiring in commercial buildings has to be more well positioned in order to be repaired immediately. There’s too much going on on a daily basis within commercial buildings. All of this can take a toll on the wiring in commercial buildings much quicker than residential settings. A commercial electrician must hence take all of this into account during installation as well as when making repairs.
There are significant differences between the people who are equipped to work in residential buildings vs commercial buildings, and the way they require their licenses. Electricians who work in the commercial sector have to be licensed but also required to go through a commercial electrician apprenticeship program in order to receive a certification.
On the other hand, residential electricians just have to be licensed by state and local agencies and don’t usually undergo any other kind of certification. Commercial electricians are required to carry out many of the same tasks as residential electricians, but they’re also equipped to be hired for more sophisticated, large scale projects.
The load demands, energy needs, and equipment setup for residential electrical work is certainly not the same as for commercial electrical work. To make sure you don’t have to learn this the hard way, make sure that you employ electrical services that are suitable to your particular project.
11 Useful Tips to Reduce Electric Usage and Save Cost
Utility bills constitute a significant aspect of your household budget or business running cost. While you may consider it minimal initially, however, it eventually adds up. At the end of the month, the electric company will charge you exorbitantly for your energy usage. If care is not taken, the cost will only continue to increase.
If you have been looking for how to reduce your electric usage either at home or in your workplace, this article is for you. Here, we will provide you with useful tips to help you reduce electricity usage and save cost.
Carry Out a Comprehensive Energy Audit
The first step to reducing your electric usage at home or office is to determine the amount of energy you consume. Hire the expertise of a professional energy auditor to conduct a well-detailed energy audit of your home or office building. This should include thermal imaging and a blower door test. With this, you will have a precise idea of the amount of energy you use.
Turn Off the Lights
Make it a duty to turn off lights that are not in use. If the home or workplace has large windows that are adequately illuminated, you are encouraged to use natural daylight when possible. You can instruct your employees or the last person leaving home to turn off the lights when going out.
Use LED Lighting or Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Another excellent way to save energy at home is by using CFL or LED light bulbs. Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) and LED light bulbs use 75% less power compared to other luminous alternatives like halogen bulbs or traditional incandescent. Asides that, these bulbs can serve for an extended period. While the CFL and LED bulbs often cost more, the money related payback is 100% justified.
Use EnergyStar Electrical Appliances
Many EPA-approved EnergyStar appliances consume appropriately 10% to 50% less energy compared to other traditional home electrical appliances. Since they consume less energy, they will help reduce your electricity usage and save cost. Whether at home or workplace, ensure that you are using energy efficient appliances.
Unplug Your Appliances When Not In Use
It is a popular belief that unused electrical appliances do not consume energy when plugged in. However, this is not true. Stand-by also consumes energy. Like the television, washing machine, microwave, and other appliances that are connected to the power outlets, they use up energy. Although, the energy consumed is less, compared to when in use. Nevertheless, after turning off these household or office appliances, ensure that you unplug them.
Adjust the Thermostat
A lot of energy is consumed by the heating and cooling systems. To reduce this, set the temperature to 68°F (20°C) in cool weather and 78°F (26°C) in warm weather. Use a fan to keep everyone comfortable when possible.
Use a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
Also, take advantage of a programmable thermostat to regulate your home or office temperature. These programmable thermostats are highly efficient in regulating temperature. They will control your heating and cooling systems automatically. Hence, the inside temperature of your home will be regulated when required. Above all, they are perfect to save energy and cost.
Plant Trees around Your Surroundings
Planting trees near your property can also help in insulating the home or office. Plant trees at strategic distances to create pockets of air space. This will help protect the building against hot and cold temperatures. Asides that, planting trees can help the eco-system and beautify your home or office.
Properly Insulate Your Home
An ideal approach to ensure your heater and AC units are not working too much is to insulate your home properly. With this, you will only be responsible for regulating the temperature of your home. Thus, saving more energy in the process.
Keep Your Building Airtight – Seal Leakages in Windows and Doorways
Approximately half of your electricity usage goes to heating and cooling. To keep the temperature regulated and even, ensure that doors and windows are airtight. Seal all leakages in windows, doorways, crawl spaces, and other entrances leading to your home or office. With this, your HVAC system will keep the temperature inside the building well-regulated without overworking the system.
Fill Up Your Freezer, Washer, and Dryer Completely
To optimally utilize large electrical appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, freezer, dryer, and so forth, the right thing is to fill them completely. Do a full heap of laundry. Keep your freezer and refrigerator fully-packed. This helps to keep cold temperatures more efficiently, unlike refrigerator with empty units.
There you have it! Above are a couple of tips to help reduce electricity usage both at home and at your workplace. Don’t wait until your electricity bills continue to increase exponentially before doing the right thing. By making use of the energy saving tips mentioned above, you can efficiently conserve energy, reduce electricity usage, and save monthly utility cost.
Whole house generator for storm season
With storm season right around the corner you have to ask yourself if you’re ready for it. With hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irma causing a lot of damage in the recent past, you have to be prepared for a Florida Hurricane; you will need a generator for hurricane season. Forecasters are predicting that the storm season will be above average this year. You need to make preparations for hurricanes as well as other kinds of summer storms depending upon where you are living. Storm season usually means power outages. And if the power outages where you live have a propensity to be frequent or last for long periods of time, having a whole house generator can be a necessity. To be prepared for storm season, you need a whole house generator on standby; you need your generator to be serviced; and you need to install surge protectors as well.
Don’t be afraid of spending a lot of money on a generator. If you are a business owner, particularly if you sell perishable goods, if you want to protect your business from the losses that can occur due to power outages, then the money you spend on a generator will be well worth your while. If you’re a homeowner, particularly if you have aged people living with you, power outages can be a major source of stress and annoyance. If you have a family member who is ill, power outages can be fatal consequences unless you are prepared for them.
In order to get the right generator for you, you need the Electrical Contractor to determine the size of the generator that you need. This size will be determined based on the budget you have allocated for the purpose, and the number of the circuits that you want backed up. Backup solutions can start pretty low, as low as about $750, should you need a generator that is portable, and should you want only a few circuits backed up, not making use of extraneous cords.
You need the installation of the generator to be appropriate for your needs. This would include the coordination of installing your tank of LP (liquid propane) or connecting your generator to your natural gas source, fueling the standby generator.
Generators additionally need to be serviced from time to time in order for them to keep running reliably. Good generator companies will aid you in keeping your generator functioning at its peak performance.
Generators, being electro-mechanical products, will need repair every now and then. You will need service crews that are factory trained to perform the repairs necessary, getting your generator running smoothly.
Generators are susceptible to failure. That’s why you will want a warranty to protect you from having to fund expensive repairs to your generator.
Your whole house generator
Your house may need a generator with a wattage of 20-30 kilowatts. That’s usually enough to power a 3,000 square-feet home. If you want everything backed up, but not at the same time, 20 kilowatts 20KW would be more than sufficient.
Feel free to schedule a consultation with Empire Electric Inc. to determine your needs.
Dangers of Federal Pacific Breakers
Today a circuit breaker panel under the name Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) with Stab-Lok circuit breakers means a considerable hazard of breaker malfunction and fire.
It was found in a lengthy probe that fire hazards and concealed electric shock are actually linked with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok® electric panels and circuit breakers. Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Lok® breakers and service panels were hazardous and can fall short, directing to hideous fires. In fact, the problem was that a number of 240-Volt FPE circuit breakers and perhaps a few 120-Volt units merely might not work too. (Inspectapedia.com, 2014)
An expected 2,800 fires every year specifically come about because of Federal Pacific board breaker fault. Numerous tests done on the breakers since the 1980s have demonstrated that one in four Stab-Lok breakers are flawed and won’t rightfully trip off. Regrettably, when the testing started in the mid 1980s, a New Jersey court later decided that FPE submitted testing misrepresentation and concealment, designating the breakers as meeting the models set by the UL when in all actuality, they were imperfect. Federal Pacific Electric went out of business long time ago, yet the peril and harm brought on by their carelessness proceeds. (Angie’s List | Find a Local Business, Ratings, Reviews, Deals, 2015)
Stab Lok circuit breakers are most generally found in houses constructed before 1990. Data and lab tests revealed by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit show numerous Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok breakers won’t trip, ceaselessly giving power to the short out, which can bring about severe heat and sometimes fire. While working appropriately, circuit breakers are intended to avert fires. They are intended to remove the stream of power when accused of over the top electrical request or short out, otherwise called “arching.” (NBC Bay Area, 2012)
Renovators and home owners who experience these boards ought to supplant the whole board and circuit breaker set with new gear. Replacing the panel could be extremely expensive ranging from $800 to $1200 according to service size and different components. There are other practical and security worries in the board other than the breakers themselves. There have been panel bus harm, meltdown of panel bus, and failure of breakers to continue as safe in or onto the relating bus itself. (Angie’s List | Find a Local Business, Ratings, Reviews, Deals, 2015)
The three major faults resulting in severe danger that Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panels could pose is:
- Federal Pacific Electric boards may not meet today’s redesigned security codes.
- Wires might be swarmed inside the board box.
- Bus bars might be spring-mounted.
- Breakers might be still dynamic when in the down position.
- Split bus breakers might no more meet redesigned security codes.
- Federal Pacific Electric boards might have noteworthy outline defects.
- Breakers might trip unexpectedly if the front cover is uprooted.
- Breakers might have free associations with the bus bars.
- Breakers are regularly stuck inside of their sockets, which can bring about congestion inside of the board.
- Breakers can undoubtedly come apart when set into sockets.
- Federal Pacific Electric boards might have producing imperfections.
- The materials used to develop the breakers might be frail.
- Therefore, the breakers may not trip, and the board could be defenseless and burst into flames.
Angie’s List | Find a Local Business, Ratings, Reviews, Deals, (2015). Are Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels Safe?. [online] Available at: http://www.angieslist.com/articles/are-federal-pacific-circuit-breaker-panels-safe.htm [Accessed 22 Jan. 2016].
Inspectapedia.com, (2014). Federal Pacific Electric Panels: Fires Waiting to Happen, Debate Waiting to Be Ended. [online] Available at: http://inspectapedia.com/fpe/FPE_Fires_Waiting_to_Happen.php [Accessed 22 Jan. 2016].
NBC Bay Area, (2012). FPE Circuit Breakers: Decades of Danger. [online] Available at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Federal-Pacific-Circuit-Breakers-Investigation-Finds-Decades-of-Danger-171406921.html [Accessed 22 Jan. 2016].