Learning to Be Electricians: Fun Projects for Kids

Four Questions to Ask a Commercial Electrical Contractor About Putting Electric Car Charging Stations in Front of Your Office

Posted by on September 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Questions to Ask a Commercial Electrical Contractor About Putting Electric Car Charging Stations in Front of Your Office

With increasing numbers of Australian drivers turning to electric cars, you may want to consider adding an electric charging station in front of your office. In most cases, you will need to work with a commercial electrical contractor to set up the charging station. As you investigate the possibilities and get an estimate from the contractor, here are some questions to keep in mind: How will you run power from your facility to the charging station? If you plan to put a charging station in your business parking lot, the commercial electrician will need to determine how to run power from your building to the parking lot. This may require moving landscaping, cutting concrete or other maneuvers to safely run the electrical line into place. Is a solar powered charging station feasible? If there is no way to run an electrical line from your business to the charging station, you may want to consider a solar powered charging station. You will need a professional installer to set this up, but you should still talk with your electrician. If you plan to place the solar panels in a different spot than the charging station, the electrician may need to help you wire everything together.  Can the electrician put in new circuits? If you are taking the electrical route, you also need to talk with the commercial electrical contractor about putting new  circuits for the charging stations. While some electrical cars can charge on standard outlets using a special adapter, you don’t want to just offer a regular outlet. Rather, you want to offer a dedicated charging station, as they are much faster than traditional outlets. However, they also use more power, and as a result, every station you install needs its own circuit. Do you want to offer charging for free or at a charge? If you don’t mind if the general public uses your charging station, you may want to opt for a station that requires the user to pay. Alternatively, if you want to offer free charging as a perk for your employees, you may want the system to be free. In the latter case, you may want the electrician to install a master switch so you can turn off the charging station at night when no one is in the office so people who don’t work at the company don’t try to charge their car for free. Figuring out what questions to ask when you are hiring a commercial electrical contractor can be difficult. However, the above questions are a great place to start. Contact a contractor to learn...

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3 electrical wiring and lighting tips when building a new house

Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 electrical wiring and lighting tips when building a new house

Building a new home allows you to achieve your dream structure and configuration. You’ll be able to plan the construction and tweak it to the way that suits you most. However, one of the toughest areas to plan for is the electrical wiring and lighting. You need to properly determine where each wire would go and be ready to have additions depending on your specific needs. Trying to alter the wiring after the home is fully built can be really expensive, so it’s important to ensure you don’t have any lurking surprises. Here are some tips to help you make the best out of the wiring. Plan your in-wall systems early enough If you’ve got a pet that sheds a lot of fur, or you intend on having a powerful vacuum, then go for in-wall systems. In-wall vacuum systems are very convenient, but you need to think ahead with them. You need to determine the best locations to place the outlets for these vacuum systems. Otherwise, you may have to tear down the walls when installing them later. Get a clear picture of how your furniture arrangement would be and the distance from each room. You should be able to reach to all rooms from the outlets and even go around any furniture. Having a specialist electrician would make it a lot easier to plan this out. Have a control system installed If you’re worried about the rising electrical costs, then a control system shouldn’t be far from your mind. Control systems can be used to moderate your energy requirements to reduce the overall electrical costs. These systems also dictate and manage the behaviour of other gadgets and devices in your home. For instance, you’d be able to remotely control your air conditioning, regulate the swimming pool temperatures or even switch the lighting on or off. A control system can also boost your security in the long run. If the budget is tight due to focusing on the structural layout, then simply have the outlets installed and planned for. Plan for future modification No matter how hard you try, predicting the complete future requirements for your home may be a bit tricky. That’s why you need to take pictures of the wiring and switches in each wall before the drywall is installed. This makes any future modifications a lot easier as your electrician would have a clear picture of how the wiring is structured. They’ll be able to know exactly where to locate the wires they need and also avoid damage to the existing...

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Summer Electrical Hazards to Be Aware Of

Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer Electrical Hazards to Be Aware Of

There are electrical hazards in and around your home all year, but there are some unique ones in the summertime. In order to avoid hazards and protect your home and family, follow these electrical safety tips when the weather gets hot. Have Trees Too Close to Power Lines You should never have trees that are close to power lines, but this is an even bigger risk in the summer. This is because during the summer, your kids are often home and playing outside, which might include wanting to climb trees or build a tree fort. If a tree is close to power lines, your kids are at a great risk for electrocution. It is best to trim any trees that reach close to the power lines or, better yet, cut them down in those areas. Use Electronics Around Swimming Pools In the summertime, your family probably uses swimming pools regularly, whether you have a little above-ground pool or an in-ground swimming pool. Make sure you are extra cautious and don’t allow any electronic devices, equipment, or appliances even close to the pool. Be extra careful when you have a radio plugged in outside during a pool day with the kids, or if you are using your laptop while supervising the kids in the pool. Make sure if your kids have electrical toys or games, they stay away from all outdoor sources of water, including pools and sprinklers. Use Weatherproof Outlet Covers A common issue with summer and electrical hazards is that power tools and electric gardening tools are used more often. You probably spend more times working on yard work and gardening, doing outdoor renovations, or plugging in extension cords for various outdoor activities. If you do this, make sure your outdoor outlets are set up properly. They need to have weatherproof outlet covers, as well as use a ground fault circuit interrupter with each one. Consult an electrician to install safer exterior outlets if needed. Keep Cords Away From Water You might also be using power tools or extension cords near areas of water in your backyard, which also become electrical hazards. For example, make sure your dog’s water bowls are in a different area than where your extension cord will be. If you had a summer rain, avoid using your power tools until the ground has dried completely. Make sure you consult an electrician if you are concerned with your home’s electrical system or to find out if you have other hazards around the...

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When Is It Time to Upgrade the Wiring In Your Older Home?

Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Is It Time to Upgrade the Wiring In Your Older Home?

As a homeowner, you may not ever think of your older home’s electrical systems until the power goes out, but it’s vital that you upgrade the wiring of your home as needed, even if it still has power. This is because old, outdated wiring can be a safety hazard, not just an annoyance. Note when and why it may be time to upgrade the wiring in your older home. 1. If your home has aluminum wiring Copper wiring is considered a good choice for homes today, but older homes may still have aluminum wiring. The connectors of aluminum wiring are often considered of poor quality as they loosen up over time. They may then cause sparks and electrical fires. You can have an electrician check to see if your home has aluminum wiring, but a contractor who needs to remove a wall for any reason may note that your wiring is aluminum. If so, consider calling an electrician to have the wiring or at least the connectors updated, even if the wiring is delivering electrical power. 2. If you own a computer, large-screen TV, central air conditioner, and the like Many decades ago, homes didn’t need to provide power for much more than a small television, small kitchen appliances, and a few fans. Today, however, families typically own computers, large-screen televisions, central air conditioners, oversized refrigerators, ranges with more than four burners, and the like. If your older home is delivering no more than sixty amps of power, a very typical amount many decades ago, you could actually be damaging those electrical devices. Running them on low power can put more wear and tear on their components. You home should have about 200 amps of power, something you can only get with updated wiring, to support all of today’s standard electrical devices. 3. If your circuit box is rusted The box or panel for your home’s circuits may get rusted over time, as it’s exposed to humidity and as the metal from which it’s made simply ages. If the box is old and rusty, chances are the wiring is old as well. If you’re considering replacing the circuit panel, something you should think about once it shows signs of age, you might consider upgrading the wiring at the same time. This will ensure all electrical components of your home are in good repair. For more information, talk to a professional residential electrical...

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Ever Heard These Two Residential Air Conditioning Myths?

Posted by on January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ever Heard These Two Residential Air Conditioning Myths?

Efficiency in the performance of home air conditioning systems is directly proportional to the level of maintenance carried out on these devices. DIY maintenance of residential air conditioners is common practice with a large number of homeowners. It is therefore important for the DIY homeowner to be able to distinguish the myths from the facts when it comes to use and maintenance of the residential air conditioner. This article provides a clarification on certain commonly held myths about residential air conditioning. Duct Tape For Air Ducts In the process of carrying out DIY air conditioning maintenance and/or repair on air ducts, homeowners are often forced to used tape when the need to seal these ducts arises. One of the most commonly held myths about residential air conditioning misleads DIY homeowners into using duct tape for sealing of air ducts within the air conditioning system. The prevalence of this myth is often fueled by the use of the word “duct” in duct tape.  However, this is often not the best tape for air conditioning maintenance or repairs because duct tape is known to allow for the escape of considerable quantities of air through the ducts. As such, the energy efficiency of the air conditioning system will be adversely affected. Also, duct tape is known to lose its adhesive qualities within a short while, which makes the tape fall off prematurely. Mastic tape is often preferred for use on air-duct related maintenance/repairs. Higher Thermostat Setting For Faster Conditioning Another highly prevalent myth about the use of residential air conditioning systems is that adjusting the thermostat to a higher temperature setting will heat the house faster. According to this myth, a lower temperature setting will also facilitate faster cooling of the affected indoor environment. This is a misinformed notion that only serves to put a strain on the residential air conditioner by making the unit work harder in accordance with the extreme thermostat adjustment. Residential air conditioning units are designed to produce the same amount of conditioned air or the same amount of heat (depending on the circumstance) irrespective of the temperature to which the thermostat is set. The rate of heating/cooling is determined by the amount of time it takes the thermostat to reach the desired temperature as opposed to how low or high the temperature setting is. The above-discussed are only two of the numerous number of myths commonly peddled about the use and maintenance of residential air...

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Electrical Inspection: Four Ways to Tell You Need One

Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Electrical Inspection: Four Ways to Tell You Need One

You rely on your electrical system to perform effectively at all times, but there are instances where you need to have your home re-wired or get an inspection to determine what the problem is. It is important that you pay close attention to the signs your home is giving you that it is time for an inspection. Here are some of these signs. You Keep Overloading the Circuit While it is not unusual to have the circuit blow every once in a while, it should not be happening on a regular basis. This usually happens because you have old wiring that can’t handle new, modern appliances and electronic devices. The circuit was originally built to only handle a certain amount of electricity, so when you are plugging in a lot of appliances or devices, the circuit gets overloaded and will shut off electricity to that part of the home. The best thing to do when your circuit keeps overloading is to call an electrician. It is important that you get an inspection to determine if repairs need to be made. The Outlets and Switches Look Worn or Burned Another sign that you shouldn’t ignore is when the light switches or outlet plates look damaged, worn, or burned. If they have burn marks, also known as scorch marks, that is a sign that you have a dangerous electrical situation on your hands. There should never be scorch marks on the outlets, nor should they feel warm to the touch. This is a sign of an electrical hazard and one that should not be put off. Do not turn on any lights or plug in appliances for the outlets and switches that look damaged. Instead, call an electrician to have an inspection done. Lights Keep Flickering A very common sign that your home’s electrical system needs to be inspected is when the lights keep flickering on and off. Like many other electrical situations, having this occur once or twice might be a random occurrence, but if it is happening regularly, call an electrical contractor. This is more common in older homes that have wiring not capable of handling the amount of light capacity your home needs. You most likely need to have the wiring re-done and might also need a new electrical panel or fuse box installed. Aside from the flickering lights, you might also notice them dimming. There Are Loose Connections An easy thing to check to determine if you have potential electrical problems is how tight your different electrical connections are. Go to all the outlet plates and light switches in your home and check to see if they are screwed tightly. If more than one of them seem loose, there is likely an issue with the wiring itself. This is a good reason to call an...

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3 Probable Causes Of Skyrocketing Energy Bills In Your Home

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Probable Causes Of Skyrocketing Energy Bills In Your Home

Like most people, you probably think that your electric bills are too high. And you’re right, but it isn’t always because the utility company is overcharging you. There are a myriad of causes between high energy bills in your home and it could be because of the way you utilise your electricity. Here are some probable causes between high energy bills and some solutions to bring them under control. While some fixes are simple, others may require the services of a professional electrician. Leaving Items Plugged In When Not In Use High energy bills could easily be related to a host of plugged-in appliances when not in use. This is because several modern gadgets and appliances draw electricity even when they are turned off. Devices like televisions, microwaves, coffee makers and computers will suck electricity even when they aren’t in use because they need power to establish the time and remain in standby mode. Similarly, devices like cell phones, tablets, laptops and portable games need constant charging. Make sure you unplug these devices from electric sockets when you’re not actively charging them. You will need to turn off the main electrical socket switch to prevent them from sucking electricity when not in use. High Energy Consumption Appliances Running Regularly Large appliances like clothes dryers, dishwashers and washing machines consume high levels of electricity. Using them often is sure to skyrocket your energy bills. If you’re going to use a dishwasher, make sure you fill it to its full capacity before running it. Don’t use any heat drying in your dishwasher because this function tends to consume the most electricity. You can always let your dishes dry naturally. For washing machines and clothes dryers, do fewer laundry rounds every week and make sure you have a full load every time. For drying, select low heat to reduce your electricity consumption. You’ll also want to replace all old appliances with energy efficient models because they consume less electricity. Faulty Wiring Faulty or old wiring is one of the most common reasons behind high electricity bills because old wiring tends to draw more electricity than necessary. This can even put a strain on your appliances because sudden electrical surges could end up damaging them. If you feel that faulty wiring is behind your home’s high electricity bill woes, then call an electrician to get the wiring replaced immediately. An electrician is trained to tackle these tasks professionally. Apart from these causes, you may also want to talk to your electrician about switching to energy efficient lights like LEDs and CFLs in place of your old incandescent light...

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Why Regular Electrical Wiring Inspections Are Important

Posted by on December 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Regular Electrical Wiring Inspections Are Important

If you own or manage a commercial building, then you are aware of the responsibility you have to ensure the safety of the people working in your building. Hiring a professional commercial electrician to do your electrical wiring is the first step in ensuring their safety. The next step is to have regular electrical wiring inspections (twice a year should do). These are the reasons why: Preventive measure Having regular electrical wiring inspections will ensure that problems with the wiring are detected early and corrected before they cause major damages to appliances and the building, or even worse, injury to the occupants. For instance, it is expected that over time, electrical wirings will wear out and start to fray around the edges. Should a person accidentally come into contact with these frayed wires, they could get electrocuted or start an electrical fire in the building. An electrical wiring inspection can ensure that incidents like these don’t happen. State regulations The initial electrical wiring for your building may have been in accordance with the state regulation. However, as the wires wear out with time, your building may be found to be non-compliant which could bring up a lot of problems with the state’s regulating authority. This is because of the number of people that may potentially be in danger by simply accessing your building. To avoid the hassle and costs of being non-compliant with state regulations, have a regular electrical wiring inspection done for your building. You too will have peace of mind knowing that the people working in your building are safe from any electrical incidents. Saving Money When your building’s wiring has a problem, the electrical appliances and lighting will not perform as well as they should. Eventually, everything attached to the power line could get damaged and you may end up with a huge electrical repairs and replacements bill on your hands. You may have to replace all the lighting in your building, which is quite expensive, and in some cases, compensate the building’s occupants for damages to their electrical appliances. All this can be avoided by a thorough inspection of the building’s electrical wiring. Building’s value Your building is an investment and you should do everything you can to increase its value in the property markets. Regular electrical wiring inspections can help you do that. Not only will they guarantee the safety and compliance of your building to state regulation, they will also ensure that your wiring is up to date with current trends, making it more marketable since most buyers prefer a building that needs the least amount of upgrading as...

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Key Considerations When Choosing Commercial LED Lights

Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Key Considerations When Choosing Commercial LED Lights

Due to its multiple benefits, a lot of businesses are switching to commercial LED lighting. This is one bandwagon that you should definitely get on as a business owner. As you consider LED light installations, there are certain things that you must take into consideration. Objectives Always begin with the end in mind. Have a meeting with your electrician and discuss with him or her what you would like to achieve by installing these LED lights. Since LED lights have a wide range of flexibility and functionality, these objectives may go beyond the traditional ones of having adequate lighting and saving money on power bills. You may want to include interesting light displays and use these LED lights to create a certain ambience for your business. Be sure to give a detailed description of these lighting features so that you and your electrician are on the same page before starting the work. Lumens Lumens are the measurement of how much light is being emitted from a light source. This varies based on the brand of LED chip in the bulb, the colour of the light, and type of materials constituting the light housing. Note that lumens do not necessarily reflect the wattage of a bulb. You could get a 10 watt LED bulb from two different manufacturers that will emit different amounts of light. Since one of the main objectives of using LED lighting is to reduce your power bill, you will have to use the right bulbs based on their watts, lumens range and brand to suit the business, while cutting down on power use as much as possible. Your electrician should be able to advise you accordingly on this. Colour With LED lighting you get to have a wider variety of colours and hues that you can use for your business. Having differently coloured lights can work well in creating the right ambience for your business or for changing the mood for special occasions. If you need LED lights for general lighting, there are various colour temperatures within the white colour spectrum that will determine how bright your space will be. These temperatures range from Interna, which is quite a warm ambient colour, to Super Daylight which gives a very bright white colour. Apart from the ambience, your colour choice will also determine how much power you will use. For instance, if you replace Super Daylight colour with Interna, you may have to raise the watts of your bulbs to achieve the same light output. You should certainly discuss your options with your electrician to ensure you are making the right...

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How to Convert a Garden Shed into a Work at Home Office Space

Posted by on August 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Convert a Garden Shed into a Work at Home Office Space

Working from home as an independent contractor has its benefits. One of those benefits is the ability to convert a garden shed into a work at home office space that is all your own. This means you can design the perfect workspace and have everything you’ve ever dreamed off in an office. If you are looking at expanding into your own work at home space and you plan on converting the garden shed as part of your plan, then her are a few steps to achieve your goal. Insulating the Shed If the shed is not already insulated, you will want to take that step before you begin the actual office construction. The reason for this is to keep the area comfortable for you and safe for your electronics. For example, you want to make sure that the humidity is kept to a minimum so your computers and printers aren’t damaged. Proper insulation will help with this step. You can purchase the insulation from most home improvement stores, install it yourself, and then hang drywall over the insulated area. This will provide a climate controlled area while giving your new office a finished look. Hire an Electrical Contractor Running electric to the converted garden shed is something you should leave to the professionals. By hiring professional electrical contractors, you can safely have electricity wired to your new office. You can also have the electrical options, phone options, and internet plugs placed exactly where you need them. You can even have the contractors install timers to ensure the electric turns off at a certain time for energy efficiency. Waterproofing and Painting One of the last steps you will want to take in converting your garden shed into a home office space is to waterproof and paint the building. This includes waterproofing and sealing the concrete floor as well as painting the interior and exterior of the building. You can save time by using a waterproofing paint that has the sealant and the color all in one. To insulate the floor, if it is concrete, you can use an epoxy seal that will seal against water as well as offer a buffer against the cold that concrete can hold. These are just three of the steps to converting a garden shed into a work at home office space. If you are serious about moving forward with these plans, you may want to consider discussing your options with, not only an electrical contractor, but also with a general contractor. They can tell you how to upgrade your space, any options they can offer you, and give you a price estimate for their...

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