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5 Energy-Saving Electrical Tips For The Bathroom

energy-saving electric tips for bathroom

Did you know you can save quite a bit on your electrical bill by making some small changes in the bathroom, in five common areas: water use, lighting, insulation, ventilation and personal appliances. We have energy-saving tips for you, which translates to some reduced electrical bills… and I know you’re interested in finding out how to make that happen.

Read on to find out more, as our experts here at Wire Craft Electric provide some practical suggestions to save money on your electrical bill.

Cut Water Use

  • Conserve on water use by investing in a low flow shower head. Find a shower head that has water flow of one to two gallons a minute, for maximum savings
  • Install an aerator on your faucet to limit flow to half a gallon a minute
  • Invest in a low-flow flushing system for the toilet can cut the amount of water per flush up to nearly 50%, too. Buy a toilet with a 1.28 gallons per flush limit
  • One more device that can reduce your electrical bill is a hot water recirculating pump, with timer to maintain instant availability of hot water
  • Fix any leaks right away – it’s easy to patch or throw down towels to avoid confronting the problem head on (life gets busy!), but fixing the issue right away is going to save you time, money, and resources

Use Eco Lighting

From the night light to the mirror lighting, use either compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or light-emitting diode bulbs (LED). Look for ENERGY STAR rated bulbs for a 75 percent drop in energy use, and a period of use 25 times longer than older model incandescent bulbs.

Ventilate with a new, energy-efficient fan

ENERGY STAR rated ventilation fans, with built-in lighting, use approximately 65% less energy than the conventional fans. In terms of dollars, this is a savings of approximately $120.

Seal for Greater Insulation for Better Energy-Saving

Seal around your bathroom windows, baseboards, and floor. Also, seal the spaces around pipes, duct work, and any electrical wiring to reduce heating and cooling costs. Note that a jacket around your hot water heater can cut heat loss into the surrounding cooler air by 25-40%.

Change your habits in the bathroom:

  • Unplug your toothbrush, razor, and any rechargeable appliances when charged
  • Be economical in your use of the hair dryer, curling iron, and other appliances – maybe find a time to shower when you can allow your hair to air-dry, or only use a curling iron a couple of times a week
  • Turn off the water while you soap your hands, brush your teeth, or have. Turn water back on to rinse
  • Discipline yourself to take 5-10 minute showers, instead of baths, to save a considerable water

If you have any electrical questions, we’re here and ready to help.

Call Wire Craft Electric to help you start save money on your electrical bill, today. Energy-saving matters!

 

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3 Ways to Troubleshoot a Dead Power Outlet

dead power outlet

Ever have those moments when you leave your computer or tablet plugged into the wall, only to come back hours later and find that the battery is completely dead? Dead power outlets can be a huge inconvenience, but the good news is that you might not need an electrician to fix the problem.

In most cases you can save yourself the time by simply troubleshooting the problem on your own. Here are a few ways that you can analyze a dead power outlet issues in your home, before you go the route of calling a local electrician to fix the problem. We like to be sure you’re equipped enough to make an informed decision, so that when you make an appointment, you know that you’re doing the right thing.

Check Other Outlets

Before you get started resetting the circuit breaker or unscrewing the outlet cover, test the other outlets in your home to see if there are others that are dead or aren’t working. Switch the lights in the same room and adjacent rooms off and on to see if they work. To prevent an overload, do one switch at a time. Plug a small lamp into other outlets in the area and flip it on and off to check for power to those outlets. Use a small piece of painter’s tape to mark any other dead outlets, and unplug all devices from the dead outlets.

Check Your Breaker

Make sure that your hands are totally dry before moving forward, and that you are standing on a dry surface at all times. Handling electrical issue can be dangerous, and this will help you reduce risks and potential hazards.

The next thing that you will want to do is check your circuit breaker box for a breaker trip. Open your breaker box to observe which breaker switches are not lined up with the rest of the breaker handles. They will either be in the off or neutral position. Flip the tripped breakers to the off position first, then flip them on. If you have just overloaded your breaker, which is a fairly common occurrence, that should reset it so that your outlets now work.

Check your Fuse Box

If your panel uses fuses, you may have to run a quick errand. Check all of the fuses in your panel to see if the metal inside the fuse has melted. If the glass at the top of the fuse is dark, that means that the fuse will not work anymore.

In that case, you will want to remove that fuse and take it to a hardware store. That way you can make sure that you replace with the exact fuse that you need.

After you have switched your circuit breaker and replaced any blown fuses, plug a lamp. You can also use something into the dead outlet to see if it works. If it does, you are all set – that was easy, right?

Still having problems with a dead power outlet?

But, if you’re still experiencing the problem, you may want to call an electrician. That could be indicative of a problem with the wiring to your outlet. It is always best to leave that sort of thing to a professional. If you’re in the Seattle or Shoreline area, Wire Craft is happy to help fix your dead power outlet!

 

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4 Warnings an Electrical Fire May Occur in Your Home

warning signs of electrical fires in your home

Fire departments in the United States respond to nearly 30,000 home electrical fires each year, and these fires cause more than $1 billion in property damage – not to mention tragic loss of life and preventable injuries. We’ve outlined the most common causes of home fires below so that you can take necessary precautions.

1.Damaged Goods

One major source of fire are electrical cords with damage. Nicked or cut cords, a cord separating from the plug, and cords with any exposed wiring are all causes for concern. Many hardware stores will repair the cords for you, and they also sell a do-it-yourself kit. Avoid running cords across doorways or under rugs or carpets since they are more easily damaged under heavy foot traffic.

We recommend having a professional electrician add outlets to alleviate use of extension cords. Damaged Christmas light electrical cords present a particularly dangerous home hazard, and account for a large number of home fires in December and January. Making sure your light cords are not damaged, that the lights are properly plugged in, and that they are not left on a dry tree are all great preventative measures… And never leave Christmas lights plugged in when you are away from home for an extended period of time!

2.TR Outlets

Tamper-resistant (TR) electrical outlets are a necessity in homes with small children or curious pets. Most new building codes now require ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), but if your home is older, make sure you have these, especially in bathrooms, kitchen, laundry areas, basement, and outdoor areas – any place there are faucets or other water sources.

3.Connection Overload Causing Electrical Fires

Outlets cannot handle 10 or 12 items at one time. So, definitely avoid outlet overload. Electrical products come with manufacturer instructions for plugging the device into an outlet, and for high-wattage appliances, only plug that one item into an outlet at any given time. A tried and true test is that if the outlet feels warm or have discoloration. It likely have an overload and possibly has damage, so in this case, calling a qualified electrician is the best idea.

4.Heat Equal Fire

Lamps should always be in safe areas, away from things that can burn. This includes curtains, and paper. Only use a light bulb that matches the recommended wattage for the lamp. This is typically very visible inside or near the lamp’s bulb socket.

Electrical fires are completely preventable. The smart and responsible thing you can do is to schedule a home check with one of our qualified electricians.

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Beware: How to Spot Faulty Electrical Switches

faulty electrical switchesIntroduction to Spotting Faulty Electrical Switches

Electrical problems are unavoidable; any homeowner can attest to this. Newer home have the luxury of avoiding many of the electrical problems that happen when homes are older, but that doesn’t mean newer homes are entirely in the clear. We’ve learned more than our fair share about electrical issues from personal experience, and one thing we wanted to share with you today was that you can spot faulty electrical switches pretty easily if you know what to look for. You should look for the following signs so you can avoid possible unfortunate circumstances. Share this information with those you know, as well – an informed homeowner is a safe and happy homeowner.

Look for breakers and fuses going out.

To help protect your home from fire, you should take note if your breakers and fuses go out. Fuses need to be replaced whenever they “go out”, so it’s important to pay attention to them. If too many higher amp applications are plugged into a single circuit, the fuse will probably blow out, because the number of amps that’s plugged into the breaker is too high for it to handle. If you spot this in your home, or in anyone else’s home, you are a step ahead of the game. You can easily prevent a fuse from blowing by unplugging something.

Look for dimming or flickering lights.

Both of these are signs of a circuit overload. If you see this on a regular basis in your home, you may want to call in an electrician to check it out. This might be something that only a professional can handle, and you don’t want to put yourself at risk.

Look for charred or discolored outlets and switches.

If you spot either one of these, you definitely need to call in an electrician. This is a sign that there is faulty wiring in the circuit, or a loose connection on the switch that is causing a short. This can cause a fire and can be very dangerous.

Be aware if there is a burning smell.

If you smell burning, it might be best to step out of your home and call a professional right away. This is always because of some kind of short, but you won’t know where’s its location unless you call in a professional. In some cases, the short might be in one of your outlets, but that’s not something that you should investigate on your own. You should always put your safety first in a situation like this.

Be aware of shock effects by faulty electrical switches and outlets.

If this happens, that’s a definite sign of a faulty electrical switch. Sometimes, the solution might just be something simple, like fixing a wire in the circuit shorting.

If you have any questions, you can contact us a Wire Craft Electric. We’re happy to help.

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6 Tips to Hiring a Professional Electrician

professional electrician

Hiring an electrician can be tricky. You don’t want to bring a stranger into your home and trust him with your electrical problems without even knowing who this person is. Let’s be honest… It’s hard to trust people these days. And, even if you can trust him, how do you know that he is a reputable electrician and that he really knows what he’s doing?

Sometimes, you can’t trust someone just based upon advertisements. Many people have had issues with hiring someone to come into their homes, whether it’s an electrician, a plumber, a cable technician – anyone really. People hear something good on an advertisement, and they assume that it’s totally true. Unfortunately, this is how advertising works these days. Ads will say just about anything in order to get new business and entice you to pick up the phone and make an appointment.

If you are wondering how to hire an electrician that you can trust, look no further! We’ve got some tips for you that will simplify the process and will make you feel better about the person you hire.

Check credentials of the Professional Electrician

The electrician you hire should be licensed. You can find out if he or she is licensed just by asking to see the license, specifically. If he or she is hesitant about showing it to you, then that’s a huge red flag. You can find out about local license requirements in your area from the local building department or official. Being licensed as an electrician is crucial and you should never hire someone who isn’t. If you want someone to trust and you want someone who knows what they’re doing, then you want an electrician who is licensed.

Costs

Make sure the electrician’s rates aren’t too crazy. Electricians make good money, but don’t let them rip you off. Compare some costs before you decide on an electrician. There are probably a whole bunch of electricians in your area that you can look into before you hire anyone in particular. Don’t make hasty decisions – really look into who you’re hiring, and find out all about their costs before you decide.

References

It never hurts to get some references before you hire an electrician. Reference are essential for anyone who has their own business, and the electrician you are considering should have references ready for you when you ask. Asking for references isn’t a big deal and you shouldn’t feel bad about doing so. It’s essential for you to have references in order to make sure that the person you’re hiring is qualified for the job and has done great work in the past.

Insurance

An electrician should absolutely have liability insurance. This is something essential that a reliable electrician should have, so make sure that your electrician has this before you hire him.

Reputation

Ask around to see if people have any suggestions for good electricians. Reputation is everything. If someone close to you says that they have a good electrician, then make some calls. This is to find out if what she says is true. People don’t make up good things about electricians, so you know if an electrician has a good reputation, then he is actually a good one. Reviews can help you out seek for a professional electrician.

Warranty

For larger electrical jobs, you should definitely hire an electrician who offers a warranty with his services. This should be a professional electrician. Written document that obviously states the action that he will take. If anything goes wrong during the job he does for you, you have something in hand. Having a warranty is essential if you’re going to invest a lot of money into a professional electrician. They work they do for you will impact your home, and you don’t want anything to go wrong. In order to protect your home and yourself, it’s best to hire an electrician that will offer you a warranty.

There you have it! Follow these simple tips to hiring an electrician. Hiring an electrician might seem overwhelming, but don’t let it stress you out. You will absolutely find an electrician that you will feel comfortable with after doing a little research. Get to know what electricians are around in your area.

If you have any further questions, please contact us today and we will help you!

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8 Warning Signs of Electrical Wiring Problems

6_8_WarningSigns_final

You might have signs of electrical wiring problems, and you don’t even know it. Here are eight signs of electrical wiring problems, so you will know about them when the time comes.

Circuit breakers

Lots of modern homes are built with modern circuit breakers that have replaced having a fuel box. It’s very common for a circuit breaker to trip and to turn off a circuit automatically. If this happens, you will probably only have to put the switch back. If a circuit breaker trips often though, you might be overloading its safety capacity.

Dimming or flickering lights

This is a common problem in older homes, especially the homes that have modern appliances like microwave ovens and things like that. Sometimes a flickering lamp is the problem, and in this case, you should test the lighting fixture that’s in question in an outlet that’s different from its normal one.

Buzzing lamps

If your lamp buzzes when you turn it on, it’s probably just because of a bad wire. However, if you feel a slight shock or buzz when you turn it on, it could be the beginning of a serious electrical problem, and it would probably be a good idea to have it checked out by an electrician.

Hot outlets

Electrical outlets should never be hot to the touch, so if they are, that could be the beginning of a serious electrical problem and you should probably get it checked out.

Ground fault circuit interrupters

These are required by code and they should be tested regularly. If one of yours isn’t working properly, it could be a sign of faulty wiring in your home.

Faulty cable splices

These could be a sign of bad wiring, and you should get it checked out.

Aluminum wiring

This is only typical for older homes, but there is a chance it could still be an issue for you if you have bought an older home.

The odor of burning

If you smell burning plastic of vinyl, then that is definitely the sign that you have faulty wiring in your home and you need to get it fixed right away.

For questions or concerns about warning signs or other electrical needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. We’re standing by!

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Successfully Install a Light Fixture at Home in 5 Easy Steps

Install Light Fixture DIY

Replacing a light fixture proves to be a simple project. However, caution ensures it is not shockingly simple. With any electrical repair or installation, be sure to understand the steps to protect you and your home. We thought we would rundown a quick checklist of tips and safety precautions for the next time this shows up on your to do list.

First, turn off the power

Shutting off the light at the switch alone does not necessarily cut power to the wires. Head to the breaker panel to turn off power to the fixture you are working on. This important step ensures that power will be MIA in the box needing your attention.

For unlabeled panels, turn the light fixture on. Then, power off the circuits in the breaker panel one at a time until the source is revealed. Label the circuit, leaving it off. Turn the switch off in the room as well.

Remove the old light fixture

Once the power is cut, you can remove the old fixture. Disconnect the fixture wires from the installed wires by removing the connectors and twisting the wires apart. Any remaining fixture parts can also be taken down.

Be sure to tighten the screws in the mounted electrical box, if they are loose. Also, be certain the box is suitable for the weight of the new fixture and is grounded. If not, install a new electrical box.

Connect the wires

You are halfway there. The three wires dangling from the electrical box should be white (neutral), black (current) and copper (ground). The manufacturer’s instructions provide further information on connecting the wires. Be sure to follow them carefully, even those of you who detest directions.

To get started, the black and white wires typically connect with their color matching counterparts. The copper, often green, wire connects to a grounding screw. Each wire attaches by twisting or wrapping its bare ends around the bare ends of its counterpart. The final step involves twisting on the wire connectors. And, tucking the wires back into the electrical box.

Attach the new fixture

The new fixture mounts to the electrical box with the provided hardware. In some cases, wisdom says to have an extra set of hands nearby. Heavy fixtures or those mounted on high ceilings may prove precarious for one installer. Mount any trims or covers, and adjust any chain lengths.

Once installed, locate the recommended, correct wattage bulb. LED bulbs are an efficient choice. Following both of these recommendations leads to greater bulb life, increased safety and decreased costs.

Turn on the power

While it may seem obvious, return to the breaker panel and turn the circuit on. With the power restoration, the switch should now be operational.

Enjoy the glow of a job well done! If you have any questions or concerns about this or other electrical happenings in your home, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

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4 Tips & Tools for Preventing Electrical Fires

Preventing Electrical Fires

If the lights come on when you flip the switch, the refrigerator keeps food cold, and you’re able to watch your favorite shows on TV, that means that your electricity is working perfectly, right? Not necessarily. There are some not-so-obvious issues that could lead to potential electrical fires in your house. Here are four tips and tools you can employ to be sure that you’re actively preventing electrical fires at home.

1. Update home wiring older than 30 years

Faulty wiring is the leading cause of electrical fires, and the older your house is, the greater the chance your wiring is outdated or unsafe. Not only can you not be sure that your wiring is up to code, but it’s also possible that the wire insulation has deteriorated over time. It is well worth your investment to have a licensed electrician inspect your home’s wiring, especially if you’ve experienced any of the following:

  • Breakers that trip frequently
  • Flickering lights
  • Warm, discolored, or sparking outlets
  • Two-pronged, ungrounded outlets in your home
  • No GFCI outlets in areas like kitchens and bathrooms

Not only will your home be safer with updated wiring, but you may also receive a lower insurance premium as well.

2. Repair frayed electrical cords

You might think it’s ok to continue to use a charger or appliance that has a frayed electrical cord, but you put your home at risk of electrical fire by doing so. You also put yourself at risk of shock if you use a cord with exposed wires. Frayed cords can do damage to your appliances, so it can be a much cheaper option to repair damaged cords rather than continue to use them.

3. Install tamper-resistant receptacles helps preventing electrical fires

Tamper-resistant receptacles have spring-loaded shutters that close off the slots of your outlets unless a two-prong plug is inserted to cause both shutters to open. If you have children, we highly suggest that you have these receptacles installed. If your curious child inserts something like a key or hairpin into one opening of the outlet, there won’t be any contact with electricity. Not only will this protect children from shock and burns, but it’ll also prevent possible electrical fires.

4. Check your lamps

Light fixtures and light bulbs are common causes of electrical fires. Mainly, installing a light bulb that is too high of a wattage for the fixture is a major cause of fire. Placing flammable materials over a lampshade can cause a fire. Always check the wattage of light bulbs used in your fixtures and never go over the recommended amount, and keep your fixtures away from flammable materials.

Preventing electrical fires are a combination of vigilance on your part as a homeowner and finding a trusted, licensed electrician to make any repairs that are necessary. Contact the pros at Wire Craft Electric if you need an inspection or any repairs made to improve the safety of your home.

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Insider’s Guide to Common Home Electrical Problems

home electrical problems

Electrical problems are really common, no matter where you live. There are some problems that are more common than others.

Problems with light bulbs and fixtures

Light bulbs can flicker and blink, which means that there is a poor connection somewhere along the circuit line. If the blink happens through a lot of the home, then there might be a bad connection in a main wire. Don’t worry, if you need someone to tell you if this is the case, we’re glad to help – just reach out.

Back to bulbs. Some lights get extra bright, while others run really dim. Bulbs might even be popping, which means that an electrical appliance could have died recently and maybe you don’t know about it. This is a condition that will continue to have negative effects in your home, so it’s best to get this checked out right away. Again, we’re happy to help and address issues like this all the time.

If a recessed light goes off sometimes, and it later works again, then this probably means that the wrong style or wattage of bulbs is being used, and that ceiling-space insulation is too close around the light.

Dead outlet problems

If a set of lights simply just went dead, then you probably have a very poor connection along a circuit. This is only a minor problem.

If half an outlet works and the other half doesn’t, then this probably means that one half might be energized by a wall switch. The other common cause of this is that that usage of this plug over time has loosened the hold that one half has on the cords you plug into it.

Tripping-breaker problems

When the microwave or hair dryer is on, then these high-wattage items are too much for the circuit. You might have to put these kinds of products on lower wattages in order to keep using them.

Home Electrical Problems with switches

If a wall switch gets really warm, this might be normal. It’s normal for them when running  600 watts worth of bulbs or less.

If a switch doesn’t seem to control anything at all, then you might have to replace some of the receptacles. They might have been disabled by how they were replaced at one time. This applies mainly to bedrooms and living rooms, though.

Say goodbye to home electrical problems. We hope this was helpful. Keep this saved so you can refer back to it when necessary. We’re also ready to answer specific questions if you still need something addressed, so contact us and let’s get started.

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7 Tips for Electrical Safety at Home

electrical safety

Electricity is an essential part of our lives, and using it safely is of vital importance. Every year, thousands of people in the U.S. suffer from injury and electrocution. As a result of electrical accidents and electrical fires in their homes. Preventing these injuries and fires will be easy by understanding basic electrical safety practices.

Here are seven tips for electrical safety at home.

Get to Know Your Electrical Panel for Electrical Safety

Your electrical panel is essentially a big switch with smaller switches that delivers electricity to different parts of your home. It’ll have a main breaker, which controls the entire panel, and smaller breakers that service specific rooms or appliances. If a breaker trips, you can identify it by it being in an off or nearly off position. Turn it completely off and back on to reset it. However, if it trips again right after it’s reset, that means there is potentially an electrical problem. Continuing to reset it can cause a fire, so contact an electrician to look into the issue for you.

Ground Older Appliances

A grounded appliance means that the appliance is connected to an electrical neutral, so the circuit breaker will be tripped if there is an electrical fault. This will protect you from electrical shock and injury.

Use Extension Cords Properly

Limit your use of extension cords if possible. If you need to use one, make sure it is the appropriate size for use, don’t connect cords, and don’t run it across doorways or under carpets. Instead of extension cords, consider having a qualified electrician add circuits or outlets.

Never Use Water on an Electrical Fire

Water conducts electricity, so throwing it on a fire could make the fire bigger. Use a chemical fire extinguisher instead. Make sure you always have one on hand.

Check Outlets and Switches

Wobbly switches or outlets that you should install properly. If it loose from the stud, you have to fix it. Faceplates that are warm to the touch could signify a number of electrical issues, as well. Always cut the power to outlets and switches before making any repairs or doing any investigation.

Practice Good Appliance Safety

Immediately unplug an appliance that isn’t working properly or is sparking. In addition to that, make sure to unplug appliances before cleaning or repairing. Turning off an appliance does not cut the electricity to it, only unplugging it does. If you’re using high-wattage appliances, make sure to only plug one into an outlet at a time.

Always Use A Qualified, Licensed Electrician

DIY electrical work can be dangerous and it is the best practice to contact a qualified and licensed electrician. They will help you to make any repairs or changes to your home’s electricity.

Contact the professionals at WireCraft Electric if you have any questions or concerns with your home’s electricity.

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