Skip to Content

Blog

Tips and Tools For Upgrading To A Smart Home

With so much technology at your fingertips, you can easily automate your home. With just a flick of a finger or a simple voice instruction, everything in the home may be wired up to be conveniently scheduled for activation.

What’s great is that you can easily turn your humble abode into a fully automated or smart home. Try these tips and tricks to know where and how to start automation in your house.

Consider priority concerns in the home

Is security one of the priority concerns or is it energy consumption? How about coming home to perfect mood lighting and room temperature? Whatever your first preferences to automate are, start looking into options on how to upgrade.

Make an initial layout or list for your smart home

You don’t have to be an engineer in order to plan out how you would like a smart home device to be put in place. There are people who can help you install the gadgets that you need, such as closed-circuit television cameras, alarm systems, and automated lighting systems. All you need to do is make a rough layout where you need the equipment to be strategically set up.

For instance, if you want to use energy efficiently, you may want to schedule when to turn on (or turn off) the electricity in your home. With a smart home, lights and home appliances will be automatically shut off when you leave the house.

Explore your options before deciding on automation

Educate yourself on automation, especially on the do’s and don’ts. Find the most recommended tools or equipment that comply with safety standards. It’s also a good idea to ask friends, relatives or colleagues about their experiences in upgrading to a smart home.

Find a professional to help upgrade your home

After all the planning and research, make sure to tap the services of a professional who can help you with the home automation you desire. We at Wire Craft Electric are ready to answer your queries and respond to your needs. We aim to deliver service that is fast, reliable and of the highest quality.

Final Word

Imagine coming home to a relaxing ambiance with music playing, lights turned on, and the room temperature set to your liking. Those things are all possible, thanks to a smart home upgrade. Once your home is all set up, you will no doubt enjoy the perks of automation.

0 0 Continue Reading →

A Handy DIY Guide To Changing A Light Bulb

How many homeowners does it take to change a light bulb? One person should suffice, but it wouldn’t hurt to know how to properly replace a light bulb. This guide will teach you how to do the light bulb replacement yourself, along with some safety tips.

Steps in Changing a Light Bulb

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly – and safely – replace any light bulb in your home:

1. Shut off the power in the lighting fixture.

You don’t have to go to the main electrical panel to turn off the power all over the house. All you need to do is either turn off the breaker where the lighting receptacle is, or turn the light switch off.

2. Let the bulb cool down before handling.

Some bulbs – especially incandescent lamps and other old models – tend to heat up when they’re lighted up. As soon as you switch the power off, wait a couple of minutes before touching the bulb.

Although LED lamps aren’t too hot to the touch even when turned on, it wouldn’t hurt to be on the safe side when handling hot bulbs.

3. Use a secure platform when replacing overhead bulbs

Never attempt to replace ceiling lamps while standing on a rickety chair! Make sure to use a sturdy ladder or a stable surface that you can confidently stand on without fear of the structure collapsing beneath you.

4. Replace the old bulb with the new one.

First things first, make sure that you know what kind of bulb base you are using – is it bayonet or screw cap? If you don’t know this, you might end up buying an incompatible lamp for your receptacle.

Take a firm and steady grip of the old bulb as you turn it counterclockwise until it gets released from the receptacle. Set aside the old bulb, and then install the new bulb by rotating it clockwise into the socket.

5. Turn the power on.

You will know if you’ve done the job well when you see the bulb get lighted as you switch on the power. If the lamp does not turn on, it might be possible that the installation is loose. Repeat the steps above, then unscrew and screw back the lamp into place.

Final Word

Although a light bulb replacement sounds easy, disregarding safety may cause you to incur additional expenses and increase the risk of accidents and fires. If you have a question or a point of uncertainty when it comes to your home electrical system, don’t hesitate to contact us at Wire Craft Electric.

0 0 Continue Reading →

5 Critical Questions To Ask Your Home Electrician

Got an electrical concern that needs immediate attention? If you recently encountered something amiss in your electricals within your house, it might be time to ask for the help of an electrician.

On the other hand, while your home electrical system may look like it’s running smoothly, it probably won’t hurt to ask your trusted electrician about it as well.

Things You Can Ask Your Electrician

Here are five questions that you may ask an electrical contractor in terms of electrical concerns at home.

1. Do you have a license?

One of the first things you need to ask any electrician before working on your home is a license to carry out such work. Contractors who are licensed to carry out electrical work give you the assurance that your electrical concern will be attended to by a professional.

2. Are you insured?

Another factor that separates good electricians from the sketchy ones is whether they offer an insurance for the work that they do. The electrical professional should be able to present an insurance policy when you ask it from them. This is critical, in case something goes awry during the job.

3. How long will the job take?

Time is of the essence when it comes to electrical work – especially in the case of electrical fires or frequent flickering of lights. Don’t hesitate to ask the electrician about the duration of the work.

Knowing how long the job will take brings a lot of benefits:

  • You have an idea when you can use the electrical system again.
  • You can assign people who will stay at home while the work is ongoing (especially if you need to go to work).
  • You will know when to keep kids away from the area and when they are safe to return.
  • You can estimate how big the problem is, and perhaps prepare yourself in terms of expenditure.

4. Can you give me a cost estimate?

Speaking of expenses, don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for a cost estimate. You are allowed to refuse them if the total cost goes beyond your budget.

Having said that, you can do any of these things if you feel like the cost is too high:

  • Ask for a reconsideration of the offer
  • Ask which parts are important and which ones may be delayed for future attention
  • Look for another electrical contractor to ask for their price quotation

5. Do you offer free assessment?

Most electrical contractors offer free checkup of your electrical system, and will only bill you as soon as you’ve agreed on the course of action to take.

Final Word

It’s perfectly alright to ask your electrician some tough questions. After all, handling your home electrical system is no light matter. Feel free to ask us at Wire Craft Electric, in case you have electrical queries that you need to be answered.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Steps To Put Out An Electrical Fire

What will you do if you see an electrical outlet burst into fire? It’s easy to panic when you witness this phenomenon, especially if you don’t know what to do. Before you make things worse, learn these steps on how to properly address an electrical fire incident.

What To Do In Case of an Electrical Fire

1. Do not panic.

The most common reason why an electrical fire becomes worse has something to do with heightened emotions. Most people go on panic mode when they see fire, most especially when it’s coming from an electrical appliance or power outlet.

This first step cannot be stressed enough: calm down.

2. Cut off power in the affected area.

As soon as you identify where the electrical fire is happening, look for a way to shut off the electrical power in that section. If it’s a small appliance on fire, unplug it from the outlet. If it’s a wire or receptacle, shut off the power at the panel.

3. Use baking soda as a first aid.

When you’ve isolated the fire and made sure that there’s no more power supply to the affected area, you may douse the fire with baking soda. This is effective when the fire is small and controllable, such as a burning toaster oven or power strip.

4. Never use water to put out the fire.

Even if you know that you’ve disconnected the burning electrical appliance from the source, do not attempt to put the fire out with water. Chances are, you may not have totally removed the electricity yet, and this may cause an electrical shock. Remember that tap water conducts electricity pretty well, and this would make things worse if you get electrocuted during the process.

5. Call emergency services or an electrician.

Regardless of what happens after the four steps above, don’t forget to call professionals who can address the issue permanently and suppress the fire totally. You may call us at Wire Craft Electric so that we can assess the situation right away.

If the fire hasn’t stopped yet, it’s always a good idea to call 911. In short, don’t be too confident and say that you’ve stopped the fire yourself.

Final Note

Always be on your toes when it comes to home safety, especially when we’re talking about electricity. By preparing for an emergency event such as an electrical fire, you can prevent further damage and be able to address the issue without batting an eyelash.

0 0 Continue Reading →

How To Save Big on Power Costs During Summer

Your home air conditioning unit and refrigerator are probably working overtime these days, as the summer season peaks. Here are some cost-saving tips to bring down your electricity bill even in this hot weather.

Check how efficient you’re using energy at home

One of the first things you need to do is assess the integrity of your electrical system and the efficiency in using energy inside your home. You may not realize it, but you’re sending money down the drain just because you’re wasting electricity.

You may tap us at Wire Craft Electric, and we’ll be more than happy to check the energy use in your house.

Keep indoor climate intact

Maintaining the temperature inside your home may involve heater systems or air conditioning units, but you can improve the energy efficiency by making sure that external factors aren’t affecting your indoor climate.

Here are some practical ways to keep the temperature stable inside your house:

  • Close your doors and windows as often as possible.
  • Seal any cracks and gaps in windows and doors.
  • Add window curtains to filter out sunlight or the outdoor atmosphere.

Use alternatives to cooling systems

In some cases, the ambient temperature is still bearable and you may not need to turn on the AC. One cheap alternative is to install and use a ceiling fan.

Consider adjusting the thermostat up

Are you sure you need freezing cold temperatures to survive the summer? One technique to save on power costs is to turn up the thermostat to the highest possible temperature that you can handle. You can actually save roughly 10 percent a year if you set the thermostat at least 10 degrees higher.

Use natural light

If temperature is not a problem with you, try to save on electricity by using the natural illumination of the outdoors. Open up your curtains to let the sunlight in and brighten your house.

You may also consider installing a roof light – that is, converting a portion of your roof and ceiling into thick transparent glass. This allows natural light to come into your home while still being protected by the outdoor elements.

Switch to energy efficient lighting

Summer is the perfect time to change your light bulbs because most of the day is naturally illuminated anyway. If you’re still using old incandescent bulbs, replace them with CFL or LED lamps. This can actually reduce your electricity bill for lighting by more than half.

Final Tip

Regardless of the season, using electricity efficiently can let you save significantly on power costs. Don’t miss out on this last tip: turn off any electrical appliances when not in use. A lot of people disregard this simple act, but it can really cut down your electricity expense.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Important Things You Need To Know About Electrical Insulation

When it comes to electrical safety, insulation is one of the first lines of defense that you need to implement in your home. Can you imagine holding live exposed wires when you connect them to a power source? Without electrical insulation, expect severe accidents and real danger to you and your family.

Tips About Electrical Insulation That You Need To Know

Most homeowners won’t be able to notice the sheer importance of insulation on electrical wires. In this article, we will look at some important information about electrical insulation.

  1. Materials may be classified as an insulator or not.

When talking about insulation, know that some materials conduct electricity (known as conductors), while others don’t (such as insulators). In its most basic description, insulators possess high resistance to electrical flow. In other words, if you come in contact with an insulator, it’s very unlikely for you to get electrocuted.

Note: Most metal objects – such as copper wires and steel prongs – conduct electricity well.

  1. You need to know some common insulating materials.

When you’re given an object, do you know if it’s an electrical risk or not?

Some of the most common insulators that you’re probably seen and even touched include plastics, glass, clay, rubber, and Teflon.

Rubber was used in the early days as the main insulating material for electrical wires. These days, though, manufacturers have shifted to plastics.

  1. Insulation materials may become brittle over time.

Through the years, insulated wires may become exposed due to natural degradation of the insulation. Make sure that you perform a regular inspection of your entire electrical system to check for exposed wirings and other electrical hazards.

  1. Wire insulation comes with labels.

You may not notice it, but electrical wire insulations are properly labelled to identify its proper use. Here are some examples:

  • T = thermoplastic, the most common type of insulation
  • H = heat-resistant up to 75 degrees Celsius
  • HH = heat-resistant up to 90 degrees Celsius
  • N = coated with nylon to withstand oil and gasoline
  • W = resistant to moisture

Most electrical wires at home make use of a combination of these insulation properties, most notably THWN and THHN.

Final Word

As a safety precaution, make sure that all exposed wires and conductive materials are either insulated properly or taken away from reach. In case you need assistance on checking your electrical system for insulation problems and other issues, our skilled electricians at Wire Craft Electric are just a phone call away!

0 0 Continue Reading →

Dangers of Static Electricity (And How To Prevent Them)

Dangers of Static Electricity

Have you experienced getting jolted by a spark of electricity when you touched a door knob or hand rail? Today, we will talk about static electricity, the dangers of this common occurrence, and tips on how to protect yourself from injury or property damage.

What is Static Electricity?

In a scientific perspective, static electricity happens when there’s an imbalance of charges between two objects. When two surfaces experience an electrical imbalance, only one of two reactions will occur:

  • The surfaces will repel each other, when they have the same charge.
  • The surfaces will attract each other, when they have opposing charges (positive and negative).

We generally witness static electricity in the following scenarios:

  • The hairs on your head stand when electrons from a hat transfer to your hair.
  • When you rub a balloon against a carpet of a piece of clothing, it will stick to the wall without any adhesives.

Why Is It Dangerous?

The danger of static electricity comes when the transfer of charge is so great that it creates a spark. One of the most common occurrences of static electricity dangers is refueling a vehicle. The driver may be carrying excess electrons, which may create a spark when you touch the fuel pump. Exposing the spark to volatile gasoline may create an unexpected combustion.

Another danger is static electrical shock. When an object builds up too much electrical charge with no means of release, you may get electrocuted as you touch the charged object.

Tips To Prevent Damage By Static Electricity

Here are some effective tips to make sure that risks caused by static electricity are minimized:

  • Avoid wearing rubber-soled footwear: Rubber is an excellent insulator, and so wearing rubber-soled shoes may create a significant amount of static in your body.
  • Apply grounding in your home appliances: Some of the devices in your house may collect static electricity over time, if there’s no way to discharge them. Make sure that your appliances have a grounding mechanism in order to release the excess static.
  • Ground yourself: If you think you may be carrying some static electricity, touch an inert metal object to discharge the electricity.
  • Keep indoor air humid: Dry air increases the risk of static electricity buildup in your home. The best way to address this is to keep the relative humidity above 30%. A humidifier may do the trick.
  • Keep skin moisturized: If your skin is dry, it has a higher likelihood of developing static electricity. You may apply lotion or moisturizer on your hands and skin.

Final Word

Static electricity may look like a small concern but disregarding the source of the problem may prove to become catastrophic. If you need help assessing the electrical safety of your home, don’t hesitate to call us at Wire Craft Electric. Our skilled professionals are on standby waiting to address your next electrical concern.

 

0 1 Continue Reading →

Electrical Safety Tips This Summer

Bathing under the sun and frolicking with family and friends all sound like perfect summer fun. However, if you disregard the importance of electrical safety, you might be spending the rest of summer recovering from an injury or depressed over property damage. Let our quick guide help you enjoy summer more by keeping safe in terms of electrical use.

Tips on Electrical Safety For Summer

Don’t let accidents and injuries ruin your summer! Follow these electrical safety tips so that you can enjoy the warm season as much as you can:

1. Stay away from plugged-in devices when your hands are wet.

Summer is a great time to dip in the pool or take a bath as often as you can, but it’s also exposing you to a higher risk of electrocution especially when your body is still wet.

Before handling appliances and devices that are plugged in, make sure to dry your hands first. Water (whether tap or chlorinated) and electricity form an electrifyingly deadly combination.

2. Keep electrical devices away from water.

Another common blunder is when people put power strips, extension wires, or charged devices near the pool or bathtub. A few splashes of water onto electrical devices is all it takes to damage property or cause physical injury. If it’s possible, place electrical wires and devices at least 10 feet away from any source of water.

As an alternative, consider using charged or battery-operated devices instead of plugging them into live electricity.

3. Cover electrical outlets and receptacles near wet areas of the house.

Whether it’s the bathroom or your pool deck, make sure that your power outlets are covered when not in use. The same is true with exposed receptacles. This will prevent water from splashing onto them and causing untoward incidents.

4. Consider installing electrical safety devices.

For areas where moisture is common – such as the bathroom or kitchen – you may want to think about replacing your existing power outlets with GFCI variants. These devices shut off the power to the outlet when it senses short circuiting caused by moisture seepage.

5. Learn how to address electrocution cases.

In the event that one of your companions gets electrocuted, do not attempt to rescue or resuscitate them. They may be carrying extra charge that may also electrocute you as you touch their skin. Instead, immediately dial 911 so that the first responders can address the issue.

Final Word

Being in the know in terms of electrical safety will definitely make your summer memorable for the right reasons. If you live in Seattle and have electrical concerns, give us a call at 206.855.5061 and Wire Craft Electric personnel will get in touch with you.

0 0 Continue Reading →

Why Does My Device Charger Adapter Heat Up While Charging?

If you own a laptop or smartphone, have you experienced having your charger adapter heat up while you’re charging the device? Most people dismiss this phenomenon as normal, but this may be a sign of something serious.

Reasons Why A Device Charger Adapter May Heat Up

Let’s run down some of the reasons why some adapters heat up as you plug them into an electrical outlet for charging:

Normal phenomenon

When the adapter isn’t too hot to the touch, most causes involve a standard warming up of the adapter’s resistive components.

Incompatible charger adapter

A charger with a terminal that’s compatible to a device port (say, a micro USB cable and port) doesn’t necessarily mean that the charger may be used to charge the device. In some cases, this may cause an increase in temperature on either the adapter or the device itself.

Cheaply made devices

Some devices are dirt-cheap and may not have gone through strict electrical or electronic evaluation to clear them from potential risk. In the same sense, some third-party adapters may not be built with the proper safety precautions as those coming from big-brand or OEM companies.

Placing connected chargers on heat traps

Have you noticed that your charger or smartphone heats up during a charge, when you put it on the bed or a cushioned surface? That’s because this kind of surface restricts air flow on the device or charger, which essentially traps the heat and thereby increases the temperature.

A quick fix would be to place the device or charger away from a cushioned surface and onto a flat table. You may also put it on a rack or platform where air can flow freely to remove the heat off the device.

Device malfunction

When the smartphone, laptop, or any electronic device has an electrical malfunction, this may cause a short circuit that heats up either the device itself or the connected adapter.

Electrical system abnormality

Although this is a rare occurrence, an issue with your power outlet or the electrical loop may cause a heat-up of your device charger adapter. This is difficult to diagnose, especially if you’re not well versed in terms of electrical stuff.

Are You Suspecting Something Amiss in Your Electrical System?

There’s nothing wrong with being too careful, especially when we’re talking about home electrical concerns. If you think that your charger adapter is heating up for some serious but hidden issue, let our electrical professionals at Wire Craft Electric troubleshoot the source of the problem before something untoward happens.

0 0 Continue Reading →

How To Clean Electronic Home Appliances Safely

Cleaning the house is a pretty common chore, but it’s another thing when we’re talking about cleaning the appliances at home. If you’re not careful about cleaning electronic home appliances, you might end up with physical injury or damage of equipment.

While most appliances – whether it’s in the kitchen or your entertainment room – have safety features that prevent electrocution as much as possible, an incorrect method of cleaning them may do more harm than good.

Safety Tips on Cleaning Electronic Home Appliances

Check out some of the best tips to clean your electronic appliances safely and without damaging them:

1. Unplug before cleaning

Small appliances have circuits and wires that are close to each other and cleaning them (especially with wet implements) may lead to short-circuiting. The best preventive measure is to turn them off and unplug them before cleaning.

2. Clean electrical cords

Wires of electronic appliances tend to build up dust and grime over time, especially those used in the kitchen. You may clean the electrical cord with a moist rag or a feather duster, but make sure that it’s not plugged in. Don’t use harsh chemicals that may corrode or eat up the wire insulation.

In case you see a frayed or exposed wire, don’t use the appliance anymore. Have it fixed before use, or replace it altogether.

3. Identify washable parts before starting the cleaning process.

If you’re considering to wash the blender with soap and water, think again! You might be rendering some sensitive electronic parts wet, leading them to damage or a short circuit. Read the product manual to know which parts of the appliance may be washed and which areas need to be cleaned in special ways.

4. Clean air vents

Some home appliances such as compact refrigerators and microwave ovens have air vents that are designed to blow hot air out of the motor and prevent it from overheating. Over time, the vent may pick up dust and debris, which may block the holes and increase the chances of the appliance’s motor to overheat.

Here’s a quick fix: Clean the vents with a moist rag or cotton swab. After cleaning, make sure that the air vent is at least 2 inches away from walls or potential obstruction.

Do You Have An Electrical Concern?

If you are not sure about handling your electronic appliances or if you feel like something is wrong with your electrical system, give us a call at Wire Craft Electric and our professional electricians will visit your home to do a quick assessment.

0 0 Continue Reading →