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Signs That You Need to Update Electrical Outlets

It’s another new year, which means it’s a perfect time to check up on your electrical systems for any potential issues and hazards. Today, we are going to discuss why electrical outlets need updating, and when you should seriously consider having this done.

Signs you Need to Update Electrical Outlets-WireCraft

The importance of updating electrical outlets

Much of the electrical system is found behind walls and ceilings, rendering them virtually invisible to people inside the home. When electrical malfunction strikes, you may find yourself scratching your head and wondering what the culprit is.

Perhaps the biggest reason behind updating your electrical system is safety. When you replace old wires and outlets with brand new and industry-approved products, you minimize the risk of electricity-related hazards, such as fires and electrocution.

How do I know if my electrical outlets need an update?

The good thing is that you can look at telltale signs that your electrical outlets need to be updated. Do you experience any of these in your home? If so, it may be time for a visit from a professional electrician.

Frequent tripping of circuit breaker

When you observe that a circuit breaker trips frequently, it might be time for an update. The trip may be caused by power overload, when your wires and receptacles cannot handle the electricity requirement of your appliances.

Flickering of lights when turning on other appliances

This may look like a normal occurrence, but flickering or dimming of lights when you turn on another appliance could be a sign that an update is needed. The fact that your lights are acting out may signify that your electrical system cannot handle your current load requirement.

Age of the house

If you’re staying in a home that’s more than 30 years old, it’s highly unlikely for its electrical system to be up to date with the load requirement of today’s appliances. On top of this, the circuit breakers may have already become corroded or malfunctioned, and it may not trip in some cases.

Plans to remodel or renovate the house

Most home remodeling projects involve an increase in space or a tech upgrade. In both cases, your electrical outlets and the entire system might not be able to handle the new home setup. We wrote about electrical issues that you could come across when remodeling your home last week, so be sure to reference this as well. It’s important to remember that you need to have your electrical system checked, in accordance with the house upgrade.

No matter how big or small the electrical issue is, you need to consult with licensed professionals to make sure that your electrical system is perfectly safe. Feel free to reach out to us at Wire Craft for a quick consult to start the new year.

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Electrical Problems: Staying Away From It When Remodeling

Home improvement is a major milestone that any homeowner dreams of achieving. While remodeling the home is a welcome change, there’s one simple but critical issue that some people may disregard: electrical problems and safety. That’s why we thought it best to write about tips on how to prevent electrical problems when doing a home remodeling project.

Staying Away From Electrical Problems When Remodeling-WireCraftKnow what’s behind the walls to address electrical problems

Before taking down anything or buying new lighting fixtures, you need to know what you’re dealing with in terms of your home electrical system. Much of your home’s electrical circuitry is hidden behind walls, and so it’s important for you to know where the wires are and how they are arranged.

Address damaged parts of the electrical system

Remodeling your house may involve tearing down old walls and putting up new ones. This is a good opportunity to check the hidden wires and outlets for signs of damage and deterioration. If you see them, deal with them immediately by replacing old wires and removing corroded sections. Meanwhile, check if your system is compliant with current electrical code standards. Make the necessary electrical upgrades if they aren’t.

Shut off the power when dealing with the electrical system

While remodeling, it may come to a point wherein you need to handle electrical wires and outlets. Make sure that the main power is turned off before you start touching any electrical item in your home. Consider this as one of the most critical safety precautions.

Check if the remodeling project will affect the electrical system

Some home improvement projects may be relatively small and minor, while others involve a major overhaul. Regardless of the scope and size of the remodeling, you need to check if the changes will have an effect on your home electrical system.

Here are some questions that you need to answer:

  • Will the home upgrade involve an increase in electrical load?
  • Is there a need to reroute electrical wires to accommodate the changes?
  • Do you need to install additional receptacles and/or outlets for your intended purpose?

 

If you say yes to any of these questions, then you need to consult with an electrician or electrical contractor. They will help you with all electrical system modifications. With that, call Wire Craft Electric, and we will be more than happy to receive your request and orders.

Make sure to never throw safety precautions out the window.

By making the necessary steps to prevent electrical issues, you’ll be able to enjoy your newly improved home without any worries.

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Safety Tips for Christmas Lights

Safety Tips for Christmas Lights-WireCraft

The holidays are all about celebrations and joy, but it’s probably going to turn sour if accidents come your way. During this season, a lot of people hang decorations and lights outside the house, inside the rooms, and around buildings. Now more than ever, safety when handling Christmas lights is a priority that we need to focus on. As the season wraps up, we thought it would be helpful to put out some safety tips that you can keep in mind for the remainder of the season and as a preventative measure for 2018.

Here are some safety tips for Christmas lights when you want to brighten up your holiday mood this year:

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How to Figure Out House Electrical Circuits

How to Figure Out House Electrical Circuits-WireCraftApart from aesthetics and comfort, homeowners need to consider safety as part of house management principles. After all, a simple error may lead to the worst home disasters. This is especially true when it comes to electricity, and so you need to understand how house electrical circuits work and what you can do to keep the system safe.

Understanding House Electrical Circuits

In a nutshell, electricity moves in a circular pattern throughout the circuitry in your house. Current passes through electrical wires going towards devices (via lighting fixtures, receptacles, switches, and sockets), and then returns to the circuit going back to the power source.

In other words, an electrical circuit is a loop that starts from a service panel or power source, goes through wires, receptacles and fixtures, and returns to the panel. The electrical circuit may also include a meter to measure the power usage.

Mapping Electrical Circuits in Your Home

When you look at your service panel, you should see a series of fuses or circuit breakers, which you may find with labels to indicate which parts of the house each device is controlling. A typical home contains a handful of electrical circuits – say, one for lights, one for the basement, and another for the kitchen. The process of identifying the electrical circuits in your house is called mapping.

If the breakers or fuses are properly labelled, you can identify which one controls a particular electrical circuit of the house. This is helpful when you want to troubleshoot an electrical problem, and you want to isolate a section to work on. If you discover that your circuits haven’t been mapped, it’s probably best to contact an electrical contractor to help you do it.

How To Keep Electrical Circuits Safe

Make sure that your home is safe from potentially risky electrical failures. Here are some tips to keep your electrical circuits as safe as possible:

Upgrade your electrical panel: Circuit breakers offer a lot more advantages than fuses, and so it’s probably best to upgrade your current panel towards a safer and more modern technology.

Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) breaker or outlet: This device shuts off the power in mere milliseconds, when it senses a potential shock. This is useful in areas where moisture is present, such as bathroom, kitchen, and the outdoors.

Have your electrical system assessed for potential problems: Precaution is always a great option to ensure safety in your home. Contact an electrician or electrical specialist to help you check for any loose wire contact, corroded circuit components, and other dangerous signs.

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Home Wiring and Tools

Home Wiring and Tools-WireCraftA lot of homeowners are now getting into DIY projects. Apart from the savings that they can get from doing away with contractors, starting a home improvement project is an exciting activity that tickles the creativity of anyone who does it. However, wrong decisions may lead to accidents and safety risks – especially when it comes to home wiring.

If it’s your first time to encounter the term “house wiring diagram”, you need to read this short guide on home wiring basics!

What You Need To Know About Home Wiring Diagrams

A home electrical wiring diagram is a visual representation of the electrical wires and power sources inside the house, laid out in a document complete with labels. When a house is built, the construction blueprint needs to come with an electrical wiring diagram in order to determine where the wires are running, where to place electrical sockets, and which power sources are near the rooms.

A typical home wiring diagram should include the following details:

Service head: This represents the entry point of wires from the outside of the home going in.

Main service panel: Also called breaker box, this device is responsible for distribution of power throughout the building circuits.

Electrical box: This represents the endpoint or connector of wires to provide electricity via an electrical outlet or a switch.

Electric meter: This device measures the amount of power used by the home.

Ground: This serves as an electrical safety precaution by directing the electrical system to the earth or ground.

Tools Needed for Home Wiring

Here are some of the tools that you need to prepare, when planning to install or reconfigure the home electrical wiring circuitry:

Fish tape: This device pulls the wire to a conduit (either metal or PVC).

Voltmeter: This allows you to check if the circuit is “live” or not.

Wire stripper: This tool removes the wire insulation, with other variations able to cut through wire.

Linesman pliers: This all-purpose tool can twist and cut wires, and provide gripping action.

Allen wrench set: Most electrical panels use Allen screws and so this wrench set will come in handy.

Electrical tape: This adhesive tape can join two wires together or affix them on surfaces.

Safety Precautions When Handling Electrical Wires at Home

There’s nothing too safe when it comes to handling electrical circuits, and so here are some tips to make sure that safety is maintained during a home wiring DIY project:

Turn the power off: Don’t attempt to work on wires without shutting off the breaker.

Check the diagram: It’s a good practice to review the wiring diagram before diving into any circuitry modifications.

Replace old items: If you see corroded breakers and torn wires, replace them immediately.

Consult an electrical professional: When in doubt, seek help from an electrical contractor. We at Wire Craft Electric are more than happy to help.

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Toys are More Dangerous Than Cars and Electrical Appliances

Toys are More Dangerous Than Cars and Electrical AppliancesKids are exposed to a lot of risks and dangers on a daily basis, and it’s up to the parents and the general public to ensure their safety. Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of accidents and health concerns comes from something that looks innocent at first – I’m talking about your children’s toys.

Toys come in various shapes, sizes, and orientations. While some are soft and delicate enough to be handled by young children, others aren’t so safe. This is the reason why the Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains toy safety standards that manufacturers and businesses need to comply with.

Dangers Caused By Toys

The reality is that some toys are more dangerous than vehicles and electrical home appliances! Here are some of the most common dangers that kids get exposed to when handling toys:

Choking

Toddlers are naturally curious, and most of them inadvertently chew and lick their toys. This may eventually become a choking hazard, especially those that are small enough to fit into their tiny mouths.

Electrocution or electrical shock

Some powered toys may still be connected to the charger, which may increase the risk of getting electrocuted. In addition, faulty circuits in the toys may lead to fires, while leaking batteries may cause poisoning.

Suffocation

Your child’s toys may have strings and cords that might get tangled around their necks and strangle them accidentally. Meanwhile, some kids may be curious enough to stick their heads into plastic packaging materials and cause suffocation or asphyxiation.

Allergy

Some toys may contain powders and vapors that may trigger allergies, and this may lead to breathing problems in kids.

Injuries

Toys that have sharp edges, pointy corners, and slippery surfaces may increase the risk of cuts and slips at home. This is especially true for children who are handling toys way advanced than what they can handle at their age.

Final Word

In order to protect your children from toy dangers, the best precautionary tips that you can implement in your home include reading toy labels for safety ratings and age appropriateness; buying toys that are non-toxic and hypoallergenic; choosing toys that are not choking or suffocation hazards; and disposing toys that are already defective.

When living with kids, safety should always be at the top of the priority list. By giving them toys that are safe and age-appropriate, you can provide the best kind of fun that children are looking for. Our team of electricians are Wire Craft can help make sure your home is safe for appliances and devices. Reach out to us today.

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Brighten Up Your Home With Track Lighting

track lightingHouses come in different styles and designs, and it’s important to use the proper fixtures for maximum effect. In the case of fixtures, one of the trendiest and most practical fixtures is track lighting.

What is Track Lighting?

This kind of lighting uses a continuous track where electrical conductors are embedded to transmit electricity to attached light fixtures. Unlike conventional light bulbs and fixtures that require individual wires to let electricity flow, track lighting uses conductivity to distribute the energy towards the fixtures connected to the track.

Most track lights are arranged horizontally and mounted on ceilings in series. They usually come as either of three tracks: H track has three contact points, J track have contact tips that are 1 inch apart, and L track has tips that are separated by 7/8 inch.

Benefits of Using Track Lighting

Track lighting may sound complicated if you’re hearing about it for the first time, but you will be impressed with the benefits that it carries.

First, the nature of its installation makes it extremely flexible. You can point to towards any area of the home, without having to worry about wires and sockets. It’s also easy to change bulbs and fixtures, in case you need them to match the overall theme of the room.

Because the track isn’t restricted by wires to light up the fixtures, you can contort it any way you want. Best of all, its modern design can instantly give your home a makeover.

Tips on Installing Track Lighting in Your Home

If you’re thinking about using track lighting, make sure that your electrical system is ready for the installation. This includes checking for a nearby electrical box where you can connect the track, and assessing the space and lighting requirement in the room.

Although tracks are versatile in any kind of space, you will need an electrician who knows how to install track lighting. The electrician will trace the power source, customize the track to best fit the space, and make sure that no obstructions are present.

In terms of lighting fixtures, choose either line voltage halogen lamps or low-voltage halogen lamps (MR16).

Final Word

Whatever the style of your home is, track lighting has the ability to blend in with the overall interior design. By using this kind of lighting, you will definitely experience convenience and enjoy a more modern vibe.

Have some questions? Contact us at Wire Craft for your electrical concerns and installation needs.

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Preparing Your Basement for Renovations

basement renovationsSpace management is an important process of maintaining a home. Being able to maximize the available space inside your house can already do wonders to your storage needs, as well as your plans for extension or renovation. A lot of homeowners use the basement for varying purposes, but one thing is true: You need to make sure that you’re ready for basement renovations.

If you’re planning to repurpose your basement – or to turn the space into something more useful than merely collecting clutter and dust – here are some tips that you need to know, in order to prepare for a full basement renovation:

Check for water leaks

Some homeowners haven’t touched the basement for years, and this may lead them to disregard this part of the house in terms of maintenance. Because of this, some leaks may be observed inside the basement.

Before starting the whole basement remodeling, you need to address any water leaks or seepage. By doing this, you can preserve the basement and the things inside it longer.

Assess the basement size based on your intended purpose

Planning to use the basement as an entertainment room where you can play arcade game machines and place a pool table? Make sure that your basement space can accommodate your purpose for the room. Otherwise, you might end up with a cramped basement that won’t serve its purpose well.

In addition, you might also want to check the vertical height of the basement.

Verify availability of supplies needed

If you’re repurposing the basement as an additional bathroom, be sure to check if there are water pipes and a drain system. The same is true if you’re planning to install electrical appliances inside the basement – does your basement have a nearby power source?

Otherwise, you will have to install additional water pipes or electrical wires to serve the basement’s function.

Think safety first, even during construction

You may be focusing too much on the completely renovated and refurbished basement, but don’t lose sight of the groundwork that you need to prepare in terms of construction. Make sure that the renovation process is safe.

This may include checking for loose or exposed electrical wires, assessing the capability of your electrical system to handle additional load, and letting the construction team wear personal protective equipment for their own safety.

Safety is always a primary component in any kind of renovation, and this includes making sure that your electrical system is ready for the big switch. Feel free to talk to us at Wire Craft, if you need professional help to ready your electrical system for a basement renovation.

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Getting Your Home Ready for Hosting This Holiday Season

holiday season electricianAre you excited to welcome family and friends into your home during the holidays? It’s that time of the year again, when we get to spend time with our loved ones while enjoying a cup of eggnog and warming up by the fireplace. Holidays are bound to be fun and memorable, but you need to consider a lot of preparations in order to host gatherings in your own house. For starters, the sheer number of people may expose your house to wear and tear, as well as an increase in power demand.

In other words, you need to ask yourself this question: Is your home ready to welcome guests this holiday season?

Tips To Prepare Your Home For Holiday Gatherings

If you’re anxious about home-related concerns during the holidays, here’s a quick guide on how to prepare your house in time for hosting holiday parties:

Clear the entrance

The entry doorway is the first access point of your guests as they go inside your home. Make sure that there are no obstructions in the doorway, such as shoes, toys, and electrical wiring. It’s probably best to sweep this part of the house a few hours before the guests arrive.

Provide storage areas

Aside from keeping your things in their proper places, having extra storage spaces allows your guests to safekeep their suitcases and coats. That way, your home doesn’t have a lot of clutter lying around, which could potentially cause trips and fire hazards.

Childproof your house

It’s possible for your guests to bring kids in your holiday gathering, and so you need to consider childproofing your home. You may keep your house safe for children by covering exposed power outlets, sealing sharp corners, hiding sharp objects, and installing baby gates for stairs.

Decorate safely

It has become tradition to decorate the home during the holidays, but try to think about safety when putting décor. Some safe decorating options include the following: putting wires of lighting fixtures out of reach, keeping decorations away from the fireplace, and avoiding too many electrical items plugged into the same outlet.

Check your home safety systems

This may be a good time to check if your smoke alarms are working properly. Also, formulate a fire escape plan ahead of time, in order to avoid panic and wrong decisions in case of emergency.

Final Word

Preparing your home ahead of time allows you to focus more on what matters during your holiday hosting duties: enjoying the company of your house guests. With safety precautions and maintenance concerns already in check, you’re bound to have the time of your life with family and friends during the holidays. Need some help getting your home set up for the holidays? Reach out to Wire Craft and we’ll send one of our expert electricians to your home to help. 

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Is Your Home Storm Ready—Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Electrical Accidents

Is your home storm ready?Winter is around the corner and just like every year, it is going to bring some storms with it. It is unfortunate how so many people do not prepare their homes for a stormy season before and during winter. Having a house built from the best materials is not enough since there are hundreds of other components that can result in dangerous accidents if they haven’t been protected against stormy weathers. Here is how you can protect your house from electrical accidents during fall and winter.

Have External Lights Fixed

Do you have bulbs on the face of your house? Did any of the bulbs on your house break just a few days ago? Kids playing in the street can often hit light bulbs and break them. Maybe a similar accident has caused electrical wires to come out of the bulb holder. This can be an extremely dangerous situation during rains and can result in conducting electric currents through the walls. Call professional electricians and have this problem fixed as soon as possible.

Have Supply Circuits Checked

One of the common issues with electrical systems in homes is that many of the supply circuits are not grounded. When there is a power surge, it is the ground wiring that saves this power surge from wreaking havoc on your electrical appliances. Keep in mind that supply circuits are not grounded properly will cause damage to your appliances even if you have surge protectors installed. Once again, have professional electricians from Wire Craft Electric help you in checking and fixing all your supply circuits.

Install Power Surge Protectors

Have surge protectors installed in order to protect your appliances from the damage when there is a storm causing power fluctuations. Even when your supply circuits are properly grounded, you need to have surge protectors from those unexpected voltage spikes that can cause you thousands of dollars if you don’t have any protection in place. Let electricians help you pick the right surge protection devices.

Have an Electrician’s Number with You

Stormy nights with power outages can be horrific. Such situations can be harrowing for your kids. The best way to avoid such situations is to have the contact number of professional electricians with you on your phone. Prevention is better than cure, so it is better to always be safe than sorry. However, when an emergency does surface, only a professional should be taking care of your electrical system to avoid life threatening accidents.

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