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Why Do My Light Bulbs Keep Burning Out?

A burnt out light bulb usually isn’t a big deal as long as you follow a correct light bulb installation. But, if you find that the same bulb keeps burning out repeatedly, then it’s time to investigate. The longevity of your light bulb will depend on the type of bulb you have installed. Incandescent bulbs will burn out more quickly than compact fluorescent or LEDs. However, any of these types of bulbs should last at least 1,000-25,000 usage hours. Having to replace light bulbs over and over can be both frustrating, expensive, and dangerous (due to fire risks). Therefore, it’s important to get to the bottom of why your light bulbs keep burning out. When it comes to bulbs that burn out frequently, here are some of the most common causes to guide your light bulb installation.

Improper Light Bulb Installation/ Loose Bulbs

If a bulb is not installed correctly, it could lead to fluctuations in voltage. This, in turn, can reduce the life of your bulb. You want to make sure your light bulb is screwed in until snug. You do not want a loose or wobbly bulb. On the other hand, You want to avoid over screwing the bulb so that the socket is not damaged. If you are installing your bulbs correctly and none of the other common causes are found with your fixture, try switching the brand of bulb you are buying.

Too Much Vibration

The filament in incandescent bulbs is delicate, making it susceptible to damage caused by vibrations. You may not even notice these vibrations, but they could be causing damage to your bulbs, reducing their life. For instance, excessive vibration from a ceiling fan, automatic garage door, or even heavy foot traffic above a light installed in the ceiling can lead to your light bulbs burning out quickly. One sign of excessive vibration is the light flickering. One solution to this problem is to switch to a bulb that does not have a filament, such as an LED bulb. Just make sure your fixture is compatible with LED bulbs.

Excessive Heat

If you find that your bulbs are burning out despite using the correct wattage, excessive heat may still be the cause of your bulb’s shortened life span. Using a bulb that is too big for your fixture or using the wrong kind of bulb in an enclosed fixture can cause heat to build up. The size of the bulb matters since it affects the way heat disperses throughout the fixture. If you are unable to find a smaller bulb that your fixture needs, try using a bulb with a lower wattage.

Excessive heat can especially be a problem in recessed lighting. Oftentimes with recessed lighting ventilation may be inadequate due to dust. The best way to tell if excessive heat is your problem is to look for signs of heat damage. If you find any signs of heat damage take immediate action. Lights that are getting too hot pose a fire risk to your home.

Wrong Type of Bulb

Every light fixture is built with a specific type of bulb in mind. If a different type of bulb is used, it can shorten a bulb’s life, cause excess heat, or even cause a fire. Therefore, you want to make sure you don’t exceed your fixture’s recommended bulb wattage. A lower wattage is fine, but a higher wattage will lead to trouble. If you want your room to be brighter, consider changing an incandescent or CFL bulb to an LED bulb.

While the recommended bulb wattage is important, it is equally important to consider how you use the fixture. For instance, CFL bulbs are prone to damage with frequent turning on and off, reducing their life. Another example is using a CFL or LED bulb with a dimmer switch. These dimmer switches are designed to be used with incandescent bulbs. Using the wrong kind of bulb with a dimmer switch can damage the bulb as well as the circuit, so always be sure to use the correct type of bulb for your fixtures and switches.

Loose Wiring During Light Bulb Installation

Another possible cause of light bulbs that burn out quickly is loose wiring. When your fixture’s wiring is loose it can cause current to fluctuate quite a bit. This fluctuating current can easily shorten the life of your light bulb, taking it from 1,000+ usage hours to burning it out in a couple of days. Additionally, loose wiring poses a significant risk of fire due to excessive heat. With loose wires, a fire could start even without tripping your breaker or blowing a fuse.

High Voltage

If you are finding that your light bulbs are burning out quickly in multiple fixtures, the problem may be your voltage. Time to avoid bigger electrical damage in the future. Having too much electricity coming into your home can significantly shorten the lifespan of your bulbs. Your voltage can easily be checked using a voltage tester. If you find that your home has a bit higher voltage you can try switching from 120V bulbs to 130V bulbs. However, a more sustainable solution is to simply get the voltage issue rectified with the help of a professional electrician.

Get It Checked Out

If you’re not able to figure out why your light bulbs keep burning out, consider enlisting the help of a professional. WOur team of professional electricians at Wire Craft Electric can help you get to the bottom of the issue so that you can stop wasting your hard-earned money on bulbs that burn out before they’re supposed to. We  can also help you do complex light bulb installation.

Give us a call at 206-524-0208 to talk to one of our team members or request an appointment online today for any electrical inspection.

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Electrical Outlets Childproofing and What You Need to Know About It

With the modern electrical outlets used in homes today, the chances of child electrocution are low therefore electrical outlets childproofing should be considered. According to data, there are around 2,400 children suffer from shocks and burns from sticking things in outlets. These shocks and burns can be serious or even deadly. This is why it is so important to take the necessary measures to childproof your electrical outlets. The good news is that several options are available to keep your small children safe.

Why is Electrical Outlets Childproofing Important?

Children are curious by nature, especially once they are mobile and start moving around. As they begin to crawl they come face-to-face with electrical wires and outlets. Their instinct is to poke and prod to learn more about what they are finding. The most common way children do this is by sticking something (be it a utensil or toy) into the opening of the outlet. This is one of the top causes of electrocution in children in addition to biting into electrical cords or sticking things into electric appliances.

Electric outlets have between 120-240 Volts of electricity. The degree of harm that comes from a shock caused by this voltage can vary depending on the length of contact. While sometimes there may be minor injuries or burns, it can be deadly. This is why you need to carefully look at your electrical outlets and choose the best childproofing option available for your family.

Electrical Outlets Childproofing Options

The good news is that there are several options available for childproofing electrical outlets. Each of these options has its own level of safety, with some being better than others.

Outlet Plugs

Outlet plugs are perhaps the most well-known childproofing option for outlets. These are simply plastic plugs that plug into the outlet. They keep small children and toddlers from inserting anything into the outlet and getting shocked. You want to make sure that you purchase plugs that are large enough that should a child find one they do not become a choking hazard. While plugs are the easiest thing to implement, you must be diligent about replacing them once you unplug your appliance.

Outlet Covers

If you’re worried you’ll forget to put the plugs back in, you may want to consider using outlet covers. Two different kinds of outlet covers are helpful for childproofing. Both of these covers require replacing the existing cover plate.

Sliding Outlet Covers

Sliding outlet covers have an interior outlet cover that automatically closes over the socket holes once something is unplugged. This type of cover eliminates any concern over choking hazards or your child getting the plug out on their own.

Box Outlet Covers

This type of outlet cover is good for those appliances that stay plugged in. These covers go over both the plugs and the outlet. They come in different sizes to cover both small and large outlets. Using a box outlet cover means that your child will not mess with the plug itself. However, if the outlet is needed, the cover can be easily removed by an adult.

GFCI Outlets

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets do not prevent a child from sticking something inside the outlet like plugs or covers. However, they are designed to shut off the electrical circuit if it detects an imbalance. These outlets should be installed in areas where there is water, such as your kitchen and bathroom. It is important to test these outlets regularly (even monthly) to make sure they are still functioning correctly. If working correctly, GFCI outlets will reduce the amount of shock a child may get from sticking something in the outlet. It is advisable to use GFCI outlets in combination with plugs or covers.

Combination Switch Outlets

Another option to consider when electrical outlets childproofing is a combination switch outlet. These outlets often use a tamper-resistant receptacle in addition to a switch. The switch can be used to turn off the outlet. Meanwhile, the specific type of outlet helps reduce the risk of a child inserting something into the outlet.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Even if you don’t use a combination switch outlet, you can install tamper resistant receptacles or outlets. While these outlets look like other outlets in your home, they are equipped with small spring-loaded plates that close the openings on the outlet. To open them, pressure must be applied equally to both sides of the outlet. This works to minimize the chance of a child inserting something in the outlet.

Note: Tamper resistant receptacles do not completely remove the risk of electrical injuries. It is still possible that a small child could receive an electrical shock or burn if they try to insert a plug into the outlet. Additionally, the child could be injured by whatever they plug in such as an iron, curling iron, extension cord, etc.

Safety First

The bottom line is that you want your child to stay safe through. Each of the options available for electrical outlets childproofing has its own benefits and comes with its own risks. It is important to evaluate your habits and to pick the best childproofing option that will work for your family. If you need help getting your home ready for your little one, our team at WireCraft Electric can help you install the new outlets you need to keep your family safe. You can also reach out to us for any electrical outlet repair. Request a services here or give us a call today at 206-542-0208 to get started.

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What’s Involved in a Home Electrical Inspection 

Most home electrical inspection in the Seattle area requires three safety inspections: cover, service and final. For convenience, we would suggest having your electrician’s service and make these appointments for you. However, you can also schedule these inspections yourself if you want to undertake the permitting process. 

Cover Inspection

Once all new circuits are wired, schedule the cover inspection. Do not cover any work with insulation, receptacles or wall switches because you have to wait until the work has been approved.

Do not cover trenches, ditches or slabs either since cover inspections also include underground installations. In other words, be patient and comply.

Service and Feeder Inspection

This inspection follows the installation of any electrical masts, meter bases, grounding electrode conductors, and branch circuits. 

Final Inspections

This inspection follows the completion of your electrical work. More importantly, you must have all equipment and appliances installed. Also, it has to be grounded and energized for final inspection. Make sure all the covers are in place and circuits are labeled. 

What Inspectors Look For Home Electrical Inspection

All electricians must adhere to the National Electrical Code (NEC) as well as any local or state regulations. All states have different codes which is why your electrician needs to have a license in your state. 

Electrical inspectors look for a plethora of potential safety hazards. You may be able to see some of these issues yourself.

The best electricians know how to comply with local standards so the inspections should be straightforward. Some of the things inspectors look for include are: 

  • Damaged or frayed wires 
  • Cords are in good conditions and do not show wear and tear 
  • Using correct wires 
  • Proper sizing of circuit breakers 
  • No overloading of circuit breaker boxes 
  • Correct wiring of ground fault circuit interrupters 
  • Proper grounding and wiring to the electrical panel
  • House is compliant with branch-circuit voltage limitations 
  • Right grouping of all conductors of a circuit 
  • Proper installation of switches in wet or damp locations within weatherproof enclosures
  • All appliances with proper grounding
  • Wiring is suitable for current capacity 
  • Outlets spacing
  • All light fixtures have diffusers installed 

 

The list goes on! At Wire Craft, our experienced electricians can take the load off your shoulders and make sure your electrical systems are up to local Washington codes. More importantly, your home will be much safer with compliant, up-to-date electrical systems.

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How To Keep Your Electrical System Safe When You’re Away From Home

Are you sure that your electrical system is safe every time you go out of your house?

Whether you’re leaving for work or taking a vacation for the fall, keeping your home electrical system in check is absolutely critical in preventing accidental property damage or loss. After all, you can only monitor so much of your home whenever you’re away.

Before leaving your house unattended for a certain period of time, take precautionary measures to ensure safety and security of your home electrical system. Check out our safety tips below:

Unplug all appliances

The best first step in keeping your electrical system secure is to disconnect any plugged appliances from power sockets. Especially if you’re going away for a number of days, keeping your home appliances plugged in (even though they’re turned off) may still be at risk of short circuiting or faulty grounding.

Shut off the main power

Another safety tip to secure your home is to turn the main breaker off. This is only applicable if you have no perishable items in your refrigerator. However, this may not be a good idea if you have a security alarm system installed in your home – it won’t activate if you have no power at home!

Install electrical safety devices

You won’t know what freak accident may happen in your home while you’re away, and one potential risk is a lightning storm. To keep your system protected from a sudden bolt of lightning that may hit your house, it would be a great idea to install power surge protectors for the whole house.

Check the outdoor environment for potential hazards

Look out for anything outside your home that may cause untoward electrical accidents. These may include a bunch of dry leaves covering an outdoor lighting fixture/. Also some electrical wires exposed to moisture, and growing plants that may snap off nearby power lines.

It may be best to seek help from professionals. They are such as electricians, gardeners, and landscape architects to check the safety of your immediate outdoors.

Final Word

No one wants to enjoy a destination vacation or go to work, only to return home with an electricity-related accident. Make sure to maintain your electrical system regularly.

Need help inspecting your home? you can contact Wire Craft to help you out.

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Static Electricity, Its Dangers 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 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.

 

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Preparing Your Home for an Inspection

Preparing Your Home for an Inspection - Wire Craft Electric - Edmonds, WA

Anytime you’re inviting someone into your home, it’s natural to be a bit nervous and want to prepare. This is doubly true when you’re bringing in someone for an inspection. Having an electrician come in and look at your wiring and outlets can be a bit nerve wracking leading up to it, but it doesn’t have to be a pain at all. Follow these key ideas to make sure your house is ready for an inspection and make the process go quick and easy from your end.

Know Where Everything Is and What to Expect

It may sound simple, but before your electrician comes to your house, make sure you have a plan. You can even call them beforehand and ask exactly what they’ll want to see. Once you have this information, go through your house and make sure you know where everything is. Everything from the circuit breaker to the individual outlets – including exterior outlets –around your home will likely be looked out, so ensure you know where each thing is. You may live in your house day in and day out, but little things like these often aren’t thought about regularly. Give yourself a little refresher course of your own home and you’ll make the process go by faster once the electrician shows up at your door.

Clean-Up Around the House

Now that you know where everything is, it’s time to make sure it’s all accessible. Chances are you don’t live your life anticipating an electrician poking around your house. You might have shelves in places covering certain outlets or maybe the circuit breaker is blocked in the garage by some storage boxes – or both. In any case, you’ll want to make sure everything is moved and ready for when the electrician arrives. You don’t want to be shuffling things around and slowing down the process.

Have Your Own Questions Ready

Just because the electrician is the expert doesn’t mean you have to standby idly. The more you learn from the electrician and the inspection, the better you’ll understand the changes to make. The more questions you ask, the more productive it will be for everyone involved. If the electrician ends up working on your home, you’ll have a clear understanding of everything. You won’t have to worry about where your money is going.

Are you in need of a home inspection and want an electrician you can trust? The Wire Craft team is located in Shoreline, and services various cities in Snohomish, King, and Piece County. We would be happy to send one of our expert electricians to your home. They will help you identify any issues that need to be addressed. Give us a call today.

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What To Expect From A Seattle Electrical Inspection

Seattle Electrical Inspection

Home Inspection 101

If you’ve just purchase a home, there are a lot of important things that you’re going to need to do. Few of them are going to be more important than having the electrical inspected. An inspection will reveal any dangerous conditions with electrical in your home and it can better protect you if there do happen to be any issues. All of the different electrical components such as service drops, grounding systems, service panels, devices, wiring systems and fixtures will need to be a part of the inspection. Additionally, all electrical components should be inspected by someone who is a professional and has gone through the proper electrical inspection training.

Common Issues Found Through Electrical Inspection

There are a lot of different electrical issues that are commonly found in a house. Almost every house is different, which means an inspection is important to find all of those issues. Some of the more common issues that are typically found include obstructed entrance wires, damaged or missing GFCI outlets, issues with wiring, missing smoke alarms, and missing or burnt light bulbs.

The plus side of most of this, is that these repairs are typically easy to rectify. However, electrical repairs can be very expensive and costly, and it’s not something you really want to ignore as the problem can linger and get worse. The sooner you get an inspection and make sure you’re up to code, the better off you’ll be.

In the Seattle area, there is a strict schedule for inspections that you should follow in order to make sure that your house, or the house you’re purchasing, is completely up to code and will not give you any problems. The city of Seattle requires a three-step electrical inspection with each step necessary at a different point of the electrical installation. The following information details what happens in each step of the inspection and what you can expect.

Cover Inspection

The cover inspection is the very first inspection that should take place when you are installing all of your new electrical wiring. This inspection should be completed when all new circuits are wired. This includes boxes installed, wires being run, grounding conductor connected or made up and nail plates installed wherever they may be needed. Until the inspector approves your work, make sure you do not cover it with insulation, wall switches or receptacles. This inspection also includes underground installation, so don’t cover any ditches, trenches or slabs until they have been approved.

Service & Feeder Inspection

After you’ve passed the first part of the inspection (or updated all of the problems that were found in the original inspection), then it’s time to move on to the next inspection. This is known as the services and feeder inspection and is to be scheduled only after certain work is completed. This inspection should be scheduled once the service electrical mast, service panels, meter base, grounding electrode conductors and branch circuits installation is done in the house.

Final Inspections

Once you’ve completed and passed the first two inspections on the list, you can move on to the third inspection! Scheduling of this inspection should only be once all of the electrical work are complete. Everything should be complete as if you were ready to live in the house that day. For this inspection, make sure to cove the panel boxes. Installation, grounding and energizing of equipment and appliances are necessary.

After each inspection, you’re going to receive comments from the inspector if there are any problems. There are a number of reasons for electrical work rejection. This includes the inspector could not get on site. This can also be your work is not complete and there are code violations within your work. If for any reason you fail an inspection at any step, then you will have to repeat the inspection. You may face an additional fee with this.

Do you need an electrical inspection in the Seattle area? You can call the 24-hour inspection request line at (206) 684-8900. You can also go ahead and schedule your inspection online by visiting here.

Make a request before 7am , then request fulfillment will be on the day too. Well, on rare occasions this is not possible. Any requests put in after 7:00 a.m. will be on the list for the next day. In order to request an inspection, you will need your permit number handy.

If you have any questions on this process, please feel free to drop us a line. We’re happy to help!

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