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Electrical Needs of Your Home Office

COVID-19 has forced many businesses to transition their employees to remote work which implies some inquiries on what are the home office electrical needs must-haves. If you now find yourself working from home, it’s important to make sure the space that you are using as your home office is properly equipped. This goes beyond having the right computer, printer, and desk, but also includes making sure your home’s electrical system can handle the additional load. Here are some important points to consider when it comes to the electrical needs of your home office.

Getting Enough Power

When you start adding additional computers, displays, printers, and other office equipment you find yourself needing more and more plugs. Many times your first instinct is to pull out the power strip to get more plugs. However, many times this is not the best solution. Overloading a power strip can be a potential fire hazard (this includes plugging multiple power strips into each other). The more things you plug in, the more strain you are putting on your circuit.

This can be especially problematic when it comes to home offices since it is common for an entire room or wall to be on a single circuit. When your circuit becomes overloaded it can lead to tripped breakers and is again a fire hazard. If you find that you need additional plugs in your home office and it’s more than just a temporary solution, consider working with a professional to install proper outlets in your walls with higher grade wires and ensure your circuit will not become overloaded.

Dedicated Computer Circuits

If your home office setup is a more permanent one, consider getting a dedicated computer circuit. A dedicated circuit will ensure that your computer is getting the power it needs without putting additional strain on any other circuits in your office. In other words, using a dedicated computer circuit will help prevent overloading your existing circuits, blowing a fuse, or tripping a breaker (all events that take you away from your work).

Air Circulation

Just as important as having the power to run your work-from-home setup, is making sure it is running efficiently. When you set up your home office, it’s important to keep the need for air circulation in mind. Not giving electronics the proper ventilation and air circulation that they need can cause them to overheat. This can seriously damage or even destroy your electronics. While many times air circulation is a consideration with larger servers, it is important to keep in mind with your basic desktop and laptop too. Keep your computer vents free and make sure the room stays cool to keep your electronics from overheating.

Power Backup

To successfully work from home, you need to make sure you have a back-up plan for when things don’t go according to plan. This is one of the home office electrical needs that you should prioritize.

Unexpected power outages from summer storms or winter blizzards can wreak havoc on your productivity. To make sure that you can continue working and meeting deadlines. Despite unexpected power outages, consider purchasing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your computer. Even a generator to supply power to your home office would be great.

A UPS is essentially a battery backup for your desktop computer. It will give you the few extra minutes you need to save documents, close programs, etc. You could even continue to use your desktop for up to an hour without power. If you opt to get a generator, a portable generator will likely be large enough to power your home office. Just be sure to take the necessary precautions. Properly use the generator with plenty of ventilation or even outdoors if possible.

Enlist the Help of a Professional for Your Home Office Electrical Needs

Do you find the suggestions overwhelming? Especially when you don’t have enough plugs or you keep tripping circuits. Do you need further guidance on you home office electrical needs?

Our team of professional electricians at Wire Craft Electric can help you. We will make sure your home office has the necessary power you need to keep your home office running smoothly. Call us at 206-542-0208 or request an appointment today!

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How to Find the Right Generator for Your Home

How to Find the Right Generator for Your Home

As electricians, we don’t ever hope for someone’s power to go out. However, sometimes an issue or violent weather happens that makes it unavoidable. This is especially true in the Northwest, with winter windstorms and occasional snow leaving many without power. Seattleites may even remember the equipment failure earlier this year that left 20,000 people without power. Situations like these are unpredictable, even if you’re doing everything to try and save power.

If you do want to prepare yourself for the unexpected, maybe it’s time to start considering investing in a power generator. There’s nothing worse than being stuck without power for days on end and many homes within city limits aren’t equipped to handle your needs without electricity, relying on central electric heating. Having a generator handy can make all the difference. It’s not something you ever really want to use, but having a generator in your garage can be the difference between being stuck in the cold and staying safe and comfortable. Generators don’t have to be a massive, complicated investment, either. We’ll walk through what specs to look for and how to stay within your budget.

Portable vs. Standby

There are essentially two types of generators you need to know: portable and standby. You can infer a lot just from their names. Somewhat obviously, portable generators are ones that you can move around from place to place. If you’ve ever watched someone pull a generator out of their garage to get the power going again, this is a portable generator. In contrast, a standby generator is one that’s implemented more-or-less as a permanent fixture outside your home. They automatically will start running as soon as the power goes out.

Whereas you can sometimes get a portable generator for as low as a few hundred dollars, standby generators are going to start in the thousands range. What it comes down to is how much you’re willing to invest and what your commitment is to ease of use. What’s nice about the standby generators is that you don’t have to lift a finger. They’ll take care of themselves and you won’t miss a beat. However, if you’re not planning on living in your home for the long haul then it’s a costly investment that you can’t take with you. A portable generator will stick with you as long as you want to move it around, but it requires much more work to use and can be especially annoying when you’re trying to set up in the dark during a snowstorm. There’s no right or wrong answer here – it’s about what works best for you.

Decide How Much Power You Need

Is your refrigerator running? Well you better go… get the proper generator to accommodate its electrical needs. Jokes aside, one of the main factors in buying a generator is going to determine on your intended use. Do you want a generator that’s just going to keep the lights on or are you trying to keep everything from your HVAC to freezer working? If you’re leaning toward the latter, double check your appliances and see what their wattage needs are.

How Long Will You Need Power

How long do you like to keep you appliances on?

Some people are fine with turning on their generators at key times. This is just to get some basic housework on-going, like cooking or using the washroom.

However, if for whatever reason you need to keep the power on for longer than you need a generator. You can also check your home’s electrical panel to see what the maximum wattage your home can take. After that, find a generator that matches those needs.

Feeling like it’s time to invest in a generator but not sure what’s right for the limitations of your home? Wire Craft can help so just give us a call.

Our team of electricians will help you find the right generator for you. We can also help proof your home from other potential issues like wiring and repairing faulty outlets.

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Home Wiring: Knowing Your DIY Limits

DIY Limits | Wire Craft Electric

When it comes to maintaining your home these days there is a strong emphasis on “doing it yourself.” Just turn on the television and start flipping through channels and it won’t be long before you arrive at one of many DIY programs to be found. Many homeowners have proven and effective DIY skills in many areas of home improvement and repair. But one area that demands a cautious and honest assessment of your DIY limits on skills is electrical wiring. To fail to do so is not only dangerous, it can lead to unexpected expenses. Know your DIY limits!

There are two considerations concerning DIY wiring in your home, and the most important of the two is concerns for your safety and the safety of those who reside in your home. Any time you are exposed to live electrical wires there is a danger of being shocked or even electrocuted.

Here are some common electrical problems in the home when you are assessing whether to DIY or call in a professional electrician.

  • A sign that circuits are drawing too much electricity is breakers that trip constantly. This is not a DIY fix. It’s a potential fire risk requiring an electrician‘s training and skillset, so pick up the phone and make an appointment with someone you trust.
  • If any of your outlets are not working, it’s a sign of poor connections and something you want to avoid fixing unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
  • An immediate concern that warrants calling an electrician is when fixtures and switches are warm to the touch. This is a common electrical problem, and should never be ignored.
  • Another indicator of poor connections would be flickering lights, or lights that go dim for no reason. Unless you know how to safely DIY, call an electrician. We don’t want you electrocuting yourself in the process. Chip Gaines may make it look easy, but it can be far more complicated than what you might assume.
  • Light bulbs eventually burn out, but if one is doing so frequently: you’ve got a problem with a loose connection in either the circuit or the socket itself. Call an electrician to help you solve this problem.

Aside from concern for safety, there is the need for conforming to code. All electrical work must conform to the National Electric Code and, here in the Seattle area, the Seattle Electrical Code.

Failure to do so may impact your pocketbook in a big, bad way.

What if you try to sell your home and it is found to have electrical systems? It simply do not conform to these codes during an inspection, corrective repairs must be performed. It will now be re-appraised and could even halt the selling process.

Knowing some DIY limits will save you much time in the future.

Are you in Seattle? Are you seeking the services of a professional and licensed electrician? Be sure and check out Wire Craft Electric.

We serve Seattle and surrounding cities in King and Snohomish county, and we’re available right now.

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Seattle’s Electrical Grid: Stats and What You Need to Know

Stats About Seattle's Electrical Grid

Electricity is one of the most important things in our lives. Most of the time hardly a thought is given to it. You open your refrigerator and get a glass of milk. After that, you turn on the bathroom light in the middle of the night. Next, you charge your phone overnight to make sure you have a full battery for the next day. Think about what happens with all of those tasks without energy. Your milk gets warm and sour. You may stub your toe getting to the bathroom. Your phone won’t charge. Your electricity is often not thought about until it’s gone. Then, you really wish it was back. Let’s talk about the statics of Seattle’s electrical grid and how this impacts you.

Statistics about Seattle’s Electrical Grid and Companies

For your information, Seattle City Light has about 422,810 metered customers that will use an annual 9,157,494 megawatt-hours. This breaks down to 41,391 business customers using 6,242,931 megawatt-hours and a pool of 381,419 residences using 2,914,563 megawatt-hours.

That’s a lot of electricity per person, and many of the sources of energy come from non-renewable resources. Seattle City Light has an interactive map. It shows people how many electrical outages are occurring, and how many customers the outages are affecting. This gives you an idea of the size of the grid and their methods of clearing up outages.

More Statistics

In addition to that, Seattle has a long history as being an energy conservation program, and in fact, has one of the longest running programs in the country. Seattle was the first utility company offering electricity to become a greenhouse gas neutral entity. Moreover, Seattle is at the cutting edge of finding renewable resources for energy production and employs the use of hydroelectric power at 89.6 percent. The other sources of energy for the city includes nuclear, wind, coal, biomass, natural gas, petroleum, and landfill gasses.

This can make it sound like Seattle has it all figured out when it comes to the reliance on renewable resources. The truth is that the increasing use of electricity is presenting more and more of a burden on the electrical grid. It’s great that Seattle is using hydroelectric power, but there is still a duty on every person to find ways to decrease their demands on the grid. This not only helps the environment in not having to have as much electricity produced, but it also can help to reduce your electricity bills. This is a complete win-win incentive to do your part in the green movement.

What You Can Do

It’s easy to think that there is nothing you can do to make a difference when it comes to the usage of electricity in Seattle. You’re just one person, right? Your family, however, can make a big difference when added to all of the other people that do something small to change how they are using electricity. There are a number of things that you can do to reduce the amount of electricity your family uses.

Beware of Energy Vampires

The first is to look at the energy vampires in your home. Any appliances that have a little light on them to show they are plugged in, but not on are sucking up energy that’s not necessary. It can be a good idea to locate the different appliances that are energy vampires and unplug them. If unplugging them isn’t an option, you can invest in power towers that allow you turn off a row of plugs at a time. This means that some plugs will still have power while others are not on.

Monitor Electrical Usage

Another way to examine your electrical usage is in your larger appliances. It may be time for an upgrade to an energy star appliance that uses electricity more efficiently. Older refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioners, and more all use more electricity than their newer counterparts. Upgrading may cost you money in the short-term, but you may find that your lower electric bill can make that investment well worth it.

Upgrade Your Electrical System

Another place you can upgrade is with your electrical system. You may have an older system that is failing to provide the best use of electricity in your home. Getting an electrical audit in your home can help you to find ways to improve your home’s electricity use.

Power is an important resource and it’s up to everyone to do their part. Seattle has a large electrical grid with consumption to match for a big population. It can be easy to think that any efforts on your part wouldn’t do much to change the numbers, but with everyone working together, reductions are possible. You can work to save natural resources by reducing your electricity demands by making an effort to reduce energy waste and to improve the electrical system in your home.

Need assistance with improving your electrical usage?

Contact us at Wire Craft Electric to see where your electrical system could use an upgrade.

We will help you to eliminate energy waste in your home.

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Hot Tub Wiring Done Right

The weather is cooling down and holiday season is looming just around the corner. Many people start looking forward to enjoying their hot tubs, especially as temperatures drop. When set up, operated and maintained properly, hot tubs can provide many hours of fun and relaxation. We’re happy to provide seasonal electrical tips for hot tubs. Especially when it comes to proper hot tub wiring and ensuring owner safety.

Hot Tub Wiring

However, before you start inviting guests over, it is your responsibility to make sure your hot tub is safe. Do not underestimate that hot tubs involve water and electricity, and we all know those two things can be deadly when put together. Because hot tub wiring comes so close to water all the times, if your wiring isn’t done properly you run the risk of shock or electrocution, which could result in death or serious injury. This is not a job for an amateur, but unfortunately, a lot of amateurs try to utilize whatever they may have learned from their friends or the internet to wire their own hot tub.

If you have recently purchased a home that has a hot tub, just because you turned it on and it seemed to be in proper working order does not mean you should jump right in before you have it checked out by a licensed electrician. Even if your home had a home inspection done prior to purchase, most home inspectors are not licensed electricians and do not examine hot tub wiring regularly, or even properly. People also frequently buy homes from owners who installed hot tubs themselves. Obviously, this is special cause for concern.

Not a new homeowner and have had your hot tub for years?  Inspection is a must by an electrician.

If it is off on for several months, new problems could have arisen due to inactivity… rodent damage or torn and frayed wiring, for example.

Improper wiring could possibly damage equipment resulting to manufacturer’s warranty issues. With that, it’s best to stay on top of regular maintenance throughout the years.

We Will Help You

As full service electricians, we are servicing many electrical needs.

Please give us a call at 206-855-5061, or visit our website to schedule an appointment or request a service.

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