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Electrical Wiring 101: Do You Need to Update It?

Even though your home’s wiring may be the last thing on your mind, it’s important to stop and consider whether or not it’s time to update your electrical wiring. It’s easy to cover that your wiring may be out of date if your lights come on when you flip a switch. No one wants to update their wiring since it can be a costly and extensive job. However, you can minimize the pain of such a project if you get ahead of it with a bit of planning.

Why Update Your Electrical Wiring

Materials and building codes change with time to improve safety. Keeping your wiring up to date can keep your home from going up in flames given that faulty wiring is the number one cause of residential fires. It may be time to update your electrical wiring if:

  • Your home is 40+ years old
  • You don’t have GFCIs in your kitchen or bathroom
  • You repeatedly trip a breaker
  • Your lights flickering dim on their own
  • You have a lingering burning smell
  • Your outlets are warm or discolored
  • You get a light shock or tingle when using appliances
  • Your insurance refuses coverage or charges a higher premium for older wiring

Older Wiring

Older homes simply weren’t designed for the technologically advanced appliances that fill our homes today. This means that wiring in older homes is often only for 60amps, whereas newer appliances, like ACs, require upwards of 200amps. Not having enough voltage can actually damage your appliances, computers, and other electronics.

In addition to not having enough power, aluminum wiring was the standard wiring for homes built in the ‘60s and ‘70s. However, today we understand that this type of wiring is a safety hazard since it is prone to overheating and catching on fire. Older wiring is also subject to deterioration of materials such as wire insulation and damage from haphazard housework and rodents. To keep both your home and your appliances safe, it is advisable to upgrade to modern copper wiring. An inspection by one of the skilled electricians at WireCraft Electric can help determine whether your home needs its wiring upgraded.

Missing GFCIs

GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, are designed to automatically cut off power if there is a spike in current. This helps prevent fires and electrocution. These outlets must be used with any outdoor electrical outlets, as well as in any other areas of the home where water is nearby. GFCIs are required in any home built in 1971 or later.

Tripped Breakers

Tripped breakers or blown fuses can quickly leave you in the dark. While it can be a pain, it can be especially problematic if it happens repeatedly. Breakers can trip for many reasons including electrical circuits overload, short circuits, or ground fault surges. This could indicate a loose wire, which if not addressed could cause a fire in your home. You want to get breaker issues looked at right away to keep your home and your family safe.

Voltage Trouble

Old wiring or damaged wiring can cause voltage trouble throughout your home. If you find that your lights are flickering or dimming when using a nearby appliance, it could be that your circuit is becoming overloaded. On the other hand, if you have a lingering burning smell in certain rooms of your home, you want to call an electrician right away to check your wiring. Even if you cannot physically see damage from your electrical outlets, your wiring could be close to causing a fire. The same is true if you feel a tingling sensation when using appliances. .

Home Insurance Coverage

It’s also important to carefully look at your homeowner’s policy regarding electrical issues. This applies especially if you are selecting a plan with a new provider. Many insurance companies will not provide coverage if your home has wiring that is 40+ years old. If they do offer coverage, they often do so at a premium. While upgrading your wiring can be an intensive job, looking long-term it can save you both time and money.

Planning to Update Your Home’s Electrical Wiring

Do you get overwhelmed at the idea of upgrading your home’s wiring? Take it as an opportunity to install wiring that will be long-lasting. With that, you can support the increasing electricity demands of our appliances.

The professional team at Wire Craft Electric will help make sure your home is safe and ready for the future. Call 206-542-0208 today to discuss your home’s wiring and to set up an appointment with one of our trusted electricians.

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How To Clean Electronic Home Appliances Safely

cleaning appliancesCleaning 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 on cleaning 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 Regarding Cleaning Appliances?

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.

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How To Choose The Right Electrician For Home Maintenance

home maintenance

The importance of maintaining your home electrical system cannot be understated. If you fail to either check the condition of your wirings and fixtures or address electrical problems immediately, you’re bound to encounter accidents and damages in your home. That’s why you need to hire the right electrician to conduct regular maintenance.

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Electrical Bill Costs Tips to Bring Down

electrical bill costs

Who doesn’t like to save on power costs? Although you don’t have control over power supply charges, there may be some things that you can do at home to reduce the cost of your next electrical bill.

Here are some effective techniques to help bring down your power expenses:

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5 Tips for Maintaining Your Generator

maintaining your generator

The generator is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated but highly useful devices in homes and facilities. With the convenience and advantage that it brings, the generator deserves to be maintained. Besides, failing to do maintenance on your generator may hasten its wear and tear, leading you to spend more on buying a new unit.

Maintaining Your Generator Tips

If you want your generator to last a long time, here are some effective tips to keep it maintained:

Consider getting a warranty

Some sellers may give you a discount if you don’t get a warranty for the generator. However, having a warranty will safeguard you against any potential damage that the unit may experience, regardless if you bought it as brand new or not.

Put the generator in an enclosure

Don’t think for a second that your generator is invincible. Just like any other appliance, exposing your generator to the elements – especially water or moisture – may speed up its deterioration. To avoid this, put it inside a protective cover. Fortunately, some hardware stores sell covers, tents, and enclosures. The design is to protect your generator. If you have enough resources, it’s best to put the generator in its own garage or house.

Run the generator once every quarter

Generators do the work when the main power supply doesn’t. However, even if the power supply remains uninterrupted, make sure that you turn on the generator once every 3 months. The main reason behind this is for the battery of the electric starter to charge up.

Keep the fluid level within range.

In other words, fill up your generator tank with enough supply. One of the fastest ways to damage your generator is by running it while it’s already out of fluid. In similar fashion, check that you have enough supply of generator oil and filters. Missing out on these things will render your generator useless in times of power interruption.

Clean and store it properly after each use.

After it works its magic onto moments of power outage, make sure that you clean the generator. Wipe off any grease, fuel spills, and adhering dirt on its body. A compressed air blower can make this job much faster.

Final Word

In pretty much the same reason as with other devices and appliances, taking care of your generator can increase its life span. That way, you can save on costs and enjoy your supplementary power for a little while longer.

Need help with maintaining your generator? Wire Craft electric will help you out. Call us now.

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