Being a Bright Spark

Electrical Emergencies: Tips on Surviving Power Outages

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Electrical Emergencies: Tips on Surviving Power Outages

Electrical power supply is critical in the home because it facilitates lighting of the interior spaces. Moreover, the energy powers important residential appliances and charges the digital devices. Unfortunately, you can lose your power supply due to harsh weather, wildlife and tree interference, supply equipment failure and public damage due to road accidents. Some of these power outage incidences such as storms are foreseeable while others are unexpected. Ideally, you should contact an emergency electrician to resolve the problem immediately. However, if there are limiting factors to immediate resolution such as ice, rainstorms or high winds, consider using these simple guidelines to help you cope with the power loss. Disconnect Appliances You should ensure that your appliances are protected against electrical irregularities during the outage. In simple terms, the electrical power supply can experience sudden surges which will result in a momentary flow of high current into your system. The sudden energy can flow into kitchen appliances, televisions, DVD players and computers, causing damage to the internal components. Therefore, you should turn off the power outlets or even better, disconnect the plugs from the sockets. It is also prudent to ensure that the lighting fixtures are turned off for the same reason to avoid expensive replacements. Additionally, you should always ensure that safety devices such as circuit breakers, surge protectors and fuses are in place, in case some electrical loads are forgotten. Avoid Hazardous Practices Homes are highly dependent on electricity, so most people are unaware of the right practices to follow without the resource. You should never use any equipment that releases carbon monoxide inside the house. This gas is highly poisonous and cannot be recognised by odour or sight. It can displace oxygen in the blood and cause serious health problems and even death. For example, camping heating equipment and gas and charcoal barbeque grills are hazardous, so avoid them. If you must use candles, ensure that they are on a stable surface. Do not leave them unattended and never use them as night lights. Consider Obtaining a Generator You should consider obtaining a backup generator for your home. For example, when the local region is set for weather that includes high winds, hailstorms or heavy rain, power outage is likely to occur. You will not have to purchase the generator since there are local rental businesses that provide the powering equipment. If you install this backup power, ensure that it is not confined in the house with you since the generator also emits carbon...

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3 Actionable Steps to Undertake When Electrical Wiring Catches Fire

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Actionable Steps to Undertake When Electrical Wiring Catches Fire

Electrical wiring must be properly maintained to ensure safety and to prevent fires in your home. Damaged or faulty wiring running through your home can easily cause home fires. While preventive measures are supremely important when it comes to protecting your home from an electrical fire, you should also know what to do when a fire erupts before an emergency electrician arrives. This guide is designed to help you undertake actionable steps when your electrical wiring catches fire. Switch Off the Electrical Mains If the fire ignites at an electrical wire, the first thing you should do is to cut the main power supply to the electrical system. If the source of the fire has not spread further, this step should be sufficient to extinguish it. Keep in mind that just turning off the switch at the wall isn’t enough. You will need to cut electrical supply from the main switch to prevent current from flowing dangerously through the wires and spreading the electrical fire. Put Off the Fire                 Use a fire extinguisher to put off the fire as soon as you notice it in your home. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher ready in your home, then you can use sand or dirt to put it off if you have quick access to them. You can also use salt to extinguish an electrical fire. Salt smothers the flame by minimising the level of oxygen it receives. Most fire extinguishers use salt in their extinguishing solution, so this ingredient will help to douse the fire. You can also use an inflammable coat or blanket to smother the fire. Keep it over the fire for a few minutes without lifting because this will smother the oxygen the fire needs to burn. Avoid using water on electrical fires because you could potentially get electrocuted. Call an Emergency Electrician Once you’ve got the fire under control, don’t switch on your mains again until the emergency electrician arrives because you have no idea what caused the fire in the first place. It could be because of a short circuit, poor wiring, electrical fault or heavy load. The emergency electrician will arrive as soon as possible, so you don’t have to wait for regular working hours to get the job done. Once the electrician assesses and fixes the problem, you can resume your normal life once again by turning on your electricity. If you have to deal with an electrical fire, be sure to follow these steps and call the emergency electrician as soon as...

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Why Invest In LED Grow Lights For A Greenhouse?

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Invest In LED Grow Lights For A Greenhouse?

There are various commercial applications for which LED lighting systems are used. A large number of these applications are well-known (e.g. corporate event lighting) while others are not-so-well known (e.g. LED virtual skies). The use of LED lighting in greenhouses is often among the not-so-well known applications for this technology. Provided below are a few reason why every greenhouse owner needs to invest in commercial LED lighting for their agricultural practice. Photosynthesis And The Colour Spectrum Among the main reasons to invest in commercial LED lighting for a greenhouse is that doing this can have a positive impact on photosynthetic processes in greenhouse plants. Chlorophyll in greenhouse plants is charged with the responsibility of absorbing light for photosynthesis. The colour or wavelength of available light has a significant impact on the rate of photosynthesis in greenhouse plants. This is because plants only use red and blue-coloured light (out of the entire colour spectrum) in the process of photosynthesis. In this regard, the installation of commercial LED lighting systems in a greenhouse can be advantageous in the sense that the lighting systems can be custom-made to emit light across a section of the colour spectrum that is beneficial for photosynthetic processes in greenhouse plants. Greater Control Over Indoor Temperatures Another reason for greenhouse owners to invest in commercial LED lighting systems is that they will be in a better position to control temperatures inside the greenhouse. A major difference between LED lighting technology and fluorescent tubes (or incandescent lamps) is the fact that the operation of LED bulbs produces a significantly lower quantity of heat and significantly higher quantities of light. When traditional lighting options are used on a greenhouse, the excess heat produced during their operation is absorbed into the greenhouse air. This results in increased indoor temperatures within the greenhouse, which is often undesirable. Commercial LED lights will cause little interference with the indoor temperatures in a greenhouse, thereby allowing the farmer greater control over indoor temperatures. The Ability To Focus Light On Specific Greenhouse Areas Lastly, commercial LED lighting is advantageous because it allows a farmer the opportunity to focus light on specific (read shaded) areas of the greenhouse where such light is of importance. This is made possible by the fact that LED bulbs emit light in a unidirectional manner.  As such, LED lighting can be installed in such a manner that the unidirectional light is focused on shaded areas of the greenhouse. For more information, talk to a commercial LED lighting professional....

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Characteristics of Good Electrical Contractors

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Characteristics of Good Electrical Contractors

Electrical contracting is a universal industry and a very important process in the construction industry. Professional electricians provide services that enable automated equipment in the construction process to operate. It is also through electrical contracting services that wiring and installation of lighting and power outlets becomes possible. This means that these services are not restricted to the construction sector only. They help all other industries. Electrical contractors and electricians should therefore exhibit high levels of electrical knowledge and professionalism. Among the professional attributes that electricians should demonstrate include the following: Formal education qualifications and licenses In Australia, a four-year electrical training course is needed for one to qualify as an electrical professional. One also needs to acquire formal licenses to practice in the industry. A competent electrical professional will therefore need to provide these certifications before engaging in the trade. Qualified and experienced electricians are the best. Broad industry knowledge The electrician should have high levels of knowledge in electrical products and processes. Using the best approaches to source for work and performing as per expectations are qualities that set apart the qualified and diligent electrician or electrical contractors from underperformers. Broad industry knowledge will also give the electrician the tools that will help in determining the best and most competitive service charges. The contractor will also be able to offer insights towards the future of the industry. High levels of competence in decision-making process A good electrical contractor is able to make informed decisions in the process of purchasing electrical products. The type of brand and materials to use for particular electrical installation should be determined with precision and professionalism. Moving with time and adopting new technologies Like all other industries, electrical contracting affects and is affected by new and changing technologies. A good electrician is able to meet the challenges of these new technologies and to adopt the same in a rate swift enough to stay abreast with changing customer needs. The electrician should be able to use these new technologies to make the work easier for the business and for satisfaction of the consumer. Consumer Considerations The consumer is the end user of the electrical products and services and therefore the most important entity in the electrical contracting. Good electrical contractors provide the best and safest electrical products and services to the end user. A good electrician will also empower the consumer by giving informed advice to the consumer to help them make the right decisions about their electrical needs. The interaction between the service provider and the consumer should be professional and...

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Troubleshooting Problems Before Calling A 24 Hour Electrician

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Problems Before Calling A 24 Hour Electrician

Typically, a professional electrician should always handle electrical problems that are plaguing your home. Not only do they have the appropriate insurance in the event of an injury while fixing the problem, but also, they are less likely to aggravate the issue, which could lead to bigger electrical problems. However, this does not mean that you should call in a 24 hour electrician when you notice the slightest flicker in your light bulbs. Here are some ways to troubleshoot electrical problems before resorting to calling in the professionals. Faulty electrical outlets If you are trying to plug in an appliance and the outlet is not coming on, there are a few things you could check. The first would be to ensure that a circuit breaker has not tripped. If this is not the case, then you should inspect the outlet for any blackening. Blackening that has occurred on the outlet plugs indicates that some burning out has taken place. In this instance, you would have to call in an electrician to replace the entire outlet so as to prevent any chances of an electrical fire occurring. Sparks from your electrical outlets Noticing sparks from your electrical outlets can be quite scary. Usually this will occur when there is a sudden diversion of power to an appliance. This sudden draw of power will create a spark, but once the electrons have gone back to their normal flow, the spark disappears. However, in the event that you notice regular sparking happening, you would have to call in a professional electrician. Consistent surges in power can melt the insulation that protects the wires. The more exposed the wires are, the higher the chances of an electrical fire starting. To avoid sparks, you should also ensure that there is no water source in close proximity to your electrical outlets. In addition to this, you could have your electrician install a ground fault circuit interrupter. This works toward shutting down any electrical circuit when it is exposed to moisture. Constantly tripping circuit breaker As the name suggests, a circuit breaker works toward breaking any electrical circuits in the event of a power surge. If you notice that your circuit breakers keep tripping, then chances are you are overloading the connection. To troubleshoot this, use high wattage appliances on different circuits rather than connecting them to the same one. If this does not work, then you should call in the electrician to come install additional circuits in your home that will be sufficient for the power demands of your...

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When to Hire a Specialist Electrician

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When to Hire a Specialist Electrician

An electrician can be needed at home for rewiring circuits that keep shutting off when certain appliances are in use, or for when you’re renovating your home and need to move wiring from a wall you plan on knocking down. While most general electricians can handle standard jobs like these, you may need specialist electricians for other, more complex jobs. Note when it’s good to have a specialist visit your home for electrical work and what they can do for you. 1. New home theater installation The reason you want a specialist electrician for this work is that you may need new wiring for your home theater and may also need new data cabling. The wiring will ensure that all your new electronics will get the power they need to operate without shutdown or brownouts, meaning a slowing down of the electricity. Data cabling supplies internet signals, and if you’re like most homeowners today, you get movies from the internet and don’t stop reading your emails or texting others while watching that movie. This means your home will need more data to support all that internet activity, not just more electricity, and a specialist electrician can ensure your new home theater is provided with both. 2. When appliances need electrical work done An electrician may be familiar with the wiring behind your walls, but may not be familiar with how an air conditioner, automatic garage door opener, or other such device is wired. If you need to call an electrician to work on any major appliance in your home, it’s best to call one that specializes in appliance electrical repair, and not just upgrading wiring or fixing wiring in the home itself. This will ensure the repairs are diagnosed and performed properly and the electrician is not simply guessing at how to replace wires or reconnect circuit panels of these items. 3. When water is involved If you are installing a new appliance that involves water, such as a dishwasher, refrigerator with an ice maker, or hot water heater, you want to call a specialist for the electrical work. Not only will they need to ensure that the electricity is properly supplied to the appliance but they also need to ensure that it is properly grounded and that the right wiring is used for water since it is an electrical hazard. If an electrician doesn’t specialize in installing these types of appliances, they may not protect the wiring from coming into contact with water if it should leak, and in turn, you might be at increased risk for a shock if the appliance should...

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3 Signs of Problems With a Car’s Electrical System Most Car Owners Overlook

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs of Problems With a Car’s Electrical System Most Car Owners Overlook

When a car refuses to start then of course most car owners will have its battery and electrical system checked, but this is not the only time when you may need to call for electrical repair for your car. Understanding the common signs of needed repair work for your car can mean ensuring that it’s always working as it should, and can also avoid causing more damage as times goes on. Note a few signs of damage to a car’s electrical system that most car owners overlook so you can take your vehicle in for repairs the minute you notice any of these. 1. What smells like electricity under your hood An electrical fire has a very distinct odor that you might notice when any type of electrical wiring starts to burn out; this can be true when wires in your home begin to get frayed and worn, and also when wiring under your car’s hood begins to wear away. If you notice any type of distinct burning odor coming from your car, you want to have this checked as soon as possible, but even more so when you note that it seems like the smell of electricity. This can signal a burned out wire or connection; ignoring it can mean causing corrosion or damage to electrical components. 2. A struggling battery When you try to start your car, if it grinds for several seconds before starting, this often means that you have a weak battery. You may also notice that your electrical systems don’t want to all work at the same time; your headlights might go dim when you turn on the air conditioner or step on the brakes. These are signs of a weak battery that may be getting ready to die. A weak battery can cause damage to the starter and alternator as it puts extra wear and tear on them every time you turn over the engine, so have your car’s battery tested and consider replacing it. 3. Dashboard warning lights Dashboard warning lights are not there for decoration; they come on when there is a problem with your car that needs attention. If the battery light comes on, this usually means there is a problem with the car’s battery, alternator, or other electrical component. Don’t ignore it and assume it will go away or think that because your car still drives then there must not be a problem, but at least take your car in for a diagnosis and find out the problem so you can decide on repairs. Learn more by contacting auto repair technicians like Drive-in Auto...

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When It’s Vital That You Call an Electrician to Your Home

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When It’s Vital That You Call an Electrician to Your Home

Not every electrical job around the house will require the services of a professional electrician, as you might be able to install a new ceiling fan or replace an electrical outlet on your own with a few simple tools and set of instructions. However, there are times when it’s vital that you call an electrician to check the wiring of your home and make repairs and upgrades as needed. Note when it’s good to have a professional electrician check on the current wiring in your home and have them on hand during renovation projects. 1. After a flood If your home has been flooded, chances are the wiring behind the walls has gotten wet. Before you turn on any electrical appliances, it’s good to have an electrician come out and inspect the wiring and connections as well as the circuit breakers and all other components of your home’s electrical system. Wet building materials around damaged wires might pose a hazard, as water conducts electricity. A simple spark near water can mean more damage to wires or singeing of the building materials. Even if you’ve had your home cleaned and building materials replaced after a flood, it’s still good to call an electrician for an assessment of any other damage. 2. If you’re renovating an older home Older homes may not have been built up to today’s electrical codes, so simply renovating around wiring and connectors may not be safe. Those connections may be very delicate, and any type of work near them might cause them to come loose, and older wiring may not have the same grounding or circuits as today’s wiring. You might run older wiring through a new bathroom in your home without realizing that it’s not safe to be used in an outlet near water, or might overload the wiring by installing new appliances that demand too much electricity. Call an electrician if you know your home’s wiring is several decades old, and have him or her work with your contractor to update the wiring and ensure its safety during a renovation project. 3. If building materials are singed If you pull up old insulation or tear down a wall and notice that the building materials seem singed, you need to call an electrician. This often signals bare or frayed wires. They may have been consistently overloaded with demands for power, or rodents may have chewed through them. In any case, have this investigated by an electrician as soon as possible. For more information, contact  local electrical...

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Why It Is Advisable to Have Two Levels of Surge Protection Installed

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why It Is Advisable to Have Two Levels of Surge Protection Installed

A power surge is a brief spike in the electrical power supply. These spikes burn the circuits inside appliances. Surges are caused by several factors such as lightning strikes that affect power lines to your home. You can protect your home and electrical appliances by installing two kinds of surge protectors. One is the service entry protector that you can install on the line bringing power to your home. The second kind of protection is installed at the point of use, such as an electrical outlet from which your TV is powered. This article discusses why you should have both kinds of surge protection installed. Differing Sources of Surges Service entry surge protection only protects you from surges that originate from outside your home, such as when a transformer blows and creates a surge. This means that your gadgets will be vulnerable to surges that originate from within the home, such as when a short circuit in your dishwasher causes a surge. It is better to prepare for surges from any source by having both kinds of protection for your appliances and fixtures. Different Magnitudes of Surges Every surge protector has a maximum capacity of electrical load that it can take. The clearest example of a surge protector is a fuse. When a fuse detects a load that is bigger than it was designed to cope with, it blows and cuts off the power supply to the appliances supplied by that line. Different kinds of surge protectors also have maximum limits that they can let through. In most cases, service-entry surge protectors have higher power limits than point of use surge protectors. This is because the service entry protector controls the power to the entire home while a point of use surge protector controls the power to one or a few appliances. When a surge is of a high magnitude and it originates from outside the home, the service-entry surge protector will reduce that surge to a level that will not overwhelm the point of use surge protector. The two surge protectors deliver better results when they are complementing each other rather than working in isolation. Not All Fixtures Can Be Protected By In-house Protectors Some fixtures, such as light bulbs, cannot be easily protected by point of use surge protectors. This is because they do not get their power from outlets like sockets so it is not easy to link them to a specific surge protector inside the home. The service-entry surge protector comes in handy to protect such fixtures. As the discussion above shows, it is safer to have a two-pronged surge protection mechanism in your home instead of relying on only one form of protection. To have a surge protector installed in your home, contact a company that specializes in residential electrical...

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4 Important Guidelines for Choosing Solar Panels for Your Home

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Important Guidelines for Choosing Solar Panels for Your Home

Solar panels may all look very similar to the untrained eye, but they are often priced very differently for a reason. If you’re in the market for solar panels for your home, you should not let price alone be your guide. Instead, it’s good to educate yourself about those differences so you know you choose a solar panel system that will provide your home with the power it needs, and that will last for years to come. Note the following guidelines. 1. Size in watts Watts refers to the amount of power that can be supplied to your home by the solar panels. All electrical devices need a certain number of watts to function, and if you tend to run large appliances or use many electronics at once, you will need solar panels that can provide a larger number of watts. To figure your needs, you might check the watts required by your largest appliances in the kitchen as well as your television sets, and use those combined numbers as a minimum. 2. Size in dimensions Solar panels come in different sizes so they can actually fit on the roof of a home. When determining the watts of a solar panel, you also need to consider its overall physical size. Larger panels may offer you more watts, but if they don’t physically fit on your home’s roof, they’re not the right choice. If you don’t know the area of your roof that can accommodate solar panels, have it measured before you even begin to shop. 3. Certifications In many areas there are government rebates available for when you purchase solar panels. However, they often need to have a particular certification for you to be eligible for these rebates. If you’re looking to be reimbursed from the government for the cost of your panels, be sure you check this certification first and shop accordingly. 4. Warranty or durability As with any other major purchase for your home, you need to look at the warranty that is offered with the solar panels you choose. The warranty offered will tell you something about their durability and the longevity you can expect. This is important, as it may take many months for you to recoup the cost of installation from the energy savings you’ll have every month. In other words, if it costs $3000 to purchase and install the panels and you save $200 every month on your electric bill, you will have just broken even on this cost after 15 months. You don’t want your panels to break down and need replacement soon after, as this will mean no real savings on your energy bills overall. Learn more about these principles and your options by contacting companies like Accord...

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