Home Remodeling – Why Switch Plate Covers Are Important

Most people seem to overlook one minute detail whenever they are remodeling their homes. Usually thinking about a new coat of paint, new flooring or some new moldings, they almost forget giving switch plate covers a second look. What they are not aware of is that they can actually spell the difference in one's home re-modeling's success.

Actually, light switch covers must be considered like ornaments that adorn a human body, because that is what they can do for your house. Like the decorative switch plate covers, it adds a distinctive finishing touch to your home's interior. Contrary to some people think, they are not expensive. Yet, they can make minor modifications in your home design that can give you maximum return on your investment. In effect, it adds the most to the resale value of your house for the least outlay.

Not only that. Did you know that they are a pretty essential household accessory for your home that serve a practical purpose? Believe it or not, they are primarily meant for protection. It keeps you and anyone else from touching or brushing up against the wires behind it so you won't get hurt. They are also functional and can be custom cut to fit all of your electrical wiring outlets. It hide live wires, thus preventing electrical accidents and also covers television cable hook ups, phone jacks, power outlets and other outlets where electrical wiring might be exposed.

Likewise, there are also wall switch covers that protect us from high voltage wiring in the walls of our home. While eradicating unsightly holes on our walls by concealing them from view, they also protect the wires inside the walls from dust and damage.

Switch covers are available in an assortment of styles and come in various forms like plastic, brushed nickel, wood, copper, metallic and the popular ceramic switch plate covers. You can pick from any of these many choices and match it with the design of your home.

So, after you've finished with your house redecoration, cap it by spicing up the look of your place with durable and fashionable light switch plate covers.

Five Sure Shot Ways To Find A Quality Electrician

Five Sure Shot Ways To Find A Quality Electrician

Do you need to get some electrical maintenance done? You need a good electrician who can do a thorough maintenance. The task of hiring an electrician can at times be overwhelming. So, here are a few tips to find one easily –

Ask for referrals

Ask friends, family, and professionals such as general contractors, realtors, electrical supply stores and home or building inspectors. Also contact the Better Business Bureau. You will find that several names are repeated on the list, those are most likely the ones known for quality service.

Set appointments

Call each electrician and set up an appointment for them to visit your house to view the repair work and give you an estimate. When they visit your house, here is what you need to check –

Their specialization – Electricians specialize in various spheres of electrical work and you should check whether the said electrician would be the best one for the job.

Experience and references – Find out how long they have been in business, since it takes years of experience to perfect oneself in a particular profession. Ask for references from previous clients to determine the type of work you can expect.

Ask to see their license and proof of insurance – It is advisable to double check with state agencies their license and proof of insurance to determine if they are legitimate.

Get several bids

Consult several electricians for a bid on the job to be sure the price is fair. Once you do so you will have a clear understanding of who wants to cheat you and who will not. A good idea is also to find out what is included in the estimate to make it easier to compare bids.

Select the best

Think over your experience while each electrician was at your house. Compare facts about each one of them. Trust your instincts and choose the best out of them.

Get a written contract

Ask the electrician you choose for everything in writing. Read the contract thoroughly to make sure everything is accurate. Ensure the contract outlines all terms and conditions of the agreement.

Finding an electrician can be easy and less strenuous if you know what to look for. For finding a quality electrician, Northern Virginia residents now have an answer. Get in touch with aceselectric.com for professional electricians.

Electrical Contractors: Separating The Best From The Rest

Electrical Contractors: Separating The Best From The Rest

If you are not an expert at dealing with electrical problems, you shouldn't risk your life by trying to solve them. When it comes to any electrical work like house wiring or others, it is best to get electrical contractors to do the job. Here are a few traits of good electrical contractors, which in turn will help you find and hire one –

* Licensed – You can ask for their license, take down the number and cross check on the Internet for more information on them. They should ideally have an ECRA or ESA license.

* Charge reasonable fees – Discuss fee charges with each one of them and compare the estimates. If they are too expensive or too cheap they are most likely not good.

* Are highly skilled – They are certified and qualified to do the job.

* Are experienced – Ask them about the experience they have with similar cases and how long it took for them to complete the job.

* Well versed with safety regulations – Check the safety measures taken by them. If they do not follow the local code, you know what to do.

* Good customer reviews – Check on their company website for customer feedback. A majority of good reviews is most likely to do a satisfying job.

* Insured – Check if they have insurance coverage it helps protect your house and them.

* Good Customer service – See if they have good communication skills, friendly office staff, punctual service and professional manners.

* Give Guarantees and warranties – Ask about the warranty covering the work in order to be certain that it will hold up over a specified amount of time or be repaired if necessary.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with finding a good electrical contractor in your area. You can get recommendations from,

* Family, friends and co-workers
* The better business bureau
* The Internet

List the names you get from each one and shortlist at least three. Look for the traits mentioned above and find yourself good electrical contractors. Finding an electrical contractor is now a breeze, thanks to the Internet. With just a click of the mouse, you can scout the very best of electrician near your neighborhood. For electrical contractors, Alexandria is the best place to find them. Just login to aceselectric.com and get one of the best in Alexandria.

Gaining More Information About Branch Circuit

Gaining More Information About Branch Circuit

Have you ever heard about branch circuit? Maybe you are not familiar with this name, but you have to know that actually all homes with electricity system should be completed with this certain supply. This circuit is very important to deliver the electricity power to all appliances in your house, including to the outlets, lights, dryers, electric oven, refrigerators, and many more. Different types of appliance usually need different types of circuit. In this article, you can find more information that will help you get more knowledge about it.

Branch circuit usually consists of some different components. They are including a power source, a path for the electricity, a protection device, as well as some types of output device. However, you could also find some types of circuit that are completed with switches. This feature will be very useful to control output device, such as light as well as light switch. You can choose a certain one that meets your needs well.

You can identify branch circuit the size and type of the protection. Commonly, branch circuits for residential use are including 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, as well as 60 amps. Those are powering specific appliances. However, mostly home uses basic circuits in 15 amps. They are enough to supply power to any receptacles as well as light fixtures. Moreover, basic circuit for business requirements is 20 amps.

This kind of circuit comes to bring great advantage for your electrical system. In average, the power sent to a house nowadays is a 240-volt, 200-amp line. With the help of branch circuit, this power could be divided and sent to the needed appliances properly. The amount of the power sent to the appliances could be adjusted by varying the size of the wire. Then, in order to add more protection, breakers are added in power panel. Breaker will be a device that is responsible to protect each branch circuit from having overload current. Therefore, the risk of fire could be easily prevented.

Now, you have to notice about some warnings concerning this circuit. You have to really and extremely careful when you are working around this electrical supply since branch circuit carries huge amount of power. Usually, a certain circuit could bear at least 15 amps of electricity. This is an extremely dangerous amount that could kill you in an instance. Even if you really have to work around the circuit, you have to really aware on where the location of the circuit exactly. Besides, you also need to notice what appliances powered by the circuit and whether you might damage the circuit or not.

Now, I am sure you have understood the significance of branch circuit to be presented in your home. Always make sure that all components of your electricity system work in order, so the danger of fire or other accidents due to electrical problem could be prevented earlier.

Battery Backup Systems Considerations

Battery Backup Systems Considerations

Whether you have considered purchasing a solar panel system or a wind turbine generator system for your home or business you have also more than likely weighed out the pros and cons of grid-tie or off-grid configurations for these systems. Most of us who live out in the country or who have suitable acreage have seriously considered going completely off-grid so that we can completely eliminate that ever increasing electric bill. However, almost as quickly as we begin this deliberation the “what if” part of our reasoning kicks in and then the same questions pop up for anyone. What if the system fails in any way or cannot generate enough power? Perhaps I should look into a battery backup system to store my energy just in case.

Battery backup systems have come a long way since their first use several decades ago but this is not to say their associated costs have diminished. On average and regardless of the renewable energy system they are to be used with these systems can add 30% to the overall costs associated with getting your entire system purchased and installed. Of course there are alternatives to purchasing the newest technologies in batteries and there are many who happen to have access to the larger deep cell golf cart batteries they have used. This however is for those who wish to make their energy systems battery backup a regular hobby which will take up their time on all of the problems inherent to implementing used components. The much older technologies used in these types of batteries offered much less in serviceability and longevity which on their best day only came with 5 – 7 year warranties when purchased new.

In fact, a newly purchased battery backup system offers maintenance free batteries that typically are now sold with 10 year warranties and if purchased with a complete Balance of System or (BOS) package you will have far fewer problems in the long run. These Solar Ready Battery Backup systems come in a wide variety of amp hours (Ah) of service but like anything else, the larger the system the greater its expense. These systems can also be configured very easily with either grid-tie or off-grid renewable energy systems which enable them to be powered by either the grid or the energy system depending on the owners preferences. Grid-tie applications of these systems typically charge the batteries from grid power while excess power generated during daylight hours is net-metered back to your utility further lowering your monthly electric bill when solar is implemented. Wind turbine generator systems have the ability to not only provide power to both the building but also to their batteries and again all excess energy is net-metered back to your utility.

There are a great many systems and businesses which depend on these battery backups that include highway control signs, SCADA systems, as well as a large number of clinics and hospitals that use them for emergency power to their refrigeration systems. State colleges such as the University of Wisconsin have even taken these battery systems and employed them in solar powered electric vehicles used by university maintenance staff for daily use around their campuses. With all of these great uses the battery backup systems of today offer anyone considering them, the bottom line quickly becomes a question of, “Where do you want to get your power from when all other power sources are unavailable?”

Copper Wire Products and Their Use

Copper Wire Products and Their Use

Some electrical wire products are enamelled copper wire, stranded copper wire, armored cables and glass wire. All these are put to some very important use and upon their correct functioning depend all the working of the present day technological world. The uses of some of these wires are discussed in detail below: –

Stranded Copper Wire – These wires are developed for high tolerance for vibration and expansion. They are used as connectors in different electrical appliances because they are flexible and allow for expansion. Similarly they have much better ability to sustain jolts of vibration. Each client can have his own set of specifications based on the use he will put the wires to and the manufacturer usually conforms to these.

Armored Cables – These cables are one of the products of PVC insulated cables. It is used for supply of power and also for the purposes of earthing. It is found in underground transmission systems, cable ducting and power networks. It has flexible steel covering which helps in making it tough and elastic. This is exactly what is needed for some functions of power supply.

Silver Enamelled Copper Wire – Such wires are used for replacing sterling silver as jewelry. These wires can be easily used and they are resistant to tarnishing.

Glass Wire – To make glass wire, stranded wire is used. It is made of bare copper or tin copper. There are two processes which are called glass tape lapping followed by fiber glass thread braiding. The last procedure is the plating of varnish. Glass wire becomes highly resistant to temperature due to these processes. It is put to uses like alignment heater, electric motor, submersible motor and other electrical instruments which require resistance to high temperature.

Taking a look at the uses of the variations of the electrical cable, one can come to the conclusion that it is a very important metal which escapes our attention. We often consider it as a puny little dark metal but how pivotal a role becomes evident if only one starts taking a look at the uses it is put to.

Another thing of note is that enamelled copper wire is also used as jewelry. This shows that the use of this metal is not confined to electronic or electrical appliances too. Obviously the latter two are more important but one can only wonder at how myriad the uses of this great metal are.

Checking Your Home Electrical Circuit

Checking Your Home Electrical Circuit

Homes cannot function well without electricity but there are also dangers to having electricity running inside your home. And because of this, people living inside your home must do their job to ensure that there will be no electrical hazards running around the house.

Put your appliances where they should be. Do not let children play with the appliances even if they are unplugged. They might be interested to see what happens when they plug it on and you do not notice them doing it which can cause accidents.

Inspect your appliances and see if they are still in good shape. If by chance that certain parts of your appliances are broken, you can take it to a shop and have it repaired before it can cause harm to your family and your home.

Gather your children and tell them that when they want to use the appliance, they must ask for permission from you or your partner or someone older. And if they must touch the appliance, they need to do so with dry hands to avoid problems.

Use extension cords wisely. Extension cords can greatly help you when there aren't enough sources to come by but they are also a great threat to your safety when they are overused. Have them checked out.

We all know how curious children can be and they tend to stick things where it usually shouldn't be. Electrical outlets should not be on their list which is why outlet covers should be installed.

If an electrical appliance is submerged in water, do not try to fish it out with your hands or a stick. You will get electrocuted. It is much better that you cut off the supply of electricity first before you take the appliance out.

Put down all the means possible to prevent electrical accidents on a piece of paper and explain it to everyone inside the house even the children. Make sure that they get a copy each or you can put the list on the refrigerator.

How to Hire the Right Electrician

How to Hire the Right Electrician

Electricians play a vital role when it comes to helping homes, business buildings, entertainment venues, and other places run efficiently and smoothly. It can be very dangerous trying to work on high voltage systems, power circuits, and electrical components that help make up any or all complex electric systems so keep that in mind. When someone hires an electrician what are the typical services that he performs? The list is probably endless but we will list a few different projects that a trained contractor typically has to work on.

Installing wiring networks and home electrical systems always requires a good amount of prep work just like any other home improvement project. This type of job is known as Pre-Wiring or at times is called a rough-in project. This type of job happens when a home is initially being put together, or possibly just a room addition, and the framing is done. An electrician or electricians are hired normally after the initial phase of home construction is completed so that they can install and run wires and outlets. By modernizing a home during the construction process it will be much easier for homeowners to upgrade their electrical components and entertainment systems in the future.

Electrical engineers are educated at discovering how electric currents, power voltages, and amps move through different machines, motors, appliances, and lighting fixtures. Every day homeowners and companies count on specialized workers such as these contractors to complete work on non-working devices and household appliances. Communicating with an electrical contractor and having them take a look inside the cabling, test the continuity, and do other such general work on your electrical products and appliances is another way electric companies are hired for work.

Having power outages on a regular basis is just part of life when you live in a city or state that gets a lot of high wind and extreme weather conditions. When your home power goes off your electric provider notifies its field workers and they go help get your power back up and running. In order for an employee to work on power lines and transformers they must be trained and pass all electrical safety tests!

New home construction, alarm systems, home electrical wiring, lighting systems, and basic home inspections are all part of the basic skill sets that any professional electrician will have. Performing any work on residential electrical wiring requires that the proper licensing and insurance be obtained by the company or contractor doing the job so please ask any electrician about this before you hire them.

Why Everyone Should Invest in a Generator

While hurricane Dorian seemed to spare most of Florida from its worst, it is important to start thinking about preparation for the next hurricane that might not follow the same route. One of the smartest and most effective things you can do to protect your family and your home during a hurricane is to invest in a generator.

Generators are very beneficial not only in major hurricanes, but also in thunder and lightning storms, and even high winds that may knock out your power from time to time. Generators kick on automatically when they sense a loss in power, allowing you and your family to live as comfortably as possible in the midst of a hurricane or bad storm.

Some of the most important things to think about when considering purchasing a      generator are the lights, air conditioning, and refrigerator. If you’re living in Florida, you know how hot it can get almost all year round, even during a storm, which could even increase humidity. If you prefer to stay comfortable and cool all the time, a generator may be worth investing in for those times during hurricanes or blackouts. As for the refrigerator, having a generator will prevent you from having to throw away any food that would go bad if it were to stop working. Having the lights remain on will simply relieve the annoyance of having to carry around flashlights.

As we are in the midst of hurricane season, we urge everyone to consider getting a generator, as it can be a huge help during storms, and a purchase you will thank yourself for later.

Are Low-Voltage Technologies Going to Rule New and Remodeled Homes?

The fact that more and more new and remodeled homes across America primarily rely on low-voltage systems to control the facilities within the homes is revealing. Of course, high-voltage 110Vac is and always will be required. However, low-voltage technologies are already embedded in millions of homes. No doubt everyone has heard that in the coming days of our civilization that items removed from the refrigerator and pantry will automatically be added onto the next week's shopping list electronically.

Security At the present time automatically reordering food items is not on the menu. However, many other security and convenience related technologies are becoming the norm. Let's just take security as an example. A quality security system in today's world is expected to accomplish multiple tasks. During the day, while the home owners are away for the day, low voltage tri-tech motion detectors peer over the landscape looking for intruders. This highly evolved electronic device looks for heat variations, Doppler shift movements, and also compares the differences in temperature variations over long periods of time.

Lighting Control Systems There has certainly been a shift towards low-voltage in lighting control. Most really high-end lighting control systems no longer have high-voltage wiring installed within the walls at the light switches. Instead there is a small gauge, low-voltage cable run to each button at a given switch location. In fact, the cable run to a given switch location is likely to contain many individual wires so that multiple light loads and lighting scenes can be controlled from that one location.

Whole-House Stereo How about whole-house entertainment, is it controlled with low-voltage wiring? You bet it is controlled all over the house with low-voltage wiring. In fact, most of the main units of whole-house multi-source, multi-zone systems are conveniently located down in the home theater room. Low-voltage keypad controllers are installed within the walls in each listening zone and make control inputs to the main unit.

Access Control Systems Just to be fair I will include one other low-voltage technology being installed regularly in new and remodeled homes all across the country. That technology is the access control system which identifies people at the front door. The capability of swiping a card in front of a reader is nothing new. However, unlocking the front door of a residence, disarming the security system, activating various lighting scenes, and turning on one's favorite music is a new spin on that old technology. Yes that's right, the system can differentiate between various family members, household personnel, and intruders.

I suppose the jury is still out on whether low-voltage will rule as the primary power source in new and remodeled homes of the future. As previously mentioned, high-voltage 110Vac is and always will be required. However, there is no doubt just by examining four of the multitude of controlled systems, that this technology is already the controlling authority.