Sensor Operated Bathroom Mirrors or Pull Cord?

If you have a light in your bathroom other than the main bathroom light, perhaps on your bathroom mirror how do you want that to function? The International Protection Rating (sometimes known as Ingress Protection Rating) is an internationally set standard to provide classification as to the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of objects into the electrical circuit or water into electrical enclosures. Taking this into account, what is the type of switch you would prefer to operate the lights above or behind your bathroom mirror?

Switch options for mirror lighting
There are three types of option you have for operating mirror lighting.

  • Wired into the main lighting. (so the mirror light operates with the main bathroom light)
  • Pull cord operated. (A pull cord on the mirror unit operates the light function)
  • Sensor Operated. (A sensor housed in the mirror, detects your presence and operates the bathroom mirror light)

Always usa Fully Qualified Electrician Regardless of how you choose to have your bathroom mirror lights operate. It is important that you ensure that the mirror is installed by a fully qualified electrician and pay attention to the type of mirror you are buying. You have to make sure that the IP rating matches the zone in the bathroom where you intend to install the bathroom mirror. The area typically where you may choose to place a mirror or two mirrors is in two Bathroom Zones covered by the International protection rating. Zone 2 and the zone formerly known as Zones 3. To avoid any ambiguity when considering a mirror or indeed its functions, then the safe bet would be to consult a fully qualified electrician.

Pull Cord or Sensor Operated Mirror Lights
With a pull cord operated bathroom mirror light, you have to physically touch the mirror or a draw cord to enable the operation of the mirror. This is all well and good if you are about to operate the light in the light or you are using the mirror light in conjunction with the main light. However what if you walk into the bathroom when it is dark and you wish to only use the mirror? This may be an advantage of using a sensor operated mirror. Whichever you choose the main advantage of having a light above, on or even within your bathroom mirror is to be able to have more control over the reflection you receive.

Signs That Your Main Electrical Service May Need to Be Upgraded

Atlanta, Georgia is home to offices of more than 75% Fortune 1000 companies. So, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that there has been a huge inflow of migrants from different parts of the country as well as from around the globe to this amazing city.

With a population of around 5.4 million people, Atlanta is seeing an explosive growth. Despite the current downward trend in the real estate market across the globe, there has been an increasing demand for both purchase and renting of homes in this city.

If you are planning to purchase or rent a house in Atlanta, it will be good to check if there is a need to upgrade the main electrical service. This is important because not only old electrical appliances consume more electricity, they may become unsafe over time. Moreover, our modern lifestyle makes use of various technologically advanced equipments that are quite challenging for the ancient electrical systems.

You may need to upgrade or change the main electrical services of a house, if:

  • You are adding more space or going to do some major renovations
  • You have antiquated breaker switches and fuses that are over 20 years old
  • Your service conductors are cracked, brittle and peeling
  • You have noises emanating from your panel or meter
  • Fuse blows whenever you switch on your microwave
  • Your lights are flickering on a continuously basis

If any of these conditions are true for you, you need to hire an Atlanta electrical contractor to help you with the upgrades and the changes. When looking for an electrician, check the reputation of the electrical company you opt for. Check the years of experience they have. Also, make sure that they are insured against all kinds of injuries and damages. They should also be a member of a professional guild or electricians union.

You should also ask some standard questions before award the electrical contractor with the job of upgrading your main electrical service of your home. Ask them –

  • Are you state licensed and insured?
  • Have you ever performed this type of project and do you have any references?
  • Do you offer a warrant?
  • How much time will you take to complete the task?

Some of you may get a small heart attack listening to the amount of money it will take to upgrade your main electrical service. However, you cannot to do this upgrade yourself as it can prove to be risky and you may end up spending a lot more. So, hire the services of an experienced Atlanta electrician who can perform your main electrical service upgrade successfully without putting you, your family and of course your home in any danger.

When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel Box

Atlanta, Georgia is one of the fastest growing cities in North America. Many ancient buildings are giving way to the high rises. Also, thanks to the tax break which has been introduced by the US government on home renovations; a large number of people are now re-decorating their abodes.

One of the major challenges faced by the commercial property owners and homeowners alike is when to upgrade the electrical wiring and electrical panel box during renovation.

An up to date electrical panels are needed in the home to ensure safety of the inhabitants. If there is an excess flow of power through the wiring, the electric wires will melt and may even cause a fire. Fuses are designed to detect this flaw and break the circuit by blowing the fuse, as was the trend in older panels. Newer panels have circuit breakers that are designed to trip.

Upgrading a panel box or electrical wiring is not an easy job and should be handled by an experienced and licensed electrician in Atlanta. But before getting on with the job of finding an expert Atlanta electrician, it is important to know when you should upgrade your unsafe or outdated panel box.

Below are some situations that may call for an upgrade of your electrical wiring and electric panel box:

Renovating or Remodeling home

You need to upgrade your panel box if you:

· Have moved into an antiquated home with inadequate or old electrical wiring
· Are planning to add additional rooms, remodel the kitchen or add new electrical equipment
· Are adding a hot tub, oven, or spa in your home, or are installing a new central air conditioning unit

Upgrading for safety

In years past, the average American home was wired for 30-60 amperes of power while homes to date are wired for a minimum 100 amperes-200 amps of power. Therefore, if you are living in a home with electrical wiring that is more than two decades old, you should upgrade your electrical wiring to avoid any electrical shock and avoid any hazards that may lead to a fire.

Some of the older electrical panel boxes that need to be upgraded include:

· Panel boxes that do not allow the circuit breakers to trip when an overload or short-circuit occurs.

· Panels made by Federal Pacific Electric Company that were developed during 1950’s up until 1980’s. These panels have many design and manufacturing flaws. A report by US Consumer Product Safety Commission calls these panel boxes “defective”.

· Zinsco panel boxes manufactured during the 70’s allowed the current to flow even when the circuit breakers was tripped. Pushmatic breaker panel boxes don’t contain a main circuit breaker and are difficult to re-set and therefore, should be replaced by a modern breaker panel box.

We cannot downplay the importance of electricity in our lives. From cooking our breakfast in the morning to helping us get ready for office, we surely can’t imagine a life without power. Therefore, if you suspect that the electrical panel in your home is not safe or is not providing you with sufficient power then call an electrician for a home safety inspection today.

An expert electrician from Atlanta will help you upgrade your electrical panel box in a clean and efficient manner to make your home a safe place to live.

Can Having Smoke Detectors Save Lives?

“Smoke and poisonous gases are the leading causes of death in fires, and can kill a person long before the flames will.” Mayor Jonathan Fritz, Fire Prevention Week 2010

Do you know that last year $6 billion worth of property was damaged due to home fires?

Do you know that almost every 3 hours a person loses their life and every 28 minutes a person sustains injury in America as a result of a home fire?

If you have recently moved to Atlanta, GA, then in all probability you are staying in a luxurious apartment located in a high-rise building that boasts of all the amenities including a smoke detector. At the same time, it would also be equally true that even though you have been living in a luxurious apartment or home within the last 6 months or more, have you actually checked to see if the smoke detector works properly?

The sad reality is that almost 95% of America’s homes have only one smoke detector. Still, 60% of the home fires and 65% of burn cases are reported from homes with only one smoke detector. This is because most smoke detectors installed in older homes in Atlanta have become outdated. Also, in modern buildings one-third of these devices do not work due to lack of attention and maintenance.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), smoke detectors are one of the “must have” safety devices that should be installed in every home. These devices should be hard-wired into the electrical system with a battery back-up in case the power fails in the middle of the night. NFPA further claims that by installing these devices on your premises, you can reduce the risk of fire related accidents and deaths by almost 60%.

However, there is a catch. Just installing these devices is not enough to ensure the safety of your family. In order to protect your property and your loved ones these devices require maintenance to ensure their functionality. Many of us have used the services of Atlanta electricians to have smoke detectors installed in our home, but do we actually bother to replace the batteries on a regular basis? Did you know that when the battery is low, the detector will beep every 60 seconds?

If you are planning to call an electrician in Atlanta to install a smoke detector in your home, keep the following things in mind:

  • Strategic placement: The correct placement of these devices can really help save lives. If you live in a multi-story building, smoke detectors should be installed on every level, inside the bedrooms, outside the sleeping quarters, and all the devices should be interlocked. When the devices are interlocked all will go off at the same time.

Do not place them too close to the fireplaces or kitchen area to avoid nuisance alarms. However, ensure that they are placed near windows, ceiling fans, bathrooms and heating appliances.

  • Periodic Check will always help: You should replace the batteries annually and test the device at least once a month to ensure that it is working properly. You should also replace the smoke detectors themselves every 8-10 years as they don’t last forever.
  • Come up with a fire escape plan along with installing smoke detectors

A fire can start in anyone’s home, but when you call an Atlanta electrician to install your smoke detectors, you will have taken the first step to ensure a stronger defense that could help save the lives of you and your loved ones.

How to Change a Light Fitting

Changing a standard ceiling pendant for a new decorative fitting can be difficult depending on the type of new fitting and how well or poorly the original pendant is wired in the first place.

As a rule, there are normally three cables at a ceiling light fitting, that means when you remove the shroud from the rose there should be three red (or brown) conductors, three black (or blue) conductors and three bare cables (earth).

Of the three pairs, one will be the supply from the consumer unit (or the previous fitting in the circuit), another will be the supply out to the next light fitting on the circuit, and the third will be the switch wire. The important thing to remember is that the Neutral Conductor of the switch wire (coloured blue or brown) is actually a live conductor when the switch is on.

The switched live will be connected to the live of the pendant and should be sleeved to show it is live. To swap the fittings, first isolate the power. Next disconnect all wires to the pendant and remove it from the ceiling making sure that you have correctly identified the switched live. Join all the live conductors together with a suitable connector block and attach the new light fitting to the ceiling in accordance wit the manufacturers instructions, connect all the Neutral Conductors (there should be two) to the neutral on the fitting, switched live connects to live and finally connect all the earths together and join them to the appropriate connection on the new light and reassemble the cover.

Recessed Lighting Improves the Lighting in Your Home

Energy efficient homes are finding many takers in the ever-expanding Georgian city of Atlanta. Besides their naturally good looks, these homes are cost efficient and require very little. So, it does not come as a big surprise that many buildings being constructed in Atlanta are now going green.

Homeowners and corporate offices both like to enhance the looks of their buildings using landscape lights. However, with Atlanta’s climate worsening every year, many are also tempted to save energy for both environmental as well as financial reasons.

Fortunately, now you can have your piece of cake and eat it too-thanks to new technological inventions such as recessed lighting. These lights can add that magical touch to your home decor and increase the value of your home without actually putting a big burden on your pocket. The good news does not end here as by making use of these lights you can actually do your part in saving the environment.

Recessed lighting can help in conserving energy, as it can consist of low voltage products that can bring about a significant cut in your electricity bill. What’s more, making use of these ceiling lights is not boring, as they are available in variety of sizes and style. You can further cut down your electricity bill by making use of motion activated recessed lighting devices.

Recessed lighting can prove to be an important design element that can highlight a particular architectural feature and or create a particular mood. You can also use it to illuminate a space with style. An Atlanta electrician could prove to be a big help if you are looking to improve the elegance of your home installing these lights.

Here is how recessed lighting can help you in improving the lighting in your home:

  • Beautifully lit exteriors: It helps in creating an organized and attractive look in your home or office. Hire a good electrical contractor in Atlanta to strategically place them inside the house to effectively light up your rooms or give a rich touch to the exteriors.
  • Party hard all night: You can dress up your deck or patio installing these lights and turn it into a perfect venue for holding parties in a softly illuminated area.
  • Add to the aesthetics of interiors: Besides doing wonders to the exteriors of your home, these lights can be installed in your kitchen, living room and dining spaces to dress up a dull room.

To sum up, recessed lights can actually do wonders. If you are eager to beautify your home or office using them, it is recommended that you hire an electrical contractor who provides electrician services for Atlanta, Ga that can help you save both time and money.

Properly installed can lights by an experienced and efficient electrician will give your home a radiant look.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) What’s Their Purpose?

You would have grown up seeing your grandparents often replace fuses or in recent times reset circuit breakers when there was a sudden voltage surge or current fluctuation in your homes.

In generation next, these fuses and circuit breakers are fast replaced by what is known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCI. These devices are also referred to as “complete shock solutions” as they prevent you from being electrocuted. A GFCI can be a circuit breaker or a receptacle.

With Atlanta, Georgia now being home to almost all the major corporations in the world, there is a huge inflow of young executives in the city who are always short on time. Do you know that when in a hurry to leave for work, you can do (or not do) some silly things that can even cost you your life? For example, you may be eating toast and eggs for breakfast and in a hurry to power off the toaster, you may use a metal spoon or knife to shut down the device; without even realizing that you are actually completing an electric circuit that can cause shock or even electrocution.

In another scenario, you or your baby or you may have spilled water on the floor or there could be a leak in your apartment that you haven’t found time to repair. Again, standing on the wet floor with naked feet is another recipe for disaster that could be prevented, by using a ground fault circuit interrupter.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters History

According to National Electric Commission, more than 300 people in US lose their lives every year due to electrocution. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters were introduced in 1970’s to prevent electrocution.

As per the latest guidelines of the National Electric Code (NEC), electricians need to install “smart lock” kinds of GFCI receptacles in your home and offices.

Purpose of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

These devices are designed to detect even the smallest leakage of current, say about 5-30 mille-amperes. They operate within a very short time frame of about 1/40th of a second to interrupt the current flow. They contain a differential current transformer that works by studying the current balance between two conductors.

To protect your family from the hazards of electrocution, GFCI receptacles should be installed by an Atlanta electrician in wet locations, near water. Additional location are bathrooms, home exteriors, unfinished basements or crawl spaces, kitchens, garages, laundry, wet bar sinks as well as in boathouses and near swimming pools. A larger Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter of about 500A capacity is useful in preventing electrocution when placed near utility structures and other buildings.

According to NEC, the installation of a GFCI can assist in reducing the risk of electrocution by 70%.

Install a GFCI in your Atlanta home or business today, as it will help in detecting ground faults, prevent electric fires and also protect your family from electric shocks, burns and electrocution by blocking the flow of current.

Fitting Dimmer Switches

Replacing a standard plate switch with a dimmer switch should be a relatively straight forward procedure provided that a few golden rules are followed;

The most important thing to remember when fitting a dimmer switch is not to under load or overload it. If a dimmer is under loaded it will not work correctly, usually with erratic, noisy output. An overloaded dimmer will simply blow if the stated load limit is exceeded. The load rating will always be printed on the dimmer packaging.

Most standard domestic dimmers come in 250W and 400W sizes but it Is important to remember that the rated maximum output can vary depending upon the load type connected. Standard toroidal and electronic dimmers work best with incandescent lamps but need to be downrated when a halogen load is connected, usually by 50% but you should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

The following lamp types either cannot be dimmed or require special equipment; LED, fluorescent, compact fluorescent (energy savers), metal halide (usually only found commercially) and sodium.

A further consideration when fitting a dimmer switch is the physical size of the unit. A lot of light switches will be fitted into a 16mm deep pattress and this will not be deep enough for almost all dimmers. Some manufacturers provide a plastic collar to lift the dimmer off the wall and out of the pattress. If this isn’t provided or still doesn’t give enough clearance the only alternative is to fit a deeper pattress.

One last thing to remember when working on a 2 way circuit (or intermediate circuit) is that only one dimmer should be fitted to ensure correct operation.

Some Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Electrician

Are you considering hiring a Los Angeles electrician? In this article we are going to talk about what you should look for when it comes to an electrician from your area.

Some Things to Consider When an Electrician Comes to Look at Your Faulty Wiring

If you are considering moving to Los Angeles then there are a lot of things that you need to think about. When you are buying a new house you really must think about how the wiring is. If you get a house and the wiring is bad then you are going to have a lot of problems. Before buying a house you should talk to a Los Angeles electrician.