Tips For Finding An Electrical Contractor

Many people advertise on Craigslist and on bulletin boards as contractors who are not licensed contractors. While these ads are tempting because of the low prices these people offer to do your contracting work, you could be paying far more than you think if you choose an unqualified or unlicensed contractor–and risking your family’s safety.

You do not want to be in a situation when you have absolutely no recourse if somebody takes the money and does sub par work, or no work, or if someone gets hurts in your house due to their unlicensed work. It is unbelievable (and scary!) some of the things that can happen when dealing with an unlicensed contractor; that’s why it is truly important to do your research before choosing an electrical contractor.

Every electrical contractor has a license in his office and is required to carry a card showing what that license is if someone asks. This license reflects that the contractor has passed certain qualifications. The Nevada Contractor’s Board is a great resource when searching for an electrical contractor. You should also visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if there have been any complaints about a contractor.

Make sure to ask the contractors about their previous experience and how familiar they are with the type of work you are requesting. Ask as many questions as you need to find out about how the electrical contractor operates, their pricing structure and what you can and should expect from them.

One of the best ways to decide if a contractor is right for you is to ask for some references and to follow-up with those references. If a contractor is unwilling to give you references, then a red flag should automatically go up.

When talking to the electrical contractor’s references I would ask them the following questions:

-What was their whole experience like?
-Would you recommend this person?
-Would you have any problem referring them to your friends, relatives, people that you know?
-Did they honor their contract and do what they said they were going to do for the amount you agreed upon?
-Were they on time?
-Did they take care of your property?
-Did they exceed your expectations?
-Would you call them back again?

It is important to be thorough because you do not want to spend even more money down the road fixing any mistakes a bad or unlicensed contractor made. If something does not feel right or is too good to be true, then follow your instincts and do more research before you decide on a electrical contractor. Taking your time and doing your research will pay off in the end with high quality work for your property.

Emergency Electricians: Be Prepared Before You Need Them

Like anything that requires speedy help, emergency electrical work may cost a lot of money. Even though it may be costly, it is worth it because emergency electrical service professionals offer around the clock solutions and prevent pricey electrical harm.

From busted water heaters to electric conflagration, short circuits to on the ground power lines, there are a number of kinds of electric disasters – a lot of them hazardous. The most important thing to comprehend if an electric crisis circumstance comes is your way is to get yourself and any person else out of harms way.

You need to analyze the situation and pull out any probable hazards. If any tool or object is inflamed, try to disconnect it, or shut the power levels off at the mains. In no way should you snuff out an electrical fire with water, and if the floor is wet, don’t put your feet in it, since you may be shocked

Once the danger assessment is completed and everybody is safe from potential harm, it is time to start seeking out an emergency electrician. Don’t allow hasty problems to catch you ill-equipped without an idea of which emergency electrical contractors to ring. It’s always a wise idea to have the phone numbers of certified emergency electrical contractors with you so that you don’t waste time searching for the right electrician.

Seek out emergency electricians that offer around the clock relief in your locality so that you can phone them towards end of the week or during emergency hours as well. Ascertain that your emergency electrical service provider is practiced and knowledgeable in resolving quick complex troubles. If you don’t know who to phone next, start looking, before an electric emergency gets you by surprise. A wonderful source to look for top electrical service professionals in your neighborhood is the internet. A lot of emergency Electrical service professionals promote them on the net, read concerning them, and take down several contact digits.

Why Electricians Recommend Replacing Outlets

An outlet is one of the last things a homeowner thinks about replacing over the years. This part of the house is often overlooked because many homeowners do not think they need to replace any of their outlets. However, as an electrician, I recommend that a homeowner should at least get their outlets inspected over time to prevent any future electrical problems.

The first reason why homeowners should replace an outlet is that over the years of plugging and unplugging various devices into an outlet can actually reduce the tension of the blades that hold the plug blades. A loose connection can create heat. Heat can eventually melt, burn or create a fire. An electrician has a blade retention checker that can test the tension of an outlet to see what level it is at and whether it is time to replace it.

The second reason why homeowners should replace outlets is something an electrician sees everyday in houses. Poor connections can cause problems without anyone realizing it. It could eventually lead to an outlet to not work properly. Code allows the wires to be either stabbed into the back of the outlet, requiring a blade to hold them tight (not recommended) or have the wires wrapped around the screws and tightened (recommended). Obviously, many electricians take the path that costs the least and is much quicker. However, the connection is not as strong if an electrician uses the former method rather than the latter.

The next reason why homeowners should replace outlets is to swap series circuits with parallel circuits. In a series circuit, if anything happens to one outlet, then all the ones near it will be affected. An electrician can wire a parallel circuit. If one outlet goes bad, it does not affect any others around it.

The final reason why homeowners should replace outlets is to update your home with all the new styles and colors available. You do not need to have just little beige rectangles in your home anymore. Once a local electrician has inspected your outlets and made recommendations about which ones should be replaced, think about updating them to fit any other changes you have made in your home.

It is the simple things that can make all the difference in your home. Replacing outlets is as important as replacing any others aging appliance in your home. Routinely inspecting your outlets is the first step in maintaining your electrical system for many years to come.

Protect Your Children With Tamper Resistant Outlets

Everybody who has children knows about the constant feeling that you need to be monitoring their safety as they roam around the house playing and discovering their surroundings. Every table corner, flight of stairs, or small object is a potential hazard to a toddler. Home electrical outlets have always been on that list of things we need worry about. Anything that can be inserted into the outlets could potentially conduct electricity to hurt the child.

The National Electric Code (NEC) is a code set up by the United States published by the National Fire Protection Agency added tamper resistant outlets to the specification required for new or renovated dwellings. The newly mandated outlets have two spring-loaded (one on each hole in the plug outlet) that cover the contacts within the outlet. When something is plugged in the outlet, both springs are released and the contacts are exposed to complete the electrical circuit. Both springs have to be activated simultaneously to expose the electrical current so if a child were to insert something in one of the holes on the plug, nothing would happen and the child’s safety would be insured.

These codes apply to all homes, regardless of whether the owners have children or not. Many children are injured in electrical accidents every years at a friend or relative’s house. The new safety features on tamper resistant outlets only add about 50 cents to the price of a new outlet so the cost is negligible compared to the increased level of safety.

Current homeowners must choose if they want to retrofit outlets in their existing house. If you have children, it would be considered a must to put in tamper resistant outlets. Most people could do it themselves but a professional electrician could always be hired to make sure the job is done right. If you have just moved into a house, you can tell if your outlets are tamper resistant by a “TM” that must be visible on the outside of an installed outlet.

This national code is quickly spreading to all local and state municipalities, check local codes to see if your area has officially adopted the regulations.

Things You Should Know Before Hiring an Electrical Contractor

Electrical contractors are people who hire electrical technicians to work for them. Their work is to provide the complete installation of electrical wires and sockets and other electrical items. You can choose these contractors to setup complete electrical wiring of your new building or home or any other project. These people come for even minor work such as installation of fans and sockets.

There are numerous number of electricians in any city, but the important things with them is how well experience and trained are they in their field of work. Electricity and its electrical appliances and items are not an easy task to deal with; minor mistakes can lead to even death due to electrical shocks. You need to hire someone who is well trusted and well experienced in their field of work.

All of these service providers have different rates and fee to charge, the difference in charges is due to company’s reputation and their experienced technicians, while others charge less because they are new and have not much experience to deal with things.

Electrical technicians are also limited to their field of work; they limit themselves to big projects such as installation of new wirings in buildings, factories and warehouses. They do not deal with minor installation of things like fans and sockets and these service providers too have great difference in their charges. You may find several contractors who provide service for complete installation but you need to find out how well reputed and well known work the company has done to add to their credentials. You should go through their work profile and ask them different questions about their field of work until you are satisfied with the particular company.

If you require electrical technicians for home, then you can search through the telephone directory or as your friends and family members to hook you up with some reliable technician. These technicians provide complete services for home such as changing of lightings and fans, installing new wires and replacing old sockets. They even check electrical heating appliances and other items which require the help of an electrical technician. These technicians charge on hourly basis and they have a fixed rate to come over and check the fault, other damages found will then make their rates go higher as the work increases.

If you are new in deciding with which technician or contractor to choose then you should ask different people and they will then advice you with which one is suitable for you according to their past experiences. You should even bargain with their charges as you might even need to call them for minor work as well. They charge for their call out charges which means that they will just come and see the problem and will ask for the fees advising you with what work is needed to be done. So you should remember to call them and let them know in advance what sort of problem or trouble you are facing with.

Will surge protection adequately protect a home’s equipment from lightning strikes?

Lightning is one of the leading causes of damage and destruction of electrical and devices in the home. Surge protection by itself protects your equipment from close lightning strikes and surges from the power company. It does not protect you from a direct lightning strike. The only thing that will protect your home from a direct lightning strike is a properly installed lightning rod system. A properly installed lightning rod system has to include surge protection. You wouldn’t want to spend all the money for a lightning rod system on your roof to protect from a direct hit and then you get a close lightning strike and your equipment is ruined.

With most equipment being digitalized today, the equipment is very susceptible to lightning strikes. You want surge protection on your entire electrical system and your low-voltage systems. There’s a myth that one surge protector will protect everything. That is simply not true. There are multiple ways that lightning and power surges can come in and destroy your television set, computer and other electronic devices because they’re connected to a low-voltage line. Companies make high-voltage surge protectors and low-voltage surge protectors. However many utilities you have coming into the home, you need a surge protector for each one.

An important factor to consider when choosing a surge protector is the surge protector’s joule rating. The joule rating indicates how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. The more joules it has, the better the protection provided. Homeowners also need to keep in mind that not all surge protectors are created equal. There are some cheap products on the market, so buyers need to do their due diligence and research the products out there before purchasing one. It’s also important to remember that surge protectors, like any other piece of equipment, can get worn down over time. Some models come with a light or alarm that warns you when the surge protector is compromised. This way, you know it’s time to get a replacement.

Safety Issues in Homes and Businesses

Background on Mandatory Safety Issues in Western Australia

Rental Properties

Property Owners MUST have RCD’s checked in their rental properties every 12 -24 months, as per Australian Standard 3760. This is not optional it is a mandatory requirement.

Failure to be able to provide proof of regular inspections in the event of a claim is likely to lead to the claim being refused by the insurer. This has been confirmed by insurers and our Education Program is being supported by the Insurance Council of Australia

Property owners need to ensure that tenants comply with electrical safety and owners must undertake a routine inspection. This routine inspection MUST also be carried out by a ‘Competent Person’ as defined in AS3760, not simply a pre-lease checklist by a Property Manager. (Both Commercial and Residential properties)

These issues are now a concern as recent research has indicated that more than 90% of small business operators were not compliant with:

  1. Testing of building RCD’s,
  2. Emergency and Exit lights maintenance (if they had them),
  3. Their Fire Extinguishers,
  4. Many did not get appliances checked and inspected meaning they were a potential fire hazard.

Recent Court decisions and changes to legislation have meant that obligations must be complied with – or the person insured is simply NOT insured.

Real Estate Agents as the Agent and professional manager for the owner client must be aware and prepared or be liable for the consequences in the event of a breach.

Property being sold and purchased

All houses offered for sale are required to have Residual Circuit Devices (RCD’s) fitted prior to the sale of the property. If the property being purchased was built since January 2000 it is possible that the RCD’s have not been checked and certified since the building was completed.

Settlement Agents obtain a declaration from the current property owner or an electrical certificate to state that the property has RCD’s installed but nothing indicating that they are functioning correctly

There is a fallacy that assumes if an RCD is installed then it must be working, this is a dangerous assumption. The Office of Electrical Safety is currently investigating a case whereby a child was electrocuted as the installed RCD failed to operate. All RCD’s have a ‘push button test’ that can be done but this doesn’t measure the time taken to actually ‘trip’ the RCD. All RCD’s to be safe and protect from electric shock or even death must operate within 40 milliseconds. For example a ‘push button test’ may operate in one tenth of a second – which is 250 times slower than the time required to avoid a fatal electric shock. RCD’s should be tested using a special RCD tester that works from wall sockets inside the house, a copy of the actual tests undertaken and certification of the functionality should then be supplied. People obtain ‘White Ant Certificates’ but fail to obtain an ‘RCD Time Test Certificate’. If RCD’s are not functioning it could cost up to $500 to re-install new ones as well as jeopardising the clients life.