How to Replace a Faulty Receptacle

The electrical circuit receptacle, also called wall plug or outlet, is the direct interface between your appliances, lamps, home technology equipment, power tools, or any devise that uses electricity, and the electrical wiring in you home. Faulty receptacles aren’t just an annoying inconvenience; they are a serious safety hazard.

If you have basic handyman skills, replacing a receptacle can be done safely and quickly. This task can be daunting to the average homeowner but needn’t be if basic safety procedures are observed. The key is to do it systematically and safely.

There are usually three types of receptacles in most homes. The most common is the 120 volt duplex type. These are standard outlets having two places to plug in; each place having two slots and a grounding hole, that are connected to the homes 120 volt circuit. Another type found in many homes is the GFCI receptacle, which is a variation of the duplex type, and is used in kitchens, bathes, outdoors or anywhere that electrical shock is a serious hazard. These two types have a hot wire (black) and a common wire (white), plus a ground wire (green). Appliances such as stove tops, clothes dryers and air-conditioners usually require a 240 volt receptacle. This type of receptacle has two hot wires (red and black) and a ground wire. I suggest using an electrician for this type unless you are well versed on electrical procedure and safety.

The first step will be determining if the receptacle is indeed faulty. First, check the breaker (or fuse) in the panel box. If the breaker has tripped or the fuse has blown, reset breaker (replace fuse). (Be aware that the tripped breaker was probably caused by a defective device plugged into the circuit or a defective receptacle although sometimes a breaker is tripped when there are too many devises being used on that particular circuit causing and overload.) A volt meter can be inserted into the slots of the suspect receptacle to check for voltage. Or a test can be done by simply plugging in another devise such as a lamp or some other small devise that you are sure is working while plugged into another receptacle. You also want to be sure that the receptacle isn’t controlled by a switch on the wall somewhere. Receptacles that have either one of the plug-ins or both controlled by a light switch are pretty common, especially in newer homes.

At this point, if it has been determined that the problem isn’t with the device plugged into the receptacle, or a switch turning off the receptacle, it’s time to remove the receptacle. Be sure to switch off the breaker (or remove fuse) to cut power off to the receptacle before continuing.  Remove the cover plate and screws securing the receptacle to the outlet box. It is recommended that you use a volt meter to make sure there is no voltage running to the receptacle at this point. Just touch the leads of the meter to the connector screws on each side of the receptacle. If voltage is still present then the wrong circuit breaker was switched off. Once you’re sure the power is off to the outlet, pull the receptacle out of the box.

Examine the receptacle to determine if there are any loose wires. If there is a loose wire, secure it back in place, turn the breaker back on and re-test. If there are no loose wires or the test failed, the next step will be to disconnect the receptacle. If the wires are plugged into the back, use a small slotted screw driver or similar object that can be inserted into the small opening beside the wire plug on the back of the receptacle. This will release the wire from the receptacle. If the wires are connected with the side terminal screws, loosen screws and remove wires. Attach the wires to the replacement receptacle. The black wire will go to the brass colored terminal (which is for the wider slot in the plug-in place on the face) and the white wire will be connected to the silver colored terminal of the receptacle. Now attach the green wire to the ground terminal on the end of the receptacle. Insure that the connections are tight. This is very important because a loose connection can cause an arc that in turn can be a fire hazard. Secure the receptacle to the box with the screws and put the cover plate back over the receptacle.

At this point, it’s time to turn the breaker back on (or put fuse back in place) and test the receptacle with the meter or an electrical devise. If you followed these steps correctly the new receptacle should work properly. If the new receptacle doesn’t work or trips the breaker, I suggest calling an electrician at this point because the problem is not likely to be the receptacle but a more serious problem in the wiring circuit.

Four Things To Look For When Searching Through The Lists Of Electricians

There is a lot of pride that homeowners feel when they are tackling projects on their homestead, making things work, making them better, and improving generally everything that they possibly can. And, with basic improvements and general upkeep, most average homeowners are able to perform all tasks themselves, with very few problems.

But, as with anything, some projects in the home are beyond the simple Do It Yourself projects that keep Home Depot and Lowe’s in business, and they require the expertise and experience of a professional. Surely, everything from roofing, to foundation repair to electrical work falls under this category, because the margin for error is so small, and the potential dangers are so large. Especially with electrical work, there is serious risk of injury and death when performing those repairs or installations.

If you are looking for the services of a trained professional, there are a number of good Atlanta electricians on the market, but you need to be able to discern the great ones from the simply good ones. Here are the four things that you need to look for.

Better Business Bureau Rating Of A++ Or Better

Most any business can operate, and offer testimonials to how good they work. But, the one thing that cannot be fudged or faked is a stellar rating with the Better Business Bureau. Check to see if the prospective electricians on your list have at least a rating of A or better with the Better Business Bureau. If none on the list do, keep looking, because there are Atlanta electricians who possess better than an A rating.

Full Licensing And Certification

Also, make sure that you check out and get verifiable proof that the prospective electricians all have licensing, certification and that they are in good standing with the licensing board in the State of Georgia.

Full Service Operation

You will also need to make sure that the electricians on your list offer a full set of services, and that they are more than capable of performing more than basic electrical work. Even if all you need (or think you need) is a basic rewiring job, you need to ensure that the Atlanta electricians that you talk with can handle the unexpected, and perform more complex work should it arise.

Excellent References

And, you will need to ask for a sheet of references from each of the prospective electricians on your list. If an electrician balks or hesitates to provide you with references, be wary, because it could mean that he or she does not do quality work.

Four Common Things That Will Require A Trained And Experienced Electrician To Repair

Being a homeowner is one of those things that is fraught with numerous joys and seemingly endless trepidations as well. For every high, there are ten lows waiting to suck the joy out of the experience altogether. Usually, these fall into the category of all of the inevitable repairs that must be performed on a daily basis around the homestead. And, no matter how much an average homeowner may fancy him or herself as a Do It Yourself home repair guru, the fact of the matter is that most of the big things that can go wrong with a house will require the trained and professional hand of an expert. If you have a cracked or damaged foundation, do not attempt to take care of it yourself.

Likewise, if you are having or suspect that you are about to have electrical problems, or if you need to install a new electrical system, call a trained electrician. To find electricians, Atlanta or anywhere across the country, you will first need to have a decent idea about the problem that you are facing.

Converting A 110 Volt System To A 220 Volt System

This is usually one of the most common things that an electrician is called on to do, and unfortunately it is one of the few electrical jobs that Do It Yourselfers insist on trying to accomplish on their own. This can be incredibly frustrating and dangerous for those who are not trained electricians. Remember, just because you think all it requires is running wires to outlets, the job is far more complex than that.

Updating The Wiring In A House Or Other Structure

Another common job that requires the services of an electrician is a full update of the wiring in a room, or throughout the house. This is especially true for many of the homes in Georgia that are antiquated, and need a 21st century update. For electricians, Atlanta can be kind of a boomtown as far as new and steady work goes.

Installing A New Circuit Breaker Panel

Another common job that should be performed by a trained electrician is the installation of a new circuit breaker panel. This is a highly delicate and intricate job, that requires experience to perform correctly.

Installing A Brand New Electrical System

And, likewise, if you need an entirely new electrical system installed, call in a professional. Do not attempt a job this big if you do not already have extensive experience with installing electrical systems.

Common Problems That Will Require The Skills And Service Of A Trained Electrician

Despite what many homeowners want to believe about themselves, the fact is that few are able to fully and solely complete the tasks, repairs and maintenance that comes with the average home in the 21st century. It would require the average homeowner to have extensive experience with journeyman plumbing – both installation and service – foundation inspection and repair, roofing, tile work, carpentry and construction, and intimate experience with electrical systems.

In fact, it is usually the electrical system in a home that gives homeowners the worst fits, as the repairs and maintenance is never simple nor easy, and even minor electrical work can be highly dangerous. For this reason alone, it is recommended that any electrical work that you need performed should be done by an experienced, capable electrician in your area.

If you are looking for an electrician in Atlanta, or elsewhere, there are a few types of electrical work that you may need to know about beforehand.

Overloaded Circuit Breakers Inhibit Use Of Modern Conveniences

One of the most common problems in older homes is the fact that old circuit breaker panels are simply inadequate for modern housing needs. It can be difficult for a home to run smoothly when simply using the toaster and an oven at the same time. This situation is enough to trip the circuit breaker. Updating a home’s system in this way can be a great way to bring it into the 21st century, and cut down on the risk of a fire.

Rewiring A Garage Or Workshop From 110 to 220

This is also common, as most heavy equipment and machinery that a home workshop or garage would need requires a 220 volt system, while most standard houses come only with 110 volt outlets. This means that the entire garage will need to be completely rewired and outfitted with 220 volt outlets. Call an experienced electrician in Atlanta for this type of job.

Running A New Panel And Meter For An Old System

This is also a common need in many homes, as power and electric utilities companies will require updated panels for more precise meters. Though the municipal agency will typically take care of the installation of the new meter, you may have to have your circuit breaker panel updated to accommodate it.

Burnt Out Wiring That You Fear May Be A Fire Hazard

If there are any parts of your home that have experienced a burn out, or a short, you will want to get it looked at immediately, as this can be a fire hazard if not addressed immediately.

Circuit Breaker – An Important Safety Measure for Your Home

Circuit breakers are now popular device used in residential and commercial premises because of great advantage over fuses. It is a device that automatically breaks an electrical current whenever the circuit gets overloaded or an abrupt short circuit happens. Circuit breakers have a defined electric current load capacity which when breached results to automatic circuit power cut.

Overloading happens when an electric in wires is stormed and conducts an electric charge beyond wires’ capacity. Whenever this occurs, the wires heat up and consequently burst or an electrical fire erupts. But by installing a circuit, risk of electric fire can be avoided to a great deal. Unlike a fuse which work once and then has to be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.

Presently, wholesale electric are available in different capacities, from small breakers that guard an individual household appliance up to large switchgear designed to protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city. They are also available in varying sizes and are usually used according to the electric load required to run the appliances.

Now, circuit breakers are the ideal replacement of fuses, in fact considered as the preferred device to handle electric loan and protect circuit. The major advantage of this have over fuses is that you don’t have to put too much effort to reset them. And like fuses, you don’t have to place a new one every time an appliance draws excessive current. Moreover, when a breaker closes off the circuit, it won’t work unless you throw it all the way to the off position before you turn it back on again. One more feature of electric circuit breaker is that it is air-ambient compensated- the hotter the air around them gets, the sooner they will trip.

In addition, if you are choosing circuit breaker for common living areas, choose an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breaker which is designed to cut electric shocks if certain wires become worn or damaged and create an electric spark. You can use these home circuit breakers for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and foyers.

No matter what kind of home you choose, but don’t forget to verify that it meets National Electrical Code (NEC) standards. The NEC points the safety standards for electrical systems throughout the home and all licensed electricians must adhere to these codes during installation. So, while buying the product, check whether it is NEC-compliant. These days, the typical house carries either a 100 amp or 200 amp electrical services, so you should choose a home circuit breaker that can handle electric load of such capacity and able to distribute the power properly throughout the house.

Four Things That You Need To Know About Contracting With An Electrician

One of the most difficult things that a homeowner or a business owner must do, from time to time, is to contract repair or construction work for their property. No matter what your needs are, whether it is repairing or laying down a foundation, running heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts or establishing a full, new electrical system, you need to perform your due diligence to ensure that you are getting great service at a price that fits your budget. Remember, anyone can say that they are an electrician, but few are actually trained, certified and experienced electricians, capable of working on any system.

Furthermore, make sure that when you are looking for an Atlanta electrician, that you look for one that specializes in the work that you need done. If you need part of a system rewired, do not call an electrician that specializes in initial service construction, because they require two different experience sets.

Experience And References For Jobs Similar To The One You Need Done

Always ask for references when interviewing prospective electricians, and make sure that they are references for clients who had similar work completed. Once you have those references, follow up on them. You would be surprised by how many people ask for a sheet of references, and then never call them, assuming that if the electrician provided them it all must be on the up and up. Follow up on the references, ask questions and ensure that each one was satisfied with the work performed, the price, the timetable for the work and everything else.

A Solid And Stellar Better Business Bureau Rating

Also, check that the Atlanta electrician you are thinking of hiring has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau. This is one of the easiest ways to check on the quality of work and service that an electrician provides.

Verifiable Licensing And Certifications

Always ask for proof of licensing and certification from the electrician, and then verify it with the licensing board in Georgia to ensure that everything is on the up and up. Electrical work is serious business, and it should be treated with the same seriousness as other construction projects.

A Track Record Of Timely And Exemplary Work

And, make sure that the Atlanta electrician that you are thinking of hiring is reputable, and has a history of timely work performed professionally.

A Few Things That You Should Look For In An Electrician For Home Or Business Repairs

There are few things in the vast panoply of home repairs that are as frustrating or nerve wracking as electrical work. It is one of the few things that is well outside the constraints of the average Do It Yourself homeowner, as electricity is a very dangerous thing. Even experts treat electricity with extreme caution. Because of this inherent danger, homeowners and business owners are advised to contract with a qualified and experienced electrician for any repairs or installations of residential or commercial electrical systems. And, for an electrician Atlanta can be one of those places where there is a great deal of work to be done, as older homes need to be repaired and updated for modern conveniences.

If you are looking for an electrician, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, and use as selective criteria.

Check With The Better Business Bureau

One of the easiest ways to check out the professionalism and competency of the prospective electricians on your list is to look them up with the Better Business Bureau. This is the agency that keeps records and compiles all consumer feedback regarding various businesses, and it can be extremely helpful for people who are trying to investigate a particular provider but have no other avenue for reference or feedback. Any electrician with a rating of an A+ is likely to be an excellent contractor, and you should have no trepidation whatsoever with contracting their services.

Compile As Many Quotes As You Can

Also, under the theory that there is value in comparison, get as many quotes as you can for the electrical repairs that you need completed. These will come in handy, and it can save you thousands of dollars. Remember, that there are few standards in this industry beyond the price of materials, and every electrician is likely to give you a different quote for the same work. Make the best use of this that you can, and compile as many quotes as possible.

Remember That The Cheapest Quote Is Not Necessarily The Best Quote

It helps to keep in mind that the lowest, cheapest quote is not necessarily the best quote for you. Be suspicious of any quote that undercuts all of the others by thousands of dollars, and always be sure to ask about any discrepancies in quotes between two or more electricians. By being as clear as possible, you will be able to find the best electrician for your job.

Don’t End Up With an Astronomical Electric Bill!

Forced air systems provide immediate heat or cold, and are popular for some reason. To be really honest coming from Europe I don’t understand “why” because the moment you turn the system off the result is gone! But, let’s forget that part. The system is mostly controlled by ducts who find their way through the ceiling and from there distribute cool or warm air from a central point. They can also be integrated into a ventilation system. Air filters can be installed in the system to remove dust, pollen and other indoor air pollutants.

Finally, the circulating fan can be used to help distribute heat or cold generated in any home. The biggest drawback of forced-air systems is that they are generally the least efficient of any system. This is not so much because of the furnace, but rather because of the continual movement of air that can pressurize the inside of a home, forcing air to escape through numerous cracks and crevices in the building. The desired temperature from the homeowner is a part of the forced air, therefore the homeowner is for a big part in charge, to a certain point, with the amount of the electric bill. High OR low!!

We all understand because of the duc system we are not able to control duc leaks, you will be surprised how many houses have that problem! Let me ask you a question: “How can your forced air system work properly and efficient if on the other hand mother nature does her job, either heat up the windows or freeze the windows and there is absolutely nothing to prevent it from doing that. Your forced air system is only working and working and will never ever reach his goal” This is impossible! You as a home owner can set your thermostat on a 75 degree, however there’s a very heavy anchor out there that make sure your forced air system will NEVER EVER reach YOUR goal because of the trouble making windows.

It is a proven fact that no matter what you put in front of the window on the OUTSIDE and NOT on the inside, because the heat and/or cold comes from the outside, will absolutely has his positive impact on the windows. A material that still provide you with all your gorgeous view and the tremendous privacy that nobody is able to see in during daytime hours. On top of it your cats and dogs are not able to tear it apart. This knowledge is unbeatable and does give you as a homeowner a “peace of mind” and a lower electric bill!

Need Electrical Work Done? Find Out How to Save Money and Time With Electrical Contractors

Hiring an affordable electrician can feel like a catch-22.

On the one hand, you don’t want to cut corners on your electrical work. On the other, you don’t want to hand over an entire month’s salary for a minor electrical job. So if you need electrical work done and want to save time and money with electrical contractors, then you’re in luck…

…Because you’re about to learn how to select a top-quality electrician at an affordable price!

• Check your local homeowner’s association for a list of qualified electricians. Because local electricians tend to be more careful to maintain the integrity of their business reputation, you’ll stand a very good chance of finding a highly-qualified contractor.

• Look over references for any potential hire. A great electrician should have a flawless customer service history. Additionally, ask previous customers how much they were charged for similar project needs. This ensures that you’ll be promised a fair price from your electrician.

• Consider the size of your electrical project. Will you need a master electrician and journeyman for a larger project, or is your project small enough to get away with hiring just one of these two? Master electricians often cost $30+ per hour, while a master electrician and journeyman can charge $55+. This makes a huge difference to your project budget!

• If you want to save money on your electrical project, consider buying some of the lighting materials yourself. This is especially useful advice if you need any specialty lights. Ask potential electricians what kind of lights they’ll need, and then purchase them a wholesale goods store to save on your budget.

• Search for an electrician online. A reputable electrician will likely have great visibility online where you can find their specialties to see if they match the electrical service you require, and get reviews on previous projects.

Hiring an electrician doesn’t have to be an expensive and timely endeavor. Just use these tips to save time and money with electrical contractors!

3 Ways to Save Money From the Electricity Bill

Electricity is the foundation in our homes. Unfortunately, high electricity bills happen, and they are nerve wracking, stressful and frustrating. If you are involved in an expensive electricity bill, you may be thinking that how can I have electricity without paying way too much? One of the most influential ways that you can actually have electricity without high bills not only you’ll have electricity for your house, but you won’t have to be paying a lot of money for it. So not only are these 3 tips to lower your electricity bill but they are also excellent methods to save you a lot of money.

1 – Be strong.

No one needs the needy, and this saying applies very well when it comes to paying the electricity bill. You need to stop begging, clinging or exhibiting the behavior of someone who is feeling desperate for money to pay the bill. Let your family know that you can take care of the bill without them being scared that they will lose electricity.

2 – Be flexible.

Do not be forceful on yourself or your family, demanding that they have to pay the electricity bill, or they will have to cut down on using the electricity. Be flexible, don’t hurt the family and start looking for other ways to save money but yet have electricity. Your family will be surprised when they see that side of you while being under stressed, and it may inspire them to help you pay the bill or help you build an electricity source product that will help you to have electricity and save money.

3 – Simply be yourself.

Be yourself and let your family know why you love them and that there is no need to worry anymore about the electricity bill once you have made an electricity source product.