All About Electricians and The Work They Do

All About Electricians and The Work They Do

Electrical professionals, like the Champs Atlanta electricians and Boston electrician experts, are people who are schooled, trained, and skilled to do installation, repair, and maintenance of all electrical systems and components. Their service is highly needed that a lot of people who are looking for a lucrative job career are planning to become electricians. Electricians are in-demand not just here but abroad as well, and they are one of the highest paid in the business. Being an electrician is not only challenging but it can also be a great opportunity especially to those with skills.

There are several types of electricians. There are the residential electricians who do a variety of work for homeowners. They are called to do basic installation, repair, and maintenance in homes like installing appliances such as a ceiling fan or replacing a fuse box. Most residential electricians are self-employed or are operating their own business. Their services are usually tapped through a phone call. The commercial electricians, on the other hand, are mostly employed by contractors who have working relationships with construction and building firms. Commercial electricians are working with electrical systems and components with higher voltages. They are very knowledgeable with machines like generators and transformers. Aside from commercial establishments, commercial electricians may also work in plants and factories. Another type of electricians is the lineman. A lineman installs and maintains telephone, cable, and telegraph lines. There is also the master electrician. The master electrician is someone who works in a supervisory level. He supervises a team of electricians doing work in a project or on a site. He is responsible for the quality of their work, for the planning, licensing, and purchasing needed. A master electrician is someone who already has years of experience and someone who is an expert.

Electricians become expert in their field because of years of classroom instruction, ample training, and apprenticeship. The years they spent in learning are rigorous. Getting their license is also difficult. Aside from passing the test, there are certain requirements such as a number of actual work hours during apprenticeship that need to be fulfilled. So if you want to be an electrician, you need to be serious about it because it is a serious job that entails a lot of hard years of training therefore dedication to the craft is a must.

How to Hire an Affordable Electrical Service Professional

How to Hire an Affordable Electrical Service Professional

Engaging a budget friendly electrical service professional may feel like a lose-lose situation. You don't want to skimp on your electrical project but you don't want to hand over an entire month's salary for a minor electrical project either. So if you require an electrical project and want to save money and time with electricians, you're in luck for the reason that you're about to find out how to decide on a good quality technicians at an affordable fee.

Check out your nearby homeowner's organization for a list of knowledgeable electrical contractors. For the reason that nearby service providers have an inclination to be more careful to maintain the integrity of their business prestige, you'll stand a very good chance of finding a highly-qualified service professional.

Check out references for any potential employment. A great electrician needs to have an impeccable consumer service history. Furthermore, inquire previous customers how much they paid for matching project needs. This ensures that you'll be offered a fair price .. Factor in the proportion of your electrical project.

Will you need a leading electrician and journeyman for a greater undertaking, or is your project small enough to enable hiring just one of these two? Leading contractors generally cost $ 30 + every hour, while a Leading Electrical service professional and journeyman may charge $ 55 +. This makes a huge difference to your project budget. Should you want to save your expenses on your electrical project, factor in purchasing some of the lighting supplies on your own.

Inquire potential electricians what sort of lights they'll require, and afterward buy them at a wholesale supplies store to save on your budget.

Search for electricians on the net. A certified electrical service professional will likely have great recognition on the net where you can learn about their skills to learn if they correspond with the electrical service you need, and get reviews on previous jobs. Engaging an electrical professional does not need to be an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Merely use the above mentioned tips to save money and time when hiring.

Surge Protectors – Can They Save Your Electronics From Getting Fried?

Surge Protectors – Can They Save Your Electronics From Getting Fried?

A Whole House Surge Protector is a device that protects the electronics and appliances in your home from sharp spikes in electric power, called “surges.” Electric surges can fry the electronics in computers, phones, thermostats, TVs, microwaves, fridges … any appliance that has computerized components. Today, that's most appliances.

When Do Power Surges Occur? Minor surges can occur when appliances in your home turn on and off. These won't destroy your electronics in one fell swoop, but they can shorten the lives of your computers and appliances. Anytime the power from the electric utility company accidentally fluctuates, a large surge can flood through your wiring. Downed utility lines, a car hitting a power pole, a nearby lightning strike, or power returning after an outage can all cause surges. These can wipe out your computers, entertainment centers, and appliances. Damage can be in the thousands of dollars, and in some cases, tens of thousands.

Guaranteed Protection A Whole House Surge Protector can protect all the electronic devices in your entire house. It's about as big as a toaster and attaches to your main electrical panel. Some manufacturers are so certain of your protection that they provide you with a warranty against damage. If your electronics or appliances suffer any damage due to a surge, the manufacturer will cover the cost of replacement.

Aren't Power Strip Surge Protectors Good Enough? Quality surge protectors in power strips for computers and entertainment systems are important supplementary protection and are required for validation of the warranty on your whole House Surge Protector. However, the quality of power strip protection varies considerably, with some giving no real protection. Of course, they give no protection at all for your TV, washer, or other appliances. A recent article on the “This Old House” website summarizes the situation: “Many homeowners believe that adequate surge protection begins and ends with plugging their computer into a power strip. Unfortunately, that's seldom the case.”

Which Whole House Surge Protector Should I Buy? Surge protectors vary in degree of protection offered, warranties, and price. If you live in Florida or another area where lightning is common, you'll want a higher level of protection than in other parts of the country. As you'll need an electrician to install the protector, you can consult with your electrician or the manufacturer to determine which level of protection makes sense for you.

As a note, the biggest challenge to a surge protector is lightning. In fact, manufacturers won't generally warranty against damage due to a direct lightning strike to your house. However, this would be a rare event and could cause a lot more damage than simply the loss of your electronics. Most frequently, power surge damage is due to a nearby lightning strike (rather than a direct hit) or to fluctuation in power. That's where a Whole House Surge Protector will pay off.

Aren't Whole House Surge Protectors Expensive? Whole House Surge Protectors have been available to home owners for over 25 years, but their cost has been prohibitive, about $ 800- $ 1,200, depending on the level of protection. Fortunately, due to improvements in technology, prices have halved, with the less expensive ones being in the $ 400 range.

Over the years, homeowners have become accustomed to buying smoke alarms and fire insurance. They would rather be safe than sorry. Protecting home electronics against power surges is a newer idea. Considering the cost and the grief of replacing home computers, entertainment systems, and appliances, here too, it makes sense to be safe rather than sorry.

Aluminum Wiring, Is Your Home Safe?

Aluminum Wiring, Is Your Home Safe?

Was your house built, in the late 60's or early 70's, if so your wiring is probably Aluminum. Aluminum was and still is approved in the National Electrical Code NEC and Underwriters Laboratories UL rated. However, there can be safety hazards in a home wired in aluminum especially in older homes. Many homes wired over 30 years ago with aluminum pose a multitude of fire and safety issues that most homeowners may not be aware of.

The problem with the 1350 series aluminum alloy used in the 60's and 70's was that the aluminum wire was designed for power transmission and not for branch circuitry. A straight run of 1350 Aluminum alloy wire did not pose the safety hazard. However, when homes were being wired with aluminum on a branch circuitry every connection made to a junction box, outlet, and switch, posed a safety and fire risk, and many homes wired in the 60's and 70's today still have the original aluminum wiring.

Aluminum is a softer metal and it expands and contracts at different rates then the other metals such as copper used in wiring. The electric current will change the temperature of the wire, causing joints to loosen and compromise the connection.
Once the connection is compromised there is further temperature gains that can give to arching or igniting a fire.

Most metals when exposed to the atmosphere oxidize. Copper when oxidized forms a conductor, on the other hand with aluminum oxide, it forms resistance which at a connection will cause an extra build up of heat. The oxidation builds up over time and will affect the electrical distribution.

What to look for and what can be done if your aluminum wiring is a probable safety and fire hazard.

  • Junction boxes, outlets, and switches should be rated for aluminum connection, and stamped with AL CU or CO ALR, if not they should be replaced with the aluminum rated fixtures.
  • Aluminum wire should not be connected with push-in terminals, which is an extremely dangerous connection.
  • Every connection should be checked for any sign of melting, burnt or darkened areas.
  • Lights flickering, warm to the touch receptacles, and any noticeable odor such as, the smell of burning plastic should be inspected by a licensed electrician.

Industry wide, opinions on the methods to replace or repair aluminum wiring are debatable, other than the complete rewiring with copper wire which can be very expensive. A second option is the Copalum crimp repair.

The Copalum crimp repair is the next best solution to rewiring with copper, although it is not a readily available solution because, the crimping tool can only be leased by licensed electricians thoroughly trained and certified by the manufacturer, in the Copalum procedure.

Finally, electricians often use pig-tailing using special twist connectors that are compatible with connecting aluminum and copper, as the materials to repair with this method are readily available. A licensed electrician with specific experience with this repair should only use this method.

Although the aluminum available and used today is much safer then 30 years ago, AA-8000 series, UL rated and NEC approved, most electricians would not run aluminum in any new residential home.

What You Must Know About Nema 4 Enclosures

One of the important things about enclosures is their ability to stand up to the environment they're place in. Nema 4 enclosures are numbered as '4' in a sliding scale because they have a substantial ability to be able to ward of chemical and physical attacks.

If you were to put an enclosure of this type in a regular household it would be put to waste, purely because it's built to withstand more than a basketball accidentally hitting it. They're designed for industrial of food processing facilities where they'll be taking serious chemical / physical attacks.

A good example would be a food processing center which has to be cleaned down at the end of every day. After the work is done all the surfaces are cleaned with chemicals that are corrosive if touched against regular steel enclosures. However a Nema 4 can withstand most chemical attacks for long periods of time whereas others would eventually sustain damage. They can also survive against physical attacks; I'm not talking about someone with an ax because they would eventually get in. But I am talking about constant freezing and thawing or perhaps high pressure steam / water being shot against it.

Nema 4 enclosures are one of the more durable and sustainable types of enclosures that you can definitely rely upon. Whether you work in an industrial facility or not you can be sure that your electrical enclosure is going to stand the test of time and the test of whatever you can throw at. They're definitely a great investment if you have a house of facility where the enclosure will sustain any kind of continuous damage. This generally means any sort of chemical solution that has low to mild corrosive properties, but when considering chemicals such as concentrated sulfuric acid.

Outdoor Electrical Enclosures – And What You Must Know

Outdoor Electrical Enclosures – And What You Must Know

Outdoor electrical enclosures are cabinets made of a variety of materials which are used for storing electrical circuitry. These are very important to the way everything's run and if there's electricity then you'll find an enclosure in some capacity.

There are lots of different types of 'outdoor' enclosures and these can be outside your house attached to the side of your house. There are others can be inside the house but not in any particularly visible areas, such as in the inside of the garage.

There are of course other types of outdoor electrical cabinets which inhabit most roads and streets in modern countries. These contain electrical wires as well as usually broadband cables and wires. As you can imagine these are all very important to most homes who like to enjoy electricity and broadband.

Outdoor enclosures are made out of materials which allow for the protection of the vulnerable circuitry inside. This means they're usually made of a durable material, generally stainless steel – but they can be made of a variety of different metals and even non metals. It's not too uncommon to find different designs made out of metals like aluminum.

What is much more uncommon are designs made out of materials such as plastics or even timber. Outdoor electrical enclosures such as these are rare and usually custom designed and built. They're considered rare usually because of their low protection capabilities and much shorter life span. They're often used for their aesthetic properties than posing any kind of actual benefit.

The Capacitive Touch Key Application Will Be Popular on the Household Appliance Market

The Capacitive Touch Key Application Will Be Popular on the Household Appliance Market

The capacitive touch key panel was only seen in the hi-end products like HD TV, computer monitor and kitchen appliance before. Now many companies are active to integrate the touch technology into the overall product series. People will find the capative touch technology has been widely used in the Samsung consumer electronics products line. The touch key can not only improve the aesthetic and industrial design, but also the reliability, because the captive touch key will not be worn for frequent operation.

With the increasing acceptance of the market, the touch key switch products has been extended to vent fan, electromagnetic oven, water heater, microwave oven, blood-pressure meter, portable DVD player, notebook and even TV.

With the increasing of the touch application market, touch IC has become the developing direction of many MCU manufacturers. The cost of the capacitive key is lower than the piezoelectric type. It's more advantageous than the resistance-type on the reliability and cost of the surface material. It's mainly because the capacitive type uses the single ITO Glass structure. Without ITO Film, it has nice performance on the transparency and service life.

What's the touch TV? It's actually the touch TV remote. All the present plastic keys are changed to touch type. The human-computer interface will become beautiful. What's the prospect of the product? It will be tested by the market.

No matter the dishwasher, blu-ray disc player or smartphone manufacturer will face many competitors and it's hard to diverse the products on the function and specification. The elegant, attractive and direct user interface can become the key factor to create the necessary consumer products. The capacitive touch is obviously the important technology engine to help the manufacturer realize the goal.

The household appliances, 3C and consumer electronics are the main target market of the touch key application. Shengyang started to arrange the touch IC market since it launches the first generation touch switch chip product in 2007. The main representative product is an eight bit control IC HT46R73D-3 with built-in Touch-key function. It's very suitable for the bridge type sensor measuring system products like bathroom scale, pressure gauge, hygrometer and tire gauge.

For different application market, the touch IC technology is differently required. For the portable products, the power-saving, low consuming and compact features are the main demands. But for car and medical products, the stability and reliability become the main demands.

Compared with the touch screen which is popular in the mobile phone field, the most obvious feature of touch key is the low cost. The touch screen requires more of IC design than the key application. In the technology exploring process, the cost becomes one of the factors which will impede the development.

With the promoting of the vertical integration of the industry, the touch IC design company will begin to cooperate with the panel company to shorten the developing period and low the cost. And finally in the capacitive key field, the transparent capacitive keys will be further used on the monitor.

It’s the Lighting, Stupid

It’s the Lighting, Stupid

Forgive me for poaching from the 1992 phase 'It's the Economy, Stupid' made popular by political strategist, James Carville. During Bill Clinton's 1992 successful Presidential campaign, he referred to the notion that Clinton was a better choice than Bush because Bush had not adequately addressed the economy which had undergone a recession.

My point in using that phrase has absolutely nothing to do with politics. It does have to do with the fact that we do have a better choice in commercial indoor and outdoor lighting options. Our better choice contributes positively towards countering the negative effects of our present economic condition. What sane person among us does not want to reduce their monthly electrical bill by 30% to 50%? The conundrum is that we are all working so hard to increase our sales revenue that we sometimes forget we can improve our margins by simply reducing our operating expenses. What's the old saying about not seeing the forest for the trees?

In these challenging economic times, many Companies have seen the light (sorry but I couldn't resist the pun). Replacing and / or retrofitting indoor and outdoor light fixtures will substantially lower energy costs. In most cases, the pay-back is less than 24 months. After the pay-back period, 100% of the savings is realized year after year. In fact, the monthly savings will usually cover the monthly note if you were to finance a project of this nature.

Whether your reason for updating your indoor and / or outdoor lighting systems is because your company is going green or you would like to save money by consuming less energy, there are many investment options available which would contribute towards an expeditious ROI. Some of these options are listed below.

• Replace parking garage HID fixtures with Fluorescents.
• Replace incandescent fixture bulbs with CFL Fluorescents.
• Retrofit or replace existing outdated fluorescent fixtures with Energy Efficient Fixtures.
• Replace parking-lot HID pole-mounted fixtures with Outdoor Pole-mounted Fluorescents.
• Replace existing wall switches in offices, store-rooms, etc. with Occupancy Sensor Switches & Dimmers.
• Install Ceiling Occupancy Sensors in common areas such as hallways, gyms, cafeterias, meeting rooms, etc.
• Replace exterior building mounted HID wall-pack fixtures with Fluorescent Wall-pack Fixtures with 40% reduced energy consumption when no one is around-but instantly comes back up to full brightness if anyone enters the area.

Compare the Before & After scenarios below with the basic understanding that Energy Consumption (kWh) = Input Watts (kW) X Time (hours operated in a given year) X your utility company cost per kWh.

Office Environment – An example of a Before – Fluorescent Light Fixture and an After – Retrofit / Replacement:

Note: For the sake of being conservative, we are not going to include additional wattage consumed by the fluorescent ballast (s), which can be as high as 10%, nor will we include the additional cost of cooling the emitted heat from the before light fixture.

Before — 2 X 4, 4-Lamp T-12 Fixture — 160 Watts (Note – T-12s will no longer be manufactured after 2010)

After —- 2 X 4, 2-Lamp T-8 Fixture — 72 Watts

Difference in Fixtures — 88 Watts X 4500 Annual Burn Hours X $ .10 per KWH = Annual Savings of $ 39.60 / Fixture / Year X _____ # of Fixtures in your facility.

The advancement in Fluorescent Lighting in the last few years has been stellar. In warehouse facilities, the new fixtures of choice are F-Bay T-5 HO & T-8 Fluorescents. These fixtures are manufactured to replace the High-Bay HID (High Intensity Discharge) fixtures which were the cutting edge technology of the '80s &' 90s. The new fixtures use approximately ½ of the energy of the HIDs while holding their CRI (Color Rendition Index) for a much longer period of time.

Warehouse / Manufacturing Environment – An example of a Before – HID High-Bay Fixture and an After – F-Bay Fluorescent Fixture below: Note: The savings below is based on a 24-hour a day operation. You can adjust the hours of operating to suit your situation.

Before — 400-Watt Metal Halide HID High-Bay Fixture — 455 Watts

After — 6-Lamp T8 Fixture — 218 Watts

Difference in Fixtures — 237 Watts X 6500 Annual Burn Hours X $ .10 per KWH = Annual Savings of $ 154.05 / Fixture / Year X _____ # of Fixtures in your facility.

As you can see from both of the examples above, the savings can be huge depending on the size and the hours of operation at your facility.

Did you know?

• Better light CRI (Color Rendition Index) will Increase Employee Productivity.
• Your Utility Company may offer Rebates and you may be eligible for Tax Credits when retro-fitting and / or upgrading your lights.
• Retro-fitting or upgrading your indoor lights will Reduce Heat Output which Lowers Air Conditioning Costs.
• Upgrading the lighting in your facility should contribute to an Increase in Property Value if you decide to sell.
• There are Outdoor Fluorescent Fixtures available to replace Pole-mounted HIDs in your parking lot. These Fluorescents Consume ½ the Energy of your HIDs with Double the Lamp Life.
• HID fixtures lose a large percentage of their light output annually while continuing to consume the same amount of energy. In essence, you are paying more for consistently less light year after year.
• Upgrading or retro-fitting your lights will also Lower your Maintenance Costs. Fluorescent lamps have a longer lamp life. See the table below.
• In most cases, the energy savings realized by retro-fitting or upgrading your lights will pay for the finance cost of the new lights. The result is that there is no interruption to your cash-flow or additional out-of-pocket expense.

Lamp / Bulb Life Comparisons

60 Watt Incandescent Bulb – 1,000 Hours – T-5 4 'HO Fluorescent Lamp – 20,000 Hours
400 Watt Metal Halide HID Bulb – 10,000 Hours – T-8 4 'Fluorescent Lamp – 24,000 Hours
18 Watt Twin CFL Lamp – 12,000 Hours

There are some basic lighting terms that you need to know when communicating about lighting. The simple definitions of a few of these terms are:

• Foot-Candle — A measure of light intensity. A foot-candle is defined as how bright the light is 1-foot away from the light source. Foot Candles = Lumens / Sq Ft.
• Lumen — Is equal to one foot-candle falling on one square foot of area. Each lamp packaging lists the amount of lumens for that lamp. As lamps and fixtures age and become dirty, their lumen output decreases (lumen depreciation occurs).
• Photometrics — Spread of light in foot-candles over a specific area outward / down from the light source. The further away from the light source, the lower the foot-candles.
• CRI (Color Rendition Index) — Describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes and how well subtle variations in color shades are revealed. The higher the CRI, the better the color rendering ability.
• Kelvin — The kelvin is a measurement of heat energy or temperature. It measures the 'Hue' of light. 'Hue' in this technical meaning refers not just to color generally, but to the relative warmth of a specific light source-its spectrum frequency or color temperature.

Large Corporations have realized and implemented these Cost Saving Strategies for years, whereas smaller companies have been behind the curve in recognizing the benefits of retrofitting and / or upgrading their lighting. However, between the challenging economy and the recent advances in lighting technology, the cost savings can no longer be ignored by smaller businesses. An analogy would be that most people would walk past a penny or even a nickel and not bend over to pick it up (I would bend over to pick up a farthing if they were still available), but not many people would walk past a quarter or a dollar bill without feeling some degree of guilt. Every time you walk under or past your outdated interior or exterior lights, think about the amount of money which could go directly to improving your bottom line.

Electrical Safety and Efficiency for Your Home

Playing with electrics is definitely not safe so it is vital that you know exactly what you are undertaking. You should have prior experience or know somebody who is skilled and practiced when carrying out an electrical problem. Safety tips are also an excellent thought if you have any young children about your house.

How is the condition of the electric wiring in your house? Does it require to be rewired? Some normal signs of old wiring are:

  • When utilizing appliances, lights may become poorly lit.
  • Fuses blowing simply and often.
  • When operating appliances, you might notice a burning odor.
  • You can hear a kind of crackling noise from switches.

Be sure to ask a tradesman or electrician for advice and about your wiring or what methods you could carry out to improve your wiring system in your home. As we are inclined to use many more electrical devices nowadays than we did before, it is essential that your wiring meets standards. If you have wiring which is Green, Black and Red, then it could be many years old. The present wiring color is Green, Blue and Brown. Do you think it is time for a change?

You ought to be aware that the most costly quote you will obtain from a tradesman, or in this case an electrician, does not constantly mean you will receive the greatest service out there. Be certain that each tradesman is trained and practiced, contains significant experience and has available references from earlier clients.

Simple Tips To Help You Evaluate An Electrician

Every trade has its good and bad contractors, and this is certainly the case when it comes to electricians. In order to locate a good electrician who is going to do a proper and professional job in your home, you will need to evaluate them. This will involve evaluating both them, and also the work that they do.