Master Electricians Can Help You Turn the Light on a Better Mood

When it comes to their mood, people are often surprised to find that something as simple as the environment in which they are located in can have a huge effect. Scientists have found that the music one listenens to, the ambient sounds of a room and even the colors of the wall or lights inside…

When it comes to their mood, people are often surprised to find that something as simple as the environment in which they are located in can have a huge effect. Scientists have found that the music one listenens to, the ambient sounds of a room and even the colors of the wall or lights inside a room can have a positive or negative effect on the mood, bringing great joy or seeding the room's occupant spiraling into a state of melancholy. LaTely, as people have been changing the lights both in their homes and in the office, master electricians have been taking note on just how the colors of these lights can affect a person's mood. In studies conducted by Ohio University and the Salk Institute researchers found that master electricians were not simply cashing in on a consumer trend but that there was a legitimate scientific connection between the color of light in a room and the mood of the people within.

Blue is Bad

According to the researchers conducted by the scientists at the above institutions, the human eye is especially sensitive to light of a blue or white hue. Extensive exposure to these colors can lead to depression like symptoms in individuals. As such, many offices are now switching over to newer, non-fluorescent lights, in an attempt to lighten the mood in the workplace and increase productivity.

Red is Righteous

If you were to ask a master electrician the most common color to be installed in clubs and restaurants, avenues that are meant to make people feel happy and relaxed, he or she would probably tell you that this color is red. In a recent study conducted by the Salk Institute, scientists found that people's eyes react well to red light, especially come night fall. Out of all the colors studied by the institute, red was shown to be the least likely to kill a person's mood. Scientists at the Salk Institute now suggest that nightlight users forgo use of blue or white lights and stick to red, as it is a more psychologically appealing color.

Those who are looking to improve the mood in their home via lighting but do not want that newly improved vibe to be bought down by the strain of an empty wallet due to installation costs and a rising electric bill should have a talk with one of the local highly related master electricians.

The research appears in the 7 August 2013 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Mixing Water With Electricity

We do that a lot around here in January. No, no. It's not what you think !! Of course you never want to mix these two together. What we mean is that during January we do a lot of repairs of water leaks and electrical problems. It's been an especially dry winter so far here…

We do that a lot around here in January. No, no. It's not what you think !! Of course you never want to mix these two together. What we mean is that during January we do a lot of repairs of water leaks and electrical problems.

It's been an especially dry winter so far here in northern California, but it's never too wet or too dry to inspect your inside water supplies for leaks and drips. It's also a good time to check your electrical outlets for overloading or those forgotten extension cords you used to power holiday decorations.

Here is a handy checklist so you can discover any problems BEFORE they become dangerous or expensive.

Water:

  • Check under your kitchen sink for drips or wet areas.
  • Inspect under your bathroom sinks and fixtures for leaks.
  • Is the seal around your toilet dry?
  • Does your toilet run when it has not been flushed?
  • Does water bath anywhere in your bathroom after you've bathed?
  • If you have a second floor bath or kitchen, go to the room underneath and check for wet spots on the ceiling.
  • Inspect your ceiling for water marks or damp spots.
  • Check for flooring that feels soft, which indicates structural damage.
  • Check around windows for cold air or dampness.

Electricity :

  • Check your outlets for overloading.
  • Do you have any extension cords left over from the holiday décor?
  • Make sure you're not using an extension cord as a permanent power source.
  • Do your lights flicker or dim at any time (but you do not have a dimmer switch)?
  • Do you frequently have breakers switch click off?
  • (Please tell us you do not) have breakers taped in an on position.
  • Do all envelopes have covers or plates as needed?
  • Has your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet been installed (and is it working) properly?

It should be noted that proper installation of a GFCI is critical. This device is intended to monitor electrical flow and if it detects an imbalance, it trips the circuit. So if you're doing something dangerous, like standing in water operating an electrical device, the GFCI senses the imbalance in the flow of electricity and cuts off the electricity to the outlet. That's why proper installation is so important. If you're not sure, ASK!

BONUS – if it seems dangerous, it probably is . We've recently had calls asking if something was dangerous and what should they do about it if it is. Our guidance is, if it seems dangerous, it is likely. Things like:

  • Cabinets leaving or pulling away from walls
  • Ceiling fans that wobble
  • Wires hanging out of or off of walls
  • Appliances sparking at the outlet when you plug them in
  • The wall near an outlet is hot

These are all indicators that you have a problem that should be fixed without delay!

Important Note: Your safety is the most important thing! Many of the problems we describe in these check lists are not dangerous for most people to repair. The challenge is that unless you do these things all the time, it's likely it will take longer than you want it to and the repair will not turn out as well as you like. When it comes to electrical problems however, unless you are an electrician, it's best to have someone else take care of it.

Electrical Safety Tips – Being a Responsible Home Owner

Ensuring that your home is electrically safe is vital for keeping your loved ones and property away from dangers such as electrical house fires, electrocution and other such accidents. Electricity is dangerous and can be lethal when not treated with the due care and respect. If you are not familiar with the way domestic electrical…

Ensuring that your home is electrically safe is vital for keeping your loved ones and property away from dangers such as electrical house fires, electrocution and other such accidents.

Electricity is dangerous and can be lethal when not treated with the due care and respect. If you are not familiar with the way domestic electrical systems and appliances work, it is absolutely crucial to use the services of a qualified electrician, and not do any of the check-ups, maintenance and repairs on your own as this may result in serious injury and extensive property damage caused by fires and explosions.

Some of the tell-tale signs of faults and issues in the average house electrical system are:

  • Flickering light fixtures

If you see a light that's flickering, dimming and then brightening up, or otherwise behaving strangely, then you definitely have a problem to look into.

  • Hot switches

If you come across a light switch that's heating up, then you have a wiring problem which can lead to shortcomings and cause larger issues – do not ignore the problem.

  • Hot / wobbly power outlets

Power outlets can get hot when there is either too much current running through them, or when they are wobbly – so they are not fitted and fastened properly to the wall. This can cause electrocution or a fire so take measures timely.

  • Hot extension cords

Extension cords are for temporary use only and have different power rating so they are meant to handle a certain amount of current or wattage running through them. A hot extension cord may be overloaded or damaged so replace it.

Note: A warm dimmer switch is not a problem, except it is actually too hot to touch. Dimmer switches typically make use of a resistor material which is meant to reduce current so turning it into heat energy which warms up the face plate of the dimmer switch .

NB: If you do not seem to visibly locate a specific electrical problem with your wiring, switches or power points, but your circuit breakers are still tripping, then you should stop resetting the system immediately ie stop lifting up the breaker, but cut off power and call in for qualified assistance.

All of the typical issues listed above, including the continuing tripping circuit breaker can be taken care of by a reasonably knowledgeable handyman ie yourself. No matter what you intend to do in terms of repairs, fixes and replacements, you must switch off power to the entire house before tweaking about with the electrical system.

Advice for households with young children:

Young children and electricity do not really go well together. Children do not have the common sense and knowledge to protect themselves from electricity, but they have all the curiosity and mischief to get themselves in real trouble.

  • First and foremost – block up unused power points using a power point cap. A cap will prevent a child from sticking their fingers and other household items in the power outlet.

  • Hide all extension cords and install control panels such as light switch boards, dimmers, AC control panels etc. beyond the reach of young children.

  • Teach children about electricity and make them understand that it can be lethal when mistreated. Ask your child to report to you if they see something wrong with parts of the electrical system around the house like a wobbly power point, a flickering light etc. but instruct them first not to touch anything.

  • It is absolutely vital to forbidden children from bringing and using any type of appliance in the bathroom and toilet, even when the power system of the house and the appliance itself is working properly.

Storms and protection from lightning electricity :

  • In the case of severe storms, children should stay inside the house at all times in order to protect them from being stuck by lightning.

  • Children should not touch or use house appliances during a storm, especially if the house does not have the best lighting protection.

  • If the house does not have proper lighting protection, you are risking a house fire – do not leave children alone inside the house under these circumstances.

Check local storm safety advice as different regions experience different severities storms.

Top 5 Tools Every Electrician Should Have

Electricians, as with the other trades, require a lion's share of general use and specialty tools. Let's take a closer look at the top 5 types of tools that professional electricians typically use on the job and should be in every electrician's tool belt. A flashlight is one of the most essential pieces of related…

Electricians, as with the other trades, require a lion's share of general use and specialty tools. Let's take a closer look at the top 5 types of tools that professional electricians typically use on the job and should be in every electrician's tool belt.

A flashlight is one of the most essential pieces of related equipment that an electrician can carry. Even if you're assigned to a site where a flashlight may not seem important, it's still best to have one because certain situations may require some additional light to help you see. Outlets, sockets, wire boxes, conduits, and pipes are always dark on the inside. Even if the area you are working in has ample light, you should never try to work inside tiny places or reach inside panels without proper light. Because electricians work with and carry a lot of equipment, many flashlights that electricians carry are light weight, sturdy, yet provide a bright beam of light.

Voltmeters are yet another valuable piece of equipment that electricians utilize to not only work efficiently, but also to work safely. Voltmeters are a tool that measures the electrical potential difference between two points in an electric circuit. An electrician should never absorb the circuit that needs to be worked on does not have electricity flowing through them. With a voltmeter, an electrician can test the circuits and see if they are in fact “live.” Based on the statements made from the voltmeter, the electrician can properly and safely address the circuits and plan the best route to make necessary repairs.

A very good pair of wire strippers is also important. Wire strippers are small, hand-held tools, very similar to scissors, which are used to cut the unbound insulation surrounding the wire without actually cutting the wire itself. With the insulation removed and the wire exposed, an electrician can connect those wires to switches, conductors, or anything with requires to run on that electrical circuit.

Pliers are also a vital piece of equipment. Pliers can serve many functions for an electrician. Pliers can be used for tightening and loosing, providing much extra need grip for the electrician, cutting blade for wires, pulling wires through locations, twisting wires, and a miriad of other functions. Pliers are indeed a very important multi-purpose tool for an electrician to have.

Draw Tape, or draw wire, is also a very important tool and electrician can have. Usually called “fish tape”, draw tape is a tool an electrician would use to route guide string for new wiring through pipes, walls, or electrical conduit.

Draw tape is a long, narrow band of medium-carbon steel that's coiled, placed on a reel. Because it's made of medium-carbon steel, it can conform to the curvatures of different conduits. The draw tape works by attaching one end of guide string to the end of the draw tape. The draw tape is pushed through the conduit with the guide string attached. Once the draw tape meets the end of the conduit, the wires are tied to the opposite end of the guide sting. By pulling the guide string, this would route the wire through to the end of the conduit.

An electrician can acquire a lot of tools that are needed to complete a job over the course of his or her career. There is no doubt that these tools are the top 5 must have tools of every electrician.

The Variety Of Cables And Wires, That Are Available In The Market

With new technologies andventions taking the world by storm, the electrical wiring industry has branched out to include a variety of cables that cater to various needs. Ordinary cables have a pair of copper or aluminum wires along with an outer protective sheath for insulation purposes. The higher end cables that are specifically designed for…

With new technologies andventions taking the world by storm, the electrical wiring industry has branched out to include a variety of cables that cater to various needs. Ordinary cables have a pair of copper or aluminum wires along with an outer protective sheath for insulation purposes. The higher end cables that are specifically designed for transmitting greater capacity of power have multiple insulated wires, encased in synthetic polymers. Although the world of cables and wires is exhaustive, for the purpose of convenience, they are classified into four different segments as per their use and construction. Coaxial cables, twisted pair cables, shielded cables and ribbon cables are the four different categories, under which cables are classified.

Coaxial cables are electrical cables that have been extensively used for transmitting energy and signals to television units. Constructed with a copper conductor, this type of cable has four layers of metallic tape and metallic braid for insulation. To add to its durability, the entire wire is further enclosed in a protective jacket. These cables were initially used for networking computer units, but now, they are also used for transmitting signals to audio and video equipment. Coaxial cables are flexible and due their durable quality, they last longer than other cables. RG / 6, leaky cable, twin axial, Bi-axial, hard line and semi-rigid are various types of coaxial cables.

The Twisted pair variety of cables enterprises of a set of insulated color coded copper wires which are twisted together to form a single cable. The number of wires and the gauge size used is subject to change as per the appliance. These wires are more effective in reducing electrical interference, which makes them efficient for telephone cabling.

Shielded cables are wires that are covered in a metallic foil with individual wires, encased in a light metal case. As these wires are shielded, there are minimal chances of radiation of electromagnetic waves, which directly impacts the noise emitted by the appliances that use them. Compared to coaxial cables and optical fibers, these wires are less effective in transmitting signals, since the process needs to be repeated for far distances. Here, their efficiency usage is limited to electrical house wiring alone.

Known as flat twin electric cables, ribbon cables comprise of multiple wires that are insulated and are placed, parallel to each other. They are mainly used for networking purposes in computers. Enclosed in an aluminum foil casing, shielded cables are used as power cables for transmitting electricity to large appliances. They comprise of two insulated wires in a woven braid construction, that is crafted to offer stability and clarity in transmission. Its foiled construction allows it to send better signals, by resisting the radio interference from external elements. These cables composer of 12-14 individual wires designed in a ribbon-like formation, for simultaneous transmission of data.

How to Hire a Top Notch Electrician

Hiring a new electrician can be a scary experience. You're placing your home – and your family's safety – in the hands of someone you've never met. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk. To make sure you're hiring a top notch electrician that you can trust, just follow these steps.…

Hiring a new electrician can be a scary experience. You're placing your home – and your family's safety – in the hands of someone you've never met. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk. To make sure you're hiring a top notch electrician that you can trust, just follow these steps.

Ask for 3 References

Great electricians have references from homeowners, contractors and builders that they can give you at a moment's notice. If they do not, then you might have to wonder about whether or not they typically deliver a quality customer experience.

Ask for Their License and Insurance

Only work with licensed contractors. Before you award them the job, ask to see their license and insurance. This ensures that if anything goes wrong on the job, you have the insurance company as backup.

Get a Written Agreement

Having an agreement in writing can help resolve all sorts of issues before they arise. Make sure your agreement contains:
A description of exactly what kind of work will be done.
The expected timetable of when the work will be completed.
Details on the terms of payment.
Recourse if the job is not done properly.

Get this agreement even if you're working through a general contractor. Yes, you have your agreement with your contractor – but you should also have a written agreement directly with your electrician.

Understanding the Payment Terms

As you're negotiating with your future electrician, make sure you clearly understand the payment terms. This can be a big hiccup in electrical projects.

Electricians will often require a partial payment upfront. This upfront payment could have been a deposit on labor, or it could have the funds needed to cover the materials for the job. The rest of the payment might be made in a lump sum after the project, or it could have paid in multi-stage installments.

Be Crystal Clear on What You Want

Before you hire the electrician, make sure you're absolutely, positively clear on what you need done. If you're not sure, then wait until you're sure before beginning the job. Changing the specs of the job midway can add to both costs and time. It can also wreak havoc on the contractor's work plans, which can strain your relationship. Bottom line, be clear on what you want beforeiring your contractor.

These guidelines will go a long way toward protecting you. As a final note, make sure you meet the contractor face to face before giving the go ahead. Make sure the two of you get along well and that you intuitively trust them before awarding them the job.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Electricians

Electricians are like Starbucks, police officers, and ATM machines-you never think about them until you need one. If your electrical situation is on the fritz, of course it's time to call in the help. But have you ever thought about the skills and requirements possessed by the electrician who is working on getting your issue…

Electricians are like Starbucks, police officers, and ATM machines-you never think about them until you need one. If your electrical situation is on the fritz, of course it's time to call in the help. But have you ever thought about the skills and requirements possessed by the electrician who is working on getting your issue fixed? Electricians are highly skilled workers with tough jobs and requirements facing them each day.

The Skills to Pay the Bills

Electrical work is not unskilled labor. When working with such a dangerous thing as electricity, there are a variety of skills and a vast amount of knowledge a good electrician must possess in order to get the job done right and safely.

Here are five things you may not have known about the individual who fixes your lights and other electrical issues.

1. Electricians are in great shape – They need to be in order to do all the climbing, stooping, and heavy lifting required to achieve the repairs you need done.

2. Advanced color vision is necessary – When dealing with many different wires of many different colors, electricians need to have a great sense of color vision in order not to connect the wrong wires and cause some serious problems that would result from this.

3. Trouble shooting skills are a must – Unlike an assembly line job, no two jobs for an electrician are the same. Each call will bring its own set of issues and problems, with electricians needing to think fast on their feet in order to get the jobs done right.

4. Management is involved – This is not an unorganized profession where electricians just appear out of now to fix issues. Electric teams need to be managed effectively, trained, scheduled, and kept on the task. It is not just about fixing wires, there's an entire staff that needs to be managed for each day and each individual job assigned.

5. Restoration Experts – One of the most important roles in the restoration of old buildings is that of the electrician. In fixing up old wiring and making sure the new building is lit up right, electricians are vital for the restoration of older buildings and houses.

The next time you need to call in an electrician, take the time to appreciate the craft being performed. The individual repairing your wiring is a highly skilled technician doing complicated work and is worthy of your respect.

Licensed Contractors: Are They Worth the Extra Expense?

It's all too easy to hire an electrician, or any kind of contractor for that matter, off of the internet. Too many people just assume that anyone who's willing to advertise their services on the internet must be competent and skilled. That's not always the case. In these tough economic times, people are willing to…

It's all too easy to hire an electrician, or any kind of contractor for that matter, off of the internet. Too many people just assume that anyone who's willing to advertise their services on the internet must be competent and skilled. That's not always the case. In these tough economic times, people are willing to do just about anything to make a buck. There's no shortage of DIY people out there that call themselves electricians just because they wired their own garage receptacles. Even if they've been doing their own electrical wiring for years, it does not mean they know how to install a safe electrical system.

Licensing

Most cities require that anyone performing construction / repair services be licensed and insured. There's a reason for that. FEMA estimates 28,300 residential building fires are caused by improperly installed electrical systems every year. Those fires were liable for 360 deaths, 1000 injuries and $ 995 million in property damage. Those are not just numbers on a computer screen. Those are real houses. Those are real husbands, wives, grandparents, children, etc. that died because if improper wiring.

I can tell you from my own personal experience, obtaining an electrical contractors license is no easy task. In the state of Kansas, they require you to have a passing score of 75% on the Kansas Standard Master Electricians Exam. I took the exam through the International Code Council. It was 100 questions long and they give you 4 hours. I used every bit of those 4 hours and I still had a couple questions I was not sure about. At the time I had been an electrician for more than 12 years. Five of those years were spent as an apprentice working during the day and taking classes in the evenings. Plus, I had been studying for 3 months prior to taking the exam. I was unemployed at the time so I was able to spend several hours a day studying. The point I'm trying to make is that someone who possesses an Electrical Contractors license knows what they are doing. They have the experience, the training and the knowledge to properly install electrical wiring in your home or business.

Insurance

As I mentioned above, one of the requirements to obtain an Electrical Contractors License is to carry General Liability insurance. Most jurisdictions require at least $ 1,000,000 in coverage. I prefer to carry more just because it's a piece of mind for me and for my customers. In addition to General Liability, Workman's Compensation insurance is required as well.

By hiring licensed and insured contractors to perform work on your home or business, you are protecting your financial well-being as well as the safety of you and your family. A licensed contractor may cost a little more than an unlicensed handyman, but in the long run you'll be much better off. All it takes is one fire or trip to the ER.

Significance of Electrical Metering Services

To measure the total quantity of electric energy utilized, an electricity meter is installed in residential and commercial properties. As per the requirements, a single phase, a two phase or a three phase metering is installed. An electric meter is a must to generate bills for a particular billing cycle by measuring the energy used…

To measure the total quantity of electric energy utilized, an electricity meter is installed in residential and commercial properties. As per the requirements, a single phase, a two phase or a three phase metering is installed. An electric meter is a must to generate bills for a particular billing cycle by measuring the energy used during that cycle (ie Meter reading for total electrical units consumed). Kilowatt hour [kWh] is a widely used unit of measurement.

Single Phase: A single phase energy meter is very cost-effective and flexible and is ideal for residential properties. However, if you have many electrical appliances including more than one air conditioner, you may need a two phase or three phase metering as per the required energy consumption level.

Three Phase: When you have three related voltage sources that supplies the same load, it is known as three phase metering. Is it a vital development over single phase or two-phase as the three voltages or current waves follow each other? cycle apart, and when you total the currents collectively at any moment, you will discover that they are completely in equilibrium.

Solar – Gross, Net, Sun Power: We all are aware about the regular electricity meter installed at our properties which records the total quantity of electric energy used. However, the solar power utilizes a different type of technology, and so it may be essential to upgrade your ordinary meter and switchboard so that it can record the amount of solar power that is generated and feed into the grid.

Off Peak – Time of Use: Generally, electricity consumption is higher during mornings and evenings which are known as peak hours. To motivate people to use electric energy during off peak hours, electrical energy suppliers have introduced schemes wherein it will cost less to use electricity in off peak hours. Usually off peak hours are between 11 pm and 7 am so you can charge up your electrical appliances that need lots of power during off peak hours and then save on your monthly power consumption bills.

How to Use Off-Peak Electricity: Using off peak electricity is determined by the kind of meter you have installed in your home.

1. Single meters charge electric energy at one fixed rate and do not offer off peak electricity.

2. Time of Use or Interval meters charge electric energy to your residence at peak, off peak and shoulder rates.

3. Two rate meters have two records maintained, one for peak and another for off peak. Here two different rates are charged for all electric energy used during the two different periods of time.

4. Off Peak or Controlled Load meters charge all electric energy at one fixed rate with the omission of a particular piece of equipment; for example, a hot water service, which is provided with electric power during peak peak time periods and charged at off peak rates.

An experienced Level 2 service provider provides all types of electrical metering services including emergency electrical services .

Testing Wire Insulation

Electrical wiring is designed to withstand a certain amount of voltages but the insulation ensures that electricity is directed where it needs to. When electrical insulation breaks down it may cause electrical failure and accidents that cause damage and fatalities every year. To maintain the integrity of an electric wire's insulation, the strength of the…

Electrical wiring is designed to withstand a certain amount of voltages but the insulation ensures that electricity is directed where it needs to. When electrical insulation breaks down it may cause electrical failure and accidents that cause damage and fatalities every year.

To maintain the integrity of an electric wire's insulation, the strength of the insulating elements need to tested on a regular basis. There is a term used to define the maximum voltage that an insulating material can take before it starts to degrade and it is known as the Dielectric strength. Dielectric tests are conducted by exposing to short burst of high voltage electricity and then taking readings of the leakage.

Types of Insulation Tests

There are three tests that you can conduct to test the integrity of the insulation on a wire:

  • The first one is done to determine the amount of voltage that an insulator can withstand before is degrades. It involves passing high voltage current between two points on a wire and you keep increasing the voltage until the insulation starts to give in. This is called a Dielectric Breakdown Test.

  • Dielectric Withstanding Tests are used to determine whether a certain cable can withstand a set amount of voltage for a required period. It involves applying voltage for a specific amount of time and watching the current that leaks through the cable. You can only hope that there is no leakage and the cable remains intact.

  • This test is meant to calculate the resistance of the insulation to high voltage electricity. There is a calculation involved but the best thing to be to use an Ohm meter.

What is “hipot” testing?

There is one definitive test that is used in the industry known as the hipot testing (High Potential Voltage). It is carried out by using different instruments that have different voltages from 5kV to larger testers that have an output of 400 kV or more.

You may be familiar with the continuity test that effectively tests whether there is any electrical flow between two points. The desired results of such a test is to have current flowing, with a Hipot you are checking for good isolation, you do not want the current to flow, you want it to stay in one area to test the integrity of the insulation in that single area.

The hipot test is manufactured by using two conductors that are isolated and applying a very high voltage between them. Current flowing through is watched, if the test is properly done, very little current should flow.

For more complicated things, like a network of contacts where wires, connect with resistors, capacitors and other components all the contact are connected to the hipot device and the device is grounded. Every component should be tested in isolation from the body of the rest of the device.

This test can also be used to detect defects like spacing between current-carrying conductors and the point where they have to be “earthed”. Cables are sometimes subjected to environmental conditions and things like humidity, dirt, vibration, heat and contaminant can damage the insulation and create dangerous situations.

How do these “hipot” tests affect quality?

High potential voltage tests are often required in product design, especially in the quality management stages. During the design phase, one can know the maximum voltage that design specifications need to make allowances for.

These kinds of insulation tests are mostly found to be useful in critical applications. Some manufacturers will require every cable that is produced to undergo insulation testing. The hipot test can be sensitive arcs that you would find in most IDC cables.

Safety Considerations

There is always a risk involved with working with electricity. The first consideration is to use testing equipment according to the instructions by the manufacturer. To minimize the risk of danger and injury from electric shock, follow these guidelines:

• The shock you could receive should not be greater than 45 Cu

• The total hipot energy should not be greater than 350 m

• and the total current should not exceed 5 ma peak

Those are the minimum requirements. With electricity there is no space to break the rules which means it is important that the tester you choose meets the requirements or be equipped with a safety interlock system just in case things do not work as they should.

Other Testing Methods / equipments

Along the standard hipot tester, there is a test known as the Megger Test which works on the same promise as the hipot. A Megger reads high voltage resistance in electric circuits.

It detects the slightest changes that occur in high voltage circuits. It is commonly used in high voltage industrial applications and although there are units that can be used to test your typical run of the mill insulation, the Megger in an industrial high voltage testing method.

Light Bulb Replacement on a Large Sign: What to Do?

Most people think nothing of changing a light bulb but what do you do when that light bulb is in a large sign above your business? Well you could call the company that installed it and they will likely have service plans to take care of maintenance such as cleaning and bulb replacements but what…

Most people think nothing of changing a light bulb but what do you do when that light bulb is in a large sign above your business? Well you could call the company that installed it and they will likely have service plans to take care of maintenance such as cleaning and bulb replacements but what if you feel like being proactive and getting it done yourself?

As long as you can safely get to and work around the sign and have some basic familiarity with tools and electrical work, you can certainly change that bulb yourself but be sure to follow some basic safety guidelines first. Before you start work on your sign, be sure all power to it has been turned off by flipping off the appropriate breaker. If you need to climb a ladder to reach your sign, be sure to enlist the help of a co-worker or employee to pass you tools and handle the fragile fluorescent tubes. Use protective eyewear in case of accidental breakage: fluorescent tubes may explode if broken and can cause serious injuries.

Once you are prepared, check that electricity is off begin:

1) Remove the cover using a screwdriver.

2) Remove the light tubes with caution and inspect for signs that they are spent. Burnt out bulbs should have a dark colored end near the plugs or dark areas on the tube. If your bulbs do not appear to be burnt out, you may need to replace the ballast.

3) To replace the ballast, remove the ballast cover. Beneath it you will find two plugs with six wires each on each end of the ballast.

4) Unplug the ballast by pulling out these plugs.

5) Disconnect the electrical wires connected to the ballast. There will be one white wire and one black wire. To disconnect them loosen the screws on the ballast to which they attach.

6) Remove the old ballast and set aside. Do not discard.

7) Cut the plugs from the old ballast as close to the ballast housing as possible. There will be six wires to each plug: 2 green, 2 yellow, and 2 blue.

8) Strip 1 “plastic covering off each wire and match the colors to the appropriate wires on the new ballast.

9) Twist each matching pair of wires together and cover them with wire nuts.

10) Insert your new ballast into your sign and secure it by replacing screws.

11) Plug in each end and reconnect white and black wires. Replace ballast cover, fluorescent tubes, and sign cover.

Top 9 Tips to Avoid Christmas Fire Hazards

Christmas is around the corner. You must be busy preparing celebration plans, doing shopping, baking ginger bread cookies and decorating your home with dazzling lights. After all, it is the season of celebrations, decorations and enjoyment. However, it is also a high time of fires related accidents. According to US Fire Administration (USFA), the number…

Christmas is around the corner. You must be busy preparing celebration plans, doing shopping, baking ginger bread cookies and decorating your home with dazzling lights. After all, it is the season of celebrations, decorations and enjoyment. However, it is also a high time of fires related accidents.

According to US Fire Administration (USFA), the number of residential fires is doubled on Christmas Day than on an average day. The fires occurred during the holiday season are more deadly and costly than at any other time of the year. So, fire safety measures should be taken into consideration to keep you and your beloved ones safe.

Here are the few tips to protect your home and loved ones from fire hazards during this holiday season.

Take care of your Christmas tree

Buy a fresh tree and maintain its freshness by making a cut on the base of the tree before putting it into a sturdy stand. Keep it hydrated by watering it regularly. Do not keep it close to the source of heat. Avoid using candles to lighten up.

No matter how well you water it, it will dry out after few days. So, take it out immediately after holidays. Artificial tree is much safer than real tree but make sure it is flame retardant.

Inspect your lights

Your home looks beautiful when you decorate it with lights during holiday season. While doing that, make sure you inspect the lights. If the wires and sockets are damaged, fix them quickly. Do not plug more than three strands to prevent overheating and always check the safety label such as UL (Underwriter's labs) or FM (Factory mutual). Take them down after holidays as they get damaged by weather.

Have a fire escape plan

Plan in advance on what you would do in the event of fire. Arrange smoke detectors in each sleeping room of your home.

Do not burn the Christmas tree and wrapping paper

Do not burn the Christmas tree and wrapping paper to dispose them because it can clog the chimney and spread the fire as an ash.

Inspect extension cords

Check your extension cords to ensure that they are laboratory-approved. Never tape and run them under rugs. Do not overload your electrical outlets. If a fuse or a circuit trip blows, that means it is overloaded.

Decorate Your Christmas tree safely

Avoid taping, stapling and tacking decoration ornaments into wiring, when you decorate your Christmas tree.

Cook Carefully

Cooking is one of the top causes of holiday fires. You tend to cook more dishes using more stoves at once. Keep an eye on hot surfaces and overflowing pots. Avoid using a turkey deep fryer indoors.

It is quite easy to get distracted from cooking. You leave the kitchen heating oil in the pan, when your husband calls you and completely forget you have something on your stove. Do not leave cooking food unattended.

Be careful with Candles

Maintain a foot of space between candle and combustible things. Always set candles on sturdy base and cover them with hurricane globes. Do not forget to blow out candles before going to bed. LED candles are the best option for worry free atmosphere.

Keep an Eye on Your Kids

A lighter or a candle is more deadly than a revolver in the hands of kid. So, do not let your children play with flammable things.

The Need For Modern House Wiring Solutions Exposed

There was a time when people truly believed, “Home is Where the Heart is!” But now, since the advent of technology, nothing remains the same. The advancement of technology and our growing attachment for hi-tech appliances and gadgets, has provoked us to find solace at the sight of a sign that says “free Wi-Fi”. Although…

There was a time when people truly believed, “Home is Where the Heart is!” But now, since the advent of technology, nothing remains the same. The advancement of technology and our growing attachment for hi-tech appliances and gadgets, has provoked us to find solace at the sight of a sign that says “free Wi-Fi”. Although new technology is invented every fortnight and existing ones are further improved with each passing month, the sole proprietor that continues to make such developments possible, is electricity. When referring to electricity, the most important and integral element that co-exists with the term electricity is wires and cables. From being the best companion of all appliances to being the core component that helps in transmission of power, cables and wires have come a long way since their inception, and they still continue to provide us the require services.

Many people have a misconception that all wires have the same properties, with minor changes in terms of their appearance, sheath and gauge size, to suit their defined applications. However, that is not the whole truth. Cables are of different types, and the conductors used in them are changed as per the requirement. Although there are many other metallic and non-metallic conductors, copper continues to be the most common form of a conductor, which is extensively used for house wiring solutions. Even industries prefer copper wires for their vast range of benefits, that include resistance against corrosion and electrical overloads, high electrical conductivity, flexibility, ductility and compatibility with varied electrical insulators.

Every house is not the same. Modern homes need modern house wiring solutions that best cater to the needs of the tech-savvy generation. As the technology used by individuals different according to their needs and tastes, the kind of electrical wiring used in their homes is also subject to change. Modern homes emphasize on unrestricted power and data distribution with permanently installed ergonomic wall outlets, which offers convenience to portable appliances and networking systems. A structured cabling system becomes the ultimate requirement for such homes, that include a wide range of diverse appliances. As unobstructed power supply fosters quality functioning of multiple appliances at the same time, smart cable solutions becomes more of a necessity than a luxury, today.

Without the risk of short-circuits or over-loading, modern wiring solutions offer a customized and reliable method of distribution that encloses raw wires and cables, while keeping them hidden and out of direct contact. They offer a sustainable method to introduce new applications and devices, without the need to refuse the existing distribution technology. This means that electricity can be easily supplied to multiple devices with a modem or centralized network hub, that is exclusively created for the same purpose. Therefore, the smarter the wiring solution, the easier it would be to update and configure solutions to best suit your existing systems. So, always choose smart modern wiring for convenience and unobstructed power supply.

Is Your Electrician Over Charging You?

When getting any kind of electrical services performed these days, it is always wise to get a second decision to make sure that the electrician you are hiring is licensed, insured, and trustable. Here is a guide to let you know what to look out for to make sure that you are not getting overcharged.…

When getting any kind of electrical services performed these days, it is always wise to get a second decision to make sure that the electrician you are hiring is licensed, insured, and trustable. Here is a guide to let you know what to look out for to make sure that you are not getting overcharged.

Get an Invoice before the Job

Most trustable electricians will give you an invoice or a piece of paper that lets you know how much he projects the job is going to cost and all the materials that might be needed. IF you electrician fails to give you an invoice before the job, request one. They should not have any problem giving you one because they should know what to expect, they do this every day. If they will not give you an invoice before they start the job, find someone that will.

Get a Second Opinion

It is always wise to get a second opinion when you are getting any kind of service done to your home. The last thing you want to do is be out of your house because the electrician had an accident. Make sure that you call around to different electricians in your area and get quotes from them as well or ask what the average price of that service goes for. This part may be a little tough because some electricians charge for coming out to the property, especially if they are quite a distance from your location. Either way it does not hurt to ask and you never know, you might save yourself some money.

Use the Internet

Most electrician companies will have their prices listed on their websites. Find out the website of the company you are planning on using and find other companies that offer the same services and compare them. Do not use Craigslist because it is very likely that most of their prices there are so low because most of them are un-licensed and un-insured. If you are doing research, make sure that all the companies you compare are licensed and insured companies.

It kind of sucks that you have to go through so much work to make sure that you are not getting ripped off but it pays off in the end when the job goes good and the price is not too bad either. Taking your time and doing research insures that you will receive good services and pay a low cost for them.

Steel Switches For High Traffic Areas

When it comes to white plastic light switches then for many people they do their job just fine, and indeed they are cheap to replace if one gets damaged or breaks, but being white plastic they can get marked easily and become grubby over time particularly in high traffic areas, both at home and in…

When it comes to white plastic light switches then for many people they do their job just fine, and indeed they are cheap to replace if one gets damaged or breaks, but being white plastic they can get marked easily and become grubby over time particularly in high traffic areas, both at home and in the workplace.

So what is the alternative to them? Well you might consider the use of steel switches for high traffic areas, as if you want something that is very durable, and will not mark, scratch or wear out easily then steel switches could well be what you are looking for.

The good thing is like white plastic light switches, steel switches are also neutral in appearance meaning that you will not have to worry about whether they fit in with your décor or not.

Make no mistake they are much tougher than white plastic is, and they will not crack if hit hard by accident, nor will they crack if you over tighten the screws on them. They may dent if hard but they will not crack open and reveal any live wires.

Nor are you in any more danger of electrocution due to the casing being made of metal, they are earthed just as well if not better than plastic sockets. As an example should water track over a plastic socket to the live terminal you might risk a shock, but with a metal socket then in the event of such water tracking over the socket as the metal is earthed then the water would immediately cause the Residual Current Device (RCD) in your distribution board to trip out, cutting the power. So you could actually be at more risk with a plastic socket than a metal one!

Steel by its very nature is tough and so it is actually a great material to make a light switch out of. It can easily be wiped clean, it does not dent or scratch easily either. All of these properties make steel switches ideal for high traffic areas.

Steel switches are simple to fit and simply require a live, neutral and earth wire just like any other light switch. They are an ideal choice for any room as they have a neutral look to them. They are also surprisingly affordable and can be found at under £ 3 each if sourced from a good online retailer, and if bought in bulk you may be able to get your steel switches at an even lower price.