bookmark_borderWhen Do You Need An Electrical Upgrade

Is it Time for an Electrical Wiring Upgrade in Your Home?

While it may seem like a permanent component of your house, residential electrical wiring often has a finite lifespan. If you’ve purchased an older home or lived in your present residence long enough, the time eventually arrives when re-wiring the house may be necessary. Some of the reasons are related to the age of the electrical system and/or its original configuration. Others are simply a result of the changing times and higher demand. Here are some scenarios that may cause you to consult a qualified electrician about upgrading your electrical wiring.

Does the house have aluminum wiring? Abut 2 million houses built in the late 1960s and early 1970s do. Connections in aluminum wiring are known to be at high risk for failure. This could cause a dangerous fire or, at the very least, interrupt power to household circuits. Replacement with copper electrical wiring is indicated.

Are circuit breakers tripping? That can be a symptom of a system that’s not up to the task of providing enough electricity to meet current demand. The rapidly increasing number of electrical devices in today’s homes has made the old standard 60- or 100-amp systems increasingly obsolete. Today, new houses are typically constructed with wiring and panels rated for at least 150 amps. (Circuit breakers that repeatedly trip may also indicate a faulty appliance or dangerous shorts, so they should always be checked out by a qualified electrician immediately.)

Safety Issues with Older Wiring

Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires, according to a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. And the older your house is, the greater the chances that the wiring might be outdated or unsafe.

Old wiring—even knob and tube wiring that dates back to the early 20th century—isn’t inherently dangerous, but unless you were around when the house was built, you can’t be sure the electrical system is up to code. Plus, materials such as wire insulation can deteriorate over time.

If you don’t know when your wiring was last inspected, it’s worth paying a licensed electrician to give it a once-over, especially if you have any of these warning signs:

  • Breakers that trip or fuses that blow repeatedly
  • A tingling sensation when you touch an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • A persistent burning smell from a room or appliance
  • Warm, discolored, or sparking outlets
  • Two-prong ungrounded outlets throughout the house
  • No ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in kitchens, baths, and other areas exposed to moisture.

Another reason to consider upgrading is that some carriers refuse to insure houses with older wiring, or charge owners higher premiums

Signs You Need Electrical Updates

If you want to keep your home safe, you need to make sure your electrical panel is up to snuff.

You might be surprised to find how many common electrical issues can be traced back to a faulty electrical panel. Remember, your panel is linked to your entire electrical system, so if the panel is malfunctioning, the damage is more widespread than the basement or dining room.

Your Home Relies on Fuses and a Fuse Panel

Technically, there’s nothing wrong with fuses and fuse panels, per se. A fuse and a circuit breaker both protect an overloaded circuit by interrupting the flow of electricity, switching off the power before the circuit blows. The way they do it is very different. A fuse contains a piece of metal that melts when overheated, while a circuit breaker has an internal switch mechanism that cuts power when it senses an unsafe power surge. As we said, there’s nothing technically wrong with fuses and fuse panels. They’re common in older houses built before the 1960s. The problem is that, because it uses a melting piece of metal, they’re a major fire hazard.

Old or Faulty Wiring

If your electrical panel is up-to-date and your lights still dim and flicker, that’s a sign that your wires may be old. If you’re not sure whether your wires are old or faulty, there are a couple other red flags you can look for. A burning smell near electronics or appliances isn’t a ghost–it’s the scent of burning wiring. The same thing applies to a shock or tingling sensation when you touch an appliance. Sometimes it’s static electricity, but if it happens often, it’s probably not static. And if you see any discoloration near plugs, it’s time to switch off your power and call an electrician. Generally, if you live in an old house, it’s a good idea to get your wiring checked regularly–the house likely contains outdated wiring systems that may need to be replaced.

Your Circuit Breaker Often Trips

A circuit breaker should “trip” when it overloads—this is a safety feature that prevents hazards. But if your circuit breaker always trips, that’s a solid sign you need an electrical service upgrade. It means that the electrical panel can no longer handle your electricity requirements. This means you now have too many appliances that your breaker can handle. This forces the breaker to supply more electricity than its capacity. This can overheat its circuit, which can then fry up the circuits of all appliances connected to it.

Lights Keep Flickering or Usually Turns on and off

Do your house lights flicker when you power on your air conditioner? Perhaps they go on and off whenever you run any high-wattage appliance. Either way, this can mean that your electrical panel is already going beyond its capacity. This situation often precedes a constantly tripping circuit breaker. Upgrade the electrical panel now before it damages your appliances’ internal components.

The Electrical Panel Gets Warm or Emits a Burning Smell

The heat or burning smell can indicate severe overloading. These signs can also mean a failed circuit breaker or a disconnected wire. All these issues can trigger a house fire. Turn off the electrical panel as soon as you notice these signs. Then, have expert electrical service providers repair or replace your electrical panel.

Worn-Out Wiring

If the wiring in your building is more than 40 years old, chances are it won’t be able to meet your needs safely and efficiently, especially if it hasn’t been properly maintained.

Your electrical wiring could be unsafe if you notice:

  • Your lights flicker or dim frequently, particularly when a large appliance such as a refrigerator or A/C kicks on.
  • Equipment and appliances run slowly or can’t reach full power.
  • Breakers trip or fuses blow repeatedly.
  • You need extension cords to get power to all your equipment.
  • Your switch plates and outlets feel warm.
  • You feel a tingling when you touch a metal appliance. This means the appliance isn’t properly grounded and could cause electrocution.
  • Outlets are brown or melted.
  • Outlets spark or warm up when you plug something in.
  • Parts of the insulation around your wiring has melted.
  • You notice a burning or hot plastic smell in a certain room.

Some issues don’t pose an immediate threat, but should still be corrected to ensure the safety of your building’s occupants. Two-pronged, ungrounded outlets should ideally be replaced with three-pronged grounded outlets. If your kitchen, bathrooms, and other rooms with high moisture levels don’t have GFCI outlets, these should be installed. GFCI outlets have a “test” and “reset” button in the middle between the sockets. They can detect abnormal current flow, and prevent shorts and resulting electrical fires.

bookmark_borderCommercial Electrical Rmodel On The Rise

HOW TO CHOOSE A COMMERCIAL ELECTRICIAN

If you’re a commercial property owner in Saugus, Massachusetts or surrounding areas, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about electricians. Most days, your lights turn on the way they should, you and your tenants are satisfied with internal and external lighting, and you go about your day thinking about more important things.

But then something goes wrong.

There’s an ice storm and your entire building loses power. Or a pesky tenant plugs in a piece of new equipment and blows the circuit for the entire building. Or maybe your air conditioning unit goes out in the middle of summer and you’re at risk for losing all of your perishable inventory

WHY YOUR COMMERCIAL ELECTRICIAN MATTERS

Sure, you could conduct a quick Google search for “electrical services in New Haven” or even pick up the good, old fashioned phone book and call the first commercial electrician you see. But that’s rarely the best way to find an emergency electrician you trust.

CAN THEY MEET YOUR COMMERCIAL DEMANDS?

Let us be perfectly clear, not every electrician in Saugus is cut out to be a commercial electrician, especially if you have a particularly large company. The equipment, skills, and team size of a residential electrician are vastly different than a commercial electrician. Commercial and residential electrical work are completely different in terms of energy needs, load demands, and equipment setup. Hiring the wrong one can mean a delay in repairs, which translates to lost revenue for your company

DO THEY HAVE PROPER LICENSING & INSURANCE?

Even if a commercial electrician has the skills, it’s not worth hiring them unless they also have the proper licensing and insurance to work in your state. Hiring an electrician who’s not properly licensed and insured could be a financial disaster for your Saugus business if something goes wrong during the repairs.

Commercial Electrical Remodeling

Building Rewiring: If you frequently experience electrical problems in your commercial building, you could have faulty electrical wiring. In order to put an end to these problems for good, you might want to talk to the team at Delta Electric about rewiring your building. We can take a look at your system and find out if rewiring is necessary to put your problems to rest and allow you to focus on your business.

Electrical Updates: We can help you decide where new outlets will go and install them correctly to adapt to your electrical wiring. Electrical updates can ensure your electrical components are fully functional and won’t slow down your day-to-day operations.

Safety Inspections: Whether you’re moving into a new commercial building or upgrading your existing structure, we’ll make sure it’s safe to do so. Our team will ensure your building is up to code and safe to work from. We know what areas in a building to look at, the signs of a problem or faulty electrical system, and more.

How to Choose the Right Electrical Contractor for Your Business

In this industry, technology is constantly evolving. When you’re in the market to hire a new electrical contractor, it’s obviously crucial that who you hire is trustworthy and abreast of all the changing technology and stays up-to-date. When your electrical contractor is ahead of the curve, your business will not only become more efficient, but you’ll save money, too. Here’s what to look for when choosing the right electrical contractor for your business.

New Certifications

Certifications let you know that your electrical contractor has received and understands the latest developments in the field. But there are more than just certifications for installing and maintaining electrical equipment, there are also certifications for doing these things safely. You and your employees have probably undergone some form of basic OSHA safety training. The right electrical contractor company will undergo a more rigorous, specialized OSHA–30 certification, which means that the employees of that company have received 30 hours of training centered around things such as current common electrical hazards, personal protective equipment, hazardous locations, and proper wiring methods. Be sure to ask your prospective companies if their technicians have undergone OSHA-30 training. This will be a sign to you that the company is not only doing things to the highest standard, but they’re doing it safely as well.

They Recommend ARC Flash Studies

An ARC flash study is a complete examination of your electrical system. It helps assess the level of risk in your workplace. These studies ensure that your factory is completely compliant with local, national and even international standards by finding issues with your electrical system and bringing them to your attention, and allowing you to fix them. It also helps to ensure the safety of your employees and protects your equipment (as well as your building) by identifying maintenance needs such as poor connections, neglected equipment and contamination, all of which could lead to short circuits and fires.

They Provide Lift Training

Sometimes, electrical equipment and wires are located up out of safe reach, even with the use of a ladder. In these instances, lifts are often used. But not just anyone can use one. Lift equipment requires special training. The employees of your electrical contracting company have this training. You may not be able to, or need to, call the company every time you need something addressed. The right electrical contractor will provide lift training so that some of your employees can operate a lift properly and take care of smaller needs.

They Conduct Regular Safety Meetings

Sure, there’s a safety handbook. And everyone knows the basic rules. But, even so, someone might forget something, or do something they find easier, but is not necessarily safe. Not only that, but there are periodic updates to the safety regulations. It’s important that everyone is aware of these safety updates, and on the same page about proper safety procedures and protocols. In order to do this, your electrical contracting company should conduct regular safety meetings throughout the year. This helps to ensure that no matter who is sent out to your company, they will all adhere to the latest, proper regulations.

How to Find Electricians: Find the Best Electrician for You

Finding yourself in need of the services of a professional electrician is not an everyday occurrence for homeowners or business owners, so many find themselves unsure where to look to find qualified local electricians, how to determine the best electrician for the job, and what certifications and qualifications a professional electrician should have.

Don’t attempt electrical work yourself if you’re inexperienced.

“A faulty wiring system in a home is a fire that is waiting to happen. For this reason, it is important that you hire a highly qualified and experienced electrician. Wiring is a vast and interdependent network and needs to be done with precision. Even circuits that appear safe, but poorly designed cause damage to electric equipment and appliance motors. This is due to the fact that they can deliver the wrong amount of amperage. These electrical problems may sometimes affect your lighting in your home. The decision to hire a qualified and experienced electrician can possibly save you from these problems while avoiding safety hazards as well.”

Most electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician.

“Anything beyond changing out a light fixture, light switch or electrical outlet should be done by a licensed electrician. If you are dealing with new construction and want to save a few dollars on labor costs, you can attach outlet, switch, and light boxes to the framing but leave all wiring to the electrician. These electrical boxes should be attached firmly to the framing and you should consult an electrician as to the positioning and location of the boxes.”

Attempting an electrical project yourself could mean risking injury to yourself or the loss of thousands of dollars in materials.

“If you’re clueless about this specific job and have never seen it performed before, don’t risk hurting yourself or wasting thousands of dollars on materials. If the task is beyond your comfort zone, call for electrical service.”

Attempting electrical work that you’re not qualified to perform could leave your home at risk of an electrical fire.

“Some home projects just simply need professionals and remain difficult for even experienced amateurs. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, people experience more than 30,000 shock injuries annually, while FEMA tells us that about half of all home fires start from electrical issues.“What does it mean? On one hand, most people are prone to injuries when attempting electrical work on their own. On the other hand, your DIY work might come back to haunt you; it’s very dangerous to live with electrical work done by an amateur.”

MAKING THE JUMP FROM RESIDENTIAL TO COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

If you are a residential contractor, you likely spend considerable downtime contemplating ways to increase company revenues. But, aside from improving efficiency, greater revenues are often realized only by way of greater sales, and additional work can prove hard to come by in an already competitive local market. So where does one go for new opportunities? Well, instead of laboring to wring every last drop out of your current residential market, maybe it’s time to expand the market itself. Maybe it’s time to look into commercial construction.

NEW HORIZONS?

But I know what you’re feeling—apprehension, uneasiness, and that’s understandable. To those not yet indoctrinated, commercial construction (CC) can appear daunting. Suddenly there are architects, engineers, liquidated damages, bonding, and a cast of wealthy business clients with short attention spans and scary-sounding law firms on speed-dial. There are new regulations, strict protocols, and new competition. “I wouldn’t know where to begin,” you tell yourself.

Well, I was in your shoes. I was in residential construction ten years before getting into commercial work (which is 25 years and counting now), and I can attest that the transformation from residential to commercial construction was (in no particular order) exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, frustrating and rewarding. There were unknowns, hurdles and, admittedly, leaps of faith. There was a risk. But most of us have learned that without this pesky little thing known as risk, there’s often little chance for any worthwhile reward.

FINDING COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION WORK: REPORTING SERVICES

As a residential contractor, new work likely came via local advertising, your website, personal referrals, and industry contacts (i.e., real estate brokers, material suppliers). These are still great strategies for acquiring work in CC, but there are other avenues for an opportunity in place for you. One of these is known collectively as reporting services

These services are for construction managers (CMs), general contractors (GCs), subcontractors, suppliers and anyone with a vested interest in commercial construction work. Most of these reports include pertinent details regarding the project such as a description of the work itself, the architect/engineer (A/E), the owner and even bidding companies currently holding plans. They’ll also give a bid date/time and may even tell you how to go about acquiring bidding documents (many sites even offer downloadable electronic versions).

bookmark_borderWhen To Upgrade Your Electrical Panel Upgrades Box

Signs You Might Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade

The electrical panel is an essential component of your home’s electrical system. Within the panel are circuits, which carry electricity throughout your home to outlets, lights, and appliances. The number and size of the circuits determine your home’s electrical capacity.

The first step in the upgrade process is determining your home’s electrical load. Do you have enough amps to meet your electrical needs? If you think about electricity like water flowing through your home, an amp is the rate at which electricity flows. A few decades ago, 60 amps was enough to suit the needs of the average American household. Today, 100 amps is standard in the average home, with larger homes that use a lot of electricity needing 150 to 200 amps

Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

Be on the lookout for any of the following signs of a possible problem. If your home is experiencing any of these issues, call a professional to inspect your electrical system, because it might be time for an electrical panel upgrade.

Electrical shocks. Mild shocks and tingling can mean that the wiring is defective or that it was improperly installed. If this is the case, there’s a risk of ‘electrical leakage’ when you touch the switch or outlet.

Burning odors or sparks. The occasional spark is not unusual, but large or frequent sparks can be signs of deteriorated wiring or a faulty circuit. Also pay attention to warm or discolored outlets. Whether the cause is faulty wiring or an overloaded circuit, you’ll want to talk to an electrician about these issues.

How to Upgrade an Electric Meter and Panel to 200-Amp Service

Working inside an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional electrician.

Steps:

Ensure that power is off to the entire building, which may involve more than just shutting off the main breaker.

Have utility company to disconnect electrical cables from the house.

Remove the glass meter from the meter socket.

Unscrew meter socket from side of house, then use cable cutters to sever the cable connected to the socket.

Enlarge existing cable hole in wall using a cordless drill and 3-inch-diameter hole saw.

Bore through the rim joist using an extension shaft and 2-inch-diameter hole saw.

Attach a length of 200-amp SE electrical cable to the new meter socket.

Feed the SE cable through the hole in the wall and then screw the meter socket to the exterior of the house. Use a torpedo level to ensure the socket is level.

Install the new PVC weather head and conduit to the exterior wall, directly above the meter socket. Secure the conduit to the meter socket using PVC cement. Fasten the conduit to the house with U-shaped plastic clips.

Have the utility company mark the locations of any underground lines. Then, pound two copper ground rods into the ground using a 3-pound sledgehammer. Space the rods 6 feet apart.

Make the wire connections between the ground rods, up to an inter-system bonding termination, and into the meter socket.

Connect the power wires to the meter socket.

Plug the glass meter into the meter socket. Then, snap on the meter cover.

Working inside an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional electrician.

Steps:

Ensure that power is off to the entire building, which may involve more than just shutting off the main breaker.

Use diagonal-cutting pliers to sever all wires inside existing electrical panel.

Unscrew and remove old electrical panel from the wall.

Screw a large ¾-inch-thick plywood panel to the wall for mounting the new electrical panel.

Feed the SE cable through the top of the new electrical panel, then screw the panel to the plywood. Use a torpedo level to ensure the panel is level.

Make all the electrical connections inside the electrical panel.

Feed the house circuits into the panel, making sure each cable passes through a cable connector.

Connect the bare-copper ground wires and white-insulated wires to the ground and neutral bar inside the panel.

Plug new circuit breakers into the bus bar.

Run the main ground wire from the bottom of the electrical panel to the copper water main.

Have the utility company reconnect the electrical cables to the exterior of the house.

Label each breaker with the correct house circuit.

HOW TO CHOOSE A NEW ELECTRICAL BREAKER PANEL FOR YOUR HOME

The electrical breaker panel is a large metal box attached to the outside of your home near your electric utility meter.  It acts as the main component for the flow of electricity supplied to your home from the utility company, and every home with utility-supplied electricity has some form of one.

HOW IT WORKS:

As the electricity is fed to your house from the utility company, it passes through the meter, through the supply system, then through your breaker box. As the electric lines enter the box, they are then broken into subsidiary circuits that are connected to fuses. The fuses help to protect your home from overloads.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BREAKER PANEL:

Not all breaker panels are created equal. Depending on the size of your home, the amount of electricity you need per room, the number of large appliances you will be running, and any additions you may add on in the future, picking the right replacement is important.

Amperage – Determine the amperage capacity of your home. Consider this: A home with 200-amp (ampere) capacity can run multiple large appliances at the same time with no problem; whereas 100 amps or less would just barely enable you to run a hot water heater, a stove, and a hair dryer at once.  Most homes these days are built with a 125-amp minimum, depending on square footage and other factors.

Breakers – You will need to know how many circuit breakers you will require in your new panel. Base it simply on your needs. Keep in mind that a circuit breaker is designed to bear only 80% of its rated capacity (ex. A 20-amp breaker is rated to bear a 16-amp load before kicking); this is a standard safety feature to prevent potential overloads. Locate the loads for each device/appliance (usually somewhere on the device itself or in the manual), and if amps are not stated, use this math formula to help you determine what you need

Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Owning a home has many benefits. Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages is that things break. Sometimes, you have no clue why something isn’t working. Diagnosing the problem is only half the battle. When it comes to electrical issues, most homeowners have little idea what exactly the problem is, much less how to fix it.

What Is a Breaker Panel?

Before we discuss how and why your electrical panel might not be working, let’s talk about the breaker panel itself. An electrical panel is the central point that connects the wires from outside to the wires inside your home and how your electric service provider provides electricity to your home. It’s often also called the main breaker box, the fuse box, a distribution panel, a load center and even a breaker panel. This is where you go when you need to flip the breakers off and on to get the power back on when you’ve tripped the breaker. It is usually located in the garage, on your home’s exterior or in a utility room, but can be anywhere in your home.

MAIN BREAKER PANELS

These panels have a main built-in breaker that can shut off all the power to your property. This double-pole circuit breaker both identifies the capacity of your panel’s circuits and protects those circuits from becoming overloaded.

MAIN LUG PANELS

Instead of having a main breaker, line wires go to lugs in these types of panels. Main lug panels have a separate shut-off system, which could be near the meter or connected to the main panel’s breaker. Having a disconnect near your meter allows firefighters to cut your power without needing to enter your living structure

TRANSFER SWITCHES

If you need more than one circuit in a particular area, such as in a greenhouse or a workshop, you may want a sub-panel. Sub-panels typically don’t have their own disconnect and are generally powered from the main panel.

Does your home need a breaker panel upgrade?

Your home’s breaker panel, or also known as the fuse box, fuse panel or breaker box, is the central control of the entire electrical system for your home. It distributes the electricity delivered by your electric provider and powers everything in your home. Power to your home is turned on and off by circuit breakers to protect wiring from damage by “tripping” when an electrical short or over-current occurs

With the arrival of so many new electronic devices over the last 8-10 years, many home electrical systems do not have the capacity to support today’s high powered devices on top of the core circuits they were originally designed to support.

Now is the time to upgrade your home’s circuitry to ensure that your home has the capacity to support your electrical needs without the risk of a fire. You may consider replacing your electrical panel or adding a sub-panel. It’s important to note that a new breaker panel will not provide additional power to your home. To achieve additional power, Amps & Volts Electric Inc., has a process that includes a new breaker panel as well as other accessories, such as new cables and a new electrical meter.

A typical breaker panel consists of these primary components:

The main breaker is a large double pole circuit breaker that limits the amount of electricity coming in from outside to protect the circuits it feeds. It also identifies your breaker panel’s amperage capacity.

Circuit breakers are stacked in the panel and have an ON/OFF switch that controls the flow of power.

Bus bars receive power from the two thick black wires that bring power in from the electrical meter. The bus bars in turn carry power through the circuit breakers to the circuits.

Neutral bus bars connect to the main circuit’s neutral wire. The neutral bar provides the contact point for the white wires that return electricity back to the breaker panel after flowing through the black wires to power a device.

Grounding bus bars unite all the grounding wires from the breaker panel’s various circuits and connect them to the ground bar.

Main Breaker Panels

Main breaker panels have a built-in main breaker which can be used to shut off all power to your residence. A main breaker is a large double-pole circuit breaker that limits the amount of electricity coming in from outside to protect the circuits it feeds. It also identifies your breaker panel’s amperage capacity. Main breakers can be installed when the meter and feeder cable are within 10 ft. of the panel.

bookmark_borderIs It Essential To Find A Local Electrician For Home Appliances

How To Identify The Electrician That You Need

Electricity became a very crucial discovery that has helped us live a more simple life. This has been evidently seen in terms of technology advancements and improved living standards. When there are power shortages and breakdowns a lot of tasks and things come to a standstill. Therefore, electricians play the role of improving our lives and enabling a lot of duties and tasks to take place. If you are faced up with an electrical issue it is always important to consult and hire a qualified electrician. A qualified electrician will help ensure that they perform any repairs and installations safely and correctly.

The various roles of an electrician.

Depending on the electrical issue and extent of damage and repair an electrician can help you with any issue you bring to their attention. For you to access the services of an electrician it’s right to always look for a fully licensed electrician who possesses the right certification and accreditation. Also, a specialist should possess all the required tools of work and should also be insured to ensure that compensation is done when mishaps take place. As a property owner, you should know that there are three different levels of accreditation and every qualified electrician should possess them in order to carry out any electrical issue.

Levels Of Accreditation

Level one which is the first and initial level gives an electrician the powers to connect electricity to your property. Such specialists could also expand or custom your electricity network depending on your needs. The next level is level two which gives the specialists the power to connect and disconnect electricity on your property. These professionals could also repair and install service line whenever need be. Level three which is the last one gives the specialists the powers to conduct extensive electrical duties which include maintaining, installing an electrical system and designing the system.

How do I know if I would make a good electrician?

So you think that you might want to have a career as an electrician, but you are just not sure and are looking for further information – you have come to the right place.

What Do Electricians Do

Electricians are in the category of work that involves skilled tradespeople and they set up, repair and upgrade electrical systems in residential or commercials and set up and repair outside lines, especially after storms. Without this type of tradespeople most of our modern conveniences would not be available.

Be aware though that there are differences between electricians and electrical engineers and you should know which one you want to follow. One doesn’t necessarily

Proper Education

Since this type of work can be extremely dangerous, it is important that you get a proper education to work in this industry. In some cases that would be a trade or vocation school that could be as long as getting college degrees, but both paths of education pay off very well in salaries. A good electrician at the top of his career can make as much as his counterpart who worked for the college degree.

Extremely Dangerous

Because working with electricity is extremely dangerous, you must get a proper education in order to work in this field. This can take just as long as obtaining college degrees, or less depending on the state, but it will probably pay off in terms of salary.

Traits That Make Good Electricians

Those individuals who make good electricians are those who like to work in many different environments. They are certainly not people who like to be stuck in an office all day – not a “desk” person. Actually they are rather unique individuals with a combination of personalities.

They need to:

  • Be able to work on their own
  • Be detail oriented
  • Be diligent about getting things done correctly
  • Ability to work with a large team of different trade contractors
  • Physically fit – often you will need to carry loads that are heavy
  • Ability to effectively communicate

Why Is Electrical Work So Expensive?

Most electricians charge by the hour, and an experienced electrician should be able to give you a reasonably accurate hours-needed estimate from the start. But there are other factors that can affect the cost of your electrical job, depending on the type of job you need accomplished and the experience of the electrician you’re hiring. Consider these tips when pricing out electrical work.

  1. You will pay for experience.  An electrician with 15 years of experience earns more per hour than one fresh on the job. Just like almost every other profession, electricians are compensated for their cumulative experience over time. And if a company employs only senior, experienced electricians, their hourly rates will be higher.
  2. Ask to see a license.  Electricians are required to carry their licenses. It is not enough to see the license of the business owner who comes to give you an estimate. Request to see the license of the person actually doing the work. Your confidence in the person quoting the work should not automatically extend to the person doing the work.
  3. You never know what’s behind door #3.  Much of an electric repair job is about unraveling another person’s work. And a true professional knows that the job may take longer than it looks at first glance because there could be a mess behind the walls. Professionals will prepare you for this with a quote that will cover the most common pitfalls seen. Others may quote lower to win a job but surprise you with a higher bill because of what is there.
  4. Quality matters.  From wires to clips, the quality of the materials being used matters. Your safety is paramount to a professional, experienced electrician. He or she may recommend products that are a little more expensive than others. But we have seen lesser quality materials fail and choose the products we would put in our own homes and businesses.

Ask Electricians 5 Questions Before Hiring

Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

How many years of experience do you have?

Who’s doing the work?

Do you have a business license?

Do you offer a warranty?

How to Find Electrical Work

To survive, you must become adept at spotting opportunities before your competitors do. Some methods to find work are less obvious than others.

Cultivate New Relationships

According to “Electrical Construction and Maintenance” magazine, referrals are still the most effective way to get new business. Work hard to develop relationships with contractors, facility managers and vendors in your industry, so that they think of you when they need to hire an electrical contractor. Assign an employee to network, if necessary. Regularly sit down with your staff to discuss current and past projects. Sharing ideas helps you identify contacts that you may not have considered.

Follow Up With Customers

Poll current and former customers regularly to see how well you’re handling their needs. Start reaching out during the warranty process, when customers identify problems that need correcting. Ask customers to complete performance surveys, but notify them of any policy changes that you make — such as in your company’s billing practices, for example, or your complaint-resolution process. Your willingness to provide outstanding service will pay off in word-of-mouth referrals from customers who’ve had good experiences.

Keep Up with Technology

Stay relevant by capitalizing on new technology and looking for opportunities to grow your business. Take the time to learn about green construction practices, for example, to meet other types of contractors. This may lead to new business relationships and expand your pool of available projects, according to “Electrical Construction and Maintenance.” Still, don’t overlook traditional sources of income — such as repairing and maintaining equipment in aging facilities, which should provide additional opportunities for electricians

bookmark_borderHow To Install A New Electric Circuits Outlet Step By Step

Requirements of a Circuit

Suppose that you were given a small light bulb, an electrochemical cell and a bare copper wire and were asked to find the four different arrangements of the three items that would result in the formation of an electric circuit that would light the bulb. What four arrangements would result in the successful lighting of the bulb? And more importantly, what does each of the four arrangements have in common that would lead us into an understanding of the two requirements of an electric circuit?

The activity itself is a worthwhile activity and if not performed before, one ought to try it before reading further. Like many lab activities, there is power in the actual engagement in the activity that cannot be replaced by simply reading about it. When this activity is performed in the physics classroom, there are numerous observations that can be made by watching a class full of students eager to find the four arrangements. The following arrangements are often tried and do not result in the lighting of the bulb.

After a few minutes of trying, several healthy chuckles, and an occasional exclamation of how hot the wire is getting, a couple of students become successful at lighting the bulb

Light Bulb Anatomy

Once one group of students successfully lights the bulb, many other lab groups quickly follow suit. But then the question emerges as to what other ways that the cell, bulb and bare wire can be arranged in such a manner as to light the bulb. Often a short light bulb anatomy lesson prompts the lab groups into a quick discovery of one or more of the remaining arrangements.

The Requirement of a Closed Conducting Path

There are two requirements that must be met to establish an electric circuit. The first is clearly demonstrated by the above activity. There must be a closed conducting path that extends from the positive terminal to the negative terminal. It is not enough that there is simply a closed conducting loop; the loop itself must extend from the positive terminal to the negative terminal of the electrochemical cell. An electric circuit is like a water circuit at a water park. The flow of charge through wires is similar to the flow of water through the pipes and along the slides at a water park. If a pipe gets plugged or broken such that water cannot make the complete path through the circuit, then the flow of water will soon cease. In an electric circuit, all connections must be made and made by conducting materials capable of carrying charge. As the cell, bulb and wire experiment continues, some students explore the capability of various materials to carry a charge by inserting them in their circuit. Metallic materials are conductors and can be inserted into the circuit to successfully light the bulb. On the other hand, paper and plastic materials are typically insulators and their insertion within the circuit will hinder the flow of charge to such a degree that the current ceases and the bulb no longer lights. There must be a closed conducting loop from the positive to the negative terminal in order to establish a circuit and to have a current.

Electric Circuits Review

A water ride at a water park is analogous to an electric circuit. First of all, there is an entity which flows – water flows in a water park and (in conventional terms) + charge flows in an electric circuit. In each case, the fluid flows spontaneously from a high energy location to a low energy location. The flow is through pipes (or slides) in a water park and through wires in an electric circuit. If the pipes or the wires are broken, then there can be no continuous flow of fluid through the circuit. A complete loop is required to establish the circuit.

This flow of fluid – whether of water or charge – is possible when a pressure difference is created between two locations in the circuit. In the water park, the pressure difference is the difference in water pressure created by two locations of different heights. Water flows spontaneously from locations of high pressure (high altitude) to locations of low pressure (low altitude). In an electric circuit, the electric potential difference between the two terminals of a battery or energy source provides the electric pressure which presses on charge to move them from a location of high pressure (high electric potential) to a location of low pressure (low electric potential).

Energy is required to move the fluid uphill. In a water park, a water pump is used to do work upon the water in order to raise it from the low height back up to the high height. The water pump does not supply the water; the water which is already in the pipes. Rather, the water pump supplies the energy to pump the water from the location of low energy and low pressure to the location of high energy and high pressure. In an electric circuit, the battery is the charge pump which pumps the charge through the battery from the location of low electric potential energy (the – terminal) to the location of high electric potential energy (the + terminal). The battery does not supply the electric charge; the charge is already in the wires. The battery simply supplies the energy to do work on the charge in pumping it uphill.

The flow of water at a water park is analogous to the flow of charge in an electric circuit. The rate at which charge moves past a point on a circuit as measured in Coulombs of charge per second (or some comparable set of units) is known as the  current. In our analogy, the fluid which flows is water and the rate at which the fluid passes any given point is the current.

Electric Circuit Studio | User Guide

Electric Circuit Studio (ECStudio) is a set of tools used for building electronic circuits, SPICE simulation, and calculation of circuits. These tools are complemented by the information center containing resources, connector pinouts and interactive book explaining basic electrical theorems, laws and circuits. It is a useful application for all electronics hobbyists, students, or other people with an interest in electronics.

Schematic editor and SPICE simulator allow easy creation of circuit diagrams and SPICE analysis of the created circuits. ECStudio simulator is focused on visual representation of simulated results, such that simulated voltages and currents can be placed elsewhere in the circuit, as a text or graph. Moreover, the magnitude and polarity of voltages and currents can be represented by visual indicators, so you can check the results quickly. All results can be additionally displayed on the top plot, where they can be explored using two cursors.

DC, AC and Transient analyses are supported. The simulation can be run repeatedly (in Transient analysis) and results can be displayed consecutively with a user controlled speed (in all analysis types), or all simulation results are displayed immediately. When the results are shown consecutively, you can control parameters of circuit elements by the seek bar and see the change of results in real time.

The application supports two modes: Normal and Restricted. The Restricted mode differs from the Normal mode in that the size of the drawing canvas is restricted to the size of the circuit, elements cannot be inserted, moved, rotated, flipped or deleted, and the undo, redo, saving and opening circuits are not allowed. This mode is intended to be used only for simulation of circuits.

Important notes:

The app internally uses industry standard SPICE program of version 3.

Electrical Circuits: Dressing smart

Electrical circuits are everywhere in the modern world – hidden in the walls of our houses and packed inside our phones, computers and cars. Engineers are now working at knitting circuits into our clothes so we might one day wear devices that continuously monitor our health.

Electronics are everywhere. And as older people like to say, young people today are “digital natives” – you’re confident and competent with computers, smartphones, and any other electronics devices thrown at you. It’s likely you’ve had to give a grandparent or neighbour advice on how to use a computer or the car navigation yourself!

But when it comes to the clothes on your back there’s not much that your grandparents wouldn’t recognize – apart from the fashion, maybe. There are cotton, silk and woollen garments just as there have been for hundreds of years, and synthetic fibres have been around for over a century now.

But the electronics geeks have their eyes on your threads now, too, with scientists working on ways to integrate electronics into fabrics.

For a start, they envisage building in sensors. These would monitor the forces your muscles are exerting, impacts on your body, and your temperature, heart rate and respiration. This information could be recorded for later use or be set up to trigger a warning, if needed. Some fabrics might even be clever enough to react, for example stiffening up to give you extra support when your muscles are straining.

How to Choose the Right Resistor

Everything You Need to Know to Choose the Right Resistor for Your First PCB Design Project

Planning to embark on your first PCB design software project? There’s a ton of components that you’ll end up using, but none can beat the infamous of them all – the simple resistor. If you have ever looked at a circuit board, you’ll find resistors are all over the place, controlling the current flow and making those LEDs light up. But what exactly is a resistor, how does it work, and how in the world do you choose the right one for your first PCB design project? Fear not, we have you covered with everything you might need to know.

So…What is a Resistor?

Resistors are one of several passive electrical components, and their job is relatively simple yet vital – creating resistance in the flow of an electric current. Have you ever seen a LED light up? That was made possible thanks to the trusty resistor. By placing a resistor behind a LED in a circuit, you get all of the brilliant lights without anything burning out!

What Kind of Resistors Are There?

There’s a ton of resistors floating about that are divided into two categories – construction type and resistance material

Fixed Resistors – As the name implies, these resistors have a fixed resistance and tolerance regardless of any changes in temperature, light, etc.

Variable Resistors – These parts have a modifiable resistance. The potentiometer is a great example, which has a dial that can be turned to ramp up or down the resistance. Other variable resistors include the trimpot and rheostat.