Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Are DIY Electrical Repairs Safe?

With all the Do-It-Yourself books, shows and websites out there, you may consider completing needed electrical repairs yourself instead of hiring a professional electrician. Sure, attempting to make the repairs can save you money. However, saving money doesn't compare to making costly electrical repair mistakes that could endanger you and/ or your family's or employees' safety. Even if you have a handyman or friend complete the repair, you still risk having major damage done to your property.
Examples of Costly Mistakes
Completing any electrical repair requires detailed knowledge. For instance, you may encounter a fuse that continuous blows after you reset or replace it. You decide to replace the breaker or fuse yourself. Most people think a fuse replacement is an easy job. If the fuse keeps blowing then it means it's time for a larger fuse that can handle the workload, right?
No. Replacing a fuse is a common do-it-yourself mistake with potentially damaging consequences. A larger fuse can overheat the wire and cause a fire. Besides, the reason why the fuse is blowing is due to a problem with the circuit wiring.
Another costly electrical repair mistake involves not respecting the age of your property. You may read home improvement books or watch televisions, but you can't ask questions. For instance, older properties have ground wires at the outlet locations and switches. While repairing an electrical problem, you may replace an outdated two prong outlet with a grounded outlet receptacle. It's a big, big mistake to do that. Your cover plate, if a short circuit occurs, could become energized and have deadly consequences.
Hidden Mistakes
Electricity is invisible. Thus, when you do something wrong, you may not know it until it's too late. For example, after you repair the problem, electricity could flow just like it would if an electrician completed the job. However, behind the walls a fire could be smoldering. Other dangers of hidden problems involve shock hazards or shorting circuits.
The Biggest Repair Danger
Many novice electricians often use the wrong wire size for their electrical repair. Electrical wire is sold in different thickness and gauges. If you use the wrong sized wire for your circuit, it can overheat and stop working before your circuit breaker has a chance to trip and indicate something is wrong. Since the circuit breaker and/ or fuses protect wires, you may damage your property so bad that you spend more money to fix the problem.
Breaking the Law
Houston and surrounding areas have electrical codes you must follow. Some of these codes prohibit property owners from completing an electrical repair job unless they are licensed. Thus, even if you were to successfully complete the needed repair, you're still breaking laws and could face serious trouble. If you don't think the city or insurance company may not find out, reconsider:
If you sell your business or home, it won't pass code requirements once it's inspected.
If a fire or other damage happens at your home or business, your insurance company may refuse to pay for the damage.
If you or someone is injured or hurt during or because of the electrical repair you completed, your insurance company may refuse to pay.
Consider getting the electrical repair completed by a licensed electrician. You'll know the:
Works done right
Electrician has insurance to cover any accidents or injury
Correct equipment, tools and materials were used
Completing an electrical repair job isn't akin to painting a wall or changing a faucet. Working with electricity requires extensive electrical knowledge. The person completing repairs must be licensed.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Door Entry System Welcome

Your home is an expression of yourself. And with the ABB Welcome system, you won’t compromise impressive style for innovative technology. For Welcome is more than just a door video system – it is the future of home monitoring and security at your fingertips.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Smart Way To Update Your Home

Ease daily routines with smart features and a comprehensive system from Leviton.

Enjoy one-button access to security cameras, lights, temperatures, audio/video and so much more. Don’t just control your home, let it react automatically based on preset schedules that enhance safety, energy savings, and convenience. Have lights automatically turn on when arriving home, making it easy and safe to navigate at night. Expand and customize your system at any time by adding irrigation controls, water shutoff valves for safety, or control over fountains, pumps, and more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

On-Q: lyriQ Keypad Overview

The lyriQ Keypad in Studio design allows control of your music to be played and controlled throughout your home.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Why You Need Electrical Contractors

There are only a few tasks that you can really do all by yourself. At some point you will need the help of a professional, especially when you are dealing with something as critical as electrical wires and appliances. Hiring professional electrical contractors is similar to visiting a doctor specialized in his field. You cannot expect a dentist to diagnose why your stomach is hurting. If you do so, you will only be wasting your money and their time.
So, let's review some benefits of taking professional help.
Your Life is Important
Not all projects in the house are do-it-yourself. Stepping into something that is not your domain will end up in an accident, or a mediocre job that doesn't please anyone. For example, your electric toaster is out of order. You get on the Internet watch a YouTube tutorial and assume you have gathered all the necessary information required to fix the toaster yourself. Wait. This can lead to fatal consequences.
Perhaps, not right at that moment or on that specific day, but some other time. You fix the toaster one night based on your Internet research, and next morning when a loved one turns it on there's a spark and the entire house catches fire. The insurance company will not provide coverage for property damage because you were not qualified for this job.
Not only will there be a financial loss but someone's life can also be in danger. You are risking your life and that of a loved one.
Due to these considerations, in some areas doing your own electrical work is termed illegal by law.
Quality of Work
Even when there are no fatal consequences associated with the electrical work performed by you, it's best to look for professional electrical contractors. Doing a mediocre job means facing the problem again and again. After every few weeks the toaster is out of order. You spend your time, money and lot of frustration trying to fix the problem.
Seeking professional help is a onetime expense, often backed by warranty, and gives you peace of mind for several months. You save yourself and your family from potential dangers, and also keep the unnecessary stress away.
Electrical contractors are licensed professionals qualified by law to perform electrical works. Their technical standards meet the legislative requirements. Moreover, since they take it is as a serious business they are committed to offer customer satisfaction and excellence.
Now, that you know why you should hire a professionally qualified contractor over doing the job yourself, there's something else that you should know as well. And it is - the hiring.
Your hiring decision should be based on their technical knowledge, number of years of experience, reliability, good references, insurance coverage, warranty and cost. Their cost should meet your budget estimate.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beautiful Switches

Say hello to the adorne collection. Catch the all-new adorne TV commercial on HGTV and DIY Network throughout the months of April and May. Visit for more.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Electrical Safety: 3 Reasons to Implement Electrical Safety Now

I have been in the Industrial and Commercial Construction and Maintenance for 27 years now. The evolution of protection for the Safety of Electricians has improved tremendously. However, with the decline of industrialization in the United States, the skill level of the Electrical Trade has declined. There are just not as many Highly Qualified Electricians to fill maintenance positions. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has made many improvements in the level of safety for American Workers. Coupled with a huge recession and fighting in Congress, OSHA has limited resources to enforce the laws. Don't decide not to implement an Electrical Safety Program in your company! Gambling with the chance that no one will get hurt is similar to bluffing at the poker table. Completing a Compliance Based Arc Flash Assessment can be a costly venture. Opposed to Lawsuits, Deaths, and Fines, this process could appear very inexpensive.
You should be informed about required Personal Protective Equipment. Improper application of this component of your Safety Program could result in electrocution. If the Plan is not applied by the technician and witnessed by OSHA representatives you could be fined. I have worked in facilities that cut corners on tool purchases. In some settings, the company purchases all tools used by the technicians. This is policy to control theft and meet criteria. They also have outdated tools. This makes it dangerous for the person performing repairs or maintenance.
Many people believe generic arc flash labels will cover their assets. If the labels on your panels do not meet OSHA's criteria, you will be cited. Some groups sell these Labels, without an assessment. This is not compliance. Don't forget about these requirements. Just this week OSHA cited 2 businesses in New York. This requirement is not going away. The future of your company lies in the balance. Arc Flash Assessments allow you to have peace of mind. Your company is creating a safe work environment. You have no fear. I have more information on this critical subject! 3 Reasons to Implement an Electrical Safety Program today: 
  • Arc Flash Assessments are required by U.S. Federal Law
  • Proper Personal Protective Equipment saves lives and reduces Insurance Premiums
  • Eventually OSHA will visit your business too!
Shocks from electrical sources account for almost 1,000 deaths a year in the U.S. It actually accounts for 1% of the accidental deaths here. Preventive maintenance is the only way to ensure a smooth running shop.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

The Dangers of DIY Electrical Installation

Many people enjoy indulging in DIY tasks in their homes. It is usually a big boost to their egos whenever the task goes well. Many people may also perform tasks personally to save the cost of hiring a professional. When it comes to DIY electrical installation, there are many dangers and risks involved. The task is better left to professional electricians. Some home owners are equipped with tools for electrical purposes. However, it is still not advisable to experiment with electrical connections. The results could be hazardous and at times fatal. The risk involved is not worth it. You had better incur some costs of hiring an electrician and be safe.
There are several dangers that come with DIY electrical installation. The most common one is electrocution. You will be at a risk of being electrocuted if you touch live wires. Electrocution could also result if wrongly cut through cables. This could result to serious burns that could render you being disabled for the rest of your life. It could also lead to heart failure leading to death. Should a friend or family member try to save you from being electrocuted, he will face the same risk.
Poorly installed electrical cables could lead to fires. A fire could result if the wiring is incorrect, badly insulated or loose. A fire could start in the electric socket and spread to other parts of the house. Why risk burning your house down if you can hire an electrician? You could be doing the installation to save the extra cost. However, after burning up your home, you will incur much higher costs of replacing your belongings. Apparently, the DIY installation is not worth it.
Conducting unlicensed electrical installation could cost you high fines. Unlicensed electrical work is illegal. Should any damage result, you could face a penalty of as high as two hundred thousand dollars. You may also be legally charged and suffer a jail term of up to three years. Damages in your home resulting from unlicensed electrical work may not be compensated by your insurance company. Thus, if any loss occurs, the home owner will bear it.
The DIY homeowner may not understand the correct size for wires and cables. Electric wires come in many sizes and types. The type and size of wire will determine the manner in which it is used. If the wrong size is installed, overheating may result. The wires should match the appliances with which they are used. The wires used for appliances like television are different from those used for electric cookers. Many homeowners are not armed with this kind of knowledge.
While doing electrical installations, the power boards should not be overloaded. DIY electrical installations could result to overloading of power outlets and power board. This could lead to straining of the circuits. The same case applies for electrical box connections. Electrical boxes are meant to give protection against external elements. Inexperienced people may overload the electrical box. This will in turn result to overheating and short circuiting. By seeking the assistance of a qualified electrician, such scenarios can be avoided.
It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with a minor electrical installation or a major one. You still need to hire a qualified electrician. Mistakes can be made even when performing simple tasks such as installing light bulbs. You may put a bulb with a higher wattage than a socket. There will be a risk of overheating. The socket will burn and cease functioning. You are likely to keep replacing bulbs and sockets every now and then. This is not economical at all. In fact, the risks and costs of DIY electrical installation exceed the cost of hiring an electrician by far.

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