5 Reasons Your Bathroom Circuit Breaker May Trip

Two of the most common rooms to experience electrical problems in are the kitchen and the bathroom. This is simply because these two rooms tend to use appliances that require a high amount of electricity to operate. Below are five common issues that can cause your bathroom circuit breaker to trip regularly as well as some advice for DIY or professional solutions to remedy the problem. 

You Are Using a Modern Hairdryer In an Older System 

Over the past few decades, bathroom appliances, such as hairdryers and curling irons, have become much more powerful. Hairdryers in the 1970s only drew around 6 amps of power, whereas modern hairdryers can pull 15 or more amps. If you have an older electrical system, it may be outfitted with a smaller circuit breaker that simply cannot handle the operation of your modern hairdryer. You can either opt for a hairdryer with a lower wattage, or you can consult an electrician about installing a more powerful circuit in your bathroom. You can also have a special outlet installed that allows only that outlet to lose power when it is overloaded and will allow you to quickly reset it from your bathroom. 

You Are Using Multiple High-Wattage Appliances At the Same Time 

Even with a modern electrical system, you may not be able to use multiple high-wattage appliances in your bathroom at the same time. You may find that if your flat iron is warming up, you cannot use your hair dryer. The easiest solution is to finish with one appliance before starting with the next. However, if you often find yourself rushed in the morning, you may have to install two separate circuits in your bathroom to accommodate multiple appliances. 

Your Bathroom Is Not On Its Own Circuit 

Often, bathrooms share a wall with a kitchen or laundry room. You may find that occasionally the electrical circuits for those two rooms were combined, meaning when you are running your dishwasher or your washing machine, your circuit breaker will trip if you start a fan or hairdryer in your bathroom. Although you can try to balance the usage of your appliances, it can be difficult to make sure everyone in your home follows an appliance schedule, so you should consider having your bathroom put on its own circuit. 

There Is Water In Your Outlets

Water and electricity do not mix well and, unfortunately, the bathroom is a wet room in most houses. If your bathroom does not have proper ventilation, moisture can get into outlets and make them short when an appliance is plugged in. To prevent this, make sure you have proper ventilation such as a bathroom fan. Additionally, you may consider installing outlet covers over your bathroom outlets to protect them while you shower. This is especially important if you have outlets anywhere near your shower or tub where they may be splashed. 

You Have a Short Circuit or Ground Fault 

Finally, if you have old or poorly installed wiring, you may be experiencing a short circuit or a ground fault. These occur when the live wires touch each other or touch the grounding system and should only be fixed by a professional. You can tell you have a short because your outlets may heat up, there may be smoke or sparks, and there may be discoloration around your outlets. 

If you cannot figure out the reason why your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it is a good idea to call a professional electrician from a company like McDonald Electric to asses your current electricity usage and determine if there are any problems in your electrical system that need repairs. 

Saving Seniors Stress: 7 Tasks Your Electrician Can Handle

Seniors, are you wondering what type of home repair work your electrical contractor might do for you? Perhaps you have become unable to do home electrical repairs yourself since advancing in years, in which case it may be time to call a professional. Here are 7 repair tasks you might consider hiring an electrician for:

1. Ceiling Fan Malfunction

Has your ceiling fan suddenly stopped operating properly? Perhaps the switch housing is not connected properly. In which case, your electrician can make the right connection and correct the problem easily. Loose ceiling fan wires may also cause a malfunction as well as create a fire hazard. Your electrician can check for such issues and repair them. He or she can also repair a non-working ceiling light kit.

2. Loose Wall Switches and Sockets

This is a common problem in many households, especially in older homes. When wall outlets and switches become loose, safety is a concern. Since many seniors have difficulty reaching out of the way sockets and outlets, it’s best to hire an electrician or handyman for the job. They can repair or replace broken switches and fuses as needed.

3. Broken or Non-Working Light Fixtures

Has a light fixture in your home suddenly become nonfunctional? Have you noticed the light flickering? Home accidents for seniors are often caused by falls, so don’t risk climbing on a ladder to reach the light fixture. An electrician can check the socket and connection.

Sometimes, simply bending the socket tab will assure a proper electrical connection. Play it safe, and have a pro check it out. Another problem may be sparks coming from the switch. If the light switch gives off sparks, the electrician will most likely replace it.

4. A Dead or Broken Doorbell

If your doorbell is not ringing, your electrician will check for several possible causes. A major cause is the wire connection. When wires become damaged, malfunctioning may occur. If twist-on connections are broken, the electrician will repair them. He or she may need to splice in some additional wire to make the connection. Other issues may be a damaged transformer or broken chime. Both can be detected by an experienced electrician.

5. Defective Circuit Breaker

When resetting the switch on your circuit breaker does not restore power, or if you’ve noticed any damage to the panel, it may be best to call a professional. If you suspect the circuit breaker in your home is in need of repair, enlist the services of an electrical repair technician.

Because your circuit breaker also acts as a safety device to shut down power in the event of an overload of electrical current, you need it to be in good working order. An electrician may check the wiring by removing it from the panel. He or she will test the voltage with a voltmeter. When voltage is detected, the wiring may be fine, although the breaker may need to be replaced.

To test this theory, the electrician may remove the wire and try it on another breaker. If the breaker works properly, the previous one is most likely defective and needs to be repaired or replaced, determined by the electrician.

6. Home Appliance Malfunction

Hiring an electrical repair technician may help you solve your major appliance issues. Whether it be electrical problems pertaining to a washer and dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, or home furnace, contact an electrician for repairs and service. A professional may also repair your home electrical generator, your range, or your built-in oven.

7. Solar Electrical System Defects

If your home is powered by a solar electrical system, you may need routine maintenance and repair work. Hire a qualified electrician when electrical panels malfunction. Many contractors also offer routine inspections on a semi annual basis.  

Don’t Buy On The Fly: Three Steps To Take Before You Buy A House

A new home can be like a potential suitor. It can woo you with its attractive looks and seeming promise. But if you were to dig further, you might find some major flaws that could be disastrous for a long-term relationship. That is why it’s important to do your due diligence before you make a commitment. With houses, that due diligence should include the following extra steps.

Check Out the House at Different Times of the Day and Week

That lovely home you’re interested in may be peaceful during the middle of the day. But what is it like in the afternoon, the morning, or at night? It’s not unusual for a street to be quiet during the middle of the day, but be a major neighborhood cut-through during rush hour. And if the house you are interested in lies near a major airport, check the noise levels at different times of the day. Airports often use different runways at different times of the day, so it may be quiet during one period, but extremely noisy later on.  In addition, a business like a daycare center can be a problem if, say, it backs up to your house and you work at night and need to sleep during the day. 

Take a Walk through the Neighborhood

Take the time to walk through the neighborhood and look for potential problems. You may discover, for instance, that the neighborhood is home to certain things that personally drive you crazy, such as frequently barking dogs. And if you spy any neighbors out and about, try to strike up a conversation. You might learn that the people who live next to your potential dream house have frequent and unreasonable confrontations with others in the neighborhood or that the house was once the site of a murder — which may or may not be a deal-killer (pardon the pun) for you. 

Have an In-depth Home Inspection Performed, Including Infrared Testing

According to Money, having a home inspection performed on your potential new abode is an absolute must. Why? Because a professional home inspector can discover problems with the house, such as issues with the electrical or plumbing systems or your roof, that could be very costly to repair. Some problems may be so severe that you might even decide that you no longer want to purchase the house.

In addition to a standard home inspection, you should also consider having infrared testing performed on the house by a company like Center Line Electric. This type of testing can detect these potential problems:

  • Electrical issues. If the house has any issues with its electrical systems, they will show up as yellow spots during your infrared testing. Because electrical issues can sometimes lead to fires, it is very important to discover whether your home has any potential problems that need to be addressed before you purchase the home. 
  • Moisture, including roof leaks. Infrared testing will show areas that have accumulated moisture in the house. Moisture is a very serious problem since there may also be dangerous mold and mildew growing in the house. 
  • Energy Leakage. This type of testing can also detect areas in your house where cold and hot air may be escaping and could, thus, artificially raise your heating and cooling bills. If such leakages are detected, you might want to ask the seller to add insulation or perform other corrective measures before you finalize the purchase of the house. 

When it comes to purchasing a house, it’s important not to be blinded by love and to perform the proper due diligence. Otherwise you could end up with a nightmare rather than a dream house. 

8 Reasons You Should Consider an Electric Furnace

If you’re like most homeowners, chances are you’ll have to replace your household furnace at some point. Although gas, oil, and even propane furnaces have made sense in the past, use of fossil fuels in home-heating systems isn’t as popular as it once was. Electric furnaces have a lot to offer modern homeowners. The following are eight reasons why you should consider having an electric furnace installed. 

Reduced Risk of Interior Carbon-Monoxide Poisoning

Fuel-burning heating systems come with the risk of elevated carbon monoxide levels in the home interior—and this can cause illness and even death for household residents and domestic pets. Electric furnaces and other household devices that use electricity do not produce carbon monoxide, so your family and pets will be safe from what is commonly known as “the cold weather killer.”

Decreased Installation Costs 

Because baseboard heating systems don’t involve the installation of ductwork, they are relatively inexpensive when compared with other furnace options because the installation process is far less complex and time consuming. They also take up less space than their fuel-fired counterparts. 

Electric Furnaces Can Be Used with Solar Heat 

As more and more power companies generate at least a portion of their home electricity via solar panels, homeowners are increasingly installing electric heating appliances that are compatible with solar power. Because this trend will only continue to grow in coming years, electric furnaces make sense. Even if you don’t have solar panels now, you may choose to have them put in at some later date. 

There Is Less Fire Danger with an Electric Furnace

Because electric heating sources have no combustion process, there is less likelihood of a malfunction creating a fire danger. Also, oil and propane tanks can turn existing fires deadly in a matter of seconds, and that hazard doesn’t exist with electric furnaces. 

Energy from Electricity Is Becoming Increasingly Renewable

Renewable energy sources generated about 13 percent of all electricity produced in the United States during the year 2015. These sources include solar, wind, water, biomass wood, and geothermal power. This number will probably continue to climb in the years to come. After all, wind power alone has increased 50 percent since 2010. Cultivation of renewable energy sources are encouraged by government policies. In contrast, petroleum-based energy usage increased by only one percent in 2015. 

Electric Furnaces Are Quiet

Gas, oil, and propane heaters often have noisy blowers that wake up the entire house when they come on. In contrast, electric heating systems run quietly. This can be very important for those with babies in the home or for people who are light sleepers.

There Is No Heat Loss From Chimneys or Vents 

Other types of furnaces come installed with chimneys or vents in order to allow for the release of combustion byproducts, but this can also allow warm air to escape during the furnace’s off-cycle. This doesn’t occur with electric furnaces because these systems have no combustion process, so warm air stays trapped inside.

Electric Heating Systems Are Easy to Work On

Electric furnaces have less moving parts than their oil, gas, and propane counterparts and also feature less complicated construction. For this reason, homeowners are often able to troubleshoot minor problems without having to call in a professional. These systems are also safer to work on because they don’t involve handling volatile fuels; you simply switch the system off to avoid electric shocks, and you’re good to go. Parts are usually less expensive, and service visits by professionals usually cost less as well.  For more information on the benefits of opting for an electric furnace over those using fossil fuels, please feel free to contact a local heating and cooling contractor such as Feldman Brothers Electrical Supply Co at your convenience.   


Unboxing Videos: Improving Video Quality With Electrical Services

A great way that many people gain YouTube views is through unboxing videos. These videos feature people opening up new products and showcasing the different items to the masses. If you’re interested in creating your own unboxing videos, then you want to ensure that you have the professional quality and design to make the videos a hit. Before setting up and planning your video shoots, it’s a good idea to consider the electrical options that you have in your home. Hiring an electrician from a company like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc for specific upgrades can make a huge difference on the way your videos are produced and shot. Browse through the following electrical service options to help you have the best in-home setup for your unboxing productions. They can have a huge impact on the way your final video turns out.

USB Ports

The videos that you shoot may be done with a small device like a phone or tablet. These devices can often be powered through a USB cable when the battery power is low. In an effort to help provide constant power for your unboxing videos, you may want to consider USB port installations in the area where you shoot these videos at. Electrical service companies can replace a traditional outlet with a new outlet that features both standard plugs and USB port options. Using the USB ports to plug in a phone or video camera can help save the other outlets for other uses. This includes extra lighting options or devices like a laptop computer. The USB port can also be used to run a variety of USB gadgets like small lights or fans. If your unboxing videos include any type of electronic product, then the outlet can also be used to demonstrate how a product acts when the device is plugged in. It makes it a lot easier to use USB plugs without having to use multiple adapters.

Track Lighting

Proper lighting can make a huge difference in the unboxing videos that you watch. It allows viewers to see details and objects clearly. An electrician can install many types of lights to assist with your video production needs. One of the more effective types of lighting installations is a track lighting system. These versatile lighting rigs feature multiple bulbs and rotation points for small lights. The lights can often spin all the way around and move across the track as needed. This allows you to set up a properly lit area that removes extra shadows and can showcase a clear vision of the unboxing process.

Circuit Breaker Upgrades

Running a video camera, lighting, and other devices can take up a lot of power. To ensure that you have no power issues with your unboxing productions, an electrician can look into circuit breaker upgrades for the home. A circuit breaker upgrade for your production area can ensure that the house can handle a lot of extra power from one source. You will be able to use multiple video accessories without the need to constantly unplug items or overload the home.

A circuit breaker upgrade can also help reduce electronic noise that may be featured in videos. Older circuit breakers may create hums, static, or interference when a lot of power is drawn from it. This can be very distracting to anyone that is trying to watch the video. As circuit breakers are upgraded, electricians can inspect and replace specific wires to help prevent this noise from occurring. The devices can operate quietly and the distracting noises will be eliminated from all future videos.

By getting these steps in motion and completing the upgrades, you can dramatically improve the production value of your unboxing videos. You can complete them all at once or do one at a time until you earn enough revenue to afford future upgrades.

Home Entertainment Upgrades: 4 Benefits Of Power Conditioner Installations

When creating the ultimate entertainment center in your home, you want all of your electronics and gear to operate using optimal performance. Even if you have the best equipment, it may not perform as well as it can without a little extra help. One way you can help improve the performance of your home theater upgrades is with a power conditioner. These devices help eliminate electrical and sound interference with your electronics and are made with various features and designs. As you upgrade a home entertainment center, you can hire the services of a residential electrician to help install a proper power conditioner for all of the equipment that you own. Understanding the benefits of power conditioners can go a long way in creating the optimal home theater.

Music & Surround Sound

One of the main benefits that comes with using a power conditioner is the ability to eliminate noise interference from wireless devices. Home phones, cell phones, and baby monitors are just a few of the devices that can cause noise interference in your home entertainment system. You may hear a buzzing or the sound may drift off when other things are interfering with it. The installation of a power conditioner can help eliminate these problems. This is especially helpful if you enjoy listening to music in your home. The music can sound loud and pure without any static or extra white noise getting in the way. If you use online music services, the clear sounds can also help tracks play smoothly without any static interference coming from an internet box or wireless speaker. The power conditioner works by properly fluctuating the voltage inputs and reducing interference from other devices. The same application will help when enjoying surround sound on movies. You will hear each speaker clearly and enjoy the movie the way it was meant to be heard.

Streaming Video Services

Many televisions and entertainment systems come with streaming video services used to watch online content. A lot of this content is powered wirelessly by using a Wi-Fi connection and an HDMI port. An electrician can help set up a power conditioner with HDMI ports built into it. These ports can provide the stability and protection needed to run these devices smoothly. The use of a power conditioner can help prevent the items from overheating or getting too much power. For the viewer, this means less buffering, faster load times, and no frozen screens. Many streaming services offer HD videos, allowing you to have optimal video and sound while using the device with a power conditioner.

Playing Video Games

While enjoying video games, there are many wireless devices and radio signals that can impact the visuals on the screen. Video games often require fast movements and attention to detail. The installation of a power conditioner can actually optimize the visuals of your screen to remove any interfering lines or glitches that appear on the screen. This allows you to properly see the screen and all the vivid details that are placed in video games.

Surge Protection & Grounding

As you shop for power conditioners, an electrician may offer models that also feature surge protection. Adding surge protection to your power conditioner can help protect your home entertainment system even further. Power glitches and outages will be absorbed by the surge protector instead of directly impacting your electronics. Choosing a power conditioner with surge protection can also help eliminate the need for purchasing extra surge protectors. You can reduce the clutter and have all-around protection for all of your equipment. An electrician understands the various voltage needs of specific electronics and can help you select the best surge protection for your home entertainment needs.

Investing in a power conditioner can save you a lot of money in the long run. Instead of having to replace and purchase new electronics if they’ve been damaged, the money you pay up front will keep them running properly for years. For more information, contact a company like Sun Coast Electric & Networking Inc.

Five Signs You May Have An Electrical Problem In Your Home

If you are like most Americans, you probably take your electricity for granted until you have a problem. Waiting until you lose power can mean spending hours in the dark while you wait for an electrician to arrive. But, there are often telltale signs that you may be facing electrical problems long before you lose power or suffer a fire due to the wiring. Recognizing the signs of an electrical issue may save you time and money, eliminate the need for those emergency weekend calls to electrician, and keep your family safe from the risk of electrical fires, too. Here’s what to watch for.

1. Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping

Your circuit breakers are located in a metal circuit breaker box that supplies the electricity to your home. If you live in an older home, especially one that had sections added to the home in the past, your home may have more than one breaker box. The breaker box is typically located in the basement or near the area where the electrical lines enter your home. It may also be located in the garage or even on the outside of older homes near the meter box. The circuit breakers are designed to shut off, often referred to as tripping, to prevent wires from overheating and posing a risk of a fire.

Occasional tripping may indicate that you have overloaded the line with an appliance or other electrical equipment. Unplug the appliance and plug it into another outlet. Some items, such as portable heaters, draw too much electricity to be used in an outlet with other electrical appliances. However, circuit breakers that trip frequently are sending you the message that you have an electrical problem in your home. Call your local electrician to investigate and fix the problem before you have a major issue.

2. Electrical Shocks

If you notice electrical shocks or tingles when you turn the light switch off and on, or when you plug in or unplug a cord in an electrical outlet, this may be a warning that you have a problem with the electrical wiring. If it only happens when you plug in a specific appliance, there may be a problem with the grounding in the appliance. Electrical shocks should not be confused with shocks from static electricity. Shocks from static electricity are common during the winter and typically occur after walking across a carpet in wool socks or rubber soled shoes. Static electricity shocks are not related to your electrical wiring and do not pose a danger.

3. Sparks, Smoke and Burning Odor

If you see sparks, smell or see smoke, or smell a burning odor from your outlets or switches when you use them, take heed. Sparks can ignite flammable material, and smoke and burning odor may indicate the beginning of an electrical fire. Static electricity in the winter can also cause sparks, but they do not leave an odor and are typically accompanied by a mild shock. Call your electrician right away if you notice any of these signs of an electrical problem.

4. Flickering or Dimming Lights

Flickering or dimming lights is a common occurrence during electrical storms and other severe weather due to damaged or downed electrical lines. This type of flickering and dimming has nothing to do with your wiring and should not cause alarm. However, if you experience flickering and dimming lights during fair weather, it may indicate a problem with your wiring. Check that the bulbs are screwed in securely and/or replace the bulb if flickering or dimming occurs in only one fixture. Otherwise, if the problem persists and affects your entire house, it is time to call your electrician. Sometimes, an appliance causes dimming or flickering when it turns off or on. Make note of this and talk to your electrician about how to solve the problem.

5. Outlets and Switches Not Working

If one or more of your outlets or switches stops working, check the breaker box and reset the circuit breaker to restore power to the outlet or switch if it has tripped. Typically, one circuit will control all the outlets and switches in one room, but some older houses may have more than one circuit per room, or the outlets in two rooms with adjoining walls may be combined on one circuit. Check the diagram in your breaker box to determine the correct circuit to the outlet or switch in question. If resetting the circuit breaker does not restore power to the outlet or switch, or the circuit breaker continues to trip, call your electrician.

Ignoring signs of an electrical problem is never a good idea. The problems are likely to get worse and may put your family’s safety at risk. If you suspect there is a problem with the wiring in your home, call and electrician, such as those at Advantage Electric, right away.