Help Guides For Home Owners
To address some of the frequently asked questions that we get from home owners seeking information on residential electrical concerns, we've prepared some handy electrical guides for you.
Your Questions Answered!
Help, should my children be able to reach up and touch the wires coming from the alley to my house?
Actually, those wires are very dangerous at that height. you should immediately call us to provide a quotation to have them put to the proper height, away from small grabbing hands. This is a serious concern.
My husband and I decided to change the old plugs ans switches in our house to the new modern white decora style, and we found this. Should we be concerned?
Yes you should, you have aluminum wiring and the wiring has become unstable and started to overheat. The next step in this evolution is that the wood studs attached to the electrical box may become so hot they ignite. Please call us for an aluminum pig tailing quote to correct this problem and others that we may find in the house while we are doing the pig tailing job.
Your company came over and did a 60 amp service upgrade at our house. Since that time we are having breakers trip. We aren't doing anything different and that was never a problem before. Is there something wrong?
When we do a service upgrade, and add a new 100 amp panel, we sometimes leave the original panel as a secondary panel. We always offer the option to change the old breakers to ones of new technology. The original breakers being 60 - 70 years old, deteriorate and with age do not always trip when they are supposed to. So if you overload a breaker and for years it doesn't trip, it is never noticed. By replacing old breakers with new technology, the overload will trip immediately and bring the problem to your attention. If the tripping persists, you will need two rearrange your appliances to different spots, and have us install dedicated circuits to accommodate the loads.
Outside Electrical Equipment
Electrical concerns while working on the outside of your homes.
Burnt Wall Plugs - Fire Wire!
Electrical parts wear out just like everything else. I got a call from a lady with a 1972 house saying that she had a fire in her kitchen counter plug. I was a bit concerned by this because I have seen the aftermath of aluminum wiring that has been overheated. I got to her home and she immediately took me to the kitchen where the burn't plug was located..
Electrical Power Meters
Lets talk about that little round power meter that hangs on the back or side of your house, the one that costs you so much money each month. Over the last few years we have been working closely with Epcor and Fortis to repair the power meter sockets (the metal boxes that the power meters fit into) that become defective for a variety of reasons..
One of the biggest decisions you will make, when designing a renovation project in your home or business, is what kind of lighting to use. Incandescent, HID, LED, task lighting, flood lights, under cabinet lighting, accent lighting and the old stand-by, fluorescent lighting..
What Is Arc-Fault Protection?
In the recent 23 edition of the Canadian electrical code book, there has been a lot of changes that you will need to know about when dealing with renovation projects. The biggest change is rule 26-724 (f) that states as follows..
I Didn't Think Of That!
A woman called me last week and said she and her husband had decided that they were going to take on the home project of renovating their kitchen. They felt that after reading about it on the internet that it shouldn't be too difficult. She then asked me to provide a budget price. I explained that I would need to ask a few questions..
Let's Talk Lighting
Lets talk lighting. All of us have light fixtures in our homes that use light bulbs. Years ago our only option for bulbs was incandescent. These were the ones with the glass globe that enclosed a filament that glowed and gives off light. These were available from 15 watt for a fridge all the way up to 200 watt..
Uncle Dave Did It
This is common in homes with aluminum wiring because in the early 70’s, there wasn’t a lot of money around so the new home builders would finish the main floor wiring of a bungalow with aluminum but the basement was usually left unfinished. By the time the new home owners could afford to work on the basement, use of aluminum wiring had stopped..
Electrical Panel In The Wrong Place
When designing the layout for a basement development in your home, there are many things that you have to take into consideration. You must always do the installation as per the Canadian electrical code, as well as following the local by laws. One thing that is occasionally a concern is the location of the electrical panel (panelboards)..
Starting a Basement Project
One of the biggest undertakings is a "basement development". I have previously talked about permits and how important they are. The most concerning are the Development permits, Building permits and Electrical permits. Just to reiterate, regarding electrical permits, it is law in the province of Alberta that if you install, add to or modify an electrical system..
Legal Basement Suites
With today's questionable economy, people are turning to alternative ways of generating extra income to help pay for expenses. One way that is becoming popular, is developing a residential basement in to a legal suite. Electrical and building requirements for a legal suite differ depending on the city you live in..
The first one that I get a lot of calls for, is when people replace kitchen counter receptacles. Kitchen counter receptacles, are wired by a method called "split duplex". This is when you have a double 15 amp breaker in the panel, feeding up to 2 kitchen counter plugs. At the receptacle what you will find, is a red wire and a black wire both connected to the same side of the receptacles, the copper coloured side..
100 Amp Service Identification
What is acceptable as a 100 AMP residential service? Is it 60 or 100 AMPS?
Old Electrical Panels
At the turn of the last century when electricity was relatively new to Alberta, the initial 120 volt 30 amp overhead electrical services, that came across our yards from the pole in the back alley, used to be protected by glass fuses. These first electrical residential services were sufficient to supply our lights, and the early appliances..
Residential Electric Permits
In the province of Alberta, according to the Alberta Safety Codes act and permit regulations, you are required to have an electrical permit to install, alter or add to an electrical system. This means for example if you are planning to build a garage that will have electrical wiring or development a basement, you need an electrical permit..
Aluminum Rated Devices
The problem with aluminum wiring is whats called "Cold Flow". It is the loosening of the aluminum wire that is being compressed under the screw on the side of a switch or plug. This is an inherent characteristic of aluminum. The heating up of the metal caused by the flow of electricity, causes expansion and contraction, hence it loosens..
Aluminum Wiring - Fire Threat?
If you have an existing home with aluminum wiring or are purchasing an older home with aluminum wiring, you need to be informed abut the potential danger. A lot of people are scarred away by the existence of aluminum wiring because of the potential threat of fire. Let me put the record straight...
Electricity For Regular Joes
In the world of a master electrician, residential electrical wiring can be the most elementary of systems that we have to deal with. To a home owner, electricity can be real scary, and it should be. Today I would like to explain the basics of your residential electrical service and let you know a few things that may save you a lot of money when problems arise..
I Need More Breaker Space
When we do electrical renovations around the house, one of the most important things to make sure of, is whether there is enough space left in your electrical panel for more breakers. Some manufactures make a "space saver" breaker which allows you to utilize a single breaker space for 2 circuits..
All Quotes Are Not The Same
I'm going to share something with you that a lot of contractors and business people may not want me to disclose, but I don't care. We have all heard the saying "buyer be ware". When home owners take on a project, most times the project includes work that they may not be familiar with...