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Top Dallas Electrician | Helpful Tips for Three-Way Switch Installation and Wall Outlet Replacement

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

A good number of the calls I get during an average day at work fall into two categories;   customers who call to have something installed in their electrical system, and customers who tried to install it themselves and are calling me to come and fix the mistakes they made.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with trying to perform basic electrical work yourself if you have a good grasp on proper electrical safety techniques and what you’re doing.  On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with calling a top Dallas electrician to do the work for you either.  The best way to ensure the job is done right every time is to hire an honest, hardworking professional electrician who’ll stand behind his work.

Even tasks that can seem quite simple can be treacherous if you’re not sure what you’re doing.  This comes into play a lot when a homeowner is trying to perform a three-way switch installation.  It seems a lot easier to install than it really is; I generally recommend homeowners not attempt to install three-way switches without at least a electrician on the phone to walk you through the process.  Keep the following in mind:

  • Identify the wires before you remove the switch. There are three wires hooked into your three-way switch.  One is the switch leg (or power), and the other two are called travelers.  Identify the travelers before you remove the switch.  This is important because the design of three-way switches isn’t standardized; the leads may not go in the same place on the new switch that they went on the old switch.  Knowing this ahead of time will save you from lengthy rewiring and a lot of heartache.
  • Know what switches you have installed. Because of the way they work, you can never have just one three-way switch; they are always installed in pairs.  If you’re having a problem with a three-way switch, you may want to go ahead and replace both of the three-way switches to ensure you get the faulty one.  “But what about that light in my house that is on three-switches?” you’re no doubt asking yourself.  Whenever you see a light or appliance that’s controlled by an odd number of switches (usually three), one of the switches will be a four-way switch.  Four-way switches are a totally different animal than a three-way switch and are hooked up in a completely different way.  You should NOT try to wire a four-way switch where a three-way switch used to be without contacting a top Dallas

There are tasks well suited for the do-it-yourself minded homeowner, though.  The easiest is wall outlet replacement, which is usually a very simple, straightforward procedure.   That doesn’t mean the haystack isn’t free of the odd needle that you can hurt yourself on, though.  Here are some of the more common problems I run into, along with some typical solutions or hints to keep them from happening to you: 

  • Replacing a simplex (single-plug) outlet. If you have a simplex outlet (these are typically found in garages), it was probably designed to have one specific appliance or device plugged into it; usually, this is something like a refrigerator or AC unit.  As such, it’s usually on a different circuit than the rest of the room (especially in a garage, where a refrigerator could easily trip the GFCI installed on the other circuits) and is rated specifically for that device.  If you plan to replace this with a duplex (dual-plug) outlet, you may need to rewire the circuit to allow the circuit to handle the additional item that can now be plugged in there. If you are not adding another appliance to this yet still installing a duplex outlet please consult a electrician to discuss safety issues.
  • Replacing a duplex outlet. Duplex outlets are generally pretty easy; the black wire is the power in, and the white the power out.  If your outlet is controlled by a switch, this isn’t so easy, though.  These outlets will have two powers in wires; one that connects it to the switch and the other that provides constant power and is attached to the bronze screw inside the outlet.  The metal tab between the screw and the connector must be completely broken off to complete the installation; if you get stuck, a good-hearted electrician can walk you through this over the phone.
  • Replacing a GFCI outlet. Notice that the back of the outlet has connections that say Line and Load.  Line controls the power in; the power lead and neutral should be hooked up here, with the power out line connected to load.  If you don’t wire these leads correctly or if any of the outlets are wired into the Line side of the outlet, they will not be properly protected by the GFCI.

For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

 

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Richardson Electrician | Helpful Electrical Safety Tips for Home Chandelier Installation

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

Part of my job as an electrician is not only to help fix an electrical system when something goes wrong, but also to help my customers make sure that the fixtures are correctly installed. Installation is the most important phase for an electrical fixture or appliance; following the proper procedures can help ensure the maximum life for the electrical device, minimize its upkeep, and save you from costly repairs.

One of the most popular fixtures I am called to install are chandeliers, and with good reason.  As beautiful and elegant as they can be, home chandelier installation can be extremely tricky, even for those with experience.  If you have recently purchased a chandelier, I strongly encourage you to call a skilled Richardson electrician to have it installed; a talented electrician knows how to best hang, wire, and secure your chandelier to the ceiling. With that in mind, here are some important electrical safety tips to ensure you get the most out of your new light fixture:

  • Wiring: The best reason to hire an electrician to install your chandelier has to do with how it’s wired into your electrical system.  Most do-it-yourself homeowners can’t tell which wire in the chandelier connects to which ceiling wire, risking damage to your chandelier.  If you find yourself with this problem, remember that the side of the chandelier wire with the ridges or bumps (you can feel them clearly if you run your fingers along the wire) is the neutral or power “out”, while the opposite smooth side is the power “in” wire.
  • Proper order of installation: It’s really important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the chandelier.  I can tell you from personal experience that people skip steps or go out of order all the time, which can be a real problem, especially for crystal chandeliers. I’ve arrived at an installation before to find all of the crystals already attached to the fixture, even though the instructions on ANY crystal chandelier tell you to install the fixture before you hang the crystals!  Crystal chandeliers with their crystals attached are incredibly heavy and extremely fragile. It is almost impossible for even a professional to install the chandelier properly in this state without breaking something.  Before you hang those crystals on an uninstalled chandelier, ask yourself this question:  do you want to show off your chandelier with its crystals broken?  Or worse, with your back broken?
  • Proper hanging procedures: Chandeliers are designed to hang from their chains. They are absolutely NOT designed to hang from the wire that connects them to your ceiling.  These wires are not designed to support any part of the fixture’s weight. Making it do so will inevitably stretch the wiring, leading to damage to the chandelier’s internal wiring, potential damage to your ceiling as the weight pulls the wiring out, and will stretch your wire, which is very dangerous and a severe fire hazard.  Always make sure the wire is loose, has a bit of slack, and isn’t being pinched by the chain links as it winds through them.
  • Ceiling Mounting: The canopy cover (the part that covers the hole in the ceiling the chandelier hangs from) should always be assembled and adjusted to the proper depth before you hook up the chandelier’s wiring. Do-it-yourself installers tend to try to screw the canopy cover in to get it flush to the ceiling, which can twist the wiring inside and lead to serious hazards.  If you’re having trouble getting the installation right, call a professional.
  • Weight Limits: If your chandelier weighs more than 100 pounds, your chandelier manufacturer requires additional wood bracing to be installed in your attic across the trusses to handle the load.  This has to be done carefully and in accordance with specifications, because the bracing will include a special high-tension braided steel safety wire that is connected to the chandelier in case of chain failure. (Obviously, I hope you’ll never need this.) Since this is a change in the engineering of your house, this sort of bracing should NEVER be self-installed or performed by a handyman or light fixture company installer;  only a licensed professional electrician can ensure the bracing will not fail, causing the chandelier to fall and destroy itself, along with anything underneath it:  flooring (even marble!), stairs, banisters, or your furniture.

For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

 

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Choosing an Eco-Friendly and Affordable Back-Up Electricity Generator | By Dallas Electrician

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

With all the bad weather we have been hammered with this winter, our electric power stations have been maxed out trying to keep up with the demand for electricity.  With the cold, another problem has been water pipes freezing at the electric generating stations causing them to have to shut down for repairs.  Long story short, over 55 million people in America this year have dealt with power shortages.  Either being rolling blackouts, or simply no power for days.  I have received multiple inquiries from customers wanting to know if there is an alternative means to keeping the electricity on in their home without using a gas-powered generator.  Their reasons for not being able to use a gas powered generator ranged from “I live in a HOA where generators are not allowed on the outside of our home and I can’t put it on the inside due to noise and fumes,” to “I don’t have any place outside to put the generator that guarantees it won’t be tampered with or stolen.”  Some of my customers that live in condos or town homes only have a balcony which really “limits them on space.”Affordable back up generator

Having these problems and questions brought to me, I started to look for a solution to help people in their time of need.  What I found was the IndoorGenerator.  This product was Eco-Friendly and addresses the needs of a growing population using an old electricity infrastructure.  As a Dallas Electrician, I found the IndoorGenerator to be an affordable, gas-free, rechargeable, silent power supply unit that you can use indoors when you lose power.  This is 24/7 protection for your computers, refrigerator, TV, lights, and much more.  This protects you for at least 2 hours and up to 7 days, not just minutes like traditional UPS’s.  It is simple with “plug and play” installation and usage.  The more units you put in series gives you the possibility of endless power supply!

These units come packaged in either dark wood cabinets, or light wood cabinets.  They also come in DuraRock or metal enclosures.  These different enclosures make it possible to set these units either inside, where they will still look good, or outside on a patio.

To charge these units, you just plug them into your existing power supply and they start charging immediately.  As soon as the power goes out, they automatically transfer over to stored energy without any interruption.  Another neat feature is that there is a solar accessory that can be used to recharge these power supplies.  These solar screens are collapsible and easy to store when not in use.  So if the power goes off, and you use your stored power, it can be replaced with simple sunlight.

When considering  an affordable back-up electricity generator, by an eco-friendly Dallas Electrician or just a top Dallas electrician for your home wiring installation or Troubleshooting Electrical Repair needs you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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Top Seasonal Emergency Electrician Calls | ElectricMan to the Rescue

Each season comes with its set of reasons to call an emergency electrician. While you hopefully won’t be affected by all of these problems this year, there’s always the possibility that you’ll need to phone a 24-hour electrician to take a look at one or two emergencies on this list.

Summer

  • Air conditioner stops working: Check to see if the breaker is tripped. If the breaker is tripped, go to the thermostat and turn off the cooling unit. After you have turned off the thermostat, go back to the breaker and turn the breaker all the way off before resetting it to the ‘on’ position. If the breaker trips again, call an emergency electrician. If it doesn’t trip, turn the thermostat back on. If the breaker trips once the AC is on, you will need to contact an AC repairman.
  • Window AC unit trips circuit breakers: Air conditioning and refrigeration consumes a hefty amount of electricity. Running a hair dryer or vacuum on the same circuit as the window AC unit may be enough to trip the circuit breaker. To prevent overloading the circuit, use the labels in the breaker box to connect high electricity-consuming devices to outlets on a circuit other than the one the window AC unit is on.

Spring/Fall

  • Trees fall on the electric meter boxes and risers: The weather is unpredictable in the spring and fall, which can lead to a downed tree on your property. Even if it barely scrapes your home, this could be enough to rip the electric meter base and riser off of the outer wall of your house. An emergency electrician is the person you trust to get things sorted out and fixed in order to get the power turned back on to your home.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) replacement: The spring and fall are as good a time as any to test GFCIs. If you have old outlets in your bathrooms or kitchen, replace them with GFCI receptacles as soon as possible to prevent potential shock. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency; call an electrician for this task.

Winter

Emergency-Electrician

Learn what common seasonal electrical emergencies call for an emergency electrician to come take a look.

  • Portable electric heaters trip circuit breakers: Portable heaters consume quite a bit of electricity. If they are plugged into an outlet on a nearly maxed-out circuit, perhaps one poweringChristmas lights, they could overload it and trip the circuit breaker. Circuits trip to prevent damage to the wiring of the electrical system, but knowledge of which outlets are on a circuit can prevent this from happening.
  • Wet electrical connections could cause your GFCI to short out: Electricity and water don’t mix. If any electrical device in or outside your home gets wet it could cause part of your home to short out. Knowing where your GFCIs are located and which outlets they control, can remedy this problem. If not, an emergency electrician is your best bet for pinpointing and correcting the problem.

If you’re experiencing an electrical emergency, please contact ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local emergency electrician with 27 years of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Best Certified Electrician Tips for Holiday Lighting

If you want to be festive this holiday season while avoiding a stress fest, it’s time you learned tips from a certified electrician about holiday lighting. Here are the top six ways to make holiday lighting a smooth, safe experience.

  • Know decoration wattage: Before you purchase items for your Certified-Electricianhouse or yard, know how many watts the decorations require. Compare that with the wattage you have available in your home; a certified electrician can help you determine what that is. Keep in mind that low-wattage items consume less electricity and cost less to operate.
  • Install a circuit: If you plug all your holiday lights into a single circuit and then use your appliances like normal, you might end up blowing a circuit. The best way to handle a whole bunch of Christmas lights is to have a Dallas electrician install a dedicated circuit.
  • Use a timer on the dedicated circuit: This makes it so you don’t have to turn the circuit on and off manually. A timer adds security and makes sure the lights turn off in the middle of the night.
  • Check the lights: Inspect the strings before putting them up to make sure no bulbs are broken or missing, no wires are bare or frayed, and no connections are loose. Certified electricians also recommend inspecting the area where you plan to install the lights; ensure the gutters are clear and tree branches are stable.
  • Take care of extension cords: If you position any extension cords outside, wrap them up in a plastic enclosure, such as a grocery sack, to protect them from water damage. Never put more than three strings of lights together. If you need too, start a new string of lights using a different plug.
  • Be safe: Keep children and pets away from cords. Use LED lights that emit much less heat than old light strands to ensure combustibles don’t catch on fire. Speak with a certified electrician for safety tips regarding outdoor lighting if you have any concerns.

For more information about holiday lighting, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is your trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience. Visit the Electricman website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Electrical Contractor: What to Look for When Choosing an Electrician

 

24-hour-electrician

Choosing a great electrician doesn't have to be difficult!

Solving electrical problems and doing electrical repairs can be risky things to do if you don’t know exactly what you are doing.  Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to hire a certified electrician to do these things for you so that you don’t put yourself or your property at risk.  Here are some key things you should keep in mind when choosing an electrician.

Certifications: You should always feel free to ask an electrician about their certifications; if they aren’t willing to answer your questions about it, they probably aren’t the right electrician for you.  There are different levels of training that an electrician must go through before earning certifications.  Typically, they start out as an electrician apprentice working under the direct supervision of a journeyman and the general supervision of a master electrician.  A master electrician has the highest level of certification and more experience than an apprentice or a journeyman.

References: A good electrician should always be able to give you references if you ask for them.  Any hesitation in this area is not a good sign.  It is a good idea to check with the references that the electrician gives you before hiring them.

Insurance: It is very important to hire an electrician that carries the proper insurance.  Without proper insurance, you could be responsible for any damages they happen to cause, such as an electrical fire or other accidents. Did you know that electricians are only required to have $300,000 worth of coverage? Be sure to confirm that you are hiring an insured electrician.

Communication: It is also important for the electrician you hire to have great communication skills.  They should be friendly, courteous, interested in your problem, and listen to your concerns.  They should also be upfront about costs and give you an estimate of how long the project should take.

Keep all of these things in mind as you seek out someone for electrical consulting.  For Dallas electrical repairs, www.ElectricManInc.com offers 27 years of industry experience, and they are open 24 hours a day.  They have a master electrician on staff, they are properly insured, and they offer free estimates.

About ElectricMan Inc.

ElectricMan Inc. is one of Dallas’ most trusted electricians. Nick Schaeffer, Mr. ElectricMan himself, has quite the resume for a master electrician. He started the company by himself in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since! For more information about Electricman’s list of electrical repair services, please visit www.ElectricManInc.com

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