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Top Richardson Electrician | Learn How to Handle Power Overloads and Electrical Troubleshooting

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

In my last few articles, I’ve been talking about the importance of safety, and how best to keep your home safe.  But I know you don’t typically call an electrician just to make sure that your home electrical system is safe (although it’s an EXCELLENT reason to do so). Generally, you call an electrician because something’s going wrong with your electrical system. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some of the electrical troubleshooting that my electricians and I do on a daily basis, to help you avoid some of the most common problems we see on the job.

I’ve found throughout my years in this industry that a lot of the most common problems are caused by something that’s easily avoidable with a little planning and forethought, power overloads. A power overload is exactly what it sounds like, when an outlet or wire fails because there are too many devices being used at one time. Think of it like adding more and more weight to the end of a tree branch; there’s only so much weight (load) it can handle before it breaks.

Although ultimately one overloaded circuit is more or less the same as another, overloads have a number of different causes, and can even have different symptoms depending on where in your home they occur.  No matter how or where they happen, though, overloads are serious fire hazards. Overloaded wires melt, causing electrical shorts and conducting heat to potentially flammable materials like the wood in your walls.  Repairing the damage from these overloads often requires the electrician making the repair to simply pull the wires out and rewire the circuit, which can be expensive.  It’s in your best interest to know how to avoid overloading your electrical system in the first place but also be aware that an overload has occurred.

The most common sign of an overload I run across tends to go something like this, half of the room will be getting no power, while the other half is receiving power as normal. Even more out of the ordinary, the breakers that connect the room to the electrical panel haven’t been tripped.  So, what’s causing the issue?  If this happens in your living or media room, it’s surprisingly easy to diagnose:  60 to 70% of the time, the problem is the outlet behind your entertainment center melting down (in some cases, literally melting down) from being overloaded.  When your entertainment center was installed, you might not have even considered that you were in danger of overloading the outlet. The combination of your TV, DVD player, video game systems, stereo system, huge speakers, and cable or satellite receivers can quickly overwhelm any outlet, and they add up quickly.  This is why a top Richardson electrician will always suggest that your entertainment center be set up on a dedicated circuit with a separate power source from the rest of the room; it’s the best way to ensure you’re not overloading your circuit.

Other overloads occur because of the changing weather. I’ve seen plenty of people who’ve overloaded a wall outlet just by plugging a window air conditioning unit into it. These window AC units draw a ton of power; in fact, they can typically max out the circuit just by themselves, meaning anything else you have plugged into that circuit is overloading it!  Similarly, most space heaters require 1800 watts to operate. This is exactly how much power a typical 15A electrical circuit breaker should allow.  Even plugging in something as simple as a light bulb alongside it overloads the circuit.  Window air conditioners and space heaters should always be placed on dedicated circuits to avoid this problem.

Another all-too-common overload occurs quite often in older homes.  A family getting ready for the day suddenly discovers that they no longer have any power in any of the bathrooms in the house!  This is the result of an overload, too, even worse, it’s a hard overload to detect unless you know a bit about how homes used to be wired.  You see, years ago when homes were being wired up, they tended to wire all the receptacles in all the bathrooms on the same circuit. This means that they’re all typically running on the same 15A electrical circuit.  This leads to one of the most notorious causes of overloads.  Remember how I mentioned that a space heater typically needs 1800 watts to run?  Well, most hair dryers typically require 1850 watts, meaning that if your wife or daughter are drying their hair at the same time as someone else is using power in the other bathroom, the circuit is overloaded.  And if your wife and daughter are BOTH using their hair dryers at the same time, it won’t take long for the whole circuit to fail or shut off.  Thankfully, electricians wiring newer homes always put multiple bathrooms on separate circuits to help minimize this problem.

Again, I want to stress that events like these are completely avoidable, as long as you take the time to think about how much you’re plugging into one circuit.  With a little thought, and the helping hand of a caring electrician if you’re unsure, you can save yourself a lot of pain in the long run.

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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How to Protect Home From Lighting Strikes By Using 24/7 Emergency Local 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

30% of all surges/outages are caused by lightning strikes

The strike doesn’t even have to be a direct hit on your home but can occur within half a mile.  As a matter of fact, the majority of surges that most people take are from problems at someone else’s home or somewhere further down on the power company lines.  A surge doesn’t have to be lightning; it can come from an automobile accident that hits a power pole or even frLighting-Dallas-Power-Outageom a routine maintenance on the main power lines when they turn the power back on.  This off and on of the power with the main electrical lines can send surges into your home or business that I have seen destroy lots of electronic equipment and appliances.

Almost every home has multiple computers, and expensive home entertainment systems.  Even our appliances are high-tech with monitors built into the doors of refrigerators and laundry appliances with electronic controls.  These items are especially vulnerable to spikes in your home’s electrical current that may cause melted circuit boards and overheated wires.  Repairs to these expensive gadgets are much more costly than replacing a blown out light bulb or electrical outlet.

There is no substitute for surge protectors plugged into your wall outlet that allows you to plug in all of your equipment for protection.  This is the equivalent to using a seat belt that only goes across your waist and not your chest.  By installing a whole house surge protector in your electrical panel, you’re adding protection.  Let’s say you take a surge (or get in an accident).  Would you want just a lap belt, or a full body protector?

No matter what you’re protecting, whether it is your family, your business, or your possessions, you should always be prepared and proactive instead of reactive.  With simple surge protection, you could be saving yourself a lot of time and headache.  This is as close to the “easy” button as you can get.

When you have a general repair or an electrical emergency, 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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Texas Residents Face Blackouts in 2012 According to Plano Electrician

Electrician-PlanoTexas power customers, exasperated over last year’s bout of power outages and rolling blackouts, can expect 2012 to be as bad or even worse, according to Plano electricians.  With a new round of government-imposed environmental constraints, a lack of desire by the utilities to install new capacity, forecasts of higher-than-average temperatures, and the continuation of the drought, power production will be low, while consumption will continue to rise across the state.  Plano electrician, ElectricMan, warns consumers to prepare now to avoid the nearly inevitable blackouts that Texans will undoubtedly face during 2012.

 The list of issues concerning the supply of electricity in Texas is long.  First, the state has its own power grid, so it is essentially isolated from the rest of the nation.  It can’t get power from the outside during peak demand periods.  Plus, new rules from the EPA went into effect January 1 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, forcing the immediate shutdown of two power plants in the state.   On top of that, since all power plants need a supply of cooling water to operate, the state’s drought and low water tables may force up to 3000 megawatts of power-generating equipment to shut down as early as May.  According to Plano, TX electricians, one plant was forced to shut down in 2011 for lack of water.  Add to this an increasing population and projected record summer temperatures, and the likelihood of blackouts will be at an all-time high.

Indoor-GeneratorFortunately, for customers of Texas power utilities, it is possible to avoid the headaches and potential damage to electrically-operated appliances in a blackout with some foresight and wise investing.  By using a savvy electrician, Plano TX residents can take advantage of the latest technology in back-up power systems to service their houses during power outages.  Homeowners can continue to enjoy all the creature comforts they expect, even if their neighbors are in total darkness.

The latest advancement in backup power supplies is the Indoor Generator, which uses a bank of batteries to provide emergency power to the home.  Unlike traditional engine-driven units, these indoor generators are quiet, require no messy fuel handling, have no smell, and produce a more efficient supply of power for home appliances.  Even better, customers don’t have to use power from the power company to charge the batteries.  Renewable energy sources, like solar and wind power, can be used to charge the batteries by installing solar panels or a wind turbine along with the unit.

A reliable, reputable Plano, TX electrician can set up customers with a system like this quickly thanks to innovations such as the Power Cart, a mobile trailer which combines a battery-based indoor generator with four solar panels and an optional wind turbine.  The indoor generator takes advantage of the sun and wind when available to power the batteries, relying only on the power company or second backup generator if the batteries deplete.  The system can provide a continuous 3.6 kilowatt output, and has on-board electronics to tell the Power Cart to sell power back to the power company using wind or solar power when possible.

 

About ElectricMan Inc: Dallas Electrician, ElectricMan, Inc. has more than 27 years of experience in residential and commercial electrical work and is a family owned and operated business that puts family first.  ElectricMan’s motto is “Quality Electrical Services”. We achieve this through our employees. Our professional, licensed, experienced technicians are here to serve your electrical service and repair needs. For more information, please visit our website at www.electricmaninc.com or contact us by phone at 972-792-7270 for your next electrical repair or improvement project!

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Local Dallas and Plano Electrician Discusses 10 Ways To Prepare For Power Outages

Prepare For Power OutagesAs a local Dallas and Plano electrician, ElectricMan Inc. wants to make it a little easier for local residents and businesses to prepare for power outages that can come with higher stress on the power grid during extreme weather. With temperatures well into triple digits, and yesterday’s announcement by ERCOT of an Energy Emergency Level 1 Power Watch, power supplies are straining to keep up. It is very important to ensure that you are prepared for a situation where you may find yourself without electricity.

Here are the top ten items to keep in mind when preparing for a power outage in your area.

  1. Alternative Power Options: The best way to avoid hardships without power is to equip your home or business with a backup power system, utilizing stored power, and alternative re-charging/supply sources such as solar or wind generators. This will help you eliminate the need for any of the additional measures below. Add up what can be avoided by having this one option.
  2. Easy Access to Flashlights: Place a reliable flashlight in each room of your home where they can be easily accessed, along with additional batteries.
  3. Contact Information For The Power Company: It will be important to stay informed of the situation by contacting your power provider directly.
  4. First Aid Supplies: Walking around in the dark can be dangerous. Keep enough supplies on hand to treat any injuries that may occur.
  5. Alternative Cooking Methods: If a power outage last for very long, you and your family will inevitably get hungry. A propane stove or supplies for a wood or coal fired grill can be essential in providing food for your family.
  6. Extra Water If You Have A Well: An often forgotten, but vital detail, is the fact that most well water is transported by an electric pump. If the electricity to that pump goes out, you will need another source of clean water.
  7. Emergency Meals: A good idea for meals that are easily prepared without electricity would be canned food or items that can be prepared using simple hot water from your propane stove, or heated quickly to preserve fuel.
  8. Alternative Charging Options: Most communication is accomplished by cellular phone, so it is important to have additional charging methods such as car chargers, or a hand crank charger to keep your phone operational.
  9. Internet Hotspots: In an extended outage, you may need internet to keep up with news, work, or as entertainment. Personal wireless “hotspots” can be charged and provide wireless internet access to a laptop computer, or if the power outage is isolated, you can find out which businesses in your area offer a wireless internet connection. Keep in mind that your battery life will only last for a limited time, so be sure you have alternative charging methods for your computer as well.
  10. Battery or Hand Crank Powered Radio: If your power outage is due to a natural disaster, one of the most reliable ways of obtaining information is the radio. This can keep you up to date on the path of a tornado, or the status of any other natural disaster.

About ElectricMan Inc.

Plano Electrician, ElectricMan, Inc. has more than 27 years of experience in residential and commercial electrical work and is a family owned and operated business that puts family first. ElectricMan’s motto is “Quality Electrical Services”. We achieve this through our employees. Our professional, licensed, experienced technicians are here to serve your electrical service and repair needs. For more information, please visit our website at www.electricmaninc.com or contact us by phone at 972-792-7270 for your next electrical repair or improvement project!


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