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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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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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TIPS TO LOWER YOUR POWER BILL | from your RICHARDSON ELECTRICIAN

As a Richardson electrician, I am in the unique position of knowing how homeowners can save money on their power bill. In today’s economy, my customers expect that I will know how they can Richardson-Electricianlower their power bill each month, and I am happy to share that information with them.

The benefits of having your Richardson electrician give you the inside scoop on moneysaving power alternatives extend well beyond the impact on your bank account. Electricians everywhere will agree that those very same things that you can do to save money on your electric bill can also help you take good care of your electrical system and even prevent costly and time-consuming repairs.

Your local electrician can help you create a plan of action to start saving on your bill, but you can also follow these simple tips to start doing what you can to lower your bill today.

 

1. The simplest thing you can do is turn it off if it’s not in use. That’s right! Being mindful of your power consumption while you’re trying to save money seems like a no-brainer, but many people overlook this very simple and very effective first step.Turn off the lights if you’re not in the room, turn off televisions and computers if they are not in use, and unplug small appliances that don’t get used often, like hair dryers or toaster ovens.

2. Install solar panels and/or wind turbines on your home to generate alternative sources of energy, ease strain on the power grid and lower your overall usage. Any top Richardson electrician will agree that using alternative energy sources can lower your electric bill to almost nothing while helping the environment.

3. Along the same lines, investing in an indoor generator can also help you become more independent when it comes to your power consumption and it can even help you turn your power bill into a power check from the power company, depending how much power you are able to generate and send back to the grid.

4. Schedule routine electrical maintenance once every one to two years, to check for any electrical problems, to make sure that fixtures are properly in place, and to check if any appliances are in need of repair or replacement. Call your Richardson electrician to schedule a visit to your home to inspect your electrical system.

5. Install a power conditioner to reduce wear and tear on the motors of your most power-hungry appliances and machinery at home, and to lower your power consumption as well.

 

As a top Richardson electrician working in North Texas for many years, I can tell you that there’s nothing more relieving than looking at your power bill and seeing the massive change in the numbers. Electric Man has been working for 27 years to ensure that their customers pay only what they have to, while helping customers cut down their bills. Learn more about Electric Man and our services by visiting our website, giving us a call at 972-792-7270, or connecting with us on any of our social sites!
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