Category Archives: Electricians

All About Outdoor Electrical Lighting

Garden Lighting Tips

Garden lighting tips for the do-it-yourself gardener and landscaper. Even though outdoor landscape lighting is easy to install, it is always best to have some tips and ideas when going through the process of your garden lighting design.

In addition to using all possible skill in concealing your sources of illumination as we discussed in “Lighting the Garden”, there are other principles of good design for setting up your garden lighting.

Garden Lighting Tips For Executing Your Lighting Plan

Since natural light almost always comes from above, the bulk of your exterior lighting whether it is outdoor solar lights, solar garden lights or electric garden lights, should come from the same direction – from overhead – and the higher the better.

Use comparatively low wattage flood lights for most of this, never any outdoor lights or light bulbs larger than 100 watts. Consider low-voltage lighting as well.

Garden spotlights should be used sparingly in the landscape and for accent lighting only. Use them to highlight an otherwise evenly illuminated scene, or to point out an interesting landscape detail or feature like a pool.

Follow the manufacturer’s specifications as to the maximum wattage bulb to be used in any light fixtures. But remember, a smaller bulb will often be adequate for lighting fixtures, and with surprisingly pleasing results. LED garden lights or LED lights put out a lot of light and are efficient.

Besides making certain that your landscape lights do not shine into your eyes, courtesy also requires that they do not shine into your neighbor’s eyes. One way to check this is to take a walk around the garden at night while the lights are on… or ask your neighbor!

When lighting a large flower bed or other planting area in the garden, it is better to use a number of smaller lights rather than a single large unit. This creates a series of softly overlapping pools of light that are free of harsh glare in the center.

Very little of your landscape lighting should be front lighting. Regardless of whether the light comes from above or below, most of the light should come from the sides. Try to have more coming from one side than the other. This results in better modeling, and will give a more interesting shadow effect. Experiment with back lighting also for interesting silhouette effects.

Comparatively solid objects will be illuminated more effectively than thin skeleton-like structures. Avoid bare trees, open trellises, and the like.

Select a focal point or center of attraction for each lighted area, and highlight this by emphasizing it with additional brightness, point out its most attractive features with one or two spotlights, or with a light coming from an unusual angle, such as straight up.

Make full use of light-colored reflective surfaces as wall lights in your lighting scheme. Light-colored walls and fences often can be used to advantage to extend the source of illumination by reflecting and diffusing the rays of light over a wide area.

Lighting systems

Plan for good lighting design

Lighting can be your highest business energy cost – and your greatest opportunity for savings. Reducing heat output from your lighting can also reduce your air conditioning costs. Without proper lighting, productivity, safety, security and overall aesthetics can be compromised. Good lighting design contributes to employee comfort and health, which in turn can result in greater productivity.

Turn off lights when not in use

Lights should be turned off whenever an area is unoccupied, including unused common areas such as copy rooms, break rooms, conference rooms and restrooms.

If your lights can be controlled separately, turn off lights whenever there is enough natural light.

Post reminders next to light switches or install occupancy sensors to keep lights off in unused areas. Occupancy sensors turn off lights automatically when space is unoccupied saving about 25% of the lighting energy.

Use task lighting when appropriate

Instead of using ceiling fixtures that light entire rooms, use compact fluorescent or LED (Light Emitting Diodes) task lighting.

Replace lamps before they lose effectiveness

The light output of a fluorescent lamp decreases as it ages, yet the same amount of energy is consumed to produce this lower level of light.

Remove lamps that are not needed

Many lighting systems are over-designed, providing too much light for the task. This is inefficient and can make the working space uncomfortable. In some cases, lamps or whole lighting fixtures can be removed or retrofitted without creating lighting problems (de-lamping), although this may create uneven lighting in the working environment.

How to Hang String Lights Outdoors

Bring a soft, inviting glow to your backyard, porch or patio by installing cafe-style globe lights to twinkle overhead

Nothing beats cafe-style string lights for their ability to quickly improve the ambiance in an outdoor space. In the evening, their soft glow overhead can visually transform an ordinary patio into a party-ready spot for hosting friends or cheer up a dim walkway with an inviting luminescence.

Outdoor string lights are a cinch to put up if you have the perfectly positioned trees or fence. If you don’t have trees, a fence or another tall outdoor object, it doesn’t take much — just a little more time and a few additional supplies — to set up any outdoor space for cafe lights. Here’s how to hang string lights over your deck, patio, balcony, garden or anywhere else you’d like a little extra glow.

For string lights strung over a large expanse:

String light suspension kit (includes wire cable and suspension hardware like turnbuckles, snap hooks, lock clamps and pad eyes with screws )

Wire cutters

For yards without trees or other tall supports:

10-foot-long wooden posts or 10-foot-long metal poles (electrical metal tubing, aka EMT or thin-wall, is available at home improvement stores in 10-foot lengths, which you may need to cut)


Nails or screws (if attaching to a fence)

Sturdy planters or weighted buckets filled with concrete and a PVC pipe slot in center (one planter or bucket for each post)

18-inch-long metal rebar stakes (one for each pole; needed only if using EMT and mounting lights over a lawn)

Cable ties

Outdoor Lighting Guide: Exterior Lighting Tips and Tricks

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is, as the name implies, designed for use outside, or on the exterior of a building or in an outdoor space. Because they are exposed to the elements day and night, Outdoor lights must be and resistant to weather. Outdoor lighting, especially outdoor motion sensor lights, can also enhance security.

Exterior lighting isn’t just about security however. In this outdoor lighting guide you’ll learn the different types of outdoor light fixtures, where to place them in your backyard or garden for maximum aesthetic and security benefits, and the kind of benefits each outdoor light provides.

Outdoor Light Fixtures

Perhaps the most common type of outdoor lighting, there are several major types of outdoor light fixtures, designed mainly around how they are mounted to surfaces. These weather-resistant light fixtures light the outside of your house itself, emphasizing architectural detail and lighting entryways and driveways.

Outdoor Wall Lights for Porch or Garage

A popular form of outdoor lighting is to mount a light onto the exterior walls of your home as outdoor house lights. Ideally you’ll place outdoor lights in key areas close to where you’ll be moving or operating at night, such as porch lights or garage lighting

Porch lights

Porch lights are mounted usually either side or at least one side of your main front entrance. These outdoor wall lights are designed to spread light in a local area, outwards and downwards.

Safety Tips for Using Electricity Outdoors

Thanks to advancements in technology, using electricity outdoors is now safer and easier than ever before. This opens up a whole world of creative outdoor lighting, unique devices like fountains and water features, and so much more. However, using electricity outdoors still isn’t without risk, and it’s important to make sure that you minimize this risk to avoid injury or the possibility of a fire.

Never Use Extension Cords as Permanent Solutions

Extension cords enable us to use electricity nearly anywhere, but they are not designed as a permanent solution, and should never be seen as such. In fact, extension cords should always be taken down and put away shortly after being used in order to prevent them from becoming damaged. Over time, exposure to the elements could cause the rubber or plastic shielding around your extension cord to wear out, become brittle, and crack, exposing the current-carrying wires on the inside to the world. Even the slightest touch could cause a short that sparks a fire or results in serious injury.

Make Sure Lights Are Rated for Outdoor Use

There are millions of different types of light fixtures available on the market these days, and it should come as no surprise that not all lights are made equal. We understand that your outdoor space is becoming as popular of a place to decorate and truly personalize as the rest of your home, but that’s no reason to try to use an indoor-rated light fixture in an outdoor area. Indoor light fixtures simply aren’t sealed or protected against the elements, which means water can easily get into potentially dangerous spots like electrical connections.

Protect All Outlets

If you want to avoid a potential electrical disaster, you need to make sure any outdoor outlets are protected. Start by making sure the outlets themselves are either a GFCI-equipped receptacle or are on the same circuit as a GFCI. GFCI outlets are designed to shut off if they detect too much current loss between the power supply and the return, thus protecting you in the event of a short. You should periodically test all of these outlets to ensure that your GFCI continues to work, as they can wear out over time and lose their ability to protect you.

Second, you should always cover every outdoor outlet with an approved bubble cover in order to keep rain and other moisture away from it. These covers generally run just a few dollars at your local hardware store and are pretty easy to install. However, they are specifically designed to create a seal that keeps water away from the outlet. Do this for any outdoor outlet, including those which are covered.

Necessity Of Cable Ties And Circuit Breakers

circuit breakers

complete line up of low and medium-voltage circuit breakers provide circuit protection in alternative energy, commercial, industrial, mining, and military applications, while protecting against overloads and short circuits in conductors

circuit breaker types

case circuit breakers

Case circuit breakers are used to provide circuit protection in various industry applications, where they protect against overloads and short circuits in conductors. These circuit breakers are applied in panelboards, switchboards, motor control centers, control panels, combination starters, individual enclosures, and bus duct plug-in units

Residential circuit breakers

residential circuit breakers are used in load centers, panelboards, or similar devices. They are made for a wide range of applications and include: arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI); and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)

Low voltage air circuit breakers

provides comprehensive low-voltage power circuit breaker solutions to meet the demands of power distribution systems worldwide.

Medium-voltage vacuum circuit breakers

vacuum circuit breakers provide centralized control and protection of medium-voltage power equipment and circuits in utility, industrial, commercial, mining and marine installations involving generators, motors, feeder circuits, and transmission and distribution lines.

Circuit Breakers and Switches

Explore circuit breakers, the foundation of safe power distributions and the main protection from electrically-caused fires. Protect each line carrying energy or supplying appliances by choosing the correct sized circuit breaker, that will automatically disconnect in the event of a short circuit, or a cable overload. Add switches, to enable manual on-offs or disconnection for maintenance, and transfer switches to connect backup energy sources.

Air Circuit Breakers – ACBs

Air circuit-breakers (ACBs) protect the largest carrying currents up to 6300 A. They can be used for source coupling or changeovers. To all high-level electrical professionals, it sounds like a saga of innovative breakthroughs. Experience full connectivity of the latest generation, with embedded algorithms enabling ever-higher energy reliability and efficiency

Molded Case Circuit Breakers – MCCBs

ComPact molded case circuit breakers (MCCBs) protect cables sized for 100A to 3200 A. Their highest breaking capacities allow them to protect also smaller cables, when connected close to a powerful energy source. As one pillar of digitally connected power distributions, ComPact breakers take part in energy consumption and asset management optimization. Benefit from 65 years of technological leadership, and rely on proven quality, opted for even in most demanding environments.


The extensive assortment of switch disconnectors, based on undisputed leading ComPact and MasterPact technologies, help users to manually or remotely interrupt lines with capacities up to 6300 A

Transfer switches

Transferpact transfer switches perform changeover between 2 or 3 power sources, by controlling and synchronizing incoming devices on each side, either circuit breakers or switch disconnectors

How to choose the right circuit breaker?

If you choose a contactor, you choose a size greater than the full load amps. You must derate if you have frequent starts, or jogging duty.

If you choose contactor, you need to consult the tables on expected life when you size based.

Now you need to select what type of overload relay you want. Bi-metallic or electronic, manual or automatic reset? Choose the rating based on the directions for what you choose.

If you are placing the circuit breaker next to the contactor, you can choose a Motor or a thermal-magnetic trip breaker. You have to protect for currents above the overloads trip curve.

If the circuit breaker is remote, and supplying the feeder to the motor controller, you again need to decide if you want fault only protection, or a regular breaker.

Choosing Circuit Breakers and Fuses

Make sure your breakers and fuses are rated for the appropriate dc voltage and breaking amperage

The dc Voltage rating assures the breaker or fuse will actually stop the current when it trips. Ac breakers may allow the current to continue to flow after they trip since dc will jump a much larger gap than the same ac voltage

Breaking amperage – if the current exceeds this rating the breaker/fuse may also fail to interrupt the current. This is very important when using large battery banks and fat cables. Most automotive fuses are rated to 1000 A breaking current, but a small sized 12-V battery bank with appropriately fat cables can easily exceed 2000 A of current if the cables get shorted together. The fuse would blow, but current jumps the gap and keeps flowing, melting down the wiring insulation and copper, possibly burning someone or starting a building fire.

Surface mount Breakers

Make appropriate surface mount breakers for 12-V and 24-V small to medium sized solar power systems. The series can be easily screwed to a piece of plywood and has 5/16 in studs for connecting your power cables. They are marine rated and breaking amperage is 5000 A.  The series is similar but has smaller 1/4 in studs and is not marine rated.

Box mounted Breakers

We recommend Solar breakers, which come in two different styles for fitting in different types of electrical boxes. They have a breaking amperage of 10,000 A and dc voltage rating up to 150 V.

Battery Mounted Fuses

Since there is so much power available from your battery bank it’s a really good idea to have a properly rated fuse right on each battery string in case the fat battery cables accidentally get shorted together.  A terminal fuse block mounts directly on a battery stud and can break 10,000 A. Fuses come in a variety of amperages.

Choosing A Location For Breaker Panels

The location of the breaker panel or box needs to be carefully planned due to strict regulations on their placement. We are produced through the association. Although the codes are not law, they are used as a reference for state and local authorities on which to base building codes relating to electrical wiring.


The specifically addresses breaker panels in Article 110 of the regulatory guidelines, addressed as “Requirements of Electrical Installations.”

For breaker panels, an area referred to as the “working space” is the area around the breaker panel that must be free of any other installations. According to the working space around the breaker panel must be at least 6′ 6” high and 3 feet square away from the wall, with 30” width. This allows the door to be opened to the panel, with nothing blocking the area.

The working handle of the highest center grip should not be more than 6′ 7” from the floor.

Breaker panels should not be located in small, enclosed rooms such as a closet, bathroom, pantry or small storage room.

Breaker panels must be easily accessible. No furniture or other obstructions should be placed in the working space, making it easy to approach the front of the panel.

Illumination of the area is essential. Although having a light in the room of the breaker panel may be considered sufficient by code, it may be worth dedicating a circuit to a light above the panel. This gives direct light to make it easy to see switches in dim conditions.


When deciding where to position a breaker panel, a few factors should be considered. The panel or box will need to be easily accessible; however, most people also want the box out of view, especially in a home or business. The trick is to find an area that is large enough to meet the working space standards set, and that is out of sight, while still easy to access

Some common areas that may meet these stipulations include:

Under stairways. If there is sufficient space, breaker panels can be placed under the stairs where there is easy access.

Garages. For homes with attached garages, this is the perfect place for installing a breaker panel. An area near the door that connects to the garage would be a good choice.

Basements. Many homes and buildings have the breaker panel in the basement. Just ensure that there is enough emergency lighting in case of a power outage to find the box in the dark.

Tips In Finding An Experienced Electrician

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Electrician

It’s essential to keep the electrical system within your home safe and functional. Still, when something goes wrong, you want to work with an expert for a safe and effective solution. However, with so many electricians to choose from, it can be hard to work out how to choose the right electrical contractor for your job. Here we look at some of the factors you should consider when selecting an electrical contractor

Licensed, Bonded and Insured

There’s simply not enough to be said for the importance of your electrician being correctly licensed, insured, and bonded before they come to perform work at your home. This protects you from unnecessary costs and stress should something go wrong in your home. It also ensures that all the electricians working on your electrics have the proper training to perform safe and effective work

Who Is On the Team?

Many electricians work as part of a team or company that may be comprised of master electricians, licensed journeyman electricians, or apprentices. In the case of some electrician companies, if they receive too much work, they may subcontract out to other certified electricians to complete work on busy days. It’s good to know exactly who will be attending to your project when you contact the electrician company and being informed beforehand if the owner or primary electrician won’t be visiting your home for the project to avoid any surprises

Qualifications and Certification

Your electrician must have proper training and adequate experience to provide top service and high-quality results for your electrical repairs and installations. Certified electricians are guaranteed to have at least 3 years’ experience. They can offer a 12-month warranty on their work as proof of quality and competence.

A Good Reputation

Word of mouth has always been a popular way to evaluate a service provider. However, with the widespread availability of the internet, testimonials and reviews are always at our fingertips. If you’ve received a recommendation for a particular electrician, it’s a good metric of their quality and service. You can also find several reviews for electrical contractors on their own website. Or, you can always conduct a search to find more information and reviews of the electrician online.

How to choose a really good electrician

You’ve probably heard common complaints from your friends and family about poor quality of work and a general lack of professionalism from electricians, leaving behind a trail of head and heartaches. Electrical problems that are still not fixed and structural issues that appear which weren’t there before.

Then you have the “rogue traders”. Although they’re rightly demonised in the media, Ombudsman Services report that six in ten homeowners still fail to check any credentials before giving the go-ahead for any work

So what can you do?

Usually, getting a personal recommendation from a friend or family member is the most trusted way to find a reliable tradesperson. But if this fails, what do you do next?


Regulatory body for the electrical industry, the NICEIC, provides a register of all verified electricians, who have passed their qualifications. You can search by location to find a local, qualified electrician or by company name to see if an electrician are who they say they are. You can also find a naughty list, which names and shames electricians who claim to be NICEIC, but are not.

Commercial Directories

There are also commercial directories which recommend tradespeople based on previous customer ratings. Checkatrade has become one of the most popular directories in the UK thanks to their strict background checks on tradespeople before they can become members.

Choosing A Registered Electrician

Many of us consider the visible things in our homes to be the most important – we value our TVs, games consoles and comfy sofas, yet some of the most important and vital components that make up a home aren’t immediately visible.

The wiring behind your walls is a complex lifeline and one which should only ever be tackled by a registered and fully qualified electrician. The consequences of not doing so could very well mean that everything else goes up in smoke.

Why should you choose a registered electrician?

A properly installed and well-maintained installation can significantly reduce the possibility of accident or injury. So, it is important that any electrical installation work is carried out by people who have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to avoid the dangers that electricity can create.

We recommend that you give your electrician a written summary of work required, which will simplify the quotation process and give you and your electrician a clear record of what has been agreed.

Are you a registered member of one of the Government approved schemes?

Start by checking that the individual is a registered member of one of the Government approved schemes.  Choosing a registered electrician means you will get additional protections should something go wrong. Contact the scheme directly if you want to check the individual’s registration.

How to choose an electrician

There’s a little more to choosing the right electrical contractor than just tracking someone down and throwing money at them to get the job over and done with. In fact, if you’re careless about who you hire or what you try to do yourself, it could easily end up burning your house down or really hurting someone.

When do I need an electrician?

We all know that electricians install and repair electrical systems. What you might not know, though, is just what kinds of electrical work you’ll need to call an electrician in for.

What qualifications do electricians need?

These days, all states and territories require electricians to hold an electrical license to carry out electrical work (see the pictures above for a few examples). Most states also require electricians to be ‘Registered Electrical Contractors’ (R.E.C.s) before they’re allowed to operate an electrical contracting business or perform electrical work for profit.

What’s a certificate of electrical compliance?

Electricians must issue certificates of electrical compliance for the work they do. These certificates indicate that the work that’s been done complies fully with the state or territory’s applicable electrical legislation as well as the Wiring Rules (also known as Australian Standard AS/NZS 3000:2007) – and that the work’s been properly tested and approved

If the electrician won’t give you a certificate or show you a licence, look elsewhere! And if you’re not sure about any of the above, get in touch with your local state regulator for more information. They’ll normally be more than happy to help.


Here are we understand that choosing an electrician can be an intimidating process. When comparing professionals from any field that you’re not familiar with, it’s often confusing to try to what different technical jargon means and whose qualifications are superior to whose. To make this process easier, in this article, our team will provide some key tips on how to choose the right electrician

Look for Experience- When comparing electricians, always ask about their level of experience. You want to make sure that the one you hire is actually qualified to do the kind of work you need, so ask about what kinds of projects they’ve worked on in the past, and for how long. Each of our technicians here we have at least 20 years of experience, so you won’t have to worry about a lack of expertise from our team.

Pay Attention to Communication- Most electrical projects take at least a couple of days, and there’s a lot of coordination that needs to happen in order to complete the job. Because of this, we are encourage you to pay attention to each candidate’s communication skills and attitude—do they explain things so that you can understand them? Are they upfront about possible delays? Asking yourself these sorts of questions will help you identify which electrician will give you the best service.

Check Recommendations- Lastly, you should always ask around and do a quick internet search to check out the electrician’s reputation before you hire them. A positive reputation among your circle of acquaintances is a good sign of a company’s skill and professionalism, and you can double check your findings against online review sites like the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List. In fact, you can check out listings on both of those sites to see what we have accomplished for our past clients

A Few Important Electrical Upgrades Tips

Electrical Upgrades for DIYers

Many homeowners who think nothing of tackling painting, carpentry and plumbing projects turn timid when it comes to electrical work. A little fear isn’t necessarily bad when dealing with electricity — it could keep you from making a serious mistake. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t electrical projects you can handle. All you need is an understanding of how the electrical code applies to your project and some instruction on making proper wire connections.

To safely guide you through this upgrade, we enlisted the help of electrical contractor Peter Eng, owner of Electrical Enterprises Incorporated in Litchfield County, Connecticut. It took him a day to complete all three projects. To facilitate your work, we’ve included photographs that outline the basic steps and illustrations that show all the wiring connections. Consult with an electrician if your home is wired differently than the ways illustrated

If you’re still not feeling confident, here’s an alternate approach: Run cables, install boxes, and wire in switches and outlets, then hire an electrician to make the final power hookups and check for any code violations. (Most municipalities allow you to do your own electrical work, though you’re never allowed to wire someone else’s home.) Also, get the proper permits from your local building department before starting. It’s the law, and you’ll also get the benefit of having your work checked both at the rough-in stage and when it’s completed.

Installing a Floodlight

Light up your life — or at least your backyard — with a floodlight. Our installation solves a common problem: A deck without adequate lighting for itself, a staircase, or the adjacent yard. The solution called for installing a two-lamp floodlight ($12) high up on the house wall. As with most electrical upgrades, this one relies on tapping into an existing circuit. If you’re not sure whether or not a circuit can support the upgrade, check with an electrician. An overloaded circuit is a fire hazard.

Choose a location for the floodlight on the outside of the house and bore a 1-inch-diameter hole through the wall and into the attic. Next, pick a spot for the wall switch that will operate the floodlight. The best location is directly above an existing wall outlet near the door that leads outside. Pull the wall outlet from its box but don’t disconnect it (the power should be off now). Push a snake up inside the wall to make sure there aren’t any obstructions. Then, cut a switch hole into the wall about 34 inches above the outlet.

Reasons You Need to Upgrade Your Home Electrical System

The electrical systems in a home are usually ignored by most people—until something goes wrong, at least. When a home electrical system suddenly fails, that’s when people start to take notice and try to find ways to fix it. However, it can pay to hire electrician services to make some electrical upgrades to your home sooner rather than later.

To Bring Your Home Electrical System up to Code

Building codes may vary from one year to the next, and new safety standards may have been implemented since your home electrical system was installed or updated last. Performing an electrical upgrade can help bring your home’s wiring back in line with current building codes.

To Prevent Fire Hazards

When electric system maintenance falls behind, there is a risk that frayed wires and other issues can create fire hazards. So, one reason to upgrade your home electrical system is to minimize fire risks.

To Meet the Power Needs of New Appliances

The average household consumes a lot of energy—and that amount is likely to rise as more and more modern technologies rely on electricity. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “In 2017, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,399 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average 867 kWh per month.”

To Add New Outlets for Added Convenience

Here’s a common problem: you want to move your TV to a different wall, but there aren’t any outlets near where you want to put it. Maybe the house is old enough that electrical outlets weren’t a major concern or the designer had a specific layout in mind that you don’t want to conform to. Either way, the lack of electrical sockets is going to be inconvenient for your plans.

Electrical Upgrades to Consider This Fall

Electrical Services should be your number-one destination this fall if you are looking to eliminate electrical hazards, better the performance of your electrical system, and most importantly, keep your family safe. With cooler temperatures and shorter days on the horizon, the last thing you want is outdated electrical features that will result in frequent power loss and a higher risk of electrical fires or shocks. Without these electrical upgrades you may even see your property decrease in resale value.

Electrical Upgrades for You

While there are numerous upgrades for you to consider this upcoming season, some are absolutely essential to the overall level safety and convenience in your home

GFCI Outlets: When you install a ground fault circuit interrupter in your home, you are not just guaranteeing better electrical performance; you may even guarantee you save a life or two. Perhaps that sounds a little over-the-top, but it is the truth. A GFCI outlet will greatly reduce your chances of falling victim to accidental electrocution. It is an incredibly helpful tool, especially when you consider that the American Burn Association reports that 400 deaths occur each year due to shock. Think of this upgrade as adding a gatekeeper to maintain the flow of input and output current in your home. Thanks to a built-in circuit breaker, the GFCI outlet will cut off power altogether once it detects something irregular between the input and output, single-handedly preventing shocks. These outlets should be installed in areas of your home like bathrooms and garages, where the risk of water mixing with electricity is higher.

Outlet & Switch Replacement: Have you taken a look at your home’s outlets and switches recently? Are they looking damaged beyond the point of repair? Well, it may be time for replacement, for the sake of safety and convenience. Some older homes are still equipped with two-prong outlets, which would be a reliable source of electrical power if it were still 1966. But in 2016, you need reliable three-prong outlets that will be able to meet all of your electrical power needs. Outdated outlets & switches are incredibly unsafe, so do not play any games with your safety and instead replace them with something new.

Aluminum Wiring Replacement: Similar to two-prong outlets, many older homes are also still equipped with aluminum wiring. Again, in 1966, this would have been fine, especially since aluminum was considered an acceptable wiring alternative due to the rising price of copper. However, fast forward 50 years in the future, and aluminum wiring is now considered a safety hazard. If you are living in of these unlucky homes, it is time to make the upgrade to copper wiring instead.

Smart Electrical Upgrades for Home Remodelers

If your home needs a makeover, or you’re simply planning to upgrade your decor, appliances or any other aspect of your living quarters, now is the best time to consider upgrading your home electrical system, as well. Home repair and remodeling projects often require some electrical work. As long as the electrician is on hand, you can usually save the cost of a service call by adding to the job as needed If you haven’t planned electrical upgrades, a quick look around your house might convince you that you should. Do you have receptacle outlets overburdened by multi-plug strips? Are your lamps and fixtures connected to extension cords? Does every three-prong plug need a two-prong adapter? These and other warning signs indicate a real need for electrical improvements. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until a problem occurs, and only then do they think to call in an electrician. But there’s along list of reasons why you should inspect and improve your electrical system-before an accident or service breakdown occurs. Here are a few points to consider

Is your service adequate? Many older homes still operate with seriously outdated 60-amp electrical service-and sometimes with just a few fuses or circuit breakers to protect the entire system. Newer homes often have 100-amp service panels, but even this minimum requirement set by many current codes may fall short of your present or future needs. Consider upgrading service to 200 amps.

Size for extra demand. If you’re installing a major electrical appliance, like an electric wall oven, a microwave oven, a double-wide refrigerator or central air-conditioning, you’d better think about the additional power it may need. While a salesman or installer might tell you that your system can handle the load, be smart and ask your electrician for a second opinion.

What’s the correct wire size? Electricians often install 14-AWG wiring during renovations, which is adequate for most home uses. But heavier 12-AWG copper wire is a better choice because it’s more energy-efficient and you won’t have to upgrade all over again if you install appliances or fixtures with greater electrical loads. The cost difference for upgrading to 12-AWG copper wire is minimal. If you’re adding a room extension or building a new home, it’s a good idea to install 12-AWG wire (or larger, depending on the needs of each circuit).

Consider special needs. Different rooms in a home serve different purposes-an important consideration when you’re planning improvements, especially where electrical work is involved. Family rooms, home offices and home theaters generally need more circuits, more outlets, and built-in or plug-in power-surge protection. Outlets in kitchens, baths, garages and outdoor areas require ground-fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs. And you don’t have to wait for a major renovation to add protection-you can install many safety devices yourself, such as outlet caps, switch guards and wire shields in nurseries and children’s playrooms.


Electrical upgrades to your home aren’t the first thing that you might think about when you consider a remodeling project. After all, it’s much more interesting to think of adding an extra room or upgrading your kitchen appliances and countertops. However, upgrading your wiring can be an extremely beneficial thing to do, and in some cases, it might be a safety priority.


You might need upgrades to your wiring or other electrical systems in your home for many reasons, but here are some of the most common.


No matter what electrical upgrades you need, the electricians from our Kankakee store are here to make sure you get the job done right. Our commitment to customer service means that you get the following when you choose Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating for your electrical work


We aim to be both friendly and respectful in the way that we interact with you at all times. We want you to feel comfortable and at ease, and we want you to feel that your questions and comments will always be heard and answered.


Part of keeping our word is keeping our appointments, and we aim to offer you on-time service for your appointments that you set with us

All About Circuit Breakers

What Causes Your Circuit Breaker to Burst

Circuit Breakers are electrical components designed to protect us against the risks of electric shock and our homes against fire and other types of damage that can be caused by electrical faults. Each circuit breaker in your electrical switchboard typically protects one or more related circuits against overload, short circuit and earth leakage.

There are only 3 very simple reasons why circuit breakers trip:

Overloaded Circuits – The Main Reason a Circuit Breaker Trips

Have a look around your house at all the socket outlets. How many appliances are plugged into each socket outlet? Chances are you’ve got more than the circuit is designed for. Our increasing use of electrical and electronic devices puts more pressure on our electrical installations every day – sometimes to the point where the amount of electricity we use exceeds the amount that the circuit can safely give us without overheating or getting damaged. When this occurs, the circuit breaker in your switchboard will disconnect the circuit from the electrical supply.

Short Circuits – When Things Go Really Wrong

Whether you’re digging in the garden for the great new flower box, or drilling a hole in the wall to put up that lovely family picture, each time you make changes to the house you run the risk of damaging electrical cables concealed behind walls or in the soil. When you drill a hole through a cable or cut it with a spade, direct contact occurs between the individual wires in the cable. This is known as a short circuit. Electrical cables are not designed to withstand the current flowing in such a short circuit situation. In cases such as this, the short-circuit protection mechanism in the circuit breaker disconnects the electricity supply to ensure that the cable does not melt or catch fire.

Earth Leakage Currents

Sometimes known as ground fault current or residual current, this is electricity that flows from the electrical installation to the ground or other conductive materials of the house. Electrical systems are designed to pass current between the live conductors of the installation. When appliances like kettles, refrigerators and washing machines become faulty, they can allow current to flow through their metal parts into your body and down to the ground. This is a dangerous situation known as an earth leakage. Certain types of circuit breakers known as Residual Current Devices or Ground Fault Current Interrupters trip when they detect this current flowing to the ground to protect you from electric shock.

How Can I Tell If My Circuit Breaker Has Gone Bad?

You may think it’s gone bad, but circuit breakers trip to protect you from electrical issues short circuit, overloaded circuit) that could cause fires. So first we want to rule out these common problems before jumping to the conclusion that the breaker is faulty.

Step 1: Identify what circuit the breaker is protecting

Go to your circuit breaker panel and look for one of these 2 things:

  • A label next to the breaker that’s tripping
  • A sheet on the circuit panel’s door

These will tell you what circuit this break is protecting.
Once you know that, you need to…

Step 2: Unplug all electrical devices on that circuit

You want to rule out the case of an overloaded circuit (a circuit that has more amps flowing through it than it can handle). So unplug lamps, TV components, computer components and the like that are on that particular circuit.

Step 3: Reset the circuit breaker

When you flip the breaker, you should hear a definite click.  If the switch flops back and forth and there is not definite “on” or “off” position, the breaker is probably bad.

How Do You Know If a Circuit Breaker Has Tripped?

If power has gone off in a certain area of your home rather than all over the house, the problem may be a tripped circuit breaker.  Electrical circuits of your home are protected by either circuit breakers or fuses.  All homeowners should know the location of their electrical panel or fuse box, and the opening should be easily accessible and not blocked by shelving, boxes or furniture. If each circuit breaker or fuse isn’t already labeled, take the time to identify each switch or fuse and the particular area it controls. This will save you time and effort if a circuit or fuse trips/blows. If there are two breakers or fuses for one area, such as the kitchen, take care to detail which part of the kitchen each of the two switches controls.  For example, you might label one switch “kitchen appliances” and the other switch “kitchen counter outlets” or other designations as appropriate.

If a circuit breaker trips because it has exceeded its maximum amperage, the switch handle will have moved between the on and off position and may show a red area alerting you that it has tripped. Depending on your electrical panel, sometimes the “trip” causes only a slight movement of the handle, and you’ll have to look closely at the switches to discern which one has tripped.

Circuit Breaker Warning Signs

We care about maintaining the value of your home, so make sure you’re aware of these circuit breaker warning signs:

1. Burning Smell in the Electrical Panel

One way to tell if you need a circuit breaker replacement is to sniff around and see if you smell a burning odor coming from the panel. If so, that means the wires and insulation have become overheated. Ultimately your circuit breaker is failing to protect your home from an electrical short elsewhere. Shut off the main power to the house immediately and call an electrician for an emergency service before it’s too late.

2. Breaker Will Not Remain Reset

After several months of resetting your circuit breaker, it might seem like it won’t stay on for a period of time. Boom, warning sign number two. This means the circuit breaker has failed, so hire an electrician to check the entire circuit. He’ll be able to diagnose it and ensure no further damage was done to the wiring.

3. Physical Damage

Seeing scorch marks around your circuit breaker, outlets, or other electrical appliances? Then that means the wiring has melted and failing. There’s a good chance your electrical panel breaker needs immediate service. A melted wire is one bad step away from your whole home lighting on fire. Call an electrician immediately and unplug all fixture from that circuit breaker.

4. Breakers Tripping Frequently

If it seems like every time you turn on an electrical appliance, your circuit breaker starts tripping, then you’re dealing with an outdated breaker. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much power is being drawn through it. It’s very frustrating dealing with a tripping circuit breaker. Each time you turn on your microwave or vacuum, you’ll find out immediately whether your breaker is tripping and if it’s ready to fail. Call an electrician who will determine whether it’s a bad breaker or if you need to add a circuit to your home.

5. Old Age

Another warning sign of a failing circuit breaker is simply if it’s too old. Circuit breakers are supposed to last for decades. However, if you’re regularly checking your breaker or haven’t had it inspected in a while then it could very well be failing without you knowing it. Having an electrician inspect your panel is a wise investment, especially for those of you who haven’t done so in the past 10 years…

Ground Fault

A particular type of short circuit, a “ground-fault,” occurs if a hot wire comes in contact with a ground wire or a metal wall box or touches wood framing members. Ground faults can be especially dangerous when they occur in areas with high levels of moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms, or in outdoor locations. A ground fault carries a definite risk of shock.

There are steps you can take to identify and fix a ground fault, but also essential steps you should take to prevent one from occurring in the first place. For example, in areas where direct contact with the ground or water is possible, building codes may require that outlets be protected with GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters).

As with hard shorts, a ground fault causes an instant reduction in resistance and an immediate increase in electrical flow. This causes the internal mechanism of the circuit breaker to heat up and trip. As with hard shorts, if a ground fault is present, the circuit breaker may trip again immediately after you reset it.

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Residential Electrical Explains Converters and Voltage

Many people who travel to or from the United States run into problems when they try to use electronics like a laptop or hair dryer. This is because the American 110 volt power system is different than the European 220 volt electricity. Without a converter, devices can fail or become damaged. Even the electrical system in use can be damaged. Always use caution when operating devices in another country and check the voltage before plugging them in.

Voltage Difference between US and Europe

The United States is one of the only countries that currently use the 110 volt / 60 hertz electrical system. Most countries use a higher voltage system that handles 220 volts at 50 hertz. Appliances and electronics in these countries are designed to only work with the electrical system in that area. Because the voltage in Europe is twice that of the American system, plugging American devices into a European electrical system without a converter can destroy the device and even cause a fire. Devices intended for the 60 hertz cycle may not be able to function on the 50 hertz system as well.

Using Products Abroad

Using your devices in another country often requires the use of a converter. To see if the device needs a converter, check the information panel. Many manufacturers design electronics to work with range of voltages and these products will list acceptable input levels as 110-240 volts. If a specific voltage is required, the item needs a converter to work outside this range. Always look at the wattage requirement of the product before buying a converter. A residential electrician can recommend a good converter that has a higher wattage rating than the device, which prevents malfunction.

Advantages of the 220 Volt System

Although it has more safety risks, the 220v system used throughout Europe can reduce energy use and the electrical load.

There is no clear winner between the 110 volt and 220 volt electrical systems. It is important to remember the differences and risks, however, when traveling to a different country. Using electrical devices on a system they were not made for can cause fires or cause the device to malfunction or break. A trained residential electrician can recommend the right converter to use electrical items on any voltage system.

How do I increase voltage in my home?

You need to find out if the AC voltage to  your house is “normal” or if it has drooped to a lower value due to large current demand in the neighborhood.  It is the task of the power company to supply the normal voltage to your house.  If it is too low, they need to fix something.  In principle you could use a step-up transformer to raise the voltage, but a transformer big enough to handle the load current of an air conditioner could be expensive.  I would not try that first. 

Now, if the voltage to your house is normal, you may have an air conditioner that is intended for use with a different voltage.  Like trying to run a 220V input unit from 110V (if you are in the USA).  Or maybe the air conditioner has a leak and has lost coolent.  More input voltage won’t help with that.

How to Convert 120v to 240v? Voltage Converter Application

120V (110v) outlet can power virtually any standard device you can imagine, from tiny handheld electronics to large appliances. However, the item you want to use may require the higher 240V (220v, 230v) outlet. Fortunately, converting your outlet from 120V to 240V is a relatively simple project. Moreover, buying a reliable voltage converter will make the job even easier.

Gather Your Tools, and Turn Off the Power
The tools needed to convert an 120V wall outlet to a 240V outlet include screwdrivers, a neon voltage tester, and a black marker. You also need a 240V receptacle and a double-pole circuit breaker. Turn off the power at the main circuit breaker to avoid electrocution while you are working. Even with the power off, the terminals and wires on the main breaker carry an electrical charge, so you should never touch them for any reason.

Remove and Disconnect the Outlet Breaker and Wires
Locate the specific terminal that governs the 120v outlet, and loosen it with the screwdriver. Next, remove the wire connected to the terminal. Carefully pop the breaker off of the panel, and set it aside. Locate the neutral terminal by following the white wire, and loosen the screw. Pull the wire off the bus bar, and color the last few inches of the wire with your black marker. This makes the wire easier to identify and easier for our 120v to 240v converting job.

Install the Double-Pole Circuit Breaker
Hook the two tabs on the back of the 120v double-pole circuit breaker to the lock bar inside the breaker panel. Press the tabs firmly, and immediately switch the new breaker off. Locate the two terminal screws on the new breaker and loosen them. Slide the wire previously connected to the old breaker into one terminal and tighten it. This step must be done carefully, in order to achieve 120V transform to 240V.

Install the 240V Receptacle
Slide the prongs of the neon voltage tester into the existing socket to ensure it does not contain a current. If the lamp on the tester doesn’t light up, you can proceed. Remove the screw holding the 120V outlet cover in place, and pop it off. Remove the screws holding the receptacle in place, and slide it out of the electrical box. Remove the white, black, and ground wires from the receptacle by loosening the screws on the corresponding terminals. Locate the green ground terminal on the new outlet, wrap the end of the ground wire in a clockwise U-shape around the screw, and tighten it firmly. After this step, we finally managed the operation of 120V to 240V converting.

Test the Device
Turn the power back on at the main service panel, slide the prongs of the neon voltage tester into the new socket, and test to ensure it is working. Additional lamps will light up to indicate the new, higher rating. Be sure that the new breaker only covers the new 240V outlet, since more coverage can cause electrical or operation problems with additional powered components. Now, you can safely use your appliance on the 120V to 240V power outlet.

How do I know if my device is single voltage?

If you see something on the power label that looks more like 110V AC or 120V AC, it’s a single voltage device. Single voltage devices require a plug adapter AND a voltage converter and/or a transformer for international travel. To determine now what model of converter you’ll need, you will have to figure out the wattage of your device and purchase a voltage converter that complements that. Read on for all you need to know about watts.

Watts: Watts (W) measure how much power a device uses. You can find out the wattage of your device by looking for the W on the power label.

A low-watt range is typically 23W to 50W, which is usually the wattage range of the most common travel electronics. But many heating devices needing a higher setting can consume between 1000W and 2000W. You need to know the wattage of your device in order to determine the appropriate voltage converter to purchase so look on the indications label of your device for the W to get this information. Then, be sure to buy a converter with a wattage rating that is two to three times higher than the device you plan to operate in order to safely convert. For example, for an appliance rated at 400 watts, you should get a converter that is at least 800 watts.

What Would Cause Low Voltage in House Wiring?

One of the most common causes of low voltage is the overload of the system. Different times of the day, such as early afternoon, are typically high demand times. As is well known, hot days and weeks of the summer can cause a surge of power demand for air conditioners, a very power hungry set of machines. When the power company detects a large surge in demand, it will engage in the standard 5 percent reduction in power per home in a region. This can be a cause for under- or weak voltage.

Less well known is the concept of distance. Utility Systems Technologies in New York issued a paper in September 2009 dealing with both the causes and solutions to low voltage issues. One of the claims made is that homes at a great distance from the main power plant or generator will receive a lower amount of voltage than homes that are closer. This is particularly the case in spread-out rural areas. The problem here is “low load density.” This means that electricity must travel farther. In urban areas where people live close together, the increased density of “thickness” of the electrical signal is conducive to higher, or at least more regular, voltage per home.

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How To Choose The Right Packaging For Your Product

When it comes to choosing the right packaging material for your product, you can’t go wrong by paying close attention to the details. After all, packaging may just be one of the biggest factors in making your product a success.

The right packaging not only attracts consumers, it will keep your product safe in transportation and keep it fresh. This reinforces the quality of the brand and item when customers know they can count on a fresh item from when it hits the shelf to when it’s in their hand.

Packaging Budget

Before you begin any packaging endeavor, you must determine the scope of your budget. This will determine what kinds of materials you can use, and what you can spend making your design as enticing as possible.

Packaging Transportation

Once you have decided on the package design, it’s time to consider function. No matter how amazing the design, if the package doesn’t function properly, it will do you no favors.

Packaging Materials And Sustainability

When it comes to packaging materials, it’s a good rule of thumb to treat your products like you would treat yourself. Just as you would not want to live in a home that is too big or too small, the right space for the right packaging has great effect on the end result.

Tips for Choosing the Right Packaging Company

When selecting a packaging company, you want a partner you can rely on. Ideally, the company will have all the services and features your company needs; however, bear in mind these needs can change as your company grows and evolves

Quality Packaging

A high quality final product should be a top criteria and priority. Ensure that your packaging company will be using effective processes and procedures to calibrate, control and maintain high standards. Do they perform regular inspections, measurements and tests of their equipment?

Intuitive Customer Service

Customer service should go beyond just meeting your needs today; look for a package design and production company that’s committed to exceeding your expectations now and planning for your success in the future.

Experienced in Graphic and Structural Design

Your packaging company should be experienced in a range of key packaging capabilities and solutions. From retail packaging and displays to industrial packaging and engineering design expertise, Victory Packaging can meet any range of needs. A full-service packaging company, like Victory Packaging, can better serve you in every phase of your company’s growth and development.

A Range of Materials and Processes

Be sure your packaging partner is well-versed in paper substrates, structures, and styles. They should be able to facilitate ideal graphics integration and printing processes. Victory Packaging features a team of in-house structural engineers to assist you in all phases of ideation, concepting, design and rendering. Structural prototypes, animations, 3D renderings, and final artwork can all be provided to ensure high-quality results.

The Ultimate Guide: How To Choose the Right Packaging for Your Product

The way your product is packaged plays a surprisingly key role in how consumers respond to it. Good packaging can elevate your brand, justify a high price point, and serve as a key distinction between yourself and your competitors — and that’s just the beginning.

To understand why packaging is so important, you have to understand what your packaging communicates. There are a few fundamental elements of your product packaging: shape, design, materials, colors, and text. Each element communicates something about your brand both on its own and in relation to the entire package.

Determining the Basics of Your Package Design

Before you can select the best packaging for your product, you need to make some decisions up front.

What material do you want to use?

Your choice of material is one of the most important parts of your packaging design. Whether you go the paper or plastic route depends on your brand’s style and the product itself, though keep in mind that, overwhelmingly, consumers prefer paper packaging. 68% of consumers say they’re more likely to choose a product in a paper or cardboard package versus a plastic package, and 63% say paper packaging makes a product seem more high-quality.

How will your product be transported?

Durability is tantamount to successful packaging, and function and ease of transport should be considered when coming up with your package design. You don’t want to design original and eye-popping packaging only to have it lose its shape before it gets to its end location.

How to Choose the Best Contract Packaging Services

A contract packaging service, also known as a co-packer, is an organization that provides supply chain services such as warehousing pick-and-pack, equipment rental, and more. These companies can provide businesses with total turnkey solutions, or labour. Outsourcing your packaging and warehousing operations with a custom packaging company can benefit your business in many ways. But, before you settle on a co-packing company, it is important to make sure it is aware of your needs. By informing the contract packager of your goals, you’ll be able to discuss and identify if they are the right team for you to work with. Here are three important aspects to consider when choosing a contract packaging company.

Flexibility and Co-Packing of Packaging Service

Packaging and repackaging in the supply chain will always go through changes, and the co-packer should be able to guarantee their ability to respond quickly and make adequate changes to prevent any problems along the way. It is important to ask and find out how the company would meet challenges such as changes in planning, scheduling, and management. Many packaging companies will charge extra for last-minute or rushed projects, which you should expect. It is more important to focus on their ability to adapt to changes.

Capability and Location of Contract Packager

The company you desire to work with should never take for granted aspects such as maintaining machinery and the workspace required. You should ask your contractor what equipment they would use for your project, and request a walk-through of their recommended process. They should also have headquarters in close proximity to where your project will be the most effective. You should be able to reach your end customer or distribution centre as easily and quickly as possible. This will save you costs in terms of shipping and packaging. It will also help you build stronger relationships and explain your expectations clearly to your partner company.

Quality and Cost

Cost may be an important aspect to consider for your business, but it is not the most important factor that influences a successful packaging partnership. You should be budgeting 10% of the total cost for packaging, but be aware that this budget includes materials as well as paying your service vendors. Once you have considered the other factors, then you can negotiate your price with the contract marketing manufacturers as long as they are reliable, resourceful, and responsive to your needs

How to Choose a Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service That Saves You Time

Are you spending hours fulfilling orders to your customers? Your process is probably slow and laborious. Even after all the time you spend, you can still make costly mistakes like using a wrong shipping address.

What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment?

Pick and pack fulfillment is part of the supply chain management process. It’s the process of picking sold product, packing it, and then affixing a shipping label and invoice to the product.

Why You Would Want to Use a Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service

A streamlined picking and packing process isn’t an easy feat.

Choosing a Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service

Here’s your problem now: there are many different pick and pack services to choose from.

Provided Services

First and foremost, you need to see what all services they provide. At the minimal, they should provide basic pick, pack, and shipping capabilities. That’s why you’re using them.