How to Read Your Breaker Panel
Tips for taking care of and reading your breaker panel
Every home has the gray metal box somewhere. While you may assume that you will never need to delve inside of it, you should know a bit about how it works, how to care for it and how to read what is on the inside. Your breaker panel is the key to your home’s electricity. You need to know a bit about it so you can utilize it properly when you need it.
Where is my breaker panel?
The first step in understanding your breaker box is knowing where it is located. It is a gray metal box that is flush with the wall. The most common areas for it to be located are the utility room, garage, laundry room, basement or a hallway closet. If it is nowhere to be found, check around outside. If you still can’t locate it, consult an electrician.
Breaker Panel Labels
When you open the box, you will see two columns of breaker switches. Each switch is designated for a specific circuit in your home. The circuits are generally grouped together by area. The switches should be clearly labeled either right next to the switch or on the door using corresponding numbers. For example, one may be labeled “master bedroom”, which indicates that this breaker is attached to the lights and outlets in the master. The labels could also relate to a specific appliance in your home.
The labels are extremely important because when a certain switch or appliance needs to be repaired, you will need to turn of the electricity at the breaker prior to working on the area to prevent shock. Also, if a circuit trips, it will be easy to tell which one it is. Be sure to test the switch inside to be certain that it is off before any work is done.
What if the switches aren’t labeled?
If for some unfortunate reason your switches are not labeled or incorrectly labeled, you will need to label them yourself. Here are the steps you will need to take to label your breakers. This job is best done with a partner. One person stays at the box and the other stays in the home checking where the power goes on or off.
- Turn on a light or two in each room
- Switch all of the circuits off except one
- Walk around your house and check for lights and outlets that are still on. A good tip is to carry around a small desk lamp so that you can easily plug it in to test outlets.
- Once you find what room or are is still on, label the switch at the panel
- Repeat these steps until all circuits are labeled properly
How do I reset a tripped breaker?
A breaker can be tripped if too much electricity traveled through the circuit at once. In order to reset the breaker you need to find the breaker that is not lined up like the others. You will then need to turn it all of the way off then pause a few seconds and turn it back to on. It should stay on and your items will gain electricity. If it continues to trip then it is time to call an electrician who can determine and repair the problem. Depending on what items you have going to the circuit, you may need an upgrade. Also, a breaker switch can go bad requiring a replacement.
If you need help locating your breaker panel, labeling your panel or have any other electrical issues, call the experts at Any Time Electric today!
Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips
When you want to head outside to enjoy your deck or patio you are probably not thinking about electrical safety when you plug in your Bluetooth speakers, your cocktail blender or your patio lights. However, there is no better way to ruin a great party or a relaxing evening than to have a problem with you outdoor outlets. Here are a few outdoor electrical safety tips that you should follow before you head out to relax.
Outdoor outlets are susceptible to harsher conditions. Each outlet should be protected by a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) to protect you and your family against electrocution. Also, outdoor outlets should have a weatherproof cover. Protection from moisture is imperative to prevent shock or fire.
Did you know that not all extension cords are meant to be used outdoors? When using extension cords make sure they are specifically designed for outdoor use, otherwise they may not be weatherproof and this could cause a safety hazard. Also, you should be using an up to date extension cord that has 3 prongs with 3 slot outlets, older hand me down extension cords may not be safe.
If you have a pool, spa or even a fountain you must check that no cords are in direct contact with the water. It’s also good practice to unplug equipment when not in use. All cords that are near any type of water feature must also be plugged into GFCI outlets. If electrical equipment ever becomes wet, be sure to carefully unplug it and dry it out before using it again. Be sure to have regular pool and spa equipment inspections.
Before you head outside for your next gathering be sure to follow these safety tips. Call a licensed electrician if you have any issues or questions. Anytime Electric is available 24/7 for residential and commercial jobs big and small. Call 201-398-6592
Rewiring Your Home
Benefits of rewiring your home
Rewiring your home can provide countless benefits. It can keep a home safe from potential electrical fires and allow the electronics and lighting in your home running flawlessly. After all, today’s modern age gadgets need a lot more energy than past kinds used in your grandparent’s day and age to run, which is one of many the reasons why rewiring is necessary. Read on to find out why you may need to have your home rewired by a professional electrician.
What are the other reasons why a home needs rewiring?
Today’s technology requires CAT-5 wiring. CAT-5 Wiring is necessary for running broadband internet throughout your out your home so you can watch cable on TV, Tablets or Computers, or search the web on your cell phones and other technology gadgets.
Some homes need rewiring because there are blown fuses that need replacing, or corroded wiring from just old age. With that said, critters such as squirrels, mice, rats and possums are known to make their way into the walls and attics of homes to make homes of their own, which leads to chewed wires that can start an electrical fire.
Sometimes old homes need rewiring updates because there aren’t enough outlets in each room of it, or the ones that are in there are not properly grounded. Poorly grounded outlets can cause electrical shock.
How can you find out if your home needs rewiring?
You can find out if your home needs rewiring by having a certified electrician do an electrical inspection on your old home for potential hazards. You may think the cost of hiring a professional to have this done or any electrical updates in your home is expense, but think about how expensive it would be if your home burned down completely, or suffered fire damage from a simple electrical fire within a wall or even a few walls of your home.
When is the best time to update the wiring in a home?
The best time to update the wiring within a home is anytime you decide to do remolding of your home. This is because rewiring usually requires the removal of dry-wall and ceilings. However, you should always update old wiring sooner than remodeling projects if it poses a hazard to the ones living in a home. After all, waiting it out can cause unnecessary expenses you might not be ready to pay for such as injury or death of a love one due to an electrical fire that was preventable.
What is the average cost of rewiring your home?
On average, the typical cost for rewiring your home in about $2 per square foot, which is less expensive than having to completely redo a home, or losing someone you love in a home electrical fire. With that said, you can have an inspection done on your home to see what exactly needs rewiring and the total cost it will be. This will allow you to budget accordingly so you can afford to have the wiring in the home updated properly by professional services.
What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?
Keep in mind the costs of not updating the old wiring in your home could be more than just money. It could mean someone’s life. Replacing old wiring not only saves you expensive cost, but it can help the newer technology of today run smoother and more energy efficient so your utility bill isn’t as high. The benefits of updating old wiring in a home are countless, but hopefully the reasons mentioned are enough to help you do it sooner rather than later.
Top 4 Reasons to Switch to LED
Top 4 Reasons to switch to LED lighting
LED lighting has revolutionized the lighting industry. With the large variety of bulb options and numerous uses, it has easily become the most popular form of lighting. While it is all the rage, you may still be hesitant to change. Here are the top 4 reasons you should make the switch today.
Typically LED bulbs last 50 to 100 times more hours than then traditional incandescent lamps. Who wants to constantly be changing out bulbs? and consider the expense each time you replace it.. it certainly adds up! LED’s will last forever compared to incandescents without burning out quickly or suddenly like other light bulbs.
If you have ever broken an incandescent bulb, you know how fragile they are. LED bulbs are much less fragile due to their design. Plastics have replaced the traditional use of glass in order to protect the interior lamp.
When you switch to LED bulbs, the money savings will be instantaneous. Your first electric bill you could see a decrease of at least 50% if you have switched out all of your bulbs. That is a drastic reduction and certainly worth the small investment in replacing all of our bulbs.
By replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs you will be helping the environment. You will cut down on the amount of replacement bulbs you need, creating less waste. You will also be using less energy because LED bulbs are energy efficient.
The future of lighting is here with LED lights. Now that you know all the reasons to make the switch, it’s time to contact your local electrician to complete the job safely and properly. Installing recessed lighting? Go for LED! Replace those bulbs and save money instantly! For a great money saving chart, and the longevity of incandescent vs LED vs CFL check out this electrician blog.
Does Your Business Need a Generator?
Reasons why your business needs a commercial generator
Having a power outage is among the most devastating things that can happen to a business. There are numerous things that can cause a power outage, including floods, storms, a broken fuse, or an unfortunate problem in the wiring among others. Most businesses cannot afford to stay out of power for long; power cuts in industries, factories, manufacturing units and offices can cause insurmountable losses. You could also lose a great deal of money, especially if you are operating a food-based business. This is in addition to causing other power related problems like plumbing issues. It is therefore imperative that you install a commercial electric generator to ensure that your business runs smoothly, even when there is no power.
Keeping your business running
Power is everything for most businesses. Commercial kitchens, restaurants and bakeries rely on power to maintain the freshness and safety of the food they sell. Having power at all times is also extremely crucial for healthcare, nursing homes, medical research companies and companies in the security, as it is a vital component for the safety and security of customers and patients. You may have noticed that spas and retailer salons do not open during a power outage, which is detrimental to their existence as it causes immediate sales drop-off. Besides, more businesses are now transferring to online environments; a commercial electric generator will make it easier for you to remain connected to your clients, inevitably boosting your sales and profits.
Capacity to power all your major systems
While some business can use a portable generator in the event of power outage, it can be extremely limited on the amount of power it can generate, often providing sufficient power to operate two appliances at most. In contrast, a commercial electric generator is efficiently designed to power every appliance you need, ensuring that the operations of your business are not restricted in any manner, thus enhancing productivity.
Maintaining a comfortable work environment
A commercial electric generator will essentially ensure that your heating and cooling system is operational at all times. This in turn guarantees your employees comfort while protecting them from weather extremities, including too much heat or cold. Keeping your employees happy and comfortable will in turn enhance their productivity, ensuring that your business makes optimum profits.
Retaining and attracting clients
While your business competitors are experiencing a power outage, customers are likely to be looking for an alternative goods and services provider. That person could be you! A commercial electric generator will help you stand out among your competition, ensuring that you not only retain your existing customer base, but also attract new customers.
A commercial electric generator may not appear to be an obvious requirement for some businesses. However, the potential savings renders the purchase an extremely wise investment in the long run. Regardless of the kind of business you are running, whether it is retail, food, health care, manufacturing, or commercial building, you will want to have a thorough plan in place for dealing with power outages, whether short-term or extended. The importance of being proactive in protecting your business from power outage cannot be overstated; get a backup plan in place. Installing a commercial electric generator will ensure that all the critical operations of your commercial facility take place without a glitch.
Call Any Time Electric today and let us install a generator for your business before storms arrive and you lose power along with time and work flow! 201-398-6592
10 Tips to Save Money on Your Electric Bill
10 Tips to Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Stop letting your monthly electric bill get the best of you and your wallet. Many homeowners are in search of saving money on their bills. Winter and summer months will show major increases in your electrical usage along with a spike in the price you pay. There are some simple things that can be done to help with saving money on monthly bills, while a few are major changes that can be made. These major changes usually involve an investment but in the long run the investment is well worth it. Below you will find the little things and the big things you can do to make your bills smaller and be on your way to saving money.
- Keep your vents clean: Keeping the ventilation system in your home clean and free of debris can make a world full of difference. When the heat or cool air is trying to pass through a vent that is dusty there is less air flow, which in turn, forces your equipment to work harder. Keeping them clean and free allows easier air flow to pass through with less struggle, as well as, allowing you to actually feel the heat/air.
- Seal those cracks: You can use caulking or the weather proofing seal tape for this job. Both items are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. You want to keep it tight so you do not lose the heat in the winter or cool air in the summer. It helps by better regulating the temperature in the home.
- Use fans: We all know it can get hot in the summer, that doesn’t mean you have to rush to the air conditioning. Opening some windows and turning on the fans can keep it cool at a lower price. Wait until it really is too hot before clicking the switch.
- Unplug: Many items and appliances in your home will continue to pull electricity even when they are off. Make use of a power strip, this will allow you to plug anything into it and when you go to bed for the night simply turn off the power from the power strip eliminating any unwanted and unnecessary usage. If you have easy access to your outlets simply unplug what is not being used.
- Replace your AC and furnace filters: People do not do this often enough. It is important to switch out your filters because they get dirty and clogged up. If you don’t want that hassle you can purchase a reusable filter and simply clean it when needed.
- Change the temperature of your water heater: Many water heaters are set to run at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this is not necessary. You can bring down the temperature to 120 degrees and this will save you money.
- Trade in your light bulbs: Switching your light bulbs to LED can decrease your bill by almost 20 bucks. Saving money is saving money!
- Trade in your old appliances: Many of the newer appliances come as energy saving. This may cost some money, but some states, government and utility offices offer financial incentives for switching.
- Cut back on AC/Heat: Don’t be so quick to rush and turn them on. Add extra clothing or remove some before using more power.
- Switch over to solar power: While this is the most expensive route, it is saving money in the long run.
Saving money on your electric bill is great and it doesn’t take much. Simply be more conscientious of you electric usage. We hope these tips on saving money will help you lower your bills.
Repair Chewed Wires
Repair chewed wires now!
During the cold winter months animals such as squirrels, chipmunks, and mice may find their way into your attic, basement or garage. They may go unnoticed until you have an odd problem with your electrical shorting out or worse a fire. Now is the time to inspect your home and repair chewed wires, have them repaired immediately by a professional electrician.
Electric Repair in the Attic
The attic is location where many homes have their phone or cable wire coming in from the outside. It is also a common place for animals to seek shelter. If you had a winter visitor who has since packed his bags, be sure to check for wire damage. Rodents have teeth that grow constantly so they are always chewing on anything and everything, including your wires. If you see chewed wires, you should call a professional who has the proper knowledge and equipment to repair the damage.
Electric Repair in the Basement
Some may think they are cute but ask anyone who has had them in their house and they will wholeheartedly disagree! Mice love to seek shelter in accessible basements during the cold. Mice also multiply quickly; therefore there are many little gnawing mouths around. They will chew anything including your wires. If you have signs of mice, then you must check for wire damage. The wire casing will look chewed and be in bits on the floor around the area and the wires will possibly be exposed.
Electric Repair in the Garage
While it may not seem to be the warmest place in your home during the winter, it is the most accessible by rodents. Your garage door is always opening up for your car therefore inviting shelter seekers right in. Electrical panels give off a bit of heat creating common place to find chewed wires. If you notice chewed wires in or around your panel it’s time to call an electrician.
Don’t get chewed out by rodents! Check your wires and call a licensed electrician for repair. Any Time Electric is always available! 201-398-6592