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Installing Recessed Lighting in Your Home

A solution to remedy the unflattering lighting in your home is to switch to recessed lighting. Also known as can lights or downlights, the fixtures appear level with the ceiling which makes them suitable for spaces with low ceilings. This option is a versatile source of light that can also add to the ambiance of rooms as well. It also works well with other types of lights, such as table lamps, sconces, and candles, so you can create a well-balanced and inviting environment. However, before you install recessed lighting, you must first find the type right for you.

The housing is the light fixture itself, and holds the light bulb and trim in place. There are several types offered. New construction housing is used for homes being built or new additions to existing houses, and is put in place before the installation of the ceiling occurs. Remodel housing is designed to be installed in an existing ceiling. For lighting fixtures that will be in direct contact with insulation, there is insulation-contact rated housing. If the lighting has an attic or unconditioned space above with a conditioned room situated below, selecting airtight housing will reduce airflow as well as prevent heating and cooling energy waste. Slope ceiling housing creates enough space for the light to be angled in a sloped ceiling.

The trim is what is visible when you see the fixture; there are numerous styles to select from. The most common one is baffle trim which features a ribbed interior to minimize glare. Reflector trim has a mirrored surface to amplify the illumination given.  Another option is open trim which is flush or very close to flush with the ceiling and delivers unobstructed illumination. If you wish to use can lights to highlight a specific feature or wash the walls with light, eyeball trim is the perfect choice as you can choose the direction the light travels. For wet or humid locations there is shower trim. This style uses a tempered glass lens suitable to be installed in restrooms and over showers.

Another factor to consider is the light bulb you wish to use. Some downlight fixtures can take LED, halogen, incandescent, or fluorescent bulbs. But there are certain styles that can only use select light bulbs, typically halogen or fluorescent. The lightbulb you choose can help enhance the atmosphere you are trying to portray, as each can give off different colors. If you want to have dimmable lights, you should use fixtures reliant on LED, incandescent, or halogen light bulbs. This is due to the fact that fluorescent light bulbs cannot be dimmed unless they have dimmable ballast.

If you want recessed lighting installed in your home, rely on the professional electricians at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric to do the job for you. Our high-quality service and hard work ethic is evident by our A+ Better Business Rating and superb reviews on Angie’s List. We are a family owned business that puts the safety and satisfaction of our customers before everything else. We have a located in Walton, KY to proudly serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today!

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What Are Low Frequency Electrical Hums?

A low frequency electrical hum can make it hard to relax in your own home. You are stuck hearing a noise that seems to come from out of nowhere, and is difficult to pinpoint. The problem can drive you crazy if you are stuck dealing with it for too long. Buzzing and humming are a quite common phenomenon and can occur for numerous reasons.

Low frequency electrical hums can be caused by a number of issues. Lots of fluorescent light fixtures are known to make a humming noise, so to eliminate the sound you would have to switch to a different type of fixture. Lightbulbs that are cheaper or on a dimmer can be the source of the disturbance. To resolve the problem, upgrade to an LED bulb and see if things quiet down.

Older electric or gas meters rely on several moving parts to function, so it is easily possible that they may emit a noise loud enough to hear in your home. If this is the reason, speak with your utility provider to inquire about upgrading your meter or getting a replacement. Fortunately newer meters are digital so they very rarely create a hum.

A general term to describe the audible sound from an alternating current is “mains hum.” Electrical transformers on the exterior of your home and appliances powered by electric motors, including refrigerators and dryers, are known sources of mains hum. This sound is completely harmless and happens normally; however, it can be a bad sign if the hum escalates to a loud buzzing.

Electrical elements like outlets and wiring can hum for various reasons, most of which can indicate a dangerous issue. An improperly grounded outlet or wiring that transfers voltage at a level that exceeds its rating can be the culprit and overtime can spark a fire.

If circuit breakers are defective or failing, they may not function properly. Instead of tripping when a circuit has too much voltage, it can leave the circuit in an overloaded state. This can cause the breaker box to produce a noise.

The annoyance of low frequency electrical hum has led to several techniques to be developed to help locate the source. You can roll up a piece of paper into a horn shape to hold up to your ear. You should then stand in the middle of the room, and see which direction has the loudest sound. If this doesn’t pinpoint the source, you can rely on a metal soundhead stethoscope. The stethoscope should never make contact with electricity, so this option can only help you see if nonelectrical components are the problem.

If you are suffering with a low frequency electrical hum, contact a professional electrician to find and correct the problem. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are a trusted family owned electrical contractor and here to help you. We prioritize the safety of our customers which is why we always solve the root of the issue right away. We are located in Walton, KY to provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Contact us today.

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Why Surge Protectors Are Important for Keeping Your Home Safe

A power surge happens when there is a short-term spike in the electrical current running through an outlet. The purpose of surge protectors is to detect excess voltage and direct the additional electricity into the grounding wire. The traditional voltage for homes and offices is around 120 volts, so if the power surpasses this amount it is deemed a power surge. There are many reasons that an electrical surge can occur, besides lightning. One example is the turning on and off of appliances that use lots of energy, such as refrigerators, furnace, and air conditioning. Other culprits are faulty wiring, short circuits in your wiring system, and tripped circuit breakers.

When there is a sudden overabundance of electricity, it causes a flow of excessive heat which can burn the components and the wiring of whatever device is connected to the outlet. Not only could your appliances be permanently ruined, but it can cause fires to spark too. Power surges have been liable for the destruction of homes and appliances, as well as some structural fires. To keep your family and property free from danger and protected from surges, you need to invest in surge protectors. They are even more necessary in today’s world of technology, because current devices are more sensitive to surges than in previous generations. All of your expensive microprocessors, like your television, computer, and media centers, should be plugged into surge protectors. Without them, you are opening up your home to the potential for costly damage.

Surges in power are a serious and potentially costly problem. For the safety of your family, your home needs a surge protector. However, it is important to not buy one that is poor in quality, as they can be equivalent to having no protection at all. When you are searching make sure that you are looking for surge protectors and not just power strips. Power strips merely offer additional outlet space but do nothing in the way of keeping you safe. You should also ensure that the product is labelled with a UL seal. Underwriters’ Laboratories test the capabilities of each surge protection device to see if it meets the minimal quality and safety standards. UL designates all of the passing protectors as “transient voltage surge suppressor” on the label, so specifically check for this. To keep your belongings and loved ones safe, you need to have surge protectors in your home.

If you are looking for an electrical contractor in the Tri-State area, you need someone you can trust. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are a family owned business built on hard work and honesty. We care about resolving the electrical issues of our customers, as we put your safety and happiness above everything else. We take the time to find and fix the true source of the problem, unlike other electricians that may just quickly patch up a symptom of the issue. We are located in Walton, KY to proudly serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. If you need a local electrician, call us today.

 

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What Should You Do If Your Outlets Spark?

An outlet that sparks when something is plugged into it can seem alarming but in some cases it is completely normal. If the spark is blue in color, appears for just a brief second, and is infrequent, this is nothing to worry about. However, if the spark appears longer than a passing moment, is a yellow hue, occurs with every usage of the outlet, and is accompanied by the smell of burning or smoke, these are all indications that there is a problem that needs to be addressed right away.

A sparking outlet can occur for a number of reasons. In American homes, there is a constant running of electricity from the circuit to the main power grid. So when something is plugged in, the hot electricity immediately transfers from the outlet to the device. The rapid draw of power can result in a brief spark, which is essentially static electricity and is completely normal. However, these next examples are very serious and require professional assistance to correct the issue.

A short circuit can happen when excessive heat accumulates in the outlet and melts the insulation of wires. The electricity that then runs through the exposed wiring can cause sparks to appear. If an outlet has been exposed to water or deteriorated with age, these instances can both lead to sparking. Electrical outlets over time can have connections become loose, which increases the chances of a short circuit. Another issue is faulty repairs. If someone tried to repair your electrical system but lacked the proper skills, serious problems can occur as a result. Electrical problems are not something someone should attempt to repair themselves; it is best left to the professionals.

If you notice sparking outlets in your home, contact an electrician as soon as possible. Your belongings, home, and most importantly family can be in serious danger. Electrical fires can easily occur when there is sparking. There are over 51,000 electrical fires each year, which results in over 1.3 billion dollars in property damage. The fires are also responsible for 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries every year. The wellbeing of your household could be in jeopardy if your residence has outlets that spark. A certified electrician will inspect your outlets to evaluate if the issue is a safety concern. Do not hesitate to call a professional, as this problem will not go away.

If you have sparking outlets in your home, you can trust Rose Brothers & Sons Electric to handle the problem for you. We are a local and family owned business that prioritizes the safety and happiness of our customers. Honesty and hard work are the foundation of our service. Our focus on customer satisfaction is why we have such fantastic reviews on Angie’s List and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. We are not in the business of offering temporary fixes, but rather long-term solutions that address the root of the problem. We are located in Walton, KY to serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today for help with all your electrical issues.

 

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Can Turning Off Your Lights Really Save You Money?

The cost of turning off a single lightbulb does not amount to noteworthy savings. However, the cost when looking at the total number of bulbs in your home is more substantial. On average American homes have 40 lightbulbs, and the energy to power those accounts for 20% of the average electric bill. When ten incandescent bulbs are left on for an hour each day, the resulting cost is $24 each year. The expense for having ten halogens left running an hour daily is $17 annually. It is $6 annually to leave ten compact fluorescents running for a single hour every day. Leaving ten LEDs on for an hour daily equates to a net cost of $5 a year. These figures when multiplied show how much it truly costs to light your home, and the savings from turning the lights off when you leave the room.

When turning off your lights you may be saving energy, but the cost effectiveness of this is dependent on the type of light bulb used. Each style of bulb differs due to their individual rated operating life, which is impacted by the number of times the light is turned off and on. With every additional flipping of the switch, the functioning lifespan of the bulb is shortened. The Department of Energy compared the electricity usage and expenses of four 60-watt equivalent bulbs. A single Incandescent bulb employs 0.06 kWh of electricity in an hour. Each one consumes roughly $6.60 in electricity in a year. This number is calculated by the cost per kilowatt hour of $0.11 for one thousand hours of operation. This is the least efficient method of lighting, so these bulbs should be turned off whenever possible. A 43-watt halogen lightbulb is able to save 25% more energy than an incandescent. In 1,000 hours of usage, the cost of one bulb is typically $4.73. Replacing an incandescent bulb with a single 15-watt compact fluorescent will cause 75% less energy to be used. The compact fluorescent has an operational cost of $1.65 per 1,000 hours. An LED bulb provides 80% higher efficiency over incandescent lightbulbs. The cost to use a 12-watt LED for 1,000 hours is only $1.32. If you are interested in saving energy and money, consider switching to more energy efficient lighting options.

If you are looking for easier ways to deal with your lights, you may want to upgrade to dimmers, timers, or motion detectors. Dimmers are an affordable option to decrease the amount of wattage and output for your lighting. Timers can be programmed to align with your daily needs. Another option is motion detectors which use heat waves to detect when someone is in the room, and shuts lights off when there is no movement present. These are great solutions to reducing your lighting usage and ultimately saving energy.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we have expert electricians equipped to handle all of your electrical needs from small repairs to big construction projects. We provide services for residential, commercial, and industrial properties.  We built our business on hard work and honesty, so you can entrust that you are in good hands. We are located in Walton, KY and proudly serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

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What Is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Knob and tube wiring is an early regulated form of electrical wiring used in buildings. It was common practice to use this method in North America from roughly 1880 to the 1930s. Single-insulated copper conductors were run inside walls and ceiling cavities by means of stud and joist dill-holes that relied on porcelain insulating tubes for protection. Support placed along the length of the wiring was provided by porcelain knob insulators that were nailed-down.  Due to the high installation costs, different interior wiring systems were eventually utilized. Today, knob and tube wiring is only permitted to be installed in highly specific circumstances outlined by the National Electrical Code, including particular agriculture and industrial atmospheres.

The cylindrical knobs utilized were usually nailed straight into the floor joists or wall studs. To keep them from breaking during the installation process, most had a leather washer to act as a cushion. The electrical wires would wrap around the knob and secured in place with tire wires, which allowed the knob to be a permanent anchor for the wire. The purpose of the ceramic tubes in the holes of the wall studs and floor joists was to ensure the wires never made contact with the wood framing and so the wires would not be compressed by the wood when the structure settled. A flexible woven insulating sleeve referred to as a loom, was used as an additional agent of protection. It would cover insulated wire where a wire crossed over or under a separate wire, and when a wire would enter an enclosed metal device. The original insulation slip was crafted out of cotton cloth saturated in asphalt. Ultimately, rubber became the popular choice of loom. These distinct characteristics make it is easy to identify this style of wiring.

Numerous historic homes in America rely on knob and tube wiring. However, this outdated type of wiring is dangerous and poses a serious threat to the home and occupants.  While the wiring is functional, it is not equipped to handle the required electricity that is necessary for modern devices. As a result, the knob and tube wiring experiences regular overload which can lead to a fire.  Another concern is that loom can deteriorate as it ages, and expose the wires. The inadequate durability causes the breakdown, sagging, and stretching of components, which causes them to make accidental contact with nearby materials. This can produce serious electrical and fire hazards. Another safety issue is that the wiring is not suited for moisture rich environments, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and outdoor areas. Knob and tube wiring does not utilize grounding, so it only provides a neutral and hot wire. This creates a situation where fluctuations and surges in voltages have nowhere to travel which leaves the belongings, the home, and the inhabitants exposed to the dangers of shock and fire.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are available for residential, commercial, and industrial electrical projects. We work on new builds, historical homes, and remodeling projects to install circuits, transformers, and primary service. We pride ourselves on doing work that is done correctly, and is a permanent solution to the electrical problem. Unlike other electricians, we are not in the business of fast repairs that are merely a temporary fix. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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What Are Dedicated Circuits, and Do You Need Them?

Dedicated circuits are reserved for a certain purpose, and have a circuit breaker of their very own in the electrical box. It is intended to be used by only one appliance at a time. The circuits are dedicated to that appliance because no other appliances will be plugged into it or draw energy from the circuit. Relying on dedicated circuits can certify that major appliances that attract a high amount of electrical current, have access to the energy that they require to function. This also eliminates any worries of overloading the system, tripping a circuit breaker, or blowing a fuse. When an appliance draws an excessive amount of current than the circuit can manage, it can lead to the wire insulation overheating. Overheating causes the wire to degrade, so each time it occurs the problem worsens. This situation can then progress to a complete breakdown which has the possibility of resulting in an electrical fire. The longevity of the appliance is also affected if it does not have access to sufficient amperage for operating. Dedicated circuits are able to protect your appliances, your home, and your family.

It is required by the National Electrical Code that all fixed appliances run on separate dedicated circuits that are not communal with any other appliance. This is a preventative measure to keep machines that feed on large amounts of energy from overloading the circuit, as each one can only handle a certain limit of electrical draw. To evenly distribute the power consumption in your home, there are many appliances required to use dedicated circuits. Air conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment should have their own circuit. All of the traditional kitchen necessities such as refrigerators, freezers, ovens, stoves, and dishwashers are included in this requirement as well. Washers and dryers are also large energy sinks so they need dedicated circuits too. Smaller appliances can also use a lot of power so if you frequently have multiple devices operating on the same circuit, it would be a smart idea to upgrade to dedicated circuits. These small appliances include toasters, microwaves, hair dryers, vacuums, water heaters, and power tools. Not every plug-in device requires it, but a good rule of thumb is that if it has a motor it customarily needs to have its own circuit. Lights that dim for no reason and having to routinely reset tripped circuit breakers are two signs that your home would benefit from adding a couple more dedicated circuits. If these problems occur with dedicated circuits, this can indicate a wiring issue that will need to be inspected and corrected by a professional.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we can help with a wide assortment of electrical issues ranging from residential repairs to commercial and industrial installations. We understand the safety concerns that electrical complications pose, which is why we work to solve and repair the underlying issue correctly the first time.  While other electricians can offer a quick-fix, we provide a permanent solution. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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What Is the Difference Between Two- and Three-Prong Outlets?

Three-prong electric outlets feature three holes, where the left slot is a tad larger than the right. The right opening is known as “hot” and the left is referred to as “neutral”, while the hole at the bottom is called “ground”. The neutral and ground slots are exactly the same. If you were to look at the breaker box, you would find that the ground and neutral wires from every single outlet both go to the same place. Electricity flows from the hot to neutral slot. When an appliance is plugged into the outlet, the circuit from the hot to neutral hole is complete and power is able to flow through the appliance. The purpose for the ground slot is to protect people who are plugging in an appliance encased in metal, from sustaining an electric shock. The ground prong is connected straight to the casing.  Even with devices such as computers that have a plastic case with a metal-encased power supply inside of it, they also utilize the ground slot to keep users from harm. Another safety concern is burns. A dangerous situation can arise if a wire were to become loose from within an ungrounded metal case. If the wire is hot, it can heat the metal and potentially fatally shock or burn anyone who touches it. However when the case is grounded, this problem will not occur. Electricity runs from the hot wire directly to the ground, and will trip the breaker so the power is not being misdirected.

The biggest difference between two- and three-prong electric outlets is that the two-prong does not have the grounding feature. The omission of a ground slot means that two-prong outlets have a higher chance to give an electric shock. Beyond the lack of a safety component, there are really no large dissimilarities between the two types of outlets. An appliance that utilizes a three-prong outlet will be able to operate when plugged into one with two-prongs. This is possible when someone uses a cheater plug or cuts off the ground prong to make it fit. This is a highly dangerous practice though and is ill-advised as this bypasses a critical safety element. Now the user has created the opportunity to be shocked or burned by disabling the effect of the ground slot.

If you are interested in increasing the protective capabilities of your electric outlets, you can have them upgraded. Switching from two-prong to three-prong outlets will eliminate any worries of members of your household being harmed. Contact a professional electrician as they will be able to execute this task for you.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we perform a wide array of electrical services from residential to industrial and commercial. We take the time to fix the cause of any issue so it is permanently resolved. We value our customers and listen to their needs, which is why we have a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and outstanding reviews on Angie’s List. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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Keeping Your Outdoor Outlets Safe

Outdoor outlets are exposed to many situations that can be damaging. If an outlet is not in working condition, this can lead to potentially dangerous repercussions for your household. Here are some tips to keep your outdoor outlets free from harm.

It is important to only use outdoor-rated electrical elements. Anything you plan to use outside must be specially designed and built to withstand the weather. Even if the outdoor lighting fixture is under a roof and will not be exposed to any rain, it still must be able to endure dampness, and extreme temperatures. Higher ratings are available for components that are not shielded from precipitation; it will state that they are weather resistant, weatherproof, or suitable for wet settings. You must use outdoor-rated light bulbs, fixtures, extension cords, and decorative lights. Indoor extension cords cannot meet the capacity required by many power tools, lawn tools, and outdoor lighting.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI, outlets are a critical electrical safety improvement in the last few decades. They should be used anywhere you plug in electronics while grounded, including outside. Weather-resistant GFCI will ensure that your family is not shocked in outdoor environments with moisture present. If the previous owners of your home did not switch the outdoor outlets to GFCI, it is imperative for safety to update them as quickly as possible. These receptacles feature components resistant to corrosion, meaning not only are they safer but they will last longer than indoor options available.

You can install covers to be placed over your outlets so they are not affected by the climate. For receptacles that on porches or in an area with a roof, a cover that is labeled as “Suitable For Damp Locations”, is the right choice. However, for outdoor outlets that do not have protective shelter, they require an in-use cover instead. This style allows both the receptacle and whatever is plugged in it to remain dry, even during rain.

Ensure that wires and extension cords are in proper working order before use. You should inspect them for nicks, cuts, tangles, or any signs of injury. You need to be careful when placing wires along walkways and trees, as this can make them more susceptible to destruction. Avoid the use of these components in locations where the wires can be impaired. Any damage sustained can cause potential problems to arise.

When plugging in something, you should pay attention to the capacity needed. If not, you could overload the extension cord or outlet which may lead to a fire. Consider installing an extra outlet or purchasing a higher-capacity cord for your gadgets.

For all your electrical needs, rely on Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. We are available for residential, commercial, and industrial projects. We even offer 24 hour emergency service, so you can count on us to be there for you around-the-clock. Our superb rating by the Better Business Bureau is due to our dedication to providing outstanding customer service for clients. We are located in Walton, KY, and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Contact us today.

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How to Stay Safe While Using Your Generator

Before operating a generator there are many things you should know. These machines do not mess around; they are powerful and can cause serious damage. Here are some generator safety tips to follow to keep you and others free from danger.

Generators should never run indoors or in enclosed spaces. Injuries and deaths related to generators are mostly due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generators being used in areas that are not well ventilated. Opening doors and windows is not sufficient enough to prevent the buildup of the potentially fatal poison. These machines should always run outside, and be placed at a minimum of fifteen feet away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to enter your home.  If you find yourself feeling sick, weak, or dizzy, when operating a generator, seek fresh air at once. Since it cannot be seen or smelled, having a carbon monoxide detector can give you peace of mind that the harmful toxin is not in your home.

You should never refuel the generator while it is running. You should turn the machine off, and give it ample time to cool off before adding more fuel. A fire can occur as the result of spilling fuel on the hot surface. Letting the engine cool before refueling also reduces the chances of being burned during the process.

Generators should never operate in wet conditions. This includes when it is raining. However, with proper covering and venting, it can be safe for use during precipitation. The manufacturer will have recommendations for how to properly operate the generator under tents specifically designed for your model. If you are standing in water or have wet hands, you should not work with your generator as well.

Another generator safety tip is to not attempt to backfeed your home. This happens when the generator is plugged directly into a wall outlet. This is an extremely dangerous thing to do, and creates the threat of electrocution for utility workers and neighbors relying on the same utility transformer. There is also an increased risk of excess current and electrical fire for your appliances and electronics. Instead you should install a transfer switch before running a generator. This allows the machine to connect to your circuit panel and power hardwired appliances without the safety risk of using extension cords.

In preparation for using the generator, you may want to keep extra fuel at your home. It is important for fuel to be properly stored and only use approved containers. Keep the fuel away from living areas, and combustion appliances. Your local fire department can provide suggestions on appropriate storage locations if you are unsure.

Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can help with all your electrical needs ranging from residential to commercial to industrial. We take pride in providing excellent customer service which is reflected in our numerous positive reviews on Angie’s List. We offer emergency service at all hours of the day, so you can count on us to always be there for you. We are located in Walton, KY, and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today.

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