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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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Thinking of Upgrading Your Outlets? We Can Help!

Functionality and appearance are just some of the reasons that a person may want to change their current outlets. The design of receptacles has progressed to perform several purposes beyond just plugging a cord into the wall. Hidden dangers may be hiding in your outlets as well. Here are some things to consider when you are in the market for power outlets.

USB power outlets are a great option to eliminate bulky chargers and adaptors. This allows you to plug devices directly into the outlet, and frees up the plug-in space you would have needed before. This is extremely convenient for those who find they lack the proper outlet access for their needs, and need to frequently charge their phone.

There are many benefits to switching to a LED night light outlet. This option provides longer light without taking up any plug spaces like a traditional night light would. You will also save money because this style has a life expectancy of twenty years. Your children will no longer fear the darkness of night, and you will spend less money too.

Tamper resistant receptacles are a very safety conscious option. These are designed with a barrier that makes it impossible for children to insert foreign objects into the outlet. No longer will you have to worry about your son or daughter being shocked or burned. The peace of mind is well worth the price to upgrade.

If you find plugged in cords sticking out from the wall to be annoying, recessed electrical outlets are the perfect alternative. This model places the outlets deeper in the wall to ensure that the plugs do not extend beyond the surface. Recessed power outlets also opens up more furniture placement options as there is no longer any plugs hanging out to cause interference.

Cracked electrical outlet plates may seem harmless, but they are actually fire hazards. The accumulation of dust, lint, and hair in the cracks can act as kindling. This problem can also occur in undersized wall plates. Dust can even explode in certain situations. Clogs can develop in the outlet due to dust buildup. To eliminate the chances of your house burning down, you should replace your outlet covers as soon as possible.

If you are thinking of selling your home, even the smallest upgrade can make a world of difference to potential buyers. Without spending thousands of dollars, simply changing the power outlets can transform rooms. Appearance is an important aspect of real estate, so any damaged outlets will affect how people think of your home, and can turn them away from making an offer. New electrical outlets are a cheap way to positively alter how buyers feel about your place.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we can upgrade your outlets for you. We specialize in residential service changes, breaks in service, storm repairs, and upgrades. We are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency. Our business was built on honesty and hard work, which is evident in the exceptional quality service we provide. We value each customer, and take pride in our outstanding record on Angie’s List. We are located in Walton, KY and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today.

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What Is the Purpose of Utility Poles

The function of utility poles is to act as support for overhead power lines and multiple public utilities, including fiber optic cables, electrical cables, and associated equipment like street lights and transformers. They also are useful for eliminating cables and wires from interfering with traffic and people since all the electrical elements are routed up the pole. This method is also an inexpensive option to keep the lines insulated from the ground. Utility poles have numerous names as they can be referred to by the application it serves.

Utility poles are typically used as a means to carry two kinds of electric power lines, subtransmission and distribution. Distribution lines serve the purpose of transferring power to customers from local substations. The voltages carried range from 4.6 to 33 kilovolts and can travel as far as thirty miles. Transformers are able to step the voltage down from the original power level to a lower amount that can be used by the consumers.  The reduced voltage reaches the customer’s property due to the usage of service drops. Subtransmission lines transmit higher voltage power between substations, allowing electricity to be carried locally from the regional area. They regularly carry 46, 69, or 115 kilovolts for a maximum of 60 miles. Both types of lines can be often found on shared utility poles. The lack of available land in urban areas and other places, spurned the need to save space. The utilization of the “underbuild” technique permits a distribution line to be mounted beneath the subtransmission line. The joint poles are not only an efficient use of room, but are an economically smart choice as well.

The electrical lines do not actually touch the poles. Instead an insulator is used to bridge the gap between the two. This is to prevent any electricity from leaking out of the wires and going into the poles. Insulators were previously made out of glass, but today they are mostly crafted from polymer composites or ceramic.

The first utility poles were created in the middle of the 19th century and were used to hold telegraph wires. As the usage of electricity soared in the nation, utility poles were modified to account for this. The poles were fitted with insulators and began to serve the main purpose of carrying power lines. By the 20th century, the old wooden poles could simply not carry all the necessary lines. Cross arms were installed, sometimes four or five for each utility pole, in order to carry dozens of wires through cities.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are available to help with a variety of electrical issues. We specialize in residential service changes, breaks in service, upgrades, and storm repairs. We strive to find the root of the problem and promptly solve it. We don’t offer temporary fixes, but rather long-term results. Our business takes pride in providing exceptional customer service, which is backed by our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and positive reviews on Angie’s List. We have a location in Walton, KY and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today.

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A Quick and Simple Guide to Electricity

Electricity in its simplest definition is electrons flowing from one area to another, but more precisely flowing along a circuit. When an electron is freed from an atom and required to move, it carries with it a charge that is then able to produce electricity. Valence electrons are the outermost electrons of an atom and need the lowest amount of force in order to be freed. The free electrons then search for new atoms to attach to, and must evict one of the existing electrons in order to make enough room for it. The process then starts all over again, and an electric current is created. Certain elements are excellent conductors of electricity due to the fact that they have electrons that are extremely mobile. This applies to elements such as gold, silver, and copper. Elements that are made up of atoms that do not allow current to flow easily are known as insulators.

Electricity can take two different forms, either static or current. Static, meaning at rest, electricity occurs when an object amasses opposite charges that are divided by an insulator. This type of electricity only exists until the clusters of conflicting charges are able to find a pathway to connect and thus balance out the system. When the charges equalize, a static discharge happens. An intense example of static discharge is lightening. Current electricity is what is utilized to power all devices and electronics. This form of electricity relies on charges that flow continuously. This is possible with the use of a closed loop of conductive material otherwise known as a circuit.  A circuit typically involves a combination of wire and other mechanisms to control the flow of electricity. The only restriction is that any insulating gaps cannot be included.

Electric fields in the space between charges act as the pushing or pulling force. This concept is similar to Earth’s gravitational field. The route of electric fields is always described as the direction a positive test charge would travel. If the positive test charge was dropped near a negative charge, there would be an attraction to it from the test charge. The electric field would then be drawn with arrows pointing inward to the negative charge. On the opposite side, if the positive test charge was placed nearby another positive charge the result would be outward repulsion. The electric field would be drawn with arrows going away from the positive charge. Electric fields preform a critical task in that it induces the current flow.

For your electrical needs, rely on Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. We have over four decades worth of experience providing electrical services for residential, commercial, and industrial jobs. We are able to handle any type of electrical situation, varying from major construction projects to small home repairs. Our primary focus is making sure our customers are satisfied, which is why we have such positive feedback on Angie’s List and with the Better Business Bureau. We are located in Walton, KY and proudly serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today!

 

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AC and DC Power: What You Need to Know

DC power, which stands for direct current, involves the flowing of an electrical current in a singular direction. This was developed by Thomas Edison and became the standard for America’s earliest foray into electricity. Unfortunately, the inability of DC power to be simply converted into higher or lower voltages sparked the need for alternative solutions. Nikola Tesla as a result created AC power, which means alternating current. AC can be changed to different voltages more effortlessly with the use of a transformer. This is because the current alternates and reverses direction sixty times each second.

A battle of currents erupted from the creators of these rivaling electrical sources. The conflict was due to the fact that both inventors wanted to be credited for assisting in the future electrical infrastructure in America and receive any royalties that may involve. The war reached a turning point when a renowned industrialist from Pittsburgh, George Westinghouse, purchased Tesla’s patents for AC transmissions and motors. Westinghouse went on to perfect the distribution system for AC power, which lead to the prominence it has in American homes. However, AC and DC currents both have uses in the modern world. In recent years, DC power has incurred a rebirth and gained more prominence.

Offices and households almost always rely on alternating current sources because of how easy it is to generate and transport AC through long distances. Less energy is lost in electrical power transmission when AC is operating at high voltages. The higher voltage produces a lower current. The lower current has the effect of creating less heat in the power line due to resistance.  AC has the capability of fueling electric motors, as well. Generators and motors are almost identical devices; however, motors convert the energy from electrical to mechanical. This is useful for refrigerators, dishwashers, and other large appliances, which is why they run on AC.

The number of applications that DC is used for has risen in the 21st century. Every product that receives power from a battery, or uses an AC adapter to plug in the wall, is dependent on DC. This is also true for devices that need a USB cable for power. DC electronics include cell phones and flashlights. Flat-screen televisions have AC going into the TV but it is ultimately converted to DC. Electric and hybrid vehicles also run on DC. Laptops, as well as some vehicles, run on a combination of AC and DC currents

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are committed to the needs of our customers, which is why we are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency situations. We offer an expansive variety of services from small residential repairs all the way to large electrical construction projects. The foundation of our business is the dedication we have to remaining honest and ethical. We prioritize solving the true source of the problem, rather than performing a temporary fix. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Contact us today!

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