All posts in Electrical Problems

Keeping Your Food Fresh During a Power Outage

power outage

With winter quickly approaching, it is important that you are prepared for the possibility of a power outage. Because winter storms can cause damage to power lines, it is not uncommon for homes to lose power during one of these storms. Because food is expensive, especially a full refrigerator and freezer’s worth, a power outage can end up costing you a lot of money when it comes time to replace all the food that you had. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric of Walton, Kentucky, we want to give you a few tips on keeping your food fresh during a power outage to help you save money and time once your electricity returns.

Ahead of Time

Before your electricity goes out, there are a few things you should have prepared to ensure that you can keep your food fresh during a power outage. First, make sure you have coolers on hand. Many people keep coolers in their home, but if you don’t have one, you should invest in a few. Coolers last for years and having them on hand will always be a convenience. Second, ensure that you have proper working thermometers in your appliances. This will be necessary when you need to monitor the temperature of your refrigerator after a power outage. Third, know where you can buy dry ice. Many ice cream parlors, ice companies, and other large stores like Walmart and Safeway carry dry ice. Dry ice has a very short shelf-life and therefore you cannot just keep it on hand in your home. Fourth, consider investing in a standby generator for emergencies.

When Power is Lost

If a winter or bad rain storm hits and you do lose power, the first thing you should do to ensure the freshness of your food is keep your refrigerator and freezer shut for as long as possible. Opening and closing your refrigerator and freezer will only allow the cool air to escape and decrease the amount of time that you can keep your perishable items in the appliance. If kept shut, a refrigerator can keep a stable temperature for about 4 hours. Half-freezers will keep things cold for about 24 hours and a full freezer will keep things cold for about 48 hours. Second, go to one of the stores that you know sells dry ice and buy dry ice for coolers and for the refrigerator. Place this dry ice in your refrigerator and freezer to keep the temperature low for a longer amount of time. Third, place all frozen meat on a tray because as the meat thaws it will leak. Lastly, if the power is not returned within a few hours, you need to be monitoring the temperature in your refrigerator and then move things to a cooler when the temperature gets too low. Anything perishable, like meats and dairy products, kept above 40 °F for more than two hours will need to be discarded. To avoid this, move your refrigerated food to a cooler lined with dry ice and ice and use your thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

After Power is Restored

After the power in your home is restored, it is important that you check your food to ensure that it is still good. Look for ice crystals to ensure that frozen food is still good, and throw away any foods that have gained a strange odor or color. Anything that feels warm to the touch needs to be disposed of. For a more detailed chart on when to discard and keep food, click here.

If you have questions about generators, electrical damages to your home that may have caused a power outage, or need other electrical advice to prepare your home for power outages, contact Rose Brothers & Sons Electric today. Serving all of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, our team of experienced professionals can help you with a wide range of electrical needs.

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What to Do After Getting Your Tech Wet

wet

Most of us have been through that scary moment in your life when your phone has gotten wet. But what are you to do if you dropped it in puddle after getting out of your car? At Rose Brothers & Sons INC. we know how important your phone is in your everyday life along with other technical items. We do not want you to suffer without having them handy. When you have wet technology, you have the potential to miss important phone calls, turn a report in late or also miss your alarm. None of those situations are idle so it’s crucial to know what to do.

Water isn’t always good.

Water, the building block of life. We all need water to survive but it’s not good for everything. Yes, drink water every day. Yes, water your plants when needed. But never ever sprinkle water on your technical items. We know you know that, but does your three year old? Probably not, so what do you do after you notice your wet technology? One of the most commonly known ways to rescue a wet phone is with a bag of rice. Before you begin, you want to remove your phone case it you have one and wipe the phone off with a towel or rag to get off as much water as possible. Then, if your phone is capable of opening, take it apart and remove the battery. After it’s apart, place the pieces in the bag of uncooked rice and leave them there overnight or at least a few hours. This method seeks to let the rice absorb the water in your wet cell phone so when you go to retrieve it your phone should turn back on.

A lot of people might be tempted to run a grab their hair dryer to blow dry their wet cell phone. Don’t! Doing so will damage your phone even more than the water. If you were to use a blow dryer, you are at a high risk for damaging your phone by frying the insides, literally.

When you get your cell phone wet, the very first thing most people do is check if it still works, or plug it into the wall to see it will still charge. This is also not a good idea. The main reason water ruins your cell phone is because your cell phone uses electricity. No matter how much water actually got on your phone, it is always safe to just leave it alone. Because when you think your phone is still okay, the water is slowly making its way to your circuit board. If you can put your phone down for one night or even better a few days, this can save your phone from being shorted and damaged.

Being a trusted electrical and construction company, we know how to fix and solve many problems and we want to teach our customers what they should do if any of your tech items get wet. We are Located in Walton, KY and are pleased to be serving Northern KY and Cincinnati.

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Do Your Lightbulbs Keep Blowing? We Can Help!

If you have not made the switch the LED lightbulbs in your home, you may still be noticing that the lightbulbs in your home keep blowing out. If this is the case, there are a number reasons as to why this may be happening. At Rose Brothers & Sons Inc., serving Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, we can help you discover what issue may be causing the light bulbs in your home to keep blowing.

Lightbulb Choice

Low-quality lightbulbs will burn out faster. In addition to burning out faster, they are more easily affected by issues with wiring, connections, and arcing. When a lightbulb blows, the filament that is used within the bulb breaks. Cheaper lightbulbs are made with thinner materials, including their filaments, which lead to a higher chance of the lightbulb breaking. If you are having an issue with a lightbulb, the first step you should take is to purchase high-quality lightbulbs, LEDs if possible, and see if the problem still exists.

Loose Connection

Make sure your lightbulb is securely in place in your lighting fixture. If the circuit between your lamp and lightbulb is not secure, the electricity will not run from the fixture through the lightbulb properly.

Arcing

Arcing is similar to ensuring that you have a tight connection. Arcing is when the bottom of your lightbulb does not fit tightly enough with the hardware in the light fixture. Arcing generates excess heat around a lightbulb. Excess heat will lead to a blowout. The easiest way to check for arcing is to look at the bottom of your lightbulb for dark spots or pitting on the metal. You can also check the light fixture socket for the same thing. If you suspect that you have arcing, call an electrician to handle the issue and keep yourself safe from an electrical shock.

Voltage

Too much voltage at one socket will decrease the lifespan of a lightbulb. High voltage connections lead to excess heat, which as stated before, will cause your lightbulb to burn out quicker. Voltage issues can stem from the light fixture, the wall connection to your home’s electrical connection, or even the electrical grid in your city.

Rose Brothers & Sons Inc.

If you are experiencing trouble with your lightbulbs, even after switching to a high-quality bulb, it is time to call in a professional electrician to look at the cause. At Rose Brothers & Sons Inc., we specialize in a variety of residential electrical services. With our team of certified professionals, we have maintained an NKEA license for over 20 years. In addition to this license, we have been a member of Angie’s List for many years and we are proud to have an A+ rating from the BBB. In addition to our outstanding customer service history, our workers are fully covered through worker’s compensation, so you don’t have to worry about the possibility that you could get stuck with charges if injuries occur on the job. If you are ready to save your light bulbs and fix the underlying electrical issue in your home, contact Rose Brothers & Sons Inc. today.

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Getting Your Cooling System Ready for Summer

cooling unit

As spring fades into the long and humid days of summer, it is necessary to prepare your air conditioning unit for the big switch. No one wants to be faced with air conditioning trouble on the hottest days of the year and getting your cooling system ready for the summer is the best way to assure proper function. Let Rose Brothers & Sons Electric of Walton, Kentucky, show you how to prepare your cooling system for summer.

Test Your System

Before the temperature gets too unbearable, test your air conditioning unit. Check and see how long it takes for your unit to turn on, how long it takes for you to notice cold air coming from the vents, and listen for strange noises that you haven’t heard before. If there is a significant amount of time before you hear the unit switch on, if the air isn’t as cold as it should be, or you hear something suspicious, call for an inspection. Make sure to test your air conditioning unit early in the summer to ensure that your unit does not die when you need it the most, and to avoid long wait times for repair.

Check and Clean Your Unit

Cleaning your unit is essential to keeping it up and running smoothly in the summer months. Trim all grass and weeds from around the unit to reduce the risk of anything getting caught inside. Remove debris and dirt from the unit to reduce the possibility of overheating. In addition to cleaning the air conditioning unit outside of your home, ensure that all your ducts, filters, and vents are dusted, cleaned, or replaced, to ensure the best function.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

If your thermostat is past its prime, now is the time to purchase a new one. Thermostats have improved in many ways over the years and investing in a new, programmable thermostat can save you money. Thermostats can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times of the day to accommodate your living schedule, some can even be controlled remotely to help you better maintain the energy usage in your home.

Inspect Your Ducts

If you are noticing higher energy bills for your home, your ductwork might be to blame. Leaks in ductwork can lead to charges that are 20% higher than average. Schedule an inspection for your ductwork early in the summer to avoid potentially high air conditioning costs. In addition, have your inspector make sure all connectors are tight and ensure that all holes and gaps are sealed tightly to avoid air leakage.

To keep your family and your home cool this summer, contact the experts at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. Our team of trained professionals can inspect your air conditioning unit, ductwork, and thermostat to ensure that everything is in working order before the first wave of heat. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, serving all of Greater Cincinnati, Southern Indiana & Northern Kentucky, including: Florence KY, Ft. Mitchell KY, Villa Hills KY, Union KY, Ft. Wright, Hebron KY, Burlington, Covington KY, Erlanger, Independence KY, Ft. Thomas, Newport, Owenton, Park Hills, Cold Spring, Edgewood, Walton, Dry Ridge, Verona, Crittenden, Sparta, Alexandria, Glenco, and Williamstown. We are proud members of Angie’s List, have an A+ rating from the BBB, and have over 45 years combined electrical experience. You can rest easy knowing that your electrical projects will be handled with the utmost care and expertise.

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What Causes Power Surges In A Home?

what causes power surges in a home

A power surge is defined as “an unexpected, temporary increase in the current or voltage of an electrical circuit.” This current increase can be compared to the rush of water that occurs when a dam breaks, and it can be just as damaging. But instead of destroying buildings or trees, it can wipe out anything that uses electricity.  So, what causes power surges in a home?

Causes of Home Electrical Power Surges

Lightning – A lightning strike is by far the most spectacular cause of power surges. It is also one of the most predictable. If you hear thunder or know a storm is approaching, you can take precautions to protect your electronics.

Blackout or intentional power outage – Blackouts occur when too much power is being used at the same time and the grid shuts down. Utility companies occasionally turn off the electricity to entire areas to do maintenance. These two situations don’t actually cause a power surge. It’s the return of electricity afterward that can cause a surge.

Downed utility lines or switching grids – A utility line being damaged or destroyed can send power surges through other operational lines and into your home. If the electric company has to change grids to accommodate usage in a certain area, an electric surge may occur.

Large appliances – This type of surge is minimal and limited to your home. When an appliance that requires a larger amount of electricity shuts off, a small surge may occur and affect more sensitive components.

How to Prevent Damage from Power Surges

The best way to protect yourself from home electrical power surges is with surge protection devices. Two types are available. The first one is a surge protector that plugs into your outlet and protects only the devices plugged into it. While effective against some surges, this type will not hold up against extremely strong currents, leaving your electronics susceptible to damage. A quality plug-in surge protector can cost anywhere from $20 to over $100, so don’t use them on items that are inexpensive to replace.

The second type is a whole-house surge protector that is installed at the electric panel. It senses electrical spikes and sends them to the ground instead of allowing them into your home. Whole-house surge protectors are hard-wired into your electric panel and should be installed by a licensed electrician. Many surge protection companies offer warranties against damage when their products are used.

Because larger appliances can cause electrical surges when they power down, avoid plugging sensitive electronics – like a TV or DVD player – into the same circuit as a refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher, or air-conditioner.

When you hear thunder or know a storm is on the way, unplug computers, home entertainment systems, and small appliances before lightning strikes. If your power goes out, turn off or unplug electronics and wait a few minutes after the power comes back on before using them.

Rose Brothers & Sons provides electric repairs and installation in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas, and is qualified to install surge protection in your home.  Call today, if you need more information about what causes power surges in a home.

 

 

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Get Your Electric System Ready for the Holidays

Electric system

With winter and the holiday season fast approaching, it is important that you start thinking about preparing your electric system for the holidays. While most people are more concerned with gifts, decorations, and finalizing those large family dinner menus at this time, to keep your holiday plans running smoothly you have to make sure you ensure your electric system is up to the task. The experts at Rose Brothers & Sons Inc., your best choice for electrical inspections in Kentucky, Cincinnati, and the surrounding areas, want to provide you with a few simple tips to get your electric system prepared for the holiday rush.

Surge Protection

Lights, decorations, mixers, and more; All of these things will be running in your home over the holidays and it is important that your circuit breakers are prepared for the increase of use. Power surges are usually caused by lightning strikes or overloads in the electrical grid, but it is not uncommon for things in your home to cause a surge as well. Electronics and other appliances turning on and off already puts your home at risk for a power surge but, with the added electricity usage a home requires for the holidays, what with plug-in decorations, Christmas lights, and extra cooking, the risk of dampening all your holiday festivities with a blown fuse or power surge increases even more. To prevent any surge malfunctions during the stressful holiday season, consider installing surge protection devices throughout your entire home to keep everything running smoothly and safely.

Upgrade Your Outlets

If your home is older and still features two-pronged outlets, it is time for an upgrade. These older style outlets will not offer the level of protection against shock and electrocution that the common three pronged outlets now provide. In addition to upgrading your outlets, you may be in need of more outlets around your home to cut back on the use of extension cords and power strips during the holiday season. While these items work relatively well, singular outlets can only withstand so much usage and if you overload your power strip you can cause power surges and power loss. Avoid all these problems and upgrade your outlets to keep your family safe and your holiday free of stress.

Schedule an Electric System Inspection

The best thing you can do to determine if your electric system needs and upgrade or work of some kind to make it through the holidays is to schedule an electrical inspection and avoid any problems that might occur. Here at Rose Brothers & Sons Inc. we provide our customers with a wide range of services from inspections to repairs. Let one of our electrical contractors inspect your electric system and help you determine what upgrades and improvements need to be done so your home continues running smoothly. If you plan on scheduling an inspection before the holidays, make sure you schedule early so any improvements or repairs can be completed before things get too busy in both your home and with our schedule.

If you have any more questions about scheduling an inspection or other concerns about your electric system before the holidays, contact Rose Brothers & Sons Inc. As an Angie’s List member, a business with an A+ rating from the BBB, and a combined 45 years of electrical experience on our staff, we can guarantee that we can meet all of your needs.

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Electric Noise or Humming: When to Call An Electrician

electric noiseThere are many different things in your home that can lead to electrical humming or buzzing noises. The appliances and devices in your home are responsible for most of these noises. But, some electrical noises or humming can be very dangerous. Some common areas that can cause electric noise or humming include:

 

  • Main Hums: The normal humming noises that are produced from appliances, electronics, or audio equipment are called main hums. This electric noise is caused by the vibration of the motors or fans in these devices and is not harmful.
  • Light Fixture Humming: When your light fixture is buzzing or humming, it is either a loose wire, or more likely, an issue with the light bulb. You should first try to replace the light bulb. Some light bulbs, such as fluorescent bulbs, have ballast that vibrates when it needs to be replaced. If the humming stops after you replace the bulb, you do not need to contact an electrician. However, if the humming continues, call an electrician for diagnosis and repair.
  • Dimmer Light Fixture Humming: If a dimmer light fixture is humming, it is almost always caused by the light bulb. Dimmer switches work by quickly cutting the light on and off so it appears that the light is dimmer. This quick on and off cycle causes the light bulbs to hum. Replacing the bulbs with a different type of bulb, such as a rough service bulb, can fix this electric noise. Look for light bulbs that indicate directly on the packaging that they can be used with dimmer switches.
  • Outlet or Switch Humming: There are a couple of things can cause humming or buzzing noise that is coming from your outlet or switch. First, it could be a loose wire. Next, there could be a problem with the outlet or switch. Finally, there could be improperly grounded wires or too much load on the wires. Any of these issues could be a potential fire hazard, so it is important to call an electrician for repair. Do not try to fix the wiring yourself!
  • Circuit Breaker Humming: Humming at your circuit breaker can be very dangerous. A few different issues, all of which require attention by an electrician, can cause the humming noise. First, the circuit could be overloaded, which prevents it from shutting off when required. Next, a wire could be damaged or loosely connected to the breaker or to the breaker panel. Finally, there could be a potential electrical arc forming. If your circuit breaker is humming or buzzing, shut off all circuits immediately and call an electrician.

Electric Noise or Humming: When to Call An Electrician

If you are experiencing electrical noise or humming from your light fixtures, outlets, switches, or circuit breaker, contact Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. Our team of qualified Northern Kentucky electricians can diagnose and correct any faulty electrical issues that may be causing the humming noise. Do not hesitate to contact our office today!

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Flickering Lights: When To Call An Electrician

Flickering lightsFlickering lights are one of the more annoying things that you can deal with in your home. Instead of bright light illuminating a room, a flickering bulb halfheartedly lights up a space and can drive anyone crazy. Although super hard to ignore, flickering lights usually are no big deal besides being a nuisance. Sometimes, however, it can be a sign of a bigger issue. This article will break down some causes of flickering lights and whether you should be worried about them or not.  If you’re not sure what the problem is, call your Northern Kentucky Electrician, Rose Brothers and Sons Electric.

Fluorescent and LED Lights

Some bulbs are more prone to flickering than others. Sometimes fluorescent lights will flicker for a few minutes when you just turn them on as they warm up, and some LED lights flicker when not properly connected to a driver or a dimmer switch. These are not serious issues so do not be too worried, but you may still want to replace the lights if the flickering gets too annoying.

Loose Bulb or Faulty Switch

Loose bulbs and faulty switches are two other reasons that your lights are flickering that do not warrant serious action to fix. For loose bulbs, turn off your light and once it has cooled down try screwing the bulb back in tighter. If the switch is acting up, try toggling it on and off or letting it sit for a while. If you turn it back on and neither of these quick fixes turn out to be the solution, then your problem lies elsewhere.

Voltage Fluctuation

If your lights flicker when you turn on an appliance with high wattage, you could have a problem with your voltage fluctuating too much. Other signs are lights that seem to dim or frequently burn out. Electricity typically flows into homes at 120 volts and fluctuates between 115 and 125. You can check the voltage flowing through your home with a device called a voltmeter if you have one. If the average is outside of the 115 to 125 range, call an electrician and get some help.

Loose Electrical Wiring Causes Flickering Lights

Loose wiring is the most common cause of flickering lights and also a major cause of house fires. Shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing the fixture, then double check the wiring. If it looks loose or insecure, you need to call an electrician. Or if even after this you still have not found the reason, call an electrician to figure out what the issue really is.

Now that you know what to look for when it comes to flickering lights, call Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, the best place for electrical repairs in Northern Kentucky.

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The Difference Between a Short Circuit or Ground Fault?

short circuit or ground faultWhat’s the difference between a short circuit or ground fault and do I need to know? You may have heard the terms short circuit or ground fault used and wonder what they mean to you and your electrical system. If you have a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, you may have a faulty breaker, a short circuit or  ground fault or a problem with one of your appliances.

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip?

If you have a fuse box or circuit breaker box, it is put in place to protect you and your home from too much electricity. Circuit breakers or fuses are designed to work with a certain amount of electricity or AMPS. When that amount is exceeded because too much electricity is required, the fuse will blow or the breaker will trip to off. For example when you have a 20-amp fuse and your appliance starts using 30-amps you will exceed the amount of electricity and your circuit breaker will trip or your fuse will burn out.

Short Circuit or Ground Fault

What Is A Short Circuit?

A Short circuit is when a wire gets exposed or is open to touch another wire. When the wires are connected wrong or insulation wears away so that wires touch, you can end up with a hot wire touching a neutral wire and this can result in a short circuit. Often you’ll see a spark or smell smoke. Sometimes you cannot detect where the problem is. Your electrician can help determine the cause of the short circuit and rewire any areas that have trouble. A short circuit will draw more electricity and cause a short. Sometimes the hot wires melt the insulation on the wires and could potentially cause a house fire.

What Is A Ground Fault?

A ground fault occurs when the hot wire is exposed and touches either the ground wire or it touches metal in the junction box or in the appliance. For example if your air conditioner compressor has a ground fault it means a wire in the compressor broke and is touching the sides of the unit. This will also cause a surge in power that will trip the breaker or blow the fuse.  Another term for ground fault is a short to ground connection.

What Should You Do If Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

If you notice a problem with your circuit breaker, you need to have it checked out. The circuit breaker is there to keep you safe and notify you if there’s a problem. Sometimes the only problem is a loose wire at the circuit breaker box. Other times, you have either a short circuit or ground fault causing the breaker to trip or the fuse to blow. Your electrician at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can help you determine where the problem is and make the necessary repairs. Rose Brothers serves the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area and we are ready to help you with all your electrical repairs.

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How To Feed Your Family During A Power Outage

how to feed your family during a power outageWe’ll give you some ideas how to feed your family during a power outage.  Hopefully you have a few things on hand before your power goes out. If not, you may need to find a shelter, a relative or an open restaurant depending on the reason the power is out.  If you need electrical repairs, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can get your electricity up and running before you starve.  Our emergency electricians are available when you need us.

Planning For A Storm

If you know a winter storm or other natural disaster is about to take place, you can plan ahead of time to feed your family.  Look through your refrigerator and freezer and use the items that will perish the soonest.  Some items may be lost if you lose power to your freezer or refrigerator.  You can fill plastic bags and jugs with water and freeze them to make ice too.  this will help your frozen or refrigerated items last longer. Remember during a power outage to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Make sure you have enough canned goods to last a week or two.  Store paper goods like plates, forks, spoons and napkins.  This will be a great help if your water is compromised.  Make sure you have ideas and recipes on how to feed your family during a power outage. You can make good meals with a few canned ingredients.

Don’t Forget Propane or Cooking Fuel

Although you won’t want to cook outside during a storm, camping gear like a coleman stove or propane for your gas grill can go a long way toward helping you feed your family if the power is out for awhile.  Having a warm meal and the camping atmosphere will add excitement to the ordeal and be something your family will remember for years.

How To Feed Your Family During A Power Outage

Safety is a huge concern during power outages.  You need to make sure the food you prepare and feed your family isn’t spoiled.  Foodsafey.gov offers some general guidelines for food safety in an emergency. You also need to be aware of reasons the power may be out and how other areas of your home may be affected.  Is the water safe?  Is there a downed power line near by?  If you need electrical service repairs, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric is available for all your electrical repairs in the Northern Kentucky area.

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