All posts tagged circuit breakers

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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Losing Power To Your Refrigerator

losing power to your refrigeratorLosing power to your refrigerator can result in ruining food. This can get costly, especially if you have a lot of things in your freezer.  If you have lost power to your refrigerator, there are a few things you can check.

GFCI Receptacles

Many of the outlets in your kitchen are required to be GFCI receptacles.  These outlet prevent shock and are great in areas where water may cause a problem.  They shouldn’t be used for refrigerators though.  The GFCI receptacle often trips and is very sensitive.  It will turn off if it detects a slight possible problem.  That is what it’s designed to do.  This is a real problem if you have your refrigerator plugged into a receptacle of this type.  You could spoil all of your food if your refrigerator went off and you didn’t notice it.  If your losing power to your refrigerator and you have it plugged into a GFCI outlet, push the button to reset the outlet.  Have your electrician replace the outlet with a regular receptacle as soon as possible.

Circuit Breaker Blowing

If you have a circuit breaker that is blowing, you may have too many things attached to the breaker.  You may also have faulty wires or a faulty circuit breaker.  You also may have a problem with your refrigerator.  Your professional electrician will be able to tell you if the problem is in your wiring or if it is in the refrigerator itself.

Losing Power to Your Refrigerator

If you cannot restore the power to your refrigerator, you can use an extension cord to plug your refrigerator into until your electrician arrives.  If you are unable to find power, you can use your cooler to keep things cold.  Call your electrician for emergency repairs so that you get power to your refrigerated items quickly.  Your electrician in Northern Kentucky at Rose Brothers and Sons Electric is available 24/7 to help with all your electrical repairs.

 

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Electrician’s Tips to Keep Your Christmas Lights Lit

 tips to keep your Christmas lights litIt’s that time of year again when homeowners in Northern Kentucky will be stringing up the Christmas lights to add a bit of festive cheer to the outside of their houses. Besides giving the kiddos something to enjoy as they drive by, you may also be setting yourself up for a major disaster if you’re not careful. Maybe instead of plugging as many lights into the power strip as you can, you can look at it a little more systematically. Here are tips to keep your Christmas lights lit.

Why Light Fuses Blow in Christmas Lights

If you plug too many strands of lights together, chances are your fuse will blow in the first strand within a few hours. Although you may be tempted to bypass the fuse, this will create a fire hazard that really isn’t worth it. Instead, run multiple outdoor extension cords to make sure your strands of lights stay lit. If you have a blow up Santa or other outdoor decoration that involves electricity, you may need to check your circuit breaker to make sure you have enough power.

When To Call The Electrician

Most homes have a good 200-amp service that will allow them to run quite a few lights without overloading the entire system. You may need to switch outlets and use an outlet that isn’t servicing other items to keep your circuit breaker from blowing. Many older homes don’t have enough outdoor outlets. The outdoor outlets they do have may be connected to all the outdoor lights or other outdoor electrical appliances. You can have an electrician install more dedicated circuits for your outdoor lighting needs. This will enable you to run more lights without overloading one particular circuit.

Electrician’s Tips To Keep Your Christmas Lights Lit

Before you go trying to upgrade your electrical system or you start by-passing fuses in your Christmas lights, remember circuit breakers and fuses are designed to blow or switch off when there is a problem. Without your circuit breakers or the fuse, your house could burn down. You can’t just change your switch to a larger amp breaker because the breaker corresponds to the wiring and this can also create a fire hazard. If you are having trouble with your Christmas lights, you need an electrician’s tips to keep your Christmas lights lit. Don’t try to figure out electricity and how to rig your lights. Call an expert and get a safe solution. If you have questions about how to quit blowing your circuit breaker, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric. We are residential electricians who can help with all your electric repairs in Northern Kentucky.

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Home Electricity and Preventing Power Outages

electrical contractorHome electricity is a necessity Americans have come to depend on. We need electric for lights, cooking, cleaning and in some cases life-support. It wasn’t too long ago in our history that people lived without electricity. Today, when the power goes out, we are left in limbo and inconvenienced until the lights come back on. Some areas have experienced many problems associated with power outages that have left families devastated and businesses without revenue. Fortunately most hospitals and public areas have backup power to depend on. Here are a few of the causes of power outages and what you can do to prepare for them.

Weather Causing Power Outages

Most of the power outages in the Northern Kentucky area are caused by weather. Snow, rain, ice and wind can all take a toll on electrical systems. Although it is almost impossible to plan for a flood or tornado, you can take precaution to protect your electrical system from damage from water, moisture and dust. Dust and water can damage your home electricity causing serious costly repairs. Sealed circuit boxes help protect your electrical system from water damage. Where your electric boxes are, also helps. More severe weather concerns have sometimes left entire regions without power. You may not be able to prevent such catastrophes, but you can prepare for them. Having candles, canned food, extra water or a back-up electric generator can help.

Other Causes of Power Outages

Other power outages result when power lines and wires are damaged. Large animals and birds can sometimes cause power outages. Other outages occur when automobiles wreck into power lines or the power company is working on power lines sometimes power outages are the result of human error. Other power outages are the direct result of short circuits. This is when the electrical current takes a wrong path causing excess in electrical current that can lead to circuit damage, fire or explosion. Short circuits are one of the primary causes of fires in the area. Short circuits occur for many reasons, damaged wires, water or other conducting material that comes in contact with the current. Motors that are jammed can also cause a short circuit.

Preventing Power Outages with Good Electrical Installations

One way to prevent power outages and short circuits is to make sure you have good quality materials in place in your electrical system. Make sure you hire a certified electrician who will install your electrical system the right way without cutting corners. Wires should always be good quality and the right gauge for your application. Pumps, pistons, rotors and other moving parts should be inspected and maintained to prevent short circuits caused by jammed equipment. Circuits should not be overloaded. High quality circuit breakers and fuses should be used to protect against circuit overload. All circuit breakers and electrical wiring should be kept away from water and moisture. Besides power outages, your electrical system should also be able to withstand the problems of power surges and low voltage. If you have questions about your home electricity, call your trusted electrical contractor, Rose Brothers and Sons Electric. They will be happy to help you.

 

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When To Call Your Electrician

professional electricianSome homeowners like to tackle most of the do-it-yourself projects in their house, including some of the electrical repairs and simple installations.  They know how to replace a light switch, install a ceiling fan or perform some basic wiring jobs.  They also know that dabbling in electricity can be a real safety hazard.  Home electrical systems cause around 55,000 fires a year costing billions of dollars in property damage.  If you are unsure what you’re doing when tackling an electrical repair, you’re better off calling a professional electrician.

Electricity Precautions

Always assume overhead wires are live and could kill you.

Leave fallen wires alone and let the utility company handle the repairs.

Never operate electrical equipment in or near standing water.

Turn off any electricity to an appliance or fixture before cleaning or repairing the item.

Do not attempt to repair electrical devices without training.

Circuit Breakers

Many safety features are built into your electrical system to shut off the power at the first sign of anything wrong.  If you notice power outages in part of the house but not the entire house, you probably have a tripped circuit breaker.  Find the main breaker panel (usually in the garage, basement or utility closet) and find the breaker that is off.  It is a good idea, if your circuit breaker panel isn’t labeled to label the circuit breakers by turning them off one by one and seeing what appliance or part of the house is connected to each circuit breaker.

Once you switch the circuit breaker back on, be aware if it shuts off again.  This is an indication that something isn’t right.  This also may be the sign, you need to call a professional electrician.

Appliances can cause the circuit breakers to switch off if there are too many high wattage items running at the same time.  Your professional electrician can install a separate circuit for these appliances.

Faulty Outlets

electrical repairsIf an electrical outlet isn’t working, make sure a wall switch isn’t hindering it from doing so.  If it is not part of a tripped circuit breaker, the outlet itself may be burned out.  If you notice any signs of blackening in the outlet plug, you need to have the plug replaced to avoid the possibility of a fire.  Don’t use the outlet, even if one of the plugs appears to be fine.

Sparks sometimes appear in an outlet when the power is quickly diverted away.  This is normal and doesn’t mean there is a problem.  On the other hand, if an outlet gets too hot, it can melt the insulation of the wires.  As the wires become exposed a serious spark can occur.  This is a short circuit that can cause an electrical fire.

Exposure to water can also cause an outlet to spark and short out. Make sure you have a special outlet known as a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) installed in all your outlets that are in areas exposed to moisture.

Faulty Lights

Make sure you use the correct bulb in all your lighting fixtures.  If you find your frequently changing your light bulbs, it could be they get burnout because the wattage is higher in the bulb than the fixture can handle.  Recessed lights will also turn off if they have a built-in mechanism to prevent overheating.  The wrong bulbs may cause these lights to go off until the unit cools down.  If the bulbs are the right ones, it could be insulation touching the fixture causing it too get too hot.

Flickering lights are usually a sign there is a poor connection somewhere in the line.  Your professional electrician can help locate the break and repair it.

Calling Your Professional Electrician

If you aren’t the person who is asking, “Can I do this myself?”  you may be glad to have an electrician who can help you repair your electrical problems.    Your professional electrician at Rose Brothers and Sons Electric is here to help you no matter how big or small the job is.  When it comes to safety and electrical repairs, they are just a phone call away.

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How to Know If You Need Electrical Upgrades

Electrical UpgradesDeciding you need an electrical upgrades may not be as complicated and costly as you imagined.  Sometimes you can get by with adding a dedicated circuit to your electrical panel and at other times, you may need to replace an entire circuit panel or redo the wiring.  The important thing to remember is that having insufficient or unsafe electrical systems is not only an inconvenience but it is also unsafe for your family and valuable appliances.

Insufficient Electric

When you start having trouble keeping your circuit breakers from tripping, it is a good indication you need to call a license electrician like Rose Brothers & Sons electricity.  You will often notice circuit breakers tripping after you do some remodeling or you add some power-hungry appliances like a new A/C unit or a hot tub.  This might easily be corrected by adding a dedicated circuit for this appliance.

If your house is older, you may not have enough electricity.  Older homes were wired for 60 amps but newer appliances and electronics require 100 – 200 amps to run.  Your licensed electrician can replace your circuit breaker panel with a larger panel.  This will give your home not only the sufficiency you need but also provide more efficient, consistent power to your home.  Newer circuit breaker panels also have built in safety features for better protection to you and your family.

Insufficient Safety

Older homes that were built 40 years ago probably need an electrical upgrade.  You may have an older fuse box that needs to be replaced with a circuit breaker panel.  There are also some dangerous circuit breakers like certain Zinsco electric panels and Federal Pacific Electric Panels.  If you have these, you will want to replace them with safer circuit panels.

Older houses also may need complete electrical upgrades that include new wiring.  This can be expensive and messy because most of the wiring is inside the walls.  This is best done if you are already doing some remodeling because the wires may be exposed or the repairs to the walls could be included in your remodeling project.

Electrical Upgrades

Providing your home with electrical upgrades will not only give you more power and provide a safer environment for your family, but it will also add value to your house.  If you have questions about electrical upgrades please call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric and we will be happy to help you.  We are a Electric repair and installation company in Northern Kentucky but we also service the greater Cincinnati area.    We hope you will give us the opportunity to earn your business.  Call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric today!

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How Circuit Breakers Work

Ever wonder why there aren’t more accidents with all the electricity in your house?  Circuit breakers.  They protect the wiring in your house from ruining appliances and starting fires.  Without a circuit breaker, we would be in a world of danger and here’s why.

How Electricity is Designed

Electricity is designed to flow in a closed circuit.  Electricity enters a house from the electrical plant through the hot wire and goes into ground or the neutral wire.  These wires should never touch.  Electrical current flows through a house and meets resistance when it goes into appliances.  The resistance slows the current down and makes sure it flows at a safe level.

What Circuit Breakers Do

circuit breakers

Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers monitor the flow of electrical current in your house.  Their job is to stop the electricity any time the level of electricity is not safe.  Any spike or fluctuation in the current and the circuit breaker will stop the electricity from flowing.  This can happen when you have a short in the wire and the hot and ground wires are touching or maybe when an appliance overheats and melts the wires causing them to touch.  Faulty wiring, appliance malfunction and many other things can cause your circuit breaker to trip.

Before modern circuit breakers, the circuit breakers were fuses which were nothing more than wires encased in a capsule.  When a current was too high, the fuse would disintegrate, and stop the flow of current.  Each time this happened, it had to be replaced and a new fuse had to be purchased.

Today circuit breakers come in a few electric designs that use either an electromagnet, bimetallic strip, or explosive charge to throw the switch.  After they have been switched off, you just flip the switch back and they are ready to protect again the next time.

The picture on the right is a central circuit breaker panel in the circuit breaker box.  The circuit breakers can go to a group or area in your house, such as, your bedroom.  Circuit breakers can also be used for large appliances like your air conditioner.  The circuit breakers are usually marked so that you know what they are for.  They should all be switched to the same side, in the on position if they are all in use.

More advanced circuit breakers use electronic components and circuitry.  One of these is the GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupter), These are used in homes to prevent electric shock.  They are commonly seen in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms at the wall socket.  The GFCI monitors the hot and ground wires to make sure they have the same flow.  As soon as the hot wire is slightly different then the ground, the circuit in interrupted.  This happens quickly at the site to prevent electrocution.

If you have any questions about your circuit breakers please call Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. If you are constantly having problems with your circuit breakers tripping it is a good idea to have your wiring checked and the problem repaired.

 

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