All posts tagged circuits

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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How To Tell If Your Electrical Box Is Grounded

Appliances with three-prong plugs are designed to operate properly when the ground plug provides a path for electrical current all the way back to the electrical panel.  Surge protectors will only provide protection for electrical devices if the power source is grounded.  Most questions asked about grounded electrical boxes come from homeowners with lots of two-prong power outlets in their homes.

There are a few things you can do without the assistance of a qualified electrician to safely determine whether an outlet or its electrical box are grounded.  You will need a two-lead circuit tester and some basic familiarity with your electric panel.  Choose a working outlet that you intend to use with a surge protector or with an appliance with a three-prong plug.

Start with the power to the circuit switched on.  Use the circuit tester to confirm there is voltage between the hot and neutral terminals of the outlet.  The hot wire is connected to the smaller slot of the outlet, and neutral is connected to the larger slot.

Once you have confirmed there is voltage across hot and neutral, you will use the same circuit tester to determine whether there is voltage between hot and ground.  Voltage measured between  the hot terminal and the ground hole is a good indicator that the outlet and its electrical box are grounded.  

If you are dealing with a two-prong outlet, you can test for a ground at the cover plate screw before taking any steps to look inside the box.  Many older homes with two-prong outlets were originally wired with metal boxes and armored cable, providing a reliable ground path to the panel.  Still others were wired with dedicated ground wires despite the two-prong receptacles.  three-prong to two-prong adapters that use the cover plate screw as a ground are still commonly available. Connect one lead of the circuit tester to the cover plate screw and the other lead to the hot slot.  Measured voltage is a good indicator that your outlet and its electrical box are grounded.

organized electrical wires

If you did not find a reliable ground using the circuit tester and you want to be certain there is no ground wire inside the box, you can inspect behind the receptacle safely before calling an electrician. Turn off the circuit, and confirm there is no voltage in the hot terminal.  Next, remove the cover plate and the screws securing the receptacle to the box.  Once removed, you should note whether there is a bare copper ground wire coming into the box with the hot (black) and neutral (white) wires.

Once you have confirmed that your electrical box is not grounded, you should discuss your options with an electrician.  Proudly serving Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Rose Brothers & Sons can help you with anything from small electrical repairs to large electrical construction projects. Contact our experienced and professional electricians today.

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When to Hire an Electrical Contractor to Remodel Your Home

electrical contractorThere are many things you can do to update and remodel your home. There are also a few things you shouldn’t attempt on your own. An electrical contractor can help you with your electrical rewiring so that you can avoid running into problems. Rose Brothers and Sons Electric are qualified to help with your electricity needs and supply you with the expertise your project requires.

Removing Walls

When it comes to updating an old house, you may be thinking about tearing down walls and changing the basic house layout. There are many things you can do to create more space or make the space you have more useful. Our electrical contractors can help you relocate wiring and install new outlets where you need them. They can ensure the electric is installed to code and safe for your family.

Installing Appliances and New Fixtures

Your Electrical contractor can help you install new appliances and make sure the electrical service is capable of handling the new appliances. They can also help you install ceiling fans and new light fixtures when you remodel your home. Don’t assume you can just plug a new appliance in without considering the circuits and if you are overloading them.

Update Your Electric When You Remodel Your Home

If you have an older home, it may be time to consider some electrical updates. New circuit breaker panels and better electrical wiring can prevent fires and keep your appliances and furnishings safe. You may have problems with keeping your electrical current stable. Blinking lights, irregular current and tripping circuit breakers are just a few of the signs suggesting an electrical upgrade is needed. Your electrical contractor at Rose Brothers and Sons Electric will be happy to inspect your electricity and provide you with solutions to correct problems you are having with your electricity.

For all your electrical needs, call Rose Brothers and Sons electric, they will be happy to provide you with professional service at a great price.

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