All posts tagged electricity

3 Reasons Your Light Bulbs Could Keep Blowing

Almost all varieties of light bulbs are vulnerable to blowing. This is because they rely on the electrical stimulation of an enclosed gas or filament to produce light. Along with light, heat is also generated. The combination of heat and electricity is enough to cause the bulb to explode. The only type of bulb not susceptible to this issue is LEDs. There are several reasons why this problem can repeatedly occur.

When light bulbs keep blowing, one cause could be a loose connection in the lamp holder. This is due to the fact that the circuit has not been completed as tightly as possible. This can lead to the electricity to jump across the contact or to “arc”, instead of merely flowing through it. When this occurs, more heat is produced than the bulb is expected or tailored to handle. Arcing electricity has the ability to melt the metal it is jumping onto. Once the heat surpasses the limitations of the light bulb, it can blow. A certified electrician can check your lighting circuits to see if there is this is the problem and correct it for you.

Incandescent light bulbs are most prone to exploding. This is because of the high amount of heat that is generated as compared to other types of bulbs. Inside a traditional incandescent bulb is the filament which glows. The glowing occurs as a result of the filament material resisting the flow of electricity. In addition to the radiating effect, the resistance also creates heat. If the bulb manufacturer has failed to correctly insulate the base of the light bulb, the heat produced is enough to melt the socket material. This allows the pressurized inert gases within the bulb to rapidly escape. This is one reason why it is best to avoid cheaper light bulbs. It is best to spend the money on more expensive ones as they are better quality, and you can be assured that they have been manufactured properly. They are also cheaper in the long run as well. The materials in the cheaper bulbs are much thinner, which causes even the slightest surge of power to break them down. To eliminate any chance of risk, it is in your best interest to splurge on the higher priced bulbs.

Another reason for light bulbs to continually blow is an electrical overload of the bulbs internal capacitor, which is a common cause of compact fluorescent bulbs exploding. While CFL bulbs do not produce nearly as much heat as incandescent bulbs, the issue can still happen. The blowing can occur as the result of the CFL being placed on a dimmer circuit. They are not designed to be used with a dimmer so when it is, it will cause an electrical overload.

If you are having electrical issues, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric is an electrical contractor you can trust. We provide electrical services on a wide assortment of projects from small residential repairs to work on construction sites.  We take pride in providing customers the highest quality of service, which is why we have such a positive record on Angie’s List. We have a location in Walton, KY to serve Cincinnati and Northern KY. Call us today.

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What Are Low Frequency Electrical Hums?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Should You Do If Your Outlets Spark?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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. This will still apply when you’re taking your generator camping as you’re going to want make sure you’re safe no-matter where you go.

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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