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Electrical

Useful tips and cost saving advice to help you with your electrical project.

High Risk
Pick Any Two

This phrase has been bantered around for decades and most people assign the origin of it to project management. So what are contractors talking about when we say 'pick any two?'

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Electrician Installing Wires
Determining 'Value' with your Electrical Contractor

Recently I was involved in a conversation with some fellow tradesmen (I was the only Electrical Contractor (EC)) on the topic of 'Value'. The topic was really about how to explain to a client about the value of work that is not seen — not 'lipstick and mascara'. So to help explain some of the differences in the electrical area I will offer up the following.

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Electric Shock
How to Spot an Unlicensed Electrician

We're all capable of spotting things. Sometimes we do it by nature, and other times we're trained. When it comes to electricians, there's a certain type to spot, and they are called the unlicensed.

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Broken Lightbulb
Buzzing Into the Holidays

As you pull out the seasonal decorations, pay extra close attention to the ones that plug in. Ensure the wiring isn't exposed or fraying, and be sure the plug-in point is secure. A loose plug-in can turn dangerous should the prongs become exposed to the outdoor (or indoor) environment.

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Electrician installing electrical outlet
Using Your Crystal Ball - Future Proofing Your Build or Renovation

There is nothing stopping you and your Electrical Contractor from adding more to the requirements of the code to meet your future needs. While there is a cost to do this, the cost of doing it during the renovation or build is far less than doing it several years down the road where it is possible that you will end up removing some of your new renovation work to facilitate the new requirement.

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Electrician
Choosing the Right Electrician

The best choice for a homeowner is to have an electrician in mind before ever actually needing one. In the real world, this is not usually the case though, so when yourself in need of an electrician don't be too rash in your choice. By remembering to consider a few important variables, you can greatly affect the quality of your electrical work and save money and time in the long run.

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Dangerous Electrical Work
Electrical Work — Why an Expert is Helpful

Electricity is dangerous, and improperly regulated electrical currents can cause more than just high electric bills or shocks upon installation; they can cause fires or series shorts in the house. Having a professional to consult with on any electrical project is not only helpful, it's necessary.

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Upgrading electrical panel
Thinking of upgrading your electrical panel or service? Some things you should know.

Just like many other electrical contractors (ECs), I get numerous calls for estimates to upgrade a client's electrical panel or service. For many ECs this is the mainstay of their business and are very good at doing them quickly and with excellent quality. However, don't be fooled just because they have done many of these upgrades. Just like any other type of work, do your due diligence, ask the right questions and do your homework.

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Electrical Wires
It's All Greek To Me!

I was recently at a client's home and while discussing how to solve a particular electrical problem they were having, I came across a bundle of wires. I originally thought that they were computer network cables and then I took a few minutes to look at the markings on the cables and explain what they meant and what they might be for. As you can imagine the response was, 'it's all Greek to me'.

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Electrical Questions
How Many Watts Was That Flux Capacitor Supposed To Be?

I am sure there are not many of us that have not been the brunt of a joke that took us unsuspectingly by using terminology that we were not familiar with. While we went along willingly looking for the left-handed screwdriver , when it comes to electrical work don't let your electrical contractor try to bedazzle you with terms and acronyms that leave you confused or unsure.

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Aluminum wiring
Aluminum Wire - What's all the hype?

I can always tell when home sales are up or insurance policies are due; I get calls for aluminum wire inspections. One of the most important things during my AL wire inspection is educating the potential buyer or the current homeowner on the facts about AL wire and helping them sort out the hyperbole that their house is going to burn down because it has AL wring or some other ridiculous statement.

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GFCI
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters — Fact and Fiction

Everywhere in Canada a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is required in different parts of homes and businesses. A whole article on the building code requirements and interpretations could be written, but today I want to focus strictly on the facts and fictions surrounding GFCIs.

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Electric power
Off Peak Electric Power Use

Electrical contractors and electricians are helping homeowners with off-peak, time of use electricity and installing time of use meters, microprocessors, electrical panels and hot water tanks. Power companies are allowing homeowners to save kilowatt hours and money on monthly consumption with off-peak electricity.

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Electric thermal storage
Electric Thermal Storage

Electrical contractors are installing electric thermal storage to lower power costs using off peak electric heat in living rooms, foyers and basement rumpus rooms. Power companies use a time of use rating system where a microprocessor directs heat energy into ceramic bricks of iron oxide.

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Electrical contractor
Electrical Contractors

An electrical contractor is licensed to do electrical services personally or to supervise an electrical crew. After the project has been completed a licensed electrician is available for electrical maintenance.

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Electrical contractor
Don't Get Tangled With An Unlicensed Electrical Contractor

Electrical contractor wiring and fixtures are a crucial part of any new construction or remodeling project. Improper installation can wreak havoc on your property with fire or injury. This article gives helpful information on selecting a qualified electrical contractor for you project.

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Electrical
Five Electrical Projects to Help Cut Down Your Utility Bills

Do expensive electricity bills overwhelm you? Incorporate these five electrical projects into your home improvement plans and cut those utility bills down to a more manageable level. From new light bulbs to timers, power monitors and programmable thermostats, these options help to keep electricity costs under control without sacrificing your comfort and security.

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Electrical
Top Five Backup Power Options for Your Home Electrical System

Protect your family by ensuring your home electrical needs are looked after with a backup power system. Whether you opt for a portable fuel-powered generator, fixed generator, solar or wind powered system or a battery backup generator, these electrical systems provide peace of mind in power outages.

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Electrical
Top Ten Home Electrical Problems That Require an Electrician

Your electrician is fully trained and knowledgeable, with plenty of experience troubleshooting common home electrical problems. Call on them to replace switches and receptacles, upgrade your panel or diagnose flickering lights and faulty three-way switches. Their expertise is invaluable and helps you to maintain a safe, functional home.

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Home automation
How To Wire Your House for Smart Home Automation

Your family will be safer and more comfortable with smart home automation built into the house. Hire an electrician to assess the property's electrical needs and consider the cost of this home improvement as an investment, both in terms of value and in quality of life. Convenient, efficient and enjoyable, home automation is the wave of the future for home renovations.

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