In these days and times electric bills are extremely high. The average monthly electric bill for a person living in a small apartment is between $50 to $150 depending on the time of year. For a large home those bills can rise up to $200-$300 a month and perhaps even go beyond those figures. Though residents can not change the set prices per unit for electricity in their area, they can still have some control over how high the monthly bill is. Here are a few tips on how to save electricity in the home:
1. If it is not being used, turn it off: Many people leave things such as computers, televisions, radios, and lights when they are not in use. If no one is in the bedroom or living room to watch the television then it should be turned off. Otherwise the homeowner is paying unnecessary cash just so a television can watch itself.
Computers can either but put in sleep mode or turned off completely to save on the bill. While turning it off completely will save more money, sleep mode will cut the costs some. Kicking the computer into sleep mode can save roughly $200 per year in electricity. Turning off the lights can save about $300 per year.
2. Start clothes lining: If you live in a very hot part of the world you can set yourself up with a clothes line and hang your freshly washed clothes out in the sun to dry. In places where the weather is extremely hot there will be little difference in the time it takes for the sun to dry the clothes versus the time in a conventional dryer. Hand washing clothes is also a good way to save on electricity if you have the time. For those who can't fathom such hard work, then simply using the cold water wash cycle instead of the hot water wash cycle will help.
3. Fans: In the summer time you can create an arsenal of fans to cool you down instead of using air conditioners which are huge electricity guzzlers. Opening up the window in every room and installing an inward facing square fan will cool off the area more than you know. In fact you might even get cold. Ceiling fans are good to use in place of air conditioners as well. The costs to run a ceiling fan is only a few cents a day.
4. Small Heaters: Another great way to save on electricity is by using small space heaters instead of the central heat. Tiny space heaters can be found at places such as K-mart for less than twenty dollars. These heaters are amazingly efficient and can successfully heat up an entire room in a matter of minutes. Not only that but most of them shut down when the room has been heated which saves electricity. The good thing about this method is that you will not be using electricity in the rooms that are not being occupied.
Those were just a few suggestions on how to save electricity. There are many other creative ways of doing such, but these methods can provide a place to start.
Do you need to save electricity?
Electrician Olympia WA is the right choice of company for you. We are the reliable electricians in Olympia WA when it comes to professionalism, quality and price. You get what you paid for and that is us, quality price means quality electrical service. We are confident in what we can offer as electrical contractors in Olympia WA and if you need to save electricity by upgrading your panels and lighting to make be granted with more efficient use of electricity, call us at (360) 301-8822 for free quote.
Hanging a ceiling fan is one of the common electrical home improvement projects that many homeowners do for themselves. As much as it looks easy and DIY-able, it is very dangerous and could potentially cause huge injuries if you did not install it right from the go. Electrician Olympia WA team is very well experienced when it comes to installing ceiling fans in residential/commercial premises and we follow the safety guidelines very closely to ensure our customers are satisfied, safe and secure with the quality service we offer to them at quality price. To discuss about the safety and guidelines about installing fan ceilings, one of our team's electrician share a story of his own to make it interesting. This is a story from one of the professionals in our team during his time working as an electrician in a different city called Detroit.
"Homeowners are dangerous. The ones who think they are not because they have some tools are worse. Nicest people in the world, city sucks, but still the nicest people one could ask for. When someone in Detroit called me to their home to do a home improvement project for them they were not concerned with how close to free they could get the work done. They were concerned about whether or not the tradesman that was looking at the work was concerned with how well he would do the job. Neat trait of Detroiters, they do care about quality, even if the accountants in those car factories there have dis-emboweled that value from the assembly lines and engineering circles that produce our American cars. Judging from what the Detroiters want in their homes, I know they care about quality.
When I talk about Detroit, I mean the entire metro area. There are a lot of towns, municipalities, and cities that compose what we think of as Detroit. They all share that same value of quality, even if the bean counting penny snatchers think they can do better by us by hatching that "expense" from the bottom line.
While I was working in Detroit I was called to home in 1987 and those happy homeowners had their trusty Uncle Clyde come and hang the ceiling fan that they received for Christmas from Aunt Cally. The unsuspecting and innocent people were wise, Uncle Clyde had hung the fan from the same ceiling box that formerly held their little lightweight two-bulb ceiling light dispenser.
When Kathy, the homeowner saw that Uncle Clyde did that she reasoned that the fan not only weighed more, but exerted a tremendously higher amount of centrifugal force than the former 2 lamp, non-fan occupant of that space. Kathy built Fords; she had an idea about some really neat physics and engineering stuff. Kathy called me and asked me to come and look over Uncle Clyde's work.
Upon arrival, I checked Clyde's installation while Kathy was telling me her immensely insightful, albeit longwinded, assessment of the situation. When I removed the ceiling fan from the ceiling, I found that Uncle Clyde had installed it using the wire nuts that come with most ceiling fans. There was no metal grip built into the plastic of the wire-caps. Taboo number 1 is what we call those.
We also call them, "a fire". They may not be burning yet, but they are a fire, they are more likely to begin and cause a fire than a match. That is right, an actual match is less dangerous than a cap-nut/wire-nut with no metal sleeve built in which assures a positive attachment of the fixture wires to the supply conductors. They fall off, the fixture wires gob-up beneath them and make poor contact with the current carrying conductors of the home. Sparks occur, little arcs that are every bit as hot and flammable as a match, but, no person is holding or controlling that flame, so, people usually find out about the problem while firefighters are prodding through their home with axes.
After I removed those wire nuts and handed them to Kathy, I waited patiently while she explained to me how they looked like pieces of candy and they would be potentially dangerous to her children, I nodded my head in approving fashion. It was when she was finished I explained that she could safely discard the deceptive little buggers and I assured her I had at least enough to replace them. I did not want to insult Uncle Clyde, so I explained that using them over again, "is never done". Better to tell the truth and use that to the desired end, than to bean beloved Uncle Clyde on the noggin with the pointy end of my professional prowess.
Once I sat the fan securely on the floor and out of the path through which I had to walk several times, upon my behest, I was assured by Ms Kathy that it would not be in her way while she stood there telling me surely almost everything she had ever experienced in her life. I then explained to Kathy that the fear she had about the fan installed on the same box as the former 2-bulb luminary was indeed a problem.
Unless the electrician that wires the home actually anticipates that a ceiling fan or heavy chandelier will be hung in the location of the box that held only the light fixture, there is little chance that the box will be adequately designed to perform safely for such retrofit of a ceiling fan or a chandelier. Once I assured her, and she began to understand it was not because he was a "cheapskate", but he had accountants that governed his movements also, which in these cases are generally called "builders", I was then able to go to my truck. I walked there easily because I placed my tools and Kathy's fan out of my walk-path.
I came back in with the rest of the tools I needed and my joist spanning retrofit ceiling fan grade junction box. I showed it to Ms Kathy as she ooohed and aaahed, at the mechanical marvel of a little devil I was about to put in her ceiling. I explained that getting it in would be no problem for me, and that "No, I would not have to make any hole at all; I would only need the one that was already there."
I then went up the ladder, and began to mangle, twist and ruin in every manner possible the existing box that formerly held her light and then promised to drop a 45 pound ceiling fan on hers or someone else's head. It was then that the sparks shot all over the house and melted my pliers and burnt my screwdriver until it looked like bread forgotten in a toaster. I went downstairs with my knocking knees and new bout of perspiration and made sure that the breaker actually tripped while the volts in that wire were shooting all up and down my arms and across my chest.
That didn't happen, but I wanted to say it just so you could laugh. I "always" make the concerned area SAFE before I do what I do. If I don't, the thing I just described would have happened and probably just as Ms Kathy would be giving me a fresh cup of coffee so that in the ensuing panic I could knock it over leaving coffee stains all over her freshly painted dining room walls. I hate that when that happens. Turn off the power before you work on a circuit. Leaving the power on is not brave, it is profoundly stupid.
There are two kinds of shocks. One is a shock. Those make messes and ruin stuff and they mess up your day. The other is an electrocution and they mess up your day and ruin everybody else's day because the suffix "cution" means you died, and the prefix "electro" means you died and it was preventable. We control electricity, if it kills us or shocks us it is because we were dumb.
So then, where were we?
Oh yes, I was ripping that old box out of the hole in the ceiling being very cautious to leave Ms Kathy's ceiling drywall undisturbed. I succeeded, through, diligence, patience and several bouts with staving off the involuntary arrival of thoughts over how there has to be a better way to get money. Ms Kathy was amazed and expressed how I must have a god given gift because that which I just did looked to be the impossible. She had no idea how close to right she was. Except for the two fingertip marks on the flat ceiling paint, it was a perfect tear-out. I measured the marks from center of the hole and then jumped down to measure the ceiling fan mounting base. I then assured Ms Kathy that the ceiling fan base would cover the fingertip marks.
"Oh, yes, Ma'am. I would be happy to clean them off anyway. Do you have a damp cloth?" Eleven minutes later, I got back to why I was there. Nobody will ever see them, but, "(she)I will know they are there", what does that mean? Price just went up 10 bucks. I opened the retro-fit expanding joist spanner ceiling fan box kit. At my request, Ms Kathy laid out an old towel upon which I could lay out my parts on her table so that I could avoid scratches in her table's finish and so that my parts would not roll away.
I then (this is the part where you read and understand, "understand" being the operative word, the directions) whipped the handy little concoction up into the hole in the drywall and after some positioning feats and marvels I was turning the spreader threads. I turned and adjusted the little rascal until it was tight enough and well enough grounded and supported that I could do one arm chin ups from it, which I did several of in order to assure Ms Kathy that the spanner bracket retro-fit ceiling fan junction box would do the job. All that while I was assuring her I really do weigh 238 pounds and that if it can hold me swinging from it, then it would hold her fan. She readily agreed.
I then did, as the enclosed instructions will teach you and prepared for the installation of the fan support box. Then I searched around in the hole for the wire I seemed to lose. This way and that, here and there, darn where did that thing go? I know it was here...when I found it I brought thee wire thru one hole I cleared in the box that was intended and designed for that purpose. Then I strapped it down into the box using the wire fastening means provided while making sure I had at least six inches of each conductor coming through and that the outer covering was at least ¾ inches inside and protruding from the wire fastening means inside the box. I did not tighten that clamp to much, but just enough to hold the wire securely without over tightening. A clamp is to hold wire from wiggling and being pushed from the inside to the outside of the box. Over tightening, can and will cause short circuits, ground faults and fires.
Now I follow the instructions to mount the junction box to the joist spanner tension support arm. I am as excruciatingly painstaking about this step as I am about the phase in which the box is prepared for supporting the fan. Read and "understand" the instructions that come with your unit. If I was not very conscientious over this, Ms Kathy could well be sitting at her table with an accountant from the ivory tower at Ford, or perhaps GM will send recruiters to steal Ford's quality control technicians and while they sit beneath her fan, it could fall and kill them. It has happened and it really messes up the day, not to mention how it splashes terribly from the punch bowl, and messes up the croissant platter.
Ms Kathy told me she had the fan assembly instructions so I was able to look those over. It turned out on inspection that Uncle Clyde, bless his heart, did read them and follow them well. It was one part of this ordeal I could use to exact praise upon Uncle Clyde. It seems that Uncle Clyde was a "jack of all trades", according to Kathy and did all sorts of things for people. A regular handyman and he did everything from rake yards to cutting down trees, to hanging drywall. I resisted asking why she thought a man with such qualifications should reduce himself to working with fire inside of people's walls. Amid her praise of his following the directions good, I ascended my ladder with Clyde's handywork in tow.
To the two 3/16 studs that stick through the entire depth of the box from the top side, I fastened the fan base as per fan manufacturers instructions using all washers, nuts and lock devices. (which in this case were in Uncle Clydes pocket...so, I used my own from the truck) I took the actual fan from the wire on my ladder and in a balancing and juggling act approaching the metaphysical I followed "to the letter" the fan manufacturers instructions.
I ran down to the basement and turned on the bre... oh no!! I had to figure out some way to get that fan down and hook up the wires without Ms Kathy noticing...
I retrieved from my truck two orange hard plastic cap nuts with metal inserts and one barrel crimp and a ground pigtail with screw mount provision. I fastened the ground pigtail into the fan junction box on the provided screw. I then stripped back the insulation on the white and black conductors to appx ½ an inch of exposed copper conductor on each. Then, approaching the metaphysical once more, I fought the mother of all battles, held that fan, and placed the white wire on the fan to the white building electrical supply conductor. With the tip of the fixture wire held just an inkling beyond the tip of the supply white I spun on the orange wire cap until I was certain that the contact was made and the white wires could not be pulled from beneath the cap nut.
I repeated that with the black and added the blue conductor provided within the fan for the light fixture assembly that Uncle Clyde put on. I always strip the fixture's stranded conductors just a little longer than the exposed conductor of those supply conductors coming from the junction box. When there are two or more of them to be bound together beneath a cap nut with a supply conductor I twist them together first then bring them to the supply wire together beneath the cap nut/wire nut.
The ground conductors, bare copper, green or green with a yellow stripe always go together and I usually use a barrel crimp and a smashing tool to mechanically bond them beneath one terminal point then twist them all together. An appropriately sized wire nut is a good way to bring them together also. Then, they must be twisted into the appearance of a non-separable configuration.
Being extremely careful while I lift the fan into place, fighting dreams of the Bahamas and cursing life's various beaches because I am not on one of them, I carry on in my practice of the metaphysical and in accordance with the instructions from the fan manufacturer. I mount the fan...again. I am being very considerate in this that I do NOT cause any wires to be pinched, wrapped around screws or wedged between various components that could threaten the integrity of any conductor's outer insulation. I fasten and secure the fan to the base plate using all of the screws, washers, lock washers and nuts that the manufacturer supplied. Uncle Clyde, yes, you guessed it, lost all the lock washers. I had more in my truck being the good electrician and general cocky know it all that I am.
I loaded my truck amidst pleas that I look at this and that and those other things she spoke of while I was there. That will all be in other stories. I hope you enjoy your new ceiling fan. If you are at all in doubt, call a real electrician. Electrical wiring is not a hobby and unlike many homeowner type projects, electricity can, will and does kill, and the health and wellbeing of your entire family as well as the integrity of your home is what is at stake.
Ms Kathy asked me what she owed me and I asked her what she thought it was worth. She said three hundred dollars. I told her that 140 would be plenty. She was thrilled. I even got a cup of hazelnut gourmet coffee to go and that was before cool coffee was fashionable."
Last year I had a contractor do some minor construction on my house. Because it was in the way, he had to move the electric clothes dryer vent. The existing vent was too short to reuse, so the contractor installed a whole new one. One day I realized something was wrong- instead of taking 30 minutes to dry a load of laundry, my dryer was now taking 50 minutes, or more! Read this money-saving article and find out how to troubleshoot an electric clothes dryer that takes too long to dry!
1. Check the Clothes You're Trying to Dry - Are They Too Wet?
If the load you put in your washing machine was too heavy, your washer may not have been able to spin enough water out of them.
Remedy: Place the load of clothes back in the washer and set the dial on the "Spin Cycle". You may have to do this a couple of times. You may even have to divide the load in half to spin the excess water out.
2. Check Your Electric Clothes Dryer - Is It Overloaded With Clothes?
Troubleshooting an electric clothes dryer that takes too long to dry may be as simple as reducing the size of your washer loads. A dryer that's overloaded takes much more time - and money - to dry your laundry. It also causes wrinkled clothing.
3. Check the Lint Traps On Your Electric Clothes Dryer
In order for your dryer to operate at its peak performance, you should check the lint traps after each and every load. Lint in the filters reduces the air flow which makes the dryer take longer to dry your laundry.
4. Check the Exhaust Vent to Make Sure It's Not Plugged With Lint
If your electric clothes dryer takes too long to dry your laundry, the problem might lie in the exhaust vent. A build-up of lint will limit the efficiency of the exhaust. It can also cause a fire. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are about 15,500 fires caused by clothes dryers every year.
Remedy: Check the end of the exhaust vent where it exits from your home. If you see lint hanging out of the louvered vent cover, the pipe needs cleaned out. If that looks clear, troubleshoot your electric clothes dryer by disconnecting the end of the exhaust vent from the dryer. Use a flashlight and look as far as you can into the end of the vent pipe. If you see lint, the pipe needs cleaned out.
Buy a dryer exhaust vent brush at your local hardware or home supply store to clean your dryer exhaust vent out thoroughly. You can buy extensions if your vent is unusually long. Follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to achieve the best results.
Thereafter, keep the exhaust vent open, energy-efficient and safe by cleaning it out once or twice a year. How often you need to clean it out depends on how much you use your electric clothes dryer.
5. Inspect the Exhaust Vent for Kinks and Other Constrictions in the Metal
To troubleshoot an electric clothes dryer that takes too long to dry, inspect the entire dryer exhaust pipe. If there are kinks, crushed places, and other constrictions in the metal, those will also restrict the air flow.
Also, if your electric clothes dryer has always taken too long to dry since it was hooked up, make sure the dryer exhaust pipe is the correct size. This is what I found was wrong with my dryer. The contractor used a 3-inch metal pipe when he should have used a 4-inch pipe.
Remedy: Rip the existing out by disconnecting it from the dryer, as well as from the vent cover where it exits your house. Measure the pipe and buy a new one that's the correct size at your hardware or home supply store. You may need to buy elbows, connectors, and other miscellaneous parts so you can hook the dryer exhaust vent up correctly.
As soon as I did this, my electric clothes dryer was able to dry a load of clothes in 30 minutes or less, as opposed to the 50+ minutes it was taking after the contractor left.
These are simple troubleshooting tips for an electric clothes dryer. If none of them fix the problem, it could be a faulty door gasket, a fan that needs tightened or replaced, a heating element going bad, et cetera. Consult a reliable electrician in Olympia WA for further repairs. We, Electrician Olympia WA will handle all of your electrical repair needs, you can reach our professionals and representatives at (360) 301-8822 for free quote.
Why Your Home Should Be Wired for AC and DC Electricity
One of my current projects is a small RV teardrop trailer. I wired it for 12 volt DC and standard 120 volt AC electricity. I also have small energy projects in the home that produce DC current which must go through a grid-tie inverter for use in homes as AC current. Interestingly enough a lot of that AC current is then converted back to DC at individual devices within the home. A little thought and research has convinced me that homes should be wired for AC and low voltage DC electricity.
Reasons for using AC current
Reasons for using DC current
A possible scenario
Standard 120/240 volt power to the home. Main AC power through breakers to the home, a shop and a secondary panel through a rectifier for 24 volt power. AC plugs spaced throughout the home for appliances such as microwaves, toasters, fans and vacuum cleaners. Dedicated AC circuits to stoves, ovens, pumps and air conditioning systems. DC plugs spaced throughout the home for computers, TVs and other low voltage DC appliances. Dedicated DC circuits for fluorescent and LED lighting.
This ignores possibilities from alternative energy systems that may be incorporated in the power system. Studies indicate that within 20 years up to 50% of the power used in a home will be DC. Savings could be substantial. A 2018 study by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) found that a Duke Energy datacenter DC power system used 15% less energy than an AC power system. General Electric (GE) claims that a DC datacenter would cut energy costs up to 20% simply by cutting power conversions which lowers cooling costs. Stuff to think about. If you need any electrical repairs around Olympia, WA, call Electrician Olympia WA at (360) 301-8822 for free quote.
Electrical house fires are not something that just happens to other people. In fact, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) has compiled the fire statistics and found that each year there are an estimated 51,000 electrical fires in U.S. homes. Recognizing the warnings signs and knowing how to protect yourself and your family can shield you from becoming a statistic yourself. Our professional electrical contractors in Olympia WA have handled these mishaps every now and then and we wanted to share the knowledge with the locals in case the emergency happens.
What Causes Electrical Fires?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) explains that almost half of the electrical fires can be attributed to "electrical distribution or lighting equipment." At the same time, it is not just the reading lamp next to your curtains that causes problems. There are also fires started by clothes dryers, fans and space heaters.
When you hear about an electrical fire, it is simplistic to assume that only an electrical failure or arcing is to blame. Sometimes, an electrical appliance may be involved as the incendiary device. For example, if a homeowner fails to maintain a combustible-material-free radius around an operating space heater, there is the chance that the appliance will ignite a curtain, throw pillow or rug.
When the distribution systems are involved, an evaluation of NFPA data spanning the years 2015 to 2019 reveals that a wide variety of wiring problems accounts for 16 percent of electrical fires. Outlet problems and branch circuit wiring accounted for six percent and five percent respectively. Extension cords and breaker panel problems each generated three percent of fires.
How Can You Prevent Electrical House Fires?
Prevention is sometimes as simple as keeping an ear open. The buzzing sound you hear in your walls may be a sign of faulty wiring. If you live in your older homes, there is a good chance that the wiring is not in compliance with modern codes. While it is true that you are not always legally obligated to upgrade your wiring - unless you open up walls to remodel - it is in your best interest to invite an electrician to your home for a safety inspection. This professional should also be invited out if your outlets or wall plates feel hot to the touch, when lights flicker and dim, and when your breakers suddenly start tripping much more frequently than before.
Re-evaluate your electricity usage. If extension cords are taking the place of much-needed outlets, you are putting yourself at risk. An electrician can add new outlets in areas where you need them at very little cost. Moreover, ensure that you operate your lights and other appliances in keeping with their specifications. Do not install 100-Watt light bulbs in fixtures that are only rated for 40-Watt-bulbs. With respect to your clothes dryer, follow the advice of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and clean out any lint buildup in the exhaust ducts.
If you do need the electrical repairs or emergency repair as soon as possible call us today at (360) 301-8822 for free quote, do not wait for the big misfortune to happen to your residential/commercial premises. You can rest assure with our professionals, we are the most reliable electricians around Olympia, WA.
When installing a new electrical panel or remodeling around an existing panel, it is important to know what the proper clearances are and the proper methods of mounting the panel. Before starting, make sure that you take these tips to heart.
In the old days, you could mount a panel to just about any surface. If you are putting in a new panel, the panel must be mounted to a non-combustible surface. Type X 5/8 inch drywall is considered an acceptable surface to mount to. If there are seams in the drywall where you are mounting the electrical panel, the seams must be taped with one coat of mud applied. There are some variations of 1/2 inch drywall that are excepted as a proper mounting surface for electrical panels.
Securing the Panel
The panel must be secured to the wall in all four corners at the minimum. If wall framing or concrete cannot be mounted to, use screw in drywall anchors to provide a strong securing mount. Screw the screws into the drywall mounts and mount the panel.
Panel clearances were rarely used in older homes. Do not attempt to move a panel unless it is absolutely necessary. However, if you are installing a new panel you should follow these clearance rules. You should have 30 to 36 inches on each side of the panel clearance to any wall or mechanical object or obstruction. You should also have 36 inches directly in front on the panel to allow for proper servicing ability.
If you have a panel in a main living space, you may want to cover it with a decorative covering. This will protect the panel and be more attractive than the panel. Keep in mind that the same rules apply to a panel in a living space. Maintain proper clearances to allow for servicing. That also means that the cover must be easily removable.
Any time you are working with electricity or around electricity, make sure your respect it. Direct contact with electricity can cause injury or death and may cause permanent damage to your homes electrical systems. If you are not confident handling the panels yourself, call Electrician Olympia WA at (360) 301-8822 for free quote today. We are a reliable electric Olympia company that can handle the electrical issues with professionalism and precision.
Solar electricity is one of the hottest technologies on the market today. With the new push by the United States government, it has become evident that solar energy is the energy source of the future. There is still debate on how efficient solar electric power is, but it has been proven to work well for residential home owners, particularly for those who live in cities.
Solar Electric In A Nut Shell
Solar electric (photovoltaic panels) collect UV rays from the sun and collect this energy in the form of DC electricity. Because all electricity supplied to the power grid is AC electricity, there needs to be a converter between the solar panels and the homes meter. The energy from the panels will supply power to the house up to it's wattage output limits. For example, 4 200 watt panels can only put out 800 watts. If the house needs more than that, it uses power from the utility grid.
Most utility companies have a program where they will pay a residential customer back on their energy bill for power they supplied to the grid. In other words, if you have solar panels and you use less than you are producing, the utility company uses the energy you have created and uses it to power other homes. Any energy you don't use, you simply don't have to pay for.
Can I Get a Photovoltaic System?
Anyone can buy a solar PV system. What you have to determine is whether it is worth the cost. Right now all sustainable energy projects qualify for a 30% federal tax credit. Solar PV is on this list of such projects. Depending on the state you live in, there may be rebates available also making this a very opportunistic time to go solar.
Basically, if you have a 1500-2000 square foot house with good Southwestern exposure, you could benefit quite a bit from solar electric panels. The cost of a basic system that provides 80% of your home's electricity is between $20,000 and $50,000. The average payback time is 7-10 years. If you are looking at selling your house in the next 5 years, a solar electric system would be a very poor investment.
What's the downside?
The downside is that photovoltaic are very inefficient, estimated to only use 12% of what they take in. There are new technologies being tested today that may change all of this very quickly, but until they do the panels will remain about the same.
If you are looking at building a home in the country and are trying to produce all your electricity with solar power, you will spend $50,000-$75,000 as an independent (off-the-grid) system is more complex and requires more equipment.
Doing the responsible thing for the environment always feels good. you just have to make sure your pocket book feels good as well. We are a reliable electric olympia company serving the area for years. If you want professional electrical repair services, call us today at (360) 301-8822 for free quote.
Over the last 100 years, Benjamin Franklin's accidental bump into 'electricity' on a stormy night Philadelphia, followed by Thomas Alva Edison's light bulb invention, resulted in electrical power entering almost every home in the form of light fixture, electrical equipment and appliance. While the convenience and benefits are enormously high, the danger is not of any smaller magnitude, in the context of mains power supply that comes into the household switchboard from the electricity supplier. In general perception, the danger, hazard and risk of using an electrical appliance or equipment may seem to outweigh the benefits. Well not so, because the consequences of a rare occurrence electric shock will mostly be very bad.
This article aims to provide the basis understanding of electrical energy dynamics, and then reviews the role of the three important links in the chain Manufacturer (Distributor), the installer and the end user, the context being mains supply at 240V, 50Hz current electricity (Alternate Current or A.C)
Dynamics of Electrical Energy and the electrical shock
The following paragraphs attempts to explain the basic electricity flow principle - Voltage, current flow. Water flows from high to low level on a gradient (slope). Electrical energy does similarly. The analogy is the voltage (technically called potential difference) provides the gradient/slope for current to flow. As the water always tries to equal the difference in level and stand still, electrical current tries to equate the voltage to zero (reduce the difference to zero) and stop flowing.
This is no different to nature's law of inertia or resistance to move. In its effort to stop flowing, the current flows through any path with least resistance, to the mother Earth. And the Earth has an abundant capacity to take these electrical charges. Any person or animal, coming into contact with bare wires, damaged wires or leaking current from a faulty appliance or equipment, without being properly insinuated from the ground/Earth forms an easy least resistance path for such a flow; the result could be very serious and even fatal. Such is the nasty power of a small leakage current.
That explains why electricity is as dangerous, why that utmost level of care and caution is required when working with it, and why safety measure like proper Earthing, circuit breakers, safety tripping switches etc., are so vital.
What role the manufacturers, installer and users play ?
It is as well a collective as an individual responsibility to ensure that the safety of people and animals are ensure around electrical appliances and equipment. No amount of care and caution are never enough. Each of the major participating entities including but not limited to manufacturer/distributor, installer and user of such appliance or equipment must unconditionally make a positive contribution to ensure electrical safety.
Manufacturer/distributor must evaluate the safety of the product, offer it for sale only if the risk of failure is nil or nil. The product design must always address a secondary (backup) safety measure, in case of an unavoidable rare case of failure. The quality assurance systems should revolve around and chiefly the focus on product safety. The installation documentation should be clear, simple, easy to understand, as illustrative as possible.
It must be noted that however good the product literature is, it is only useful if available readily whenever required by the user or installer. Manufacturers should hence think of ways to make them readily and affordably available to the use or installer. (Example, online manuals/literature, built into product memory in high end technology products etc.,). It is easier said, but manufacturers must put safety before profits. In the long run safe and reliable products demonstrate value for money and will be profitable.
Installers, as always rely on the expertise and experience, in installing an electrical product. It is worth not to lose sight of the fact that every product (and every model) is different and may be unique. So, it is worth understanding the contents of manufacturer's installation instructions, product literature well, prior to installing the product. This practice is a never an indication inadequacy, but a reinforcement of invaluable expertise, experience or skills. A job carried out ensuring long term safety is worth more for the user.
The user must be able to see the real value for money or worthiness in safety perspective, rather than a simplistic currency value. In addition, the installer, must educate the user on the safe handling of the appliance or equipment. For only such action conveys the installer's feeling of concern for safety and commitment to work ethics.
Users must primarily respect electricity. It is one of the most invaluable inventions and a gift to the world, only if treated with due respect. Users must always follow proper instructions while handling electrical equipment. User should never ever try to install or commission any electrical appliance or equipment, unless they have valid qualification, registration, licensing and adequate training to do so.
Neither should a normal user try to modify or repair such equipment or appliance. Everyone, in presence of electrical equipment or appliance feel responsible for safety of oneself, all other around and animals. Animals do not deserve to be victims of human inventions or human negligence.
Live and let live a safe life. Electrician Olympia WA handles all electrical repair needs around Olympia, WA. Call us today at (360) 301-8822 for free quote.
Portable electric generators are relied upon by many families and businesses when the weather turns rough. The United States is about to enter its peak season for hurricanes within the next month, which will increase generator use. Use them safely though. Too often there is news of power outages, quickly followed up with news from that same area of injuries from unsafe portable generator use or carbon monoxide poisoning. Electrical Safety Foundation International has issued a press release to help individuals avoid the most common mistakes when using an electrical generator. Electrician Olympia WA make sure we follow all the necessary guidelines when it comes to this.
The first tip and one of the most important is to never use a gasoline powered portable generator inside your house. These type of generators produce carbon monoxide gas. Do not rely on the fact that you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home to protect you. Do the smart and safe thing instead and use the portable generator outside of the living quarters of your home.
Many people feel that just because generators are sold at their local hardware store or convenience stores that they are simple to install. This is not necessarily the case. It's worth it to have a licensed electrician install the generator for you. By paying a little more for the installation, you will be able to avoid possible costs due to injury or illness from an improperly installed generator.
Before starting your generator it's best to make sure you have it set up properly. Make sure that you are using the correct type of extension cord for your generator, a three pronged plug is essential. Check your cord to make sure it is not frayed and that it does not have any signs of damage to it. Also make sure that your generator is in a safe, and dry place. Water and electricity can be a very dangerous combination resulting in electrical shock that could injure or kill you.
When running your generator, make sure you keep children away from it, there is no reason for your children to be near the generator regardless of how inquisitive they are. Only use your generator when it's absolutely necessary, and if using it in an enclosed space make sure carbon monoxide detectors are installed in the area. Again remember though not to use a gas powered generator inside the home.
When you no longer need to power your appliances with the generator, turn the appliances off before turning off the generator. When storing your fuel for your generator, make sure that you store it in a cool area that is away from any electrical appliances. Also make sure that it is stored in a well marked container so others in your house know what the container holds for safety reasons and where to find it when needed.
As hurricane season gets into full swing it is likely areas within the continental U.S. will come under hurricane watches or warnings. If you are in an area such as this and intend to use your portable generator if you lose power, make sure your family is aware of these safety precautions as well. Using a portable generator is a great convenience but not one worth risking injury to family members due to them being uninformed. It is the duty of electricians in Olympia Washington to educate the locals about these so that we can have a safe sound lives handling electrical components.
An electric fireplace is an asset every homeowner in the north (and even some parts of the south) should possess. There are numerous reasons to have one of these key household appliances. The first reason is cleanliness. The electric fireplace requires very little cleaning as the heat is produced through the home's electricity. The absence of wood shavings, dusty soot, and occasional ash in the house is a welcome relief with this cleaner heat source.
The electric fireplace or stove heater also lacks the odor of oils as one might encounter with those portable heaters that burn oil or propane. The fuel burning fireplaces do a tremendous job of heating up a room, but they appear to pose greater safety hazards than the electric model. Heating appliances with contained fuels or even burning logs always present a fire danger and serious attention should be paid to maintaining these appliances and their environment. While electric fireplaces are much safer, they too can be extremely dangerous if one does not follow these safety tips.
Electric Fireplace Safety - Electricity
Once you bring this brand new appliance home, you must insure the outlet for this heater is capable of handling the minimum power requirements as suggested by the manufacturer. This information is usually provided in the fireplace manual or tagged on the cord or back of heating unit. An outlet that is overloaded with other appliances or not producing enough juice will quickly pop a fuse or circuit.
Take time to inspect the cord and plug to the electric fireplace. If there is any sign of damage or fraying to the cord or plug wrapping, it is probably time to replace the heater unit of the fireplace. The danger of exposed wires can be catastrophic to your family and home.
Electric Fireplace Safety - Maintenance
All electric fireplaces emit their warm or hot air through the blower of the electric heater. Make it a practice once a week to take a cloth and wipe free any cobwebs or dust from the grill or blower exhaust port. Use the vacuum to remove any other potential dust from within the blower. Also if accessible, take a cloth and vacuum to the rear portion of the blower unit to remove dust from the fan assembly. This area seems to be the greatest collector of dust. Removing dust from the fan assembly will also ensure a longer life for your electric fireplace while keeping potentially dangerous flammable dust and debris away.
Electric Fireplace Safety - Surroundings
Keep the fireplace blower well safe away from flammable objects or carpeting. Most of these fireplace models have the blower unit higher up which pose no threat to getting the floor hot. If the electric heater is a stove type unit which does have a low to the ground blower, consider placing the unit on a non flammable surface such as brick, stone, tile, or countertop materials.
Also consider the safety hazard of an electric fireplace from tipping over. Most of these electric fireplaces carry the same heavier weight as a heavy bookcase. These can be extremely dangerous situations when there are small children present. Consider anchoring the fireplace to the floor or wall if necessary to prevent tip over.
If you need any electrical services/repairs/maintenance around Olympia WA, call us today at (360) 301-8822 for free quote today. Electrician Olympia WA will ensure you get the quality service at a quality price.