John's Electric Service strives to give the best possible service through:
• Honesty & Integrity
Whether the issue is large or small, problems with electricity are often ignored until they become apparent. It's easy to avoid thinking about problems that can occur in our appliances, circuit breakers, wall outlets, and even light bulbs. But often, ignoring issues while they are small leads to more significant problems and the necessity for the help of an electrician.
Here are some things to look for and how to know when to call for help:
The most exciting trend in 2021 is proving to be even more intelligent home automation. Most of us own at least one smart device, but we aren't using them to the best of our abilities, even with just one. Smarter automation starts as simple as using voice commands to train your phone to more complex functions throughout your home.
Smart usage of home technology could be setting up profiles for each family member or scenario. You can program your thermostat, lights, locks, and fans to stay at the ideal settings away from home and have them already set up to be perfect when you get back home.
Caller ID long ago brought us the ability to decide whether or not to answer our phones. Now, Smart Doorbells let us decide whether or not to answer our doors. Is that unexpected ring at the door a solicitor, a delivery driver, an unexpected visitor? Now a quick glance down at your phone lets you instantly know. Is there activity in. out, or around your door that you want to monitor? Problem solved.
There’s a smart doorbell solution to fit every budget and to suit every need.
A year after a life-altering worldwide pandemic, most people are surprised to know there is a housing boom. More people are buying and building their perfect dream home. With time to reflect on how they could build a house differently, people are jumping at the chance to get it right this time.
When it comes to the excitement and anticipation of building your new home, countless ideas may be running through your mind. The perfect placement of each window, wall, and door. Paint colors and textures, the perfect flooring choices, exterior, and interior materials, and those specific details that make your newly built home one of a kind and truly yours.
It seems like it gets harder and harder to save money these days. Many Americans are struggling to pay the rent one more month or buy groceries for another week. This year has hit everyone hard in the pocketbook, especially during the pandemic. If you are looking for ways to save a little money, take a look at your Alabama Power bill and work to make it lower.
We all need electricity to live our lives, but have you ever wondered how much you are wasting? Every year Alabamians pay hundreds of dollars more than they should to Alabama Power. There are a few simple ways to save on your energy bill if you remember to make it a habit.
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American tradition that brings the entire family together for a delicious home-cooked meal. Not much has changed in the dishes we eat for this great feast but preparing the turkey and gravy is worlds apart from how your grandmother did it in the old days. Technology now helps us create our most favorite meal of the year with the utmost ease, making cooking it fun for everyone.
Here is some new cooking gadget that will make cooking your Thanksgiving dinner a breeze:
A sound internet connection is essential for life in this day and age. We need it for our phones, tablets, computers, and even our televisions. A strong WiFi connection is vital to stay in touch, work, learn, and stay informed of what is happening in the world. The world has gone virtual, and there is no going back.
Sometimes it gets incredibly daunting when there is a weak signal or none at all. The internet is supposed to make our lives easier. However, sometimes it can be the source of frustration. If you are working and this happens, your hard work could be lost, or you may spend all day trying to get things done on a weak internet connection. The internet is supposed to make our lives easier, right? A bad WIFI network could hit you hard in your pocketbook.
Daylight Savings time is coming soon, which means it will be darker a lot earlier. This means the lights will go on longer in your home. Many people don't like bright lights at night, they opt to illuminate their homes in a more softer glow. One of the best lighting options available today to achieve this affect is the dimmer switch. Dimmer switches control the current sent to a light fixture, allowing you to increase or decrease the amount of light in a room. The switch is usually a slow sliding lever or turns the dial, which allows you to adjust the light manually. There are many reasons why dimmers are so popular among new home builders and remodelers. Now that smart home apps can control the lights, dimmer switches are cooler than ever!
Here are some of the benefits of having dimmer switches installed in your home.
Since the beginning of March, the Coronavirus has been a massive part of our daily lives. The virus caused the world to come to a screeching halt, closing businesses and entertainment venues. The biggest issue has been focused on safety and sanitation.
It doesn’t look like the threat of Covid-19 is going anywhere for a while. This means we have to learn to live our lives around it. We are left trying to come up with the best way to sanitize ourselves and daily objects we come in contact with. Some have brought up the idea of using a UV light for sanitation of PPE, electronics, and surfaces.
The world has come to a screeching halt because of the Coronavirus. No one alive today has ever experienced what we are going through in their lifetimes. Life was ticking along merrily until March 2020; then, the whole world was told to stop what we were doing and go home and stay there until...? Many people have lost their jobs and businesses and are left wondering what happens next.
Has everything stopped? The housing market was fairing quite nicely, and many families and retires were building new homes and promising futures. What will happen to new construction projects?
Unless you've just woken up from a two-month-long nap, your life has been sent into chaos because of the Coronavirus. Washing our hands and disinfecting surfaces that could be contaminated has become a vital way to fight against this unseen enemy. Hand sanitizer, essential cleaning products, and for some reason, toilet paper are luxuries that not everyone can obtain. Now we are left scratching our heads on how to protect ourselves and our homes.
Even though the stay at home orders are being followed for most places across the globe, many people still have to work, and businesses are slowly opening, which could lead to potentially bringing the virus home, either by touching something or the virus in their clothes. Grocery shopping, ordering take out food, or even checking the mail are all things we once thought were harmless, could now potentially put us at risk. The virus could be on objects that you bring into your home, and you could be infected unknowingly.
It happens to everyone, eventually. You are sleeping soundly only to be awakened in the middle of the night with an intermittent beep sound that will not stop. For most, it is just a little chirp every three or four minutes; for some, it could be a panicky smoke detector sounding the alarm at full blast.
Your smoke detector is trying to tell you something, most of the time, it is telling you to change the batteries. But what if it continues to beep even after the batteries have been changed?
As we sail into a new year and decade, we look to the future and evaluate our past to see how things can be improved. When it comes to environmental sustainability, many people believe Alabama has a lot of soul searching to do.
Birmingham ranked number 72 out of 75 when it came to sustainability efforts, according to The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2019 city clean energy scorecard. This means Alabama has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to providing clean energy, renewables, and doing more to help the environment in general.
According to the US Fire Administration, fires kill more than 4,000 people and injures approximately 20,000 more. Nearly 2 million fires are responded to by US fire departments, with three-quarters of them occurring in homes. It is vital to be sure your home and family are protected from and prepared for a fire.
Here are some safety tips to help keep your family safe and to avoid injury should a fire occur:
The sun is the natural source of the most abundant, reliable, and pollution-free power in the world. However, problems with solar power, namely the expensive cost and inconsistent availability, have prevented it from becoming a more utilized energy source. Just like everything, eventually, it will be more affordable for the average homeowner. Could it be the new way people light up their homes in Alabama?
With all of the hustle and bustle activity surrounding the holidays, too often, safety gets ignored as a priority, leaving opportunity for accidents or injuries (including burns) to occur. At John's Electric, we want you to get the most out of your holiday season, and we want your family to feel safe and secure.
Here are some tips from an electrician to help you get through the holidays safely.
Fall is in full swing and Winter will be here before you know it! Every little bit helps when trying to save money these days. There are ways to shave money off of your Alabama Power bill in the winter without sacrificing or doing anything drastic.
1. Use the Sun's Natural Heat to your Advantage
Open the blinds or curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home naturally. Close them at night to reduce the chill from cold, drafty windows.
Down in the south seasons seem to run together, going right from hot summer to a cold winter and not much fall in between. Fortunately, in Alabama, it's easy to experience a lovely autumn season. So what is one to expect from an Alabama autumn? Will the weather be beautiful? Do the leaves change and fall? Here we uncover some of the best parts of spending this fall season in Alabama.
Not many are aware, but Alabama is known for some gorgeous color changing in the autumn foliage. There is even a collection of specific spots dedicated to letting locals and tourists alike see the varying changing trees throughout the state called the Circle of Colors Trail. The red, orange and yellow colors start to pop through around the last week of October (timing is perfect with Halloween) and can be seen as soon as you're over the Alabama/Georgia line. But make sure you catch the color changes quick! Once the third week of November rolls around, the majority of those leaves will have fallen and leave only bare branches until next year.
Summer is here, and there is no doubt that Alabama has some of the hottest temperatures in the country! You may be trying to find ways of cooling down, but lowering your thermostat will raise your energy bill. So what are we to do?
There are ways to beat the heat without sizzling a hole in your wallet:
Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro lets you know who’s there, so you never miss a thing. It replaces your existing wired doorbell and delivers HD video and bright, crisp images, even at night. It’s designed to show you everything at your doorstep – people head to toe or packages on the ground. And with 24/7 streaming, you can check in anytime. Or go back and look at a 3-hour snapshot history to see what happened.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) devices are required in specific areas of our homes by law. We must all have GFCI protection in certain parts of our house such as our kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, outside our homes as well as our garages. GFCI devices monitor the electricity between the ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductors. If there is an improper imbalance between the two conductors the GFCI will stop the power from exiting the receptacle, so no one gets an electrical shock.
GFCI protection comes in two different forms. The most noticeable would be in the form of a receptacle. The second form of GFCI protection that is common in homes is GFCI breakers. Both of these devices protect people from an electrical shock. The receptacle is located in the outlet where we plug devices in. The breaker is located in the electrical panel.
The future gets brighter every day. Technology is continually improving to make our lives and the environment a better place. One way that is completely changing the way we are building homes throughout the Birmingham area is with Alabama Power Smart Neighborhoods.
A "smart neighborhood" is where all of the houses are built with the latest innovation of technology in mind to create a comfortable, convenient, smart, and green home. These new constructions have programmable thermostats, better insulation, security, and highly efficient appliances — all which can be accessed by your smartphone.
From the mid-'60s to the early '70s, electricians in many new or remodeled homes installed aluminum wiring to feed branch circuits from the main panel to outlets and lighting fixtures. What was later discovered is that while continuous runs of aluminum wire didn't present problems, when those wires were connected to light switches, outlets and other wires in junction boxes, the connections deteriorated and became fire hazards.
In 2019, it is often tempting to believe homes with aluminum wiring are safe since the wiring hasn't been a problem for 30 to 40 years, but that is now a dangerous misconception. The more time these old connections have had to deteriorate, the worse the problem is.
Spring cleaning time is just about here! And while you're all set to clean the inside of your home to welcome in the new, warmer season, don’t forget to add “electrical safety” to your annual checklist.
Chasing dust bunnies is a noble goal, scrubbing windows and dusting nooks and crannies will make the inside of your home feel as good as new, but protecting your family and home is one of the most important chores you’ll ever tackle.
While anytime the power goes out isn't a convenient time for anyone, but losing your power in the winter can be especially dangerous, and you should have an emergency plan just in case you are faced with power loss over the winter months.
If your power goes out, don't panic. Often, it is just a simple fix. For example a fuse - so you'll want to check your fuse box first, and if that is the cause of your outage, it's a quick and easy fix.
The year old 2018 is over already, and as we move into the new year it is time to schedule appointments for many things such as a yearly physical, car tune-up, or a vet visit for your pet. It is also a great time to book an electrical maintenance inspection for your home or business.
A vital part of ensuring that the electrical needs of your home or commercial property are up to local code and regulation, safe from fire and electrocution and running smoothly are regular electrical safety inspections.
Halloween came and went, and now, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Well, once the decorating is finished, that is. One of the most visually pleasing parts of the season is all the festive lights in creative places on neighboring houses. But that type of effect isn't limited to just outdoors; lighting plays a big part in Christmas inside as well. A tree with no lights looks dimly like a big plant in the center of the room. That's until the carefully strung lights shine throughout the magnificent green (and sometimes even white) tree and show off what's adorned on the branches. To make sure you get the most of your festive lighting, this year make a switch if you haven't already too smart lighting with LEDs.
Maybe you have a specific box tucked away just for Christmas decorations, and you know you have a right amount of lights stored in there. But how long have been in there? And are you sure they all work correctly and don't overheat? Chances are you're going to wind up with a dead bulb (if not a whole strand), and it's going to give off a stinky plastic smell. Switching to smart LED lighting for your decorating needs eliminates the annoyance of one bad bulb ruining the entire strand. If one bulb goes out, it's easily replaceable - but if it's not that much of an eyesore, it won't knock out the other lights on the strand.
The most reliable and pollution-free power in the world is the sun. However, as with anything, there are downfalls to using solar. Having solar panels installed is costly and not only that, but it is inconsistent in availability.
It is five to eleven times more costly to produce electricity from the sun than it is from coal, hydro or nuclear sources. The next thing is production only takes place when the sun is shining. So large storage systems would need to be developed to provide a constant and reliable source of electricity throughout the night. However, the upside is that the harvesting of the sun's rays is clean and safe. It produces no emissions, it's practical, and may in the years ahead prove to be very economical. Besides, solar energy systems are reliable and can last for a very long time.
With an ever-increasing number of electronic devices in homes today, it is more vital now than it has ever been to teach children the importance of safety when it comes to electricity.
No matter how old the child is, the necessity for them to understand the life or death seriousness of the danger or electricity cannot be overstated.
Although countless online "DIY guides" exist that make ceiling fan installation look simple, the reality is that there are many huge risks involved with working with electricity, and while some may get lucky and get it right the first time, it is far more common for amateur mishaps to occur than not.
Just one improperly connected wire leads to an electric spark, which leads to a fire that can ignite in the ceiling and quickly overtake an entire home. Also, even if the fan is assembled correctly, just one mistake in securing the fan in place in the ceiling increases the risk of the fan falling while it's spinning.
Once something is broken or no longer of any use, it usually ends up in the garbage. So when your old cellphone finally takes its last breath, should you toss it in the bin along with the leftovers? No! Sure it's easy enough to sneak in an old phone with your daily trash intake to the curb, but that decision could cost the environment more than you think.
Any of electronic that winds up in a landfill will eventually end up leaking toxic substances shortly after being dumped. These are types of elemental toxins that don't go away and aren't easily cleaned up by a natural solvent like water. Chemicals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and so on are inside of these old electronics (phones, computers, rechargeable batteries, etc.) and if somehow these electronics are burned – it can release halogenated dioxins and furans. If these toxic chemicals are released, it can cause severe environmental damage as well as internal damage to a person if they come into contact with it. While in the working electronics, these chemicals are safe and not a danger to the user, but once they're broken, and the contents are freed when there is danger.
Downed power lines are hazardous, even deadly. You should never touch a downed power line and always assume that the downed line is live.
Remember these guidelines:
Knowing what's lurking behind the electric panel door is more than just staying organized. Labeling what's what in your electrical panel can help you better understand what does what to keep the lights on. Familiarizing yourself with these sorts of things will benefit in the long run, creating a basic knowledge and respect of that specific subject. Here you will find the top benefits and tips of labeling and organizing your electric panel.
It may take up a short afternoon, but labeling your electric panel can save a lot of frustration down the line. Knowing precisely what's what and where it's supposed to be, gives you the advantage as a consumer to find what you really need, rather than what someone wants to sell. It also gives you the peace of mind in knowing more about the inner workings of your home.
Sure, we all want to reach for products like Drano after watching commercials on TV that claim they're effective. But, there's another dirty little secret these companies leave out: the damage to your plumbing pipes, and even to your lungs. Products like Drano and Liquid-Plumr are also terrible for the environment.
So, what's the alternative for clearing your drain now that you know the truth?
Many older homes today still don't have exhaust fans in the bathroom. Do we need an exhaust fan? Can we get away with just opening a window when we need to let out some steam or clear the air?
The answer is YES you do need one and here are the reasons why:
We are always looking for new ways to make our lives easier while also implementing the most stylish options available. As technology improves so does the quality of our lives, and we should take advantage of that whenever possible. There is a simple concept on the rise gaining traction in homes and business across the globe: I'm talking about recessed outlets.
For ages, since the advent of electricity, we have had to fight with furniture placement, tripping hazards and just downright eyesores with traditional electric outlets. Recessed outlets eliminate an array of problems we've had to deal with while also providing sleek designs to help improve the look of your home. They can be fitted with as many electric outlets as you need, as well as USB ports that are used for a multitude of technology.
When it comes to PEX Piping vs. Copper, unless you're a plumber or an electrician, you may not even know the difference or which piping is better for your home. So, maybe it's time to expand your basic knowledge of plumbing and electricity to know what you're getting and if it's something you actually want. Once you've got the basics down, you'll know what to request from your plumber or electrician and why.
Let's start with what PEX Piping is. PEX Piping is cross-linked polyethylene pipe. What this means is that after the material goes through various processes, it becomes durable enough to handle extreme hot or cold temperatures and what's called "creep deformation" (that occurs from extended exposure to stress). It also counters chemical attacks from alkalines, acids, and other toxins. These factors all make PEX piping an excellent piping solution for cold and hot water plumbing systems. PEX tubing is also very flexible and adapts effortlessly to temperatures from below freezing all the way up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
PEX Piping is also better for your budget. It's a convenient material for your plumber or electrician to install and with its crack resistance and fewer joints, it brings your plumbing and electrical costs down. Pex has fewer fittings than copper, less chance of leaks, and can be used along with metal or PVC Piping, and can have a pressure balancing system.
Now Copper: On the beneficial side, Copper combats corrosion and is not affected by ultraviolet rays, which means it can be useful for outside plumbing needs. This factor differs from PEX pipes, which can be affected by ultraviolet rays and therefore should usually not be used outside. On the downside, however, copper will corrode from the pH of the water if the water becomes too acidic or too basic for the copper pipes.
Copper piping can freeze and break during winter weather, it has become more expensive and har der to install, raising your plumbing costs and with corrosion, the higher levels of copper seeping into your water will give your water a metallic taste.
It's our hope that these comparisons have given you a better basic understanding and knowledge of the differences between PEX and copper piping, giving you the opportunity to make the best decision for yourself.
Contact the experts and John's Electric for all of your pip repair and other plumbing needs.
Anytime the power goes out, it's inconvenient, but losing power in the winter is particularly dangerous and requires an emergency plan in in the event of a loss of power.
First, if it does turn out to be a snowy Alabama winter, and your power goes out, don't panic. Often, the issue is a simple fuse - so you'll want to check your fuse box first. If a fuse is the cause of your outage, it's quick and easy to repair.
There has been no shortage of controversy in politics today. One of the most prominent subjects is that of the situation between the U.S. and North Korea. High tensions have prompted talk from North Korea in regards to an EMP attack on the U.S. What exactly is an EMP? How disastrous would a potential EMP attack be? Would our power grid survive such an impact? Our current state of affairs prompts these types of questions so that we can be better prepared in case of a potential disaster.
EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse which is a super-energetic radio wave that can destroy, damage, or cause the malfunction of electronic systems by overloading their circuits (securethegrid.com). It's not harmful to humans directly, but it would cause a great deal of issues for the people inhabiting the affected area.
According to the United States Fire Administration, fires kill more than 4,000 people in America each year and injure approximately 20,000 more. Nearly 2 million fires are responded to by US fire departments, with three-quarters of them occurring in homes.
Take advantage of the focus of October Fire Prevention Month to be sure your home and family are protected from and prepared for a fire. Here are some safety tips to help keep your family safe and to avoid injury should a fire occur:
Awesome video of a bad lug on a 200 amp electrical panel. The lights in the home were going on and off and here might be the problems. Look at it glow!
A team of engineers from the University of California, San Diego has developed remarkable stretchable power cells that take energy from your own sweat and power electronics, like LEDs and even Bluetooth radios!
For a field that has been struggling to come up with devices that are powerful enough and stretchable enough, these epidermal biofuel cells are a major breakthrough. The breakthrough was achieved thanks to a combination of extremely clever chemistry, highly advanced materials and electronic interfaces. This combination let them build a highly stretchable, electronic foundation using lithography and screen-printing to manufacture 3D carbon nanotube-based cathode and anode arrays.
The biofuel cells are equipped with an enzyme that oxidizes the lactic acid present in human sweat to generate current. This turns the sweat into a source of power. Because the concentration of lactic acid in a person's sweat gets diluted over time, the team is exploring a way to store the energy produced while the concentration of lactate is high enough and then release it gradually.So future work is needed before this technology can be considered a full success.
At least once in a lifetime, we have all experienced being in the middle of a nice, hot shower only to feel the water go from steamy to icy in what feels like seconds. Imagine what it would be like to never run out of hot water during a shower, well with a tankless water heater it is very much a reality! Besides the benefit of never-ending hot water, a tankless water heater does have its other pros and cons. So how can someone tell if a tankless water heater is right for them?
Thinking of making the switch from gas to hybrid or electric? Well, we’ve scoured the internet to find the most in-depth coverage of each type of car, including their benefits and drawbacks. Read up on what the experts have to say at Autotrader:
Before we cover the benefits and drawbacks of EVs and plug-ins, it's important to understand the difference between the two vehicle types.
While commonly taken for granted, the fresh water coming into your home or business is crucial to your daily life. The main water line that carries the fresh water is typically very durable and built to last. However, several factors cause breakage in the line. Commonly, these factors include corrosion, tree roots, or just the type of plumbing pipe used when the home or commercial building was built.
There are a few tell-tale signs that could indicate the need for a main water line replacement. Among these signs, include:
Discolored Water - a brown tint or rusty color in your water could very well be an indication that there are issues in your water line. The discoloration is caused by corrosion, the type of pipes you have, or even soil and dirt entering the pipes through the cracks.
Soggy spots on your lawn - if there are damp or soggy spots on your lawn and it hasn't rained recently, there could be a crack in your main water line that is forcing water into your grass from beneath the surface of your lawn. If the situation has reached this point, it's likely your water main is in serious trouble and should be addressed immediately.
Decreased water pressure - if you notice a significant drop in the water pressure in your home, it's likely that your main water line is leaking and you're losing water. While there are many possible other reasons for decreased water pressure, a main water line issue should be investigated first and ruled out or repaired.
Spike in your water bill - a few issues exist that can explain a sudden and significant increase in your water bill including a problem with your main water line. There could be a hidden leak in your home that you're unaware of, letting water seep or even pour out.
Electrical circuitry and panels tend to get ignored throughout the year and only get addressed when you experience a short circuit or electrical trips. As a homeowner, you may not know everything involved in the electrical circuitry of your home but there are still some questions you should ask your electrical inspector and Spring is the perfect time to do it!
No matter the size of the job, from changing out old electrical paneling to major renovations to your home or property, you should always ask your electrical inspector whether or not your home’s electrical fittings are up to date and in compliance with current regulations and building codes.
Secondly, be sure your electrical inspector pays attention to the safety of your electrical panel and makes sure that they are properly insulated to avoid electrical shock. Panels must also never be placed near damp or wet areas.
Understanding your electrical consumption is also important. Washing machines, televisions and air conditioners consume significant amounts of electricity, and it is your responsibility as the homeowner to be sure they are connected to the right circuitry to avoid electrical shorts or fluctuations in voltage.
Lastly, once the inspection is completed and any necessary repairs made, have your inspector run a double check to be sure all of your electrical circuitry is working properly. Ask your inspector to provide you with a complete report of all inspections and repairs done.
Any of these issues can cause significant injury or death by electrocution or fire. If that consistent breaker tripping occurs in your home, try turning the breaker off and then on again. If it stays on, the issue may be resolved. If not, and the breaker still trips, try to determine which part of the electrical system is causing the problem. Your safety is of utmost importance. With any electrical issue, calling your electrician (and hey we know a awesome one...you can find that awesome electrician here) first can keep you out of serious danger.
There are many older homes in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately many of these charming houses still have very old fuse boxes that are ticking time bombs ready to go off. These photos are from a recent call to a rental home where a fire broke out and caused quite a bit of damage.
The fire was caused by a very old fuse box. The renter replaced a blown out fuse himself and unfortunately installed one that was too large, resulting in a small fire.
For many years, homeowners looking to expand their interior design creativity into the lighting and ambiance aspect of their homes were limited to only the options that standard light bulbs and CFL bulbs provide. Then, LED lights came on the scene and opened up a world of possibilities.
From completely changing the overall look and feel of the room to highlighting only specific nooks or corners, LED lighting offers homeowners options for any room of your home.
Static electricity is the result of unequal positive and negative charges between two objects. While static electricity seems relentless and unavoidable, especially during dry winter months, keeping it at bay is easier than you might think. You can take steps to reduce the initial static electricity, control how it transfers to you, and reduce the electric shocks that occur each time you touch something.
Here are five simple solutions to help keep static electricity at bay:
Living in Birmingham, all our lives the night has been artificially lit by street lamps and blazing bright lights from every parking lot. Of course, it helps us see after the Sun goes down, but there are many cons that outweigh the pros when it comes to lighting and the night. As people go about their lives they have forgotten to look up, mostly because for them; there is nothing to see. For thousands upon thousands of years all around the world, humankind has enjoyed the bright glow from over 400 billion other suns every night without fail. It's only within the last 100 or so years that we've suddenly lost sight of those incredible stellar objects because of light pollution.
For the entire history of man we have used the light of the stars to calculate when to plant crops, for navigation, even to figure out our place in the Universe. Today's technology does everything for us, which of course is a good thing, but in turn, we have lost something very precious; our night sky.
Recently we were called to a job to fix the work of a not so handy “handyman” here in Birmingham. The owners had paid him to install a new light in a drop down ceiling. Something must not have been going right for him, and the wires were getting in the way, so he rigged it in WITHOUT putting the aluminum and copper connections in the proper fire protection junction box. This could have led to a terrible disaster for the homeowners. In the end, the ‘handyman” never answered calls from the homeowners, leaving them on the hook for his shotty work and having to essentially pay for the job twice, once from his mess up and one for our electrical repair.
Please do not attempt any electrical repairs or installations on your own or from anyone who is not a licensed electrician. It is not worth the risk!
The holidays are a time of increased power consumption, but they don't have to be. There are plenty of ways to get the utmost enjoyment during the season and still keep your energy costs manageable. Here are just a few:â€¨
While lights flickering or blinking in your home are not always a cause for concern, it is always best to be sure the flickering lights are not in fact part of a larger issue. Some common reasons for bulbs flickering are completely normal and (while annoying) may not be anything serious. Here are some indications the flickering of your lights is nothing to worry about:
LED or Fluorescent Light Flickering: Individual types of lighting technology are, by nature, more prone to flickering than other types. The flickering of fluorescent lighting within the first couple minutes or so of switching them on is due to the phosphors reaching peak illumination, or because the ballast they are connected to is failing. Neither of these issues imply a serious electrical problem, but can quickly become annoying, and you may want to replace these lights to solve the issue.
Despite what most appliance stores would have you believe, if you are experiencing an issue with your dryer running but not heating or drying your clothes, the problem may not be your dryer at all - it's your electricity!
You see, the heating element for your dryer runs off a 30 amp double pole breaker. If one side of your breaker is burned open, that leaves just 110 volts of electricity running through your dryer. That's enough power to make your dryer rotate, but not enough to dry your clothes. Electric dryers require two legs of 120 volts AC totaling 240 volts. It is not uncommon for just one fuse or breaker to trip resulting in the dryer running but not heating. If this problem occurs with your dryer, it is important to contact an electrician. They will check the fuse box or circuit breaker or measure the voltage at the outlet using a multimeter.
Autumn has arrived and with it has come the time to consider what you don't see every day, behind the walls: your home's electrical system. Sure, your appliances may seem to be running in excellent condition, your outlets may not show any sign of trouble, but after long hot months of running your A/C, pool pump, ceiling fans, and electronics. Autumn is the perfect time to have everything looked over carefully, checked and tweaked for optimum performance.
Here is a checklist suggested to help you tune up your home's electrical system and keep it running safely this Fall:
Melatonin is a hormone in our bodies that is responsible for sleepiness. The release of melatonin sets our “internal clock” to encourage sleep, and it can be suppressed or encouraged by light colors and light intensity. Light sources with higher color temperatures reduce sleep quality compared to those with lower color temperatures, according to studies performed by the University of Connecticut. Light sources with higher intensity of artificial light can have an adverse effect on our sleep cycle.
Not surprisingly, manufacturers have begun to notice this and have started to create products with these factors in mind. Philips produces a line of “Wake Up Lights” that is a more natural alternative to alarm clocks. These lights use gradually increasing light intensity and color temperature to gently waking you up from sleep. The app f.lux reduces the “blue light” color temperature on your computer screen or smartphone to encourage less obtrusive bedtime reading (Blue lights in electronics have a stimulating effect on our bodies).
This year’s Iron Bowl - as it has over the last seven seasons - is once again expected to have a major impact on college football’s national championship. Before we even get to November, though, is your home theater ready to view every detail of every game? The Tide and the Tigers face off is undoubtedly the biggest game in the South this year. Here are some quick and easy upgrades you can make to your home theater so you can clearly hear and see the roar of the crowd and watch the sweat dripping off both Coach Steele and Coach Pruitt’s brow - all from the comfort of your recliner.
Upgrade your TV - In football and in life, one of the best motto’s is “Go Big or Go Home.” In the living room, you should be watching the game with 46 inches - minimum. Avoid “ghosting” and bluriness by choosing a TV model with a high refresh rate (120HZ or above). Once you’ve unpacked your new TV, browse over to the CNET Searchable Guide to optimize your viewing settings.
Here are some photos from a recent electrical troubleshooting job in Hoover at a commercial shopping center. After visiting the location it was determined that a service upgrade was necessary.
We upgraded the electrical service to a 200 amp service. There was a bad code violation here originally, a wire rated for 125 amps fed into a 200amp box. This melted the conduit so we had to pull the old wire out one at a time and replace it with all new wire.
Learning to read your power meter can mean the difference between blindly paying what the electric company says you owe and knowing where to find their mistakes. The task may seem daunting at first, but with a few basic steps, it will begin to just come naturally.
So first, it’s important to understand how the electric company measures your power usage. The measurement used to determine how much power is transmitted is called a kilowatt hour (kWh for short). If the energy is being transmitted or used at a constant rate (power) over a period of time, the total energy in kilowatt-hours is the product of the power in kilowatts and the time in hours.
When you’re building a new home, your imagination can run wild! What kind of kitchen counters, the prettiest beige carpet, or the light fixtures are all huge decisions. What we don't think about however, are the fun things to do with the electrical outlets! This is the perfect time to add and move things to your liking- most people buy a home and suffer with too few outlets, or badly located ones.
Consider: Does your family go all out for Christmas or holiday decorations? Maybe adding a few well placed extra outlets will save you some headaches this season. Does your son play video games on the TV? Having that extra 3rd and 4th outlet can make the difference between unplugging the DVD player every time, and easily hook their system up. It is also the perfect time to plan a killer sound system!
When it comes to the safety and well being of our children, the need for electrical safety is of utmost concern.
According to the ESFI: Each year, approximately 2,400 children suffer severe shock and burns when they stick items into the slots of electrical receptacles - that is nearly seven children a day. It is estimated that there are six to 12 fatalities a year related to this. Nearly one-third of these injuries are the result of small children placing ordinary household objects, such as keys, pins, or paperclips into the outlets with disastrous consequences.
As a homeowner, you have every right to carry out any work that needs to be done in your home, including electrical wiring and there are many cases when DIY electrical wiring may seem like a tempting option. Installing a light switch, replacing an outlet cover, or installing a ceiling fan for instance, may seem like minor work that wouldn’t warrant a call to a professional electrician.
However, when it comes time to sell your home, as the homeowner, you will be asked to show permits for any electrical work performed on your home. You will not be able to obtain the appropriate permits following DIY installation of electrical wiring later in the game. Further, should someone be injured or you incur property damage, your insurance will not be valid without the appropriate certification to prove the system is safe.
In 2008, according to the Energy Information Agency, the national average for residential monthly electric bills was $95.66. Today? The national average has increased to $163 and continues to rise. With large investor-owned utility corporations handing out new rounds of rate hikes, the situation isn’t going to get any better.
So, how do you combat the issue or learn to manage the amount you see on your bill each month? Through a few simple electric bill hacks! Hack One: batch and shut off your electronics. In one year’s time through the methodical practice of unplugging devices when they’re not in use or while you’re away (like your printer, surge protector, computer screen, TV and DVD player) - you save $78.73 per year!
While the thought of hiring an unlicensed electrician in order to save money may seem like a tempting solution, in reality the risks you’re taking could cost you much more than the few bucks more you’ll pay with hiring a licensed professional electrician to perform your electrical work.
Every year in the United states, $100.000.000.000 is lost by property owners who hire unlicensed or “underground” business to perform electrical work. In addition, unlicensed electricians are responsible for 55,000 electrical fires, 1.4 billion dollars in property damage and at least 500 deaths, annually.
Now that we are enjoying warm weather in Alabama and Summer is right around the corner, people will be spending their time outdoors more. With Summer comes severe thunderstorms, so we came up with a few safety tips to consider when you or a loved one encounter power lines.
Remind your children to:
While the thought of turning off or unplugging all of the appliances and electronic devices in your home while not in use seems like an impractical one, recent analysis performed by the environmental website fuelfix (fuelfix.com) shows that as homeowners, consumers can save at least $100 a year by simply making it a habit to turn off or unplug as many items as possible when not in use.
The analysis performed by fulfix.com shows estimates for standby power costs for various household items on an annualized basis:
When it comes to the safety and well being of our kids, the need for electrical precautions is of utmost concern.
According to the ESFI: Each year, approximately 2,400 children suffer severe shock and burns when they stick items into the slots of electrical receptacles - that is nearly seven children a day. It is estimated that there are six to 12 fatalities a year related to this. Nearly one-third of these injuries are the result of small children placing ordinary household objects, such as keys, pins, or paperclips into the outlets with disastrous consequences.
Also known as wireless charging or inductive charging, cordless car charging uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between the charging station and the electric car.
Several manufacturers of electric cars have implemented the technology, including Toyota and Volvo. The charging of the battery of a plug-in hybrid car or a car ran purely by electricity will occur by the car simply parking on top of the charger. This method will cause a transmission of electricity using magnetic resonance occurring from a reaction in magnetic field intensity between a coil placed on the ground underneath the car and a receiving coil built into the bottom of the vehicle.
Broken CFL bulbs often cause immediate panic from exposure to the mercury contained in them and the possible adverse health effects. So how dangerous really is a broken CFL bulb?
According to Clean Air Expert John Roberts “Any level of mercury exposure carries potential health concerns, but due to the small amount of mercury and short duration of exposure, a broken CFL is not likely to present any significant risk to you or your family.”
With the end of the cold, brisk fall and winter days drawing near, it’s time to prepare for Spring and the inevitable storm season that comes along with it. After a long Winter of overloading your home’s electrical system with large appliances like your oven, furnace, HVAC, and holiday lights, with the upcoming storm season, your home is more at risk than ever for dangerous electrical surges that can damage pricey electronics and even put you in harm’s way.
Like a bouncer at a nightclub, a whole home surge protector keeps unruly electrical arcs and over voltages from reaching the inside of your home while letting in only the exact amount of electricity your home needs.
Space heaters - we’ve all heard the horror stories of using them. You shouldn’t be afraid though! Because the weather seems to change at the drop of a hat in Alabama many homeowners prefer to buy space heaters than to turn the heat on. When used properly, these can be a great tool in keeping your home nice and toasty, and saving you money on your heating bills. Here we have 10 tips to keep you safe this winter!
At John’s Electric, we know that using a space heater can be a great tool for warmth and savings. When used properly, space heaters are not as dangerous as you may think! For more tips or for electrical help, contact the experts at John’s Electric.
For that special someone in our lives, Valentine’s Day often goes beyond just a simple card. It’s the day to celebrate the love between the two of you and no matter how much time has been invested into that love, you might be surprised to learn that a lot of our significant others are expecting more than just a last minute thought.
With you and your sweetheart in mind, we’ve come up with the following awesome lighting ideas to create a perfect Valentine’s Day ambiance and really impress the love of your life:
1. Only 10% of the energy in an average (conventional) light bulb is used to create light. The other 90% of the energy created by a light bulb produces heat. CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs) by contrast, use nearly 80% less electricity than average (conventional) bulbs and can last up to 12 times longer!
2. If you had superpowers and could travel as fast as electricity: You could probably win a race against Superman and go just about 186,411.358 miles per second (the speed of light). You could actually go around the entire earth 8 times in a row in the same time it takes to flip on a light switch!
Most all drivers of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) are in the habit of charging their electric vehicles at home overnight using either AC Level 1 or AC Level 2 EV charging equipment.
Most often, residential charging equipment is installed in a home’s garage, but there are also safe methods of safely installing chargers outdoors even if the vehicle is being exposed to or charged in the rain or other outdoor elements. In order to utilize outdoor charging equipment, outdoor-rated charging equipment is required. Additionally, if the charging is taking place at multi-family dwellings (like apartment complexes), additional considerations for safety must be made and the chargers will be more similar to public chargers than chargers used in a single family dwelling.
There is something in every home that no one can live without. This amazing piece of technology is a blessing for the modern world, without it who knows where we would be. It keeps our food fresh and cold and helps us keep our families fed. We can't live without it yet it is one of the biggest drain on our electric bills.
There are ways to maximize your refrigerator's efficiency and lower its energy consumption. Try some of these easy tricks to get the most out of your fridge:
Alabama seems to be notorious for extreme weather and unprecedented storms these days. In recent years we have seen many of our beloved towns nearly destroyed by strong thunderstorms, flooding and tornadoes. Many are still recovering from storms that hit caused damage and flooding from the last two months. We can never be too prepared when bad weather hits, especially if it knocks out power for a few days.
This year is an El Nino year which brings in warmer temperatures and weird weather. NASA warns it could get worse in the coming months. Winter is an especially vulnerable time because many could be stranded without heat when the power goes out.
Any time the power goes out is an inconvenient time, but losing power in the winter can be particularly dangerous and you should always have an emergency plan in case you are faced with a loss of power in these upcoming winter months.
If your power goes out don’t panic. Often, it is just a simple fix like a fuse - so you’ll want to check your fuse box first and if a fuse is the cause of your outage, it’s quick and easy to repair.
The Holidays are in full swing and no doubt you are decorating your home to make the season bright. With all the things there are to do this time of year, sometimes it is easy to overlook a few electrical safety details. Electrical fires and injuries increase during the holiday season and are responsible for more ER visits across the county.
Not to worry, these simple holiday safety tips will keep your home safe, merry and bright:
Who doesn’t love the holiday season? Time to throw some logs on the fire, curl up with a cup of hot cocoa, put on some classic Christmas music, and drag those boxes of decorations and lights in and out of the attic or garage! But the holidays aren’t all cute carols and peppermint lattes. This time of year usually means shoveling out the big bucks, sometimes adding a second job, replacing those cracked decorations, burnt out lights, and of course the presents!
So, why not find at least one area to save some money, by putting those bright shiny Christmas lights (brand new or dragged in from the garage) on automatic timers?
If your home or commercial space is in a location that causes you constant concern in terms of security, one solution to deter vandalism, burglary or trespassing is to install proper security lighting around your home or office.
Security lighting is not much different than the lights we use inside our homes, but what makes them so effective is the fact that these lights are stronger and more powerful against factors of weather or tampering. Every quality security system involves properly powered lighting strategically placed.
1. A master electrician trains for nearly as long as a doctor.
Experience is absolutely vital when it comes to electricity. Working with electricity, there is no room for error, Individuals who have earned the title of Master Electrician have gone through a combination of classroom training and hands on experience for at least 8 years. Like doctors, Master Electricians must be prepared to correctly diagnose and then treat electrical issues.
2. Electricians have to be in good physical shape.
Everyone knows electricity is dangerous and because electrical wiring is placed safely in walls, underground and behind washers, dryers and refrigerators, very few of the locations are easy to reach. Electricians need to be able to withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures and perform their duties in uncomfortable positions with very few opportunities to sit or stand comfortably. Because electrical work can’t be left unfinished due to the danger it poses, electricians must usually work days, nights and weekends to ensure that a project is completed safely.
Your microwave is a much more efficient way to heat or reheat than your stove top, mainly because your stovetop wastes quite a fair amount of heat. Your microwave uses about 80 percent less energy than your stove for heating up relatively small amounts of food.
Even though your microwave uses a lot of electricity, it’s a small burst of power vs. the long, delayed energy used to heat up your stove. Of course, you can save some of the energy you’re using on your stove by using pots that are size appropriate to the burner. The EPA warns that using a six inch pot on an eight inch burner can waste the majority of the burner’s heat.
Is your electrical panel safe? How do you know? You can’t see behind the metal cover. A very common and extremely dangerous issue is what is called a double tapped breaker.
A double tapped breaker is when two conductors have been installed under the terminal of one circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are not designed to hold two conductors together and could loosen up - leading to arcing, overheating or even an electrical fire. Each circuit should be on its own separate breaker and sized correctly.
We've all been there stumbling across the room, stepping on the cat, fiddling around for the light switch, and lighting up the whole house just to go to the bathroom. If only someone could make it easier! Luckily for you John's Electric has some great ideas to light up your bathroom without waking up your whole house.
Commode with colored lighting- A hinge toilet seat with a soft light is a great alternative to bright overhead lights. The lights are concealed in the hinge illuminating exactly where you need to see in the toilet without waking up anybody with harsh blaring. This is perfect for kids or adults with their inevitable late-night bathroom trips, and is easy on the eyes.
You wouldn’t hire an unlicensed doctor and trust him with your health, and you wouldn’t hire an unlicensed tax preparer and trust her with your money - so why risk hiring an unlicensed or uninsured electrician and trust them with the safety of your home and family?
When you need to hire an electrical contractor for a project in your home, you might ask yourself if it really does matter whether or not your contractor is licensed, and you may be receiving what appears to be an economical offer to complete your electrical project from a contractor not playing by the rules. But, beware, the risk you are taking in hiring the unlicensed electrician could end up hurting you financially and putting your safety at risk in the long run.
These days going green seems to be on everyone's mind. We are always looking for more ways to go green, save energy, and save money. It's great if you are recycling, reusing, and not wasting energy, but there's always ways to help more.
The team at John's electric is always looking for ways to do just a little bit more: to save just a little bit more energy and just a little bit more money for our customers. With every job we are finding new ways to lessen our impact on the environment, while also lessening the impact on your wallet.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that college football season has started and here in Alabama, that means the fun has just begun. Alabamians love their football, so much so that it has become it's own culture and way of life. Our passion for Alabama and Auburn football sets the tone for the entire season and turns lazy Saturday afternoons into a time of excitement, cheers and fellowship. Of course, no matter which team we root for, we always try to keep our sportsmanship in check, right? The one thing that is the absolute center of attention on game day is our TV, and we are always looking for ways to improve our over all viewing experience.
Nothing is better than finally sitting back, cracking open a cold one and enjoying the game with family and friends. Whether it is updating your TV, installing sound system or creating an entire home theater, there are endless improvement to be made to enhance the whole game watching experience. With today's technology, the sky is the limit when it comes to experiencing the action of a live football game.
None of us like spending money if we don't have to and with John's Electric, we're helping out! Take a look at this image of an electric box. This box could have used a complete swap out to get it in working order and for what the household needed, but a simple meter clip change of this old meter main combo box, we were able to save the homeowner over $2500 by not having to get the whole change out. Sound like something you could use? Contact John's Electric today!
No matter where you live, during periods of heavy rain and intense thunderstorms, there are important things to remember with regard to your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
It is vital to remember that floods from rain can occur anywhere with gradually rising flood waters or flash flooding that occurs without warning. Water is a mighty powerful force that can quickly overtake people, vehicles and even homes.
Many places in the world still have limited access to electricity. This proves problematic when it comes to education because they don't have access to computers and the internet. It is estimated up to 80% of children in Kenya cannot read or or write due to the lack of proper schools in their area. Recently the country did get a big boost to education that will change the lives of young people throughout the region.
A company in the U.K, called Aleutia, has come up with answer to help the education problems in Africa. They created completely off the power grid, self sustained modular classrooms. It's called "The Solar Classroom in a Box". Each classroom is full of today's latest technology and is completely powered by solar rooftop panels. Thanks to this revolutionary concept, children in every county in Kenya will be able to go to a school and learn with modern equipment.
With summer time coming to an end and fall weather approaching, the weather is going to be perfect for spending time outside with friends and family. Backyard cookouts, outdoor family games and good conversation late into the night make for great memories.
To enhance your backyard enjoyment and get the most out of family evenings outdoors, it’s likely some electricity will be included. With added comfort and convenience, electricity ran outdoors can add perfect mood music and lighting, provide a way to charge phones and laptops or even setting up outdoor movie projectors.
Whole House Surge Protection can be thought of much like a bouncer in a night club – allowing in only the electricity that your home truly needs and blocking any trouble that over-voltages can cause your devices from surges occurring inside your house.
SPDs (Surge Protective Devices) are usually wired to the electrical service box and are located in an area that protects all of the electrical systems and appliances in your home.
A single power surge happens in a matter of milliseconds — one thousandth of the time it takes for you to blink your eyes once. Perhaps you’ll notice the lights flicker or have an issue occur like your TV or computer locking up for no obvious reason. Perhaps you won’t notice anything.
With the recent influx of flooding in various areas throughout the country, the issue of electrical safety during a flood is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Should electrical equipment come into contact with flood water, the very serious danger of electrocution occurs. After a flooding event and in the clean-up phase when the waters from a flood have dispersed, there are still more risks because there is a serious risk of electrocution from appliances damaged by water.
Undoubtedly, the installation of a home theater system is one of the most exciting things you can add to your home. Home theaters can range from a nice TV with a comfortable seating area to a full-fledged family viewing experience, including a flat screen high-def television, an impressive surround sound system, and more. Whatever scenario you’re shooting for, there are a number of various components to think about that make your home theater system provide you with as much enjoyment as possible. Today, we’re going to discuss the aspect of your home theater’s lighting.
There are endless things that could be said about the different ways to customize the lighting in your home theater system but for now we’ll just cover the basics. The most important things to consider when installing the lighting in your home theater are:
There is one type of pollution that many people over look. It has harmful affects on humans, wildlife, energy consumption, and our pocket books. What is it? The answer is light pollution. With a growing population it is blasting out of control and changing the world that we once knew. In some cities you only make out about ten stars in the night sky.
Light pollution is excessive, misdirected, and intrusive lighting at night. It is the light from your neighbor's new street light, and the light that shines from parking lots and abandoned businesses. It isn't just a nuisance for our eyes it affects the life cycles of plants and animals all around us. Some animals get confused on whether it is night or day, which is detrimental on their sleeping, eating, and mating habits. Light pollution also is thought to negatively affect our health and leave us more vulnerable to illness and disease.
How much electricity is your household using? More often than not, you skim over your electric bill each month and if the price doesn’t seem out of the ordinary, you move on. This is what most of us do. It's just more convenient and has become the norm. But have you ever thought about what electrical usage and energy bills are like in other states and countries compared to the electricity used in your area?
Household and State Electricity Consumption
Recently, the U.S Government released new regulations governing water heaters. This change includes the size of the units, installation costs, and could even mean remodeling if you don't have the space for the larger units. If you've been planning to replace your water, you may be questioning if it's worth it after all.
The short answer to that is that it depends on your unit, but that the new benefits in efficiency with new technology just can't be beat. It's worth taking a longer look at the different types on the market and deciding which is right for your home.
There are more services than most people realize in which an electrician can be of help. Things like basic repairs can be done easily and conveniently. Whenever you think that electrical troubleshooting should be done in your home, give John's Electric a call.
First and foremost, electrical safety is something that all electricians should practice. There are several ways in which electricians practice electrical safety. One of them is having the proper tools and related equipment. This helps to get a job done quicker and also prevents unforeseen complications.
Lightning Safety Lightning can travel from outside your home to inside your home, and to you through materials that conduct electricity, including electrical wiring, phone lines, water, and plumbing. These safety guidelines will help minimize your lightning risk:
When you first hear thunder, it's time to take precautionary measures indoors.
If you're inside and you see lightning or hear thunder, it's time to take precautions. Continue your indoor safety precautions for 30 minutes after you see the last lightning or hear the last sound of thunder.
Understanding electrical wiring and the type that is present in your home is key to protecting your safety and the safety of the wiring in your home.
The presence of fuses indicates that your electrical service was installed over 30 years ago. This wiring was installed to meet the electrical needs at that time. With the added power demands in today’s world, such as appliances, and office and audio visual equipment, this older wiring may not be adequate. A certified electrician or licensed electrical contractor should be hired to inspect the electrical system. This inspection will identify the electrical demands needed and any corrections that are necessary. This should be completed, at a minimum, once every three years.
For a lot of consumers, navigating the ever changing light bulb isle is becoming as difficult as identifying a car part. From the various options available (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands (GE, Philips, Cree, EcoSmart — each with its own packaging lingo) it might feel like one needs an engineering degree in order to pick out a light bulb!
Thomas Edison had a really good run; for 134 years we lived under the golden glow of his incandescent bulb. The problem is that his bulbs are not energy-efficient, hence the birth of new technologies with new names.
Like most people, you probably haven’t stopped and really thought about exactly how many devices you have in your home that are plugged into a power outlet. So do it now. Go ahead. I’ll wait….
Now, think about how many of your devices have some sort of electronic or digital component inside them. It’s probably more than you realize. The obvious ones are TVs, video game consoles, Blu-ray and DVD players, audio and home theater equipment, satellite receivers, alarm systems, and computer equipment (including routers, modems, and printers). But there are plenty of additional devices in your home that you may not realize have at least one electronic control board inside — such as your air conditioner, washer and dryer, garage door openers, security cameras, and nearly everything in your kitchen from the oven, to the stove, to the fridge, to the microwave, and maybe even your toaster!
Common Question from a very concerned customer:
My home is 35 years old and was built in the 70's. Aluminum wire was used during that period because I think there was an issue with the copper wire during that period. I have experienced outlets becoming hot and I can feel this by touching the outlet. I can also smell the "bake light" burning smell. My remedy is to replace the bad outlet with the outlet designed for the aluminum wire. Years ago they also recommended to pigtail copper wire to the aluminum wire and then install the copper wire to the outlet. Can you provide suggestions? I am wondering if I should replace all my outlets with the outlets designed for aluminum wire or use the pigtail method?
Everyone loves a good Do It Yourself project, and why not? It's fun, practical, saves money and provides a huge boost in confidence. There are tons of how to books, websites and videos out there for every possible scenario. While some DIY activities are a no brainer, some need to be left in more experienced hands for your safety and the safety of your family. If electrical work is in your way of renovations or your are thinking there is no harm in tweaking a few wires, think again. There are many factors in home electrical repairs that can go haywire, so to speak. These could end up costing more money with risk to fire, injury or death. So before you begin your weekend warrior mission here are some projects where you should put away the tools and call an experienced and highly trained electrician.
Spring Cleaning! Time to dust, vacuum, throw out some old stuff, organize the shelves….but is it possible to Spring Clean your home’s power? As we approach the hot summer days and begin to fire up the air conditioner, there’s no better time then now to do some Electric Spring Cleaning!
Make your home more energy efficient this spring by doing a few simple things:
There was a time that outlet covers were just boring pieces of plastic that hid the metal housing and wiring of your outlets. Sometimes you could even find some ornate wooden covers or maybe even one with your favorite sports team’s logo emblazoned on it.
But one thing electrical outlet covers have never been known for was providing any sort of useful function other than decoration. With advancements in electrical technology, all that is changing! A simple thing like an outlet cover now has a purpose…an automatic, forever there, light!
With the ever changing modernization of life, we have more and more electronics at home, which means more and more Electrical Outlets, Sockets and Switches to keep them running. The latest options in power outlets go far beyond just a place to plug in a toaster. Here are some new innovative and cool Electrical Outlet designs, which could help you keep the mess of wires in check and get a whole lot more from your electrical outlets.
Hiring someone to electrical work on your home can be daunting task. How do you know the person that you find is going to be trustworthy, or knowledgeable? There are review services and BBB ratings, sure, but can you always trust them? Here we have compiled some tips for spotting a bad electrician. There are major red flags, and knowing these can help prevent you from having a negative experience!
You have a lurking danger in your home, something you may not even think about. Almost everything in your home runs off of electricity, from your cell phone charger to your refrigerator. Without these items, how would you live your everyday life? Electricity is a blessing in the modern day home, however, it's also a large hazard if you're home isn't properly protected! Some of the most common hazards are also some of the most easily prevented!
These are just a few of the most common electrical hazards that we hear of on a daily basis…but there are more. Is your home safe? Call John’s Electric today for a complete whole home electrical safety inspection.
With the recent time change, it’s never been a better time to check out your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors! You can never anticipate a fire or a carbon monoxide threat, so having these two very important detectors in working order is always a top priority.
You probably know that these detectors have to have battery changes every so often, but did you know that they also have an expiration date? In fact, if you haven't changed out your detectors since you moved into your home, chances are they’re outdated and need to be replaced.There’s also a good possibility that your smoke alarms may not even work! Every smoke alarm has a test button to be sure it is working, and testing your alarms once a month will help you be sure that yours pass the test. It takes just a few seconds, and could possibly save your life. This should become a routine item on your home maintenance checklist.
No matter the age of your home or how many precautions you've taken to plan for your family's safety, electrical incidents can take you by surprise and nearly always come without warning.
Your electricity runs like an invisible force, behind the scenes, inside the walls of your home, allowing you a great variety of modern creature comforts. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical problems are the largest cause of property damage and devastation in home structure fires across the United States.
Think of your fuse box as the heart of your home’s wiring system. A distribution board that distributes electricity to all of the circuits in the house.
You cannot tell from looking at the outside of a Fuse Box if it is in a satisfactory condition on the inside but you can see if it is old. A professional electrician can tell by removing the cover and making a visual inspection then performing various tests on the installation, and evaluating its condition to advise you whether or not it needs to be replaced.
Wondering what your Meter Socket is?
A meter socket is a type of outdoor electrical socket that connects a watt-hour meter, or electrical meter, to a house. These are the meters outside of your home or commercial building that measure the amount of power used so the our utility company, Alabama Power, knows how much to bill.
When it comes time to inspect your home’s Electrical Panel, there are 5 main things I will look at to determine whether it’s time for you to upgrade:
Again, while this type of breaker may have worked up to a point, I would consider it a “ticking time bomb” of sorts and recommend an upgrade for your family’s safety.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) devices, are required in specific areas of our homes. We must all have GFCI protection in our kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, outside our homes as well as our garages. GFCI devices monitor the electricity between the ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductors. If there is an improper imbalance between the two conductors the GFCI will stop the power from exiting the receptacle, which prevents people from receiving an electrical shock.
GFCI protection comes in several different forms. The most noticeable would be in the form of a receptacle. The second form of GFCI protection that is common in homes is GFCI breakers. Both of these devices protect people from receiving an electrical shock. The receptacle is located in the outlet where we plug devices in. The breaker is located in the electrical panel.
John's Electric Inc. is a family owned and operated electrical contractor business that proudly provides electrician services in Birmingham, AL and the surrounding areas such as Hoover, Homewood, Chelsea, Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Alabaster, Trussville, and Mountain Brook. John's Electric provides residential and commercial electrical solutions at competitive rates. We have been in this line of work for 30 years, giving us not only experience but expertise as well. You can depend on us. We are a state licensed electrician (#03875) for your protection.