Safety First: Electrical Inspections, Main Electrical Service, Wiring, & Safety Applications
It’s important that every electrical service customer periodically have their electrical service and its components properly inspected to ensure safety and prevent fire hazards. At Tri-County Services, our electricians are licensed and experienced to inspect, diagnose, install, and repair your electric service and its components for your peace-of-mind.
Our Inspection Services – For Your Whole Home and Business
- Safety Inspection of your entire Electrical System & Applications
- Surge Protection Inspection & Installation
- Main Electrical Service Amperage Inspection, Installation, & Upgrade
- Wiring Inspection & Rewiring
- Code Compliance Inspections – Purchasing or Selling a Home, Remodeling, Upgrades
Main Electrical Service: New Installation or Service Upgrade
Whether you are building a home that requires a new 200 or 400 AMP electrical service, or whether you are considering an upgrade of your older 100 AMP electrical service, Tri-County Services has the experience to install your new service, as well as upgrade your existing electrical service to accurately service the load requirements of your home or office.
Understanding Your Main Electrical Service: What’s an Electrical Load?
Very simply put, an electrical load is anything that consumes or draws electricity. Therefore, your electrical load is determined by any electrical applications in your home or office – from lights to toasters and washing machines to electric vehicles. Each of these applications pulls electrical power necessary to run each application. This actually impacts the amount of electrical energy you use per month, which is totaled monthly as kilowatt-hours on your electric service provider bill.
So, accurately calculating the total amount of power your home needs is very important in determining whether your 100 AMP service is adequate, or whether you need 200 AMP service or above.
Another factor in determining the total amperage (AMP) of your electrical service is whether you plan to add-on to your home and expand your electrical demands. Generally speaking, it is a good rule of thumb to oversize the electrical service to make future expansion possible. At Tri-County Services, we can discuss this with you.
Considering a Service Upgrade
Many homeowners just don’t give much thought to their main electrical service until there is an emergency or they notice a problem. At Tri-County Services, we believe it is important to have your main electric service properly inspected to ensure your electrical service is able to satisfy your home or office’s electrical load needs. Oftentimes, homeowners add new appliances and applications without considering the impact it will have on their electrical service. Overloading your electrical service is unsafe, so best to err on the side of caution.
If you say “yes” to any of the following below, consider having one of our expert electricians inspect your electrical service to determine if it is properly able to handle the current loads of your home or office:
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Shock or tingling when you touch appliances
- A consistent burning smell
- Discolored, burned, or hot outlets
- New or added appliances, heaters, window air conditioning units
- New or upgraded heating or cooling system
- Increased use of extension cords
- Regularly “tripped” circuit breakers or “blown” fuses
- Fuses in breaker box
- Buzzing sound at box
- Old home
- Home built in the 1960’s or early 1970’s
- Added applications or machinery to garage or shed
- Addition of a pool, spa, or other outdoor applications requiring power
Wiring: The Lifeline of Your Electrical System
Electrical problems can crop up at any time and for a number of reasons. Wiring is the lifeline of your electrical system. And, it’s imperative that your wiring is the correct type for the job and that the connections are done properly and to code.
Because of the potential hazards that exist when working with electricity, it’s important that any new or recurrent electrical issues in your home or business are properly inspected and accurately diagnosed. If you ever have any questions regarding your electrical service, wiring, or any electrical issues you are experiencing, simply call our office and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss our services and how we can help.
Old Wiring – Know Your Type of Wiring
If your home or building was built in the late 1890’s to early 1970’s, chances are you may have remnants of old wiring that could pose potential fire hazards. If your old wiring has not been properly inspected for safety, we strongly recommend calling our office to schedule a safety inspection to protect against any looming fire hazards.
Between 1890 and 1910, knob-and-tube wiring was the main electrical system installed. Surprisingly, a large number of American homes still have working knob-and-tube wiring and it is often found alongside updated electrical wiring.
One concern is that knob-and-tube has rubberized cloth insulation that has an expected lifespan of about 25 years before it begins to crack and break down. This is one reason that functioning knob-and-tube wiring is in critical need of being updated.
However, if you notice knob-and-tube wiring, it may not be functioning. It was common practice to simply leave old wiring in place when a home was rewired. Do not attempt to test knob-and-tube wiring yourself. Please contact our office to have our licensed electrician inspect you wiring.
Cloth, Asbestos, or Fabric Covered Wiring
This type of covering was used before plastic-coated wires. Typically, you’ll find this in homes and building built prior to 1960. One of the main problems with this type of covering is that, over time, the fabric will become very brittle and flake away exposing the bare wire. The exposed wire can then create an arc (electricity that jumps from one wire to another) and greatly increase your risk for fire.
Many houses built in the 1960’s and early 1970’s have aluminum wiring. Today, aluminum wiring is considered a safety hazard. One of the issues with aluminum wiring is that the connections often loosen up over time. This causes overheating at the receptacles when appliances are plugged into them increasing the likelihood of fire.
Safety Applications: Protecting Against Fire & Shock Hazards, Power Loss, & Intruders
Your home and business are an investment. However, keeping the people inside your home or business safe is a priority. Whether you are thinking about installing security devices, adding childproof outlets, or installing a backup electricity system, Tri-County Services has experienced electricians to help you in these areas and more.
Electrical System & Wiring Inspections
A thorough wiring and electrical system inspection is one form of preventative maintenance that ensures adherence to your states laws and regulations for safety. This type of inspection tests that the system can handle the load and that the wiring is safe. Homes and businesses can benefit from periodic inspections to determine whether the wiring and system is sufficient to handle additional appliances or equipment upgrades. Additionally, renovations and the addition of new circuits require a licensed electrician to inspect and ensure the work is done properly and in accordance with local regulations safety standards.
Whole-Home Surge Protector
One of the best ways to protect your home from damage is to install a whole-home surge protector. It protects your entire electrical system and every outlet which then protects everything plugged into them. So much of your home is powered by electric, it makes sense to take safety measures to protect it from damage.
A whole-home surge protector is hard-wired into the electrical panel of your home. When a power surge runs through the panel, the surge panel blocks and prevents the surge from harming your electrical system. The excess voltage is diverted safely away from your home into the ground under your home.
Outdoor Lighting & Motion Sensors
Many people think about outdoor lighting and motion sensors as a way to provide extra security to deter break-ins. But, have you considered that outdoor lighting and motion sensors can also provide energy savings and make life easier?
Motion sensors save money by conserving energy and using energy only when needed. They also deter crime by startling the intruder and making him/her visible. Having lights on all night allow intruders to see all the areas and plan their entry. Other benefits from installing motion sensors are that they act as a helpful hand when taking out pets at night, coming home at night with a load of groceries, or lighting areas indoors such as hallways for late night trips to the bathroom.
Security Camera Wiring
Camera surveillance offers protection from burglary and also keeps you aware of who is around your property at all times. Whether you are on vacation and are checking in on your property or making sure your children are home from school, security cameras offer a solution to help provide monitoring for protection of your property and loved ones.
Child-proof / Tamper-proof Outlets
Unfortunately, approximately 2,400 children suffer electrical burns and shock each year as a result of tampering with electrical outlets. If you are a parent or grandparent, you understand how important it is to keep your child or grandchild safe from harm. Tamper-resistant outlets are an easy measure to keep your young ones safe from electrical shocks or burns.
GFCI Outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
A GFCI outlet constantly tracks the flow of energy to a circuit to sense fluctuations. If it detects any changes in the energy flow, it will immediately block or shut-off the electric flow to the outlet.
GFCI outlets help to prevent against shocks, prevent electrical fires, and avoids damage to your appliances and equipment.
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Circuit Breaker
Did you know that arcing faults are responsible for starting over 30,000 house fires each year? Many of these fires could have been prevented using AFCI breaker protection.
An arcing fault occurs when the protective sheathing over the wires becomes exposed and the electrical current jumps between the parallel wires. Because wiring is usually hidden behind walls and in ceilings, arcing is rarely seen. So, it becomes necessary to have arc fault protection in your home.
Wires can easily become damaged and exposed. For example, this can happen when a nail is used to hang items on the wall and pierces the wire sheathing behind it. It can also happen when a chair sits on an extension cord and pierces or slices it open.
AFCI circuit breakers are installed in your electric service panel. AFCI’s detect the hazardous arc fault and shuts down the electrical service before it becomes a fire hazard.
Hard-wired Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There are good reasons why it makes sense to have your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors hard-wired.
- 24/7 Protection – If power fails, battery back-up goes into effect.
- Units are linked for greater safety – If the alarm sounds in the basement during the night and you are a sound sleeper, chances are you will not hear the alarm. As more time passes and you remain asleep, your safety is at great risk. However, linking units will sound all alarms when only one alarm goes off, so that everyone is alerted quickly and has advance time to evacuate.
- Receive alerts when you are away from home
Attic Ventilation Fans: Pre-Installation Wiring
There are many reasons to consider adding an electric powered ventilation fan in your attic. Tri-County Services can properly direct dedicated wiring to the areas of your attic where ventilation fan(s) are advised.
Reasons to Consider Attic Ventilation Fans
Many homeowners consider attic fans as an effective way to reduce their energy bills in the winter and summer, as well as to prevent excess moisture that causes wood rot and mold damage. Installing attic ventilation also reduces wear and tear on your HVAC system by keeping your attic’s temperature in check.
And, did you know that improving your attic ventilation greatly improves the condition and longevity of your *asphalt roof shingles? Uncontrolled excessive heat in your attic can cause your shingles to prematurely split, cup, curl, and eventually cause them to become brittle. This damage makes it easier for them to pull away during storms or produce leaking areas. Similarly, moisture can accumulate in your attic in the form of condensation. And, without proper ventilation, this excess moisture can easily cause wood rot, warping, and mold growth to occur. *You can expect similar issues with wood shakes or wood shingles.
But, a properly placed attic ventilation fan is cost-effective and solves the problems that arise from improper attic air flow. Tri-County Services can place pre-installation dedicated wiring where your fans are needed.
Dedicated circuits are exactly what they sound like. They are designated for a single appliance or device only. They have their own circuit breaker located in your electrical service panel.
Do you constantly “trip” a circuit breaker every time you use a certain appliance or device? Or, have you installed a new appliance or machine that draws a lot of power on its own? Then, a dedicated circuit may be what you need to protect your electrical system from the dangers of being overloaded. In fact, dedicated circuits are required for certain major appliances to ensure they can draw the power they need and run safely.