Worried that your home’s electrical system may not be up to the job or even be a potential danger to your family?
Electricity touches every room in nearly every house. Even closets have wiring. Many attics and basements do, as well. With so many possibilities for defects and the fire hazards that accompany them, the electrical inspection is arguably one of the most important for any home.
Things change over time. A house designed and built even just 20-30 years ago wasn’t designed with all the additional electrical uses a family now enjoys.
Realtime Electrical Solutions assessments includes:
– Panel Inspection
– Plug & Switch inspection
– Attic Inspection
– Electric Equipment Inspection
– Photos With Notes Of Trouble Spots
If you suspect that there is an electrical problem in your home then you can have peace of mind after an electrical assesment performed by Kalin and the crew at RealTime Electrical Solutions.
Some of the things you might be able to check yourself are:
Electrical Service Panel or Load Center
The service panel, also called the load center, is the heart of electricity in a home. Either mounted on a wall inside or outside the dwelling, it contains breakers—fuses if it’s older—and wires that create circuits in the house.
What to look for:
Charring or burn marks
Pennies behind fuses (extremely dangerous, as the copper prevents fuses from blowing if they’re overloaded)
Breakers that feel warm
No main disconnect switch
Federal Pacific Brand Service Panel
If the load center is Federal Pacific brand, it needs closer inspection. Not all Federal Pacific breaker panels are defective, but defective ones are notorious fire starters. Look for FP Stab-Lok breakers. If present, the load center is an immediate fire hazard.
Many homes with aluminum wiring remain safe for years. But aluminum has (at least) two problems. Where it exists, the wiring is probably at least 40 years old and needs an update. And aluminum is softer than copper and doesn’t conduct electricity as well. Kalin says that over time, aluminum can expand and contract to loosen connections, causing a potential fire hazard.
Aluminum isn’t inherently dangerous, although it has issues. But some insurance companies won’t insure a house that isn’t wired in copper.
Push-in Connections at Receptacles
It’s generally accepted that push-in connections were developed for the DIY electrician. Most professional electricians wire in receptacles using the binding head screw on the side rather than a push-in connection on the back. Although they’re generally safe, Inspectapedia says push-in connections have less contact with the wire and can damage copper and aluminum.
Overlamping Light Fixtures
While it’s not a wiring problem, it is a fire hazard. Overlamping happens when a homeowner uses a higher wattage light bulb (lamp) than recommended for the fixture. With a higher-wattage bulb, the fixture can heat up, melt, and start a fire.
GFCI Protection in Kitchens and Other Wet Areas
Every kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room needs outlets with ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI protection. GFCI outlets have a test button and some are labeled. But standard outlets might also have protection if the circuit is powered by a GFCI outlet in the breaker panel.
If you experience any of these warning signs, call us immediately:
✘ You feel a tingling sensation when you touch a plug or light switch.
✘ Your circuit breaker flips frequently or fuses blow regularly.
✘ An appliance gives off a faint rubbery or burning smell.
✘ Your outlet plates are warm to the touch or discolored.
✘ An electrical appliance has been waterlogged or submersed in any liquid (throw away immediately).
✘ An outlet sparks.
✘ Your lights dim or flicker.
The guys at RealTime Electrical Solutions are all about your family’s safety! Owner & family-man himself, Kalin Seamans has designed an essential electrical assessment that gives you all the answers you need. That’s Peace of Mind for just $75.00!
Since May is National Electrical Safety Month, RealTime Electrical Solutions wants to remind you that, when it comes to electricity, a little extra vigilance & respect can actually save lives.
National Fire Protection Association research shows that an average of more than 53,000 electrical home structure fires cause the deaths of more than 450 people each year. More than 1,400 additional people are also injured by electrical house fires and electrical structure fires cause more than a billion dollars in property damage annually. Tragedies from electrical shock aren’t even covered in those statistics.
One of the most important things you can do is sit with your children and explain to them how they can help you discover electrical fire hazards in your home. Don’t scare them, but instead ask them to be Danger Detectives who help you eliminate potential problems.
Talk to your kids about how electricity works. Because they can’t see electricity, explaining how something that is invisible can be so powerful takes a bit time and patience.
Start with pointing out power lines in your neighborhood and teach your children that the power company uses those lines to bring electricity to your house. Teach them to always stay away from downed power lines they may see while playing outside and report them to you immediately. Take your children around your house and tell them how electricity moves around your house through wires in your walls. Tell your kids about how plugs work and that they should never stick anything into electrical outlets.
Doing a little research on electrical safety in the home will prepare you for teaching your children what they need to know to stay safe. It will also make you more aware of what safety precautions you need to take around your house to protect your family. If you need any help or suggestions, RealTime Electrical Solutions’ master electrician, Kalin Seamans is just a phone call away at 469-475-5488.
Whether your home is new or the oldest house on the block, there could be things going wrong with the electrical work about which you are totally unaware. Oftentimes, serious electrical problems are never noticed until someone gets hurt or a fire occurs.
That’s why it’s important to have an inspection of your home’s electrical system by an experienced neighborhood electrician at least once a year.
Here are a few items you should be on the lookout for in your home.
1. Loose Outlet or Switch
Sometimes new homes are built so quickly that adequate care is not taken to secure the outlets properly. As well as being an eyesore, they can be dangerous. Wires can move around and come loose from the terminals, causing them to overheat and potentially catch fire.
2. Cutting Electrical Wires Too Short
Wires that are too short provide a poor electrical connection. More importantly, they can be dangerous. Wires should stick out at least three inches from the electrical box.
3. Exposed Combustible Material from Recessed Electrical Boxes
If an electrical box is behind combustible material like wood paneling, sparks or heat from the wires can cause a fire. This is a good example of an electrical problem that many people may not notice themselves. For an experienced residential electrical service provider, that’s easy to find and it’s a quick fix.
4. Installing a Three-Slot Receptacle Without a Ground Wire
Many people choose to replace a two-slot outlet with a three-slot one so that they can use three-pronged plug in them. That seems simple enough, however, the outlet has to be grounded in order to be safe.
5. Too Many Wires in an Electrical Box
Too many wires in an electrical box can cause wires to short-circuit and can be a fire hazard. RealTime Electrical Solutions specialize in analyzing calculations involving the number of wires and clamps and knowing what gauge wire you have for your electrical box.
6. No Electrical Box
Wires should never be connected outside of a box. If there is a short circuit or loose connection, there is nothing to protect the surrounding area from damage from sparks and heat. This creates a fire danger. If you have something like a porch light or other electrical connection without a box, call a licensed electrician to install one and reconnect the wires within it.
7. Backward-Wired GFCI
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens near sinks and in areas like garages and patios. They protect people from getting shocked by shutting off if there should be a change in the current. GFCIs have two sets of terminals labeled ‘line’ and ‘load.’ If these are backwards, they cannot perform their intended function and the results can be deadly. If you discover that the connections are backwards, contact us to have one of our Rockwall neighbourhood electricians do it. This is one of the things we always check on a regular inspection.
8. Reversed Hot and Neutral Wires
If a hot, black wire is connected to an outlet’s neutral terminal, the result can be a deadly electrical shock. The white wire should always be connected to the neutral terminal. That terminal is marked, usually with a silver or light-colored screw. Because the mistake doesn’t affect the functioning of the outlet or fixture, most people don’t realize they have this situation until someone is shocked. If you discover these reversed wires, call a licensed electrician.
9. Missing Cable Clamp
Cable must be secured with a clamp. If it’s not, the connections can become dangerously strained. If the cables are in a metal box, the sharp edges can cut the wires. Metal boxes must have an approved cable clamp. Plastic boxes have different requirements based on their size. Your local electrician will fix this problem by installing the proper clamp.
10. Unprotected Plastic-Sheathed Cable
If this type of cable is left exposed to framing members, it can be easily damaged. This is especially true if it’s around ceiling or wall framing. A licensed electrician will fix this by either screwing or nailing a 2 x 2 piece of board that’s one inche thick along the cable.
DiY electrical work is never a smart move.
Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or have been in your home for awhile, we strongly advise you to have your electrical outlets inspected annually by an experienced residential electrical service provider like RealTime Electrical Solutions. Our experienced technicians can spot problems and fix them before they become potentially disastrous. Call us today to set up an appointment.
Stay Safe and Save Money
With Winter still dishing out some really cold weather, lots of families are looking for more cost-efficient ways to heat their homes. The sticker shock of their December, January and February electric bill got them to thinking about using a space heater to give their family some cozy, wintertime heat without the hassle and expense of traditional heating systems. Space heaters actually have been shown to cut wintertime heating bills by up to 30%.
Using several space heating units in one room can cause problems. The average breaker is a 15 amp breaker and the average space heater takes up between 10.4 – 15 amps. Using multiple space heaters can cause the breaker to trip. However, don’t make the mistake of using a larger amp breaker (30 to 40 amps), as this can easily overheat and start a fire.
Don’t buy a space heater that’s too large for the room because it won’t be a cost-efficient use of energy. Although bigger may seem to better, a small space heater can quickly heat up even the most poorly insulated room.
Don’t use a space heater if you’re not in the room with it. Many fires are started by space heaters that haven’t been properly attended to, so don’t let it run while you’re out of the house. Keep the space heater away from flammable items and materials.
To avoid danger to children and pets, keep them away from the space heater. Children are curious little creature which is why they should be kept away from the controls of the heater to avoid any risk of burns.
Check your smoke detectors to see if they’re working properly and check your outlets to see if they’re safe for space heater usage.
RealTime Electrical Solutions offers quality electrical services at a fair price. They provide residential & commercial lighting installation, house wiring, electric panel upgrades, outlet repair and installation, and ceiling fan installation. If you’re looking for an honest electrician you can trust, call master electrician Kalin Seamans on (469) 475-5488 and he will help you.
Adding much needed electrical outlets as you add more and more electronics and appliances to your home is ridiculously inexpensive. I’m a master electrician, so I know these things.
Daisy-chaining power strips and extension cord overloads electrical outlets and is a REALLY BAD IDEA. Not only can overloading outlets damage the expensive equipment being powered, this practice is a very real fire hazard.
More electrical outlets in your home can actually make your life more pleasurable. For example, I could add a strip of outlets inside of a cabinet under your bathroom sink or add it to the back of the vanity drawer where you store your hair dryer. I could also add extra outlets above and beneath the desktop of your home office to optimize efficiency and get rid of ugly power cords everywhere. How convenient is that!
PLEASE don’t risk your family’s safety linking extension cords all over the house trying to save a little time or money. The odds are not good for a happy ending. This is a simple fix that I would love to make for you. Respectfully, Kalin Seamans.
Fuses or breakers are designed so that if a current is high enough to damage the wiring, the fuse or breaker will detect this and open the circuit. That’s engineer talk for stopping the electric running through the circuit and turning it off!
Fuses and circuit breakers protect the wiring and shut off the power. If a current is high enough to damage the wiring, the fuse or breaker will detect this and open the circuit i.e. switch it off. However, unacceptably high currents can cause insulation damage and overheating that threaten to either damage electrical appliances connected to the circuit or cause combustible materials near the wiring to ignite.
Most people with breakers will just find which one tripped and flip it back on. This is not the best thing to do without paying some attention to what caused the circuit to be overloaded in the first place. Usually the home owner would have some clue as to what is stressing the electrical circuit. Did you just add a space heater to a circuit that tripped when the heater was in use for the first time, or when the temperature sank really low and caused the heater to stay on longer?
The real problem is that the wiring may be improperly sized for your space heater and all the other things you have already on the circuit. If this happens to you you may need to add a separate circuit for the space heater, or beef up the whole circuit.
Older homes may need electrical Upgrades. When homes are built, strict building codes and a professional, licensed electrician all but guarantee a safe electrical system in the home. Even a home built in 1950 should be perfectly safe today, if nobody has tampered with the wiring. Of course, since most people can’t live without a microwave and other modern appliances, almost no home goes too long with its original wiring. Most problems with electrical wiring occur when these upgrades aren’t done correctly. Microwaves, computers, space heaters, and air conditioners are the biggest culprits, but any appliance, even toasters, may require alterations to your electrical wiring.
So remember this, if a circuit is overloaded it doesn’t mean that it will just blow a breaker. It could possibly cause a fire to ignite! If your breaker is tripping regularly call Kalin Seamans and have him check out the problem. Kalin is a family man himself and he wants to keep your family safe.
Top commercial electrician in Rockwall County and Greater Garland, RealTime Electrical Solutions’ mission is to offer our clients superior service in every way. Our team has gone through extensive training and certified to handle any type of electrical issue your business may face. We do all of our own work and never sub-contracting anything.
From repairing code violations to installing new lighting, RES completes the work promptly and at an affordable price. Professionalism, continuing education and value are hallmarks of the RES business model. We never compromise on service and would welcome the opportunity to earn your business. We offer a full range of commercial electrical services including electrical panel installation, upgrades & repairs throughout Rockwall County and the Greater Garland area.
Start off 2018 with Electrical Safety
Watch for warning signs that may indicate the need for a new electrical panel in your facilities. These signs include, breakers frequently tripping, warm breakers, flickering lights and crackling or sizzling at the panel. Please don’t dismiss these warning signs. The dangers of ignoring these symptoms include more and more circuit issues within the panel due to heat and a potential fire.
We offer full electrical service to ensure that your property is safe. We put our money where our mouth is and offer 55% off electrical panel upgrades and replacements to help you ensure that your electrical safety is not compromised. Call us now for a New Year’s electrical safety check.
Safety is a top priority at RealTime Electrical Solutions. We will replace your electrical panel according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) standards, install approved breakers, and if necessary perform a full service upgrade. We also include all permitting as required. Contact us for your commercial electrical panel maintenance Rockwall County and the Greater Garland area.
In addition to the services listed above, we also offer:
Service Panel Upgrades
Meter Base Repairs
Meter Base Replacements
Service Mast Repairs
Replace Weather Head
New Grounding Systems
Whole House Surge Protection Devices
Label Circuits on Existing Panels
Sub Panel Installation
Call Kalin Seamans, owner of RealTime Electrical Solutions and Master Electrician, with any questions you have about your electrical systems.
October is finally here! Time to stock up on sweet treats, then fill the yard and home with ghastly decorations. It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be spooky!
Before lying in wait for those young ghosts, goblins and caped crusaders to invade your neighborhood demanding their treats, keep the following safety tips in mind to make sure the electrical elements in and around your home are ideally maintained to minimize risk.
Halloween means strings of decorative lights, fog machines, strobe and black lights, animatronics, electrically powered decorations and the list goes on. These things all add to the ambience, but they also create the added dangers of fire, electrocution and other nasty accidents. It is very important that you look for these potential dangers and eliminate them before you flip the switch.
As you unpack the cardboard boxes and plastic containers full of plastic skeletons, lighted pumpkins, and assorted “Boo factor” decorations, make sure you check them for electrical component issues/ Examine each of the decorations as you un-box them for frayed wires, burnt out lightbulbs and batteries that need replacing. Also, look for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections that could cause a serious shock or start a fire. Discard damaged sets of lights or damaged props that can no longer be used safely. Use only lights that have been safety tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Look for the UL label on the box and on each string.
Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Don’t use electrical decorations or light strings on materials that could catch fire. Follow the use and care instructions that accompany your electrical decorations.
Make sure extension cords are in good condition. Use only UL-approved cords rated to carry the electrical load you will connect to them.
Keep electric cords out of high-traffic areas. PLEASE don’t staple or nail through light strings or electrical cords.
Fasten outdoor lights (use only lights rated for outdoor use) securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold light strings in place, not nails or tacks.
For added electric shock protection, outside cords should be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Use a portable GFCI if your outdoor outlets don’t have them. GFCIs protect you from electric shocks. Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician, call Kalin Seamens at RealTime Electrical Solutions on 469-475-5488 if you have any questions. Kalin will make sure that you are safe.
Now is a great time to replace the batteries in your smoke detector. While you’re at it, vacuum them and test each one after replacing the batteries.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire. Always have at least one fire extinguisher available and know how to use it. In homes with small children or animals, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
Practice safety, use common sense and you’ll have a happy, accident-free Halloween! Enjoy the holiday and for any electrical issues or questions, give us a call at 469-475-5488.
As the father of a small child AND a master electrician, I know how to Baby-Proof your electrical outlets!
Of the nearly 5,500 people who suffered shocks and burns from electrical outlets last year, more than 2,400 of them were under the age of 17. Of those, countless injuries were caused when foreign objects like keys, paperclips, and hairpins were inserted into outlets.
Plastic plug-in inserts and wall plates with contact shutters are available for tamper resistance; however, these products ARE NOT UL-listed for safety/tamper resistance. One hundred percent of two to four year olds in a recent Temple University were able to remove a standard plastic outlet cap within ten seconds. Suffice it to say, I do not recommend those devices to my family and friends.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that Tamper Resistant Receptacles be installed in pediatric areas, so why would you use anything less effective for protecting your children in your own home?
Tamper Resistant Receptacles remain accessible and inconspicuous while offering a higher level of security than plastic outlet caps. TRRs look exactly like standard wall outlets, but the dangerous electrical contacts inside are shielded by receptacle cover plates. These plates stay closed until equal pressure is applied to both contact points at the same time, a maneuver your child will not be able to manage by simply inserting foreign objects into the outlet. Your master electrician will guide you through the product selection process, then quickly replace dangerous outlets with TRRs.
Day care centers, doctor’s offices, nursery schools and children’s play areas are replacing their high risk outlets with Tamper Resistant Receptacles. Call me and let me explain how cost effective this higher level of child safety can be. Kalin Seamans, Master Electrician 469-475-5488.