Quality versus Cheap

There are a lot of cute phrases I’ve heard over the years describing quality service.

“You get what you pay for.” “A good electrician isn’t cheap and a cheap electrician isn’t good.”

Cute phrases may be just that – cute – but they do have merit. When the electrician you’ve hired has finished your project and left, how do you know he has done a quality job? Did he do it legally? Has he created an electrical hazard instead? Is he even licensed and insured?

Electrical panel

Electrical panel

Price is always a concern, but it shouldn’t outweigh quality. When you’re looking for a doctor, you want the one who saves lives, right? Well, when you’re searching for electricians, the same is true.

Think about it. When you search for a doctor, your life, or the life of a loved one may be at stake. With potential electrocution or electrical fires, and you and your family’s safety at risk, do you really want to take a chance on having work done by the cheapest electrician?

Your top concern should always be quality! You should expect that from a licensed electrician. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that help you to determine the quality of work you can expect.

Countless times throughout my 34-year career, I’m frustrated when I find illegal and dangerous work done by electricians who didn’t do the homeowner any favors. Too often, I’ve seen the look in that trusting customer’s eyes when I inform them that their former electrician did not perform a legal job that sometimes falls into the criminal category. It boils my blood when customers are deceived by the “electrician” they hired, who turned out to be a hack. And, don’t even get me started on the DYI crowd!

The customer’s safety – both now and in the future – is an electrician’s responsibility. Quality electricians know this.

Our work is performed with the utmost skill and knowledge from many years of working closely with contractors and thousands of customers – businesses and homeowners alike. We do not cut corners. We do not sacrifice standards. We do not perform illegal installations of any kind. All of our jobs are performed meticulously, legally, neatly, efficiently, far above electrical-code standards and with the highest level of care.

Quality electricians will always stand by the work we perform. We pride ourselves in doing what we do. We do not burn our customers, so give us a call and let’s get started!

Home Inspectors

I would like to discuss Home Inspectors, not to be confused with town wiring inspectors, and their role in making you, the home buyer, feel secure that a “professional” has inspected the house’s wiring you’re interested in purchasing.

Often times, I have been called into one of these homes where a Home Inspector recently had “inspected” and passed the wiring. After a very short walk-through of readily accessible spaces such as the basement and attic, I am shocked to see clear and present dangerous electrical situations and also disgusted for lack of a better term that one of these Home Inspectors has giving the green light to the prospective buyers.

These Home Inspectors are hired to do their jobs as they have been trained and it is this training that the homeowners, possibly even YOU, rely on ! What they miss or perhaps choose to omit in their reports may cost you thousands of dollars to repair or more devastating, a fire.

Here’s one picture below of an electrical disaster that a Home Inspector overlooked and in this case did cost the customer nearly $6,000 to fix as it meant removing this non-grounded wiring and rewiring of this lighting circuit.

To describe what you’re seeing: There are a number of violations here but to focus on the most serious–this was existing original non-grounded wiring from the 1940’s approx. era and at one point someone had decided to extend newer wiring from these wires and chose to not use the required junction boxes. These wire splices were done very poorly and just taped with electrical tape. Poor splicing leads to arcing and that arcing leads to heat and then fire. Worse considering there are no junction boxes and these splices are adjacent to combustible materials as you can see in this picture. This one circuit had about 8 or so of these splices. This customer was very unhappy when he learned of his Home Inspector missing this very evident electrical violation.

Would you feel secure living here and knowing THIS was in your attic??
In closing, hire a licensed and insured electrician to do ANY inspections of your prospective home’s wiring !IMG_0396

Quality Craftsmanship of Electricians

Quality Craftsmanship of Electricians

How do you know that the electrician you’ve hired is doing a quality job? Most every home that I have entered, I have seen evidence of some “Electrician’s” utter lack of electrical skills and poor craftsmanship–and sometimes, sadly, bordering on dangerous.

Let me ask you another question: How many of you have asked your “electrician” to see his electrical license or proof of insurance?

My point is this, not all electricians are the same–just because you found them in the phonebook or a business card doesn’t mean they’re competent or even legally allowed to run a business. Are these the “people” you want working on YOUR house’s wiring? How would you know?

Surely when one wants a doctor–you don’t just choose anyone. Don’t you want the best doctor you can find? The same should apply to electrical contractors. You don’t want just anyone working on your house wiring. You and your family’s safety and welfare count on it.

At Advanced Electrical Service Company, we will happily show you our electrical licenses and insurance. Our work is performed with the utmost skill and meticulousness. We stand by our work and our employees 100%. Rest assured that your future electrical job or project will be performed to the utmost standards and skill. We’ve been doing it for nearly 25 years and have many happy customers to back it up.

We do it every day

Did You Know? Electrical Facts You Should Know

Did You Know? Electrical Facts You Should Know

  • Did you know that there is a thick coat of dust on a light bulb? The dust can block out about half of the light that could be coming from the light bulb.
  • A circuit breaker can appear to be ON but really be tripped
  • A simple ceiling light fixture replacement in older homes (approx. pre 1950) could potentially lead to a major wire repair or total circuit rewire!  The typical reason is due to the fact that throughout the ages, homeowners would install high wattage bulbs (75 or 100 watt) in fixtures rated for only a 60 watt bulb.  The heat produced by these high wattage bulbs radiates upward into the junction box above the fixture and also through the conductor.  The insulation of the aged wire breaks down due to this extreme heat and also the wire itself is well past it’s lifespan.  When accessing this splice in the junction box to remove the fixture’s wiring, the wire’s insulation crumbles into dust leaving you, the homeowner, with a serious fire hazard that needs immediate attention.
  • If you have Knob and Tube wiring (1890-1910+) in your house, you cannot insulate around these conductors!  Also, insurance companies are actively involved in seeing this removed from your house.
  • Household dryers need to be properly grounded.  If they are not or if they are plugged into a 2 prong receptacle, there’s a good chance that you could get shocked through the dryer’s metal housing.
  • Portable generators are useful during power outages. However, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50 people die every year from accidental electrocutions involving residential wiring, panel boards, circuit breakers, and outlets. Another 40 electrocutions each year involve household appliances that are connected to the wiring of homes.By making sure you have a thorough electrical inspection completed by a qualified electrician before buying, selling, or remodeling a home, you can help ensure your home’s electrical system operates at the highest level of safety possible.

Electrical Hazards

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Warning sign: A tingling sensation when you touch an electrical appliance or other metal objects. Getting a shock when you touch appliances in your house can indicate a more serious problem. Be sure to unplug the appliance and discontinue use.

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Warning sign: Discolored or warm wall outlets, or sparks from an outlet. This can indicate arcing, smoldering, burning happening behind your outlets, damaged or improperly installed wiring in the outlet, or a problem with the receptacle itself. Avoid using the outlet or switch and contact a qualified electrician as soon as possible.

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Warning sign: A persistent burning smell coming from an appliance, room, or area. This can indicate that the appliance is overheating or malfunctioning. Unplug the appliance or turn off the circuit breaker.

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Warning sign: Flickering or dimming lights. This sign could indicate a short in the wiring, dangerous arcing, or an over-extension of your home’s electrical systems. Contact a qualified electrician to discuss potential reasons for this problem and to have an inspection completed.

TOP CAUSES OF ELECTRICAL FIRES

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Electrical System –  According to NFPA, every year, fires that start in electrical systems or lighting equipment result in 320 civilian deaths and 830 civilian (non-firefighter) injuries, with damage to more than 24,000 homes.

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Lamps, Light Fixtures, and Light Bulbs –  According to the National Fire Protection Association, lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs (28%) and fixed wiring (22%) accounted for the largest share of fires among major types of electrical distribution equipment. Cords and plugs (39%) accounted for the largest share of civilian deaths. Lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs (30%) accounted for the largest share of civilian injuries.

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Extension Cords – According to NFPA, extension cord fires outnumbered fires beginning with permanent or detached (cords that can be detached from appliances) by more than two-to-one. For civilian deaths, the ratio is more than three-to-one. For civilian injuries, the ratio is more than four-to-one.

 

The Danger of Power Surges

The Danger of Power Surges

What you may not know about DANGEROUS Power Surges when we think of power surges and damage to electronics, we always think of thunderstorms and lightning. But did you know that lightning related surges account for only about 5% of the total surges that can  enter your home in a year? It’s true that lightning can wreak havoc with electronics and your electrical system. It gets all the publicity because it’s so obvious when it happens.

But what about the other 95% of the surges that enter your home? Where do they come from and what damage can they do? Well the rest of these surge events are generated through your power lines. The causes can range from simple load changes on the grid your house is fed through. Transformer failures, large usage customers coming on line every morning, extreme hot and cold weather, and even traffic accidents where poles are struck by vehicles. Electrical surges are defined as variations in the regular line voltage. Most appliance and electronics can handle minimal surge events. But the medium to larger surges are the ones that hammer your equipment and leave you wondering why that Big Screen Television isn’t working or why the electronics in your microwave or furnace stopped working. We at Advanced Electrical Service Co can install a surge protection system in your house.  This system can be installed on your existing electrical service panel and will protect everything being served by that panel.

Saftey Tips from NFPA

Saftey Tips from NFPA

In 2007, an estimated 51,800 home structure fires reported to U.S. Fire Departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction a factor contributing to ignition. These fires resulted in 451 civilian deaths, 1,641 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage.

Safety tips (from NFPA)

  • Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  •  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time. If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
  •  Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.
  • Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry, basement, and outdoor areas.
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets.