Friday, April 17, 2015

Smart Kitchens Are Taking Over

Smartphones and smart lighting solutions have made a giant impact on our lives, but now the smart kitchen is taking over. What do we mean by smart kitchen? See below to find out:

With whole bunch of foodie-friendly gadgets hitting the market, you may never have to step foot in your kitchen to cook a meal again. Well, at least they will make cooking much easier.

Smart Thermometers
Ever leave something in the oven too long, or not long enough, because you weren’t sure what temperature the food was cooked to? If this has happened to you, or if you forgot about food that was in the oven because you went in the living room to catch a glimpse of the evening news, smart thermometers are the perfect solution. They will send notifications to your smartphone, including an alert for when the food is ready to come out.

The days of turning a dial to adjust the heat on your cooktop may be limited. New options are available, like Monogram Induction Cooktop from GE, come equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled temperature sensor that cycles the heat on and off to maintain a precise temperature.

We’re excited to see where the future of kitchen appliances takes us, but for now we want to remind you how important it is to check for frayed or damaged wires and hazardous outlets. If you notice any electrical problems while cooking, give GEN3 Electric a call right away and we’ll stop by to correct them.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How To Properly Power Your Window Air Conditioner

As soon as the first hot day rolls around you’re going to crank up the air conditioner and turn on your fans, right? Well, did you know that using an extension cord or plugging your air conditioner directly into a wall outlet can overload the circuit? Don’t end up with a blown fuse, a broken unit, or worse, a fire. Find out the proper way to power your window air conditioner below:

Some outlets, especially those installed in older homes, were not built to withstand the amount of electricity needed to power a window air conditioner. Think about it - old outlets could have possibly been built before air conditioners were even invented.

How can you test your outlets? If you can’t vacuum, cook or blow dry your hair and run the air conditioner at the same time your circuits are overloaded. What can you do if this is the case? Call GEN3 Electric right away and we’ll run a dedicated A/C line and install a new outlet so you can safely power your unit without overloading the circuit or using an extension cord.

At GEN3 Electric, we’ve been servicing the Philadelphia Metro area for over three generations so you know you can count on us! Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment today and remember to connect with us on Twitter for all of your electrical needs!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wireless Lighting Controls

Smartphones, smart televisions, why not smart lighting controls? The days of wishing that you were able to turn your lights off and on from a remote control are over, it’s now a reality! Better yet, you can control them from your iPhone!

Smart Switches
We’ve all wanted to be able to watch television and turn the lights in the room on or off without getting up from the couch, right? This is now possible with smart switches. How does it work? The switches on your wall receive a signal from a handheld remote that allows you to control the lighting in the room.

Don’t like the idea of adding another remote to your collection? No problem. You can control smart switches from your smartphone instead. Learn more below:

It’s time remove yourself from the past and get up-to-date with the latest technology. GEN3 Electric can install smart switches throughout your home that can be controlled wirelessly or with a smartphone for your convenience. Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to learn more and don’t forget to connect with us on Twitter!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Electrical System Checklist For Spring

The snow is finally melting, the birds are beginning to chirp and warmer temperatures are finally making an appearance. Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to make sure your electrical equipment and devices are ready for the new season. Here are a few things you can add to your spring cleaning checklist to ensure a safe start to spring:

  • Your oven and stove have been collection grime and grease all winter long so it’s time to give them a deep cleaning. In addition, clean the exhaust hood and the duct over the oven regularly to allow for proper ventilation.
  • Make sure all appliances are located away from the sink and make sure all countertop appliances are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet.
  • Check to make sure that all major appliances are working properly. If you receive an electric shock, this could indicate a major problem with the appliance’s wiring. Turn the power off and contact an electrician immediately.

  • Check to see when the last time you had your electrical panel inspected was. If the next inspection date has passed, contact your local electrician to schedule an appointment.
  • If your washing machine or dryer is showing signs of excessive vibration, it can put stress on the electrical connections. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, notify us right away.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of clutter, dirt and debris. Also keep in mind that failure to clean the lint filter after each load of laundry can lead to a fire.

If you notice any additional problems with your home’s electrical system while performing your spring cleaning chores, call on GEN3 Electric. Our expert electricians are always ready to help, so give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Is There A Buzzing Noise Coming From My Electrical Box?

Hearing a strange buzzing sound coming from your electrical panel? This can be alarming especially for an average-Joe homeowner that doesn’t quite have the knowledge of an experienced electrician - and we completely understand. So what exactly is causing the noise? Find out below:

The Problem
The purpose of an electrical box is to harness power coming in from outside and disperse electricity into the various circuits throughout your home. You’ve probably heard about a circuit breaker, and that they blow or trip if there is a fault in the wiring or a short in the circuit. And you are right to expect that under normal conditions the electrical box shouldn’t be making a buzzing sound - but if there is a loose wire or fault, flowing electricity can create a noise.

Testing For A Solution
Trying to pinpoint the exact cause of the noise can be difficult, but here are a few things you can do on your own:
  • Go to your electrical box and flip each of the circuit breakers to the “off” position. This will turn off the electricity in your home.
  • While the electricity is turned off, listen for the buzzing noise. Chances are you won’t hear anything, but if you can it means that it’s coming from an external connection.
  • If you don’t hear the buzzing, turn each breaker switch on one-by-one. If you don’t hear a noise, keep going until you hear the buzzing. This will allow you to identify the circuit that needs some attention.
  • Once you’ve identified the circuit, give your local electrician a call. We don’t recommend going any further to try to fix the problem because electricity is dangerous and can cause severe injuries.

Call on GEN3 Electric for any and all of your electrical service, repair or installation needs. Our trained professionals have been servicing the entire Philadelphia metro area for three generations and we are ready to help you out.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bathroom Lighting Design Inspiration

Did you get ready in the dark? Nobody ever wants to hear these seven words because it probably means you’re not looking your best today - and it may have something to do with the lighting in your bathroom. After all, this is where all of your grooming takes place and inadequate lighting can really prevent you from looking and feeling your best.

But you already have lights in your bathroom, so what the heck are we talking about? We’re talking about the type of fixtures, and the placement of these fixtures, that allow for maximum brightness where you need it most.

The Vanity Mirror
Too often we go into bathrooms that don’t incorporate lighting in the vanity area. This is a big no-no because you need to be able to see your face while shaving and performing other hygiene activities. We recommend a fixture on either side of the mirror.

More Than One Source
One central lighting fixture, whether it’s over the sink or in the middle of the bathroom, is not ideal. Instead, use a combination of high-hats, skylights and fixtures throughout.

Modern vs. Antique
You may be wondering which style is best for your bathroom. There is no right or wrong answer here - choose a style that compliments the rest of your bathroom or one that makes a bold statement. Which ever option you choose, just make sure there’s enough functional lighting so nobody asks you if you got ready in the dark!

Making a decision can be difficult enough, so leave the installation process to GEN3 Electric. We’ve been servicing the electrical needs of the Philadelphia metro area for three generations and there’s no job we can’t handle! Connect with us on Facebook for more lighting updates!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Why You Should Have Your Ceiling Fan Installed By A Pro

Spring has officially sprung so it’s time to dust off those ceiling fans! Looking to spruce up your home for the new season? GEN3 Electric can help by installing a new ceiling fan that adds comfort and decor to any room of your home. But beware, incorrect installation can cause a disaster!

When you think about a ceiling fan as blades spinning at high speeds above your head, it makes sense that they should be installed by a professional. Weighing more than most ceiling fixtures, the weight of a fan can cause its bracket to break down over time which cause the fan to fall or hang by its electrical wires. Why is this bad? Other than the fact that it can fall and cause destruction, it can also cause an electrical fire.

In order for a ceiling fan to be considered installed correctly, it must:
  1. Have an approved fixture box designed to support the weight of the fan.
  2. The fixture box must be attached to supported structure components such as wood ceiling joists or wood blocks fastened to the joists.

It’s also important to keep in mind that where a box is used as the sole support for a ceiling paddle fan, the fan must not weigh more than 35 pounds. Otherwise they must be supported independently of the outlet box.

Eliminate potential safety hazards by having GEN3 Electric install your ceiling fans this season. Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Steps for Knob and Tube Wiring Investigation:

Knob and Tube Inspection

Your friendly Neighborhood Electricians

Checking for all areas controlled by knob and tube wiring can be a tricky prospect.  You should ask yourself some questions:

  1. Is the home's wiring original?
  2. Has there been decades of changes, and additions? 
  3. Was the home professional maintained or updated by past owners & "Handy" men?

Original Knob and Tube Fuse Box
 These are important considerations especially if those alterations were performed over many years by not-so-qualified individuals, which is more than likely the case.

  1. Check for visible knob and tube wiring which is obvious in unfinished basements, attics and crawlspaces.  Once you have an idea of where the obvious wiring is, trace out which breakers are controlling these wires.  (A voltage tester is needed)Shut off those breakers and test to verify the visible wiring is now off.
  2. Search out the rest of the ungrounded receptacles both, two and 3 prong, and switches which are still powered. Look for older light switches, especially the 2 button type.  Look inside those boxes.  If there is old cloth 2 conductor "feeder" wire, actual knob and tube, or modern newer "romex" wiring without a functioning ground wire, turn off circuits until those get deactivated as well.
  3. Don't get fooled if you see new romex on any of those old knob and tube circuits.  New romex fed by knob and tube is still, most likely, ungrounded and offers no benefit of modern wiring.
  4. Turn off the power, After locating both the visible and concealed ungrounded wiring feeds and shutting those breakers off, now is time to count up the areas affected.
  5. Remove effected breaker. Remember, the best way to "remove" knob and tube wiring from your home is to have the areas controlled by knob and tube rewired new.

Un-grounded Outlet
New outlet Old Wire
Tester shows No Ground
No Power, On Knob & Tube Circuit. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Start Saving Electricity With Energy Efficient Appliances

Ever wonder how much you’re actually paying to keep your major appliances running? Better yet, think about how much you could be saving if you upgraded them to energy efficient models. If you have appliances that over 12 years old, it’s time for an upgrade today!

Before you go shopping for new appliances, there are a few things you need to know:
  1. Look for the Energy Star Label: looking for the most energy efficient options? Energy Star products are the most efficient in every category and you can even be eligible for rebates.
  2. Understand the EnergyGuide Label: just because an appliance has one of these labels doesn’t necessarily mean it’ the most efficient. All new appliances must be equipped with this label as it allows you to compare the typical amount of energy used by this piece of equipment on a yearly basis.
  3. Think ahead: although energy efficient models often cost more money upfront, the amount you will save on your energy bills will outweigh the costs. In addition to saving energy, new appliances such as washing machines and dryers also use less water than older models.

Still not convinced about upgrading your energy-guzzling appliances. Contact the expert electricians at GEN3 Electric and we’ll be able to answer any electrical-related questions you may have.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Perfect Lighting Solutions For Each Room Of Your Home

Ever hear of the saying “one size fits all”? That may be the case with certain things, but definitely not when it comes to lighting fixtures. Each room of your home serves a different purpose, right? So why use the same lighting design throughout? Find out some of the best lighting options for each room of your house below:

Living/Family Rooms
In a room where you spend long periods of time with friends and family engaging in activities like watching TV, reading or enjoying a conversation it’s important to incorporate the concept of layering light. Instead of recessed lighting try using fixtures that bounce light off the ceiling. A few options we love include cove and valance lighting with fluorescent bulbs.

Chances are you don’t cook or prepare food in the living room right? So why use the same lighting fixtures in your kitchen? The kitchen is a room of the house that requires task lighting as well as ambient lighting if it also serves as a gathering place. Locating your sink near a window allows you to take full advantage of natural light, but it should also be accompanied by a recessed or ceiling mounted fixture so you’re not left in the dark when the sun goes down. We also recommend taking advantage of under-cabinet lights (UCLs) to make the most of your countertop space.

Because grooming is a major activity that takes place in the bathroom, it’s important to have adequate lighting that won’t cast a shadow. Stay away from central ceiling fixtures and focus your attention towards lighting fixtures on either side of the mirror.

Ready to make some lighting upgrades? Is it time to redesign the lighting plan in your home? Give GEN3 Electric a call today to schedule an appointment or to speak with an expert electrician to discuss further.