Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Venting the attic with an attic fan

Adding a roof vent or and attic fan is a great way to save on you air conditioning bills and be more environmentally friendly.
1. To do this we first put a hole in the roof. Then check from the inside to fit it between roof rafters.
2. We cut a hole using the manufacturer's template. I believe this fan has a 10 inch hole.
3. We mount the fan over the hole and seal. This roof is an older roof and the shingles were brittle so we did not disturb them too much. On a newer roof we can normally hide most of the flange under the shingles.
4. Then from under the roof we found power in the attic and hooked up the thermostat. Now all the summer heat will be sucked out of the attic with this fan. It will be much easier to keel this house cool this summer.

What is that Plug?

Did you ever wonder what that weird outlet was. Here is a chart of all the Nema [The National Electrical Manufacturers Association] outlet configuration and what kind of power they provide. If you still can't find what your looking for let us know. I'm sure we can find some answers.
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Monday, April 28, 2008

What does my GFCI do?

G.F.C.I. [Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter] trips when it senses a ground fault. Any return path for electricity can be refereed to as a ground. In a correctly wire circuit the ground path should be on the neutral wire. The circuit will trip if the GFCI senses a difference in the ampacity on the Black "hot wire" from what is returning on the White "neutral wire". These two values should be the same unless you are leaking electricity which is called a ground fault. This can happen in wet location when electricity is using the water as it's ground and not returning back through the neutral wire. Older motor can also leak electricity in to their motor housings. If the electricity is not returning through it's designed path then you may have a safety hazard and your GFCI is protecting you.

To test a tripping GFI this follow these steps.

1. Remove everything from the GFCI and rest it. If it doesn't reset your GFCI is bad.

2. Make sure what ever you are plugging in to the GFCI is dry and not damaged.

3. Only plug in one item at a time. If you are plugging in a defective item it will cause the GFCI to trip and that item should be replaced.
Vist our main website for more info.

Installing a panel cover

This is a pic. of a 100 amp sub-panel with the cover about to be installed. You can tell that it is a sub-panel because there is no main breaker. The main breaker would normally be at the top of the panel by itself and would be twice the size of the regular breakers.
To knock out the spaces in the panel cover we first count up how many breakers are being used. In this example we are using ten breaker spaces. Five on each side starting from the bottom. We then push back the matching tabs on the panel cover. After they are pushed back we use a pair of pliers to move the tab back and forth till they break free. After that is done the panel cove should line up and screw on. The final step would be to mark the panel. The most important things to mark on the panel would be items like refrigerators, freezes, heaters, Ac units and lighting.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Were you satisfied...."YES"

I do I want to thank the clients who take the time to fill out our surveys, send us letters and post reviews about us on the Internet. We are always reviewing our clients feed back to make sure we are doing a good job. So far the feed back has positive. It is very satisfying for us to know that we are doing are jobs well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Upgrading a fuse box to a 100 amp breaker box

Here is a house in university city that still had what looks like it original electrical service. The whole service worked on only 30 amps. The main 30 amp fuses were in that box with the circular cover under the meter socket. If you pulled the handle down on the right side of the box it would turn the power off to the house and expose the fuses.
All the individual house circuits were found 30 feet away hidden in the floor joists. The house only had 6 circuits. (Old services often fuse both the hot and neutral)
The new 100 amp electrical service combines the meter sock, main 100 amp breaker and all the house circuits in on location.

Outlet in base board

Here is another example of an outlet that was falling out of the wall when we arrived on the job. It looks like the outlet it's self was replaced in the 80's but the box and wiring was from around the 50's. Here you can see how the old metal box is rusting up. We ran a new wire to this outlet, replaced the box and installed a new white outlet.
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updating old outlets

This is how we originally found the outlet. It looks like it was install in the 60's judging from the green cloth wire. After years of wear the wood that was holding the outlet in the base board finally rotted away. This is very common in older Philadelphia homes and can lead to a dangerous situation.
Since the outlet was directly over an unfinished basement we were able to fish a new wire to this outlet. We replaced the old metal box with a plastic box. Plastic boxes are great for this application because they will never rust and don't conduct electricity. We then found a new way to brace the box from behind the base board. This installation should be good for another 50 or more years.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Recessed lights

Here are some pic of the standard 120 volt 4 inch recessed light that we use in a lot of homes. As you can see they give off a bright , warm light. These light makes any room more inviting. The lights can be aimed to accents different objects in the room. This will make you home visually more interesting.
You should also notice that we had to damage the ceiling to run the wires. If you look closely on the right you can see where we patched the ceiling. With a little sanding and paint it will look like we were never there.

How do pictures look on a blog

This is our logo. I hope that it is easily recognized around the Philadelphia area. We are working hard to make it to make it a sign that you are working with a professional business that you can trust. If you haven't seen it yet keep looking it will show up by you soon. We are alway running around the city.
It was designed by Joanne hoffman at

How does it look?

This is the first test Blog for Generation 3 Electric. I hope to be able to use the resource to document the week to week activity of our company. Display some of the types of work that we do and answer questions people may have about the electrical in their homes.