Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Electrician on Relocation

This is Steven. He worked for Generation 3 Electric for 1 1/2 years. In that time he learned many practical skills from the basic installation of electrical circuits, to the more complicated troubleshooting of branch circuits and tracing and repairing mis-wired knob and tube wiring(handymen love to cut and splice and wonder why the light bulbs get really really bright).
So Steve, we all here hope that you do well in Portland. If you miss us you can always install a 200 amp service with a 40 circuit panel and a surge protector to remember us by. Bon Voyage!

GFI Switch

Here in Philadelphia we have a lot of older homes. Most of the older bathrooms don't have GFCI outlets. In most cases the switch can be swap out with a switch GFCI combo at minimal expense. It also make a good DIY project. It is not the same or as good as a direct line but it is much better then no outlet. Warning: Some older home have lights with built in outlet. They are not GFCI protected and can be dangerous.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Here is a new set of dimmers we added for a resent client. If you look closely on the right side of each dimmer you can see the little control that sides you and down to control the light level. We have had call backs with dimmer once because the the slider is so discrete the clients could not find it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Unexpected electrical complications

Sometimes a homeowner may not know the full extent of the work which needs to be done until well after starting the project. In the early rehab stages whether for flipping or rental purposes, sometimes 'unexpected complications' may arise which, although unfortunate at times, is all part of any total reconstruction project. When removing paneling from walls and in removing drop ceilings, keep in mind that electrical boxes, outlets, switches, and light fixtures all must be attached to proper NEC (National Electric Code) approved boxes. At times, these devices may be connected to the structures being removed. While not a serious problem for a professional to correct, it can be a homeowners nightmare when planning minor cosmetic repairs to later find sparking electrical devices literally hanging from threads.

Ohm's Law

Here is a simple chart that give you the relationship between Amp, Watts, Volts and Ohm. With these formulas you can answer most electrical questions.

Fancy track lighting

Here is the track that I showed every one last week with some of the track heads being placed on it. There are pendent over the dining room table making something like a hanging crystal chandelier and two by the couch acting like reading lights.
Also hidden along the track are little spot light that can be aimed to accent art works and furniture. These tracks can be controlled by two separate switches. That way the pendant light which are acting as task lights and the spot lights which are acting as accent light can be dimmed to different levels.

Creative solutions

He is where experience come into play. The original plans for this job called for two transformer to be placed above the fire place. As you can see this in not an an attractive way to power this high end track lighting system.
Mike worked out a way to install 4 remote transformers inside the cavity of this decorative fire place surround. electrician


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gold star park

A few week ago I was at a meeting with the Friends of Gold Star park. They were looking for ways to get the community more involved in the park. Their main problem was the lack of ways to communicate with the people who used the park. They have the intention of installing a large community bulletin board for this purpose. The funding for that Bulletin is still out of their reach.
I discussed this problem with Neal Herzog of sign-A-Rama whom I worked with on different projects. He came up with the idea of installing a starter community bulletin board. We have donated this smaller bulletin to the Friends of Gold Star Park . Hopefully it will help this neighborhood get even stronger.
I live in South Philadelphia so it is not a big deal for me to care about my the community I live in. Neal, who lives in New Jersey and has a store in old city deserves an extra big thank you. That was a very kind gesture.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

David Eckroth Insurance

This my insurance agent David Eckroth. I'm happy to have him looking out for the interest of me, my employees and my clients. He has been great to work with and I would recommend him to anyone.

The man who taught everything I know.

Here is the man who taught me everything I know or so he tells me. He had me work with electricity before I was even a teenager. He knew that he could not get in trouble with child labor laws as long as he did not pay me. In the end I'm glad he did that for me he taught me how to work. Don't mind his grumpiness. After I struck it out on my own he has been a bit grumpy. I think it is his way of saying I miss you.


The President of Generation 2

This is my mother and the President of Standard Electrical Contracting Services INC. Along with the running the back end of a contracting company it was her responsibility to raise me. Not an easy task as I sure she would tell you. Mom, If you read this I love you and hope you had a good Mothers day.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Chad at his desk

This is an unusual site. Chad busy working at his desk. He is normally around town help out different clients. It good to see Chad having a chance to catch up on his emails and paper work.


Our First TV Add

This it the first TV add we ever air on the CW. In general the add went well. It was a fun experience and I'm looking forward to doing it again.
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

More Good reviews, Thank you

Find more reviews go to our main web site: www.generation3electric.com

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lighting sculpture

Here is a cool installation that we have been working on. It is in a Philadelphia high rise condo. The rails are really electric track the will hold light fixtures. The lights are still on back order. I will post new pictures when they come in, I promise. We did have the light for the hallway.
Check out our web site:

The end box in an undergrounc electrical service

In the city of Philadelphia may of the electrical services enter under ground. This is a picture of an electrical end box. This is the point where the electric company stops taking responsibility and the home owner picks it up. They are dangerous and should not be opened by home owners. You can see the burn marks on this one. The wire went bad inside the box and blew a hole through this steel cover. That is scary even to me. The new connections are insulated with new tape so that will not happen again.

Find out more about ua at: http://www.generation3electric.com/
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Under Cabinet lighting makes a great night light.

Here is a kitchen we recently added under cabinet lighting to. This is a great way to light your kitchen at night when you are not really using it. If all you need is to run into the kitchen for a quick drink this is a pleasant way to do it. It is also great to light your work surface when you are preparing food. This add so much to a kitchen I can't see why anyone would choose not to do it.
Find out more about ua at: http://www.generation3electric.com/

Sometime you just need to clean up your service

We see this all the time in Philadelphia. People keep on adding to an existing electrical service until it looks like a wired monster. The bad part about it is if you have a problem it becomes harder to find. Especially in an emergency. I would have to think for a second before I knew which breakers needed to be shut off if something went wrong. The second problem with this is, with this many layers you increases you chances that something will go wrong. Every now and again you have to clean house
Find out more about ua at: http://www.generation3electric.com/
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New panel with out the Rust!!

When an electrical panel has this much rust on it, it becomes necessary to have that panel replaced before serious problems occur. Rust makes for poor electrical connections and it was only a mater of time before something went wrong here.

A GFCI outlet was added next to the panel for general use. The panel was labeled so that the home owner can find out what breaker controls which section of their home. Also, you should notice all the extra space there is in the new panel for future growth. We also increased the size of board behind the panel for future use.


Find out more about ua at: http://www.generation3electric.com/

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wall wash lighting

He is a room that we recently added some 4 inch recessed lights to. We aimed them in a way that lit up this entire two story wall. If you look along the stairs you can see the path we took to get the wire to the light and how it looked after we patched it. With some paint the wall will look like new.
Check out our web page at: http://www.generation3electric.com/

Friday, May 2, 2008

Handy men are not Electricians

Here are some pics of some really bad work that I came across on the net. We see stuff like this all the time. In order to save money people hire the wrong "electrician" or let handy men and carpenters do their work. If the work is not done correctly you not saving money your just paying for wasted time and could be putting your self in danger. He is a good case of a penny saved and a dollar lost.
Vist our main website for more info.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

60's Wires Have Grounding but they may not be Attached

In the late 1950 and 1960 ground wires were introduced to residential. They were not always used properly. You can find this a lot in the Philadelphia area. I don't think many electrician knew what to do with this third wire. It is sort of like that seat belt my grand dad never wore.
If you have connections at your panel that look like this you should have your electric checked because it could be made safer.

How a three-way switch works.

I found a nice animation at this web site http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switchoutlet/3way/. It show the three states of a three way switch really simply. Basically a three way switch has only three possible positions. This is diff rent from a basic switch that has two positions - open or closed. A three way switch can have two connections on the red wire and the light goes on, It can have two connections on the black wire light goes on or it can have one connection on the black , one on the red and the light will be off. Turning any one switch will either turn the light on or off.

How a single pole switch works

This is a basic light switch. When the switch is on a mechanical connection links the two screws on the switch together and power flows to the light. When the switch is off that link is broken and no power makes it to the light.
Vist our main website for more info.