Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who Did It??????

Category:Electrical Wiring in the Home
Subject:Ceiling fan remotes
Question:We have 2 ceiling fans, 5 years old, which all of a sudden the remote controls do not work. We have replaced the batteries, no help.One of the fans has a control pad on the wall, it works fine.
Is there something that could have happened that knocked them both out? Also, we have a gas fireplace, it also has a remote and it is not responding. any ideas would be helpfull. One more strange thing happened about 2 weeks ago, the smoke alarms suddenly started going off and we could not figure out why? the house is only 5 years old. this is frustrating. thanks

Answer:Hi Janice,

That does sound frustrating. It is odd to lose two fans at the same time and have a smoke detector go off. My guess is that there was a power surge on that circuit. It damaged the electronics in your fans receiver. You may just need some one to replace the remote control units in the fans.

There could also be a simpler answer. Do you have any kids? If they were messing with your remotes they could have changed the setting on your remote's dip switches. Fan remotes have tiny switches under the batteries that need to be set to match the tiny switches inside the fan. Kids sometimes play with the settings and then do admit to it. (Husband do this too). That could explain how both switches went bad.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Space heater did this

Plug strips are not always the answer. There comes a time in every home where your electrical need have out grown the homes design. This damaged plug strip could have easily started a fire that could has burnt down the home. Small electrical problems can turn into big losses of property.
Think of the age of your electrical safety equipment. Then think back to the year it was installed. Did cars have seat belts? How about air bags? We have made huge improvements in the auto industry. The samething it true about the safety of your homes electrical system. The only difference is homes don't get replaced as often.
Home should have their circuit breaker box updated every 30 years and wiring replaced every 60 years. 30 years ago cars were just getting airbags. A 60 year old person is looking at retirement. At 60 of age your old electrical wiring needs to retire too.

My garage that keeps tripping

Category:Electrical Wiring in the Home

Subject:GFCI outlet
I have a GFCI oulet in my garage that keeps tripping every year that I have my outdoor Christmas lights on that same circuit. But it does it more than ever this year. Is it possible that the GFCI outlet is worn out and needs replacing? What I'd really like to do is replace it with a regular one so this can't happen anymore. Is that acceptable?

Hi Andrew,

Yes GFCI can get worn out. The should be replaced every so often. I would recommend that they be replaced every ten years along with your smoke detectors. That could solve your problem but I'm thinking your problem is something else.

GFCI's trip for a reason. They trip when electricity is leaking out of your circuit. You should take a look at your outside lights. Is the wiring damaged? Is water getting into you plugs? The GFCI is there to alert you to a dangerous condition. You don't want to by pass this safety feature The GFCI is doing it's job by truing off the power to a circuit that is leaking electricity in to the environment. Now the real trick is to find the problem with your Christmas lights.

Friday, December 24, 2010

strange odor from outlet

Questioner:joseph federico
Category:Electrical Wiring in the Home

Subject:strange odor from outlet
Question:I have a "fishy" odor coming from my downstairs bathroom. It stumped me at first since it only happens after sunset. I finally narrowed it down. The stink is coming from my electrical outlet in the bathroom.The reason that it happens only after sunset? That is when I turn on my outside Christmas decorations! Apparently, the bathroom outlet is on the same circuit as the outdoor outlets that the decorations are plugged into. The bathroom outlet gets very warm to the touch even though nothing is plugged into it. Can you explain why this is happening? We have had the same decorations outside for many years. This has never happened before. Is it a fire hazard? I though a breaker would trip before a real problem arose. Most of the decorations are miniature lights. There are a couple of items with 60 watt bulbs and 1 100 watt spotlight.

Answer:Hi Joseph,

Yes!!! This is dangerous!!!! The Fish smell that you are smelling is probably the plastic in your outlet melting. This is not a good situation but I'm glade to hear that you located early. Don't plug you decorations in until this is repaired.

The connections on outlet can go bad after time. Temperature changes loosen up the metal parts on your electrical system and occasionally they loosen. A loose connection in your bathroom is probably sparking in your wall every time you turn on your outside lights.

Older style circuit breakers can not detect this problem. Newer arch-fault breaker would sense this problem.

Good luck and have a safe and happy holiday

Bill Lutz
Generation 3 Electric, Inc.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Everything you wanted to know about wires

Handymen are not electricians

Here is a video that shows a common mistake handymen do to electrical panels.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Good bye to unmarked truck

Two new trucks to better serve the Philadelphia area's electrical needs

Generation 3 electric has just leased two new truck. We will no longer have any unmarked trucks. We want everyone to see us and know that we are proud of the work we do. We are planing to be around here for a while. We you do business with us you will have a company that will be able to back our work in the years to come.

Track lighting

Accent lighting in the Society Hill Towers.

Here is a a track lighting job done by Todd W in the Society Hill Towers 19106 in down town Philadelphia. Lighting in high rise condos can be a challenge for home owners and contractors. With concrete ceiling and condo rule we have to come up with creative solutions. Here the track lighting really brings this room to life.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Panel Tune Ups Save Money

This is a circuit breaker that mechanically seized up and then over heated. This circuit breaker was no longer protecting wires that were connected to this circuit. This problem was caught on time. The circuit was replace for a minimal cost and no father damage occurred. A small problem like this left unchecked could causer you thousands of costly repairs or worse.

Best way to avoid a problem like this to have a trained electrician come out to you home and preform a basic safety inspection every few years. We call this service a PANEL TUNE UP

Friday, December 3, 2010

Anyone know about the electric car charging station in Philly??

I noticed this the other day at Del AVE and Tasker in south Philadelphia. Does anyone know anything about it.? What car is it to designed to charge?

Extension cord nightmares

This is a bad situation. The heater can draw more power then that cord is designed to carry. As the cord gets older it can start to heat up until l it turns red hot. NEVER plug extension cords into heaters!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4 gang meter socket

This is a 4 gang meter socket that was replaced. Below the meter socket as 3 existing disconnects for apartments and a 20 circuit panel. You can see the the panel is rusted and will be going bad next. We normally find it better to replace all the equipment at once for home owners. In apartments and investment properties owner often do only parts to save money.
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Under cabinet lights

Don't invest in a tile back splash and a granite counter top and not light it up. Under cabinet lights add value to your kitchen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Electric Bathtub???????

Look at what an electrician can find in your home. This bath tube is hooked into the electrical system. A handy man was using the pipe as a wire. It works until something goes bad and then the electricy will be free to find a different path. I would not want to be in that tub.

Bill Lutz teaching the Technitions

This is Bill Lutz of Generation 3 Electric. He is showing the electricians different ways to take pictures on their Iphone. One of the guys tested it on him. Now the we can document our work. This way we can better server out clients by taking out the mystery of what their option are. We can do that, We have done that, Let us show you what your new lights could look like!!