Saturday, January 29, 2011

Funny Fake Sign

Do you have a Sad Ceiling fan?

Let Generation 3 Electric give your room a face lift with a new ceiling fan and new clean and shinny outlets. How about Dimmers, Dimmers Dimmers? They are mood changers. They also go great with new LED recessed lights and Save Money and Save Energy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brass Floor outlets

Floor outlets

Hard wood floors and brass floor outlet are a great combo. These classy and timeless sockets coming extremely handy as an option for adding outlets where wall outlet would be inconvenient. Some situations where brass floor outlets become the best solution for an electric need are:

A setting arrangement where there are no walls around. This often happend in living room where with walk ways behind the couch. Floor outlet allow you to have electric for lamps without creating a tripping hazard.

Some houses have solid party walls. It would be a big mess to cut into a solid wall. A floor outlet can be added to the wall next to the wall. The wire can be ran in the basement and no damage will have to be done.

floor outlet

floor outlet
floor outlet
floor outlet

Ceiling Fans and The Right Box

Ceiling Fan

Installing Electrical Wiring Boxes for Ceiling Fans and >Ceiling Fan BoxPaddle Fan

Electrical Codes for Ceiling Fan Support

Ceiling fans weigh more than most ceiling fixtures. Therefore ceiling fans must be supported properly to prevent them from falling.
To properly install a ceiling fan and provide the necessary support there are two methods that must be followed:
An approved fixture box designed to support the weight of the ceiling fan must me installed.
The fixture box must be attached to supported structure components such as wood ceiling joists or wood blocks that are properly fastened between two ceiling joists. Approved ceiling fixture boxes that have expandable bar hanging devices can be used when installed by following the instructions supplied by the manufacturer.

ceiling fan box
ceiling fan box

ceiling fan box
ceiling fan box
ceiling fan box
ceiling fan box

Electrical Boxes for Ceiling Paddle Fan

Where a box is used as the sole support for a ceiling paddle fan, the box must be listed for this purpose and include the weight of the fan.

Ceiling paddle fans not in excess of 35 lb. can be supported directly to an outlet box that is identified for this purpose [422.18(A)].

Ceiling paddle fans exceeding 35 lb. must be supported independently of the outlet box, unless the box is listed to support the weight of the fan [422.18(B)]. Figure 314-5

Electrical Boxes for Ceiling Paddle Fan

Where a box is used as the sole support for a ceiling paddle fan, the box must be listed for this purpose and include the weight of the fan.

Ceiling paddle fans not in excess of 35 lb. can be supported directly to an outlet box that is identified for this purpose [422.18(A)].

Ceiling paddle fans exceeding 35 lb. must be supported independently of the outlet box, unless the box is listed to support the weight of the fan [422.18(B)]. Figure 314-5

My Mom emailed me this Alert!!!

Below is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom. I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes. Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of the ballast like a blow torch! I immediately turned off the lights. But I'm sure it would have caused a fire if I was not right there. Imagine if the kids had left the lights on as usual when they were not in the room.
I took the bulb to the Fire Department to report the incident. The Fireman wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence. Apparently, sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a chance that the ballast can start a fire. He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs.

Upon doing some Internet research,
it seems that bulbs made by Globe in China seem to have the lions share of problems. Lots of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot lights, dimmers or in track lighting. Mine was installed in a normal light socket.

I bought these at Wal-Mart. I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house. CFL bulbs are a great energy saver but make sure you buy a name brand like Sylvania , Phillips or GE and not the ones from China .

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ceiling Fan Noise

Category:Electrical Wiring in the Home
Subject:Ceiling Fan Noise
Question:"I have a number of ceiling fans with lights (no dimmer switches) throughout my 12 year old double story house. Ever since installing the fans (not all are the same makes or models and some 6 months after the others) they all make the same high pitched pulsating "singing" sound. All the fans do it and all at the SAME TIME (synchronized). The singing noise is quite rhythmical and sounds electrical based (sort of like a UFO hovering sound from a bad sci-fiction movie). The noise only occurs every now and then (normally a few times a day) and is quite loud especially when everybody is asleep. If one fan is turned off whilst the noise is occurring you can still hear the other fans upstairs still "singing". The noise varies in length and can last for up to 30 seconds but normally only goes for around ten to twenty seconds. It's enough to scare our 3 year old at night. Please help."
Answer:Hi Matt,

Wow, that sound annoying. Do you live close to a big antenna? Say a TV station or Radio? That can dot. Large power line close by could do that as well. If not I would have someone install a surge protector on your panel and maybe even a power factor corrector.

Floor outlet

This the bottom side of a newly installed floor outlet, the advantage of there outlets are that you can have them installed in the middle of the room, so cords for devices do not lay across the floor

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tip: Loose electrical connection

The most common problem we find with DYIer and handymen is loose connections. This video will show you one such connection. All the wiring is done correctly but a person lacking experience could over look a connection like this and cause all sorts of problems. The problem here is everything will work. A home owner will never know there is a problem but when the connections are not tight there are some hidden problems that can occur.

1. You electricity will not have a smooth pathway around the circuit. This is equivalent to banging water pipes. The presure will go up and down. You will not be able to hear or see it but your electronics will.

2. Arching, sparking and heat build-up. Are all things that can occur around poor electrical connections. They are also one part of the fire triangle. All you will need to start a fire would be oxygen and fuel. If this loose connection was in a drafty location and next to wood you could see a fire starting.

Doing electrical work is not something that most people can pick up out of a book. I hope this video and blog help to keep people safe.

200 amp service Disconnect

This is a 200 amp disconnect. You need to have a way to shut off the electricity with in 5 feet of you service entering your home. Here we had a client that had a garage at the location where the service entered the home. This was not a convenient location for the client to access their circuit breakers. In this situation we were able to install this 100amp disconnect and then move the main breaker box to a location that was more convenient.

This is a picture of the new panel going in. We use a high quality panel for our services. This on you can clearly see the copper bus bar. The buss bare is where all your circuit breaker make their connections to the main power grid. The breakers act as a safety switch between the electric company's power and your homes circuits.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Old service in need of an up-date.

Poor Electrical Foundation

This is an electrical service that has been rearranged several time making a confusing and difficult to trace. This pane, which is to the right of the entry of the building, looks like it is being fed from the troth below it. It is in reality being feed from the service on the other side of the wall.

Here is the panel on the other side of the wall that is feeding the panel to the right of the door way. This panel is around 60 to 70 years old. It should be up dater and it should not be use to feed the added load of the panel on the other side of the wall.

The panel by the door has another problem. The label on the cover says it has an A,B,C input. That mean that it was designed to be a 3phase panel. Looking at the cover you can see how someone tried to make this panel work with a single

Here you can see unprotected 100 amp electrical cable jumping back and forth between the services. The panels here are sub-panels off the main service. The cable being used is not only unprotected it also dosen't have the required ground and neutral separation.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This is Pete one of our Technicians. He is a super nice guy even with that accent and fuzzy caterpillar on his lip.

Fishing down a wall

An example of early knob and tube wiring. Cera...Image via Wikipedia

Here is a plaster wall that we fished down to re-feed an outlet. The old outlet was out dated. The wire was knob and tube. The new wire will be coming down from the light fixture. There is a large hole on either side of the original plaster crown molding. This is done to save the original plaster work. Half way down the wall there is another hole because this wall has a fire break at that location. Al the holes will be plastered over and will look like new after the painters finish.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Replace Knob and Tube

Here is some new wires going in to replace Knob and Tube. This house had a fire block on the wall that we had to go around. The top plate was opened and drilled out. This will all be patched and look like new after it is painted.

Knob and Tube

Here is a vertical chase way that was opened up in this plaster and lath wall. It will be used to run new circuits that will bring this home up to date. Interesting part of this picture is the old knob and tube wire is still on the stud. You can visually compare how much new wires are need to replace the old Knob and Tube wire.

Chad and Dave

Here is Chad and Dave going over a house rewire. We are removing all the knob and tube. One clean hole was cut in the ceiling to run the wires. It will be patched and the house will look great. It will also be up to date with new electric.

Truck with Shadow

I was trying to get some good photos of our truck. The tree had a different idea.

Truck in West Philly

Here is one of our new trucks out in west Philly

Ipads help us share

Here is one tech sharing a lighting layout with another tech. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Now we are better able to share our idea with our clients and each other. We become better at our jobs when we are able to share our group experiences. This is a win/win situation. I'm proud of the to promote this type of learning here.

Ipads help us do your jobs better!!!

Here is a drawing that our tech did of a customer on his Ipad

Service SideKick is getting even better

I love this operations software. It is a Saas program that work over the internet. It is amazing how web apps can make running a small business so much better. We care about our customers and SSK helps us to keep track of all your information. This way anyone in our organization can better service their needs. I would recommend this software to any small business that want to offer their customer top notch client care.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Steel cased electrical service.

@200 amp electrical service in Philadelphia Pa

Here is an electrical service riser. It is covered in steel conduit all the way up the wall. This is a good option for several reasons. First the steel will protect the cable fro all types of costly damage. Sun will destroy the outer jack of a service cable and lessen the cable life. Some place vandals can damage the cables. Here in this situation the cable is protected. If this home owner want to have the home re-stuccoed or house re-pointed the the cable in conduit will be protected from construction damage.

Steel all the way up to the weather head

This is a riser cable that is completely cover by a steel conduit. You can see the weather heat at the top of the pipe. This where the home owners responsibility stops and the electric company's starts.

Mike J

Here is Michael J in South Philly cleaning up after a installing a new electrical service

New panel

Close up shot of an US electrical meter 000 0027Image via Wikipedia

Here is a pic of a new electric panel being installed. To the right you can see the meter socket without an electrical meter. The power comes in the top from the electric company and out the bottom to the electrical panel.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 3, 2011

Replacing old circuit breakers

You answered this question on 01/03/11

Category:Electrical Wiring in the Home
Subject:Replacing old circuit breakers
Question:We recently bought a new home and during the home inspection the inspector said some of the circuit breakers need to be replaced as they look a little corroded. It is an older GE Box and has 1 inch double pole circuit breakers (both 15 and 20 amp) that have a single wedge in the back where it fits into the box (similar to the GE THQL 1120 - 20 amp single pole). I went to various hardware stores and one said they don't carry that style in a double pole because of liability issues. All I could find in 1 inch double pole 15 and 20 amps are the THQP215 and the THQP220, which have a different back and will not fit into my breaker box. Does GE still manufacture this old style of circuit breaker? If so, where can I find it? If not, since I do not have any more room in the box, does this mean I will have to replace the entire breaker box?

Answer:Hi Sanders, With out looking at it I would believe that you will be better off in the long run with a new electrical service. For your description it sounds like your electrical service is over 30 to 40 years old. That is about the life expectancy of this type of equipment. In that time there has been lots of changes to how and what we use electrically in our home. I would consult some local electricians about having this vital piece of safety equipment brought up to date. It should not break the bank and will save you time and aggravation. New equipment may even save you money because it is more reliable and you will not have to keep on putting band aides on a broken electrical service.