Monday, August 29, 2011

Antique tandem and parallel receptacle. circa 1910

If you find this type of plug in you home it is time to call in an electrician





This is the electrical version of Beta vs VHS. This plug can fit both our parallel style plugs and Tandem plugs. The parallel style plugs are the type we use today. The un-grounded type like you would find on a lamp can still operate in an outlet like this. The Tandem style plug has two horizontal flat blades. They fell out of favor in the early part of this century. The tandem parallel combo outlet was still sold in store up to the 1960.


The combo tandem and parallel outlet is now at least 60 years old. In most cases they are over 100 years old. These types of devices are probably original to the home. The wiring behind the wall would then have to be cloth knob and tube un-grounded wiring. Knob and Tube wiring is out dated. It should be replaced.

AC power plugs and sockets

Image via Wikipedia

Now, that we know some of the history of this style of plug. The next question is what to do when you locate them in your home? Remember that electricity is the safest way to transmit power to homes. That is why we no longer have gas lighting. There still is a problem when your electrical system gets neglected. Not replacing old equipment can become dangerous. Plugs and switches should be replaces ever 20 to 30 years.




Steps for repair Old Outlets

1. Check for physical damage. Are the outlet chipped cracked or broken? (Stop using immediately)
2. Look for signs of burning or scoring. Smelling the outlet can tell you if you have a problem.(Stop using immediately)
3. Check to see if you plugs fit in tightly. Loose plugs can cause electrical fires. (Stop using immediately)
4. Are there any three-two prong adapters being use in the socket. (only plug in 2 prong devices like lamps)
5. Remove any high power appliances from these plugs. (IE. Air conditioned, Vacuums, Toasters, Computers)
6. After you make all the above safety check start to put together a plan to rewire the older knob and tube circuits.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Generator Backup for a Philadelphia row home

Portable generators can pose a serious safety hazard if used improperly.


  • Observe the generator manufacturer's instructions for safe operation.
  • Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy duty, outdoor rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.
  • Never plug the generator into a wall outlet.
  • If connecting to the house wiring is necessary to operate a well pump, sump pump, furnace or other hard-wired equipment, have a qualified electrician install a manual transfer switch to prevent backfeed into our lines. The switch protects our workers and the public from getting injured by your power supply, and it prevents damage to your generator, wiring and appliances when power is restored.
  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a generator indoors. Only operate a generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed, or carport.
  • Portable Generator Hook-up to House Wiring




A typical (1) portable generator connection transfers power through heavy duty cable plugged into a (2) power inlet box which acts as a weathertight connection to the (3) manual transfer switch that powers selected circuits of the (4) main distribution panel.




To install a portable generator you need to install a generator transfer switch like pictures below.  With this type of panel you can switch some of your homes circuit off of the power grid and then power them from a local portable generator.


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Bathroom Vanity Lighting

How to light a bathroom vanity



This is the before picture. This bathroom has two wall sconces but they are up high and cannot cast enough light down to the vanity's surface. The wall sconces cast a good light for viewing yourself in the mirror. To fix this problem we add two lights above the sink bowls. 




Here are the finished lights. These are mono point lighting fixtures that were picked out by the client.  They send a light beam directly down to illuminate the sinks. The wall sconces produce a softer light that casts off the wall and is much better for applying make-up or shaving.



The Mono point fixtures are like jeweler for the bathroom. Lighting fixtures can be difficult to pick out for many clients. Recessed light offer a simpler way to achieve the same effect.  Here is a different bathroom with  4 inch recessed light instead of mono. 



How to light a bathroom vanity

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Ceiling Fan light switch and controller

Ceiling fan and light switch wire diagram





  1. 110 volt power supply with a ground. Normally 14/2 or 12/2 wire. 
  2. The green or bare wires always get tied together.
  3. The white wire is the neutral (Return path). There needs to be a strait path back from the load. (Light & Fan) back to the panel.
  4. The fan and light loads.  Red or blue for the light.    Black or yellow for the Fan.
  5. The blue or red wire is the power supply for the light in most  ceiling fans
  6. The 120 volts of the power supply go to the line side of the switch. (Normally Black in color)
  7. The wire for the light are normally pre-wire in the fan. The will have a plug or two marked wire with wire caps in the canopy of the fan. 
  8. The black is the power supply for the fan, in most ceiling fans.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laying out Mono-Rail track lighting and transformers (Guest bedroom)



REMOTECNPY-SC-2C is the flexible connector with 2 circuits that can mount to the wall to feed  the two 300 watt tracks.


Remote Transformer
All Monorail lighting systems require a transformer to convert standard
120 or 277 voltage to a safe-to-touch 12 or 24 volts.
All Remote Transformers are encased in metal housings complete with
mounting feet and conduit knockouts. Typically, you would use a remote
transformer when a cleaner installation appearance is desired. A remote
transformer must be installed in an accessible remote location, the bulkier
ceiling mounted surface transformer is replaced by a power feed canopy
with flexible coaxial power feed cable or direct feed connector.


Remote Transformer 12/600 Magnetic is the shoe box sized trans former that will be mounted lower on the wall in the corrner and can be painted to match the room.


OR

Surface Mounted Transformer 12/600 Magnetic can be mounted on the wall below the crown molding to feed the track.


Surface Transformer

All Monorail lighting systems require a transformer to convert
standard 120 or 277 voltage to a safe-to-touch 12 or 24 volts.
All Surface Mounted Transformers are encased in a finished
metal housing and mount to a standard 4" junction box with
round plaster ring.
Typically, you use a surface transformer when an accessible
location above the ceiling or in a utility closet is unavailable for
installing a remote transformer. Flexible coaxial feeder cleanly and
attractively sends power to your system. 36" length is standard
for our coaxial feeder. It is easily shortened in the field. Consult
factory for longer lengths.
All dual-feed rail connections are separated by an isolating
connector (ISOCONNECTORCL-M included)


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New lighting in a condo

New lighting progress report.



 This is a dining room chandelier in the process of being constructed. Half the bulbs are in and the crystals are next to go on.

Here is the finished chandelier. The crystals looks fantastic on this frame.


 Here are some 6 inch recessed lights that are getting With  graded to LED trims
 New bedroom ceiling fan installed.

Office mono point being installed. There will be a total of 4 of them. All the wires are ran and all that is left is the finish work.


Here are the finished mono point  lights in the office. This is a cool looking way to add task lighting.


Here are the new puck  under cabinet light. lights. The old lights were flourescent and cast a poor yellow light that did not do a good job of showing off the counter tops.



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How many Electricians does it take to install a ceiling fan?

High-end ceiling fan with light built in the blades

This is a unique ceiling fan with a cloth structure that is fashioned into the blade. The light bulb is inside the structure of the blade. This give make a the room a soft light.  It did take a few  electrician to hold the pieces in place so the the fabric could be attached correctly.


 



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Laying out Mono-Rail track lighting and transformers (Living room)


REMOTECNPY-SC-2C is the flexible connector with 2 circuits that can mount to the wall to feed  the two 300 watt tracks.


Remote Transformer
All Monorail lighting systems require a transformer to convert standard
120 or 277 voltage to a safe-to-touch 12 or 24 volts.
All Remote Transformers are encased in metal housings complete with
mounting feet and conduit knockouts. Typically, you would use a remote
transformer when a cleaner installation appearance is desired. A remote
transformer must be installed in an accessible remote location, the bulkier
ceiling mounted surface transformer is replaced by a power feed canopy
with flexible coaxial power feed cable or direct feed connector.


Remote Transformer 12/600 Magnetic is the shoe box sized trans former that will be mounted lower on the wall in the corrner and can be painted to match the room.


OR

Surface Mounted Transformer 12/600 Magnetic can be mounted on the wall below the crown molding to feed the track.


Surface Transformer

All Monorail lighting systems require a transformer to convert
standard 120 or 277 voltage to a safe-to-touch 12 or 24 volts.
All Surface Mounted Transformers are encased in a finished
metal housing and mount to a standard 4" junction box with
round plaster ring.
Typically, you use a surface transformer when an accessible
location above the ceiling or in a utility closet is unavailable for
installing a remote transformer. Flexible coaxial feeder cleanly and
attractively sends power to your system. 36" length is standard
for our coaxial feeder. It is easily shortened in the field. Consult
factory for longer lengths.
All dual-feed rail connections are separated by an isolating
connector (ISOCONNECTORCL-M included)

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Laying out Mono-Rail track lighting and transformers (Master bedroom)

 

REMOTECNPY-SC-2C is the flexible connector with 2 circuits that can mount to the wall to feed  the two 300 watt tracks.


Remote Transformer
All Monorail lighting systems require a transformer to convert standard
120 or 277 voltage to a safe-to-touch 12 or 24 volts.
All Remote Transformers are encased in metal housings complete with
mounting feet and conduit knockouts. Typically, you would use a remote
transformer when a cleaner installation appearance is desired. A remote
transformer must be installed in an accessible remote location, the bulkier
ceiling mounted surface transformer is replaced by a power feed canopy
with flexible coaxial power feed cable or direct feed connector.


Remote Transformer 12/600 Magnetic is the shoe box sized trans former that will be mounted lower on the wall in the corrner and can be painted to match the room.


OR

Surface Mounted Transformer 12/600 Magnetic can be mounted on the wall below the crown molding to feed the track.


Surface Transformer

All Monorail lighting systems require a transformer to convert
standard 120 or 277 voltage to a safe-to-touch 12 or 24 volts.
All Surface Mounted Transformers are encased in a finished
metal housing and mount to a standard 4" junction box with
round plaster ring.
Typically, you use a surface transformer when an accessible
location above the ceiling or in a utility closet is unavailable for
installing a remote transformer. Flexible coaxial feeder cleanly and
attractively sends power to your system. 36" length is standard
for our coaxial feeder. It is easily shortened in the field. Consult
factory for longer lengths.
All dual-feed rail connections are separated by an isolating
connector (ISOCONNECTORCL-M included)

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Broken light bulb in socket fix

Use a wire nut to remove a broken light bulb!!


Diagram showing the major parts of a modern in...Image via Wikipedia



This is how we remove a broken light bulb from a candelabra socket. OK. In the video I did skip one thing. To make this work well you need to loosely fit electrical tape around the head of the wirenut. The tape will bunch up and pull the broken socket out. It just did not film well.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bank owned property needing to be brought up to code.

Getting REO home's electric safe enough for PECO, an underwriter and a cut-in card.



The Main electrical service is open and has wiring that was never installed correctly. This needs to be taken app-art and installed correctly. The main connections need to be checked and the grounding needs to be inspected.








Throughout the basement there are several code and safety violations that need to be corrected. A general inspection and minor basement wire cleaning is needed. All loose wires need to be secured, open junctions need to be closed and non-operational wires need to be removed.





 The living spaces look to be in fair shape with minor electrical problems. There was no power when we looked at the property. We will need to restore power test that all the circuits are operating correctly. Any minor defect we would correct during this process.  Any circuits with major defects will be killed and blanked off so that they will remain safe enough for PECO to restore power to the property.



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