Monday, March 30, 2015

Why Is There A Buzzing Noise Coming From My Electrical Box?

Hearing a strange buzzing sound coming from your electrical panel? This can be alarming especially for an average-Joe homeowner that doesn’t quite have the knowledge of an experienced electrician - and we completely understand. So what exactly is causing the noise? Find out below:

The Problem
The purpose of an electrical box is to harness power coming in from outside and disperse electricity into the various circuits throughout your home. You’ve probably heard about a circuit breaker, and that they blow or trip if there is a fault in the wiring or a short in the circuit. And you are right to expect that under normal conditions the electrical box shouldn’t be making a buzzing sound - but if there is a loose wire or fault, flowing electricity can create a noise.

Testing For A Solution
Trying to pinpoint the exact cause of the noise can be difficult, but here are a few things you can do on your own:
  • Go to your electrical box and flip each of the circuit breakers to the “off” position. This will turn off the electricity in your home.
  • While the electricity is turned off, listen for the buzzing noise. Chances are you won’t hear anything, but if you can it means that it’s coming from an external connection.
  • If you don’t hear the buzzing, turn each breaker switch on one-by-one. If you don’t hear a noise, keep going until you hear the buzzing. This will allow you to identify the circuit that needs some attention.
  • Once you’ve identified the circuit, give your local electrician a call. We don’t recommend going any further to try to fix the problem because electricity is dangerous and can cause severe injuries.

Call on GEN3 Electric for any and all of your electrical service, repair or installation needs. Our trained professionals have been servicing the entire Philadelphia metro area for three generations and we are ready to help you out.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bathroom Lighting Design Inspiration

Did you get ready in the dark? Nobody ever wants to hear these seven words because it probably means you’re not looking your best today - and it may have something to do with the lighting in your bathroom. After all, this is where all of your grooming takes place and inadequate lighting can really prevent you from looking and feeling your best.

But you already have lights in your bathroom, so what the heck are we talking about? We’re talking about the type of fixtures, and the placement of these fixtures, that allow for maximum brightness where you need it most.

The Vanity Mirror
Too often we go into bathrooms that don’t incorporate lighting in the vanity area. This is a big no-no because you need to be able to see your face while shaving and performing other hygiene activities. We recommend a fixture on either side of the mirror.

More Than One Source
One central lighting fixture, whether it’s over the sink or in the middle of the bathroom, is not ideal. Instead, use a combination of high-hats, skylights and fixtures throughout.

Modern vs. Antique
You may be wondering which style is best for your bathroom. There is no right or wrong answer here - choose a style that compliments the rest of your bathroom or one that makes a bold statement. Which ever option you choose, just make sure there’s enough functional lighting so nobody asks you if you got ready in the dark!

Making a decision can be difficult enough, so leave the installation process to GEN3 Electric. We’ve been servicing the electrical needs of the Philadelphia metro area for three generations and there’s no job we can’t handle! Connect with us on Facebook for more lighting updates!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Why You Should Have Your Ceiling Fan Installed By A Pro

Spring has officially sprung so it’s time to dust off those ceiling fans! Looking to spruce up your home for the new season? GEN3 Electric can help by installing a new ceiling fan that adds comfort and decor to any room of your home. But beware, incorrect installation can cause a disaster!

When you think about a ceiling fan as blades spinning at high speeds above your head, it makes sense that they should be installed by a professional. Weighing more than most ceiling fixtures, the weight of a fan can cause its bracket to break down over time which cause the fan to fall or hang by its electrical wires. Why is this bad? Other than the fact that it can fall and cause destruction, it can also cause an electrical fire.

In order for a ceiling fan to be considered installed correctly, it must:
  1. Have an approved fixture box designed to support the weight of the fan.
  2. The fixture box must be attached to supported structure components such as wood ceiling joists or wood blocks fastened to the joists.

It’s also important to keep in mind that where a box is used as the sole support for a ceiling paddle fan, the fan must not weigh more than 35 pounds. Otherwise they must be supported independently of the outlet box.

Eliminate potential safety hazards by having GEN3 Electric install your ceiling fans this season. Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Steps for Knob and Tube Wiring Investigation:

Knob and Tube Inspection

Your friendly Neighborhood Electricians

Checking for all areas controlled by knob and tube wiring can be a tricky prospect.  You should ask yourself some questions:

  1. Is the home's wiring original?
  2. Has there been decades of changes, and additions? 
  3. Was the home professional maintained or updated by past owners & "Handy" men?

Original Knob and Tube Fuse Box
 These are important considerations especially if those alterations were performed over many years by not-so-qualified individuals, which is more than likely the case.

  1. Check for visible knob and tube wiring which is obvious in unfinished basements, attics and crawlspaces.  Once you have an idea of where the obvious wiring is, trace out which breakers are controlling these wires.  (A voltage tester is needed)Shut off those breakers and test to verify the visible wiring is now off.
  2. Search out the rest of the ungrounded receptacles both, two and 3 prong, and switches which are still powered. Look for older light switches, especially the 2 button type.  Look inside those boxes.  If there is old cloth 2 conductor "feeder" wire, actual knob and tube, or modern newer "romex" wiring without a functioning ground wire, turn off circuits until those get deactivated as well.
  3. Don't get fooled if you see new romex on any of those old knob and tube circuits.  New romex fed by knob and tube is still, most likely, ungrounded and offers no benefit of modern wiring.
  4. Turn off the power, After locating both the visible and concealed ungrounded wiring feeds and shutting those breakers off, now is time to count up the areas affected.
  5. Remove effected breaker. Remember, the best way to "remove" knob and tube wiring from your home is to have the areas controlled by knob and tube rewired new.

Un-grounded Outlet
New outlet Old Wire
Tester shows No Ground
No Power, On Knob & Tube Circuit. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Start Saving Electricity With Energy Efficient Appliances

Ever wonder how much you’re actually paying to keep your major appliances running? Better yet, think about how much you could be saving if you upgraded them to energy efficient models. If you have appliances that over 12 years old, it’s time for an upgrade today!

Before you go shopping for new appliances, there are a few things you need to know:
  1. Look for the Energy Star Label: looking for the most energy efficient options? Energy Star products are the most efficient in every category and you can even be eligible for rebates.
  2. Understand the EnergyGuide Label: just because an appliance has one of these labels doesn’t necessarily mean it’ the most efficient. All new appliances must be equipped with this label as it allows you to compare the typical amount of energy used by this piece of equipment on a yearly basis.
  3. Think ahead: although energy efficient models often cost more money upfront, the amount you will save on your energy bills will outweigh the costs. In addition to saving energy, new appliances such as washing machines and dryers also use less water than older models.

Still not convinced about upgrading your energy-guzzling appliances. Contact the expert electricians at GEN3 Electric and we’ll be able to answer any electrical-related questions you may have.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Perfect Lighting Solutions For Each Room Of Your Home

Ever hear of the saying “one size fits all”? That may be the case with certain things, but definitely not when it comes to lighting fixtures. Each room of your home serves a different purpose, right? So why use the same lighting design throughout? Find out some of the best lighting options for each room of your house below:

Living/Family Rooms
In a room where you spend long periods of time with friends and family engaging in activities like watching TV, reading or enjoying a conversation it’s important to incorporate the concept of layering light. Instead of recessed lighting try using fixtures that bounce light off the ceiling. A few options we love include cove and valance lighting with fluorescent bulbs.

Chances are you don’t cook or prepare food in the living room right? So why use the same lighting fixtures in your kitchen? The kitchen is a room of the house that requires task lighting as well as ambient lighting if it also serves as a gathering place. Locating your sink near a window allows you to take full advantage of natural light, but it should also be accompanied by a recessed or ceiling mounted fixture so you’re not left in the dark when the sun goes down. We also recommend taking advantage of under-cabinet lights (UCLs) to make the most of your countertop space.

Because grooming is a major activity that takes place in the bathroom, it’s important to have adequate lighting that won’t cast a shadow. Stay away from central ceiling fixtures and focus your attention towards lighting fixtures on either side of the mirror.

Ready to make some lighting upgrades? Is it time to redesign the lighting plan in your home? Give GEN3 Electric a call today to schedule an appointment or to speak with an expert electrician to discuss further.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

GEN3 Electric Testimonial Spotlight: March

Tired of hiring electricians that are unprofessional, don’t have experience or simply can’t get the job done? That will never be the case with GEN3! We have been servicing the entire Philadelphia metro area for three generations and have been voted Philadelphia Magazine’s Best Electrician. Still not confident? See what our customers have said about our work below:

"I was amazed by how quickly you were able to completely rewire my house and to install all of my light fixtures. Everything looks fantastic! I'll definitely recommend you to my friends looking for electrical and lighting work!"

Kristine, Society Hill

"Excellent service and work! Timely and responsive! If any of my friends need an electrician I will definitely pass your card to them."

Jennifer, Rittenhouse Square

"Clone your professionalism, service, etc."

Grace, Old City

"Very prompt and responsive service. Honest pricing. Excellent customer service. Thank you!"

Lisa, Northeast Philadelphia

So the next time you need electrical service, installations or repairs there’s only one call you need to make - GEN3 Electric! Share your experience with us on Facebook or Google+, we’d love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Serving The Philadelphia Metro Area For 3 Generations!

Trained electricians: check. Repairs, installations and maintenance: check. Family owned and operated for three generations: check. When you choose GEN3 Electric you can rest assured that you’ll receive the highest quality service from a company that puts 100% customer satisfaction as our top priority.

What else can you expect when you choose GEN3? Well, our expert electricians understand any issues you have with electric and lighting in your home. For three generations, we’ve been servicing the entire Philadelphia metro area and although we may not be the cheapest, you will get a job done right!

We also strongly support our community and the environment by making donations to Red Cross Relief, The University City District and Drexel University’s Lighting Lab.

So the next time you need electrifying service, call on GEN3 Electric! You will never get a machine when calling our office; a friendly voice will always be there to assist you.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What Is The Difference Between A Grounded And Ungrounded Outlet?

What’s the difference between a grounded and an ungrounded outlet? Can you tell the difference? There’s a few telltale signs that you should be aware of that will help keep you and your family safe!

Look for the smiley face! A grounded outlet has 3 prongs that look like a face. Before 1960, it was common for electricians to install ungrounded outlets in homes and in buildings. An ungrounded outlet is one that has 2 holes instead of 3 and consists of 2 conductor wiring. Ungrounded outlets have caused a great deal of problems in these older homes and upgrading to a grounded outlet is strongly recommended.

So what is the safest solution to your 2 prong problem? According to current NEC code standards, “a grounding type receptacle (three prong) shall be connected to a functioning equipment grounding conductor. Nothing can actively ground a receptacle without running a new wire.”

The only way to guarantee that your outlets are grounded and up to code is to have them rewired by a professional electrician. to find out more about the safety hazards of ungrounded outlets or to upgrade to grounded outlets, contact GEN3 Electric today!