An Overview of Short Circuits and What Your Response Should Be

Short Circuits It’s not all that uncommon for homeowners to be forced to deal with short circuits in their electrical systems. However, short circuits should not be taken lightly. If you ever experience a short circuit in your home, it’s a good idea to have an electrician come out to make the necessary repairs. Here is a brief overview of what short circuits are, what they’re caused by, and how they can affect you.

What exactly is a short circuit?

A short circuit in your electrical system takes place when a wire that’s carrying an electrical current comes into contact with another wire or portion of a circuit, thus giving the electrical current a less resistant path than before. It brings the distance between two conductive points down and results in more heat being produced by the electricity.

What causes a short circuit?

Short circuits in your electrical system can be caused by any number of things. If your electrical wires aren’t insulated properly, it could cause a short circuit. Short circuits can also be caused by loose connections in your system and pests that have chewed through wires. Older appliances can also cause short circuits to occur.

Why is a short circuit dangerous?

Short circuits in your electrical system are dangerous because they allow for larger amounts of electricity to run throughout your home. That electricity can generate a lot of heat and lead to a fire if you don’t have short circuits fixed. Short circuits can also force you to make costly repairs to appliances and damage other electrical equipment.

Don’t ignore the signs of a short circuit in your home. Always on Electric can make short circuits a thing of the past by inspecting your electrical system and repairing it. Call us at 970-309-2616 to schedule an appointment if you suspect short circuits could be present in your electrical system.

The Benefits of a Lighting Retrofit

Commercial Lighting Retrofits Does it feel like you’re paying too much money each month to use the lighting in your commercial property? Lighting retrofits from a reputable electrician could make all the difference in the world. By replacing some of the components in your electrical system, you can cut down on the amount of energy you’re using to light up your business and save yourself money in the process. Check out some of the other benefits of lighting retrofits below.

Lighting retrofits will provide better lighting for your business.

Are you unhappy with the lighting in your business right now? It could be because of the poor quality of lighting that is currently installed. Lighting retrofits will offer you the chance to upgrade your lighting in a matter of just a day or so. You’ll be able to make life easier on yourself, your employees, and your customers or clients with your improved lighting.

They’ll force you to do less lighting maintenance.

If you have older lighting installed in your business, you probably have to replace bulbs and do other electrical work on a fairly routine basis. Nevertheless, with lighting retrofits, those things will be ancient history. Lighting retrofits will cut down on the maintenance you have to do to your lights and reduce the amount of money you spend on replacing bulbs every year.

They’ll be a lot better for the environment.

Most businesses today are making a push to become more eco-friendly. If that’s one of your goals, lighting retrofits will make it possible for you and your company to “go green.” Outside of trimming your energy costs every month, it’ll also show other people and businesses that you’re committed to running a responsible business that cares about the environment.

Generally, lighting retrofits are a great idea for any business. Call Always on Electric at 970-309-2616 today to take advantage of our commercial electrical services.

Electrical Safety Tips for Farmers

Electrical Tips for Farmers Did you know farming is actually one of the most dangerous jobs in the entire country? Farmers are routinely subjected to all kinds of danger, including danger involving electricity. There are approximately 60 farm workers who are electrocuted every year. Fortunately, there are some simple safety tips you can follow to protect yourself and your farm. Learn about them below.

Look out for power lines when using heavy equipment.

Are there power lines running close to your farm? If so, it’s imperative for you to be careful when operating heavy equipment around them. There are many pieces of equipment, including dump trucks and grain augers, that can get tangled up in power lines and cause serious injuries or even death.

Avoid placing grain bins too close to power lines.

If you have power lines near your farm and you’re looking to install a grain bin somewhere on it, you should place the grain bin far from the lines. Most states require farmers to make sure power lines are about 20 feet above the tallest point of a grain bin. But if possible, you should steer clear of putting a grain bin near power lines at all.

Make sure electric fences are serviced regularly.

Many farms are equipped with electric fences that are used to keep animals contained. While these fences can come in handy, they can also pose a threat to farm workers and the animals themselves if they’re not operating properly. You should have electric fences inspected and serviced on a regular basis to make sure you don’t have an unsafe current running through them.

Work with licensed electricians whenever you do electrical work.

Whether you’re installing an electric fence or adding electrical outlets to a barn, you should always, always, always work with a licensed electrician while doing it. They will take the necessary steps to help you avoid an accident involving electricity.

Could your farm benefit from the services of an agricultural electrician? Always On Electric can send someone to do any electrical work you need done on your farm. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to schedule an appointment.

 

Outdoor Lighting Maintenance Tips

Exterior Lighting There are many benefits that come along with installing residential and commercial outdoor lighting. You can make properties safer and more attractive by doing it. However, in addition to installing outdoor lighting, you also must take steps to maintain it so that it continues to work both now and in the future. Here are some tips for doing basic outdoor lighting maintenance.

Replace any lights that have burned out immediately.

Outdoor lighting can really brighten up the exterior of a home or business. Nevertheless, it’s obviously not going to be able to do it if you have bulbs in your lighting fixtures that have burned out. You should replace any burned-out bulbs with new ones right away. You should also consider using long-lasting LED bulbs that won’t have to be replaced every few months. It might cost a little more to purchase these bulbs, but they’ll pay off in a big way when you don’t have to worry about replacing them for years to come.

Clean lighting fixtures that are covered in dirt, cobwebs, and more.

Are the lighting fixtures that you use to light the outside of your home or business filthy? If so, they might be bringing down your curb appeal significantly. You also might be putting them at risk for mechanical failure at some point in the future, and they just won’t work as well when they’re covered in gunk. Every so often, you should make it a point to sweep cobwebs away from outdoor lighting fixtures and clean your fixtures thoroughly. It will keep them shining and ensure your lights always turn on.

Fix any lighting fixtures that have been broken.

It’s not all that uncommon for a lighting fixture to break. An errant baseball or a large tree branch can come through and wreak havoc on outdoor lighting. If you ever notice that one of your lighting fixtures has broken, you should have it replaced right away. It can prevent further electrical problems and keep your outdoor lighting system up and running.

Do you need maintenance done to your outdoor lighting? Always on Electric can set you up with services that will take care of all your outdoor lighting needs. Call us at 970-309-2616 to schedule an appointment with an electrician.

Steps to Take if Your Circuit Breaker Trips

 Tripped Circuit Breaker If a circuit breaker in your electrical panel trips, it’s actually not the worst thing in the world. Your circuit breakers are designed to protect the electric circuits in your electrical panel from getting damaged. Nevertheless, there are some steps you should take if a circuit breaker in your home trips. Check them out below:

Locate your home’s electrical panel.

The first thing you’ll need to do after a circuit breaker trips is locate your home’s electrical panel, if you don’t know where it is. These panels can be located in a variety of places, but more often than not, they’ll be in your garage or basement.

Reset the tripped circuit breaker.

Resetting a circuit breaker that has tripped is easy to do. All you need to do is open up your electrical panel, find the electrical circuit that is facing a different direction than all the others, and flip it back on. This should restore power to the area of your home where it went out when the circuit breaker tripped.

Make sure the power stays on.

In some cases, a circuit breaker might trip again after you have flipped a circuit back on. This is the sign of a problem. You may have an overloaded circuit somewhere in your home. You may also have a short circuit. A ground fault could also be to blame. Whatever the case, it’s important to find the cause of the tripped circuit breaker.

Contact a residential electrician for help.

If you can’t find what’s causing your circuit breaker to trip, you should avoid flipping your electrical circuit back on and contact an electrician for help. Otherwise, you could do some real damage to your electrical circuits and potentially even start a fire in your home.

Always on Electric can help you with tripped circuit breakers and any other electrical issues you face in your home. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to schedule an appointment with an electrician.

Electrical Safety Tips for Kids

Electrical Tips for Children If you have kids in the home, whether they’re always there because they’re yours or they’re just visiting, it’s a good idea to go over some electrical safety basics with them.

Electrical Safety Precautions to Share With Your Children

For instance, tell kids not to plug too many things into one outlet or overload an extension cord. As much as it seems like “no big deal” to do so, the truth is that having too many things plugged into one or two outlets can end up overwhelming the circuit. At worst a fire could result, and nobody wants that to happen.

Speaking of outlets, with kids around it makes sense to have parents or the adults-in-charge put safety caps on all unused electrical outlets. Not only does this help save energy by stopping cold drafts, but it also prevents babies and toddlers and others from sticking their fingers into the outlet area where they could get a bad shock or worse.

Teach kids not to yank cords from the wall. Instead, teach them to literally go up to the outlet and pull the cord out from it right there. If and when a cord is pulled from anywhere besides its head, damage can be done to the plug, the outlet and/or the appliance.

Another thing: cords need to be kept out of the way so people don’t trip over them. Furthermore, if a cord can be placed in such a way that a pet can’t easily get to it, that’s great– too many dogs and cats have chewed cords and gotten shocked– not good. With little kids around, too, it’s best to find ways to keep them away from cords whenever possible– they’re not toys to be played with.

Kids also need to be taught that water and electricity don’t mix. So, for instance, they have to be extra careful in the bathroom when using things like a hair dryer near the sink, toilet or bathtub.

Finally, with regards to electricity outdoors, kids should know not to play on or near electrical boxes/substations. They need to stay away from power lines. And if they fly a kite, which kids like to do, make sure they’re not flying the kite anywhere near power lines.

If you need help repairing the electrical lines in your home, contact the experts at Always on Electric, Inc. today.

When is it Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring?

Electrical Wiring Most people don’t think much about the electrical wiring in their home, unless or until something goes wrong. For instance, the big football game is coming up on TV and people are gathered at your house to see it. A couple minutes before the game starts the TV inexplicably turns off. Nothing seems to work to get it back on. Maybe it was a blown fuse? Maybe it was something else? Whatever it was, it’s frustratingly irritating!

Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring

When is it time to upgrade your electrical wiring? For most people, if their house is over 40 years old, then it’s time. Things have changed a lot since the original electrical work was installed. Think about how much different our world is today– back then, they didn’t have the kind of devices and appliances we have now, like microwaves, desktop computers, and tablets. Furthermore, if you have several people living in a house trying to plug all their stuff in at once, you might have run out of outlets– so it’s time to expand the number of outlets in your home to properly accommodate the power needs of all the people who live there.

One thing that might scare you– and it should– is that faulty wiring is a leading cause of house fires. This isn’t just some made-up fact; researchers studied this topic and published their findings in a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. The conclusion? The older your house is, the more likely the wiring is outdated and/or unsafe… which could very well lead to a fire. You don’t want that. You want wiring that’s “up to code,” or, more importantly, up to the current code.

When’s the last time your wiring was professionally inspected? Most of you would say, “I have no idea.” Others might say, “When we first bought the house.” If it has been “some time” since it was checked, make it a priority this year to have a company like Always On Electric come take a look at what’s going on in your house with your electrical wires.

You’ll especially want to have your wiring checked if you’ve noticed fuses are blowing repeatedly, lights are flickering or dimming, you smell burning coming from a certain room or appliance, or– don’t laugh– you get a tingling sensation when you touch a certain appliance.

Your wiring should also be inspected if you’ve noticed particularly warm outlets or ones that have become discolored or spark when you plug things into them.

Call 970-309-2616 to connect with Always On Electric.

Why is My Electrical Outlet Hot?

Warm OutletsHave you ever gone to unplug something out of an electrical outlet only to notice it feels warm to the touch? Why is that?

What a Warm Outlet Means for Your Home

A warm outlet tells you there’s probably a problem that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t necessarily mean a fire will start or your electrical system will fail right away, but it does indicate “something’s” wrong.

If you plug in laptop chargers, modems, computer printers and/or other small appliances, many of them use a transformer to convert AC to DC. This process can cause the plug to feel warm– so, after unplugging your item, if the plug gets cool again soon, then this is “normal.” If however, the outlet still feels warm after unplugging your charger, you should call an electrician to come take a look.

Outlets can become warm when too many devices are plugged into one outlet. An overloaded power strip could be causing your outlet to overheat because you’re putting too much demand on that one outlet. Warmth is coming from the increase of electricity right there. It’s best to remove a couple items from that outlet to help it cool down.

Sometimes outlets break. They can crack or chip, wearing down over time, and feeling warm to the touch; they may need to be replaced with new ones. Furthermore, electricity could be escaping via frayed wires or loose electrical terminations, causing the outlet to feel warm. An electrician can inspect your wiring and repair damaged ones.

Finally, you might have warm outlets because your overloading the circuit. Electricity travels on “highways” called circuits. It gets distributed in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the whole system. Nevertheless, some people tend to plug in energy-sucking devices into one particular circuit that cannot handle “all that.” That’s when outlets warm up. Oftentimes, an electrician will end up installing new outlets and/or adjusting the circuits to make it possible to get the kind of power you want to a particular room such that you’re no longer overwhelming a particular circuit.

Always on Electric can check your outlets in Colorado. Please call 970-309-2616 or email alwaysonelectric@hotmail.com with your concerns.

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical Fires House fires are always frightening, but electrical fires are particularly scary due to the possibility of the fire starting while people are sleeping. Kitchen fires are also quite common, but most kitchen fires start while someone is cooking. Electrical fires, on the other hand, may start at any time, including while everyone in the house is asleep. These tips will help you prevent electrical fires in your home.

Inspection

It is a good idea to schedule a professional inspection by a licensed electrician if you live in an older home or are experiencing electrical problems. Older homes may still contain wiring that is dangerously outdated. An older home may be due to have the wiring updated since electrical components do not last forever and older wiring may not support modern appliances.

Damage

Defective or damaged wiring and appliances are a frequent cause of home electrical fires. Always replace or repair any electrical cord or appliance that shows signs of damage.

Overloading

It can be tempting to plug multiple appliances or devices into a single outlet, particularly in older buildings that do not have enough electrical outlets, but this can be dangerous. Overloading an outlet or an extension cord can lead to overheating and an electrical fire.

Flammable Materials

Electric cords and appliances often generate heat. Always exercise extreme caution with placing flammable materials anywhere near electrical cords and devices. As these devices or cords heat up during usage, they may cause bedding, paper products, clothing, or any other flammable material to catch fire.

Shorts and Wiring Problems

Lights flickering or dimming, sparking when you plug a device into an outlet, a buzzing sound coming from electrical outlets, or breakers that frequently trip are all signs that the electrical system in the home needs to be inspected by a licensed electrician. None of these things should occur with a properly designed and maintained electrical system. Your first call should be to a qualified electrician if any of these things are happening in your home.

Always On Electric proudly serves home and businesses in the western Colorado region. Whether you need a routine inspection or are experiencing trouble with your electrical system, we are ready to help. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced electricians.

Tips for Selecting the Right Commercial Electrician

Commercial Electrician What are some tips for selecting the right commercial electrician to work on/at your workplace, business, warehouse or store?

First and foremost, you want to choose an electrician who is fully trained and knowledgeable about commercial electrical work. You want an expert, not a newbie or novice. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their license and make sure it’s current. Moreover, ask around– see what others have said about their work before you hire them. Also, make sure the electrician you choose to work with is bonded and insured.

Next, commercial electrical work requires practical and flexible workers who adapt well to different situations and people. For instance, an electrician in a commercial setting may have to interact with construction workers as well as office employees. How are their communication skills? Do they clam up and not say a word, speaking only when spoken to? Or do they seem to be able to talk with lots of different people about different topics in a friendly manner? Be a judge of character upon first interacting with them on the phone or in person: do they seem “on the ball?” Sometimes the answer to that exact question can tell you right then and there whether or not you want to hire them.

If you have the time and inclination, do an Internet search on nearby electricians to see their online reviews. Of course, you can check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for references, too, but these days it seems like most people form their opinions based on online reviews. That said, if an electrician/company gets “1 star” more often than “4 stars” (or more) then they’re best avoided.

Always On Electric has done a wide range of electrical jobs at places in Aspen, Grand Junction, Vail and other towns. With a constant commitment to customer service as a top priority, Always On Electric believes in putting customers first. Additionally, safety is another priority. Techs are trained on proper procedures for all electrical work they perform, abiding by industry standards. For more info, please call 970-309-2616 or email alwaysonelectric@hotmail.com.