Commercial Vs. Residential Wiring

Residential vs Commercial Wiring If you’ve never done any electrical work on your own, you might be under the impression that residential and commercial wiring are one and the same. But this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Since residential properties typically have much different electrical demands than commercial ones, there are lots of differences that separate residential and commercial electrical wiring. Check out a few of the key differences between the two below.

The designs for residential and commercial electrical wiring are different.

In most instances, residential electrical wiring has a single-phase design. It consists of three wires, including a positive wire, a negative wire, and a neutral wire, and they’re capable of carrying 120 volts. The only exception is when the electrical wiring is connected to a large appliance like an air conditioner or a washer and dryer. In that case, residential wiring utilizes a two-phase design that can carry 240 volts. But when it comes to commercial electrical wiring, a three-phrase design is the preferred option. This type of system includes two legs that can carry 120 volts each and another leg that can run 208 volts.

The location of residential and commercial electrical wiring is different, too.

Residential wiring is usually hidden inside of most homes. The only way you can find it is by taking down part of a wall or crawling into an attic or crawlspace. Commercial wiring, on the other hand, is often put in more accessible places. For example, you’ll often find commercial wiring in the ceiling rafters of a commercial property where it can be serviced quickly and easily.

Residential and commercial wiring also have different insulations.

Residential electrical wiring is almost always covered up with sheath insulation before it’s installed. But commercial electrical wiring is typically covered with a more heavy-duty type of insulation called TTHT. It’s specifically designed to protect commercial electrical wiring from liquids, corrosive gases, and more.

There are some electricians who only work on residential wiring. There are others who specialize in commercial wiring. However, at Always on Electric, we do both. We offer residential electrical services as well as commercial electrical services to our clients. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to schedule services for your home or business.

The Importance of Quality Exterior Lighting for Businesses

Exterior Lighting for Commercial Businesses Whether you realize it or not, your business presents itself to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. People will pass by your business at all hours, so it’s important to have quality exterior lighting, especially when it’s dark outside. When your business is open after the sun goes down and it’s really dark outside, people need to be able to see it in order to find it. Even when you’re closed, leaving the lights on has numerous benefits, including that it’s great round-the-clock advertising for your business.

Mood Setter

Did you know there are many ways to describe light? Soft or bright are typical adjectives used when describing light, but there’s also hue (shade), colorfulness, and saturation (intensity/chroma). Lighting helps set a mood for a place. Did you know red/orange light heightens people’s appetites? Or that nightclubs will use blue/purple light to help make people feel more comfortable and ready to socialize? Light is essential to business.

Encourage Business

With exterior lighting, your business should be lit up in such a way that it encourages “walk-in” business. The light(s) should literally attract customers. A great idea is to use path lighting, which literally lights the pathway to your door so customers know exactly where to walk in order to get into your place. Pathway exterior lights will also help draw attention to your business and its doors. Meanwhile, people feel more comfortable going into a place that’s well-lit. A bright storefront, for example, has better “curb appeal” than a dark one.

A Deterrent

One of the main reasons businesses invest in quality exterior lighting is to deter thieves. Safety, with businesses, is always a concern. Criminals and people up to no good love to find dark spots to make trouble– where they can’t easily be seen. However, when a building is well-illuminated, it looks, feels and literally is safer than a building that’s dark. Also, lights help security cameras create clearer pictures of exactly what’s going on outside of a business at night, whether it’s on the sidewalk in front, in the nearby parking lot or wherever people tend to congregate.

A Touch of Panache

Finally, lights add personality to a place. Think of the unique businesses and their exterior signs that stand out in your memory. Lighting can add new decor elements to your building, making it even more attractive. Lighting can also double as signage.

Always On Electric handles exterior lighting for many businesses in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado; please call 970-309-2616 to discuss your exterior lightning needs/wants today.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Commercial Electrician

Commercial Electricians Do you need to hire a commercial electrician to do electrical work for your business? You’ll likely notice that there are dozens of options in your area. Nevertheless, rather than simply picking the first one you can find, you should bring the best commercial electrician on board to ensure the job gets done right. There are several advantages you’ll get to enjoy when you hire the right commercial electrician. Take a look at them below.

They’ll complete the electrical work you need done in a timely fashion.

As a business owner, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for an electrical job to be finished over the course of several days or even weeks. You need the job done as quickly as possible so that you can get back to business. A reputable commercial electrician will understand this and strive to get your job finished as soon as they can.

They’ll make sure your electrical system is up to code before leaving your business.

Finishing off a commercial job quickly is of the utmost importance to a good commercial electrician. But they won’t rush through a job and do sloppy work for the sake of getting the job done. They’ll make sure the work they do is up to code and get all the proper permits at the start of the process to prevent problems from popping up later.

They’ll stand behind their work and come back to fix any problems that pop up in the future.

A good commercial electrician should be able to get the job you need completed done right the first time. However, if a problem pops back up again and affects your business, your commercial electrician should be more than willing to come back and fix whatever went wrong. They’ll stand behind the original work they did and see to it that you don’t have to pay for another round of costly electrical repairs.

The next time you need electrical work done in your business, contact Always on Electric for assistance. We’ll send a commercial electrician out right away to take care of your issue. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to make an appointment.

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.