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.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do Your Own Electrical Work

DIY Electrical Work Home maintenance projects can be expensive, and it is often tempting to attempt a repair on your own. After all, many times a DIY repair will not only save money, but may also be satisfying. Electrical work is one area of home repair where you may want to reconsider doing it yourself. These are a few reasons why you should not try to do electrical work on your own.

Fire Risk

The risk of fire from faulty wiring or improperly installed electrical components is very real. Electrical fires are also frequently devastating as they may start inside a wall at night and be fully involved before a homeowner notices. A small mistake, like a loose wire or an overloaded circuit, may lead to a dangerous electrical fire.

Electrical Shock

Electric shock is another serious risk of working with electricity. Professional electricians have years of experience and training, as well as specialized tools that help them stay safe while performing electrical work in your home. It only takes one small mistake or one second of inattention to receive a dangerous electric shock. The risk of electric shock makes DIY electrical repairs a bad idea.

Building Codes

All electrical work must be done in accordance with applicable building codes. Trying to fully understand the electrical codes takes considerable effort and time. Electrical work also may require an inspection. Performing electrical work by yourself may result in work that does not meet building code and is not inspected. This may become an issue when you attempt to sell the home.

Always On Electric has you covered whether you need residential or commercial electrical work performed. We work on all types of buildings throughout the western Colorado region. Our electricians are fully trained and experienced, and we are licensed, insured, and bonded. You can have full confidence in electrical work that we perform on your home or business. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services or to request a quote.

What Causes Power Outages?

Power Outages As we become more dependent on a wide variety of electrical services and devices, power outages may seem more important than they were years ago. Today a power outage may interfere with lighting and entertainment, but also with safety and our ability to work. These are a few of the common causes of power outages.

  • Equipment

Our modern electrical system is composed of many different components. Electrical equipment is susceptible to failure as it ages or is damaged, just like the various parts in your car may fail over time. An equipment failure in the electrical system may result in a power outage to one home or to an entire area, depending on the equipment that failed.

  • Weather

As recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida have demonstrated, severe weather events may disrupt electric service to entire communities. A more typical example or weather-related power outages might involve lighting strikes, wind, or ice accumulation during winter.

  • Trees

Trees are often responsible for power outages. As the trees grow, their branches may come into contact with electrical lines or components. Trees may also indirectly trigger a power outage if a limb or the entire tree comes down during a storm. Falling limbs and trees may cause faults or damage to electrical lines.

  • Human Damage

Sometimes a power outage is caused by human damage. Common examples of human-caused outages are car crashes or construction equipment that cause damage to electrical components or lines.

  • Wildlife

Wildlife like snakes, rodents, and birds are just going about their daily life and doing what animals do each day. Unfortunately, they also sometimes come into contact with power lines or electrical components. The result is sometimes a power outage. While utility companies make efforts to limit the impact of wildlife on electrical service, these animals still sometimes find a way to a dangerous spot.

There are many causes of power outages. While you cannot control the electrical system outside of your home or business, you can be sure that all of the wiring and components within the building are safe and reliable. Always On Electric, Inc. has earned a reputation for quality work in the western Colorado region. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services.

Warning Signs It’s Time to Re-wire Your Home

Re-Wiring Home Does it feel like you blow a fuse at least once or twice every week? There’s a chance that you could have too many appliances plugged into one circuit. There’s also a chance that your home’s electrical system might be outdated and that you could benefit from rewiring your entire home in the near future. Take a look at some of the other warning signs you’ll likely notice when it’s time to rewire your house.

Your home is more than 40 years old.

Electrical systems have advanced a lot over the course of the last few decades. So if you have a home that was built 40 years ago or more and you’re still using the original electrical system, it’s probably just about time to think about updating your system. By rewiring your home, you can make it a lot safer and avoid many of the potential problems that come along with using an older system.

Your home has aluminum wiring in it.

Speaking of outdated electrical systems, there was a time when many systems relied on aluminum wiring. That is, until electricians started to figure out that many aluminum wires ended up causing fires once they got old. Today’s electrical systems rely on copper wiring as opposed to aluminum and are noticeably safer. You should consider going with copper if you still have aluminum in your home.

Your home has certain outlets that have stopped working altogether.

Are you running extension cords all over your house to power up certain rooms? This might seem like a reasonable solution, but extension cords should not be used for this purpose. You should have an electrician come take a look at your nonfunctional outlets. They might be repairable, or they might be a sign of a larger problem within your home’s electrical system.

Is it time for you to update your home’s electrical system? Always on Electric can help you with it. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to set up an appointment with one of our reliable and experienced electricians.

Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting an Electrician

Electrician Choosing an electrician for a project at your home or business may be an intimidating process. How do you know if an electrician will do a good job, will treat you fairly, is honest and trustworthy, and has the skills and experience needed to safely complete the job? These tips are good things to keep in mind when selecting an electrician.

Personal Recommendation

Personal recommendations from family members, friends, or co-workers are often a great way to find a professional service provider. Recommendations of this sort are usually based on personal experience so they can be valuable. After all, if a contractor has a reputation of treating customers right then you can expect the same experience.

A similar option to personal recommendations is to check online review sites. This takes personal recommendations up a level by allowing you to see what others in the community have experienced when dealing with a business. Consistently positive reviews or recommendations of an electrician should provide a good indication of what your experience with be as well.

Professional Experience

Electrical work requires considerable training and experience. This is not the type of work where you want to hire someone who does not have considerable expertise.

Safe electrical work requires detailed knowledge of all applicable codes and best practices. Faulty electrical work may expose you, your loved ones, or your employees to hazards like electrical shocks or fire.

Licensing and Insurance

Always look for an electrician who is properly licensed and insured. If you hire a electrician who is not licensed and insured, it means you are forfeiting a great deal of protection.

Licensing requirements help to be sure that only qualified professionals are performing electrical work. Insurance further verifies that the electrician is a professional, but also helps to protect you in case something does go wrong while work is being performed on your property.

Always On Electric, Inc. provides quality electrical services to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers in the areas around Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, New Castle, and Vail. We have always been licensed, insured, and bonded so you can be sure that you are hiring a professional electrician for your project.

Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services or to request a quote.

Lighting Your Home or Commercial Property

Realistically, not many home or business owners think about the lighting outside of their properties. Many people are most concerned about their interior lighting and don’t often consider the importance of exterior lights. The reality is, though, that having bright and well-maintained lighting outside of your property can add safety and improve its overall appearance.

Exterior Home LightingIn terms of safety, landscape lighting can help keep a residential property, like an apartment complex, safer. For instance, if the walkway from your parking area to the building doors has steps or isn’t a straight path, someone could stumble and fall if there isn’t enough light that would allow them to see where they’re going.

This is equally true for commercial properties, although with these buildings – since they are often unoccupied at night – some troublemakers may want to cause property damage or spray graffiti tags. If the exterior of your building is well lit, however, it serves as a deterrent. Without shadows to work in, any person trying to deface your building could be more easily seen by passersby who could notify the police.

Lighting can make a huge difference around the home as well. Say you’re having people over for the first time. Not only do you want them to find your house, but you want them to feel comfortable upon arriving, as well. Outside lighting can help in both of those regards, as well as make your home look nice to anyone driving by. You can also use exterior lighting to brighten up a porch or patio, giving you more space to mingle with friends, family or other guests outside after the sun goes down.

Lighting at a commercial property can also improve its appeal. Having bright, well-placed lighting on the outside of your property can draw potential clients’ and customers’ eyes to the business as they drive by at night. If the lighting looks good, you very well could improve your overall chances of creating new business for yourself just by having a well-kept and attractive exterior appearance.

If you’re interested in adding exterior and landscape lighting to your home or commercial property, Always On Electric can help with our full range of electrical wiring and installation services. For more information or to find out more about how we can light up the outside of your home or business, call us today at 970-309-2616!

Plan for Unplanned Outages With a Backup Generator

While some storms come and go, others can pack a serious punch and leave devastation in their wake including power outages. This year, don’t get left in the dark when the snow starts to fall. Get a backup generator from Always On Electric and be ready for anything that Mother Nature has in store.

Backup GeneratorNow at first, having a backup generator might not seem like a necessity. After all, when a major snow storm hits, power outages aren’t always a guarantee to occur with them. However, once the lights go out and everything goes silent, chances are you’re going to wish you had a backup generator to keep you from waving around the dark to find your way.

By having a backup generator, you will not only keep your house lit up during outages, but you will end up saving money by keeping frozen and refrigerated food protected and your appliances operating normally.

We don’t realize how much we value heat and hot water until it’s gone. If your water heater or furnace uses electricity, having a backup generator will keep heat and water sources running even when the power goes out. That way you can still take a nice hot shower and stay warm inside your home even if your neighborhood has lost power from the snow.

Homes with sump pumps know how important it is to keep them running. A stopped sump pump can allow water to accumulate, which can rapidly become a serious issue if your home is prone to flooding. With a backup generator in place, your sump pump will continue running without a hitch, keeping your mind at ease.

Having a backup generator for your business is a great investment as well. Whether your company handles refrigeration or needs power to continue to keep your products or machinery safe, a backup generator can help keep everything running smoothly when the storm hits and the power goes out.

For more information on backup generators or for help diagnosing and repairing electrical issues at your home or business, call Always On Electric today at 970-309-2616 and learn more about our full range of electrical services!

Leading Causes of Electrical Fires

Although they may only account for a fraction of residential fires, electrical fires can be devastating and even fatal. To prevent your having any issues at your home, be sure to check the following areas of your house that are the most common places where electrical fires start.

Failed Electrical OutletOutlets

If you go to plug in an appliance and nothing happens, it could be a sign that the wiring leading to the outlet might be loose. In this compromised state, the wiring could be exposed behind the call, potentially leading to contact with wall insulation or causing sparking behind the outlet. To fix this situation, have an electrician come out and look for the cause of the outlet failure and make any necessary repairs to the connection or the outlet itself.

Appliances

Speaking of appliances, whenever a power cord becomes frayed or starts to fall apart, you should have the connection repaired or replace the cable, if possible. Exposed wires can be dangerous for anyone using the appliance and can allow heat transfer from the connection to combustible surfaces that the cord may be set on. In fact, Fire Recruit lists faulty appliance connections and outlets as the leading cause of home fire. Also, if you feel a mild shock or tingle when touching an appliance, it often is a sign of a ground fault or incorrect wiring. Don’t simply ignore it – call an appliance repair professional or electrician to come take a look.

Circuit Breakers

Although circuit breakers are meant to prevent a circuit from overloading, sometimes they can do their job a little too much and that’s a problem. Modern equipment and technology often requires more power than devices even a few years ago, which can put extra strain on an outdated circuit breaker. If your breaker continues to trip, it is time to contact an electrician. An older breaker box can have wear that prevents the circuit from being thrown properly or allow an overload to start a fire. Be safe, not sorry, and call an electrician to investigate and replace your breaker box, if needed.

Light Fixtures

Make sure that all of your light fixtures have bulbs that meet the proper wattage capability of the fixture. If the bulb’s wattage is too high, it could lead to an electrical fire. If you aren’t sure about the proper wattage, a simple way to test is to check the area around the fixture once you put a new light bulb in. If you feel heat, switch to a lower wattage bulb as the current one’s wattage is too high for that fixture.

If you think your home might have faulty wiring or the wiring is in need of repair, let Always on Electric help. We offer residential and commercial electrical services to keep your home or business protected from electrical fires. For more information, call us today at 970-309-2616!