Things Your Electrician Wants You to Know
Almost every home uses electric service to one degree or another. And sooner or later, something is going to go wrong with your home’s electrical system. Whether you’re looking to add a light fixture or run rough electric for an addition, here are a few key facts that your electrician wishes you knew.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
The most important thing any electrician wants you to do is to never, ever ignore the warning signs that indicate problems in your electrical system. Whether it’s a popping noise from an outlet, a light switch that runs extremely hot, or a breaker that won’t reset, when you have an electrical issue, it’s important that you take it seriously.
One of the most common service calls electricians get is about what appears to be a failure in a bathroom circuit. By code, all outlets within 6 feet of a water source are required to be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI). These are important safety devices that cut off power if a circuit is losing amperage, so GFCIs are most commonly seen in bathrooms and exterior outlets. The thing that your electrician wants you to remember is that a single GFCI device protects everything else “downstream” on that circuit. Because bathrooms are often not on an isolated circuit, that means a triggered GFCI will kill the power to outlets and lights that may seem unrelated. And things can be even more confusing when the GFCI is installed at the electrical breaker box itself.
Overhead Power Lines are Live!
Overhead lines are normally NOT insulated. When you see birds or squirrels on them, they are only alive because they aren’t completing a circuit by touching the ground or offering the current an easier path than following the cable itself.
Know Your DIY limits
The DIY mind-set is wonderful thing. It’s a great way to learn about your home and develop your skills and self-reliance. But, it’s just as important to know the boundaries and limitations of your skills. If you are a DIY newbie, a good rule of thumb is to only work on electrical components that are outside of the wall. As you develop your skills as an amateur electrician, you can do more advanced work, including fishing cable and adding outlets (so long as your local building department allows it). The problem arises when DIY enthusiasts who have more enthusiasm than experience tackle an electrical project, and then bury their less than perfect work behind a layer of drywall.
CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION
As a registered electrician or contractor, you can submit work requests online using the Residential Rewire Form if the work request meets all of the following guidelines:
Point of attachment to the building remains the same
Service is 200 amps or less
One meter is involved
Premise is a single family dwelling
Meter is outside
Building heating source is something other than electric
You can also track the work activity on your specific work requests. In your personalized folder, you can quickly find information on submitted, assigned and co Electrical Inspectors conducts business with a set of approved Electrical Inspectors. These inspectors should have been provided with an initial User ID and Password. If you are an Electrical Inspector approved, you can use the online system to submit your inspection findings and wiring approvals. If you are not approved, you cannot use our online system, but if you would like to be considered as a approved electrical inspector, you can provide completed work requests.
conducts business with a set of approved Electrical Inspectors. These inspectors should have been provided with an initial User ID and Password. If you are an Electrical Inspector approved, you can use the online system to submit your inspection findings and wiring approvals. If you are not approved, you cannot use our online system, but if you would like to be considered as a approved electrical inspector, you can provide your information on the online form and a representative will contact you with further details and instructions.
UNDERGROUND RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDES AND SPECIFICATIONS
Learn more through our online Electric Service Installation Rules outlining overhead service drop installation, underground service drop installation, conversion from overhead to underground and transformed service. Learn more about the Underground Residential Development requirements for new Residential Underground Home Developments.
Advertising Tips for Electricians
For an electrician, roofer, locksmith, or contractor, PPC might as well stand for party planning company… Why would people in small service-based trades like these be familiar with pay-per-click advertising? They may not have grown up with the internet, and they certainly did not attend school to become digital advertisers. They more likely attended a trade school to master the jobs they do now. Their priorities are fixing your pipes, repairing your roofs, and ensuring your televisions are installed properly.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with WordStream customer William Rusch, who refers to himself as the “master electrician” of Charleston Electric, a family-run electrician business in Charleston, South Carolina, that’s grown substantially in their last five years in operation. William is actually far too modest because he does much more than practice his craft of electrician; William is the founder of Charleston Electric, and also runs the company’s marketing campaigns, and is responsible for bringing in new clients to keep the business running. This of course includes paid search.
Marketing and Advertising Challenges Faced by Tradesmen
When William and I discussed some of the challenges he’s faced while running online ad campaigns through Google Ads (AdWords) while also running his electrician business, two in particular stood out
Allocating Your Online Ad Budget Properly
The world of Google Ads is not an easy one to navigate. There’s campaigns, ad groups, keywords, match types, negative keywords, ads, extensions, mobile ads, bidding, budgeting, and the list goes on. As an electrician, understanding the strategy to spend money wisely in this crazy world of paid search isn’t easy.
Having to Rely on Outside Help
When you’re in a line of work like William, your main focus is fixing the electrical issue at hand rather than advertising and marketing. This often leads to relying on outside help, which can lead to money being thrown down the drain.
How I Survived my First Year as an Electrician Apprentice
While my first year as an electrician apprentice won’t be your experience, I did find out quickly that apprentice live at the bottom. If you feel like you have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel, you’re not alone. Apprentices are known to bear the brunt of menial tasks and going through a trial be fire.
What is it Like to Be an Apprentice Electrician?
Read through my story and you’ll gain valuable insight into what to do – and what NOT to do as a first-year electrician apprentice.
I was fortunate to begin my first days as an apprentice working for my dad. He had just finished 30 years working for Detroit Edison, our local utility provider. His love of the electrical field being so strong, he started his own electrical contracting company straight out of retirement.
I came on board as his protege. Eventually, I would earn my journeyman’s license, but that would be several years later. Reading the steps to become a licensed electrician is a good place to start your own journey.
Beginning his business literally from nothing, we worked out of a spare bedroom in his home. He had a Ford Explorer that was packed front to back with tools. One of my first tasks was to learn how everything could fit in that thing – and still have room for the two of us!
Electrical Safety Tips for Commercial Buildings
To some, a workplace may feel like a second home. It’s a place where employees form bonds and battle hardships together. Whether you’re a company CEO, a higher-up, or the owner of a commercial building, keeping your establishment a safe place for everyone will increase their productivity and give you peace of mind as well.
Keep an eye on damaged outlets.
Wall outlets, otherwise known as receptacles, are also susceptible to normal wear and tear, especially if a commercial space utilizes several electrical appliances to operate. Your receptacles have neutral, hot, and ground connections.
Replace frayed cords from commercial appliances.
Worn or frayed cords are also fire-starters. When a cable is frayed, the protective layer exposes the stripped wires which hold the electrical current.
Avoid extension cords as much as possible.
Extension cords can be the go-to for most establishments. However, using extension cords quite often may lead to fires or electric shocks. An extension cord may not be able to handle excess current, especially if it’s fully loaded.
Install designated circuit breakers.
Commercial appliances vary in watt usage. The types of appliances will depend on the kind of establishment. However, the most commonly-used commercial appliance is a floor-mounted air conditioner. Floor standing air conditioners usually consume about 6,000 watts. On the other hand, desktops consume around 250 watts, and an average CFL bulb consumes about 15 watts.