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Linda Lane Realty, LLC

There are a few items you need to be aware of when it comes to your electrical system The below information discusses recurring and known electrical problems, issues and cautionary advisories. Please call a licensed electrical contractor to discuss your concerns about any of the electrical information provided by your "Electrical Service Experts" - Lighthouse Electrical & Maintenance Services, Inc. (336) 407-8121

Electrical Wiring Issues in Aging Homes

Aging residential wiring is a major issue as the number of housing units over age 40 increases, historic preservation and restoration increases, and old wiring falls further behind with regard to improvements in the National Electric Code. Corroded wiring and arcing at poor connections behind faceplates of outlets and switches and in light fixtures are a few of the causes of 40,000 fires annually from poor wiring, often in older homes. Click here to read the entire report.

Federal Pacific (Stab-lok) Electrical Panels

Circuit breakers are supposed to shut off when current reaches levels that could start a fire or damage equipment. Due to design and/or quality control problems, the FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers do not always work reliably. Testing has shown that roughly 30% of the 2-pole circuit breakers fail to trip when they should. Virtually 100% of some lots of these breakers are defective. Federal Pacific Electric "Stab-Lok" electrical panels and breakers present a possible hazard and can fail, giving way to electrical fires. The issue is that some FPE "Stab-lok" double-pole 240-Volt FPE circuit breakers and possibly also some FPE single-pole 120 volt units simply may not work. There are reports that independent of the breaker problems, there have been panel and panel-bus fires and arcing failures in some FPE "Stab-lok" electrical equipment.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Breakers are Life Savers!

Data from USFA's National Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) indicates that electrical fires are a leading cause of fire deaths and property damage in residential occupancies. It is estimated that more than 30,000 home fires are attributed to faulty wiring that may cause arcing and sparking. About 300 lives are lost and 1,100 victims suffer each year because of these fires. The USFA shares NFIRS data with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in an effort to work together to address the fire problem in the United States.

The CPSC has identified arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) technology as an effective means of preventing fires caused by electrical wiring faults in the home. An AFCI is intended to trip an electrical circuit in order to prevent an electrical arcing that may cause a fire. Detailed information on this technology is available from the CPSC. The CPSC provides general information on AFCIs in its arc fault circuit interrupter information handout available here.

The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter or AFCI are two different electrical devices that serve distinct purposes. A GFCI is designed to prevent electrical shock and is typically in damp and outdoor locations. The AFCI is designed to prevent fires and is usually on bedroom circuits.

When GFCI and AFCI protection is used together, your home is afforded the most modern level of electrical shock and fire protection. More details on both GFCI and AFCI are provided below. If you have any questions or would like GFCI outlet or AFCI breaker protection installed in your home, call (336-407-8121) or e-mail your safe, reliable and honest electricians at Lighthouse Electrical & Maintenance- Free Estimates Always!

Thinking of Purchasing a Standby Generator?

If you are in the market for a back-up power supply in the form of a generator, you are not alone! More and more people in Winston-Salem and outlying areas are searching for a way to keep themselves and their property protected during power outaages. Residents of Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Triad and the entire state of North Carolina have seen an increase in severe weather over the past few years. Tornados, blizzards, hail storms and high winds have all contributed to downed power lines, loss of power for days and millions of dollars of spoiled food in freezers and referidgerators. Loss of your heating system in the middle of winter or air conditioners not working in Summer are possible life-threatening situations for our ill and elderly citizens in Forsyth and surrounding counties. For a nominal investment, you can have basic power generated to help eliminate the hazards and inconveniences of power outages. How? Get a portable or standby generator installed today!

Generators are manufactured in a wide range of sizes for both your home and commercial purpose. The size limits the maximum output of electricity that you will have available during a power outage. You can choose to power your entire home or office just like the normal flow of electricity you receive from the utility company or you may elect to supply power only to certain electrical circuits and/or appliances like your central heating unit, the referidgerator, freezer, medical equipment and other items you need to keep power running to.

Some central heating and air conditioning units draw significant amounts of electricity. You may be content with the absence of heat or A/C for a short period of time rather than purchase a larger capacity standby generator that will provide the power to run your house appliances, heating and cooling system and other devices you normally enjoy. Remember your central heating and air conditioning unit requires electricity to run the blower fan that pushes the air through ventilation ducts in your home. Even though your heat is gas powered, it is useless without electricity powering the blower fan.

Types of Generators

Standby Generator: Standby generators are installed and configured to start either manually or automatically - when a power outage occurs - and switch the electrical load from the utility company's power over to the standby generator's output. Standby generators are typically larger units that provide ample power to run your home's critical appliances, keep the lights on and, if the power output is large enough, supply enough power for your entire home. Standby generators run on various fuel sources. They are usually placed on a pad outside with the necessary feed wires and load switch gear entering the side of the house your electrical panel receives power from.

Standby generators operate on a wide variety of fuel sources. These include natural gas (same thing your home appliances run on) unleaded fuel, propane or diesel fuel. Natural gas has the advantage because it is stored at your property and will be available idf the utility company shuts the natural gas lines off to prevent explosions during significant disasters. You can have the stored natural gas and your hom'e regular natural gas line feed the generator through a control valve that allows you to choose what line to use.

Ask your licensed electrical contractor about standby gererator options or call your Colorado Springs "Electrical Service Experts" - Lighthouse Electrical at (336) 407-8121 to learn more.

Portable Generator: A portable electrical generator usually requires set-up, including the physical connection to whatever load it is to service, and must be started manually. The main difference between generators is power delivery and run time.. Portable generators will normally be capable of supplying only the minimum power necessary to survive a power outage and be capable of three to seven hours of run time on one tank of fuel as compared to a typical standby generator that is designed for three days of continuos operation. Portable electrical generators have certain advantages over standby generators.

The portable type have versatility and can be used whenever you go camping or need power in a rural area and a permanent power source is not available. They also use less storarage space, cost less to maintain and are more fuel efficient. Portable generators quieter than the larger standby types.. Your local home improvement stores normally stock a wide variety of portable generators to select from. The best time to purchase a generator is before you need one - because everyone else will need one too when you do!

Regardless of the generator you buy, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. The installation of a standby generator does require a PPRBD building permit, including an electrical permit to ensure the automatic transfer switch and wiring are installed in compliance with National and local electrical code. Never operate portable generators indoors (including garages).

Do not install or use gerators near outside vents,under or near windows or doors of your home - they give off deadly carbon monoxide exhaust gas. Your local Colorado Springs, Colorado licensed electrical contractor can help you ensure your generator complies with National and Pikes Peak Regional Building Department electrical code. Call Lighthouse Electrical today to discuss your standby generator installation needs. Contact us at (336) 407-8121 or e-mail.

Smoke Alarms - Important Information

An amendment to the Winston-Salem City housing code that requires smoke detectors in all bedrooms took effect Feb. 18, 2010. The amendment also requires a smoke detector on every floor of a house and in "each room designed for sleeping purposes, or used for sleeping more than occasionally, or listed as a bedroom on a set of plans and each story, excluding crawl space and attic space, shall be required to contain a smoke detector located on the ceiling and no closer than 12 inches to the intersection of the wall and the ceiling." Experts recommend smoke alarm units should be replaced every 10 years. How old are your smoke detectors? Are they the original hardwired types that have been on teh ceilings and walls since your home was built? If your home is 10 or more years old, call a licensed electrical contractor to have them replaced. This will ensure your safety and the protection of your family, loved ones, property and pets. Lighthouse Electrical offers special safety coupons for the replacement of your smoke and fire detectors. Call your "Electrical Service Experts" and realize tremendous quality, professionalism and value from our safe, reliable and award-winning electrical services.

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