electrical

Does Your Electrical Wiring Need a Facelift?

When considering work to be done on a house, the wiring is easy to overlook.

Unless it becomes a real problem, it’s simple to take for granted. Wiring is installed in a way that we don’t notice it, and if our electronics get the power they need, we’re often satisfied.

The thing is, your wiring may be giving you signals that there is an underlying issue.

There are certain situations that, once you learn to recognize them, will indicate an issue in need of addressing.

Below we’ll look at what the signs are that you may need a wiring facelift.

Dimming Lights

Have you ever turned on the vacuum cleaner and noticed that the lights dimmed?

That can be a sign of an overworked circuit. A light’s electricity need is so low that you shouldn’t notice it drawing power. If a light is influenced by the use of other electronics, then you’ll want an expert to come in and assess that the wiring is still in good shape.

Tripping Circuits

The microwave is going, the toast is down, and the coffee maker is turned on. Suddenly, they all lose power.

A circuit board is designed to trip should too much power surge through it. It’s a safety feature that protects both whatever’s plugged into the circuit, but also to the house, as it prevents potential fire hazards.

Flipping the circuit back in is an immediate fix, but if this is a regular occurrence, then something isn’t right with the wiring.

Evidence of Heat On the Outlet and Switch Covers

Outlet and switch covers should be cool to the touch. The wiring must secure the electricity in a way that doesn’t create any residual heat.

If your covers are warm or hot to the touch or if there is evidence of scorching, then there’s an issue with the wiring. That’s evidence that electricity is escaping, which has the potential to be a huge threat.

Need for Extension Cords

Have you ever set up an entertainment unit and struggled to find outlets for all the different devices?

An extension cord is a quick fix, but it’s not a long-term solution.

If you find that you regularly need more outlets than you have available, contact a registered electrician. This need isn’t a sign that there’s something wrong with the wiring, necessarily. Instead, your current wiring doesn’t satisfy your needs.

Continuing to rely on extension cords to manage your needs is a risk. It can try and draw more electricity than the circuit can provide, which can lead to both wiring issues but cause harm to your electronic devices. These devices do have power needs that are very specific.

Final Thoughts on Getting a Wiring Facelift

Getting electrical work done isn’t exciting. You don’t have a new roof to look at or a sliding door to enjoy.

What you do get, though, is both peace of mind and more efficient energy use. Wiring is designed to function indefinitely without maintenance. If you do need work done, getting it taken care of properly will help ensure that you won’t have wiring issues again.

If you have any questions about wiring or wish to talk to someone about any issues you may have, reach out. We’re always here to help.

Signal Alarms and Electric is an electrical contractor in Southern California providing full capacity electrical contracting services for new construction, renovations, tenant improvements, service upgrades, exterior, interior and landscape lighting, retrofits and service installations in the Southern California/Los Angeles County area.

electrical issues

10 Common Electrical Questions

With 51,000 fires every year being linked to electrical issues, it’s natural to be extra alert when you suspect an electrical problem in your home. For people with no background in the field, it can all see a little mysterious.

Read on to learn the 10 most common electrical questions people ask.

  1. Why Aren’t My Outlets Working?

One of the most common reasons outlets stop working is that a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) has been triggered. If your electricity accidentally gets rerouted the wrong direction or too much power is coming through your system, this breaker will be triggered. Go to your circuit breakers and see if something needs to be switched.

  1. Why Is My Light Flickering?

A common cause of flickering lights is that your bulbs are suffering from a bad connection. This could mean that you need to screw your bulbs in better.

It could also mean that you need to check for frayed wires along your line.

  1. What About My Flickering LEDs?

LED lights have trouble dealing with the powerful alternating current coming from your walls. Often, they fall out of sync with your line and they might flicker. As technology improves, this problem will go away.

  1. How Much Does It Cost To Upgrade My Old House?

An average single-family home wired decades or even a hundred years ago may not be built to handle all the needs of a modern family. Running a dishwasher, vacuum, and a few desktop computers can be a drag on an old system.

Whether you’re selling or staying in your home, there are a lot of good reasons to upgrade your home’s electrical wiring.

  1. Why Do Breakers Keep Tripping?

Be sure you distribute your high energy devices across several circuits. Running too many appliances at the same time will cause shorts and surges.

  1. How Much Will It Cost To Add Wiring To My Garage?

A shed or garage connected directly to the house is easier to wire than one that’s detached because you won’t need to run wires underground. Your power needs will determine price.

Consult with a professional to obtain pricing based on your specific wiring needs.

  1. Why Did My Doorbell Stop Working?

If you have a circuit tester, see that your transformer is still working. Otherwise, your doorbell might have just aged out of its lifespan.

Most doorbells can be replaced easily with two low-voltage wires.

  1. Should I Use CFLs?

Compact Fluorescent Lights are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. This can save you money and lower your impact on the environment.

  1. How Much Should A Fixture Installation Cost?

For a small, simple fixture you can pay as low as $20. But for something heavier and more robust like a ceiling fan, you’ll need to include supports so they’ll be an additional cost. The overall price of your fixture will depend on both the type of item and the necessary items needed for installation.

  1. How Do I Find a Licensed Electrician To Answer My Electrical Questions?

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, contact us for information on finding a licensed electrician. With your family’s safety and the security of your home at stake, be sure you go with a licensed expert to answer your electrical questions.

Signal Alarms and Electric is an electrical contractor in Southern California providing full capacity electrical contracting services for new construction, renovations, tenant improvements, service upgrades, exterior, interior and landscape lighting, retrofits and service installations in the Southern California/Los Angeles County area.

electrician services

When to Upgrade Your Home Electrical Wiring

When it comes to knowledge of home electrical wiring, many homeowners are unaware. Most homes were built in the ’60s and ’70s, but have had few upgrades to their wiring since that time.

These electrical systems can’t withstand the energy needed to power the modern appliances of today. As a result, there are more than 40,000 fires a year caused by faulty or outdated home electrical wiring.

Could your home be next? It’s a scary thought, but it can happen at a moment’s notice.

To prevent a disaster from happening, we’ll go over the warning signs and what to look for in your own home. Ready to get started?

Faulty Home Electrical Wiring Signs

To tell if your home is in danger, there are some warning signs to take into consideration. Every home is different so you may experience one or more of these. They include:.

  • Breaker panel is constantly tripping
  • Light but noticeable burning smell
  • Flickering lights
  • Discolored or charred outlets and/or switches
  • Random loss of power in certain outlets

If you’re experiencing one or more of these warning signs, it’s time to upgrade your home’s electrical wiring. These are signs that a dangerous fire could start at any time. Knowing this now, let’s look at what could be the culprit.

Visible Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring is more common in houses built in the 1960’s and ’70s. Builders back then didn’t use copper wire like today.

Instead, they used aluminum as a cheap alternative. Even if your home has been renovated, aluminum can remain as part of the wire connectors.

It’s best to get a professional to replace those connectors, as aluminum is weaker and wears over time. If aluminum is not replaced, it can cause overheating, which wears away the metal, causing wires to arc.

Your Home Isn’t Outfitted With Enough Outlets

Lack of outlets means you’re relying more on extension cords and power strips. These can come in handy when needed sparingly, but not as a permanent solution.

When used as such, they can overheat, especially if they’re not the right gauge. The ideal gauge is 14 or thicker. When it’s thinner than 14, the wires can’t hold a lot of power.

The Lights Flicker When It’s Windy Outside

Faulty home electrical wiring doesn’t mean it starts within the home. The outside can be easily affected as well.

If your home has a Weatherhead connected to it, then this can be a source of an electrical fire as well. This is caused by frayed wiring, which shorts every time it’s moved.

You’re Selling Your Home

One huge often overlooked way to increase your home’s value is by upgrading the electrical. Potential buyers want a new home that’s deemed safe. Sometimes that’s more important than having a remodeled kitchen.

If it isn’t up to code, buyers will want a steep discount. This makes up for them having to redo the electrical themselves.

You want to sell your home at top dollar, right? Then investing in new electrical is the way to go.

Wrapping Up

Electrical is nothing to be played around with. If you suspect something isn’t right with an outlet or wire, don’t ignore it.

Fires started by faulty wiring can be deadly. Ensure your family’s safety by having your wiring upgraded or at least have it checked out by a professional.

We know what it takes to have a safe and livable home. Schedule an appointment by contacting us today!

professional electrician doing electrical work

5 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Electrician

DIY Vs Professional Electric Work

In the age of YouTube tutorials, the DIY electrical repair route might tempt you. But DIY electrical repair could cost you more in the long run, including your life.

When you have an electrical issue, don’t hesitate to call a qualified professional electrician with the proper training.

In case you’re on the fence about hiring one, this article will cover five big benefits of hiring a professional electrician to handle anything from a minor repair to an overhaul of your wiring.

Let’s get into it!

  1. Protect Your Electronics

A power surge is a spike in electricity. These spikes can destroy your electronics, costing you thousands of dollars.

Lightning strikes, even if they don’t hit near your home, are a known cause of power surges. But your own appliances can cause a damaging power surge too.

If your home has faulty or weak wiring, it might not absorb the surge of electricity when your fridge or oven comes to life. That can trip your breakers and damage your electronics.

An electrician can upgrade your wiring to reduce damage from power surges.

  1. Protect Yourself from Electrocution

An electric shock can land you in the hospital with major injuries and can even kill you.

No matter how many tutorials you watch, you’re years behind an electrician in terms of knowledge and experience. In a repair situation, there are factors like faulty wiring or standing water to consider.

A professional electrician knows how to keep themselves safe, even in perilous situations. They have the equipment and training to perform a repair or installation without injury.

Do your family a favor and let an electrician handle the dangerous stuff.

  1. Keep Your Family Safe

Electrical problems cause about 51,000 home fires a year. Faulty wiring or improperly installed electrical devices cause many of these fires.

Those electrical fires also cause approximately 500 deaths a year. An electrician keeps your family safe by recognizing and addressing any safety issues in your wiring.

Even if you hire an electrician for one job, they might spot another issue you hadn’t noticed. That professional insight can also save your family’s life.

  1. Save Money with a Professional Electrician

Not only are fires a danger to your family, but they’re a danger to your property. If you’re not at home to notice and stop a fire, it could take out all of your belongings.

Insurance can help, but you’ll still be out thousands of dollars and cherished memories. Save yourself the money and heartbreak by having an electrician do the work right.

Plus, electricians can make recommendations to make your home more efficient. They install fans, A/C units, and lighting options that save you electricity and money.

Although you need to pay more upfront than a DIY project, it’ll save you thousands in the long run.

  1. Accurate Work and Peace of Mind

There are many potential dangers due to an improper A/C installation, including damage to your A/C unit or electrical system. Shoddy DIY work can destroy your home and property.

Electricians have years of experience and training behind them. When you find a quality professional electrician, you can trust in their work. That brings you and your family peace of mind.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to electrical work, the “D” in DIY should stand for “danger”. By doing it yourself, you’re putting yourself, your family, and your property in danger. You simply don’t have the experience and knowledge to diagnose your electrical issues and repair them.

A professional electrician protects you from all of these issues, while providing you a resource to keep your home functioning effectively. They save you thousands in the long run by doing the job right and provide priceless peace of mind.

If you need help or have questions about electrical repair, contact us.

Having Solar Alarms Los Angeles Ca: The Advantages

solarThe worries of modern life have made it very easy to forget about the upkeep of your home, thus emphasizing the need for a home automation system.  According to Statista.com, 4.6 million Americans have had it installed as of 2015 and this number is expected to balloon to 24.5 million by 2020.  The traditional power source is the non-renewable fossil fuels.  Knowing its characteristic, it is imperative to opt more sustainable alternatives such as Solar Alarms in Los Angeles Ca.

Harnessing the sun’s power is slowly gaining popularity in the home automation industry because of its cost-effectiveness.  The capital required for solar panels may be pricier, but the investment can be returned in as little as four to eight years. The fact that Solar Alarms offer competitive rates for the installation and for its services is one of the many testaments.

Also, the wide range of electrical services they offer eliminates the need to go somewhere else. Decades ago, the technology was not yet as developed and was expensive.  Opting solar energy then was purely out of love for the environment.  Today, it is the most practical and budget-friendly option out there. There are many advantages of switching to solar power.

Los Angeles Solar Alarm systems are more reliable than being connected to the grid alone.  Power outages are a common problem, having the possibility to disrupt your access to your appliances and to your security system.  It is true that even without electricity from the grid, the automation devices can still be powered by lithium-ion batteries which you need to replace from time to time.  When a storm comes, lithium batteries might just keep you safe.  However, the main reason for getting a home automation system is for you to give more focus on other matters like cooking dinner or simply relaxing. To put simply, not having a solar-powered one defeats the purpose of having an automated system.

Lastly, it is clear that the government encourages the switch to Solar Alarms in Los Angeles Ca and other more sustainable energy sources as they reward tax incentives for its usage.  The Internal Revenue Service, through Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, gives a 30% rebate for all solar equipment placed before 2020.  For the systems installed in 2020 and 2021, a tax credit amounting to 26% and 22% respectively are awarded.  In home automation as well as in other functions, this is the best move.  Not only do you save in electricity bills in the long run, the tax credits would allow you to get back your investment more quickly and to allocate your resources to other priorities.

Great Solar Alarms Los Angeles Ca Benefits

solar alarmsThe world has seen the devastating effects of climate change.  In general, people have experienced extreme weather changes; with some having droughts and heat waves while others having delayed winters and unusually heavy rainfall.  Carbon footprints have been such a big problem that in 1996, California started funding programs that promote the use of environmentally-friendly devices and the reduction of carbon footprints.

Thanks to California’s energy efficient programs that has encouraged the rise of businesses such as Solar Alarms Los Angeles Ca, the state’s per capita energy consumption ranked 48th.  The idea behind saving the environment is preserving the future of the earth, a reason that climate change should be everyone’s concern.

However, the long term effects of opting for Solar Alarms and other green energy-powered devices are hardly put into consideration by some people.  Even if you have to deal with budget constraints, there are practical motivations and short term effects of making the change.  To begin with, solar power is a public good, which means that one has every right to acquire it, and that no one can be prevented from doing so.  Therefore, it is technically free.  For as long as you have the right equipment, using the sun’s energy for whatever purpose you may have is in your power.

Moreover, the kind of energy that Solar Alarms in Los Angeles Ca needs to operate is not affected by the market.  While motorists and other users of non-renewable energy sources are always on the lookout for the latest information on oil prices, those who take advantage of solar power to its fullest extent need not to worry themselves about such matters.  The rise in demand for equipment compatible with green energy has let businesses such as Solar Alarm providers in the Los Angeles area thrive.  With the various electrical services available, it is almost impossible for anyone not find something that suits their needs.

From the past decades up to the present, we have seen the erratic movements of oil prices.  As the costs of non-renewable energy sources have always been unpredictable, supporting your home automation system with it is not the wisest decision you can make.  Therefore, it is very necessary, for the sake of the environment and of finances as well, to look into low-maintenance and reliable sources of energy.  The rare instances that one’s personal duties and societal duties coincide, and the use of solar power is definitely one of them.

Lessen Dangers of Improper Installation and Faulty Wiring on your HVAC Unit

electrical contractorSafety and security of your home is the top priority. In order to do so, you have to ensure that all elements of your property are working properly. One of the things you need to check is your air condition unit. To ensure proper functionality and maximum output, you have to make sure that the A/C unit is installed and working properly. If you have recently purchased a new home and feel as though you aren’t getting what you feel your HVAC unit should put out then you should have a professional Los Angeles electrical contractor come and see if there is faulty wiring to blame for your air condition unit’s poor performance. The last thing you would want to happen is when you’re looking forward to coming home for the cool comfort of your A/C system, then, you’ll find out it broke down.

To prevent that from happening, here are some indicators of improper installation and faulty wiring.

  1. Check to ensure your A/C unit powers on. If it fails or takes a significant amount of time or makes abnormal sounds, this indicates that your air conditioning unit has wiring and electrical control failure. Make sure that the power gets to the thermostat. An electrical contractor would use a volt meter to read whether it is at par with the normal expectations.
  2. Temperature fluctuation is also a sign that you need to call your Los Angeles electrical contractor right away. This happens when the thermostat has been knocked out of alignment. Thus, it registers temperature improperly. There is a need to re-calibrate and reset. Also, inaccurate temperature is another trouble call due to electrical failure. In such cases, wiring can become old, which makes it more dangerous to operate. You can use a soft bristled brush to gently brush away dust around the thermostat but should be done very carefully. Having a professional do a yearly service to just look over everything is usually the most cost effective way to ensure your unit performs to its expectations. Catching problems early on could save you tons of money in the long run.
  3. Refrigerant leakage is another effect of improper installation. When your air conditioning unit refrigerant levels are low, it can be undercharged thus; your unit is prone to leaking refrigerant and the output air will not be cold. A Los Angeles electrical contractor will know where to start troubleshooting when they ask if your unit suddenly blows warm air and then they will know the safest and easiest way to correct the problem.

Not only electrical controls can be dangerous for your air condition unit, faulty wirings can eventually cause fire. Problems involving your air conditioning unit may actually be a result of small issues gone unnoticed before, or when it was installed. These can have adverse effects to your system. Having a certified and skilled Los Angeles electrical contractor can help you in maintaining your HVAC system periodically. Of course, you also have to do your part by regularly changing the filters and cleaning your unit to keep away dusts and debris from obstructing the vents. Save yourself time and money and schedule annual checkups on your HVAC unit.

Dangers of A/C Improper Installation and Faulty Wiring

los angeles electricalAfter a day’s work, it’s always a refreshing feeling to go home and experience the comfortable breeze from your air conditioning unit. But when something suddenly goes wrong, it can suddenly turn your day into a nightmare. You will be eager to call a reputable Los Angeles electrical contractor to check on your unit. What’s worse is when the sun is up and the weather’s hot, having it fixed right away is your top priority. The truth is this all depends on proper installation and maintenance. All the requirements in order for your unit to work as expected shall be taken into consideration upon installation. Improper care and consideration will not only damage your air conditioning unit, it can also pose dangerous risks to your home.

This article aims to inform you about the common A/C problems due to improper installation and faulty wiring. The list below should never be ignored or left unnoticed by the owners. The potential system damage and breakdown can lead to tumultuous issues in your HVAC system. Worse, it can also affect the way electricity flows inside your home. Fluctuations can be apparent and this can even instigate a fire. To maintain security and protection for your property and your family, keep in mind that you can call expert Los Angeles electrical contractors in your area if you observe the following.

Frozen coils

You know it’s time for maintenance if you observe that your A/C unit has frozen coils. This manifests through icy-build up in the coils. To fix such issue, use your fan to melt the ice right away. While doing so, open any closed registers in your room to make sure that there is sufficient air-flow blowing through the coils. Aside from this, clean dust and dirt off the coils. Changing your air filters can also get the job done. If this persists, you have to acquire the service of your ever-reliable Los Angeles electrical contractor. Setting your temps too low can also cause your coils to frost. Have realistic expectations of the proper necessary temperature settings to be comfortable.

Condenser and Outside Fan Failure

Another electrical failure due to improper installation and probably faulty wiring is when the outside fan fails to turn. This can also happen to the condenser. If you own an A/C unit, it is good to know that it is composed of a condenser, compressor and a fan. Check if the thermostat is working and if the power is on. If not, check for tripped breakers. If you don’t know how, ask for the assistance of a skilled Los Angeles electrical contractor to do it for you.

Temperature Control Issues

There are several cases that can be attributed to your air conditioning system woes. The evaporator operation must be rigged when the coils are dirty. You will notice some frost build up, which means there is a need to re-charge the air conditioning unit. It can also mean that the fan motor is not producing optimal air over the coils. Call your electrician right away if you don’t know what to do.

Insufficient clearance around the unit can also result to condenser failure. Always make sure that your A/C is properly installed, clear of any shrub or yard debris clogging air flow. This ultimately affects the HVAC system inside your home.

Lastly, improper unit sizing is one of the things that you must consider upon installation or upon the purchase of a home. Make sure you ask if the size of the unit is proper for the size of the home. If there are recent changes to your home or if you are planning to upgrade, let it be known. All of these specifications add to the requirements of the system size and its operation.

A Residential Electrician’s Advice on Electrical Safety

Electrician at work

Our homes are our haven.  It is our refuge after a long day at work, an exhilarating day at school,
or just simply a sanctuary to feel comfortable, secured and protected.  So as much as possible, we want perfect living conditions to settle permanently in our abode.

To achieve a convenient-filled life, we also fill our homes with home appliances that spell comfort for us.   However, these modern appliances are potential harbingers of hazards if installed and used incorrectly.  Manuals and warranties are made to make us aware of the appliance but not all of us have the time to read the fine prints.  It is highly suggested to acquire the expertise of Los Angeles Electrical Contractor to guide you with your home’s electrical needs. A quick guide from a residential electrician will also be helpful.

Here is a quick run-down on how to avoid electrical problems in your home.

  • Regularly clean appliances from residues that build up from within which later on can ignite a fire. Home appliances like ovens, hot plates, ignition range can accumulate fats and spilt foods.  Dust the lint from electric motors of exhaust fans.  It is best to have a record of service dates of defective appliances to ensure that these are still safe to use.
  • Inspect the cords of the appliances, a physical defect in the cord will tell you that it needs replacement to prevent further damage and accidents. Frayed or tattered cord exposes the live wire which can cause electrical shock, or worse, electrocution.  A cracked or broken power point switch needs replacement and a licensed residential electrician Los Angeles is your best point person.
  • Observe proper circuit load to prevent short circuits or overloaded circuits. The circuit breakers are designed to limit the power going through the electric system, so if you exceed the power limit in one circuit, there is a bigger chance of overloading the fuses. Always remember that extension cord only serves as a temporary replacement of power outlet.  Extensive usage can bring potential electric hazard.  A tangled extension cord can cause trip hazards while a constantly exposed cord frays it.
  • As a rule of thumb, all electrical appliances should be placed away from the water since water is an excellent electricity conductor. Therefore, in a case of electrical fire, a multi-purpose extinguisher should be used instead of water to prevent further damage.

 

Today is not too late for you to have your home’s electric system evaluated, contact an expert Los Angeles Electrical Contractor to gain peace of mind when it comes to your home safety.

How Can a Los Angeles County Residential Electrician Keep Your Home Safe this Summer?

A Residential Electrician_s Advice on Electrical Safety

Summer is just around the corner and with the rising temperature in LA, one must be very careful with killer heat waves that affect Los Angeles County during summertime. Fire incidence is high due to overworked AC systems and overheated electrical fan components. Now is the best time to call a Los Angeles residential electrician to check your AC systems electrical wiring before it’s too late.

Having your AC systems wiring checked is the best move a homeowner can make, hire a Los Angeles electrical contractor that is well versed in the electrical area. Remember, your life and property is on the line. When doing home renovations, it is important to get your old wiring checked and replaced if wires stability is in question. Wires that age or are susceptible to extreme heat can wear down and become faulty causing danger of short circuit fires.

Why Hire a Professional Los Angeles Electrician?

There are times you may want to save your money by doing the job yourself. Unless of course you are dealing with anything electrical related. Unless you are a professional electrician, it is very likely you may feel you fixed the problem temporarily but, often DIY repairs cause bigger electrical problems down the line. Saving money in the short term often has higher costs in the long run.

Find a professional electrician in Los Angeles, California that will provide full electrical contracting services for whatever type of project you may require such as:

  • Inspection of wiring systems
  • Cost estimates
  • Installation of lighting systems and fans
  • Installation of new electrical wiring
  • Service upgrades
  • A/C unit system installations and repairs
  • Retrofitting and cladding
  • Alarm installations and repairs
  • Solar Panel Installations and repairs

How to Avoid Electrical Overload

  • Avoid “Daisy Chain” connections. Low-quality extensions often cause short-circuit fires.
  • Turn off electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Don’t leave food cooking unattended; lower the fire if you need to leave the kitchen.
  • Avoid charging mobile phones and rechargeable batteries overnight.
  • Avoid using low-quality electrical material.
  • Consult a certified professional Los Angeles electrician; avoid DIY electrical projects if you are not skilled.
  • Avoid using all your electrical appliances at the same time.
  • Use a voltage regulator.
  • Use a circuit breaker.
  • Have your connections checked periodically.
  • Use the services of a reputable Los Angeles County residential electrician.

For your electrical needs, don’t settle for less than what you pay for. If outstanding services are what you want, just pick up the phone and call a professional.