• Are your smoke detectors functional?

    That's the first thing that you should be asking yourself. Overloading, resulting burn ups and house fires will take you by surprise. Take the extra step and be a conscientious homeowner to protect your family, pets and property. Make sure you install good quality batteries each year in your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are made of plastic material that discolors over time. If your smoke detectors are yellow the whole unit should be changed. Don't wait until they start to chirp, put it on your to do list. Do not disconnect them...They're designed to be annoying!

    Things to look out for...

    Dimmer hot to the touch
    Sparking or crackling at switches
    Overlamping fixtures
    Loose plugs in outlets
    Broken or cracked outlets
    Loose or faulty wire connections
    Outlet strip misuse
    Frayed electrical cords
    Extension cords under carpet or rugs

    Use common sense. If something seems wrong to you it probably is. Be proactive. Don't allow people with limited electrical experience work on wiring in your home. A handyman will think of electrical wiring as putting wires of the same color together. We don't. Something as simple as neglecting to connect a ground wire can lead to your circuit breaker not opening and the development of a shock hazard. When it comes to safety, saving a few bucks shouldn't stop you from hiring licensed tradesmen. It's important for people to realize the value an experienced licensed electrician brings. 

    If you smell something burning turn off the circuit breaker. Then pull out the plug or turn off the switch. If the panel is not marked clearly, turn all the breakers off and call for assistance...

    The byproduct of a faulty electrical connection is heat!

  • It should be looked at. The wiring may be loose causing resistance or it may have been derated. Sometimes in order to gang dimmer switches together the heat sink needs to be removed. For each tab removed the rating will reduce further. A simple wattage calculation verses the dimmers new rating could give an indication of the problem.

    A hi hat has a protective device installed called a thermal overload. At a certain temperature it will open the circuit and shut off the light. It is usually caused by overlamping and the development of heat inside the can which is dangerous and should be avoided. Pay attention to the types of bulbs you are installing. They are not all the same even if they look similar.

    Overlamping is when bulbs are installed that exceed the rating of the socket. Do not do this, always look for the stamp or sticker on the socket to see the maximum wattage rating.

    Overloading outlets is never a good idea. Give us a call so we can see how to help you.

    It needs to be changed. It is not operating normally anymore. This switch was wired and installed by someone who didn't know that you can't run bare wires through the walls and that the switch needs to be in an enclosure to contain sparking. If it would fail and start sparking it could easily ignite something in the wall. To top it off you can see that the ground wire is absent from the green screw. The ground wire is the most important wire as it is responsible to facilitate the opening of the circuit breaker. Use licensed trades.

    Removing a plug from a receptacle should only be done after turning the device to the off position. Pulling the plug out with the power still on will cause the electricity to try to jump across the gap to maintain the circuit. That's what you are seeing. If the outlet seems loose, discolored or is broken it should be changed. Keep in mind loose connections cause heat to build up and will eventually cause the receptacle or plug to fail.

    It's very important not to be complacent. When you smell plastic burning it's usually something electrical. This is a dryer receptacle that burnt up. There's no doubt the dryer started acting up weeks before. Notice in the second photo what can happen if you ignore an appliance acting in an unusual way. Compare the new receptacle to the burnt old one.

    Smoke detectors are designed to chirp when the back up battery is low. If you recently changed the batteries and it has started chirping again you may not have installed fresh batteries. If you are sure the batteries had a full charge, then there is probably a wiring issue. If a wire has become disconnected the batteries will drain quickly because the smoke detectors have lost power. It is imperative that homes have working smoke detectors...Have this checked right away.

    In this case the original installer neglected to twist the wires before adding the smoke detector whip. The white wire, the neutral became disconnected causing the smoke detector to loose power thus quickly draining the 9 volt battery backup. As a result the smoke detector started chirping louder...no doubt at 2am. Splicing the wires together properly and checking that 120v is present are the first things we'll check for. Change the batteries every year. If the plastic housing of the smoke detector has turned yellow its time to update them to a newer current model. They are designed to change color to alert you...See the FEMA info graphic above.

    If it's a rental, it's against the law. If you had them disconnected because they were too much to deal with, you are compromising your safety and possibly the lives of others if you live in a multi unit dwelling. Have a qualified person check and restore them to funtion as they were intended. Every second counts, the life you save may be your own.

    Yes and no. 
    What does that mean?
    Well, first let’s look at how a smoke detector circuit is wired. In most cases it’s a dedicated circuit from the panel box meaning it is only supplying electricity to the smoke detectors, nothing else. There are three wires in the jacket of the cable that go from the panel box to the first smoke detector. The black which is the current carrying conductor, the white which is the neutral and the ground which will be green.
    From there on there will be four wires traveling to each smoke detector location. A red wire is added to the other three conductors to serve as a linking cable. The purpose of the link in between the smoke detectors is so they will all sound the alarm when one detects the smoke. This way no matter where the fire starts you will be alerted the moment any smoke detector senses smoke.
    Now, suppose you had your smoke detectors changed to the 10 year type now you would think you are good to go for the next ten years and don’t have to worry about changing the batteries each year.
    The problem is that most homeowners aren’t aware that there are two types of 10 year battery smoke detectors. The battery operated type which require no wiring and the conventional 10 year Ac/Dc type which use the three wires and have the battery to serve as a backup in case of a no power situation.
    More importantly it uses the interlinking red wire which will alert the whole house by sounding all of the alarms. Don’t bypass this feature, every moments notice counts in a fire. If you have made this error when changing your smoke detectors please have it corrected by using the correct smoke detector and restoring the link.

    Seniors over 65 and Armed Forces Veterans. Is there a chirping smoke detector you can't reach? Have you had your smoke detectors disabled or removed because they became a nuisance? We'll change the battery for you. Available in West Delray Beach and West Boynton Beach up to 16 feet. Go to the contact page, mention you saw this offer on our website, leave your name, address and phone number. We will schedule a complimentary service call according to location and demand. No phone calls please. Thanks