Electricity: Safety, Experiments and Do-It-Yourself Projects

DIY Electrical Toolkit: Things You Will Need

There are a wide range of small electrical upgrades and repairs which you can carry out around your home. Carrying out these jobs can help to improve your confidence when working on the electrical system in your home. To carry out these small upgrades and repairs, you will require an electrical tool kit. Below is a list of essential tools you will need in your electrical tool kit in order to tackle common electrical maintenance jobs around your property. Torch If you are working on the electrical system in your home, it is likely you will need to turn off the power supply in your home or work in confined and dark places to gain access to wires. Therefore, it makes sense to have a torch in your repair kit, so you can see what you are doing. Wire Strippers Some jobs or repairs will require you to remove the plastic coating from wiring. You should invest in a pair of wire strippers which have a range of different sized teeth so you can quickly strip the insulation from different sized wires in your home. Multimeter Circuit Tester Safety comes first when working on the electrical system in your home, which is why you should invest in a multimeter circuit tester. This piece of equipment will allow you to test the level of electrical resistance and the amount of current. You can buy separate testers to check each of these things, but a multimeter will allow you to save a lot of space in your electrical toolkit. Electrical Tape Electrical tape is an essential part of any toolkit. It can be used to temporarily repair damaged wires and for wrapping conductors and connectors to prevent short circuits and possible electrical fires. Insulated Screwdrivers You will need to invest in flat headed and Phillips type screwdrivers so you can dismantle electrical sockets and other components to gain access to the inner electrical wiring. You should buy screwdrivers which have insulated handles to protect yourself from electrical shocks when carrying out repairs. Needle Nose Pliers Needle nose pliers will be required if you need to hold small components in place while you work on them or if you need to bend wires into shape. They are also handy for separating wires which are bound together. If you have an electrical problem in your home and require additional help or assistance, you should contact […]

Electrical saving tips | Zero-cost ways of saving your electrical bill

With the rising electrical costs, you’ll definitely want to cut down on your electricity. Besides, there are better ways to use your hard-earned money. But saving your energy bill has got a lot to it. Most people will advise you on getting certain devices and energy saving gadgets such as solar panels. Though buying such equipment may work, there are other ways you can cut down your bill without having to spend a dime. You just have to be informed. Here are a few tips on how you can make that happen. Unplug your appliances Here’s a fun fact; your appliances use up electricity even when in standby mode. That phone charger you have plugged in that is not charging any phone and the TV that stays unwatched overnight could really make a difference in your electrical bill. So check your electrical appliances. Lamps, computers, home theatres all sap your electric current. If you’ve got power strips, then you’ll be better off, because you won’t have to go around the house unplugging unused devices. A power strip is a convenient tool that assists in unplugging multiple devices with the flick of a switch. Go for cold water Another zero cost way to take your bill down a notch is to go for cold as opposed to hot water. You could even try taking cold showers. They’ve got a lot more advantages than hot showers. Cold showers burn fat and even strengthen immunity. If going for cold showers is not an option, then try keeping your bathing time short. You could also avoid bathtubs as they use more hot water as compared to showers. Also, try washing your clothes with cold water. They would even last longer. There are plenty of cold water detergents to help you with this. Clean your condenser coils Condenser coils are located at the back or underneath your freezer. It’s the part of the air conditioning that converts the refrigerant vapour into liquid, thus cooling the interior. Accumulated dust and debris may reduce its inefficiency up to 25%, which makes it work harder to achieve the same temperature levels. Lower your thermostat setting Don’t increase your thermostat temperatures every time you feel a breeze. Wear a sweater instead. Turn the thermostat all the way down in rooms that are rarely used to conserve energy. For lowering your thermostat 2 degrees, you could save up to 5% of […]

Tips to Help You Reduce How Often Circuit Breakers Trip

Have you ever plugged in an electrical device only to be shocked that all the lights went off? Here are some tips that will help you to limit how often circuit breakers trip in your home. Unplug Appliances Many people think that an electrical appliance does not receive any current once that appliance is switched off. Current will still run to that appliance as long as its power cable is in a power outlet. Thus, the switched off appliance will reduce how much current the additional appliance can draw before the limit of the circuit breaker is reached. It is therefore advisable to unplug all the appliances that you are not using. This will prevent the circuit breaker from tripping once you plug in an appliance that you would like to use. Spread Out Appliances Some appliances (such as space heaters) consume more power than others (such as computers) do. Some homeowners make the mistake of using an extension cable to supply power to several gadgets that consume a lot of power. This combined consumption can easily exceed the limit of the power outlet into which the extension cable was plugged, causing the circuit breaker to trip. Develop a habit of placing appliances in several locations so that they do not draw power from the same outlet. For example, iron clothes from one room as another person is using a space heater in another room. In this way, no single outlet will be overloaded to the extent of tripping a circuit breaker. You can also check the power rating of each appliance in your home. Avoid placing appliances that need a lot of power on the same circuit or outlet. Check Appliance Cords Regularly Circuit breakers may also trip because frayed appliance cables have shorted. The best way to prevent such causes of tripped breakers is to check the condition of appliance cords before you plug any appliance into an outlet. Look out for frayed, cut or melted sections of power cords. Do not plug in any appliance whose cord has visible signs of damage. Fix that damage first, or hire someone to do it. It is not advisable to flip a breaker switch back on before identifying what caused it to trip in the first place. This is because the defect may be in the wiring of the house and a fire may break out if that problem is […]

How to Troubleshoot a Flickering Light Bulb

Flickering lights are a common problem that can have a variety of explanations. They aren’t always a sign of a serious electrical issue that warrants professional help. Here are four ways to determine where the problem is coming from and whether or not you’ll need an expert to fix it. Loose Light Bulb If only one light is flickering the issue is probably the bulb itself. Unscrew the bulb completely, and then screw it back in. Make sure you turn off the switch first. If the bulb continues to flicker, try a different bulb. If the other bulb doesn’t flicker, the original bulb is either faulty or has surpassed its lifespan.  Faulty Switch When the above technique doesn’t work, investigate the actual switch. Turn it off and on a few times to see if the flickering dies down. If it continues, try a different outlet. Sometimes loose screw terminals can cause a bad connection. Check the socket casing to see if it’s loose or snugly in place. Tighten the screw terminals if needs be. Any other problems with the outlet should be addressed by a professional electrician. Voltage Fluctuations When all of the lights in a particular room are flickering, you may have a bigger problem to contend with. If the weather is bad, simply turn off the outlets and wait for it to change. If the problem continues, it could mean that your lights are sharing a branch circuit with another appliance. This often causes light bulbs  to shine brighter than usual or burn out too quickly. Keep a watchful eye on your other appliances. For example, when the lights are flickering you might notice problems with the temperature of your fridge or freezer as well. Temporary Light Flickering If your lights flicker when you initially turn them on, but fully illuminate after a few seconds, you’re probably using a fluorescent bulb. This is perfectly normal. Many energy saving bulbs will also take a few minutes to fully light up and may flicker when they’re initially switched on. Sometimes the lack of brightness may even cause your mind to play tricks on you, giving the illusion of flickering when they’re just getting brighter.  If you’re still not sure what’s causing the problem, don’t take any chances. Tampering with electrical equipment can be very dangerous if you don’t have the knowledge or safety equipment. To resolve more serious issues always consult […]

3 Interesting Questions About Commercial LED Lighting

LED lighting technology has found a place in a large number of modern commercial applications. Business owners intent on embracing the use of commercial LED lighting technology need to understand what they can do with LED lighting technology around the commercial premises beyond the installation of energy-efficient LED bulbs, and how this can be beneficial to the commercial entity.  This article provides answers to three questions about commercial LED lighting for the benefit of the above-mentioned category of business owners.  What Are LED Wallpapers? LED wallpapers are a relatively new addition to the long line of commercial applications for which LED lighting technology is used.  LED wallpapers allow business entities the opportunity to incorporate subtle sources of LED light into their wallpaper. LED pin spots are commonly used for this purpose. The LED lights can be used to create intricate patterns with a high aesthetic value right on the office wall. The lights can also be patterned to create business logos (and similar branding tools) associated with the commercial entity. LED wallpapers would be a great addition for offices that handle graphic design and interior design. The installation of LED wallpapers can transform a regular dull-looking office into a sophisticated and futuristic work environment. What Is An LED Virtual Sky? LED Virtual skies are also a relatively new innovation. The virtual sky is created through the installation of ceiling panels into which LED lights have been infused. LED virtual sky panels can be installed across the entire ceiling area of an office or offices. Inasmuch as virtual sky panels are used in place of traditional roofing materials, their installation is a highly delicate affair. Instead of going for a roofing contractor, affected business owners should seek the services of a commercial electrician. This is because roofing contractors seldom have expertise in matters related to large-scale electrical installations. Installation of an LED virtual sky may also create the need for professional plumbing services. A plumbing contractor will make necessary adjustments to the commercial roof drainage system so that chances of water getting into contact with the virtually sky panels are reduced (if not eliminated). Are There Tax Incentives For Any Of The Above Installations? Installation of LED wallpapers and/ or virtual skies are both large-scale projects. The two projects may qualify a business entity for a research and development tax incentive from the Australian government. Considering that LED virtual skies are […]

Is Your Toaster Broken? These Tips Can Help You Fix It

If toast or bagels are your morning breakfast staples, a broken toaster could be a huge inconvenience. While your first instinct may just be to purchase a new one, try saving yourself money and try to fix it yourself. Even though toasters are widely available at low costs, the cheaper they are, the more likely they are to need more repairs in the future, so fixing your current one might just be more economical. Read on to learn the common reasons toasters fail and a few ways you can solve those problems. The Design Unfortunately, the standard toaster design may just be its downfall. Because particles and crumbs commonly fall off food in the toaster, these pieces can accumulate in the carriage (the part that lowers and pops up), cause electrical shorts, or interfere with the general operations of the machine. To prevent any of these problems from ever occurring (and to attempt fixing them if they do), always empty your toaster’s crumb tray on a regular basis and ensure there aren’t crumbs stuck elsewhere in the inner mechanism. The Latch The first step in repair is removing the exterior of the toaster to open the latch and carriage. If your toaster no longer “clicks” in place after sliding a piece of bread in the machine (and subsequently doesn’t turn on), your problem is most likely in the latch assembly. To access this area, unplug the toaster and remove any screws, buttons and knobs holding the exterior section in place, then carefully remove it to reveal the inner parts. The latch will be located where the lever was on the outside, and you should inspect it for obvious damage—like a broken part or food that prevents the part from correctly working. If nothing appears wrong, you can clean the part with a cloth. The Carriage The second part to inspect is the carriage where the food actually goes. Check that it freely moves up and down, and if it does not, add a small amount of lubricant to the sides of the carriage. If your toaster commonly jams or doesn’t pop up when it is supposed to, a little oil is all it could need. If servicing the carriage and latch assembly doesn’t seem to be solving the problem, the heating coils or electrical circuits could be to blame. Because these problems are more complex to fix, calling an electrician […]

Handy Tips for Avoiding Electrical Emergencies in Your Residence

One of the most important elements in your home is electricity. However, despite needing power to run almost everything in the residence, homeowners will typically not give a second thought to their electricity supply until they experience an interruption. It should be noted that most electrical emergencies could easily be avoided if you took the time to inspect your electricity supply and take note of any irregular changes. In the event of a problem with your electricity though, it is always best to seek the services of an emergency electrician, as they would be better placed at safely diagnosing the fault and remedying it before it can cause further damages. Here are some handy tips to avoid electrical emergencies in your residence. Regularly inspect your power cords and cables All electrical appliances will need to connect to a power outlet using either a cord or a cable. Over time, these cords can succumb to wear and tear and shows signs of fraying. Typically, homeowners will ignore this, assuming that as long as the cord remains untouched, the appliance will work as normal. What happens, however, is that the more wear and tear the cords acquire, the higher the chances are that the internal wires will become exposed. These live wires then become a potential threat for electrocution and cause serious injuries. Additionally, as the cords fray, the plastic that encompasses them also starts being hard and will begin to show signs of cracking. Since this plastic casing is supposed to act as an insulator barrier, when it becomes compromised your appliances pose a potential risk for causing an electrical fire in your home. Carrying out regular inspections on the different appliances in the home gives you a chance to spot the wear and tear before it becomes extensive. It is advisable to unplug the appliance in question so as to prevent further damage. You can then enlist the services of an emergency electrician to come replace the cables for you. Do not misuse your electrical outlets Another common mistake that homeowners make is daisy chaining extension cords so as to provide additional power outlets for their numerous electrical gadgets. Although this may seem convenient, you are actually overloading the power source. This increases the chances of experiencing regular tripping of your circuit breaker as it tries to regulate electrical surges. Instead of choosing to daisy chain your extension cables, it […]

How to Adjust the Control Switch of a Pressure Pump

Basically, a water pressure control switch serves to regulate the water supply inside the home. When the water pressure plunges to a certain level, the control switch detects the need for more water, and spring-loaded electric components make contact, switching on the pressure pump. Likewise, when the pressure is restored to a set level and the water tank is filled to capacity, the electric components disengage, and the pressure pump switches off. No special apparatus are needed to fine-tune a water pressure control knob. Ordinary homeowners can carry out the task using a pair of pliers. Switch off the power and take out the switch casing To start with, unplug or disconnect the pressure pump from the power source to avoid the risk of electrocution. With the use of a pair of pliers, loosen the nut that clasps the protective casing in place. Lift the casing off the pressure control switch mechanism. You will notice two springs fastened by adjustment nuts which act as the control for the pressure control switch. Note that these are the control switches that you will be adjusting. Adjust the pressure setting on the switch The adjustment nut that is positioned on the larger spring serves to adjust the pressure. To increase the working pressure of the water pump, you only need to rotate the nut in a clockwise direction. On the other hand, the smaller spring and adjustment nut regulates the cut-off pressure of the water pump. By turning the nut stationed on the smaller spring in a clockwise direction, the cut off is raised while the nut tightens. This regulates how long the water pump will cycle prior to switching off. Make sure that the smaller nut and spring are not adjusted in such a way that the cut-off pressure is lower than the cut-on or else the water pump will go into a continuous, never ending cycle, which may eventually cause damage to the pump. Replace the casing After having adequately adjusted the pressure control switch and the pressure pump starts to cycle correctly, it is time to restore the casing on top of the water pump pressure control switch. Using your pliers, fasten the nut on the casing back in position. Upon making sure that the control switch is securely covered, switch on the power and make certain the pressure pump is working as well as cycling as it should be.

When to Call an Electrical Specialist for Jobs Around the House

When it comes to electrical repair and upgrading jobs around the house, it’s almost always best to call an electrician to handle the work for you. Electrical wiring should be tested before anything new is plugged into a socket, and unless you have the right type of wiring for appliances and other devices, they can be easily damaged when in use. Note when you want to call a specialist electrician for jobs around the house. 1. Anything involving water and electricity These jobs may include installing a new dishwasher or hot tub, or a landscaping feature outside that includes a waterfall. The reason you need an electrical specialist is that electricity that runs around water needs to be properly grounded and insulated, to reduce the risk of shock. You also need to ensure that the water lines to these appliances and devices are properly installed and insulated so they don’t leak and increase the risk of shock. 2. When upgrading kitchen appliances Today’s home appliances typically offer more features than ever before, which means they may need more power than your old appliances. Running them on outdated wiring can mean wear and tear on the parts, as they try to operate without needed power. Have an electrician test your wiring and circuits to ensure your new appliances are protected, and to have new wiring installed where necessary. 3. If you need to remove insulation In some homes, insulation has been installed right over electrical wiring. If the wiring has become bare or frayed, it may cling to the insulation. In turn, you may be at risk of shock when you pull at the insulation. The older your home, the greater the risk of bare or frayed wires. Have an electrical specialist check the wiring of your home before you start pulling up insulation so you know if it’s safe. 4. When repairing after a flood or fire As with installing appliances with water, you want to have an electrical specialist perform repairs after a flood to ensure the wires are protected from moisture. It’s also good to ensure a specialist repairs or replaces wiring after a fire, so they can ensure that all damaged wires are addressed. It might also be a good time to have your home’s wiring upgraded with wires that provide more power to your electrical devices; even if your home doesn’t need upgraded wiring now, this […]

Electrical Systems And Equipment That Can Be Installed By Underground Mining Electricians

Both underground and surface mining activities always take place in a dangerous environment. Moisture, corrosive and inflammable vapors, abrasive dust and the risk of rock collapses are all real challenges. For all these reasons, only experienced and skilled individuals should be tasked with performing underground mining services. The role of underground mining electricians is very important in ensuring the safety of the work environment. Main duties of underground mining electricians Mining electricians often work with heavy machinery and equipment. Among their main responsibilities are doing maintenance work on the electric equipment in mines, including circuit breakers, contactors, switchgears, electromagnetic braking systems, electrical motors, communication systems, mine-duty transformers, light switches and all the electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical machinery used in underground mines. Their job in the industry of underground mining services also involves conducting inspections of the equipment in the mines to make sure they meet safety standards and fix them when the need arises. Examples of such equipment are microprocessor control systems used for extraction work or loading stations. Other responsibilities All underground mining electricians must be capable of installing wiring and circuit, performing electrical fitting, high voltage switching and electronics, planning wiring infrastructure, installing insulated cables and connecting switches and outlets. They can also connect cables to circuit breakers, transformers, motors and heaters, test circuits and equipment, and so on. Underground mining electricians are also responsible of troubleshooting electrical problems, ensuring that new equipments are compatible with the already existent wiring, keeping records of the problems found and fixed as well as estimating the costs of reparation and installation of equipment and electrical systems. Additionally, they should always be ready to respond to breakdowns and blown fuses. Tools used by underground mining electricians Mining electricians normally use the same tools that any electrical engineer would use. These include testing and detection equipment, indicator lamps, measuring and diagnostic equipment, pipe and tube bender, voltage indicator, pliers, multimeter, insulation resistance tester, ground fault indicator tester and many more. The work carried out by electricians is essential to properly performing underground mining services. Nowadays, most underground mine operators use electricity as a means to facilitate the activity of miners in a rather hostile working environment. The work of underground mining electricians drive the mining industry, but they often put their very lives at risk while doing their jobs because they often encounter difficult conditions and challenges. One wrong move could compromise the […]