Prevent Home Electrical Fires

Inadequate electrical capacity is mainly due to increasing the number of devices that consume electricity in your home like new heating and cooling equipment, frost free refrigerators, clothes dryers, water heaters, electric ranges and ovens, dishwashers, and other powerful electric motor driven tools and appliances.

As you add devices to your home, the power supply may become inadequate. If you have indicators like fuses or circuit breakers tripping, or lights dimming, it’s time to carefully look at your circumstances before equipment failure, fire, or other problems arise.

– 5 Causes of Inadequate Power in Your Home –

1.Limited service panel capacity

When the overall demand from total electrical devices is greater than what the panel is able to supply, the main service panel will likely fail, frequently. Excess demand indicates that the panel rating is less than needed or the panel might be limiting capacity because it has no space left for more fuses or circuit breakers.

In either case it’s time to make a circuit map to calculate demand and compare it with the capacity of the main panel to supply. If you find the power demand is less than the capacity and there is no room for more breakers, then a sub-panel might be the answer. Conversely, if the overall demand is greater than the main panel ability to supply, then you will need a licensed electrician to install a new main panel.

2. Overloaded circuits

Another use for the circuit map is to determine if demand on the circuits are greater than the amperage rating of the circuit controlling it. It is important to note peak demands of appliances that may draw more power on starting and create a power surge that trips the breaker.

A power surge that doesn’t trip the breaker is indicated by lights dimming when an appliance turns on. Appliances that produce surges should have their own separate circuit designed to tolerate the surge.

To prevent the risk of fire do not exceed the safe amperage of the circuit. Blown fuses or tripped breakers indicate an overloaded circuit. Do not replace breakers with ones of higher amperage just because they fail. Instead run a new circuit from the main panel that is within the supply capacity.

3. Insufficient number of outlets

A general recommendation is to have at least one outlet for every 12 feet of wall, ground fault interrupted outlets in bathrooms and exterior walls, one outlet for each counter top in the kitchen, or as required by local codes.

The most obvious indicator that more outlets are needed is when you start to use multi-outlet extension cords on a regular or permanent basis. Most low cost extension cords are not designed to carry heavy amperage demanded of permanent wiring. Excess loads may cause overheating and fire.

Computer workstations can require outlets for more than two devices from a single dual receptacle wall circuit. Older CRT monitors and laser printers can cause surges when they are turned on. The best solution is to supply the required outlets on separate circuit(s) designed to exceed the demand. The next best option is to use a fused and surge protected uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to protect your equipment. UPS are now available for less than $100 and can protect your computer investment from power problems better than anything else. The less expensive power bars and extension cords run risks of equipment damage or fires if the circuit is overloaded.

4. Inadequate feeder lines

Older houses may have original two-wire feed lines from the power company’s nearest utility pole. One of the wires is hot, delivering 110-115 volts and the other is neutral. Obviously these lines will not power 240 volt appliances nor is the amperage likely able to power more than a few newer appliances at a time.

The electric company should replace the two wire system with a three wire system at their own expense. Since you will have to pay an electrician to install a new service panel, use your circuit map and any expansion plans to determine future demand, then size the new panel capacity accordingly.

5. Overtaxed transformer

In older high-density neighborhoods electricity demands over time have increased. In some cases the transformer serving the area may not have been increased to meet the growth in demand. Although the power companies are required to scale up supply according to demand, it is wise to check into the matter before paying to connect a larger service.

Tips

Demand Side Management (DSM) refers to actions taken on the customer’s side of the meter to change the amount or timing of energy consumption. Utility DSM programs offer a variety of measures that can reduce energy consumption and consumer energy expenses. Electricity DSM strategies have the goal of maximizing end-use efficiency to avoid or postpone the construction of new generating plants.

Keeping Moisture Out Of Your House

There are several problems that water leakage can cause for you and your home. First, water leakage can cause the growth of fungi, mildew, and molds in your home. This can weaken your walls and cause bigger cracks, thus, increasing the possibility of vermin and rodent infestation. Second, due to the fungi and the rodents, your family becomes exposed to possible diseases. Also, stagnant water is a perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes which are also carriers of diseases like dengue or malaria. Third, water leakage limits your living space. Using your basement or attic when it is wet or damp is out of question. Aside from being uncomfortable and smelly, there is also a high accident risk due to slippage. Fourth, water leakage decreases the value of your property. Real estate agents say that to sell a property with leakage problems, they generally have to lower prices even if the house is worth more than the selling price. This is because more than 25% of possible clients refuse a property with water leakage problems regardless of how minimal the problems are. But there is a solution to all these leakage problems, and that is making your house waterproof. With the development and availability of a variety of waterproofing solutions, there is surely one that can fit into your budget.

A contractor is the first option for properties with severe water leakage problems like basement flooding. This is an expensive option and time-consuming. However, for those who cannot afford waterproofing contractors, there are different methods available. One is to use a sump pump to pump water out of your house into a drainage. The equipment is installed at the lowest part of your house with a pipe leading to the main drainage system. This is only recommended for basement water problems.

For condensation problem, a dehumidifier is often enough to solve it. However, if leakage is really the problem, a waterproof coating system would work well on any part of the house. This option is cheaper compared to contractual work but will entail longer work hours if you opt to do it by yourself. Builders recommend that before undertaking any waterproofing work, clean the surrounding areas like the gutters and ventilation systems. Consequences of these problems are usually mistaken for leakage. This will also lead to the leakage’s source. Most coating system starts with wirebrushing walls of the room to be waterproofed like the basement. This removes any debris that might affect the treatment. Using quick drying cement on holes and cracks usually follow. When the cement dries, it is followed by three coatings of waterproofing enamel. Bill Emerick, a waterproofing specialist emphasize the importance of following indicated spread rates on the can of the solution. Too-thin coatings undo all your efforts to keep moisture and water out of your home.

Regardless of whatever steps you take to maintain your property, you are making steps to ensure your family’s health and the stability of your house. You are also preserving the market value of your property, thereby, taking care of your investment. It might be tedious work, but waterproofing your home is an essential matter you shouldn’t forget.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Closet Space

For many of us, storage space within the home seems to be at a premium most of the time. Although the majority of homes include a large number of closets, they always seem to be full. The truth is, most home owners only use about one-third to two-thirds of their closet space. Because closets are designed vertically, there remains a lot of room even in closets that seem the most crowded as there is a lot of the area that contains only air. Depending on the location of the closet, there are many ways that you can maximize the storage capacities of your household closets.

Bedroom closets are the first type of closet that comes to mind. Bedroom closets usually contain most of our clothes. Clothes are a major space taker in a closet, but they can be reduced so that your closet has more capacity. One way to add to the space for storage within your closet is to use or add additional shelves. Most bedroom closets will include a shelf at the top that can be useful for storing boxes and other smaller items such as underwear and socks. There are many accessories available that can add to your storage capacity as well. Closet organizer hang vertically but contain several vertical compartments that are useful for storing clothing items that can be folded such as pants and T-shirts. You can also buy apparatus that hangs from the main bar in your closet, and is essentially a second bar. This is used to hang more clothing on. The idea of both of these pieces of equipment is to fully utilize the vertical space in your closet.

Other closets in your house are probably used for a variety of storage purposes, for games, books, food, and seasonal clothing. All of these shelves are useful in that they are ready for additional shelving to be incorporated, giving them some extra capacity. There are several different types of shelves for this purpose. One is the bracket shelving style. This type of shelf is easily adjustable due to the many slots on the mount into which the metal bracket is placed. The flexibility offered by these shelves is great, but they tend to be unreliable in terms of stability, and you may find yourself knocking the shelves themselves over gain and again. A more complex process in terms of installation, but a much more reliable model when it comes to stability, are installed wooden shelves with ledges. These shelves have to be measured carefully on installation, or they will be useless to you. The mounts are merely ledges nailed into the wall, the shelves sized planks that fit on top of the ledges. The whole project requires some attention to detail, and you lose the flexibility offered by bracket shelves, but they are a much more stable model.

There are a few ways to maximize the closet space in your home, depending on the use of the closet and the degree of stability and effort you want to put into it. Wooden shelves on mounts are the best way to go for a closet that needs stability, such as a pantry or game shelf, while mount and bracket styles are best for closet with goods of variable sizes that are prone to reorganization.

For many of us, storage space within the home seems to be at a premium most of the time. Although the majority of homes include a large number of closets, they always seem to be full. The truth is, most home owners only use about one-third to two-thirds of their closet space. Because closets are designed vertically, there remains a lot of room even in closets that seem the most crowded as there is a lot of the area that contains only air. Depending on the location of the closet, there are many ways that you can maximize the storage capacities of your household closets.

Bedroom closets are the first type of closet that comes to mind. Bedroom closets usually contain most of our clothes. Clothes are a major space taker in a closet, but they can be reduced so that your closet has more capacity. One way to add to the space for storage within your closet is to use or add additional shelves. Most bedroom closets will include a shelf at the top that can be useful for storing boxes and other smaller items such as underwear and socks. There are many accessories available that can add to your storage capacity as well. Closet organizer hang vertically but contain several vertical compartments that are useful for storing clothing items that can be folded such as pants and T-shirts. You can also buy apparatus that hangs from the main bar in your closet, and is essentially a second bar. This is used to hang more clothing on. The idea of both of these pieces of equipment is to fully utilize the vertical space in your closet.

Other closets in your house are probably used for a variety of storage purposes, for games, books, food, and seasonal clothing. All of these shelves are useful in that they are ready for additional shelving to be incorporated, giving them some extra capacity. There are several different types of shelves for this purpose. One is the bracket shelving style. This type of shelf is easily adjustable due to the many slots on the mount into which the metal bracket is placed. The flexibility offered by these shelves is great, but they tend to be unreliable in terms of stability, and you may find yourself knocking the shelves themselves over gain and again. A more complex process in terms of installation, but a much more reliable model when it comes to stability, are installed wooden shelves with ledges. These shelves have to be measured carefully on installation, or they will be useless to you. The mounts are merely ledges nailed into the wall, the shelves sized planks that fit on top of the ledges. The whole project requires some attention to detail, and you lose the flexibility offered by bracket shelves, but they are a much more stable model.

There are a few ways to maximize the closet space in your home, depending on the use of the closet and the degree of stability and effort you want to put into it. Wooden shelves on mounts are the best way to go for a closet that needs stability, such as a pantry or game shelf, while mount and bracket styles are best for closet with goods of variable sizes that are prone to reorganization.