6 common electrical problems and solutions

6 Common Electrical Problems & Solutions.

1. Overlamping

Overlamping is when a light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is designed for

What it means: A light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture is designed for.

Danger level: High. The bulb’s intense heat can scorch or melt the socket and insulation on the fixture’s wires, which increases the risk of arcing — sparks that jump through the air from one wire to another — a chief cause of electrical fires. The damage to socket and wires remains even after the bulb has been removed.

Solution: Stay within the wattage limit listed on all light fixtures made since 1985. For older, unmarked fixtures, use only 60-watt bulbs or smaller.

2. Uncovered Junction Box

Uncovered junction boxes increase the risk of wire damage and shock

What it means: Because a junction box houses the splices where wires are connected to one another, a person could inadvertently damage the wires or get a shock.

Danger level: Minimal, as long as wires aren’t within reach.

Solution: Spend a few cents to buy a new cover and install it with the screws provided.

3. Lights Flicker When It’s Windy

Lights flicker when it’s windy because frayed wiring causes a short whenever the cables move

What it means: Frayed wiring in the Weatherhead (the outdoor fitting where overhead cables from the power line coming into the house) is causing a short whenever the cables move.

Danger level: High. Aside from the annoyance, the frayed wiring can arc and start a fire.

Solution: Contact the electric utility, which may replace the Weatherhead at no charge.

4. Too Few Outlets

Not enough outlets mean you’re likely to rely on extension cords and power strips

What it means: Heavy reliance on extension cords and power strips.

Danger level: Minimal, as long as you use heavy-duty extension cords, 14-gauge or thicker. (The thicker the wire, the lower the gauge number.) Undersize extension cords (16-gauge or smaller) can overheat and ignite a fire if loads are too heavy.

Solution: Add more outlets. Expect to pay an electrician per first-floor outlet and double that for second-floor work. (There will likely be a minimum charge.) This work requires cutting holes in walls and ceilings to snake the wires. Some electricians will patch the holes; others leave the patching to you.

5. Overwired Panel

Overwired panels contain more circuits than they are rated to handle

What it means: The panel contains more circuits than it’s rated to handle, because too many single-pole breakers (one circuit) have been replaced with tandem breakers (two circuits) in one slot. (Tandem breakers aren’t the same as high-amp double-pole breakers, which take up two slots with one circuit.) A label on each panel specifies how many circuits the panel can accommodate.

Danger level: Minimal. It may become an issue when the house is being sold and an inspector looks inside the panel.

Solution: Add a subpanel with a few extra slots, or, if you’re planning major home improvements, replace the existing panel with a larger model.

6. Aluminum Wiring

Popular in the 1960s and ’70s, unsafe aluminum wiring is a cheap substitute for copper

What it means: You have a type of wiring, used in the 1960s and ’70s as a cheap substitute for copper, that is no longer considered safe.

Danger level: High Aluminum corrodes when in contact with copper, so connections loosen, which can lead to arcing and fires.

Solution: Retrofit a dielectric wire nut approved for aluminum wire onto each copper/aluminum connection in light fixtures. These nuts have a special grease that stops corrosion while maintaining conductivity. Make sure any replacement switches and receptacles are labeled AL-compatible.

Tips to Save your Electricity Bill this Summer

Top 5 tips for cable management.

Cables, ugh! They bunch up like ramen noodles under your desk or behind your desk on the floor. I know many of you have your own special ways of dealing—or not dealing—with cables. Please indulge me, and check out these five tips for cable management.

  1. Tie them up: There are simple tips that can ease your wire management. You can keep cords together and use simple zip to tie them so they don’t splay out from tie. Velcro zip ties are handy if you move cords from one place to another and need to move always. By tying them up your wire will be much tidy and easy for handling. 
  2. Labeling: This tip will actually help everyone. When you look at your power strip, you can always remember which wall port belongs to which device. However a lot of plugs having the same color looks the same, so it will be easy for you when you label them so you don’t have to trace it back. You can use this tip in various things like the same thing goes for HDMI cables going to a TV.
  3. Hide those cables: It is also important that wire should look good and tidy. Therefore you can wrap them in foam insulation or a paper towel tube. Some more things will help you like a shoebox and other boxes can be used with some cutouts to bundle cables together out of sight. Wire basket will also be a good option to bundle them.
  4. Binder clips: Those who want that when they unplug the wire and leave on your desk, this tip will be very good from them. Instead of hoping they will not fall behind your desk. In this everyone can attach a binder clip to edge of your desk and run the cable through one of the wire parts you use to squeeze the clip.
  5. Wireless: Things are getting better and better day by day. Technologies are improving always as wifi and Bluetooth are replacing wires. This one won’t work for everything, but it’s becoming a viable replacement for cable equipment all the time, so might be worth reevaluating.

I hope you found these tips out of sight—like your cables!

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Why Stranded wire is better than solid wire?

When we compare solid wire and stranded wire, Stranded wire are far more flexible compared to solid wire. It is more considered when you need a wire which has to be moved around often, for instance, like the wires in a robot arm. Apart from these, the solid wire is mostly used where there is no such movement like circuits on beadboard and etc.

While choosing the types of wiring for any electrical project you must focus on various important factors. Most factors depend on the kind of application you want and the amperage. Apart from that, you have to focus on the right gauge and the type of metal wire which will be highly suitable for your work. When it comes to choosing the right wire for your project, an expert will see the differences between the stranded wire and solid wire.

Where you can use the stranded wire?

Stranded wire is going to have many thin wires that are braided or twisted together to make one cohesive bunch of wires, while on the same side solid wire will be made up of one metalcore. Both wires are suitable for domestic and commercial usage but each wire and its strengths and weaknesses. The strengths and weaknesses will help you decide which wire will be suitable for your application. That is why the stranded wire is used for more intricate and sophisticated use like in circuit boards and electronic devices. The Solid wire, however, is typically used for all rugged-duty applications and outdoor uses where their wire are going to exposed to very adverse climates. While in the stranded wire are going to be well protected even though they may be twisted or bent while you use them to connect with electronic components.

There are various advantages of solid wire, the biggest advantages are the simplicity of use, durability, and costs. As the solid wire comprises of only one metal core, therefore the chances of its damages are very less. But the stranded wire will perform best when you use them for bending and twisting like making of the circuit. They are most often used for vehicular applications and for robotics. While on the same hand solid wire is of no use because they have no flexibility and strength to withstand such reshaping or frequent movements. When you are required for a lot of reshaping the stranded wires are the best option.

When it comes to cost, it is always necessary to see the costs which will be used in the long term. The solid wire will require less investment for the first time as compared to the more expensive stranded wire. But the stranded wire will last more whenever it comes to reshaping of wires and frequent alterations. The bare stranded copper wire gets made from electrolytic grade copper. Therefore you have to be alert while you choose a manufacturer which complies with global quality standards. 

The submersible cable

These cables are mostly used to work in marine environments. This wire has the capabilities of providing electrical power even in wet conditions. The rubber and plastic coating are the main reasons why it has been able to do so. This plastic coating allows the cables to withstand all liquid substances like oil, water or grease. Due to its robust mechanical and electrical properties of the wires are always protected from oil or water. Such cables can be found in single or multiple conductors. There are various shapes and sizes which are designed according to the usage. They are mostly used for pump motors. Other uses are for irrigation systems, Underground mining, and drilling works. When you buy these cables, you must focus on the manufacturer which can offer you quality products at affordable rates.

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Which wire manufacturer is best for you?

Wire manufacturer is not similar to other manufacturers. These are basically dependent on various points like the sizes, prices, and Quality, all the above points play a very important role. As there are various types of manufacturers, Every manufacturer holds different types of specialties. You have to be clear about your requirement. Being specific would be easy for you to decide which manufacturer will be best for you.

Now, How will you decide about your requirement? 

Basically, you have to focus about 3 Major points:

  1. The design: It is always necessary to understand your requirement as the wire you are going to use are for new setup or for improvisation of your existing setup. If it is an improvisation then you must inform your supplier about when it is installed, what is the brand and quality. And if it is a new setup you must ask about quotes from different wire manufacturers, negotiate and the most important, that you check the quality and their ability to scale whenever you need extra.
  2. Technical Points: While considering the technical points you should focus on the power the cable needs to deliver, The voltage the wire will carry, grounding and the number of contact points. Try to collect all of this knowledge before, which will save your time and money. But don’t worry if you are not clear about the technicalities, the manufacturer has their specialists who will help you to determine and provide the perfect wire for you for every purpose.
  3. Quality Concerns: Always discuss with your manufacturer the purpose and where you are going to use the wire. Because copper has its amazing properties, it’s always the preferable material for wire manufacturers. Copper has the quality of corrosion-resistant, durable, can withstand heat, moisture, and other calamities. Although these are a general requirement. If you want and advance requirement above these then you must discuss your points with the manufacturer.

Manufacturer’s Certifications: Nowadays certifications are very important and it is important for everyone to see the certifications of the manufacturer. In today’s world, every manufacturer has its website and they are available online and always updated. Every manufacturer has a prominent corner in their website which displays their certifications. For Wire manufacturers, the most important certificate is the ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) which is recognized all over the world and applies to almost every industries. In respect of ISO, ISI certifications are also necessary which has the standard for Indian users and India industries. Both the certificates confirm that the products are of high-quality and meet all the safety measures that are required. These points are very important since you are talking about products that can cause fire and destroy both property and lives.

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Tips to save your electricity bill this summer.

1- Use power strips. Did you know that electronics like your lamp or phone charger are still using power, even if your phone isn’t actually plugged in? Power sucks as these can vastly increase your power bill. Consolidate cords and save energy, plug them into a power strip, and turn them off when not in use.

2- Energy-efficient technology, invest in future savings plus sustainability. LED and fluorescent light bulbs are a great investment and easy change. They last a lot longer and use much less energy. Fluorescent tube lights and CFLs are five times more efficient than ordinary bulbs and thus save about 70% of electricity.

3- Air conditioners: Use your room air conditioner at 25°C and shade your home’s windows and walls which will reduce your electricity costs by as much as 40 percent.Use Fans which will allow air movement to cool the room.

4- Refrigerators: Keep refrigerators away from all sources of heat, including direct sunlight, the oven, and cooking range and allow enough space for continuous airflow around the refrigerator.

5- Microwave Ovens & Electric Kettles: Microwaves save energy by reducing cooking time. In fact, you can save up to 50 percent on your cooling energy costs by using a microwave instead of a regular oven, especially for small quantities of food. And if you are cooking more than 1 item, Place larger and thicker items outside. Use an electric kettle to heat water as it is more energy-efficient.

Electrical Safety Tips For This Monsoon

Electrical Safety tips For this Monsoon

Marked with regular rainfall, thunderstorms, high winds, and floods, the rainy season could see a lot of electrical accidents, especially since water is a good conductor of electricity.

However, that informs the need for us to be more alert while dealing with electrical appliances this monsoon.

Here are a few electrical safety tips you must need in this monsoon:
1. Avoid Flooded Areas:

Everyone is advised to stay indoors or to find the closest shelter in the event of rain or storm.  But if you have to go out, it would be wise to avoid flooded areas, especially those close to heavy electrical equipment.

2. Stay away from power lines during a Storm, Rain:

The human body is a ready conductor of electricity and as such,  It is advised that you stay at least 10 feet away from a power line and anything touching it. 

The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This way, it will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.

3. Never leave Cut Wires astray:

In cases where you have wires on the floor or lying on the road in your area, it will be wise to either get a DisCo official to reconnect or safely tuck away the wires before the event of a rainstorm. 

These wires may cause severe electrical hazards if they come in contact with water (provided current is flowing through the wire).

4. Avoid outdoor electrical tasks during rainfall:

Avoid high altitude during rainfall, as that presents a real danger of being struck by lightning – especially when climbing poles. 

Never attempt electrical chores if you are not a trained engineer but if you have to, avoid doing this under the rain.

5. Take caution when close to Water:

Never touch anything electrical with wet hands or bare feet, always use caution when operating electrical appliances near water sources and all appliances.

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How to deal with short circuits

There are various causes which can cause a short circuit. The most common is when a circuit breaker trip and causes the circuit to shut off and there are other conditions like power overloads. Therefore it is very important to determine why the breaker is tripping. Whenever the circuit breaker trips after being reset, then this shows that there is a wiring problem along the circuit or in one of the appliances connected to that circuit.

The procedure to find out if you suspect a short circuit:

  1. Locate the tripped circuit breaker: At the main service panel, look for an individual circuit breaker with a handle that has snapped to the OFF position. Some breakers may have a red or orange window indicator to make it easy to spot. This tripped breaker will identify the circuit where the problem exists. Leave the circuit breaker OFF as you inspect along the circuit.
  2. Inspect appliance power cords: Inspect all the power cords plugged into outlets along the circuit that has tripped. If you find any that are damaged or on which the plastic insulation has melted, there is a good chance the short circuit is within the appliance or device itself. Unplug these appliances from the circuit. If you find suspect appliances, switch the circuit breaker back on after unplugging them. If the circuit now remains active without tripping again, it is very certain that your problem existed in an appliance. However, if the circuit breaker trips again immediately, proceed to the next step.
  3. Turn off all light and appliance switches along the circuit. Then, turn the circuit breaker back to the ON position.
  4. Turn on each light switch or appliance switch, one at a time. If you reach a switch that causes the circuit breaker to trip again, you have identified the section of circuit wiring where a loose connection or wiring problem exists.
  5. Repair the circuit wiring problem. This is a step that may require the help of a professional electrician. Do not attempt this unless you are very confident about your knowledge and skill level. This repair will involve shutting off the circuit, then opening up outlet and switch boxes to inspect the wires and wire connections and making any repairs that are necessary.

If you cannot find any obvious problem in one of the plug-in appliance or fixture wiring connections, the problem is likely hidden somewhere in the wall wiring. Solving this problem will require you to call a licensed electrician to deal with it. Do not reactivate the circuit until the problem has been identified and repaired—doing so poses a risk of fire and shock to you and your family. Any smell of smoke or signs of charring or melted plastic is a sign you have a serious problem.

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Electrical Wiring Color Coding System

Opening up an outlet or light switch box, you might be confronted with a bewildering array of wires of different colors. Black, white, bare copper, and other colors closely intermingle, yet each one has its own specific purpose. Knowing the purpose of each wire will keep you safe and your house’s electrical system in top working order.

Electrical Cable and Wire Color Markings

Non-metallic (or NM) 120-volt and the 240-volt electrical cable come in two main parts: the outer plastic sheathing (or jacket) and the inner, color-coded wires. The sheathing binds the inner wires together, and its outer markings indicate the number of wires and size of wire (gauge) within the sheathing. The color of the sheathing indicates recommended usages. For example, white sheathing means that the inner wires are 14-gauge and yellow sheathing indicates that they are 12-gauge.

But looking deeper, the color of the wires inside of the sheathing reveals that different colored wires serve different purposes. The National Electrical Code (NEC)says that white or gray must be used for neutral conductors and that bare copper or green wires must be used as ground wires. Beyond that are general, industry-accepted rules about wire color that indicate their purpose.

Black Wires: Hot

Black insulation is always used for hot wires and is common in most standard household circuits.

The term “hot” is used for source wires that carry power from the electric service panel to a destination, such as a light or an outlet. Even though you are permitted to use a white wire as a hot wire by marking it with electrical tape, the opposite is not recommended or allowed. In other words, do not use a black wire as a neutral or ground wire, or for any purpose other than for carrying live electrical loads.

Red Wires: Hot

Red wires are used to designate hot wires.

Red wires are sometimes used as the second hot wire in 240-volt installations. Another useful application for red wires is to interconnect hardwired smoke detectors so that if one alarm is triggered all of the others go off simultaneously.

White Wires With Black or Red Tape: Hot

When a white wire is augmented with a red or black color marking, this often indicates that it is being used as a hot wire rather than a neutral wire. Typically, this is indicated with a band of black or red electrical tape (but other colors may be used) wrapped around the wire’s insulation.

For instance, a white wire in a two-wire cable may be used for the second hot wire on a 240-volt appliance or outlet circuit. This white wire should be looped several times around with black electrical tape to show that it is being used for something other than a neutral. 

Bare Copper Wires: Ground

Bare copper wires are the most common type of wire used for grounding.

All electrical devices must be grounded. In the event of a fault, grounding provides a safe pathway for electricity to travel. The current literally passes back to the ground or earth. Bare copper wires connect to electrical devices, such as switches, outlets, and fixtures, as well as metal appliance frames or housings. Metal electrical boxes also need their own ground connection because they are made of a conductive material. Plastic boxes are nonconductive and do not need to be grounded.

Green Wires: Ground

Green insulated wires are sometimes used for grounding.

Ground screws on electrical devices are often painted green, too. Never use a green wire for any purpose other than for grounding.

Green wire insulation
Claire Cohen 

White or Gray Wires: Neutral

White or gray indicates a neutral wire.

When examining a white or gray wire, make certain that it has not been wrapped in electrical tape. This would indicate a hot wire. Older wires sometimes may lose their electrical tape wrapping. So, if the box has a loose loop of tape inside of it, there is the possibility that it may have come off of the neutral wire.

The term neutral can be dangerously deceiving as it appears to imply a non-electrified wire. It is important to note that neutral wires may also be carrying power and can shock you. While wires designated as hot (black or red insulated wires) carry power from the service panel (breaker box) to the device, neutral wires carry power back to the service panel. Thus, both hot and neutral wires have the potential to shock and injure you.

Blue and Yellow Wires

Blue and yellow wires are sometimes used as hot wires inside electrical conduit.

blue and yellow wires insulation
Claire Cohen

Rarely are blue and yellow wires found in NM cable. Blue wires are commonly used for travelers in a three-way and four-way switch applications.

Source : The Spruce

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3 Best Ethernet Cables to Buy in 2019

In every part of the world, access to the internet can be done through wired networks or wireless network. For the wireless network, all you need is a router with a high-speed network and has the ability to connect to devices without having to physically connect wires to the router. As for the wired network, it is done through the use of Ethernet cables. These cables are used to connect various devices on the local area network (LANs). These include routers, PCs as well as switches.

As different cables get into the market, it is important to do your research on the best cables so that you are able to get the most outstanding experience. Ensure that you know the difference between the various types of cables available in the market.

1. Cat6 patch cords.

These are manufactured and tested to conform to all the necessary standards for Cat6 communications. Each lead is made with high-quality Cat6 plugs, highly flexible PVC sheath and stranded copper conductors. Between the cable and plug is a boot to provide strain relief and protection to the cable. The low profile design of the boot means it is ideal for use in high-density installations.

Features

· Guaranteed performance to 250MHz

· The particular saw-tooth design of jacket towards the inner can enhance the resistance of alien crosstalk

· The unique design of the PE cross reduces the NEXT and RL and provides better transmission.

· Superior cable flexibility from stranded cores

· Boot maintains correct bend radius to ensure maximum performance

· Connector? 8P8C, RJ45, 50-inch gold plating

· Flame Retardancy is verified according to IEC 60332-1-2.

· RoHS compliant.

2. Cat5e Patch Cords

The Cat5e patch cords are designed and individually tested for connecting the network equipment to a patch panel and network user outlet. They are warranted for cat5e TIA/EIA-568-B-2.1 June 2002 Channel test on a Permanent Link certified for transmission frequencies of up to 100 MHz

Features

· Light identification by plastic optical fiber,

· Many lengths 2 feet (0.6 m) up to 16 feet (4.9 m) for patch panel and terminal link,

· Color cable: Black with white marking,

· Color boot: Grey with white marking,

· The movable color clip, 16 colors available,

· Packaging: boxes of 12 pieces, depending on the length,

· Available in cross patch cord,

· Marking on the boot: length and P/N,

· Unique serial number marking on the cable,

· Individually tested: each patch cord is individually tested,

· Electrical performance tests performed on a sampling basis (1000 Base T Warranty) (Return Loss, Attenuation, NEXT, etc…)

3. Ethernet Bulk cables

These bulk cables come with Optical Fiber Identification. Available in 6 lengths from 0.6 m to 4.9 m. Conforms to EIA/TIA 568-B2.2-1 category 6 and comes with a 25-year guarantee for use in category 6 channels inter-operable with any cabling system.

Features

· Black sheath

· Grey boot to distinguish it from black booted category 5e patch cords

· Part number and length printed on the boot

· Compatible with color-coded Patch Clips for the first level of identification

Quality Control

· 100% testing of electrical and optical properties

· Test results saved onto a database

· Each patch cord identified by a unique serial number

· Plastic cross web unshielded (UTP) and individually foil shielded pairs (FTP)

· PVC sheath for UTP cables and zero halogens (LSOH) sheath for FTP cables

credit: tgdaily

refrigeration dignity Cables

What to never plug into a power strip.

The misuse of electric extension cords and power strips also cause more than three thousand house fires every year, killing about 50 people and injuring over 250. Here are some rules on how to use power strips correctly to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Between all the cellphones, computers, tablets, t-vs, stereos, routers, and lamps, you may have an area in your home that looks like this.

Rules To keep away from electric fire hazard:-

  1. Never overload your power strips and If the power strip or extension cord feels hot, that is a sign that it is overloaded and may start a fire.
  2. Never plug high power capacity appliances, like space heaters, refrigerators, or microwave and toaster ovens into power strips or extension cords. These appliances have higher power capacity and need to be plugged into a wall outlet directly.
  3. Always plug power strips directly into the wall. It is o.k. temporarily to plug an extension cord to a power strip, but never a power strip to an extension cord. Also, do not connect multiple extension cords together.
  4. Don’t use indoor power strips outdoors. If the power strip gets damaged by rain or snow, it can damage anything plugged into it.
  5. Never place rugs over extension cords. They can get easily damaged while being walked on and since the cords are out of view, the damage is too. Thus leaving exposed wires that can cause a fire