Category Archives: Electrical

6 Types of Electrical Conduits

Electrical conduits are used when installing new electrical wiring to help provide the route and give a high level of protection. It is made in many different materials, including fiber, plastic or mental and can be flexible or rigid. Here are a few of the most popular types of electrical conduits:

Galvanized steel

The galvanized steel conduit is entirely rigid to provide useful protection for the electrical wiring. This method is most common in industrial or commercial electrical installation. The typical length of the conduit is in the region of 10 to 20 feet, and multiple pieces are easily threaded together. Plus, it is easy to protect against corrosion by applying the right protecting paint. It is one of the thickest and heaviest in weight to make it a practical choice for the most difficult environments.

Metallic

Metallic tubing (also referred to as EMT) is mostly made of aluminum or steel. It is more cost-effective and lighter than the alternatives in galvanized steel. This conduit is flexible to give more freedom in installation and a popular choice with industrial and commercial buildings. Also, the outer surface is naturally corrosion resistance, so there isn’t any need to provide a special coating.

Electrical non-metallic

The electrical non-metallic tubing is made of a thin, corrugated type material that is flame retardant and moisture-resistant. It has high flexible properties and is easily shaped by hand to fit the tight or awkward spaces. This is a perfect type of conduit for those in search of low labor costs and fast installation.

Flexible Metallic

The standard flexible metallic conduit is a practical choice for the dry environments and is simply a hollow tube with space for the electrical wires to pass through. There is also a liquid-tight flexible conduit in metal that has a waterproof coating. This is more practical for the damp locations and can be embedded in concrete or buried in other areas.

PVC

PVC is the most common type of conduit used for residential and commercial installations. It is a very affordable option and the PVC pipes are thick to give a useful amount of protection. PVC is naturally able to avoid issues with corrosion and resists moisture.

Aluminum Electrical

The aluminum conduit is a rigid option for the commercial applications and a practical option for areas that are prone to high moisture content. It is a useful choice to use in concrete slabs or walls, but cannot be buried in concrete because the alkali content in the cement can cause a negative reaction.


The Basics of Electrical Installation and Wiring

In order to have power in your home to operate the heat and your appliances, you do need to have electrical installation and wiring. This is one part of the construction phase that has to be done by a qualified professional. You should never attempt to install anything connected with the electricity if you do not have the proper training.

Some of the basic principles of electrical work are:

* Never start working with electricity until the power supply to the home has been shut off.
* Wires of the same color connect to each other.
* When installing receptacle boxes, you push the bare end of the wire into spring grip holes. The boxes have labels to tell you what color wires go into each hole.
* The black wires in the cables are used for connecting switches.
* The wiring used in homes is Number 12 or 14 gauge wiring.
* For any extended wiring circuit, always use the same size cable for the continuation.

When you are connected new wiring to the existing wiring in the home, you should always do so in the last outlet on the run of cable. You can find the last outlet by removing the plate to see how many wires are connected in the outlet. The last one will have wires connected to only two of the terminal screws. The two remaining terminal screws will be the starting point for the new writing. You do have to check to see which gauge cable was used and you have to continue with this.

Unless the junction box is full, you can also attach new wiring to this box. Trace the cable back to see what voltage is on it so that you won’t connect a 120- voltage to one that has 240- voltage. Locate the white wires in the box and attaché the new white wires at this point.


Outdoor Wiring Safety

Although outdoor wiring practices are very similar to indoor wiring practices, there are a few important differences. When wiring outdoors, you must take special precautions to protect all wiring and devices from water or even dampness. Some of this is done indoors, especially in bathrooms in kitchens, but it is required everywhere outdoors. Outdoor wiring must also be protected from lawnmowers, shovels and other things that can lead to a short circuit. Whether you are building a shed, a landscape lighting system or an outdoor living room, make sure you follow these guidelines to stay as safe as possible.

Line-Voltage vs. Low-Voltage

Line-voltage is a term used to describe the standard 120-volt circuitry that we have in our homes. This type of circuitry is used to power everything in our home, 240v appliances excepted. Outdoor lighting uses this type of voltage to power electrical outlets and standard light fixtures. You should use low-voltage wiring on landscape lighting systems. Although these systems will plug into a standard voltage receptacle, they make use of a special transformer to step down the voltage to the wires that actually supply the lights with their power.

Wiring Near The House

If you are installing an outdoor living space on an attached deck or patio, you may only need an additional outdoor outlet or two, some lighting and a couple other small things. Under these circumstances, it is typically OK to add on to an existing indoor circuit. If there is no available circuit, or if you run the risk of overloading the circuit, then you will have to install a new circuit in your electrical panel.

Wiring Away from Your House

Whenever you need to provide power to an area away from your home, a dedicated circuit provided through an underground cable is typically in order. Although this may sound intense, it is actually easier than it seems. That being said, it must be done properly and requires a permit. This is a great time to call your electrician, who can install the circuit, run the cable and install all outlets and fixtures in your new space or building.

Proper Devices

In addition to requiring the proper lighting, working with electricity outside also requires special appliances and other electronic devices. To ensure their protection, all outdoor outlets should be equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet that is designed to shut off the flow of power to that outlet whenever changes in voltage are detected. All outdoor outlets should also be covered with a plastic cover that can shield outlets whether they have cords plugged in or not. Any line-voltage light fixtures should be rated for use in a damp location when protected by your eaves or patio. If they are fully exposed, they must be rated for wet location.

Whether you are just adding a couple lights or building an entirely new outdoor living space, following these outdoor electrical guidelines is important to the safety and function of your new space. For the best outcome, work closely with a local electrician who can guarantee that everything is done completely, safely and according to local building codes.


How to Do Home Electricity Repair

Electricity problems at home can be quite unnerving and it can be frustrating when it occurs at midnight especially in summers. An electrician may not be available at all hours. So a basic knowledge about residential wiring and common electricity problems can help you through the havoc. A basic understanding is all that you require. However, avoid solving these issues if they are at greater risk because no matter how much knowledge you have, experience can put you on lacking ground.

Understanding residential wiring

Mostly home electricity is provided with two hot wires and one neutral coming into them which supplies you a voltage of 240/120 volts. However, the basic voltage is slightly less which is around 230/110 volts. This power supply is called single phased power.

You might be aware of alternating current which is taught in physics. So, the power coming to your home is indeed alternating. In common language, alternating current allows electricity to be transported along long distances. Hence, it is feasible for the power department to provide you with electricity.

Now coming to wiring systems again, if you notice only one hot wire along with neutral then you might be getting a power of only 115 volts. It all depends on the wiring system. This type of wiring, however, is mostly seen in electrical devices. Few exceptions like dryer or hot water tanks use both hot and neutral wires use up to voltage of 230 volts.

Basic things to know before working on them

I know, this is highly fascinating but do not tear your electrical devices to see the wiring or your residential power supply because it can be life threatening. Always remember to switch the circuit off before working on them even if the power is down. Keep your contact voltage tester with you. Look at the wirings carefully, it is highly possible to have more than one circuits in a single box. Find the one that you switched off. Wiring system is complex so do not rush and double check yourself.

Working with electricity is dangerous than any task and comes with unfavorable outcomes. So, wear safety gears. If you do not have one then simply wear rubber slippers. They will protect you from electric shocks.

Secondly, every home is provided with a “main service panel” which contains circuit breakers or fuses for maintaining the electricity at your home. Whenever power goes off, check the service panel because in case it might be disconnected.

With this superficial knowledge you will be able to fix minor problems. Do not take risk of solving the major issues as it can be hazardous.


How to Choose the Right Wiring System

For proper functioning of any equipment or even transfer of electricity in buildings the paramount factor is always the choice of the right wires. Low quality or weak wiring system will cater lowered performance of equipment and poor electricity in building. The wrong choice of wire can also beget disaster ergo you should take notice of following before choosing a wiring system:

1. Safety:

Of course safety is our cardinal concern. We want everything to be safe from electricity hazards. Wires should protect the equipment from damage by being resistant to physical or fire damage. If you need extra protection from fire hazards then conduit wiring is the best option to choose from.

2. Wiring cost:

Next to safety is wiring cost. This is a myth that more the money invested; more would be the safety. You want your apartment to be safe this doesn’t mean that only a huge amount of bucks can fulfill that but vice versa is equally true even. Wiring system should be cost effective and safe both at the same time. It shouldn’t be exorbitant for you to afford.

3. Load:

There are always voltage fluctuations and your choice of wire should be capable of handling voltage loads. Thin wires cannot hold such fluctuations and may lead to short circuits easily. Pay close attention while deciding on a wire. Keep in mind that lesser the diameter of the wire lower is the load efficiency.

4. Durability And Permanence:

Wiring system is more of a permanent system and not changed frequently. So it should be durable enough to withstand temperature changes, moisture, fumes and chemicals. It shouldn’t over heat while high voltage levels. What makes a wire durable? The materials it is made of. Check the material used in wire, level and type of sheathing material used. The main point is resistance check.

5. Appearance:

What appearance has to do with wiring? It is because you want wires to be identifiable. Wires should have an aesthetic appeal to them and colour for you to identify easily. Again, make sure aesthetics do not cost you much.

6. Design versatility:

The design of the wires should be such that it can be modified in case of your requirements. Wires should be versatile so that they can be upgraded.

Select the type of wire which is under your budget, safe and efficient. The wiring system is to protect you and make sure it offers you with the same.


7 Actionable Electrical Safety Tips During Storms

Unpredictable weather such as storms and flood are a part of life. Therefore, it is important to take the time to prepare your family and property.

There are a number of simple steps you can take to protect personal safety, preserve electrical equipment and deal with potential damage to the home’s electrical system. Make sure you are electrically safe by following these 7 tips:

1. Put safety first

Don’t attempt do-it-yourself repairs if your property suffers storm damage, including your home’s electrical system and any electrical appliances affected. Be ready before a storm or wet season.

– Install a safety switch and test it regularly.

– Know where to turn off your power, gas and water supply in an emergency.

– Pack up electrical equipment that’s not in use and store in a safe place.

2. Protect the system

Ask an electrician with experience in domestic electrical services about having lightning protection installed in your switchboard to protect all appliances.

3. Unplug before the storm

– Unplug outside TVs and non-fixed aerials and store in a dry area.

– When a storm approaches switch off and unplug sensitive appliances or equipment.

– Shut down your solar PV system using the safe isolation procedure.

4. Don’t connect during the storm

Don’t use equipment directly connected to electricity, including the stove, during a storm.

– If you’ve lost power, turn off your power points and unplug electrical equipment.

– Don’t use a fixed telephone during a thunderstorm – it can deliver an electric shock.

– If flood waters are expected, shift electrical equipment to higher locations.

5. Be cautious of wires

Don’t go outside to check the damage before an electrician arrives, especially during a storm, as fallen power lines are easily concealed and can be deadly.

– If you are in a car, stay away from power lines, trees and watercourses. Stay in your vehicle.

– If you have a solar PV system that has been damaged in a flood, storm or cyclone you need to have an electrical contractor inspect the system and check it is safe.

– Check your electrical appliances and equipment. Using water-damaged equipment can result in electric shocks and fires.

6. Call an electrician before your energy distributor

If the wires have been torn down in a black out, most houses will require internal repairs before the power can be reconnected.

– Dispose of or have a licensed electrical contractor repair water-affected household electrical items, such as kettles, toasters and televisions.

– Call a licensed electrician to check all hard-wired electrical appliances, such as air-conditioning units or stoves, intended for re-use. This safety check may be required before the power supply can be reconnected.

7. Be confident in your contractor

If you suffer storm damage connect with a local electrician. If you are using power from generators, it can be dangerous if incorrectly managed.

– Connect your generator to your house electrical wiring using a generator change-over switch and appropriate socket. These switches must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor.

– Do not connect your generator to your house using a power point on a power circuit or any other connection point. This can cause dangerous ‘back-feeding’.

During storm seasons, it is definitely worth being extra cautious with your home electrical systems and equipment. The practical stops you take could reduce the risk of electrical fires and safeguard your family from any potential hazards.