Insurance Companies Insisting on Electrical Maintenance

Are you a landlord? Do you own a commercial/apartment building? Do you want you and your tenants to be safe? Do you want to keep your insurance costs down?

While some things improve with age, buildings tend to decline, particularly without regular maintenance. One of the prime concerns is the electrical system. These systems generally function quietly and efficiently in the background without maintenance until a failure occurs and ultimately can start a fire. In most cases, these fires can be prevented by an effective electrical maintenance program.  Increasingly, insurance companies are insisting on regular electrical maintenance, which includes testing, inspecting and ensuring preventative measures are in place. They are limiting their risk due to the number of claims that have been occurring.  Every insurer is different so double check with your insurance company as to what they require as proof of inspection beforehand.

A thorough maintenance is performed with the utility company and power to the building is turned off for a short period of time. Power has to be disconnected at the utility transformer to conduct the inspection of the main breaker. When the power is off, electricians will inspect all of the cables, the insulation on the cables and the buss assembly of the switchgear. This is important maintenance to detect any deterioration that could cause catastrophic failure. Inspection includes doing a thermal test to ensure the breakers are not internally heating excessively and do not have any detectable hot spots. Electricians should also torque all connections . This is the tightening of all bolts, nuts, and lugs to the level the manufacturer suggests. This helps prevent anything from loosening too much, which can cause arcing and heating in the affected area, resulting in burning and even fire in extreme cases. A professional electrician is trained to identify electrical risk conditions such as poor housekeeping, inadequate maintenance, transient voltages, non-compliance with electrical codes, outdated and faulty equipment and simple things like worn wiring that can increase fire risk.

Your professional electrician should fully itemize what they will and will not cover in their inspection so that you can ensure that you get the inspection that your insurance company requires.

Have You Considered … Before Renovating?

The finished project is the best part of any renovation. Hopefully, it turns out just the way you envisioned it. However, when you are thinking about what it is going to look like in that finished room, the part many people overlook is that it takes planning to get those lights and outlets in just the right place so that they are usable, aesthetically pleasing and code compliant. Remember that you cannot see inside your walls so don’t follow the old adage – out of sight, out of mind – it is easier to do the electrical component of your renovation while the walls are open.

  1. The starting point is always the panel. Before starting any renovation, you need to know that your panel can handle the additional load required once the renovation is complete. Continue reading

How to Read Your Electrical Meter

Your electrical/hydro meter is located on the side of your home. Big, roundish box.  This tells you and your utility how much electricity in kilowatts your home is using. If you live in an apartment, then your electricity is worked into your rent or there will be a separate meter for your unit.

 

The electrical meter is owned by your utility company. As a homeowner you do not own the meter. You own the meter-base, the metal box that connects to the electrical meter and all the pipes and wires. Don’t you feel lucky- your very own meter base!

Continue reading

How to Save Money on Hydro Bills

Electricity… we can’t live without it. Honestly, what is the first and last thing you do from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, what do you do?….You turn on and off the lights! And even when you are sleeping, you have other things using electricity like your phone charging, your fridge keeping food from spoiling, and you have your furnace running (well some furnaces run on electricity).
When do you remember not using electricity??? Today keeping phones, tablets, and computers charged so we can do even basic things like finding a job, kids completing homework, and entertainment. Some people are having to choose between paying for food and rent or their electricity bill.

Choosing the Right Lighting Colour For Your Home

Now that we have advanced from the traditional incandescent bulbs where you had no choice of light colour to the world of LED lighting – you now have a choice of what colour of lighting to have in your home. The colour you choose is a personal choice. Each person will perceive colour in their own way. The choice has to also be based on what you want to illuminate and for what reason.

For example you would illuminate a tree in the front yard much differently than you would illuminate your counter top. Accenting objects vs. task lighting.

Colour in lighting is based on the Kelvin (K) scale which ranges from 1000K (red/yellow candlelight) to 10000K (Sky Blue). Most lighting for homes starts around 2700-3000K (warm white) and ranges up through 4100K (Cool white) and up to 5000K (Daylight).

Continue reading

CO Detectors Save Lives!

Nu-Tek Electric is here for you – 24 hours a day – Most people never think of their local electrician until something goes wrong – So its nice to know that we answer our phones 24 hours a day just in case you need us.

One of our customers called on a long weekend because her CO detector was going off. After double checking a few of the common reasons that a detector may go off for no apparent reason, we advised her to call 911 and have the fire department come out and check her house. She did not want to bother the fire department but our on-call electrician remembered checking her detectors recently and knew they were in good working order and insisted that she call.

Continue reading

Check Your Smoke Detectors!

Oh the power just went out.. Well I guess I’ll go to bed then.

You may go to sleep when the power is out, but do you know if your Life Safety devices in your home such as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, are battery backed up to ensure you and your family are protected and will be alerted in the event you do have a life threating situation?

Believe it or not there are detectors on the market that do not have batteries in them.

Don’t you think it is odd our computers and printers are on a UPS battery backup but not devices that save our lives? Facts:

Continue reading