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conditions such as poor housekeeping, inadequate maintenance, transient voltages, non-compliance with electrical codes, outdated and faulty equipment and simple things like worn wiring that can increase fire risk.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!

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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.