Electrician Qualifications And How To Get Them

Tools Most Used By Electricians

When it comes to electrician’s tools it’s fair to say that every electrician will have that certain tool they can’t be without, and these may differ from sparky to sparky depending on the type of work they undertake.

Electrical work can’t be done without the right tools and there are certain essential tools that every electrician will need in order to do their job safely, and effectively.

So, we have put together a short list of what we believe are the ‘must-have tools’ that every electrician should have in their tool box.

  1. Approved Voltage Indicator (AVI)

This device is an absolute must as it determines the presence/absence of electricity. Used to detect AC voltages on sockets, switches, outlets, circuit breakers. Used to check that power has been switched off before commencing an electrical project. This is a life-saving tool that no electrician can be without.

  1. Insulated Screwdrivers

A tool box staple. You’ll need a variety of different types of screwdriver for the differing size screws you’ll encounter on a daily basis, these vary from wood screws, to machine screws. For safety reasons ensure that your screwdrivers are insulated up to 1000V to protect you against electrical shock and arcing.

  1. Side Cutters/Pliers

Most Sparkies will have a array of these in their tool box, but the most commonly used ones used on a daily basis are:

  • Traditional Pliers – cutting/stripping wires and handy for removing nails
  • Long Nose Pliers – the thin, grasping ends make it easy to hold or grab when fishing cable.
  • Side-Cutters – great for when you need to cut wires to specific lengths
  1. Wire Strippers

Wire strippers are an essential tool to ensure that when stripping the insulation from a cable only the required amount of pressure is used to prevent the copper cable from being damaged. Some makes can also be used to strip sheath and insulation of twin and earth cable. This particular model shown also has the capability to carry out crimping.

  1. Multi Functional Tester

Definitely the electrician’s best friend – the multifunctional tester or MFT is a requirement for any electrician to ensure that any installation is installed correctly and that all test readings meet the requirements as laid out in the IET regulations.

  1. Battery Drill

Used for drilling holes in wood, walls or other tough surfaces and fixing screws and fasteners onto surfaces. The type of drill used will vary depending on the job in hand, for example for fastening work, a lower-voltage cordless model might be used; however for drilling into concrete then a hammer drill provides more impact and will drill more holes faster.

  1. Electrical Wall Chaser

A tool for cutting narrow grooves and channels into walls to install cables and or conduit. Great time saving device allows you to cut clean and accurately. The electric motor powers electric discs similar to those found in angle grinders. The ones that have a vacuum cleaner connection are great for dust-free working.

  1. Multi Tool

A cordless oscillating multi-tool is a handy tool to have in your tool box. It’s versatility is ideal for accurately cutting a variety of materials eg flooring, tiles, plasterboard, wood and PVC.

  1. Fish Tape / Rids

Also known as ‘draw wire’ or ‘electricians snake’ this handy tool is ideal for many applications including drawing cables through conduit or fishing cables across ceilings or down walls.

  1. Head Torch / Magnetic Torch

These are a must have as you will be working in the dark on many occasions when the power is turned off. These types of torches are also good as they allow you to work hands free.

 

Power tools

Whether corded or cordless, today’s power tools pack more power in smaller, lightweight models. Ergonomic consideration makes today’s tools easier and safer to use. The most-used power tools for electricians are saws and drills, including hammer/drills.

Power drills

Every electrician uses drills, but the type of tool needed varies with the application-what is essential for one worker isn’t necessarily needed by another. The power required depends on the material being drilled. For fastening work, a lower-voltage cordless model might be used; for drilling into concrete, a hammer/drill provides more impact and can drill more holes faster.

Saws

As with drills, the type of power saw needed by electricians varies with the job at hand. Because of versatility and dependability, handheld reciprocating saws are one of the most popular classes of power-saw equipment. Spiral saws perform the same tasks as reciprocating saws, but instead of a blade, they cut with a bit with downward, parabolic fluting. Other types of saws used for electrical work include hole saws, cut-off saws and portable band saws.

 

MAKE YOUR TOOLS LAST

It’s all well and good to ensure you have all the tools of the trade, but if you don’t look after them, it will just end up costing hundreds, if not thousands, to continually replace them. On top of this, tools that are in better condition are safer and a safer working environment is essential. So, here are some tips and tricks.

  • Ensure they are stored correctly. Store them in bags, boxes, hang them on the wall or create a dedicated tool shelf, but either way, never leave your tools just lying around. A peg board is a fantastic way to store your small tools.
  • Make sure the storage place is dry. Humidity and moisture can do a world of damage to your tools so take the required measures to protect them. There’s nothing worse than rusty tools.
  • Whenever you’re done for the day, clear your tools prior to storing them. A clean cloth to remove any excess oils, sawdust or grease.
  • Repair your tools when required. Check your tools after every job and take immediate measures to fix anything that needs fixing. If the tool is completely ruined, replace it immediately.

When it comes to the tools you require, it will largely depend on the types of jobs you do. Ensuring your tools are taken care of and that you have the right tools for the job is crucial in the trade industry.

 

What are some things every electrician should know?

If you are thinking about becoming an electrician, there are a few terms you will be required to know. You can get a head start on your electrical training by reviewing some of the most important ones here.

Amp

The unit of intensity of electrical current, otherwise known as the measure of electrical flow.

Capacitor

The capacitor is an electronic component made of two close conductors that store electric charge.

Electrical Current

The flow rate of electrical charge in an electric field, usually in an electrical circuit.

Electric Power

The rate of energy consumption in an electrical circuit. Electric power is measured in units of watts.

Electrical Resistance

An electrical quantity that measures how the device or material reduces the electric current flowing through it. The resistance is measured in ohms.

Ohm

The unit of electrical resistance and impedance abbreviated with the omega symbol. Resistance is the opposition a substance offers to the passage of electrical current.

Service

The conductors and equipment for delivering electrical energy from the supply system to the wiring system of the premises served.

Volt

The unit of electromotive force that measures electrical pressure. Voltage is the effective difference of potential between any two conductors of the circuit concerned.

Watt

The unit of power or rate of work represented by a current of one ampere under a pressure of one volt.

Resistor

Resistor is an electrical component that reduces the electrical current. The resistor’s ability to reduce the current is called resistance and is measured in units of ohms.

 

Is Being an Electrician Hard on Your Body?

It’s normal to want to know everything about a career you’re interested in – all the pros and all the cons – so that you can make an informed decision on what it is you want to do. One thing to consider before you take up a new trade (electrical work, for instance) is the physical effect that your new job might have on your body.

The good news is that being an electrician isn’t too hard on your body – there are numerous jobs, including some trade jobs, that take a far harsher physical toll on those who do them.

However, this doesn’t mean that being an electrician is always easy going. If you ask electricians who have been in the business a long time, they will probably tell you they have experienced some discomfort in their knees and back.

This isn’t too surprising, as being an electrician often means crouching, kneeling and bending to reach the electrical installations you’re supposed to be working on. With that in mind, it is advised that you take the proper precautions to ensure that your body remains healthy: electricians should stretch often and consider investing in knee pads to wear while working. It’s also good practice, as in any line of work, to take breaks and refrain from putting too much stress on your body outside of working hours.

Generally speaking, though, being an electrician doesn’t come with any major risks to your long-term physical health (excluding the potential for electrical shocks, which you can read about here). In many ways, a relatively active job like electrical work is preferable to a job that has you parked in front of a computer all day – the dangers of sitting down for long periods of time are well-documented, and this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about too often when you’re working as an electrician, zipping from one job to the next all day long.

A Review Of Prominent Circuit Breaker Manufacturers

How to Choose a Circuit Breaker

There are a few different criteria to consider when selecting a circuit breaker including voltage, frequency, interrupting capacity, continuous current rating, unusual operating conditions and product testing. This article will give a step by step overview on selecting an appropriate circuit breaker for your specific application.

Voltage Rating

Circuit Breakers Available in Different Sizes & ConfigurationsThe overall voltage rating is calculated by the highest voltage that can be applied across all end ports, the distribution type and how the circuit breaker is directly integrated into the system. It is important to select a circuit breaker with enough voltage capacity to meet the end application

Frequency

Circuit breakers up to 600 amps can be applied to frequencies of 50-120 Hz. Higher than 120 Hz frequencies will end up with the breaker having to derate. During higher frequency projects, the eddy currents and iron losses causes greater heating within the thermal trip components thus requiring the breaker to be derated or specifically calibrated. The total quantity of deration depends on the ampere rating, frame size as well as the current frequency. A general rule of thumb is the higher the ampere rating in a specific frame size the greater the derating needed

Maximum Interrupting Capacity

The interrupting rating is generally accepted as the highest amount of fault current the breaker Control Panel Circuit Breakerscan interrupt without causing system failure to itself. Determining the maximum amount of fault current supplied by a system can be calculated at any given time. The one infallible rule that must be followed when applying the correct circuit breaker is that the interrupting capacity of the breaker must be equal or greater than the amount of fault current that can be delivered at the point in the system where the breaker is applied. Failure to apply the correct amount of interrupting capacity will result in damage to the breaker.

Continuous Current Rating

In regards to continuous current rating, molded case circuit breakers are rated in amperes at a specific ambient temperature. This ampere rating is the continuous current the breaker will carry in the ambient temperature where it was calibrated. A general rule of thumb for circuit breaker manufactures is to calibrate their standard breakers at 104° F

 

How to Choose the Right Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are a very important part of electrical safety. They control the amount of electricity that flows through a building’s electrical wiring system. If your home suffers an electric overload or a short circuit, a properly functioning circuit breaker will detect the issue and cut off the electrical supply. This will protect your wiring and appliances until you take care of the problem and restart the electricity. However, in order for a circuit breaker to do its job properly, you have to match the right circuit breaker with your exact needs. Read the following simple explanations and you’ll be ready to choose the appropriate circuit breaker for your home.

Low-voltage thermal magnetic circuit breakers are best suited for most single-family homes. They allow for electrical currents that measure only up to 1000 amps

Medium voltage circuit breakers are used in larger buildings, such as apartment complexes and businesses, that use up to 72,000 volts on a regular basis

High-voltage circuit breakers are used alongside power lines and in other places that use more than 72,000 volts regularly.

Figure Out the Breaker Size You Need

In order to choose the best-size circuit breaker for your particular household needs, check the wire size printed on the cable that is to be connected to the circuit breaker. You will see 2 measurements listed: The first will tell you the wire gauge, followed by a dash and a second number which indicates how many wires are inside the cable. Once you have established the wire gauge

 

How to Test a Circuit Breaker

Circuit Breaker Tester: Clamping Ammeter

Circuit breakers that trip every time they’re reset may be overloaded. In order to diagnose a circuit breaker overload you can test the circuit breaker by using a clamping ammeter. This circuit breaker tester is used to check overloads and shorts that are in progress and determine whether the electric current is running through the circuit. The clamping ammeter should be clamped to a single wire not the cable in order to accurately test the circuit breaker.

Circuit Breaker Tester: Electromagnetic Circuit Finder (Current Tracer)

Circuit breakers may trip and disconnect all electricity, but sometimes that is not the case. An electromagnetic circuit finder will test to see if the circuit breaker has a live connection. It will determine which individual breaker controls a live circuit.

Circuit Breaker Tester: Electrostatic Wand

Circuit breaker testing can be helpful if you are trying to determine the flow of electricity in the circuit breaker panel. A circuit breaker Need link should be tested even if you have turned it off; it is important to make sure the wires are dead and there is no current flowing in them

Circuit Breaker Tester: Multimeter

The multimeter circuit breaker tester combines the characteristics of a voltmeter and the ohmmeter in one. This multipurpose circuit breaker testing device has multiple functions. Like the voltmeter it measures the level of voltage in the circuit and also measures the continuity and resistance level (ohmmeter). Obtaining information about both electrical readings can help pinpoint circuit breaker problems quickly and accurately so that repairs can be made.

Circuit Breaker Tester: Voltmeter

Circuit breaker testing can get complicated when using small inexpensive testers. A voltmeter is a popular circuit breaker testing tool used by homeowners. This circuit breaker tester measures the voltage running through the electrical circuit. The voltmeter is used by touching one prong to each of the parts of a circuit between which you need to measure voltage. For example, you would touch one prong to the neutral wire and the other to the hot wire to measure the voltage in a circuit

 

How Circuit Breakers Work

The circuit breaker is an absolutely essential device in the modern world, and one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home. Whenever electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, these simple machines cut the power until somebody can fix the problem. Without circuit breakers (or the alternative, fuses), household electricity would be impractical because of the potential for fires and other mayhem resulting from simple wiring problems and equipment failures.

In this article, we’ll find out how circuit breakers and fuses monitor electrical current and how they cut off the power when current levels get too high. As we’ll see, the circuit breaker is an incredibly simple solution to a potentially deadly problem.

Voltage is the “pressure” that makes an electric charge move. Current is the charge’s “flow” — the rate at which the charge moves through the conductor, measured at any particular point. The conductor offers a certain amount of resistance to this flow, which varies depending on the conductor’s composition and size.

Voltage, current and resistance are all interrelated — you can’t change one without changing another. Current is equal to voltage divided by resistance (commonly written as I = v / r). This makes intuitive sense: If you increase the pressure working on electric charge or decrease the resistance, more charge will flow. If you decrease pressure or increase resistance, less charge will flow. To learn more, check out How Electricity Works.

 

How Circuit Breakers Work

The problem

It’s a dark and stormy night. You flick on the hall light, plug in the coffee maker and crank up the portable electric heater. You’re starting to feel comfy, when you hear a faint, yet ominous, click—and everything goes black. It’s not a cat burglar or a poltergeist playing tricks with your electrical system. It’s an overloaded circuit being protected by a tripped electrical circuit breaker. Kinda spooky and mysterious, eh? Not if you know a few simple things.

Figure A: A Properly Functioning 15-AMP Circuit

This circuit has wires and an electrical circuit breaker that can easily carry the amperage required by the devices

on it.

What’s a circuit?

When electricity enters your home, it goes to a circuit breaker box (or fuse box in older homes), where it’s divided into a number of circuits. Each circuit is protected by a breaker or fuse. Bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms where only lights, alarm clocks and other small electrical items are usually used are normally on 15-amp circuits. Kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms and dining rooms—places where you’re more likely to use toasters, irons, hair dryers and other big-watt items—are usually served by heavier-duty, 20-amp circuits. Major appliances like 5,000-watt electric water heaters and 10,000-watt electric ranges demand so much electricity that they take their own 30- to 50-amp dedicated circuit (See Fig. D in “Additional Information” below), protected by big, “double pole” circuit breaker sizes.

What’s a circuit overload?

The circuit breaker, the wire and even the wire insulation are all designed to work as a system—and that system has limits. Try to push more current through a circuit than it’s designed for and things start happening (Fig. B). Wires heat up under the burden of carrying the excess current. When this happens, the insulation around the wire can degrade or even melt. When insulation melts, current is no longer confined within the wire. That’s when fires start. Luckily, the circuit breaker senses the excess current and “trips” to stop the flow of power before damage occurs

Figure B: An Overloaded Circuit

This circuit has too many energy-demanding devices on it and is trying to carry more amperage than it’s designed for. Things begin to heat up. Luckily the circuit breaker senses this, trips and “breaks” the circuit.

Tips To Learn About Electrical Installation

What you Should Know About Electrical Installations

Electrical installations can look mysterious. There are some basic requirements for electrical installation, and some things people need to know about them. Quality of workmanship, standards of performance, and possible hazards are some of the more important issues in electrical installation, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the basic requirements.

Electrical installations basics

New technology requires a very wide range of new electrical installations. These are very different from the old systems, particularly in communications, media systems and IT areas

Issues, problems, and hazards

Everybody’s seen old or doubtful-looking electrical installations. The rule of thumb is that the worse it looks, the less likely an electrical installation has been professionally done or serviced. These tacky-looking messes are real hazards. Electrical wiring and connections need to be done properly.

How to check out your electrical installation for quality

It’s a good idea to get your electrical contractor to do a general system audit regularly. This is also good practice administratively, as well as for quality checking

Note: Testing of electrical systems is conducted during the maintenance program, and is efficient insofar as safety checking and operational status are involved. Properly conducted maintenance will find and fix faults, but it’s not an audit process

 

Tips for Finding an Electrical Contractor for Your Strata Management

Finding a good electrical contractor for strata management can be a painstaking process, particularly when you really need one. The best approach is to search for a reliable local contractor with a strong emphasis on quality of service, and a good reputation. Master electricians are definitely the preferred option for strata management, because they have both the experience and the good business sense required to ensure good service.

Strata electrical contractor issues

Strata brings with it a degree of difficulty for some contractors. Modern strata units tend to have advanced systems and wiring, and a lot of t. The best electrical contractors have a very high capacity for different types of work, and usually do major building installations as well as residential work. This added capacity adds a layer of efficiency and capability that some local contractors can’t match

The quality of work issue needs to be expanded at this point: If you’ve been having trouble with substandard work by electrical contractors, the best possible remedy is to get a master electrician. Professional electricians have an extremely low opinion of any substandard wiring or shoddy installations they encounter, so if they find them, they’ll fix them before there are any problems

Good service is good business

The good professional electrical services are also good business for strata management, particularly in the long term. The top electrical contractors are also great maintenance people. They know how to ensure the proper upkeep of your systems so there are fewer problems and no expensive, repetitive “faults” which build up to big money

 

Things Your Electrician Wants You to Know

Almost every home uses electric service to one degree or another. And sooner or later, something is going to go wrong with your home’s electrical system. Whether you’re looking to add a light fixture or run rough electric for an addition, here are a few key facts that your electrician wishes you knew

Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

The most important thing any electrician wants you to do is to never, ever ignore the warning signs that indicate problems in your electrical system. Whether it’s a popping noise from an outlet, a light switch that runs extremely hot, or a breaker that won’t reset, when you have an electrical issue, it’s important that you take it seriously.

Understand GFCI

One of the most common service calls electricians get is about what appears to be a failure in a bathroom circuit. By code, all outlets within 6 feet of a water source are required to be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI). These are important safety devices that cut off power if a circuit is losing amperage, so GFCIs are most commonly seen in bathrooms and exterior outlets. The thing that your electrician wants you to remember is that a single GFCI device protects everything else “downstream” on that circuit. Because bathrooms are often not on an isolated circuit, that means a triggered GFCI will kill the power to outlets and lights that may seem unrelated. And things can be even more confusing when the GFCI is installed at the electrical breaker box itself.

Overhead Power Lines are Live!

Overhead lines are normally NOT insulated. When you see birds or squirrels on them, they are only alive because they aren’t completing a circuit by touching the ground or offering the current an easier path than following the cable itself.

Know Your DIY limits

The DIY mind-set is wonderful thing. It’s a great way to learn about your home and develop your skills and self-reliance. But, it’s just as important to know the boundaries and limitations of your skills. If you are a DIY newbie, a good rule of thumb is to only work on electrical components that are outside of the wall. As you develop your skills as an amateur electrician, you can do more advanced work, including fishing cable and adding outlets (so long as your local building department allows it). The problem arises when DIY enthusiasts who have more enthusiasm than experience tackle an electrical project, and then bury their less than perfect work behind a layer of drywall.

 

Tips for electrical wiring

Power Tests

Always check & test wires and devices for power inside the box you are working in to prevent electric shock before working on them. Sometimes, even if you shut off power, some wiring may be connected to another circuit & hence may still pose a threat of electric shock

Uncoil Cable

The best way to easily instal cables is to straighten them out first. Pull the cable from the centre of the coil & lift a handful of coils. Next step is to toss them across the floor as if you’re throwing a coiled rope. Once untangled, it helps in easier handling & neater storage.

Amperage Rating

Amperage Rating or Amp needs to be checked for all electrical wiring & devices. Before installing or changing wiring, one must have the appropriate amp rating for all circuits. For example, a 30-amp circuit must have a right-gauge wiring to prevent fire hazard

Grounding Wires

Grounding provides a safe path for extra electric current to pass in case of a fault or any other issue. Follow the manufacturer’s wiring diagrams & understand grounding systems.

Boxes & Clamps

You need to ensure enclosing all wiring connections in appropriate electrical boxes or clamps. Enclosures protect the connection as well as the people from accidental contacts with those connections

 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION?

An electrical installation comprises all the fixed electrical equipment that is supplied through the electricity meter. It includes the cables that are usually hidden in the walls and ceilings, accessories (such as sockets, switches and light fittings), and the consumer unit (fusebox) that contains all the fuses, circuit-breakers and, preferably residual current devices (RCDs)*

Ensuring there are enough sockets for electrical appliances, to minimise the use of multiway socket adapters and trailing leads

Covers are in place to prevent fingers coming into contact with live parts (broken or damaged switches should be replaced without delay)

A Residual Current Device (RCD) protection is installed to provide additional protection against electric shock

Satisfactory earthing arrangements are in place to ensure that a fuse or circuit breaker can quickly clear an electrical fault before it causes an electric shock or fire

Satisfactory protective bonding arrangements are in place where required (so any electric shock risk is minimised until a fault is cleared)

Must Learn About Electrical Panel Upgrades

How To Know When It Is Time To Replace Your Home’s Electric Panel

Does My Home’s Electrical Service Panel Need to be Replaced?

We do a lot of work for realtors and home owners in Northampton and Lehigh Counties and from time to time we get asked; “When is it time to upgrade an electrical panel?” So, we thought we should share with you the following advice from our experience.

It may seem a bit long, but it’s what we think you need to know to make your own good decisions about keeping you, your family and your home safe!

First, what IS your electrical panel?

The electrical service panel is the component of your house’s electrical system where the electricity is brought in to the house from your power company. The electricalwiring that runs throughoutHow To Know When It Is Time To Replace Your Home’s Electric Panel 1 your home starts at the service panel and is used to separately feed the different areas and appliances at your home that require electricity.  Each separate wire leaving the panel and feeding your home is called a circuit.  This panel is like the “heart” of the electrical system of your entire home.  Like veins and arteries, any and all wiring going throughout the walls and ceilings of your home all originate at this location! Keeping this in mind, there are several reason it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical panel.

 

WHY DO I NEED TO UPGRADE MY ELECTRIC PANEL?

As a rule of thumb, electric panels need replacing every 25-40 years, so if your home is that age, there’s a likelihood that you will need to upgrade. However, there are other key signs to look out for that will tell you when your existing system is becoming outdated.

 

5 Signs it’s Time to Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical Panel

Your home’s electrical service panel consists of a series of circuit breakers and fuses that allow you to control all the electrical components of your home. The electrical panel divides all the electrical power into different circuits, each of which is protected by a circuit breaker.

Circuit breakers can be quite fickle and sensitive to various factors. Here are five signs that your home’s electrical service panel might need an upgrade.

  1. Faulty wiring issues

Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of residential fires in the United States. The risk of a fire caused by faulty wiring dramatically increases based on how old your house is. Older wiring may not meet code, and wire insulation and other materials tend to deteriorate over time. Have a professional electrician inspect the wiring in your electrical panel and throughout your home. Warning signs of faulty wiring include:

  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Slight shock or tingling sensation when you touch appliances
  • A persistent burning smell
  • Sparking or discolored power outlets
  1. Installing new appliances

We’re not talking about a new blender or toaster here. If you plan on installing a new hot tub, air conditioner, refrigerator, or other machine that consumes lots of energy, your electrical panel may not have enough power to keep those appliances going.

Standard electrical panels provide 100, 150, 200, and 400 amps of power. Anything less than that is actually illegal. If your amps don’t meet your electrical needs, your circuit breakers will trip any time you try to turn on that air conditioner or hot tub, so it’s a good idea to upgrade to a higher amperage. This also applies to any large remodeling projects (e.g. adding a new room or story).

  1. Replacing fuses with circuit breakers

Fuses and circuit breakers both essentially perform the same function: they prevent short circuit or overload by disrupting (or breaking) electrical currents that channel to any connected devices. Fuses, however, are one-time use. When they detect that a current is running at too high of a level, the fuse will melt, interrupting the flow of electricity. Circuit breakers simply have to be reset.

While there’s nothing particularly wrong with fuses, they are outdated; designed for an age when homes didn’t have so many things plugged into the electrical outlets. These days, fuses can actually pose a fire hazard, and many insurance companies will actually refuse to insure homes that still use fuses.

  1. Excessive use of extension cords and power strips

If you find yourself plugging nearly everything into one power outlet via power strips and extension cords, it’s a good idea to upgrade your electrical panel. You can allow each circuit to run straight from the panel or install a new electrical outlet and circuit, minimizing the fire hazard.

  1. Planning ahead

Who knows the types of devices and appliances we’ll be using ten or twenty years from now? If you’re already remodeling or upgrading your home, it’s a good idea to invest in some quality wiring, namely structured wiring, which consists of heavy-duty cables that enable the latest features in all your electrical devices. Structured wiring will also increase your home’s value.

 

What Should I Expect from a Service Upgrade or Panel Change?

Bear the following in mind before you hire an Electrical Contractor for this project:

  • The power will be out for a minimum of four hours. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Unplug all electronics. The power will be turned on and off repetitively and may cause problems.
  • The workers will stay working on the panel (and surrounding area), which could be outside. But, they may need to get to the water meter and water tank to do other work.
  • Since the power will be off, the worksite will be dark. Please keep the areas clear for them.
  • The EC will need power. Please try to arrange a power source that the EC can plug an extension cord into that is always helpful. Asking your neighbour is a great option.
  • The EC may have to go to other rooms in the home to test and identify receptacles, or lights etc. They will use generic terms like “master bathroom”, “SE bedroom”, etc. Use the same lingo you are talking to your EC about your home (they don’t know where “Bob’s Room” is, for example).

 

Questions to Ask Electricians You’re Considering

You should not assume that someone who self-identifies as an electrician actually has the experience and credentials needed to do the job. There are a lot of amateurs out there seeking work these days! So be sure to check them out.

We recommend talking with at least three electricians before hiring. Ask them things such as:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Are you insured?
  • What kind of work do you do most?
  • What special training/experience do you have for this kind of work?
  • Can you provide references (for past jobs similar to mine)?
  • What does your estimate include?
  • Do I need a permit for the work I’m requesting? Will you obtain it?
  • Who (all) will perform the work?
  • When would you be able to do this work?
  • (How) do you guarantee your services?

Be sure to take notes on their answers. That way, you will have points of comparison for the different candidates and won’t lose track of important details between the interview and the hire.

Tips To Make Commercial Electrical Maintenance

WHY ELECTRICAL MAINTENANCE IS IMPORTANT FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

Electricity is one of the most important resources that we have in the modern world, and no matter what kind of business or commercial property you run, electricity is almost certainly an integral part of your daily operations. Because electricity is such an essential part of daily life, it can be easy to take it for granted/ It’s important to remember, however, that electricity and commercial electrical systems can be extremely dangerous—and as a commercial property owner, safety is one of your biggest concerns.

Any business or property owner needs to be able to ensure that their electrical system are maintained properly so that they can be safe and reliable. At Custom Touch Electric, our Oceanside electricians recommend that you have regular electrical inspections and maintenance services performed in order to keep your commercial electrical system in excellent condition.

Here are a few reasons that we recommend regular commercial electrical maintenance services:

  1. It Keeps Your Property Safe

When you own or operate any commercial property, you have a responsibility to keep it safe for your employees, customers, and/or tenants. One of the best ways to ensure the safety of your Oceanside commercial property is to have regular electrical maintenance performed. Even the smallest problems with an electrical system can be extremely unsafe, and you may be held accountable for any injuries that occur that on the property.

  1. It Keeps Your Electrical Equipment Reliable

No matter what kind of business you own or property you manage, you rely on your electrical system and electrical equipment every day. That’s why it’s so important to keep your electrical equipment, machines, appliances, and outlets well maintained. Our commercial electrical maintenance services are designed to prevent safety mishaps and keep every part of your electrical system functioning well at all times.

Regular maintenance might even extent the lifespan of aging appliances.

  1. It Prevents Major Electrical Problems

Even if your Oceanside commercial property’s electrical system and appliances seem to be working just fine, there could be serious problems that are developing with any part of it. Our maintenance services will help to identify these problems and repair them before they turn into major issues. Our professional electricians will be able to diagnose and repair problems that would most likely otherwise go unnoticed until they became critical issues.

 

Types of maintenance

Traditionally, 5 types of maintenance have been distinguished, which are differentiated by the nature of the tasks that they include:

  1. Corrective maintenance

The set of tasks is destined to correct the defects to be found in the different equipment and that are communicated to the maintenance department by users of the same equipment.

  1. Preventive Maintenance

Its mission is to maintain a level of certain service on equipment, programming the interventions of their vulnerabilities in the most opportune time. It is used to be a systematic character, that is, the equipment is inspected even if it has not given any symptoms of having a problem.

  1. Predictive Maintenance

It pursues constantly know and report the status and operational capacity of the installations by knowing the values of certain variables, which represent such state and operational ability. To apply this maintenance, it is necessary to identify physical variables (temperature, vibration, power consumption, etc.). Which variation is indicative of problems that may be appearing on the equipment. This maintenance it is the most technical, since it requires advanced technical resources, and at times of strong mathematical, physical and / or technical knowledge.

  1. Zero Hours Maintenance (Overhaul)

The set of tasks whose goal is to review the equipment at scheduled intervals before appearing any failure, either when the reliability of the equipment has decreased considerably so it is risky to make forecasts of production capacity . This review is based on leaving the equipment to zero hours of operation, that is, as if the equipment were new. These reviews will replace or repair all items subject to wear. The aim is to ensure, with high probability, a good working time fixed in advance.

  1. Periodic maintenance (Time Based Maintenance TBM)

The basic maintenance of equipment made by the users of it. It consists of a series of elementary tasks (data collections, visual inspections, cleaning, lubrication, retightening screws,…) for which no extensive training is necessary, but perhaps only a brief training. This type of maintenance is the based on TPM (Total Productive Maintenance).

 

Scheduled Maintenance

  • What is scheduled maintenance?

Scheduled maintenance is any repair and upkeep work performed within a set timeframe. It details when given maintenance tasks are performed and by whom. Scheduled maintenance may occur at repeating intervals or in response to a work request.

  • Overview

Scheduled maintenance often occurs at repeating intervals, such as changing an air filter every March and September, or conducting a performance inspection at the start of each year. Maintenance may also be scheduled to fulfill a work order. Once a problem is discovered, a maintenance scheduler works with a maintenance planner to resolve the problem. A time is then scheduled to conduct necessary repairs.

In addition to managing the time at which maintenance tasks should occur, scheduled maintenance also deals with who performs those tasks. The time it takes for the job to be completed is compared with available work hours, which are factored into the schedule. The key here is to make sure those who should perform a given task are available to do so. Without coordinating a set time with maintenance workers and contractors, there is no guarantee that necessary work will be completed on time. This inevitably damages schedule compliance.

  • Scheduled maintenance vs planned maintenance

Scheduled maintenance is often lumped together with planned maintenance, but the two are actually two separate endeavors. Planned maintenance deals with the processes and materials required to successfully complete needed work, whereas scheduled maintenance handles who performs the work and when.

The two go hand in hand, and they rely on one another to make sure maintenance tasks are completed in an efficient manner.

  • How scheduled maintenance decreases downtimes

One of the goals of scheduled maintenance is to make sure time is used as efficiently as possible. It takes planned maintenance and determines when it should be conducted based on priority, available personnel, the systems that require maintenance, and system locations. If multiple tasks are needed for a single piece of equipment, those are scheduled together.

Scheduled maintenance tasks such as routine inspections help detect minor problems before they develop into system failures. By adhering to a regular, well-designed maintenance schedule, maintenance technicians can detect problems early. This prevents lengthy unscheduled downtime and allows repair work to be conducted at optimal times. If these downtimes ever do occur, they are corrected without unnecessary delays.

In short, when repairs are necessary, careful maintenance scheduling makes sure they occur at a time that causes minimal disruption to the company’s operations.

  • Example of scheduled maintenance

Most facilities have a heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system running throughout their buildings. This system requires regular inspections and tune-ups in order to keep running at optimum efficiency. Much of the work is fairly simple, such as keeping registers clean and replacing air filters at regular intervals.

Scheduled maintenance ensures those tasks are handled at specific times. When creating the schedule, either the maintenance planner or a designated scheduler determines when their technicians are available. If they are using the services of a third-party HVAC specialist, the specialist’s availability is also taken into account.

Scheduling may be complicated by additional work orders. For instance, if a piece of equipment near the facility’s heating system needs repairs, that work should be scheduled at a time either before or after the HVAC inspection, depending on priority. If the two tasks are scheduled for the same block of time, one could impede the other. This results in wasted hours and delayed maintenance work.

In many ways, scheduled maintenance may prevent future HVAC breakdowns. Suppose that while performing the HVAC inspection, the assigned personnel discovers a faulty blower fan. A work order is created, and the repairs are then scheduled for a time in the near future before the issue causes further damage to the unit.

  • Benefits of scheduled maintenance

In addition to minimizing downtime, scheduled maintenance serves a variety of other purposes.

  1. Higher personnel utilization since maintenance workers spend more time working
  2. Increased asset life expectancy as breakdowns are prevented
  3. Lower maintenance costs as time is utilized efficiently and costly problems are prevented
  4. Culture of proactive efficiency as personnel perform needed tasks
  5. Reduced liability as assets are kept in safe working condition

The improved work culture, high cost-savings on asset maintenance, and increased workplace safety all speak for the efficacy of scheduled maintenance—at least when it’s handled properly. Scheduled maintenance is facilitated by the use of CMMS software and careful coordination with maintenance planning, both of which are well worth the investments of time and resources.

 

What is preventive maintenance (PM)?

Preventive maintenance (or preventative maintenance) is maintenance that is regularly performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing. It is performed while the equipment is still working so that it does not break down unexpectedly. In terms of the complexity of this maintenance strategy, it falls between reactive (or run-to-failure) maintenance and predictive maintenance.

Types of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance can be scheduled on a time or usage based trigger. Let’s look at an example for each.

  • Time-based preventive maintenance

A typical example of a time-based preventive maintenance trigger is a regular inspection on a critical piece of equipment that would severely impact production in the event of a breakdown.

  • Usage-based preventive maintenance

Usage-based triggers fire after a certain amount of kilometres, hours, or production cycles. An example of this trigger is a motor-vehicle which might be scheduled for service every 10,000km.

 

MaintenanceWhat Is the Difference Between Predictive and Preventive Maintenance?

It is not uncommon for people to use the terms Preventive Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance interchangeably. Although they are similar in that they describe maintenance measures that are designed to address failures or operating problems from occurring, the ways with which these steps are planned and then executed are very different. Read on to find out what the differences are.

First of all, what is preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance measures are planned and performed on equipment with the purpose of ensuring that failures do not occur and to mitigate the consequences of breakdowns. These are routine measures that are completed regardless of the current operating condition, i.e. whether it is working well or not.

These measures are usually determined by time (e.g. every 6 months), events (e.g. every 500 uses) or meter readings (e.g.every 3,000 miles) with parameters that are based on statistics gathered on the expected or average life of the equipment.

This type of maintenance has many advantages compared with Corrective Maintenance which is only performed after equipment failures or breakdowns are reported. Check out our article on the advantages of Preventive vs. Corrective Maintenance for more information.

One problem with Preventive Maintenance is that reports are not based on the actual condition of the equipment. This can lead to some unnecessary maintenance steps being organised which can cost time and money.

What about Predictive Maintenance?

Contrary to Preventive Maintenance, this approach, also known as condition-based maintenance, is based on the current operating condition of an asset at the given tie of maintenance rather than on statistics and previously defined schedules.

The idea is to predict the occurrence of a failure before it ever even happens. This is done by constantly monitoring and testing the condition and performance of the asset in question using techniques such as vibration analysis or oil analysis. When unwanted conditions such as general wear are detected,  a repair is scheduled before any actual failure occur. By doing this, you can guarantee that the repairs are both required and on-time which isn’t always the case with Preventive or Corrective Maintenance.

However, the implementation of a Predictive Maintenance strategy is usually more costly than Preventive as there is a need to invest in specific monitoring equipment and to train staff to use it and to interpret the data collected.

So which strategy should you use?

The best strategy is to have a maintenance program incorporating both of these types of maintenance according to each scenario. Remember that considering Corrective Maintenance is still (albeit less) necessary when adopting these strategies.

Maintenance Management Software tools, such as Infraspeak, exist precisely to help you define, perform and monitor your maintenance strategy

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