Before the Storm Hits You

As the abnormal rains continued into 2019, so have the problems that this epidemic of storms and excessive rain have caused. Flooding, trees down, and power surges and outages. If you live here you know, and may have been an unfortunate victim of circumstance.

As many of our neighbor’s scramble about putting food in another person’s freezer, collecting the branches that damaged their home and tore off the power lines to their house and load up on batteries and board games to survive several nights without power, we at Farryn Electric feel for those folks.

I help where I can, currently I have my neighbor’s kids here enjoying movies and hot meals, while their dad places an abundance of food in our freezer before it spoils. They all say the same thing, well here we go again… another unexpected camping trip!

So what can you as a home owner do to protect yourself from power outages:

  • Ensure your grounding system meets the current code requirements.
  • Install whole house and localized surge protection.
  • Find a generator that is right for you!

The most important thing is to have a plan. List all of the things you would have to do if you were to lose power. Do you have flashlights ready? Do you have food that won’t spoil? Do you have a place to bring your perishables? Do you have a place to sleep?

Back to Basics: Tips to Prevent Overloading Circuits and Blowing Fuses

 

We’ve all been there: blow drying our hair, vacuuming up, turning on the kitchen blender, only to have the lights go out from an overloaded circuit, and ultimately, a blown fuse. Wires and a variety of devices being plugged in are all a part of our everyday lives, so it’s easy to forget that they can easily overload a home’s circuit breaker, until it’s too late. Luckily, the experts at Farryn Electric have three tips that can help shed some light on this topic, so you can keep your circuit breaker happy, your fuses from blowing and your home running smoothly.

shutterstock_560399305Breaker and Wattage Conversion is Key
In order to figure out how many devices you can plug in without blowing a fuse, you must first figure out how many circuits your panel can handle. To figure this out, open your electrical panel to find the information of how many amps each circuit can handle without being overloaded. From here, multiply the amperage rating by 120 volts—this will give you your total wattage capacity. For example, the maximum wattage of a 15-amp circuit (multiplied by 120 volts) is 1,800 watts.

Keep Extension Cord Usage to a Minimum
A tripping circuit breaker can be a pain, so if you want to keep this from happening, you may want to think twice the next time you whip out your an extension cord as an easy solution. While extension cords can give your circuit some temporary relief, it’s important to note that they are not a long-term solution. And as with most things in life that come with a user manual, it’s important to read the one that comes with your extension cord and to follow the tips in it provided by the manufacturer.

Wattage Comparison is Crucial for Plugged-In Devices
Between kitchen appliances, grooming tools, entertainment devices, cleaning equipment and light bulbs, it can be easy to not realize how many things we have plugged in—until a fuse is blown, that is. Here’s a quick list of some devices you may plug in daily (or always have plugged in) to give you an idea of how much your circuit is being utilized:

  • Dishwasher (1,200-2,400 watts)
  • Blow dryer (600-1,200 watts)
  • Television (200-500 watts)
  • Speakers (220-1000 watts)
  • Vacuum cleaner (250-1,200 watts)
  • Light bulb (20-250 watts)

To decrease your chances of blowing a fuse, compare the wattage and amperage rating of each of these devices with the amount of power your circuits can handle. This information should be easy to find on their packaging, rating plates or tags. Once you know these numbers, it will be easy to determine if your circuit is overloaded or not.

If you’re finding that you’re constantly cursing (in the dark) because of a blown fuse, there may be an issue with your circuit’s wiring. The only way to figure this out? With the help of the experts at Farryn Electric! Not only do we have the tools and expertise to detect the issue for you, but we’ll easily fix it, so you can blow dry your hair, plug in those new surround-sound speakers and vacuum the day away without having to worry about blowing a fuse. Contact us today!

Tips to Make Your Home’s Exterior Holiday Lights Sparkle Safely!

shutterstock_535378711

Exterior holiday lighting brightens up the holiday season—it creates a heartwarming scene, it conjures up feelings of nostalgia and it makes homes glisten in the winter night—but decorating your home with these festive lights can create electrical safety issues that can harm you, your family and your winter wonderland. To protect your home this winter, the exterior lighting experts at Farryn Electric have come up with four ways to ensure your home can sparkle this holiday season, while also keeping it safe from electrical safety hazards.

Safely Use Extension Cords for Your Glowing Garlands
Adding lights to garland takes your home’s decorations to a whole other magical level, but they require the use of extensions cords—the right ones, that is. Whether you have garland accentuating your front door, wrapped around lamp posts or swirled around structural pillars, be sure to use extension cords that are specified for outdoor use only and that are in good condition with no fraying or other damage.

Embellish Walkways with Expertly Placed Wires
When you’re standing on a walkway lit up by sparkling lights, it’s hard to not feel like you’re walking through a winter wonderland. However, outlining your walkways, exterior steps and driveway with holiday lights requires a lot of wires—the placement of which matters. To prevent tripping, wire-damage and fire hazards, keep wires out of heavy foot traffic areas, away from areas that typically collect water and safely covered with products made to cover them.   

Illuminate Your Lawn with Lights Without Overloading Circuits
Too often, people forget that their lawn is prime real estate for holiday light decorations, but all this extra lighting can make your circuits work overtime. To ensure your don’t blow any circuits this holiday season, look at the amp-rating on your lights as well as the amount of lights your circuit can safely handle. To prevent electrical issues, it’s recommended that you should load your circuit up to 80%. If you have a 20-amp circuit, this means that you can safely handle 16-amp lights.  

Avoid Tree Fires When Lighting Up Your Landscaping
Landscape lighting will certainly make your home stand out this holiday season, but just as Christmas trees have been known to cause fires, so can your outdoor shrubbery. Whether you’re adding exterior lights to trees or bushes, avoid tree fires by utilizing LED lights—these are the safest choice in lighting because they emit the least amount of heat.

Realizing you have extension cords powering too many of your holiday decorations, need to fix an outlet issue or want help with your exterior lighting? Then enlist the help of a professional (after all, Santa doesn’t do all the work himself either)! At Farryn Electric, we make exterior lighting easy—from accent lighting on your home to lighting on your walkways and pillars, you can have a merry and bright home without having to stress about any electrical issues. Contact us today to set up your exterior lighting appointment!

The Importance of Whole-House Surge Protectors

whole house surge protectors

Power surges can wreak havoc on your expensive electronics and appliances. A whole-house surge protector can save you both time and money in the long-run. This will safeguard your entire electrical system. At Farryn Electric we are here to help our customers!

What causes a power surge?
People tend to think a power surge is caused by something outside, like when lightning strikes or when a power line goes down. While external influences like lightning aren’t the most common cause of power surges, they can certainly cause the most destruction because it involves the entirety of your home.  Believe it or not, power surges usually occur right inside the home.

One of the most common causes of a power surge is overloaded outlets or circuits. Plugging in too many appliances or electronics in the same socket can lead to power surges and electrical fires.

Damage or exposed wiring is also a common cause of power surges. This can cause power surges when electrical wiring is damaged because the electricity that is flowing through the wiring is not being directed as it normally would.

Lastly, high power electrical devices like refrigerators and air conditioners can cause energy spikes and power surges. This happens because these appliances tend to draw an abnormally large amount of electricity.

Whole-house surge protection
80 percent of surges are generated internally. Most of these surges are very short and come from your homes appliances, but over time these surges can degrade the performance of your appliances. Having a whole-house surge protector can protect your home for years. This device is wired to your electric box and is typically placed in a more convenient location to be easily accessible.

Protective devices aren’t required by building codes or homeowner’s insurance carriers. However, it is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association and the Institute for Business and Home Safety. The good news is that protection is readily available, and affordable! Feel free to give us a call at (484) 316-0449.

 

Checking Your AC Breaker

checking ac breaker

Over the past few weeks, Farryn Electric has replaced four AC breaker panels due to the excessive heat! Home outdoor AC units are working overtime; attempting to make sure your home stays cool. Ultimately, the hot summer days can cause an enormous amount of electrical current to flow through your breaker. Your breaker box distributes electrical power to different circuits.

What is arcing?
If your breaker is dated or not maintained properly, “arcing” will occur. It becomes so hot within the breaker, that this can actually lead to your panel melting! Arcing is an electric current that is brief, strong and highly luminous. An arc is the luminous current discharge which is produced when strong current leaps across the gap between electrodes or within a circuit.

What can you do to prevent this?
Simply open the door to your panel and run the back of your hand down the face of the breakers. If the breakers are slightly hot to the touch, it is normal. However, if the breakers are excessively hot there may be a potential danger.

What to do if your breaker gets too hot?
You may also notice a “fishy”/burned plastic smell and odds are your breaker needs to be repaired. If this is the case, immediately turn the breaker off and call us at Farryn Electric for a diagnostic, we will be happy to help!

How we can help!
If you don’t feel comfortable performing the check, making a quick call to Farryn Electric is the safest bet. Trust the experts!

How can this be avoided?
If you want to lessen the chances of this or any other electrical hazard in your home; Farryn Electric Offers Comprehensive Safety Checks.  Call Farryn Electric today for details.

 

Electrical Safety Tips to Get You Through the Summer

electrical safety tips during the summer

Did you know that according to Electrical Safety Foundation International, home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage? The summer months are filled with fun outdoor activities with family and friends, but you should always be aware of the dangers of outdoor electrical usage.

Here are some tips to keep everyone safe this summer!

Around the Pool

Remember, water and electricity don’t mix!

  • Keep all electrical cords away from water.
  • Be on the lookout for underwater lights that are not working properly, flicker or work intermittently.
  • Make sure all outdoor outlets have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) – Especially around the pool.
  • Do not swim before or after thunderstorms.

Lightning

Remember, lightning most often strikes people who work outside or engage in outdoor recreational activities.

  • Be careful if you get caught in a summer storm.
  • Almost 100 people die each year from lightning related incidents, and another 500 are severely injured.
  • If a thunderstorm is approaching, be sure to go indoors and stay there till the storm has passed.
  • If there is no shelter, crunch low, with as little of your body touching the ground, and always with your feet together. If you have to move, hop on one foot to avoid providing a difference in potential between one foot and the other.
  • Never seek shelter under a tree.

Extension Cords

Note: Extension cords are only a temporary solution!

  • Never attempt to extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it with another extension cord.
  • Check extension cords for any damage before using.
  • Only use extension cords if they have been marked for outdoor use.