Flying Splices: What They Are and How to Fix Them

If you’ve never heard of the term “flying splices”, you’re not alone; and if you think it sounds like a sci-fi reference or an exotic insect, we don’t blame you. However, flying splices are a very real, flying splice Poag house in Havertownvery dangerous and very common electrical issue—particularly in older homes—and are one of the top causes of house fires. Not sure whether your home’s electrical wiring has flying splices? Not to worry! The electrical experts at Farryn Electric have three facts about flying splices to help you understand what they are, the dangers they impose, steps you can take detect them, and ultimately, protect your home from an electrical-related fire.

What They Are
The term “flying splices” is an electrical term for wiring that has been spliced together, meaning that the wires have been connected, left open and not enclosed in a junction box. Unfortunately these connections become loose, and because they are not in a box (they are hidden in walls and ceilings) They are very hard to detect. Not to be “captain obvious” but those things that have a potential for causing fires should be in a box and their location should be known. Unfortunately, this technique is found in the oldest forms of wiring like knob and tube wiring, in residential homes, and other generations of wiring as well. Not only is this technique now illegal, but it also is creating a dangerous situation for you and your home.

Why They’re Dangerous
Although flying splices are more typical in older residences, it is still possible that your newer home is suffering from them as well. Like many situations in life, some people are not qualified to do the job they are hired to do, and your flying splice situation could be the result of poor workmanship and an uneducated electrician. What makes flying splices so dangerous to you, your loved ones and your home? Many times, the wiring in a home is located within the walls and ceilings, making it so you will never be able to see it and therefore, you will never know if this dangerous wiring is there.  Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not quite. Due to the increased susceptibility of sparking, flying splices are one of the top causes of house fires, but since you cannot see them, how can you protect your home from them? Read on to learn how you can discover if your home has flying splices and how to combat this dangerous issue.

How to Keep Your Home Safe
Luckily, flying splices are not a permanent issue, and with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced electrical expert, the issue can be fixed. First thing’s first: You must hire an electrician to find any weak and dangerous wiring in your home. At Farryn Electric, we have the tools and knowledge to not only detect flying splices, but we will do so without making any holes—a skill both you and your home will thank us for. If it is determined that your home has flying splices, the wiring connection will be corrected and your home will instantly be safer.
When it comes to your home’s electrical wiring, stop living by the “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” mentality, especially if you live in an older home. Flying splices are highly dangerous, and as previously mentioned, highly prevalent in older homes. Don’t rely on luck—contact the team at Farryn Electric today!

Beat the Heat: Knowing the Dangers of Space Heaters

Space Heaters

Space heaters can be a huge help during chillier days, but they can also be a huge safety hazard. From starting home fires to overloading circuits, space heaters can be a danger to you, your loved ones and your home. But knowledge is power, and the electrical experts at Farryn Electric are sharing our space heater knowledge with you, so they can heat your home, rather than hurt it.

We Didn’t Start the Fire, But They May
Space heaters pose both a shock and fire hazard—that is why it is crucial to check the unit regularly. Some things you should be checking for are frayed wires and accumulation of dust on the unit’s coils, grates or grill. Just as other appliances in your home have life spans, so does your space heater. If yours is an old model, upgrading to a newer model will provide you with an appliance that should have new and improved safety features. To help decrease the chances of being electrically shocked by your space heater, do not use one in a room where moisture builds up, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

It’s Easy to Feel the Burn…and Not in a Good Way
Many times, some areas of a space heater can become dangerously hot to the touch. When this happens, they pose a threat to children, pets and adults. For kids and your furry friends, a hot to the touch space heater means they are extremely vulnerable to getting burned; for adults, burns can occur by accidentally brushing against the hot surface. Another hazard that occurs in this situation is that clothes can catch on fire. To keep everyone and everything in your home safe, don’t leave pets or young kids alone with a space heater and opt for a unit that’s equipped with a protective guard around its heating element.

They Become a Burden When They Overload Circuits
Because space heaters use a lot of electricity, they can easily overload your circuits, which can result in a power failure or fire. To decrease your chances of overloading your circuits make sure you have dedicated circuits installed, just as you would a washer or gas dryer. If you’re using an extension cord with your space heater—or if you’re utilizing the extension cord to power too many appliances in general—contact a professional who will ensure your electrical outlets and your home are safe.

Top Heavy Heaters Are Not to Be Taken Lightly
When it comes to space heaters, bigger does not necessarily mean better. In fact, tall space heaters are particularly susceptible to tipping over, which means they pose a higher threat of starting a fire.  Although the industry has taken great steps in installing anti-tip detection, older models may not have this safety mechanism.

Whether you need your electrical outlets repaired before you plug in your space heater or are interested in having permanent heating sources installed, Farryn Electric has what you need! Contact us today for all of your electrical needs.

 

Safety for the Winter: Here are Three Generator Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Upcoming Winter

Generac Generator

Generators are the reason you can keep your home warm and cozy in the winter, even if you lose power in a snowstorm.  But, there are safety precautions you need take when handling them. At Farryn Electric, we care about your safety as much as taking care of your electrical needs, so we’ve come up with three safety tips for you to keep in mind when using your generator this winter.

Location, Location, Location
Where you place your generator is extremely important. To keep you and your home safe, choose a location that permits proper exhaust ventilation and is a solid 20 feet away from vents, windows and doors. A big generator no-no? Using a generator in an attached garage. Even if you keep the garage door open, using a generator in this location is a big safety hazard.

Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors is Crucial
In the case of improper generator operation or function—heaven forbid—carbon monoxide may leak out and into your home, creating a dangerous situation. While the odds of this happening are slim, it’s best to be prepared. If your home is not already equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, and you know you’re going to be using a generator this winter, it’s important that you get one installed right away.

Don’t Forget to Handle Fuel Safely if You have a Portable Generator
Just as you need to take safety precautions with your generator, it’s important to also be safe when handling its fuel. For example, before you refuel your generator, always remember to first turn it off and let it completely cool down. If you need to store the fuel, make sure that it’s in a container specifically for storing fuel and be sure to label it properly. Once you’ve done that, the fuel should be stored outside of your living areas.
Whether you’re interested in having a generator installed, need to have yours repaired or would like to ensure your current one is well maintained, Farryn Electric can help! Contact us today for all of your generator needs.

Electrical Safety: Baby Proofing Outlets

shutterstock_135339197I never understood a baby’s fascination with outlets until I became a father myself. I don’t know what it is about electrical outlets, but babies love them. Maybe it’s because they see you plugging in an appliance and want to imitate you. Maybe it’s because outlets look like little faces, just waiting to be fed something.

My anxiety was skyrocketing. It appeared my little crawling drool monster would find her way to an outlet and find anything to jam into the socket! It made my wife and I crazy!

A light-bulb went off in my mind. I said to my wife, “As soon as we make settlement on the new home – I am going to replace all child level outlets with tamper resistant receptacles!”  To save my wife and I from the stress of chasing a speedy infant around each room, I did just that (while she did everything else)!

If you are planning to expand your family or are expecting, you should consider having your receptacles changed to tamper resistant receptacles and I will explain why.

Our second child is daddy’s little girl! She likes to take things apart and see exactly how they work. It wasn’t long until she figured out how to get through the plastic child-locks on everything.  The toilet, cabinets, baby gates, you name it – there was no stopping this little one and her desire to explore everything, including the plastic outlet safety covers on the electrical sockets, even while she was on a playdate!

So how do tamper resistant receptacles work? Both slots in a tamper resistant receptacle have spring-loaded shutters over them that are interconnected. Unless pressure is applied to both slots at the same time, they will not open, so a child trying to stick a small object into a slot will be unsuccessful.

Of course, you can always use the plastic baby-proofing covers that require a screwdriver to remove and/or break nails in the process. However, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen these on floors or simply misplaced. Therefore, I advocate for tamper resistant receptacles, to make it easier on ourselves and all parents to protect our babies from being shocked by a receptacle.

Farryn Electric is your guide when it comes to electrical features and services. If you have any questions about our services, you may contact us here or call us at (484) 316-0449.

An Electrician’s Love for Landscape Lighting

An Electrician’s Love for Landscape Lighting

Do waiters that work at a 5-star restaurant dine at other restaurants? I would have to imagine so. When they do, do they accept what is put in front of them? Is it acceptable to them? Do they simply shrug their shoulders with the expectation that the food will always be worse than what they are accustomed to? Do they even care?

As an electrician and a lover of landscape lighting design, I analyze every home I drive past. I’m obsessed with how a home looks at night. Like a menu in a chain restaurant, many of us live in a neighborhood that “serves” homes that all look alike. The one variable is our yards, our landscaping. No one’s home is the same, in that regard!

 

Choosing the Right Landscape Lighting Company:

Some homes that I drive by are lit with exquisite lighting, placed perfectly, with the proper amount of both light and darkness. A 5-star meal to my eyes. Others are dark, uninviting and certainly not safe. The absolute worst thing I have witnessed is improperly placed lights, a rare filet burnt to a crisp when you paid a good deal of money for a 5-star service! Or, the dreaded commercial light in the center of the front yard, shining on a beautiful Main Line home as if it were a billboard in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. We have all found “the hair in the food”, no?

So how do you make your home’s landscape lighting the perfectly cooked filet at your favorite restaurant? Firstly, ask the person who is proposing the project if they understand photometric’s, temperature color and beam spread. If they say no to any of these questions, please find an electrician who does. Secondly, ask them if they provide lights and bulbs with a no-hassle lifetime warranty. If they say no, look somewhere else. Thirdly, ask them if they know how to spread the lighting load evenly so that every light has the same intensity. You know what to do if they say no!

The exterior of your home and the plantings that surround it deserve the 5-star treatment. Your home may look just like your neighbors, but with the proper lighting, it will be that 5-star restaurant to your neighbor’s local chain. Beautify, offer security, distinguish through proper landscape lighting and you and your home will be the envy of the neighborhood!

6 Outdoor Lighting Tips for Your Home

Outdoor lighting

If you’re looking to update your outdoor lighting, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Envision where you want light. The first step to creating a lighting plan is to identify what areas of your yard and home you want to illuminate. Take a walk around your property and identify which areas you could better utilize if they were well lit, as well as dark areas that compromise your safety.
  2. Just like a cake, light is better in layers. There are three main types of outdoor lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting is the general illumination and sets the overall light level of a space. Task lighting is so-called because it provides light necessary to complete a task, while accent lighting is purely decorative. A good lighting design layers all three types for the best overall effect.
  3. Calculate how much light you need. There’s a simple calculation to determine how much light a space requires: multiply the square footage of the area by 1.5 and you will have a rough estimate of the total wattage required.
  4. Consider energy saving features. To keep your electric bill down, look for outdoor lighting that carries the Energy Star logo. LED bulbs are also an energy-efficient solution, providing the same light as an incandescent bulb while using 75% less energy. Plus the average lifespan of an LED light is over 40,000 hours – or more than 12 years of average nighttime use!
  5. When it comes to fixtures, size is everything. An outdoor fixture should be the perfect balance of proportion and light output. A fixture typically looks half its size from the street compared to up close. For your front door, a single light fixture should measure 1/3 the door’s height, while using two lights on either side of the door should be ¼ the height of the door. If in doubt, go larger.
  6. Know your bulb. To get a warm, soft glow and avoid your yard being glaringly bright, don’t max out the wattage in all your fixtures. 60-75 watts is ideal for most exterior wall fixtures or lanterns. You may attain the look you want by having multiple low-watt lights, rather than several high-watt lights that only provide pools of intense brightness.

Call the Best Electrician in Pennsylvania for All Your Outdoor Lighting Needs

“We can certainly attest to your creative vision and the expertise of your team! We are constantly complimented on the stunning exterior lighting you designed and installed at our home.” – Eduardo C.

Farryn Electric is your exterior lighting expert. Whether you’re looking for security lighting or want to brighten up your deck or gazebo, our skilled electricians will bring your vision to life.