Scherer Electric Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Orchard Park’

Electrical Safety Tips for Christmas Lighting

Monday, December 21st, 2020
christmas-lights-exterior

It’s a different holiday season this year, but even if you’ll spend most of your festive family time in your house, that doesn’t mean you can’t put up great colorful light displays. Whether on the inside or outside of your house, these Christmas lights can brighten up the season.

However, light displays can also create major electrical hazards unless people take precautions. As professional electricians in Orchard Park, NY, we’ve seen our share of electrical mishaps due to Christmas lights, which can range from damage to the electrical system to electrical fires. We’d like to share some basic safety tips for your holiday lights so you can enjoy a season of warmth and family without worrying about power outages, high voltage shocks, or electrical fires.

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Unsafe Electrical Panels That Might Be in Your House

Monday, December 7th, 2020
electrical-panel-working-on-one

Any Orchard Park, NY electrician can tell you that the secret to having a safe and effective electrical system isn’t much of a secret: it starts with having an updated electrical panel. The panel is the switching station for a residential electrical system, the point where the incoming current divides into separate circuits. The panel protects the rest of the system from suffering damage with breakers that cut off voltage flow in case of overloads. A broken or outdated panel can lead to power outages around a home as well as electrical fires.

One of the important jobs we handle for our customers is installing new panels to replace outdated ones. If you live in a house built before 1990 and you still have the same electrical panel, calling us for an inspection to see if it’s time to upgrade the panel. In fact, you may have something worse than an outdated panel—you might have one that was never safe to begin with! Below are three of these potentially hazardous panels we recommend you have us replace.

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How Long Will My Home’s Electrical Wiring Last?

Monday, August 3rd, 2020
electrical-parts

A home has two hard-working “circulatory systems,” plumbing and electrical. Because both are mostly hidden from view even as they do essential work, it’s easy for a homeowner to dismiss them as something that will last as long as the house does.

But that’s not the case. When it comes to electrical wiring in Orchard Park, NY, you do need to have concerns about the age of the wiring. Not just for as long as you’ve been in the house, but for as long as the wiring has been in the house, period. If you live in a vintage home and the wiring has never had an update, it’s important to know about how long the wiring can expect to endure.

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Does My Home Need Grounding Services?

Monday, June 22nd, 2020
electrical-outlet-wall

What does it mean to have your house grounded? We could go into some lengthy engineering explanations about how electricity works, but we can provide a simpler discussion of the electrical flow in your house. Electricity is always trying to “ground,” which means it gets rid of all its negative energy so it can get back to being balanced. In your home, the way the electrical systems allow electricity to return to ground is through the neutral wires. The “hot” wires carry the negative half of the polarized charge of electricity, and the neutral wires contain the positive half. These wires run next to each other through your electrical system.

For an example of this standard grounding at work, look at an outlet. One slot is the “hot” side, and the other is the “neutral.” The current flows through the hot side and then into the neutral side to eliminate the negative energy.

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Are Three-Pronged Adapters Safe?

Monday, March 16th, 2020
electrical-outlet

The standard for major electrical appliances since 1969 is to have three-pronged plugs. Soon after this standard was introduced, the household outlets started to change over to three-prongs. A three-pronged outlet is a grounded outlet. The third prong, the one below the “hot” and “neutral” slots, is the “ground.” The ground slot is there to protect a person from receiving an electrical shock from the metal casing of an appliance because the electricity from the hot wire side is sent into the ground in case there is excess. You’ll notice that some appliances still use two-prong plugs because they don’t have large metal cases in them that can create this problem.

This lengthy explanation about grounded outlets and three-pronged plugs is necessary to get to the big question, “Is it okay to use a three-pronged adapter?” The cheater plugs allow you to plug a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet, which you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. If you live in an older home with two-pronged outlets, you may have plenty of these cheater plugs around. Is this a good idea?

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Watch Out for Federal Pacific Electrical Panels and Have Them Replaced!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020
electrical-panel-repairs

We watch out for the safety of our customers. Keeping electrical systems running without hazards for a house is an essential part of the job of any professional electrician. But our electricians in Orchard Park, NY have a special safety focus, which is replacing outdated electrical panels.

There are many older homes in Western New York which still have their original wiring and electrical panels. Those panels may have been fine decades ago, but they aren’t right for modern electrical demands. And then there’s the Federal Pacific electrical panel, which presents a significant fire danger for homes—and is found in far too many of them!

If you have a Federal Pacific electrical panel in your house, please schedule service with us as soon as possible to have it replaced.

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