Why You Should Use A Surge Protector

By Springdale Electrician,

Mister Sparky is here to teach you all about surge protectors.

Why You Should Use A Surge Protector

It’s no secret; society has become extremely dependent on technology. There seems to be a new gadget coming out every single day. However, with all of these advances comes a great deal of responsibility– mainly as it concerns protecting these items. And that’s because all it takes is one surge of power to do significant damage.

Most people assume that plugging their devices and equipment into a power strip will protect against surges. So they plug countless gadgets into one outlet, not realizing that this is an accident waiting to happen. The only way to avoid disaster is to use a surge protector.

The Importance of Using a Surge ProtectorKeep electronics safe from the worst weather, buy a surge protector today.

It’s easy to overlook how big of a role electricity plays in everyday life. That is until a storm sweeps through the neighborhood and knocks all of the power out. If the storm is powerful enough and lightning was involved, there can be quite a bit of collateral damage. Daily essentials including the refrigerator, garage doors, the air conditioning, the HVAC system, and much more may not be able to function for weeks. But perhaps the most devastating part about storms like these is the irreparable damage.

There are some surges so powerful that even with restored power, electronic devices and equipment no longer work. And the worst part is, insurance may not cover the cost to replace these items. That’s why surge protectors are so important. This small investment can save thousands of dollars.

So How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors act as a middle man between the wall and the electrical device. Instead of flowing directly into the appliance, the electrical current flows from the wall to the surge protector. The surge protector then delivers these currents to the device. And whenever there’s a surge that’s too high, the extra voltage diverts to the protector’s grounding wire.

Three factors determine how efficiently a surge protector does its job. First, the clamping determines at what voltage the diversion will start to kick in — the lower the energy, the better. The higher the voltage, the more likely the devices are to be damaged. Second, the energy rating determines how much power the protector can safely absorb. Lastly, the time in which the surge protector kicks in will regulate how long it takes for it to respond.

Choosing the Correct One

When shopping for a surge protector, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. So it helps to focus on five major areas: the number of ports, the type of devices used, the energy rate and clamping voltage, the warranty, and extra features.

1. Ports. The standard number of ports surge protectors have are 6 to 8. However, the more electrical devices someone has, the more ports they will need. The reason it’s essential to get the correct number of ports is so that it won’t be necessary to daisy chain other protectors.

2. Device types. It’s critical to think about the kinds of devices that require a protector. Specific protectors are better suited for certain devices. For example, if someone is plugging an entire entertainment center into their protector, then they may want to purchase the best they can find. However, if they are only using a phone charger for the protector, they could buy something a little less costly and robust.

3. Energy rate and clamping voltage. As previously mentioned, the energy rate and clamping voltage are essential elements. The protector’s energy rating determines how much energy the protector can absorb before it begins to fail. Ideally, a protector should offer at least 600 joules. The higher, the better.

The clamping voltage determines the voltage at which the protector activates. Ideally, it’s best to choose a protector that kicks in at 400 volts or less. In this case, the lower, the better.

4. The warranty. The protector must come with a great warranty. The point of purchasing a protector is to protect expensive devices and equipment. The best warranties are those that cover a certain amount of damages if a power surge gets through. The warranty should be extensive and easy to claim.

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to inform yourself before starting a search for a quality protector. Read all of the fine print on the packaging. It’s definitely worth the time when one considers how much money it could save in the long run.

5. Extra features. It’s also a good idea to research additional features. For example, some surge protectors are designed to automatically shut off whenever the devices have been turned off or are no longer charging. Specific protectors can be controlled by remote, enabling the user to turn it off and on along with all of the devices on the protector. These features are especially beneficial if they have a standby mode. Which often includes things such as TVs and game consoles. Protectors that come with remote control can also be great for protectors that are not easy to reach.

The Takeaway

Technology is moving at a rapid pace. And this means that people are becoming more and more reliant on eleInvest in a surge protector and keep your devices safe.ctronics by the day. However, it’s important to remember that these devices need to be taken care of– precisely when it comes to electrical storms and other natural disasters.

Unfortunately, by the time people realize that they need a surge protector, it’s often too late. A sudden storm has already destroyed their devices and equipment, and they are unable to recoup their costs. People must take the necessary steps to protect their equipment before things are beyond their control. Protectors come in all shapes and sizes. And many are built with extra features that can make their use convenient and seamless.

Mister Sparky Electrician East Texas, America’s On-Time Electrician in Longview, Kilgore and Tyler services surrounding East Texas areas with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to emergency electrical repair, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at (903) 594-4272 to schedule an appointment!

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Energy Saving Tips for Summer

By Rogers Electrician,

Check out these energy saving tips that will save you money.

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Summertime is memorable for many things — family vacations, cookouts, fireworks–and sometimes, some massive electric bills. Keeping the home relaxed, comfortable, and well-lit during all those summer festivities can give the power bill a workout.

So along with searching for great grilling recipes and fun beach getaways, smart consumers will also check on energy saving tips to reduce the cost of their summer fun. There are plenty of simple, low-cost steps that every homeowner can take to trim the electric bill without a lot of extra effort or expense. Here are five energy-saving tips that can be put to work right now to lower those costs.

Upgrading Light Bulbs and Fixtures

Even though the days are longer this time of year, most homes still use plenty of electric light. It could belong to visits with friends on the Changing your light bulbs is a smart energy saving tip.front porch or kids trying to stay up all night. Whatever the case, extra light usage means additional electricity usage. Replacing standard incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs is one of the best energy-saving tips a homeowner can follow.

These bulbs use a fraction of the energy that the old models use, and they last much longer while providing bright, clean light. Old lights may be less efficient, wasting power while illuminating a space. Energy savings recoup the initial investment of the bulbs.

Managing Sunlight

Solar rays are the most significant source of heat in a home, so anything that can be done to limit their impact can provide more benefit to the energy bill’s bottom line. Careful management of blinds can be beneficial. Any room that is not occupied or used during the day should be blocked off with blackout blinds, and the entire house should be closed off when no one is home. Some indirect sunlight from windows to the side and rear from the sun’s primary angle can be allowed while those squarely facing late-day sun should be at least partially shaded off.

Cooling the Car

Finding useful energy-saving tips for cutting costs on cooling means excluding heat in every way possible. Vehicles are an often-overlooked source of heat in the home. High temperatures make the car’s body hot, and the engine generates even more warmth from the drive home.

Pulling your car into an attached garage and closing the door behind it, results in all that heat radiating out of the vehicle and into the house. A better option is to leave the car outside until it has cooled completely, or at least until much of the heat has dissipated. This step will dramatically reduce the amount of work required for the home’s air conditioner to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Servicing the AC

A dirty air conditioning system with worn components is a real drain on the home’s energy. The system must work harder to provide the same amount of cooling as a better-maintained unit, so there is a corresponding more substantial draw on the home’s electrical system. Servicing the system is one of the best energy-saving tips homeowners can use, but it means more than just replacing filters.

Having a heating and cooling contractor examine the system and provide deep cleaning will go a long way toward reducing the energy demand on the home’s biggest user of summertime power. In the long term, it can also prevent more significant breakdowns that lead to hefty repair bills–on top of higher energy bills.

Cooking Out

Nobody needs much extra motivation to cook outside, but those who do may be pleased to see the impact it can have on their electric bill. Yes, cooking your food prevents the oven from heating your house. Now this is a energy saving tip.Stepping up the grilling game and preparing more than just meat outside will keep the oven and range from filling the home with unneeded heat. It doesn’t make sense to use electricity to make the house hotter and then to use more power to make it chilly again.

Traditional gas and charcoal grills are very versatile, easily used for preparing vegetables and other side items in addition to the usual steaks, chops, and burgers. Also, many homeowners are now installing outdoor kitchens that provide the same appliances and functionality as an indoor one–without the unneeded heat inside. A qualified electrician can set up an outdoor space as a vast social and functional area that will also lower energy costs.

Everybody likes to save money on their utility costs. With summer being notorious for running up the bill, savvy consumers can use energy-saving tips like these to get their bills under control so that they can enjoy the season without worrying about how to pay the electric bill.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

By Rogers Electrician,

You should always have a cover for you Outdoor Electrical Outlet.

Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

Using an outlet outdoor is almost as important as using outlets inside. If you want to mow the lawn, you need electricity to power the lawn mower. An electrical outlet is very convenient to avoid the usage of a lot of extension cords during Christmas and Halloween. It also makes an outdoor kitchen more convenient and more functional. In addition, there will be less hassle in setting up the electric leaf blowers and pressure washers.

Overall, an outdoor outlet is a very convenient addition to your outside functionalities. It cuts off the travel time needed in order to access electricity from the outside. In addition, it also saves you from using extension cords, which can be very inconvenient sometimes. For families who like to take their activities outside will even find it more useful. However, there is an extra precaution when using an outlet outside of the house. Because of its location, it is more exposed to outside elements, which might cause damage or other safety hazards. This includes weather elements such as snow and rain.

What Happens When Outdoor Electrical Outlets Gets Wet?Don't let your outdoor electrical outlet get wet.

If an outdoor electrical outlet gets wet, serious issues can occur. A powerful electric shock can injure a person or even cause death. This also applies to electrical outlets, which is connected to the wirings where electricity is being distributed. When the outlet becomes wet, the flow of electricity will run in the water.

When this happens, anyone who is not observant enough will receive an electric shock. The most at risk here are unsuspecting children and animals who happen to be playing outside. Outdoor outlets are important for convenience, but to eliminate the chance of water getting inside, homeowners need to use an outdoor cover.

Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

All outdoor outlets should be covered whether it is used or not, especially those that are likely exposed during the rain. It is even required to be installed in special boxes, alongside the electrical covers, For example, all outlets installed in damp locations, as well as in locations unprotected by rainfall, must be protected with a weatherproof cover.

The most common danger related to outdoor outlets is the possibility of someone being shocked by being in contact with the water near the outlet. Fire can also happen when an unsuspecting person put a plug inside a wet outlet, which can cause a short circuit that can start a fire. The short circuit can also cause power outages throughout the house and can cause damage to your appliances.

What To Do When The Outdoor Outlet Gets Wet?

1. Turn off the GFCI Outlet
GFCI Outlets are designed to switch itself off automatically when the electricity has been cut off. The common occurrence of this happens when water or any liquid compromises the flow of electricity. If for some reason, the GFCI outlet did not turn itself off automatically, you can do it manually by pressing the reset button and the test button at the same time.

2. Shut Down The Breaker Box
In case of a flood or any other events where there are a lot of outlets affected, shutting down the Breaker Box is the most reliable solution. It is even recommended even when the GFCI outlets successfully stopped function automatically. If you’re not sure what circuit breaker should be flipped, call an electrician for help.

How To Prevent Elements From Getting Into The Outlet?

Selecting the kind of outdoor outlets is one of the most important parts of ensuring safety. Only GFCI outlets are the standard that NEC mandates. Also, make sure to follow the installation of the GFCI outlet. Use brackets that are designed for exterior outlets. Last but not least, install a weatherproof cover.

A weatherproof cover, usually made with plastic, is a covering designed to protect the outlet from moisture and water. Different kinds of weatherproof exist for different usage and locations. Use the right cover for the right outlet design and configuration. It is worthy to note that using a cover with the wrong design and configuration will likely let the water leak inside the outlet even when it is covered.

The Different Types Of Covers And When To Use ThemOutdoor electrical outlets should always be protected by a cover.

The National Electrical Code or NEC mandated to use Bubble Covers for all types of outdoor outlets in wet locations. The flat electric cover is no longer viable for outlet protection, as per NEC, so it is not an item for a recommendation. For the “in-use” outlets that are located in places unprotected from rainfall, or in underground places in direct contact with the Earth should use covers designed for wet locations. This type of cover lets the outlet sealed even while in use.

Another one is for outlets which are located in damp locations. Damp locations are defined by the NEC as locations that are protected by roofs, canopies, and marquees. Covers that are used in damp locations protect the outlet and keeps it sealed while not in use. These practices are mandated by the NEC and are recommended by a lot of electricians. Using a cover that is meant for other location reduce the efficiency of the cover. Water and other particles are expected to leak when the wrong cover is used.

Should You DIY Cover Installation On Outdoor Outlets?

Outdoor outlet covers are usually made with silicon and extra-duty plastic. These items can come in different colors and different configuration. Although these items seem easy to install, it is always recommended to call a professional for installation. You might think that you’re doing the installation right until you hit the wrong place and endanger yourself.

If you’ve been using an old cover for outdoor outlets, it is also recommended to seek the help of a licensed electrician to uninstall it. These items are needed to be removed with precision and care.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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