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What To Do In Power Outage Emergencies

By Springdale Electrician,

Prepare yourself and your family for the next power outage!

What To Do In Power Outage Emergencies

While power outage emergencies are relatively frequent, they can seem particularly frightening when they do happen. Whether power is out for a brief moment or the electricity is down for much longer, getting used to living with the lights off is indeed a challenge. The best way to get through power outage emergencies is to prepare beforehand and be ready once the light goes out.

Living in the Dark

No matter how well prepared we are, at some point, we will all experience a power outage. Oftentimes, a storm may knock the power out for a few days or the electricity may go out for an hour or so. Whichever the case, we all need to make sure we have the right tools on hand for when this happens. Read on to learn how to get ready for power outage emergencies.

1. Stock up on Lights and Candles

Get prepared for this season's power outage emergencies!

An abundant supply of lighting is always a top necessity during a power outage. While this may not be a problem during the day, the absence of electricity will undoubtedly be felt when night falls. For this reason, it is best to stock up on candles, flashlights, lanterns, and solar powered lights. Even though using these types of lights may still be inconvenient, having these on hand during the darkest hours of a power outage are lifesavers.

2. Consider Getting a Generator

Home generators can be crucial in power outage emergencies.

A solar or gas-powered generator is excellent options to consider when the power goes out. More Specifically, in times of storms like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, these generators can run a whole household even in the absence of electrical power. People that are in storm-prone locations should consider purchasing a generator. Often, when the power goes out following a storm, it may be out for days or even weeks. These generators will keep the lights on as long as their power sources don’t run out.

3. Use a Gas or Solar Water Heater

No one wants to take a cold shower, but households that use electric heaters have no other option in the event of a power outage. This may not be a problem if the power is out for a few hours, but if the electricity isn’t scheduled to return for a few weeks, gas or solar water heater starts to look like a pretty good option.

4. Buy a Gas Grill or Stove

Another downside to a power outage is that you have no way to heat up food. With a gas grill or gas stove, hot food will always be readily available, regardless of whether the power is out or not.

5. Stock up on Bottled Water

Stay hydrated in power outage emergencies!In times of a power outages, water may not seem like a top priority, but when considering an outage in the context of a storm, it becomes one of the most important necessities. Always keep bottled water handy as part of an emergency stockpile, regardless of whether we live in a storm-prone area or not.

When the Power Goes Out

It is essential to stay calm when the power goes out. If there isn’t a storm advisory in the area, it is likely that a fuse has blown or the circuit breaker was tripped. It isn’t uncommon for just one house in the neighborhood to lose power. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to call an emergency electrician. If an entire block is out of power, then it is likely that the neighborhood is also experiencing a power outage.

Power outage emergencies should be reported to the utility company, so they are made aware of it. With one call to the local utility company, homeowners and residents can ensure that their power will return at some point in the near future. Once that is done, it is critical to turn off and unplug electrical appliances to prevent power surges from damaging them. Do leave one or two lights on, so it is apparent when the power returns.

Preparation is the only thing that will help make life during power outage emergencies more bearable. We must be sure to stock up on supplies and prepare ourselves and homes for an emergency situation. Following these tips and strategies will ensure that residents are ready in the event of an emergency. While power outage emergencies are undoubtedly inconvenient, they aren’t bad when you are well equipped with the appropriate resources.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, 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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Troubleshooting Dead Electrical Outlets

By Springdale Electrician,

Mister Sparky NWA electricians offer tips to troubleshoot your dead electrical outlets.

Troubleshooting Dead Electrical Outlets

Do you have one or more of those electrical outlets that operates inconsistently or not at all? Rather than avoid a faulty or dead electrical outlets, it is better to make sure it is operating properly to avoid the risk of fire hazard, not to mention the inconvenience of having to work around dead electrical outlets. There are a few steps you can take to check an outlet’s functionality and easily restore it to use, or determine if its time to call an electrician.

Steps to Take When Troubleshooting Dead Electrical Outlets

It is not uncommon for homeowners to assume dead electrical outlets can only be fixed by replacement, though typically that is not the case. Here are some simple steps you can take that will help you decide if a professional electrician needs to be involved in the repair process.

What You Need to Get Started

Troubleshoot dead electrical outlets with Mister Sparky!Getting started, use a small household appliance like a lamp, left in the ON position.

This first test is simple: Plug in the working lamp to the outlet in question. If the lamp illuminates there may have been an issue with other appliances that have been plugged into the outlet. If the lamp remains dark, you’ve confirmed that there is some kind of issue with the outlet in question.

Check the Outlet Connection to a Wall Switch

Usually, there is at least one outlet in every room that has a dedicated flip-switch on the wall for convenience. Sometimes, there may be more. This is a scenario that most often causes embarrassment after having called an electrician to the house. With the lamp plugged in, try flipping the wall switches in the room.

This testing is also an opportunity to determine which switches control which outlets. If the outlets and switches are not set up the way you want them to be, an electrician can safely and easily reconfigure them.

Check GFCI Outlets

Check your GFCI buttons before calling an electrician to inspect your dead electrical outlets.If your outlet is still in question, now is the time to check for a tripped GFCI breaker. What exactly is a GFCI breaker? GFCI stands for ‘ground fault circuit interrupter.’ GFCI outlets are designed with a built-in breaker to prevent electrocution in the event of power surge or unsafe outlet use.

You may be familiar with the two buttons located in the middle of the GFCI breaker. They are different colors and are labelled RESET and TEST. It is easy to check if GFCI outlets have tripped because the button labelled RESET will protrude over the TEST button. You simply need to press the RESET button back down to match the level of the TEST button.

If you’re still encountering issues, its important to remember that any dead electrical outlets in question may be controlled by a GFCI outlet somewhere else in your home. This makes it important to check all of them to be sure. For example, you may have an exterior outlet that is governed by an indoor GFCI breaker.

If all GFCI breakers have been checked and the outlet is still unresponsive, there’s one last simple check you can conduct to determine if an electrician is needed.

The Circuit Breaker Panel

If you have access to your breaker panel, this is the last place to safely and easily check for electrical issues before calling an electrician. In the panel you’re checking to see if any switches have been tripped, which would eliminate power to a certain portion of your home, including the dead electrical outlets.

When you open the panel, you can determine if a switch has been tripped because it will be in neither the ON or OFF positions, but instead be sitting in between them. To reset a circuit breaker, pull it fully over to the OFF position and then flip it back over to the ON position. If it will not set properly, you may have blown a fuse. If you are unsure about dealing with your electrical panel, have a qualified electrician look at it.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA provides information on dead electrical outlets in Northwest Arkansas.

If after all these checks you still have not solved the problem of your dead electrical outlets, its time to consult with a licensed professional electrician! Mister Sparky electricians undergo continuous training and are required to stay up to date on current electrical codes and safety regulations. When in doubt, have the professionals come out! Call and schedule your appointment with your NWA electrician today, (479) 202-4757! Or visit our website to schedule your appointment here!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, 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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Can I Add More Fuses to My Breaker Box?

By Springdale Electrician,

Can I add more fuses to my breaker box? Find out more with Mister Sparky!

Can I Add More Fuses to My Breaker Box?

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA does electrical repairs on a breaker box.So you’ve decided that you need power in other areas of your home, or that you would like to divide up the power sources for an existing room. Maybe you’ve built a home addition, such as a sun room or a spare bedroom. Or maybe your power needs have changed and you’re drawing too much power from just one breaker. Whatever the reason, if you think that you need a new breaker in your breaker box, you’re going to need to figure out if your current breaker box has the extra panel slots and if it can handle the extra amount of power going through it. When you’re trying to figure this out, there are a couple of things that you can do to determine if more electrical fuses can be added to your current breaker box, what you can do if you can’t add any more electrical fuses, and what you can do to ensure that your breaker box is safe.

Determine If There is Space in Your Breaker Box

In order to add more switches to your breaker panel, you first need to determine if there is room on the panel, which only has a certain amount of physical spaces.

Determine If There is Adequate Power

Only a certain amount of power can flow through a breaker box. If you have too much power flowing through it, you will have a variety of problems. One these problems could be flickering lights or other devices that don’t work at a steady pace because they don’t receive adequate power. It’s also possible that you will have breaker switches that flip more often. You also have to be concerned about electrical safety. When too much power is being routed through one breaker box, there is increased risk of fire.

Other Options

If you’ve built an addition, such as a guest house or another room, and you’ve determined that there either isn’t the space on the breaker panel, or the current box won’t be able to handle any more power being routed through it, there is another option. You can also add a separate breaker box for that addition. This option will ensure that the breaker box isn’t overloaded so that you will get an even and consistent power supply throughout the house or building.

Calling a Professional

A Mister Sparky Electrician NWA technician fixes an electrical breaker box in Northwest Arkansas.To avoid electrical safety concerns, calling a professional is your best option. A professional electrician will be able to determine if there is enough space on your circuit panel and if your current system can handle the amount of power being directed through it. They will also be able to safely install what you need; your home’s electrical panel directs a large amount of energy and can be dangerous to someone without the proper training. A professional electrician will also be up to date on the codes that must be followed, and if your breaker can’t support additional hardware, they will be knowledgable in making follow up recommendations.

If you’ve made a new electrical addition to your home or you’re not sure how to change the way power is currently distributed, there are several things that you will need to do to ensure that your supply of electricity that safe and secure. And with changing electrical codes, you might also find yourself needing a sub-panel. Be sure to take your time to find out exactly what you need, and be sure to call the professionals at Mister Sparky so that you’ll be able to enjoy your new additions worry-free!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, 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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Landscape Lighting Ideas For Mother’s Day

By Springdale Electrician,

Check out these landscape lighting ideas for Mother's Day from Mister Sparky NWA electricians!

Landscape Lighting Ideas For Mother’s Day

Dress up your home with these landscape lighting ideas for Mothers Day from Mister Sparky electrician NWA!Mother’s day is almost here, and you’re probably wondering what you should give the person who gave you life. It’s common for people to feel frustrated, especially if your mother is one of those people who already have everything. You gave her a candle gift set and a gift certificate to dinner last year, and you don’t want to repeat the same thing. This year, wouldn’t it be nice to give her something that she will be able to enjoy every evening for years to come? If you’re feeling unsure about what you should get her, why not have her outdoor lighting installed so she can have a gift that is both spectacular and useful? There are numerous, practical yet aesthetically pleasing options that are available, but here are eight landscape lighting ideas that will last, even under adverse weather conditions, for years to come.

Stair Riser Deck Lights

Lights installed in the stair risers of a deck are a beautiful and functional landscape lighting idea that will help ensure safety and that no one trips. Whether your mother wants to have a get-together with her friends or just walk down to the yard to cut some herbs from her garden after dusk, with stair riser lights, she will be able to see each step, and they also add a warm and inviting glow from the yard.

Well Lights

Does your mother have a garden area or outdoor art display that she would enjoy having highlighted, but wouldn’t want outdoor lighting ruining her natural aesthetic? We have the perfect solution; well lights, well lights are inserted into the ground so that all you see from afar is a spotlight illuminating from the ground. This keeps a clean yard while also displaying her hard work.

Pond Lights

If your mother has a pond or other water feature in her yard, consider having a trained electrician install outdoor lighting around the element so that she can enjoy it every time she looks outside her window. There are even lights that can be submerged so that the glow comes from beneath the water. Other landscape lighting ideas for around the pool include unsubmerged downlights and cross lights.

Moon Lighting

Are there tall trees in your mother’s yard? Moon lighting is one of the many outdoor lighting strategies that will draw the eye up, highlighting an area that might otherwise go unnoticed or could even cast a gloomy tone during the night. Give us a call, and we’ll walk you through this process if you have some tall trees you’d like to highlight.

Path Lighting

Did you know that there are lights that can even be installed in concrete or wood paths? They are typically circular and sit either flush or slightly recessed from the surface of the path. They are great for areas that you would like to have illuminated, or walkways you’d want help finding in the dark. Path and garden lighting are great landscape lighting ideas for Mothers Day from your NWA electricians!Since many of these lights provide a dimmer glow, they won’t detract from your focal point.

Cross Lighting

The cross lighting technique is achieved by placing lights in which the direction of separate lights will cross each other. This is a practical application that you will love because it adds dimension to an otherwise dark outdoor space.

Pool Lights

Pool lighting is a perfect landscape lighting idea for Mothers Day!Like lights in a pond, lights in a pool can be a great addition if your space has an outdoor in-ground pool. They can be installed in the walls of the pool, giving the area an inviting glow that encourages people to take a dip even after the sun sets. If that project is more than you would like to take on, other landscape lighting ideas for pools involve placing lighting around a pool area that doesn’t require cutting into the cement of the pool. Strategically-placed light on the pool deck can also add a pop. Overhead glow near a pool house will also spill onto the pool area.

Exterior Feature Lighting

If your mother has a garden or patio wall, plenty of landscape lighting ideas involve adding some lights set into rock or wood. These lights will add interest to any space. It also serves as a way to help her quickly find the patio table or her plants that may need watering even after it is dark.

There are so many landscape lighting ideas around that the real question is, which ones would you choose? In general, the best designs involve the use of many soft lights as opposed to just a few brighter, harsher lights. This technique will give the outdoor lighting a soft and inviting glow. Also, when you are considering giving the gift of outdoor lighting, make sure that you have a pretty solid vision of what you envision for your specific space. A Mister Sparky NWA electrician can help you bring landscape lighting ideas to life for you and your mother this Mother’s Day!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, 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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Home Generator Safety Tips

By Springdale Electrician,

Learn more about portable home generator safety with Mister Sparky.

Home Generator Safety Tips

Is your community generator safe? Learn more about home generator safety with Mister Sparky!A home generator is an essential addition to the home that can make a real difference in the level of functioning in the event of a prolonged power outage. With the purchase of a generator, homeowners gain a sense of security and peace of mind from the knowledge that they can keep their families safe and sound, especially those with very young, elderly, or disabled members. Becoming well versed in home generator safety is a priority in all cases.

The first step is choosing the right generator for the needs of the family. There are three significant factors to consider in this decision.

Household Needs

Some homes will require functionality for a more significant number of appliances and devices. The most accurate way to determine the correct generator size is to add up the wattage of all the items that will need power. Always select a unit that has enough extra wattage capability to cover later additions, and plan a consultation with a professional electrician to ensure that the best possible model selection.

Portable and Stationary Models

Home generator safety includes portable generators!Portable generators are well suited to the needs of many households. They are less expensive than stationary units, but they call for a fair amount of hands-on maintenance. Adequate supplies of gasoline should be kept on hand to run them, and they must be located at least 10 feet from the home in enclosures that protect them from the weather. Stationary generators represent a sizeable investment in home generator safety. In return, they provide enough electricity to keep the level of comfort nearly equal to average power conditions, start automatically when the power goes out, and last an average of 15 years, making them indispensable for the use of medical equipment that demands a continuous power source.

Sizes

Generators come in small portable to large stationary sizes, with wattage ratings ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 watts. A small portable can handle television to a refrigerator and a few lights, while a large stationary will have no problem running all appliances, including washers and dryers. Selecting the proper size generator for the workload is an essential safety component, and is an excellent place to begin a consultation with a professional electrician.

Safety Hazards

Home generator safety is an important part of your family's home safety plan.Fire, electrocution, and carbon monoxide poisoning are the primary safety hazards associated with the use of generators. Even when care has been taken to choose the home generator that most closely matches the needs of the household, precautions are necessary to avoid these dangers.

Fire prevention as part of a home generator safety plan involves a common sense approach to generator operation. If using a portable generator powered by gasoline, the fuel should always be stored in an approved container outside the home. Because spilled fuel can ignite, the generator should always be allowed to cool down before refueling. Be on guard against the use of matches, lighters, cigarettes, or any other smoking materials in the proximity of generators.

The risk of electrocution during the operation or maintenance of a generator can be minimized by following established safety guidelines provided by the generator’s instruction manual or licensed professional electricians. A few of the most crucial steps to avoid this hazard include: plugging appliances directly into the generator using three-pronged extension cords, always making sure that hands are dry before touching the generator and connecting the generator directly to the home’s electrical system through the use of a transfer switch.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause illness or death as a result of overexposure. Failure to practice home generator safety causes many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning each year, so those using portable generators should take special precautions to avoid this hazard. Points to remember are making sure to use generators outside and away from home doors and windows, placing carbon monoxide alarms in homes, especially near bedrooms, and recognizing that symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and weakness may indicate carbon monoxide poisoning.

No matter which type of generator you choose, it’s always a great idea to have licensed professional electricians to inspect your unit to perform periodic checks. In addition to being a primary source for information and help with home generator safety, licensed electricians are highly trained and certified to deliver skilled assistance with all electrical tasks.

Electrical projects may require a level of expertise that goes beyond average homeowner knowledge. It’s always a wise decision to hire experienced electricians who have current information on local electric codes and proven strategies to handle complex situations. Call or request an appointment online today for help with all of your electrical needs!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, 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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