Monthly Archives: February 2018

Checklist for What to Expect from a Residential Home Electrical Inspection in Fairfield, CT

When buying a new home, you have a plethora of concerns in regards to the efficiency and overall condition of your home. Investing in professional inspections can help you in your final decisions to purchase the home if it is worth the cost. Inspections can assist you in avoiding inheriting a home’s costly repairs as well as potential hazardous consequences. Though home inspections are useful, they only cover the basics. The electrical system of a home you are interested in should have a comprehensive inspection to ensure the performance. In the event any issues are found, the electrician can include estimates on repairs and upgrades, allowing you to have all the facts when reaching a final decision. Electrical inspections are not only ideal for buying a new home, but they are pertinent if you already own your home or even have an inheritance property. However, at this time we at Sentry Electric would like to list a few examples of the benefits of investing in a home electrical inspection, particularly when buying or selling a home.

Benefits & What to Expect from a Home Electrical Inspection

1) Documentation for Buying and Selling. A professional electrical inspection looks for performance and adequate electrical wiring within the structure, whether you want to buy or sell a home. Showing proof of additional expenses that are needed to bring the electrical system up to code can give the buyer leverage over sellers as well as avoid costly repairs that are simply not in the budget.
Not only beneficial to buyers, but as the seller, having the formal documentation accounting that the electrical system is up to par can secure your asking price if all is well or give you the opportunity to make the upgrades or repairs yourself.
2) Early Detection of Future Problems. Early detection can be of use in the event there are problems developing in the beginning stages that can be easily repaired, allowing you to avoid major problems, or even hazardous catastrophes. With regular use nearly anything can deteriorate and with the passage of time decay, and the electrical system to any structure is not immune to the wear and tear. A professional electrical inspection includes a variety of diagnostic testing, visual inspection, and other techniques to ensure the natural deterioration hasn’t dramatically taken a toll on the wiring network. Keep in mind that over time outlets loosen, wires fray, and the performance drops. A licensed electrician can help you avoid hazardous results and costly repairs with a simple inspection.
3) Make Required Upgrades without Surprises. Older homes especially are often found equipped with outdated products and codes, making them vulnerable to hazards, high energy costs, and electrical deficiencies. A fuse box, typically installed in older homes, is the hub for all the wiring coursing through the house and the fuse box will be inspected for proper capabilities and recommendations that might include bringing the electrical elements up to code, minimize power consumption, enhance system efficiency, and eliminate safety hazards.

Electrical Wiring Services & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Whether you are interested in buying a new home or trying to sell your own, or simply want to get the wiring up to code, call in the expert electricians of Sentry Electric for a residential home electrical inspection.

Dimming & Flickering Fluorescent Lights & LED Light Bulb Electrical Problems in Stamford, CT

When you head home after a long day there are some aspects of home life that we expect to work. One of the main things are the lights! We want to be able to come home and flip a switch and the house be lit up so that we can function. That is why when you start to have problems with the lights it can be annoying. If you are starting to have any trouble with the lights you want to take it very seriously. That is because they are a part of a large system called your electrical system. The electrical system is what gives you the power that is needed to operate anything that plugs in or uses the internal wires of the home. That is just about anything that you use. Your appliances, lamps, laptop and more. The lights are a part of the home that are prewired so all you have to do is have a fixture installed and use a bulb.

Sentry Electric Explains Why Lights Are Flickering & Dimming

Why is My Light Bulb Flickering?: If you go to turn on a specific fixture and you notice that one of the bulbs in that fixture has a flicker to it you can check a pretty common occurrence. The most obvious and common issue is that the bulb has become loose and is not in contact anymore. The bulb needs to have a tight fit so that the connection is made fully. The other problem can be that the bulb is not the right size or it is crooked in the socket. If this occurs it can cause the light to flicker. You want to turn the light fixture off so that you can handle the bulb. Make sure that it has time to cool off then remove the bulb. You want to insert the bulb and make sure that it is straight and in tight. If this does not repair the problem you may need to have the fixture looked at by a professional electrician.
Light Flickers when Turned On: If you have lights that when you turn them on they will flicker then fully turn on then you are likely dealing with normal behavior. If you have lights that are fluorescent bulbs then that is their normal course of action. They will have some flickering at the start of the lighting process then smooth out to a full light. If the lights don’t stop after a few minutes then you could have a problem with the fixture of the electrical current that is feeding into the light.
Lights Flickering In Whole House: If you are noticing that the lights all through the house are flickering at any given time you could have a big problem. The lights that are flickering should be getting enough voltage to light them without having any flickering. You may need to have your entire panel looked at and tested to make sure that the voltage and the energy is being distributed evenly through the house.

Electrical Wiring Services & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Sentry Electric offers professional electrical wiring services. Call us for an electrical inspection and audit of your system today!

Dangers of DIY Electrical Work in Southbury, CT; Overloading Outlets, Faulty Wiring Connections & More

The economy has recovered considerably in recent years, but there are still quite a few citizens that have to live paycheck by paycheck, and unexpected problems often leave inexperienced people completing DIY projects to cut expenses. Where there are several examples as to watching a tutorial online or reading about the task can get the job done sufficiently enough, there are some industries better left to the professionals and among them is electrical work. Electricity is delicate in nature. If it is misused it cause costly damage, inflict severe injuries, or even cause fatalities. There are common problems people make while doing DIY electrical and we at Sentry Electric would like to share some of the common mistakes made during electrical DIY projects.

DIY Electrical Wiring Mistakes

1) Overload in outlets. Though it is not an especially common issue, it is worth pointing out because it is easily done and that is overloading an outlet or powerboard. Dependent on the number of amps a circuit is designed to manage, the powerboards cannot handle appliances being plugged in to all outlets available. The circuits will also often overload when t comes to the bigger appliances especially, like refrigerators, dishwashers and air conditioners.
2) Incorrect fitted outlets and switches. Presenting a major hazard are outlets and switches that are loosely installed, particularly when an appliance is plugged into one. Arcing and overheating are generally produced when wires are loose in their terminals.
3) Utilizing wires and cables of the incorrect size. Referenced as gauges, electric wires and cables are available in sizes. The gauge of the wire determines how and where it should be used. At the time of installation, an incorrect gauged wire for the specific electric current will result in overheating or a shorting of the fuse or circuit breaker.
4) The electrical box has faulty connections. The main purpose of the electrical box is to house many of the fundamental components as it provides protection from external elements. Filling these electrical boxes beyond their capacity will result in overheating or short-circuiting which leads to costly damages. Just as it is especially a detriment to the electrical system, attempting to make electrical connections outside of the electrical box is extremely dangerous.
5) Unsecure fuse. It is essential that all connections should be tight and correctly placed whenever fuses are replaced. Mildly speaking, appliances and lights may flicker or short out if the connections are too loose but it could be as severe as causing the circuits to overheat. The circuit breaker needs to be shut off before any other contact is made; this step many people forget, resulting in an alarming safety risk.
6) For specific fixture, using the wrong wattage of light bulbs. If a light bulb has a greater wattage than what is intended for the socket, the bulb is highly likely to overheat. If the overheating reaches extreme conditions, the bulb could break or even ignite, resulting in property damage as well as cause harm.

Electrical Wiring Services & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

If you ever have any doubts doing the simplest electrical work or it is beyond your level of understanding, call in the experts of Sentry Electric and let our leading electricians assist you.

Basic Electrical Wiring Terms & Definitions in Westport, CT from Adapter to Voltage & Watt

In the electrical industry, many professionals or even the department and home improvement stores use terms and phrases that unless you have some sort of training or exposure to the electrical field, it sounds like a foreign language. In an effort to help the layman understand some of the common vocabulary words frequently heard, we at Sentry Electric have listed them today for your convenience.

Common Electrical Wiring Terms & Definitions

Adapter: Allowing for different devices to connect. The adapter is a cord or block style device with different ends.
Alternating Current (AC): Electric current in which the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction.
Amperage (Amps): A measurement of the electricity’s flow rate.
American Wire Gauge (AWG): Non-ferrous conductors, such as non-iron and non-steal, standardized measuring gauge; the lower the gauge the larger the conductor size.
Cable: A set of wires, generally encased in protective outer jacket.
Conductor: Frequently made from copper, the conductor is internal material of a cord that conducts electricity. Silver is the optimal material but can be expensive as it does not corrode and gold can also be used as high-quality surface-to-surface contacts.
Connector: The conducting elements recessed behind the mating surface of the female end of the cord mounted wiring device.
Current: Flow electrical energy through the conductor wire.
Direct Current (DC): A single direction of steady flowing electrical currents.
Fuse: A strip of wire that melts and breaks an electric circuit if the current exceeds a safe level, which is a safety device.
Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI): In the event that the electric current is not balanced between the energized conductor and the return neutral conductor, the GFCI, an electrical wiring safety device, will disconnects a circuit.
Ground: An electrical device and the Earth or at the voltage connection.
Hertz: Frequency measurement of equaling one cycle per second.
International Color Code (ICC): Wire jackets standard colors; Ground=Green/Yellow, Hot=Brown, Neutral=Blue.
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC): An international organization that determines the standards for electrical products.
Inlet: The conducting pins protruding and exposed from a male flange mounted wiring device.
Insulation: To prevent leakage of current from a conductor, insulation is the material that encases a conductor.
Ingress Protection Rating (IP Rating): A 2 digit code, sometimes with an optional letter, specifying the degree of protection against foreign object; 1st digit references the protection from solids and the 2nd number is from liquids. The optional letter references hazardous parts.
Jacket: The material of the cord’s exterior.
North American Color Code (NACC): Ground=Green, Hot=Black, Neutral=White.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA): A U.S. based organization that sets the standards of electrical products.
Outer Diameter (OD): the cord’s exterior diameter.
OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Plug: The conducting pins protruding and exposed from the male cord mounted wiring device.
Polarized: To allow proper connection, it is a plug and connector formed accordingly. Receptacle: Also known as an outlet; a receptacle is the conducting elements recessed behind the mating surface of a female flange mounted wiring device.
Slitting: Separating insulated parallel wires.
Stripping: The insulation or jacket removal from a conductor/wire.
Temperature Rating: The maximum temperature that the insulation will maintain its integrity.
Terminal: Providing a point of connection to external circuits, a terminal is the point at which a conductor from an electrical component, device or network comes to an end.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL): An independent non-profit organization that certifies product safety.
Voltage: The force driving electrical energy through a conductor or wire.
Watt: A unit of power, defined as one joule per second.

Electrical Wiring Services & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

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