Monthly Archives: December 2018

Why is My Hard Wired Smoke Detector Alarm Chirping or Beeping in Stamford, CT?

Have you ever been woken up at 3:00am by the sound of your smoke detectors going off? It seems like they never go off during the day. As you groggily try to find out if your house is actually on fire or if your smoke detectors are just going off for some other reason you can hardly think amidst all of the beeping. So if your house is not on fire why are your smoke detectors going off?

Why Do My Smoke Detectors Keep Chirping?

Your smoke detectors can go off for a variety of different reasons. If your home has large temperature fluctuations in your home can make your smoke detector beep or chirp erratically. Sometimes this will happen if you keep your thermostat at a very high or low temperature. Other times hot air coming from your kitchen or bathroom can cause your smoke detector to go off. If you take extremely hot showers and find that your smoke detector frequently goes off during your shower you may want to consider opening your bathroom door when you shower. Another reason that your smoke detector keeps beeping is that it needs to be replaced. Most homeowners do not know that smoke detectors need to be replaced every 8-10 years. Your smoke detector should have a date of manufacturing on the back of it. If that date is more than 8 years old you should replace the smoke detector.

How to Stop Smoke Alarm from Beeping

The first thing that you should check is the back up battery in your hard wired smoke detectors. Newer smoke detectors are designed to chirp when the back up battery needs to be replaced. Sometimes they skip the chirping step and go right to beeping loudly and repeatedly. Many people do not follow the proper steps when they change the battery in their smoke detectors. You should turn the power to your smoke detector off at your circuit breaker. Next remove the detector from its mounting bracket and unplug the power supply. Then you will remove the battery from the smoke detector. After the battery is removed press and hold the test button on the detector for 15-20 seconds. Put your new battery in the smoke detector and plug it back into the power supply. Turn the power to the circuit breaker back on and reattach the breaker to the mounting bracket. Your smoke detector should chirp one more time after this and then it should stop. If your smoke detector keeps chirping after you have followed the steps outlined above we have a few more things that you should try. Your battery pull-tab may still be in the detector. Your battery drawer could still be open. You will want to make sure that the door is securely shut. There may be dust or a bug in your smoke detector causing it to keep going off. You should try blowing in the crevices of your smoke detector so that you can dislodge whatever is making your some detector continue going off.

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

We also recommend that you schedule an electrical inspection with Sentry Electric. One of the things that we check during the inspection is your smoke detectors. We can take a look at your smoke detectors and see if they are functioning properly. Contact us today.

Types of Light Bulbs in Southbury, CT; Compact Fluorescent, LED, Incandescent, Halogen & More

Since back when light bulbs first needed changing, people have been going about this task. When you mention the light bulb replacement job, most will conjure a fresh light bulb and a sturdy stool to get the job done. There is plenty of information everyone should know when it comes to this very simply task. With that in mind, we at Sentry Electric would like to share some viable information concerning the various bulbs, how to dispose of the old ones, and some quick tips when you change the burnt bulb for a fresh one.

Types of Light Bulbs

More than ever before, we have quite a few options when it comes to light bulbs. With a dozen or so of selections, bulbs are categorized in four primary groups to make it less intimidating. With cost, light production, and energy efficiency as the main attributes people look for, you can find the right light bulb best for you. Listed below is a brief account for these 4 major groups.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL): Compact Fluorescent Lights, otherwise known as CFL, were once a pricey option and now this ice cream-shaped light bulb are affordable, burns brighter, and the increased energy efficiency and make these bulbs fairly popular.
LED Light Bulbs: With longer lifespans and powerful lighting capabilities, the parachute-shaped bulbs were another an expensive option that has since become more affordable because of the growing popularity.
Incandescent Light Bulb: Giving off a warm, yellowed glow, these are the standard bulbs most are accustomed to. Their basic ingenuity and cheap price tag make this a common bulb consumer have known for decades. However, just from the heat alone they emit, they lose 90% of their energy.
Halogen Light Bulbs: Following a 2007 law that prohibited energy wastage in commercial products, Halogen gas began appearing in bulbs. While managing the same amount of light, this small change improved the energy usage of these bulbs.

How to Change a Light Bulb

Power off the light source: For safety, though obvious it is frequently forgotten, turning off the light at the light switch is essential. The bulb will cool off enough to handle it and you will not risk giving yourself a shock. Make sure the step ladder you have is a sturdy one. Make sure you can stand on it without it rocking, for proper safety.
Unscrew the old light bulb: To avoid the risk of smashing the bulb and cutting yourself, be sure to not grasp the bulb too firmly. Should the bulb not turn left freely, the bulb may be a bayonet-style fitting. Simply push the bulb firmly into the fitting to see if it retracts into the socket should this rare circumstance apply. Twist it to the left after pushing it in all the way.
Insert the new light bulb: Using just enough force as you used to remove the old one, screw in the new bulb.
Test the light bulb: Do a quick check to make sure the bulb is working by flipping the lights on.
Dispose of the old light bulb: The glass of the old bulb is particularly fragile. Do not toss it in the rash because it can easily shatter and become a safety hazard. Wrap it up in a large piece of balled up newspaper or magazine pages or place it in another back before disposal.

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

For all of your electrical needs, be sure to call Sentry Electric and let our qualified electricians perform your installations, replacements, and repairs. Contact us today!

What Appliances Need Dedicated Circuits in Westport, CT? Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Dedicated circuitry is needed to power your outlets and heavy appliances. You even need it to power your microwave. What is a circuit? How many do you need? Sentry Electric answers these important questions.

What is an Electrical Circuits?

Simply put, an electrical circuit is an engineered circular path the electricity takes to do work. The light switches in your home are powered by circuits. When you flip them on, electricity flows in the closed circuit and sends power to your fixtures and bulbs, and you have light. Any electronics and electrical applications work off the idea of circuits. A circuit always begins and ends in the same place. Think of a circuit like a revolving door for harnessed electricity. A dedicated circuit is no different than a regular circuit. It’s just put aside to provide power for one specific appliance, tool or piece of equipment. These dedicated circuits are required by National Electric Code (NEC) for all major appliances. More so for appliances that use large amounts of power that can have fluctuations in voltage. Portable tools like electric drills and hairdryers can also have dedicated circuits.

House Electrical Wiring Basics; How Many Circuits Does Your Home Need?

The number of circuits you’ll need in your home will all depend on the size of your home, the number of appliances you have, the limits of your breakers and how many outlets your home needs to function correctly. Because all these variables can change, the number of circuits you’ll need will equate to this: as many as it takes. Anything that has a switch, motor or needs to be plugged in will most likely need a circuit. It may not need a dedicated one though. So, how do you determine the number of circuits you will need in your home? This is where a qualified electrician comes in. There are signs that will let you know if you don’t have enough circuits. These include lights that flicker, breakers that flip frequently, appliances that stutter and bulbs that burn out frequently. There are other issues than these, but they can get tricky, and often have other causes as well.

Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

The circuit breaker in your home usually lasts 25 to 40 years. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if it might be time for an upgrade. Does your home still have a fuse box? Is your home more than 20 years old? Is your electrical panel warm? Does the electrical panel smell? Does the electrical panel trip often? Do your appliances run at full capacity? Do your lights flicker or dim frequently? Are you upgrading your appliances or adding on to your home? Do you find yourself using a lot of power strips?

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

When it comes to electrical problems, diagnosing the problem is only half the solution. Most homeowners have little idea of what exactly an electrical issue is, much less how to fix it. Sentry Electric can take care of any issue to ensure optimal home performance. Our technicians have the know-how to fix the electrical issues in your home. Give us a call today!

Can You Plug an Extension Cord into Another? Holiday Lights Electrical Safety Tips in Norwalk, CT

The time is here where everyone is pulling out their decorations as a way to show off their holiday spirit. It is the one time in the year that people are ready to decorate the inside and outside of the house. The holiday season is the time of year that people also use to see friends and family and host dinners and feasts to celebrate. You want to make sure that if you are the host of one of those dinners you have a home that is inviting and ready to show off your love of the holidays. The way that most people do that is to take the lights out and other décor and get it all set up. There are lots of things you can set up to show off the look of your house for the holidays. Many of the things you will be using will need to have access to electricity. The problem is that each house has a certain number of outlets and they are of course attached to the house. That is where the extension cord comes into play. The problem is that if you are not careful they can be a danger to you and your family.

Sentry Electric Lists Ways to Stay Safe when Using Extension Cords this Holiday Season

Can You Plug an Extension Cord into Another?: One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are using a cord is by adding an extension cord and extending the length with a second cord. This piggy backing technique is a problem and can create a fire hazard. You want to make sure that you measure the length that you need and find a cord that fits those dimensions. The length should reach the outlet all the way to the item that you are trying to bring the electricity to. If you need to go out to find a cord that is the length you need it is better than the fire hazard that will exist if you do not.
Secure Extension Cords to Ground or Wall: When you are using a cord you are trying to reach a particular spot in the house or in the yard you want to make sure that you account for the length needed to also secure the cord. The cord should not be left where it can be tripped on and potentially pulled from the wall. You also want to make sure that the cord is not in an area that it can become damaged as well. You can use tape or other covers to keep the cord attached to the ground or you can use clips to secure the cord to the wall as well. This is a great way to keep the cord safe.
Extension Cord Wattage: If you are trying to plug in a heater for your outdoor party you want to make sure that the cord is the right one. The cord will have a rating that says how much wattage it can handle and when it comes to appliances and heaters they need more than the standard cord. Be sure that you know what you are getting so that you do not overload the cord and in the end overload the circuit of the house.

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

Sentry Electric can make sure your electrical system is ready to meet your home or business electrical demands. Call us today!