Monthly Archives: May 2019

Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel AKA Breaker Box in My Older Westport, CT Home?

Your home’s electrical system is frequently taken for granted. Without electricity, we cannot charge our devices, indulge in our favorite TV viewing, music listening, and so much more with appliances, HVAC systems, and so on. Your electrical system falters if the electrical panels are not in working order as they are one of the primary elements to the electrical system. With this in mind, we at Sentry Electric would like to relate a few signs that indicate your electrical panels are in need of an upgrade.

Upgrade Electrical Panel in Older Home

How old the home is, and likely the panels, can impact the need for an upgrade tremendously. Especially the electrical panel that is not designed for proper electrical control, a deep concern to electrical safety, is that the older electrical system. Overheating is the biggest issue because older electrical panels that are too old fail at controlling electrical surges. However, a previous owner could have done some upgrades. If you were unsure where the electrical panel stands, a certified electrician can find out with an inspection service.

Electrical Panel Upgrade in New Home

An electrical inspection should be a priority when you first acquire a new home. It is well worth your efforts to replace the panels with an upgrade should the inspection show that the panel is outdated. Right after settling in the new home, the last thing you want is learning that your home’s electrical system safety at risk. With your electrical panel upgrade, you may also want to consider investing in other upgrades such as the breaker box and suggestions from the inspection.

Update Electrical Service for More Amps

It is relatively common that modern homes are being installed with 200-amp electrical systems. To run efficiently, today’s average appliance requires 200 amps of power. If your home has less than 200 amp you will likely experience frequent power outages or the breaker tripping. Not only will have difficulty with the electrical system, with less than 200 amps, you will face challenges selling the house. If nothing else to increase the efficiency of your electrical system, upgrade the electrical panel as a top priority.

Malfunctioning Lights

An outdated electrical panel, or one that is improperly installed or failing will manifest with dimming or flickering lights. For instance, you might notice the lights dim or flicker when you run heavy appliances. With the help of inspection, you can confirm if the flickering and dimming lights are suggesting you need to upgrade the electrical panels.

Breaker Keeps Tripping

The breakers’ behavior is a common red flag that signifies the need for an electrical panel upgrade. The breakers will trip frequently in the event you are using more energy than what your current electrical system outputting. This issue is in conjunction with inadequate amps. Should your home not be outfitted for 200 amp, as most modern power uses, it will require more energy, causing the breakers to trip in order to prevent overheating and fires. The tripping breaker is constant due to the outdated electrical panel.

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

You will likely need an electrical panel upgrade, among others, if one or more of these signs apply to you and your home. Schedule an inspection with Sentry Electric today so our experts can assess the electrical panels and determine if they need upgrades among other electrical systems. Contact us today!

Lighting Options in Norwalk, CT; Baseboard Motion Lights, Pantry & Under Cabinet Light Ideas etc

Your home is a place you want to be able to be comfortable and enjoy. That is why many people choose to take time when decorating and adding the furniture that creates the space that a family can enjoy. You also set your thermostat to either warm or cool the house and make sure that the home is clean. Another aspect of home life that makes it enjoyable comes from the electrical system. Without it people today would not know what to do with themselves. We need to be able to charge your phone, run the washing machine and light up the house at night. These are a few of a very long list of needs that are fulfilled with the electrical system. The lighting in a house can be quite standard but there are additions that you can make that add a custom feel. Unique lighting ideas can set your home apart from others and create ambiance for it as well. Sentry Electric has areas you can add custom light to your house.

Baseboard Lighting & Motion Lights

Have you ever gotten up in the night and need to headed down the hall to get a drink or go to the restroom? If you have and you come across a toy or other debris on the ground your quite walk to not wake the family can end up the exact opposite. The hallways are areas that there is not adequate light unless you turn on the main light that can be distracting and intrusive to a person that is trying to sleep. This is where baseboard lights can really save the day. The lights can be installed along the baseboard creating a soft light that will span the walkway and allow you to go along your way while still being able to see clearly. The extra light is a great benefit and a unique way to update your home.

Pantry Lighting Options

The pantry is a place you store all your excess food storage that you will be using throughout the week and more. It also has the snacks and treats that your family often goes to as well. The problem is that many of the pantries do not have enough light that allow you to see clearly along all the shelves. This is why adding lighting to the shelves is a great way to illuminate the space. You can then see exactly what you have making it easier to create a list for shopping and grabbing what you need.

Under Cabinet Lighting Installation

You can also choose to have lights that are installed under the cabinet in your kitchen. This will give a more direct light when you are trying to prepare a meal. It also will help to brighten up a kitchen where many people spend some of their quality time cooking and even eating a meal. These lights are a great addition in a small kitchen to increase the feel of the size or even a large kitchen to bring in a touch more light.

Lighting Upgrades & Installation in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Sentry Electric can come out and prepare a plan to create some custom lighting in your home. Call us today!

How to Avoid a Residential Electrical Code Violation in Darien, CT; Lighting Requirements & More

Some people want to do their own home projects and update the house when needed. The problem is that YouTube can only take you so far and there are many times that you should use an expert. One area of home remodeling that you really want to ensure that a professional is on site is in the electrical system. There are times you want to make changes to the outlets, lighting fixtures and appliances and if you make mistakes it can lead to code violations. When you use a professional we will make plans for the changes as well as pull permits. The permit means that the work will be looked at and checked to ensure that it is up to code. The codes are there as a way to keep the work safe and you and your family. The electrical system can be tricky to get right and that is why an electrician is important to hire when making these changes. We can help you to avoid code violations that could be putting you and your family in danger. Sentry Electric outlines how to avoid code violations when you are upgrading your electrical system.

Recessed Lighting Code Requirements

One of the best lighting fixtures to have installed in a home to increase the amount of light while using the least amount of space and not taking away from the décor are called recessed lighting. Recessed lighting is a fixture that is installed in the ceiling in a particular room and wired to a switch. The problem is that people are choosing to install these kids of lights and not understanding what is needed. The fixture needs to have enough space so that it does not create a fire hazard. The lights will be installed in the ceiling and many of them are not rated to touch any insulation. That means that you need to be sure that the light has a three foot space around it. If not the fixture can heat up and that will heat up the insulation and that can cause it to ignite. To avoid this code violation you want to make sure that you have it done by a professional or ensure that there is enough space around the light.

Fitting a New Light Fixture to Old Electrical Wiring

Another problem that people have with code violation is when they replace a fixture. It can seem too easy to just install you new fixture and use the wires that you have in the wall already. The problem is that the wires can be too old and not be rated to accommodate the new fixture. That is why you want to make sure that the wiring is also changed out which can be done with a splice box.

Too Many Wires in Electrical Box

If you want to increase the number of fixtures and lights you may need to add more wiring and that can lead to overcrowding. If you are putting more than three wires in a single hole it can over load the area and that will cause the casing to become damaged. The damaged wires will lead to heat that can melt other wires and create a fire hazard.

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

Sentry Electric can come out to make any electrical upgrades to your home. Call us today to talk with one of our expert electricians.

Design Guide for How to Position & Layout Landscape Lighting in Your New Canaan, CT Yard

Your home is a place that you should feel proud of and that means that you want to make upgrades and changes to increase the appeal. There are lots of areas you can work on but the first look that people get from the outside is a great place to start. During the day your home will not need light on the outside to make it stand out but at night it can look dark and drab. You want to make sure that you do what you can to increase the light around your home. It is not just a simple flood light installation. This will give you light and brightness but the appeal and the aesthetic will decrease. Your lighting options can be fashionable and make sense while still giving the light that you want and need. Sentry Electric outlines what you can do to increase your outdoor lighting.

Landscape Lighting Layout

When you are choosing to have your outdoor lighting upgraded it is important to understand the layout. The layout will have a lot to do with the outcome and how bright the home and the landscape will be. You want to look around the house before you start to find where you want to add a pop of color and what you want to use as a focal point in the yard. The lights need to make sense when they are installed at your house. That is why you want to hire an electrician to come out and help with the preparation as well as install.

Where to Place Landscape Lighting Around the Outside of Your Home

Most homes have a standard lighting system. They are at the front door to give some light to the porch. You might also have lights at the front of the garage and that is where the light ends. If you are ready to upgrade the lights around your house there are lots of areas that could benefit. You can add lights to the steps of your home, along any walkway and increase how well the light is on your entry point. You also want to add lights to the landscape such as the trees, bushes and other hardscaping that will make an impact on the look of the home. It is a good idea to talk to a lighting designer to help identify where on your property would benefit.

Layered Lighting Design

You also want to create depth and dimension which you can do when you add lights to the home and landscape. The problem is that many people will add lighting just to the lower level of the home and on the ground level of the landscaping. You want to add layers with up lighting, stair lights and lights that span more than the just the patio. This is what will make the home have some dimension and texture as well. It is important to use a professional that has the ability to lay them out so that they all flow together.

Landscape Lighting & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Sentry Electric can come to your home and consult with you about increasing and upgrading your outdoor lighting. Call us today!