Square D Homeline Circuit Breakers: Cost and Availability King

Times are hard.  Material availability difficulties have been the hallmark driving delays within the construction industry.  Thats why Safe and Sound Electric can help consumers make informed decisions on the products they patronize in their home. I’ve been given so many reasons for material shortages delays; the Evergiven being stuck, hurricanes in the Dominican Republic, the Texas storm, COVID-19, and countless others.  Bottom line is there are breakers that are required to be installed by code and they cannot be purchased from every manufacturer.  The shortage could be likened to having to go to Safeway for eggs, but they are out of milk so you must go to Costco for the milk.  A dedicated electrician knows how to find solutions, commonly same day to solve material shortage woes. As an informed consumer ourselves, we would like to know which store has a banana for sale and is fair value.  I don’t want you to be stuck searching craigslist for breakers […]

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5 Products Safe and Sound Electric can install in your home that save money

Does an Energy Monitor Save You Money? A monitor alone won’t save you money but changing your habits will. All that an energy monitor does is provide accurate electricity usage data to help you identify energy inefficiency, make informed decisions, and track your progress toward energy reduction goals. An energy monitor is a wonderful way to discover power-hungry appliances that may be perniciously stealing energy. This may be a device that you forgot to turn off, an always-on appliance that consumes more electricity than you’d expect or something that isn’t operating properly. Such energy hogs can easily go unnoticed but will show up loud and clear with a monitor like Sense. Sense reports its average user saves 9% on electric bills. Given the average monthly electric bill is $117, or $1,400 per year, an energy monitor saves the average homeowner $126 annually and will pay for itself in about two and a half years. Sense Energy Monitor The Sense Energy […]

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Lutron Rotary Dimmer Sports Redesign

From Lutron’s Website: Upon further review the dimmer only does incandescent and halogen loads.  What would it take to have a knob controlled triac dimmer with digital fade that catches up to your analogous turning motions?  I guess we won’t know for now.  These rotary dimmers are just like your step-mother: the new design may seem appealing but underneath its still the same tired 1960’s resistor dimmer that everyone’s had a turn on.  This coupled with the fact it will only take incandescent and halogen loads are the reasons Safe and Sound Electric cannot recommend these. If you’d like to install a dimmer, contact Safe and Sound Electric. Safe and sound electric is a premier installer of dimming products for lighting equipment but check out all of our other services also!

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Siemens Breakers are O.K. Too

In Out article titled “Why GE AFCI Breakers are Ahead of the Curve” We explored the reasons why GE THQL Arc Faults were superior to all other manufacturers’ offerings.  Today we recognize Siemen’s unique offerings which put them ahead of the curve. The first feature that Siemens’ new breakers offer is the same advantage GE has with its electronic trip unit.  You no longer need to land the neutral on the breaker.  This is all fine and good, there is one major caveat to these breakers which set them behind the GE Arc faults in terms of compatibility: The tandem and single pole Siemens are not “Slash Rated” (read on label as 120/240v) So you cannot use handle ties.  This gives GE one significant advantage over the Siemens. There are 2 features that Siemens offer however which make them superior for remodel homes with Siemens or Murray (Yes Siemens breakers are rated for Murray Panels) Main Circuit Breaker Panels, and new construction. Wire […]

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Why GE AFCI Breakers are Ahead of the Curve

At Safe and Sound Electric we do a lot of remodels.  There are a few conditions in older homes that cause AFCI or arc fault breakers to trip.  One of the most common causer of this is circuit collisions not on the phase but on the neutral.  We see countless number of homes that would be otherwise incompatible with AFCI or arc fault technology because the previous electrician did not segregate neutrals from different circuits. This is no longer a problem using GE AFCI or arc fault circuit breakers.  The nomenclature THQL120AF2 denotes the generational difference of circuit breakers with this technology.  If the circuit breaker ends in “AF2” it does not matter if the downstream neutral is shared; in fact the downstream neutral doesn’t even need to be landed on the breaker itself, contrary to all breakers made by any competitor.  “AF1” and GE’s competitor’s current breakers used a similar same electronic tripping mechanism as a GFCI or ground fault but instead […]

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Why Aren’t My Outlets Working?

If your outlet is not working, there is a chance that you’ll need a pro to fix it, but some troubleshooting would come in handy.  You’ve already popped your popcorn for movie night, but when you turn on the TV …. nothing. But don’t panic—it’s not your TV that’s dead; it’s the outlet. Outlet malfunctioning is a common problem homeowners face. In some cases, it’s not a bad idea to take a few troubleshooting steps to see if you can solve the problem yourself before calling Safe and Sound Electric. Here’s a guide to some of the most common reasons for a dead electrical outlet. Safety warning: You have to take safety precautions when dealing with electricity. Unplug all devices and appliances from dead outlets. It’s also a good idea not to come near an electric plug or outlet without switching off the breaker from the main electric panel. Why Does My Electrical Outlet Spark? Some outlet sparks are normal, but […]

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National Electrical Code Changes in 2020

The 2020 National Electric Code includes requirement updates in four significant areas: surge protection, GFCI protection, firemen’s disconnect and solar power. Be familiar with the official NEC codes in your state. NEC 2020 includes four major updates to the existing 2017 electrical code: NEC 2020 adoption is underway in: NEC 2020 Is in Effect in: GFCI (DWELLINGS) GFCI protection is required for all 125–250V receptacles within 6 feet of sinks. Notable spaces include: This applies to: GFCI protection is also required in non-dwellings. Notable spaces include: This applies to: Emergency Disconnects EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, SERVICE DISCONNECT EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, METER DISCONNECT, NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT EMERGENCY DISCONNECT, NOT SERVICE EQUIPMENT Surge Protection Now applies to: Solar (California) *The State of California requires solar photovoltaic systems for newly constructed healthcare facilities starting January 1, 2020. NEC 2020 includes several new articles. Surge protection article 242 is one among four.Article 242 Overvoltage Protection combines articles 280 and 285 and addresses surge protective requirements, devices and […]

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Debunking Six AFCI Myths

By William Atkinson Published In May 2017An arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is an advanced circuit breaker that, as a way to reduce electrical fire threats, breaks the circuit when it detects a dangerous electric arc in the circuit that it protects. An AFCI is able to selectively distinguish between a harmless arc that is incidental to the normal operation of switches and plugs, versus a potentially dangerous arc that can occur, such as in a lamp cord with a broken conductor. An AFCI is designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults that help reduce the electrical system from being an ignition source of a fire. Despite the fact that AFCIs were introduced and written into electrical codes in the late 1990s (more on this later), several myths still surround AFCIs—myths often believed by homeowners, state legislators, building commissions, and even some electricians. MYTH 1: AFCIs are not important when it comes to saving lives “AFCIs are […]

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Electromagnetic Fields

All of us depend on electricity to meet basic needs such as heating, cooling and lighting our homes. We also depend on electricity to meet the transportation, communication, commercial, recreational, industrial and health care requirements of our society. Wherever we make use of electricity, power frequency electric and/or magnetic fields (EMF) are present. EMF is measured in milligauss (mG). Most research on the potential health effects of EMF has focused on magnetic fields. Electric fields Electric fields are created around appliances and wires wherever a voltage exists. You can think of electric voltage as the pressure of water in a garden hose – the more voltage, the higher the electric field strength. Electric fields are present when an electrical appliance is plugged in even when turned off. Electric fields diminish rapidly with distance from the source and can be shielded by objects such as trees or the walls of a building. Magnetic fields Magnetic fields are created whenever there is […]

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11 Shocking Home Electrical Safety Tips

Sparks fly, a couch burns and the rest of us get some critical lessons in dealing with circuit breakers and electrical fires. Source: 11 Shocking Home Electrical Safety Tips … Listen to your breaker. A breaker that trips immediately after it’s reset is telling you that there’s an electrical problem. Sure, sometimes the breaker itself is to blame, and in some cases there may just be too large an electrical load operating on that circuit. But it’s more likely that the breaker is tripping because there’s a severe electrical problem. Keep pressing that breaker, and you’re likely to cause a fire. Know when to fight and when to flee. Firefighters recommend that if you have any doubt about fighting a fire, you’re best bet is to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Once you’re safely outside, call the fire department. If you decide that there’s a reasonable chance that you can fight a fire and win, then […]

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