The sun is out, and it is time to begin the warm weather fun! Families are uncovering and cleaning their pools in preparation for some outdoor splashing and fun. However, don’t dive in until you have an electrician evaluate three key electrical connections to make sure your swimming pool is safe and ready to go.
- The Heating System
If you have the ability to adjust the temperature of your swimming pool to heat or cool the water, then your pool is connected to an electric source. Typically the pool’s electrical wiring is connected to the same electrical system as your home, but it could also be wired to a solar powered generator. Regardless of the connection or whether the wiring runs above or below ground, all connections are at risk to be damaged over time. Wires above the ground are exposed to harsh winter weather as well as critters that can damage the cords. Wires running underground, though more protected from the elements, are still susceptible to damage from natural causes and general wear. Damaged electrical wiring can leave wires exposed, which can be dangerous to swimmers as it can cause electrocution. Before jumping into your swimming pool on the first hot, sunny day of the year, be sure to have a professional evaluate the pool’s wiring to ensure to exposed electrical wires are in contact with water.
- The Retractable Cover
If you own a swimming pool that is built into the ground rather than sitting on top of it, then there is a good chance that you also have an automated system to cover and uncover your pool with a single button. For anyone who has ever manually covered and uncovered a swimming pool, you are aware of the value of this installment. This electric covering system saves time and energy needed for manual labor, but anytime an electric system is located in such close proximity to water, there is also risk involved. Prior to beginning your summer fun, have a professional stop by to examine the retractable cover for any electrical wires that show signs of damage. In the winter season, wires can easily crack or split, exposing wires to water that can cause electrocution. At the very least, an issue with damages retractable cover wires could short circuit the system and render your retractable cover useless.
- The Electrical Wire Contact
If you are not already the proud owner of a private swimming pool, you may be considering purchasing one this summer. Before you sign on the dotted line, have a licensed electrician inspect the surrounding area to flag any electrical wiring in the vicinity, both above and below ground. Common wires that interfere with pool placement include outside meters, electrical outlets, and power lines. A professional will be able to properly evaluate the area to provide insight on the safest place for that brand new swimming pool. That way, as your family and friends splash around, you will know you are safe from any potential electrical hazards while you’re in the water.
Saving energy is both financially responsible and kind to the environment. With just a few easy updates to your home, you will be saving tons on your monthly electric bill so that you can use that money in a better way. After all, there is no need to senselessly overpay for energy. These quick tips will help get you started on saving energy today.
Start with the light bulbs
Upon inspecting the light fixtures in your home, you will discover that each notes the most appropriate type of light bulbs for that particular fixture. When you match light bulbs and light fixtures properly, you will avoid wasted energy by increasing efficiency. When choosing light bulbs, be sure to purchase LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs to maximize efficiency and bulb life.
Don’t let the heat escape
Prepare for this winter season and all future winters by upgrading your windows and repairing your roof to help keep your heat inside your house. An upfront investment in windows with extra glazes and panes blocks heat from escaping to help drive down the price of your monthly electric bill. Because hot air rises, the air you are paying to heat can easily escape through the roof if damaged or not correctly insulated. Ask a professional to take a look at your roof to identify sources where heat may be escaping so those can be patched up quickly.
Unplug when you’re done
After you finish using any device that requires you to plug into an electrical outlet, make sure to unplug the device. Many people are surprised to learn that even when switched to the off position, devices plugged into an outlet can still consume electricity. Kitchen appliances such as mixers, coffee makers, and blenders are often culprits as well as phone chargers and hairdryers. These devices drive up the cost of your monthly electricity unnecessarily.
Heat rooms, not houses
Often times during the winter we crank up the thermostat in our home because we are cold in one particular room. Raising the temperature in all of the empty rooms to achieve a comfortable temperature in only one room wastes a lot of energy. Invest in a portable heater that you can move between rooms and plug in to heat smaller spaces with less energy. Try turning down the thermostat during different times throughout the day and when you are not home to instantly save energy and money. When appropriate, also rely on adding more clothing layers before resorting to space heating or cranking up the thermostat.
Invite over an expert
Licensed electricians can pay a visit to your home to personally evaluate and inspect the electricity-related conditions of your home. Regular inspections can prevent inefficient electrical operation and needless energy loss. In addition, the experts will also be able to identify whether your home is in danger due to outdated or improperly installed wiring. Protect yourself, your family, and your electric bill by calling up a licensed ECAO electrician.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that each year, one out of every 310 homes will have a fire. Home fires claim the lives of an average of 2,650 people each year, or about 7 people a day. On top of lost lives, 12,890 people are injured annually, resulting in property damage totals of up to $7.1 billion.
The majority of these tragic home fires ignite overnight while the family is asleep and unaware. Around the holidays, the incidence of home fires increases with additional fire hazards, including Christmas trees and decorative lights setup around the house. The key to protecting your family and your home lies in properly functioning smoke detectors that will alert you to danger.
Properly-installed and functioning smoke detectors are proven to minimize or completely avoid the damage of an unexpected home fire. However, many homes are rendered unprotected by malfunctioning smoke detectors. This is because many people lack the know-how to properly install a smoke detector and do not leave a job to a professional electrician. Others object to the price if they are struggling to make ends meet. However, even when finances are tight, the place to compromise should never impact the safety of you and your family.
When smoke detectors are properly installed, another factor can become a danger: dead batteries. The rule of thumb is that smoke detector batteries need replaced every 6 months. If you don’t mark the task on your calendar, it becomes all too easy to forget to refresh those batteries. Then, if a situation does arise where you need to rely on those detectors to work, they may be unable to do their job of protecting you and your home.
Another common occurrence that affects home safety is removing the batteries from a particularly sensitive smoke detector. You may intend to put them back in after you finish cooking, but more often than not you will forget. The best technique for handling a smoke detector that alarms falsely is to vacuum out the dust from the device. You never, ever want to remove the batteries and risk missing this important alarm.
New technology advancements are improving on traditional smoke detectors by wiring them into the home’s electrical system. This is a perfect reason to consult a certified, local electrician for professional installation. It will put your mind at ease, and give you the assurance that things are being dealt with professionally and in the safest manner. As always – consult our member directory for a certified contractor! After all, nothing is more important than keeping your family protected.
If you are in the process of remodelling your home, you may feel comfortable tackling some tasks on your own, such as painting the walls. If you’re able to, you may even decide to do something more complex, like refinishing your own floors. However, one area where you should never comprise is on making changes to the electric system. Always leave that job to a licensed professional to avoid potential hassles.
Many people are tempted to take the shortcut method and employ the assistance of a brother/friend/neighbour who may have tinkered with some electrical work in the past or who took an electric class at their local college. Other people rely on YouTube for instructions on “electrical DIYs” without recognizing the inherent dangers of the task, especially in cases where a home’s wiring is old or faulty. Another mistake people make is hiring a generic electrician who may even dishonestly claim to be licensed. If an accident occurs with an unlicensed person on the job, you could be held responsible for the injuries and be required to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills, on the hook when a professional could have done it for cheaper, and ensured safety across the board.
In short, by not hiring a licensed electrician, you are taking on an enormous risk both financially and personally. With so many risks involved, including extensive damage, potential liability, and a serious lack of care of quality, something as seemingly simple as swapping out an electrical outlet could have a disastrous result without a licensed electrician on the job. Aside from potential injuries, a improperly installed product could fail or even start a fire in your home. Don’t compromise where it matters; make sure your electrician is insured, licensed and properly trained.
Welcome to our blog! Here you will find relevant information, tips, guides and updates on the Electrical Contractors Association of Ottawa and its members. Feel free to share anything you find relevant via the appropriate social media buttons on every page.
The ECAOttawa represents approximately 100 companies that makeup our membership who conduct, maintain and service electrical installations throughout the greater Ottawa region.
Among the association’s objectives is the promotion of a high standard of
skill and competence for electrical contractors. This entails working
collaboratively with the Provincial government and industry leaders in an
effort to promote change. The ECAOttawa is constantly focused on improved
construction practices, and raising the bar on the development and
administration of education and training programs. Our mission is to see an
advancement of skills in the industry’s workplace.
Please visit our website http://www.ecaottawa.org/ for further information.