Get 4 Quotes from Electricians - at No Cost
It's not easy to find the best electrician.
Online Electrician Referral Service. Years ago, we created ConstructionDeal.com and we've been helping people find quality electricians ever since!
On our site, you can:
- Submit your Electrical project in minutes
- Get 4 quotes from local electricians
- Talk with electrical contractors and make a decision
- Save time by not calling Electricians at random from your phone book!
- Save money by getting many quotes from several Electricians - then go with the best one!
- At absolutely no cost -- on ConstructionDeal.com.
Whether you're having low voltage lighting installed, need to have your home wiring inspected, or if you just need to know the cost of rewiring your house, you can depend on ConstructionDeal.com to help you find a quality electrical contractor.
Top Electrical Projects Submitted:
- New Electrical Outlet Installation
- Home Rewiring Service
- Ceiling Fan Installation
- 220 Volt Outlet Installation
- Home Wiring Repair
- Circuit Break Box Installation/Repair
When To Hire an Electrician
Whenever you need installations or repairs to your electrical components, it's best to hire a professional electrician and not your cousin Bob. However, some are really good at doing their own wiring projects - they manage to get the light or ceiling fan installed with no problems.
But it can be a good idea to have a pro come in to at least inspect your work (especially if permits and official electrical inspections are involved) or do some of the final stages of the project to make sure it all works well.
Another thing to keep in mind - someone may be handy with electricity but not be aware that they are overloading a circuit by adding new fixtures or outlets. When the electrical components are initially installed during construction, there could have been a faulty design to begin with and adding a new problem will only make things worse. It could be something as simple as making lights dim when an appliance starts or it could even damage an expensive fixture or appliance. Even worse, it could start a fire. Professional electricians are trained to be able to look at the whole picture of your electrical layout.
The purpose of our company, ConstructionDeal,com, is to help match you with a local electrician. It's a free service and it's very easy to use. Simply tell us about your requirements and we'll send out the request to electricians in your area. If they're interested, they'll contact you and bid on the job. And you can choose how many you want to call you.
If you do try to find an electrician on your own, make sure you contact several of them and have the electricians come out to review the project before they bid on it. Multiple quotes means you have the best chance of getting the best rate to complete your project.
Types of Electricians
A master electrician has passed a standardized test and has at least two years of experience under his belt. He knows the National Electrical Code and any modifications that your state has made to it. He is qualified to plan, design, install and maintain an electrical system for your project. A journeyman electrician hasn't qualified for a master's license, but he too is licensed by the state. (Some states require journeymen electricians to work with a master electrician.) By law, he cannot design systems but can install wiring and equipment.
There's another layer in the safety net. Most electrical work requires a permit issued by your local building department. Before the building inspector can sign off on the work, the inspector must take a look at it to see if it's up to code.
Picking the Right Pro
Electricians tend to specialize. Some concentrate on new construction, some just in commercial work and some go only on service calls to fix dead outlets or faulty fixtures. Those who specialize in remodeling have mastered techniques for wiring existing homes and additions, such as snaking wires through finished walls, assessing the capacity of existing circuits and evaluating whether to install an additional service panel (where the circuit breakers are) to handle increased power demands.
Most general contractors have a short list of dependable electricians, but if your contractor can't recommend one, check with the local home- builders' association or an electrical- supply house in the area for a recommendation. Be sure to tell them the type of work you are doing so they can properly match the pro to the job.
When interviewing an electrician, ask to see a copy of his state license as well as proof of insurance. Make sure both are current. An electrician working on a typical residential -remodeling job should carry a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage for himself and his crew. If everything seems up to snuff, check references and look over a previous job.
Submit a request to ConstructionDeal.com and talk to 4 electricians today. It's fast, free and easy and there is no obligation to hire anyone from our network. It saves you time and money.
How is Electricity Involved in Starting Fires?
Fire investigators are faced with difficulty in determining the cause of a fire, they have often relied on the phrase 'the fire was electrically caused' as a 'catch all' to avoid the more appropriate phrase 'the fire cause was undetermined'. In fact, it is actually quite difficult to start a fire with electricity.
Three elements must be present in order for a fire to initiate. These are oxygen, fuel and heat. Not only do these elements have to be present together at the same time, but the fuel must be conditioned in a way that the heat source can initiate an exothermic oxidation reaction. Electricity can play an important role in this process by providing the heat source.
"One example of an electrical heat source is a short circuit. There exists two main types of short circuits; a dead short circuit and a limited short circuit."
If the circuit is not fused properly, the current can continue to pass through the wires causing them to overheat - which can ignite surrounding combustibles causing a fire.
In the case of the limited short circuit, "Wires come in contact such that the volume of material through which the current flows is smaller than the fusible link. This will create a spark or flash and result in melting of the copper of the wiring. This situation can also cause ignition of combustibles provided the mass of the combustibles contacting the heat source is small enough that the heat source can cause it to reach ignition temperatures and initiate a self-sustaining exothermic oxidation reaction or fire. Cotton products, sawdust, wood chips and combustible gases can be ignited."
"Over fusing of a circuit can result in high current flow through the wires overloading the circuit. Although electrical wiring is designed to carry current at much higher than its rated capacity, increasing current above this rated capacity causes the wire to generate excess heat. if the wire is enclosed within a small insulated space, such as the holes through which wires run through floor joists in a home, the heat in these areas may not be able to dissipate as quickly as it is being generated. As a result, the surrounding combustibles can pyrolyze and eventually ignite, causing a fire."
"Fires can also be caused electrically through what is called leakage current. Leakage current occurs when water is in the presence of electricity. Exposed wiring, which exists primarily at connectors and switches, can come in contact with water. Since water conducts electricity, a current will flow through the water between contacts or from the live to ground or common."
"Electrical contacts can also fail resulting in uncontrolled heating. Each time a contact is opened or closed, a small spark is generated. This causes degradation of the surface of the contact."
Check out the rest of the article that discusses how the investigators must assess liability.
A great way to insure the protection of your home or business is to have regular inspections by an electrician. And, as a backup to regular inspections and maintenance, you might want to consider adding fire sprinklers - it can reduce damage and lower insurance costs, as well as protect your family or employees. If you need to find a local sprinkler company, check out our blog on Fire Sprinkler Installation for more details.
Electricity Costs - Why Is My Bill So High?
Sure, a lot of people have heard about Energy Star appliances but may not know what the real culprit is when it comes to large electricity bills. It's a good idea to take a look at some of the major energy users and abusers in the average household to see where you can save money. According to the Energy Star website, the average home spends $1900 a year on energy costs per year. Whenever you do anything that reduces the amount of energy you use, you can not only cut your electricity bill but you'll even be doing your part to help the environment.
The largest users of electricity in your home are the:
- Air Conditioner and/or Heater
- Hot Water Heater
- Clothes Dryer
The smaller things in your house, like your stereo and computer and clock radio, do use electricity when they're on but they do not draw as much as these larger appliances. However, some of the smaller things do use electricity even when they're not on. Having a product on "standby" or any product that may have a clock on it will continue to pull power and cost you money.
How to Save Money on Electricity:
- Replace Older Appliances - if you can afford to swap out old fridges or dryers for an Energy Star appliance, it will definitely help lower your monthly bills.
- Replace Regular Light Bulbs - drop in halogen or fluorescent bulbs to cut down dramatically on the amount of wattage being used.
- Cut Down on Use - use light sensors to turn on when you enter a room and off when you leave, hang clothing out to dry instead of always using your dryer, do laundry on cold instead of hot, go with fans and open windows instead of air conditioning, turn off items instead of standing them by,
- Eliminate - get rid of the second refrigerator in the garage or any second appliance that you really don't need
If your city or state offers a decent rebate, you might even consider going solar. Solar is still very expensive to buy and install, which means your "payback" date would be years off, but if you're going to stay in your house a long time and want to "get off the grid", you'll really cut down on nearly all electric bills.
And don't forget about ConstructionDeal.com if you ever need to find a quality electrician. You can upgrade your house and save a lot of money by using a professional for any installations. It will be done right and will help make sure there is no potential fire hazard.
Low Voltage Electricians
Of course, nearly everyone who uses the 'Net in their home is doing over the same system that we've used to receive our phone calls on or watch cable TV shows. But technology is finally catching up and it's becoming more and more affordable to have wiring installed in our homes that will allows to use the Internet at maximum capacity.
New homes are being built with this structure wiring, similar to our electrical wiring, that includes ethernet and high-quality coaxial cables. Old homes are being retrofitted, as well, so that everyone is able to have top performance options for their computers. A qualified low voltage electrician can install what you need, where you need it, and your home can be ready for the 21st century.
According to the Leviton Institute:
"How Structured Wiring Works
Structured wiring connects each room on a "direct run" of high capacity bundled cable to a central distribution box in the house, which manages and distributes voice, data, video and audio signals throughout the home. Homeowners have the flexibility to plug a computer, phone, fax machine, television or security camera into a wall jack in any room in the house without the messy tangle of wires running from room to room.
Networking Your Home
But that's just the beginning. With structured wiring, home networking becomes a breeze. Here are just some of the possibilities available to you:
- Link all computers in your home into one high-speed network, sharing files, printers, and scanners, and other hardware.
- Monitor the security system or check on the safety of family members in different parts of the house with remote cameras, accessible from any television or computer in the home.
- Have extra phone and data lines already built in, if future need arises.
- Play music in different rooms, controlled from a central location.
- Distribute video signals throughout the home.
- Store and distribute all the home's digital files (MP3, data, image and video files) on a home media server and view the output from the home's media player on any connected TV.
Before you decide to retrofit a structured wiring system for your house, consider these facts:
- Retrofitting structured wire into an existing home is not as easy as installing it in new one. Since retrofitting requires drilling holes and fishing wires behind walls, many homeowners only connect the rooms that benefit from it the most: the home office, home theatre or media room, and the kitchen.
- Surprisingly, retrofitting is often easier in homes 50-55 years or older because they generally have more space behind walls, ceilings, and floors than newer ones.
- More space makes routing easier.
- The bigger the remodeling job, the easier the retrofit. With other construction and wiring under way, adding structured wiring is both easier and less of a disruption.
- Structured wiring makes an effective "backbone" to combine with a wireless network.
- The value of the home will almost certainly increase."
We'll help you find an expert to install structured wiring in your home. You'll receive calls from them, which saves you time. And you'll get multiple bids on your project, which saves you money. And you'll have the technology you want - which is everything that you want!
Do you Need an Electrician After a Flood?
Here's some information from the Toolbase Services:
"In the majority of cases, wiring will not need to be removed and replaced after a flood. However, before making that determination, a thorough inspection by a qualified electrician may be required. First, stand on a dry spot and use a dry wood stick to disconnect the main electrical switch and all circuits at the panel box. If there is no main switch, turn off all circuit breakers or remove all fuses.
Unplug all appliances that have been flooded. As soon as possible, remove all standing water from the structure, and dry out the interior as much as possible. Also, remove interior wallboard 12 inches above the maximum flood water height, remove any water-soaked insulation, and dry out wall cavities to preclude any water in the walls from continuing to soak into wiring and receptacles.
Then, have a qualified electrician do the following:
- Remove cover plates from all electrical outlets, receptacles, wall switches, and breaker or fuse boxes to inspect wiring and terminal connections.
- If the main box got wet, clean and check it.
- Check switches and outlets and their boxes for mud and dirt, which can cause a short or overheating.
- If there is a lot of mud, dirt, or salt water corrosion in switches or outlets, replace them. Look for broken electrical fixtures or exposed wiring.
- Replace all dimmers and electronic implements such as ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), and arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI). Smoke detectors and thermostats that were immersed should also be replaced.
- Check the condition of wires that go to each switch and outlet. Replace any fabric-covered wire. Any aluminum wiring that has been flooded by salt water should be replaced.
- Have a qualified service technician inspect water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps, air handlers, water softeners, and all appliances and HVAC equipment. In many cases all such items should be replaced.
- Flush out boxes with clean water or air pressure; dry out and spray with cleaner/lubricant.
- Check continuity and grounding of all circuits, and check for electrical shorts. Check to ensure that all terminal connections are tight.
- Turn on each circuit, replace each fuse one at a time, and test each circuit. Make sure all ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) are functioning.
- Test the operation of all smoke detectors and of the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems."
It's the safest thing to do to protect yourself, your family, and your biggest investment. It's free to find a qualified pro on our site!
Kitchen Lighting Design Ideas
Except one thing.
Your kitchen lighting plan. These days, the modern kitchen must have more that just utilitarian overhead lighting. Remember the bank of overhead fluorescent lights with the clear plastic diffusion tiles and they were just about the only light source in the kitchen?
Today, you need a lighting plan in your kitchen that will help with functionality as well as the beauty of the room. You need task lighting but you also need lights to add ambiance. Here are some ideas that you can discuss with your electrician to make sure that your new kitchen is perfect in every way and that all this perfection can be seen and enjoyed.
Start with Task Lighting
Make sure that the major work areas of your kitchen have plenty of available lighting. Most new kitchen schemes have lighting under the cabinets to highlight cutting surfaces, lights over the sink or range, and illumination over a kitchen island or stand-alone counter. Lights can be spaced under cabinets to light the work areas on the counters. Recessed or pendant lights can shine down on sinks and stovetops. For kitchen islands, recessed and pendant lighting is your best choice.
Next is Lighting Control
You need to make sure you and your electrician think about how you're going to turn your lighting scheme on and off. Consider placement at the entrance(s) to the kitchen. With modern technology, you have more than just the typical on-off switch. You can have a package of switch and light dimmers installed that will allow you to control the task, ambient, and accent lighting in the room. There can also be programmable settings that will give you pre-planned lighting looks, depending on your needs - full lighting for major food prep, an accent setting to highlight shadows and colors for a dinner party, and more. Not only can these lighting controls provide an aesthetic look, they can save money on energy and extend the life of the bulbs.
Add Accent Lighting
Accent lights can be overhead track lighting that spotlights the color of the kitchen cabinets, wall scones that can be dimmed down low, lighting within the kitchen cabinets that shines through a semi-transparent cabinet door, and recessed lights around the perimeter of the kitchen to show off the surface of the counters and the new floor.
For your lighting, you can go with the traditional incandescent bulbs or the stark fluorescent bulbs, but you might consider this an opportunity to add low voltage lighting or at least halogen bulbs to save even more energy in a room that is constantly being used and is the hub of most homes. By saving energy, you'll not only cut your electric bill but you'll also be helping to save the planet.
If you need to find an electrician or a low voltage lighting expert, you can post your job on ConstructionDeal.com - you'll have electrical pros calling you instead of having to call them at random. This will save you time. And do not get just one bid or talk to only one electrician - the more bids you have, the better your chances are of saving money and finding the right person for the job.
At ConstructionDeal.com, you get to choose how many electricians will call you so you'll know how many bids you'll be receiving. And it's fast, free, and easy to post your kitchen lighting project!
Kitchen Remodeling: Form AND Function
Kitchen Countertop Options
Remodel Your Kitchen: Save Your Sanity
Landscape Lighting Components
Low voltage lighting around your deck, pool, and landscaping can highlight all these features during the evening for very little effort and usually very little money. Here are some of the types of lighting features you can use around your house -- and if you have additional questions, you can consult with your lighting design professional:
Up lights are the lights placed on or near the ground to illuminate areas above. These lights are key to any landscape lighting design. They can spot trees, bushes, plants, sculptures, or fountains around your house and landscaping with low voltage lights. These lights not only cast light, they also create shadows that can be used for dramatic effect. Too much light or lights placed in the wrong spot can ruin the shadow effect.
Down lights are the lights suspended from above, to spotlight a particular area or provide more light to a general area. These lights can be attached to the house, to trees, to architectural pieces in the yard, and more. Too much overhead light, or obvious glare from down lights, can ruin the effect of the up light or general ambient light in the space. So down lights should be used sparingly or with dimmers to reduce any problems. Down lights can be used effectively to shine down on a patio table, down on flowers or plants, on fountains and other architectural features in the landscaping.
Whenever you've got a walkway or stairs, you'll need to install path lights. They're also great at illuminating the surface material for aesthetic purposes. Path lights are also perfect for balancing all the lighting pointed up into the air. These lights can be hidden in the plants or features. They can also be embedded in the surface of your path or walkway or in the stair or step for more safety.
These are the major components of low voltage landscape lighting. The design is the most important stage, so plan carefully before making everything permanent. Because landscaping is natural on nonlinear, it's important to mix up the location of the lights - vary the positioning to avoid a uniform look.
Also, lighting can be hidden carefully for a more natural look, you can get lights that are camouflaged to look like rocks or other landscape features, and the lights can be prominently featured (so you can choose from a variety of metals, finishes, colors, and styles to match you home and landscaping.)
When you want to talk to a landscape lighting electrician, post your project with ConstructionDeal.com. We'll submit your request, for free, to our network of electrical professionals and they'll contact you about the job. This will save you plenty of time. And having multiple bids from several electricians will also save you plenty of money!
Recessed Lighting Installation
Recessed lighting fixtures have come a long way. There are models that offer low voltage options to save on energy and others that can come in direct contact with insulation above (labeled "IC" for insulated ceilings.) There are a variety of shapes, finishes, and designs that are perfect for any room of the house. It used to be that you needed to install recessed lighting during construction, but there are now models that can be retrofitted into an existing home.
Plan ahead to get your lights in the right spot. Measure your room, add in furniture, counters or features, and any wall-mounted feature you want to accent. Decide what your overall goal is with the recessed lighting package. For example, you may want to provide accent lighting for some artwork, add task lighting over your cooking areas or improve overall room lighting. Show your lighting diagram to your electrician to make sure it is feasible and safe.
Your electrician will know the right lamps to use, where to wire everything, and the placement of your switches. You may also have the electrician install switches that allow you to have a variety of programs or settings for several lighting packages and looks.
If you need to find an electrician to add recessed lighting to your kitchen, living room, or any other rooms in your house, contact ConstructionDeal.com. You can post your lighting project with us - for free - and have several electricians contact you... instead of trying to find their numbers and call them all yourself. It will save you time and money.
What Does an Electrician Do?
Electricians generally specialize in construction or maintenance work, although a growing number do both. Electricians specializing in construction work primarily install wiring systems into new homes, businesses, and factories, but they also rewire or upgrade existing electrical systems as needed. Electricians specializing in maintenance work primarily maintain and upgrade existing electrical systems and repair electrical equipment.
Electricians work with blueprints when they install electrical systems. Blueprints indicate the locations of circuits, outlets, load centers, panel boards, and other equipment. Electricians must follow the National Electrical Code and comply with State and local building codes when they install these systems. Regulations vary depending on the setting and require various types of installation procedures.
In residential construction, electricians usually install plastic encased insulated wire, which does not need to be run through conduit. The gauge and number of wires installed in all settings depends upon the load and end use of that part of the electrical system. The greater the diameter of the wire, the higher the voltage and amperage that can flow through it.
Electricians connect all types of wire to circuit breakers, transformers, outlets, or other components. They join the wires in boxes with various specially designed connectors. During installation, electricians use hand tools such as conduit benders, screwdrivers, pliers, knives, hacksaws, and wire strippers, as well as power tools such as drills and saws. After they finish installing the wiring, they use testing equipment, such as ammeters, ohmmeters, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes, to check the circuits for proper connections, ensuring electrical compatibility, and safety of components.
Maintenance work varies greatly, depending on where the electrician is employed. Electricians who specialize in residential work perform a wide variety of electrical work for homeowners. They may rewire a home and replace an old fuse box with a new circuit breaker box to accommodate additional appliances, or they may install new lighting and other electric household items, such as ceiling fans.
Although primarily classified as work for line installers and repairers, electricians also may install low voltage wiring systems in addition to wiring a building’s electrical system. Low voltage wiring involves voice, data, and video wiring systems, such as those for telephones, computers and related equipment, intercoms, and fire alarm and security systems. Electricians also may install coaxial or fiber optic cable for computers and other telecommunications equipment and electronic controls for industrial uses.
Need to find an electrician? Go to ConstructionDeal.com - it's a fast, free service to match you to 4 electricians in the same day (sometimes in just minutes!)
Save time by getting multiple calls on your electrical project! Save money by getting many quotes.
* source - U.S. Department of Labor job stats
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