Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Water, water

Freezing and thawing. Do you have a water sensor to alert you if water comes into your basement from the sump pump, water heater, etc.?
Water sensors can be simple battery operated alarms, or elaborate systems connected to a security system. 
(There are special devices for a/c systems for the summer.)

The key is that you want to know when a problem is developing rather that hours or days later.  The Helpful Hints section of our web site has more info.  http://www.a-1electricco.com

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some like it hot

Recently, we've had a few calls where people have lost power in parts of the house.  Either due to cold, or a furnace problem, they were using multiple electric heaters.  Even in different rooms, they can end up on the same circuit and a circuit breaker can typically only handle one plug-in heater. 
At least the solution is easy:   Unplug the heaters, reset the breaker (it may not look like it's tripped so you do each individual one - click Off, then On), and plug in just one heater, and/or use them at different times.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice dam (or the reverse if you want)

Icicles were a lot more fun when you were younger.  Now, if you see the big icicles on your house, with gutters filled solid with ice, you worry about what can happen next.  In most cases, the water melts and runs down and out.  Sometimes however, big ice dams can block melting snow and ice from draining away properly.  The water can work its way into the house interior and that can be summed up by saying "it's not pretty".
What to do?
Short tem, try to get the snow off the roof and melt the ice without damaging the roof.  You may need to call in roofing contractors for this. Once off, you may be fine for the rest of the season but it all depends on the weather.
The long term solution is to install roof-gutter heating cables that provide a path for the water to drain away.  It takes planning for where the cabling goes, how much to use, where it plugs in, how to turn it On and Off (manual or automatic).