8 Signs You May Have a Problem with Your Electrical Wiring

Electrical malfunctions cause more than 50,000 house fires each year, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International. The majority can be prevented. 24 hour electrician Melbourne focus not only fixing your electrical problems but also making your home safe from any fire.

To protect your own home, start by checking your fuse box or breaker panel for the date of your last inspection. Most municipalities require an inspection only when a system is modified during a renovation or an addition. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends having a pro look things over every 10 years. Beyond that, be aware of these potential sources and causes of electrical fires.

Related: Quiz: Are You Prepared For a House Fire?

1. Too many extension cords. Aesthetics aside, there’s a reason electric wires are buried within walls. “An undisturbed wiring system will more or less work forever,” says William Burke, division manager of electrical engineering for the National Fire Protection Association. “But when it’s disturbed or altered, there’s potential for trouble.” Running an extension cord creates additional points where cords can kink, short out or get pinched, leading to tripped breakers, damaged outlets or even a fire. Use extension cords sparingly and for short periods of time — during the holidays, for example. If you consistently need more outlets, have an electrician install them.

2. Dimming or flickering lights. Because light fixtures typically draw only a small amount of power, dimming or flickering is rarely caused by a problem with the fixture itself. More likely the issue is with energy hogs like major appliances or space heaters that are wired to the same circuit. “Appliances that heat or cool tend to draw a lot of power,” says Burke. So dimming could be caused by a washing machine drawing current to heat water. Consult an electrician about moving lights to different circuits or installing dedicated lines for major appliances.

3. Funny odors. A new appliance may produce an off-odor the first few times it’s powered up. But if you detect an odd smell coming from an outlet, turn off and unplug anything connected to it. Don’t use it again until you’ve had a qualified electrician check it out. If your fuse box or breaker panel has a weird odor, call an electrician right away.

4. Sparking. This is never a good sign. How you deal with it depends on where it’s coming from. If a breaker panel, fuse box or outlet is sparking, get an electrician in ASAP. But a sparking appliance may mean that the fixture itself is damaged, in which case you should call an appliance repairperson. He can test the appliance and usually the outlet that powers it as well. A service call from a repairperson is likely to be cheaper than one from a licensed electrician. Plus, if the appliance is new, it may even be repaired under the warranty.

5. Hot outlets or switch plates. “Even when an appliance is meant to produce heat (like a toaster or space heater), the outlet that powers it should never become hot,” says Burke. Electric current may make a switch plate slightly warm to the touch, but if the outlet is uncomfortably hot, turn off whatever is plugged in and try it in another outlet. If the outlet grows hot even without anything plugged in, it may be wired incorrectly. Consult an electrician, who may advise you to flip the breaker or remove the fuse for that outlet until your system can be serviced.

Related: How to Use a Space Heater Without Causing a Fire

6. Frequently blown fuses or tripped breakers. Circuit breakers and fuses are designed to fail as a way to prevent overloading. If a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer routinely trips a breaker regardless of where you plug it in, the appliance is the likely culprit. But if using a single outlet causes you to blow the same fuse repeatedly, the circuit is probably overloaded. Call in a pro to discuss upgrading the circuit or adding a new line.

7. Buzzing. What does electricity sound like? When things are working properly, nothing. Generally electricity flows smoothly and quietly between connections. But loose prongs, outlets or fraying wire can all cause the current to jump, producing a buzzing sound in the process. If you’re sure a sound is originating at an outlet, stop using it and call an electrician.

8. The wrong outlets in the kitchen or bathroom. Because water is an excellent conductor of electricity, kitchens and bathrooms both require special shock-resistant outlets called ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs typically have two small buttons at the center. If outlets in your kitchen or bathroom outlets look no different from those in your family room or bedroom, swap them out with GFCIs to add an extra layer of shock protection around water.

Can You Help Your Home Increase Its Look Through Landscaping

Does your home appear dull and tired? A small amount of landscaping can truly change the way your garden looks. Read the following article for your landscaping advice. Concrete driveway costs are low maintenance, attractive, and relatively inexpensive additions to your property.

Make the most of your yard look beautiful all year by growing a garden that incorporates all seasons. Select plants that offer visual appeal in summer, with some blooming in each season, according to the region in which you live. You can also pick trees with nice foliage or evergreens which make your yard looking lively all year long.

You want to use plants that need lots of sunlight in a shady area. You wouldn’t want to plant trees in small growth areas. Take time to do adequate planning to ensure that your plants do well where they can thrive.

Consult a professional for advice before you plant the first flower or shrub in your landscaping project.While it won’t be necessary to actually hire them to work on your yard, you can use their experience and knowledge to get the look you want. This step is especially important if you are inexperienced in landscaping.

This will just ends up costing you large amounts of money. You may want to consult with a landscaper, and pay them for the service, but doing the work yourself will save you a lot of money.

Buy on the Internet to get great discounts and enjoy a bigger selection while also saving money. There are lots of websites that sell well-made products at affordable prices. Make sure you check out customer reviews about products to ensure proper packaging is used when transported.

Measure the area you plan to make changes in before you start buying plants or other supplies. This will allow you to accurately determine how much stuff you need. This simple step can ensure you not buy too much or too little of materials.

Stop thinking that spending less on every item. If you always choose the cheapest material, they may not be of a high quality.If you are new to landscaping, a specialty store, while a little more expensive, and your supplies will be guaranteed.

It is often prudent to go cheaper with certain items. When dealing with mulch, containers and regular perennials, you will notice that there is not much of a difference between the pricier and less expensive versions. It is very important that you be sure to look over the plants.Plants that are sold at a deep discount may not have been given the water or care that they require.

It can be hard to grow flowers around a large shade trees you may have in your yard for shade. Instead of placing flowers you should consider a cover for the ground. This will add a lot of visual appeal and it’s very simple to care of as well. Some options for ground cover under trees include hosta and sweet woodruff.

Try using curved edges when you’re landscaping your yard. These rounded borders are more pleasing to the eye. When people look at your property from the sidewalk, they will see a softer design that stands in pleasant contrast to the sharper lines of the home itself.

Always keep your climate in mind when you will be using. You may have your heart set on a particular plant, but if it is not suited for your environment, that plant will never grow. Also take the amount of sun you get, your local wind conditions, and average rainfall when selecting plants.

Get some good advice from a professional guidance before you launch a serious landscaping project. It may cost you a little bit of money, and quite possibly a lot of effort, misery and money in the long run. A quick hour with a professional will get off right.

Complete your lawn or yard in segments. You can start with different sections or focus on different types of plantings.

Educate yourself on the techniques involved in landscaping design techniques. For example, use anchor plants to give your yard a flowing, to create a look of continuity. The texture of plants are also important variation and contrast to your design. There are quite a few books out there and websites that will help you to learn more about this.

Do not make changes.Plants look different during certain times of the year, and what may look ugly in the winter might prove to be extremely attractive in the spring or summer.

Don’t give up on landscaping just because you can’t do it all at once. You may find that a few well-chosen additions create a more appealing look than you had expected.

If you’re thinking about selling your home anytime soon, it is important that you update your landscaping to add curb appeal to the front of the home.

Don’t forget that you should have paths and walkways within your landscaping. An unattractive concrete sidewalk is a boring and ugly look. Change this up by using stepping stone patterned paths to make your landscape more attractive. These come in a variety of types and colors and are about the same cost as concrete.

You can save money on any plant purchases by buying plants through catalogs and websites. It is possible to order rare specimens more cheaply through the Internet than to shop at a nursery nearby. It is also very convenient to shop this way because the plants since they will be shipped to your house. Do not forget to include the cost of shipping when determining whether your purchase is a good buy.

Now that you’re familiar with a few tips on landscaping, your home won’t have to be dull-looking anymore. You can have a vibrant looking home that seems as if it were something out of a movie. Using these tips, your property can be reinvigorated, so use them wisely.

Buying a house with a fuse panel? Here’s what you should know

Why are people scared of fuses? Many people think that fuses are unsafe, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A properly installed fuse is just as safe as a circuit breaker, but there are many reasons why fused homes can have problems, and I’ll discuss a few of the most common problems. We will give you instructions for safe, simple steps you can take while you are waiting for our qualified urgent electrician Melbourne to arrive to rectify the problem.

To start, how can I say that a properly installed fuse is as safe as a circuit breaker? A fuse will only handle the amount of amperage that it is rated for. If a fuse is rated for 15 amps and more than 15 amps passes through the fuse, a thin strip of carefully calibrated metal will vaporize, which opens the circuit (in other words, kills the power). A fuse will never allow more current to pass through than what it is rated for. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much current passes through for too long a period of time. Circuit breakers can be reset after they trip, which is a huge advantage over fuses, but they don’t add any level of safety.

Today, circuit breakers are used in homes instead of fuses. The main reason is because a circuit breaker can be re-used. Once a fuse blows, it has to be replaced. Old electric services will have fuses, and old electric services can have problems. This is why people get scared of fuses. A typical 60 amp fuse box might have one 240 volt circuit for an air conditioner or electric range, plus four more fuses for the rest of the wiring in the home. Compared to the minimum number of circuits required today, this is totally insufficient.

In a new home, a kitchen will typically have one circuit for the dishwasher, one for the disposer, two for the countertop outlets, one for the lights, and another for the microwave and fridge. This is a minimal installation, and many electricians will also put the fridge on its own circuit, and have another 240 volt circuit for an electric range. This adds up to nine spaces in an electric panel. The example I gave for an old 60 amp panel only has six spaces available for the entire house.

With today’s demand for electricity, old services are usually inadequate. To make up for this, occupants will often use fuses that are too large for the wires, which will keep fuses from blowing, but also creates a fire hazard. The photo below shows a wire that is only rated for 15 amps connected to a 30 amp fuse.

Oftentimes, several wires will be connected to a single fuse lug, but each fuse is supposed to have one wire. This is often referred to double tapping, or double lugging. This is a common defect for both fuse panels and breaker panels in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and the repair is usually quite simple at a breaker panel, but not so for an overloaded fuse panel. When a fuse panel is overloaded, it probably needs to be replaced.

Double Tapping

Because of all the problems that can be found with fuse panels, insurance companies will often charge a premium for homes with fused services, or they’ll refuse to insure the home. If you’re buying a home with a fused electric service, you would do well to have the service upgraded. A typical service upgrade from a fuse panel to a breaker panel will be in the $1500 – $2000 range. The price will continue to go up if new circuits are added to the home, or other wiring upgrades are performed.

The bottom line is that there is nothing inherently wrong with fuses, but most old fuse panels have enough problems to warrant replacement.

Pool Equipment: Choosing an Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner

An automatic swimming pool cleaner is absolutely the best piece of swimming pool equipment a pool owner can invest in. Manually cleaning a swimming pool is very time consuming and few pool owners enjoy this tedious task. An automatic swimming pool cleaner allows you to spend less time maintaining your swimming pool, and more time relaxing and enjoying your pool! There is a wide selection of automatic pool cleaners available for any budget, and every size In-Ground or Above-Ground swimming pool. There are three different types of automatic pool cleaners for In Ground pools and Above Ground pools, and they are classified by the way they collect debris and move around the pool. “Suction Side” automatic pool cleaners are connected to your pool skimmer and “Pressure Side” automatic pool cleaners connect to a return line fitting of your pool. “Robotic” pool cleaners work independently from your pool filtration system, and are powered by electricity. When you first installed your swimming pool, you probably never thought about the day when you would have to remove it, actually it is easy to get rid of it by using pool removal Sydney.

Suction Side automatic pool cleaners use the suction power created by your filtration system to propel a pool cleaner around your swimming pool, and pick up debris from the pool floor. Suction side automatic pool cleaners are connected to the skimmer of the pool, and dirt and debris collected from the pool is deposited directly into your filtration system. Suction side automatic pool cleaners are very easy to connect to your swimming pool and to use. These pool cleaners may have an advantage over pressure side pool cleaners, because very little or no adjustments or additional parts are typically needed to adapt a suction side pool cleaner to your swimming pool. Examples of popular suction side automatic pool cleaners are the Hayward Pool Vac or Kreepy Krauly.

Pressure Side automatic pool cleaners connect to the return line fitting in the wall of your swimming pool. Pressure side automatic pool cleaners use a powerful jet of water to move around your swimming pool, and a jet of water is used to draw debris up from the pool surface into a special filter bag connected to the pool cleaner. Pressure side pool cleaners may have an advantage over suction side cleaners because they are typically more powerful and can climb the walls of an inground swimming pool. Because pressure side automatic pool cleaners are connected to the return line fitting of the swimming pool, the pool skimmer is left open to draw dirty water and debris from the surface of the pool. These pool cleaners act as a roving return line, and help eliminate “dead spots” in the swimming pool which are not reached by the circulating action of the main filter system. These pool cleaners deposit debris into a special filter bag instead of inside your pool filter system. Some pressure side pool cleaners feature their own “booster pump”, which works independently from your main pool filter system to create the extra water pressure needed for these powerful cleaners. Examples of popular pressure side automatic pool cleaners are most Polaris and most Letro brand pool cleaners.

Robotic automatic pool cleaners feature a built in filtration system, and operate independently from your main pool filter system. No cumbersome hoses or tedious adjustments are required. These self-contained automatic pool cleaners use on board electric motors to move around your pool and create the suction necessary to pick up debris from the pool surface. As these robotic pool cleaners move about cleaning the pool surface, they constantly circulate and filter your swimming pool water. A robotic pool cleaner will pick up debris from the pool floor, and can also climb the walls and steps of an inground swimming pool. These pool cleaners are designed to scrub the water line of the swimming pool, and regular use of a robotic swimming pool cleaner will eliminate the water line stain found on most outdoor pools.

Robotic pool cleaners save a great deal of money in operating costs, because these pool cleaners do not require your pool pump and filtration system to be running for the pool cleaner to work. This also means you do not have to clean your filtration system after each use, using more electricity and losing chemically treated water through the filter backwash cycle. Robotic pool cleaners are available in many sizes and models designed for average size above ground swimming pools, up to the largest commercial facilities and water parks. Many robotic pool cleaners feature a hand held remote control, giving the pool owner complete control over the movements of the pool cleaner. This allows very quick and easy spot cleaning. The most common robotic swimming pool cleaner on the market today is the Aquabot pool cleaner.

Please visit http://www.InTheSwim.com for a complete selection of inground and above ground pool cleaners.

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Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovation: Planning for Function and Beauty

The best looking kitchens in the world can’t make up for poor planning. If the guiding principle of the “work triangle”–meaning the close proximity of the refrigerator, sink, and range–is broken, then the kitchen will always feel and look awkward. Functionality has to lead the plan, and a connection to the outdoors and nature can lead a great design. While a small window over the kitchen sink used to be the kitchen highlight, now large windows and glass doors leading onto the deck or patio is the norm.

If you are redesigning your kitchen within its existing footprint, then plan wide walkways. The pathways throughout should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths around the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide if two people are cooking.

Place the refrigerator in a location accessible to both kitchen guests and the one or two cooks actually working in the cooking and cleanup areas. Also, keep the cook-top out of traffic areas so guests or children don’t accidentally catch handles and cause spills when walking through.

Keep the refrigerator, dishwashers, oven ranges away from the kitchen corners. You don’t want the doors banging into each other if they need to be opened at the same time. Also, to make kitchen cabinets fully functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and the best swing direction in your kitchen design.

If you can create a separate walk-in pantry, it frees up space in the kitchen that may be used for wider doors and windows that can look out at the rear garden view. This is especially helpful as at least one wall is lost to windows and a door and there’s less space for cabinets. One handy tip, if you do build a walk-in pantry room, include an additional stand-alone freezer. It allows you to keep your grocery budget in check by buying and storing lower-priced bulk items.

And, if you can, open up the ceiling and expand the kitchen upward. It adds a sense of spaciousness and can also provide upper cabinets for long term storage of rarely used items, such as large bowls and baskets.

Kitchen Islands

Peninsulas and kitchen islands do look wonderful and provide an awesome place to gather friends and family while cooking–or even a great informal place to eat. However, plan the wide pathways accordingly. You need at least 42 inches between the island and the surrounding cabinets and appliances to maintain traffic flow, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and your local building codes. While the island might be one of the most desired items, if it’s not appropriate to the scale of the room, it won’t work for you or for your home’s value.

Additional cabinet space and a prep sink increase an island’s function, but think hard about adding a cook-top. The splatters, mess and smells it creates are a nuisance. And consider the ventilation, which is dependent upon the layout. Experts have tested and found under-cabinet and wall-chimney hoods, the type commonly used over ranges, are much better at capturing smoke and steam than the downdraft systems frequently put in islands.

The Open Floor Plan

Trends will continue for kitchen designs to open their floor plans to include an informal family living space, formerly called the “den.” It is now called the “great room” and is considered to be the most likely room to be included in new homes built in 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ survey.

If you can afford to expand your kitchen renovation, then break down a wall or two and integrate the kitchen with an adjacent room or family living space to create your must-have great room feature. Therefore, when it comes to your design focus of connecting with the outdoors via large windows and glass doors to the deck, patio, garden or backyard, then let the idea expand to the design of the great room as well. However, while you are letting in the light and the view, it’s necessary to keep heated and cooled air from leaking out. Pay the added expense for windows and doors with extra insulating features like heat-reflecting low-E coatings or argon gas between glass panes.

Be Practical

Find the correct height and location for a microwave oven as it may vary from the standard depending on the height of the chef or the kids in the household. For adults, the standard is at least 15 inches above the counter-top level. For kids, a below the counter-top shelf setup might be more suitable. Also, consider how and where you use items as you plan the pantries and cabinets so you can eliminate wasted steps, like locating flatware drawers near the dishwasher for ease of unloading.

Be smart and don’t sacrifice functionality for one hold-back feature that you think you can’t live without when it could lower the market value of your home significantly. Keep to your principle of functionality plus beauty. As long as your “work triangle” is accommodated and you have created an open feeling of connecting to nature and the outdoors, with easy pathways and views to a patio or deck, you will have planned and achieved the best kitchen possible.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth McMillian

Elizabeth McMillian enjoys writing about her personal interests, including travel, exercise and cycling. She is an architectural historian, a former editor at Architectural Digest and the author of five books and numerous articles. Know more about high quality products at discount prices that might work in your kitchen renovation at [http://www.cheap-kitchen-appliances.com/] and [http://www.discount-bottom-freezer-refrigerators.com/]

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What to Do in an Electrical Emergency

Electrical appliances are staples of modern convenience. Where would we be without electric ovens to prepare our food, washers and dryers to handle our clothes and lights to illuminate our way in the dark? Electricity is an absolute must in the modern world, but with it comes numerous risks and potential hazards. Anything from a frayed cord to an overloaded circuit can cause a short or a spark, resulting in an electrical emergency. Our highly qualified electrician Brisbane 24 hours provide complete and totally dependable electrical services Australia-wide.

Though you’re better protected from electrical emergencies when you regularly maintain your home’s electrical systems and appliances, electrical emergencies can happen. Everything from an electrical fire to electric shock may put you or your family at risk, so it’s important to have a plan in place and understand what to do in the event of an electrical emergency. To that end, we’ve provided some basic electrical emergency procedures to help you and your family understand and create an electrical emergency response plan in the event of an electrical fire, shock or fallen power line.

Electrical Fire

Sometimes a short in a circuit causes it, other times it’s a frayed cord placed near some curtains. No matter how they end up happening, electrical fires can be dangerous to deal with. Establishing emergency response procedures for electrical fires in your home is essential to maintaining the health and safety of your entire family.

Emergency response procedures for an electrical fire include:

Cut the Power: The first thing you should do in any electrical fire is cut the power to the electrical system causing the problem. You can do this by flipping the switch on your home’s breaker box. Simply unplugging the appliance or flipping the switch still poses a risk, especially if the cause is a frayed wire or overheated appliance. If the fire has not yet fully started, this should be enough to stop the fire before it starts. This step is also important because it reduces the risk for electric shock for anyone handling the fire and allows you to use more resources while trying to stop the flame.
Use a Fire Extinguisher: If you have one in your home, everyone should know how to put out an electrical fire with a fire extinguisher. If you were unable to cut the power to the source of the fire, you should only use a Class C-rated fire extinguisher. These use carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers. If the power was cut, you should use a Class A extinguisher, which is water-based. Pull the pin depressing the handle and point the horn at the base of the fire before holding down the handle. Continue dispersing the chemical until the fire is fully extinguished. If you are not sure of your fire-extinguisher’s class, have it checked — Class A and Class C extinguishers are not interchangeable and should only be used in the described circumstances.
Smother the Fire: If you do not have a fire extinguisher on hand, you should know how to put out an electrical fire without a fire extinguisher. If the power to the area is off, you can use either a fire blanket or water to extinguish the fire. However, if you cannot turn off the power or if you are not sure whether the power is off, do not use water and do not approach the fire, or else you risk electric shock.
Practice Fire Safety: If you cannot control the fire, exit the building as quickly and calmly as possible before calling authorities. Remember to keep close to the ground to avoid smoke inhalation and stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches on fire.
Call 911 and Exit: Always call 911 in the event of a fire, even if the fire is out. Smoldering objects are still able to reignite, especially if you were unable to cut power to the source of the fire.

One thing many homeowners are unaware of is that up to 90% of breaker panels are labeled incorrectly. Test your panels to make sure they are labeled correctly, and that you are able to shut off power effectively in an emergency.

Though it’s a good idea to know what to do in the event of an electrical fire, taking steps to prevent such fires is even more important. Avoid electrical fires by keeping flammable materials away from outlets, especially outlets currently in use. If you are using a power strip, be sure not to overload the strip or connect a string of strips together. You may also consider using surge protectors to help protect your electronics from overheating due to a power surge.

Electrical Shock

Contact with electricity sometimes happens, especially when electrical outlets and cords go without maintenance or if electrical appliances are placed near water. These cases can be particularly frightening, but it’s crucial to have electric shock emergency procedures in place in your home in the event of an accident. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your emergency response plan for an electrical shock:

Do Not Touch: If someone comes in contact with electricity, do not, under any circumstances, touch them directly. If you contact that person while they are still connected to the electrical current, you will also get shocked or electrocuted. Stay calm and stay away.
Keep Your Distance: If the cause of electrocution is a high voltage wire, stay at least 20 feet away from the wire. If the wire is jumping and sparking, stand even further away if possible.
Turn off Power: As soon as you are aware of the contact with electricity, if you are close to the circuit breaker, turn off power to that part of the house. Do this as quickly as you can.
Remove the Person: If it will take too long to get to the breaker, try to cut contact between the person and the electrical source using an insulated object. A wooden rod, PVC pipe or other material would work well in this case. Never, under any circumstances, use a wet or damp object. Use your best judgement to determine whether to remove the person from the shock or get to the breaker — the longer the person is in contact with the shock, the more likely the shock will be fatal. Once the person is removed from immediate danger, do not attempt to move them any further.
Call for Help: Once you have turned off the power or have otherwise removed the person from the source of the shock, immediately call 911 for help. If you have first aid or CPR training, administer it to the victim. If you do not have training, the 911 operator can give you directions until a responder arrives. Do this even if the victim says they feel fine — electric shock can have strange effects on a person’s health that may not be immediately visible or noticeable, even to the victim.

Preventing electric shocks is the most important part of your electric shock emergency plan. If you have small children, cover all outlets with protectors and educate them on electrical safety as soon as they are old enough to understand. When doing electrical repairs around the house, consult or hire an electrician for any duties where you are unsure of what to do. Additionally, you may want to consider installing a safety switch in your home. It will monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and immediately shut off the circuit if it detects a problem, turning off the power within 0.03 seconds. This can help prevent electrocution, as well as electrical fires.

Power Outage

Probably the most common emergency on this list, power failures and blackouts can occur for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s due to a storm, downed power line, energy shortage or a problem in your home’s power lines, blackouts can be a headache and can be dangerous for your home appliances. In the event of a power failure, take the following steps to protect your home and family:

Check the Source: Sometimes, the cause of a blackout in your home is simply a short-circuit or tripped breaker. Check and reset your circuit breakers to ensure this isn’t the cause of your blackout.
Be Prepared: Whether your area is prone to power outages or you’re simply expecting a bad storm, being prepared for a power outage brings you extra peace of mind. Keep a power outage emergency kit in an easily accessible location, equipped with alternative lighting options, like candles, alternative cooking and heating options, a battery-powered radio and fresh water supplies. You may also want to keep a battery-powered mobile phone charging station so you can keep your lines of communication open.
Turn off Power toAppliances: As soon as a power outage occurs, turn off power to all heating and cooling appliances, such as cooking appliances, irons, heaters and air conditioners, and any electronics, via the circuit breaker. Turn off the branch circuits first, then the main breaker. Alternatively, ensure all of your electronics are plugged in to surge protectors so they are protected when the energy turns back on. You will also want to keep your food freezers and refrigerators closed to keep the food inside preserved as long as possible.
Contact Your Distributor: Using your mobile phone, contact your distributor as soon as possible to notify them of your outage. They can give you an idea of what happened, what they are doing to fix the problem and how long the outage will last. This is a particularly important step if you have any special needs due to specialized medical devices and are signed up for an uninterrupted supply of power.
Reset Safely: When power returns to your building, wait a few minutes before turning on your lights and appliances. The energy returning to the grid could be inconsistent, resulting in damage to your electronics if you turn them back on too quickly. Make sure to turn the main breaker back on first, then turn on the branch circuits.

If you require an uninterrupted supply of power, or you want to ensure a blackout doesn’t affect you, there are options, especially if you use solar panels or other alternative energy sources in your home. Battery banks, backup generators and other power storage devices can all help you keep the lights on a little longer after the grid goes out. If you have special needs, such as life supporting medical equipment on-premises, you can also talk to your distributor about setting up an uninterrupted supply of power. In both cases, ensuring your electrical hookups are in proper working order is extremely important.

Fallen Power Lines

Downed power lines pose a threat to you outside the house and should be treated with extreme caution. When near a fallen power line, keep the following in mind:

Always Be Cautious: We tend to think of live lines as always sparking and letting off lights and sounds, but live power lines don’t always seem active. Even if you think the line is inactive, always treat it as an electricity hazard and stay a minimum of 40 feet away from the line. Be sure to check for any dangling power lines, fallen or dangling limbs, puddles, vehicles, metal fences and other conductive materials that could pose an electricity hazard.
Avoid Trees: Trees in contact with power lines pose a serious threat to people, as living wood contains water and can be conductive. Even if you are not sure whether a line is in contact with a tree, avoid touching the tree or coming in contact with any material touching or surrounding the tree.
Keep Others Away: When possible, ward people away from the downed power line until help arrives. If you are in a vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and park a good distance away from the area and remain in your vehicle until help arrives. If you are a pedestrian, stand away from the area in a safe spot off the road. If people stop and ask you what is going on, advise them that the line is down and help is on the way, but they should avoid the area and take a different route if possible.
Immediately Contact Authorities: When you notice a downed power line, you should immediately notify the local distribution company in charge of the line.

These are steps to take if you avoid coming in contact with the power line. However, if your car comes in contact with the line, follow these safety rules:

Stay Inside Your Car: Do not risk leaving your car. Even if you aren’t sure whether the line is live or not, do not risk coming into contact with the outside of your car. Only get out of your car when authorities tell you it is safe.
Warn Others: Roll your window down and tell people to stay away from the area. Anyone in contact with the equipment or ground could be seriously injured.
Call for Help: Call 911 as soon as possible. If you don’t have a phone, roll down your windows and sound the horn to call for help and explain the situation to passers-by.
In Case of Fire, Exit Safely: If your car or the surrounding area catches fire and poses an immediate threat to your life, exit the vehicle safely. Remove any loose items of clothing, such as baggy jackets or scarves, keep your hands at your sides and off the metal of your car and get away from your vehicle. Keep your feet close together, with both feet touching the ground at the same time, and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet until you are a good distance away from the vehicle

If the downed power line is on your property, you’ll likely need to hire an electrician to fix the problem. A properly certified emergency electrician is the best choice in this case.

Learn More About Electrical Safety

If you’re looking for home electric repair services in Westchester NY, look no further than Lippolis Electric, Inc. We’ve been serving as emergency home electricians in Westchester County, NY for over 30 years with quality, knowledgeable service from a team of licensed professionals.

If you have questions about electrical safety or are looking for someone to assess your systems and provide residential electrical repairs in Westchester, NY, contact us today.

What to Do If Your Circuit Breaker Trips

Circuit breakers are switches made to protect your electric circuits from being damaged by electrical overloads or short circuiting. Our electrician Melbourne CBD are expert electrical contractors, fully licensed to perform electrical service and data cabling installations for both commercial and residential premises.

Basically, electric current flows into your home into the breaker box (usually built in the garage or in the basement in the home) where it’s split into a number of circuits and sent throughout the house.

For rooms that only need electrical power for small things like lighting fixtures and televisions, you usually only need 15-amp circuits. For rooms with bigger appliances, such as the kitchen or bathroom, you’ll usually have 20-amp circuits. Certain appliances, like the oven or dryer, are so power consuming they need 30 – 50-amp circuits all to themselves! When it is said that a circuit breaker “trips,” it means that circuit has detected what’s known as a fault condition and has shut itself off to prevent the wiring from overheating and potentially igniting itself.

Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is generally pretty easy – you just need to go back to the electrical panel, find the circuit that’s not facing the same direction as the rest and flip it back to it’s original setting. If the breaker trips again right after you do this, that’s a problem – you’ll have to figure out the cause of the problem before you can fix it.

If your circuit breaker trips right after being reset, you could be facing one of three issues:

an overloaded circuit
a short circuit
a ground fault

Overloaded Circuit

An overloaded circuit is the most likely problem that would make your breakers trip. In simple terms, it means there is more current flowing through the circuit than it is made to carry, so it shuts off to stop any damage.

Remember earlier when we spoke about the different levels of current certain rooms in your home receives? When you are searching for an overloaded circuit, try finding any appliances on the overloaded circuit that would be using more electricity than the circuit would allow. Pay extra attention to objects such as space heaters, toasters, hair dryers straighteners, etc. – these things tend to consume the most power.

The solution for overloaded currents is pretty simple – just unplug things you’re not using! If this doesn’t solve the issue, call an electrician – you may have loose connections somewhere in the house, though this is pretty rare.
Short Circuit

If the problem is not being caused by an overloaded circuit, most likely a short circuit is be the issue. Short circuits are a slightly more serious problem than overloaded circuits, which happens when the hot (black) wire touches another hot wire or a neutral wire. The surest way to tell if you are having a short circuit is to first check your power cables for damage or a melted covering (make sure the appliance is unplugged first) and to check the power outlets or plugs for discoloration or a burning smell. If you can’t locate the problem, hire an electrician to take a look at it.
Ground Fault

If you’ve looked at the two other possibilities and checked for problems but you don’t think you have an overloaded or short circuit, you should check to see if a ground fault is causing your troubles. A ground fault exists when the hot (black) wire touches the ground (bare) wire or the walls of a metal outlet box. If you have a ground fault, it’s best to have an Vancouver electrician take care of the problem.

Get Started With Pilates Training

Today, I’d like to teach you a bit about the history and main principles behind the Pilates method of training. Just so you know, I’m far from being an expert on this subject, nonetheless I thought this could a great way for you and I to learn more about this increasingly popular fitness system. Sign up for our reformer Pilates teacher training Sydney & learn models of exercises to become a great reformer pilates instructor.

Pilates is a form of exercise that was invented by Joseph Pilates, a German circus performer and boxer who lived from 1883 to 1967. At the outbreak of World War I, he was put in an internment camp where he started to develop his own exercises using just a floor. His exercises were further developed and became the Pilates mat exercises that he later called “Contrology”.

Using the simple items available to him, he also developed series of exercises based on yoga, dance, and gymnastics. His methods of training were put to use during the time he spent in the camps as he helped rehabilitate soldiers and patients.

His main invention, and the tool most associated with Pilates is a table called the Reformer.

The Reformer is a table that uses a complex set of springs for exercises where resistance can be easily adjusted and controlled. Reformer exercises often need to be done with the assistance of somebody else to help with some of the movements.

There are literally hundreds of exercises that one can do with a Reformer table. Most exercises usually come with a few different variations to make it adaptable to a person’s fitness level.

Pilates exercises are low-impact, and put very little pressure on the ligaments and tendons so as to always minimize the risk of injury.

Other pieces of equipment used in Pilates training are elastics, springs, and medicine balls. Exercises done with these objects aim to provoke imbalances, which in turn activate a specific series of muscle stabilizers in your body.

Pilates’ exercises focus primarily on the abs, glutes, and core muscles. Core strength and torso stability are emphasized, and other, more superficial muscles usually get activated in the process.

This is a reason the Pilates’ method has been shown to help people with back pain. When the trunk becomes more stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved, and the body begins to move more efficiently.

This type of training focuses on exercises that are physically hard, but always smooth and controlled. The key here is quality, not quantity.

Pilates workouts, unlike many other fitness methods, include very few repetitions. Instead, the goal is often to slowly do one movement with precision while controlling breathing

For these reasons, Pilates can be practiced by practically any types of persons. Dancers, athletes, acrobats, as well as people of all age can greatly benefit from the

One cannot mention Pilates without mentioning the 8 fundamentals of the method. These principles, according to Joseph Pilates, help achieve balance, grace and fluidity to the body.

Here they are:

The 8 principles of Pilates
-Concentration: In the Pilates method, mind-body connection is extremely important. It is thought that to optimize an exercise, one must be entirely focused on each movement.

-Centering: Pilates called the center of the torso, the “powerhouse”. This is the place where you should bring your focus when doing your exercises. All your strength and energy emanates from this area, and focusing on this particular area will bring calm to your body and mind.

-Control: The way you move during an exercise should always be done using the proper form. This means having complete control over your muscles, and leaving no part of your body unattended.

-Precision: As mentioned earlier, Pilates’ movements should be done slowly, and meticulously. One perfect movement is always preferable to a higher set of repetitions.

-Breathing: Joseph Pilates used to say that breathing was the most important part of any training regimen. In fact, breathing activated blood circulation and awakens blood cells and muscles. As you train, you should focus on your breathing, making sure you keep inhale fully before exhaling.

-Alignment: Pilates promotes good posture. Whether you are standing up or lying on the ground, you should make a conscious effort to be aware of the position of your pelvis, neck, head, and spine.

-Flow: Every Pilates movements should be executed with grace and fluidity. Even as you move from one pose to another, every transition and movement should be done gracefully so that strength and stamina are always forced to develop.

-Integration: This principle underlines the importance of combining every fundamentals into each movement. This is done so that your muscles work in tandem as you execute movements.

This might seem very abstract and esoteric, but they are the 8 principles taught in Pilates classes. From what I’ve gathered about Pilates, its workout seems to be an interesting combination of Yoga and body-weight exercises.

I hope I’ve managed to get you interested in Pilates, I, for one, plan to go out and try a class somewhere in the near future. Every training method has something to teach you, find out what’s the best for you, and you’ll quickly be on your way to a better, healthier lifestyle.

To read more about fitness and different cardio workouts, head over to [http://www.trainyourcardio.com].

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Why Would I Want To Add A Pilates Exercise Machine To My Routine?

So you’ve decided to incorporate a Pilate Exercise machine into your Pilates routine but have no idea where to start, then this article was written with you in mind. In this article I will be discussing the different kinds of Pilates exercise machines on the market, the benefits of these Pilates exercise machines and what you can expect to achieve by using them. The power of massage Northern Beaches will relieve sore and aching muscles, reduce soft tissue inflammation and increase joint mobility.

I have decided to begin with the most basic of Pilates exercise machines, the mat. While some might not consider the mat to be included on the list of Pilates exercise machines, I felt it was important to add it due to the fact that it is the base of your floor exercises. Do you need a floor mat to practise Pilates? We’ll you could still practice Pilates without one but the fact is these mats are probably the least expensive on the list of Pilates exercise machines. Another reason to include the Pilates floor mat is that a lot of Pilates exercises focus on your internal core so you’ll be on the ground a lot and it just makes sense to be on a mat rather than on the floor. The mat itself is not used for any other purpose other than to give you a cushion between you and the floor. Coming from a person with lower back pain I truly believe the mat is essential.

The Pilates exercise ball is such a simplistic Pilates exercise machine, however the benefits of incorporating a Pilates exercise ball into your routine should not be overlooked. The Pilates exercise ball is used to strengthen your core as well as improve your balance. This balancing “act” so to say forces your body to use its core muscle group known as your powerhouse to keep it from falling off the ball.

The Pilates Cadillac is an invention created by the originator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates. The Pilates Cadillac may look like a medieval torture table but fear not this machine was designed with bedridden patients of the Second World War in mind. Originally created using bedsprings the Cadillac was designed to allow the patient to begin rehabilitation without leaving the bed. Through time the Pilates Cadillac has evolved into a state of the art piece of exercise equipment, which lists an impressive 80 exercises that can be performed ranging from simple spring assisted to very advanced exercises, which would appear almost trapeze like.

A user of the Reformer should expect to achieve an increase in torso stability as well as an improvement in posture. The Reformer looks very similar to a rowing machine but is so much more than that. The Reformer has a gliding platform the participant can sit, kneel or lie down on while you push or pull yourself using the bar located at the end of the machine. The Reformer also has adjustable springs, which can be set to a variety of resistances to focus on gently working your muscles. This particular piece of equipment is a no-impact machine, which is very easy on the body’s joints.

The Wunda Chair is another piece of Pilates equipment. While it may look like a snazzy stool the exercises performed on this chair are not only performed in the seated position. The Wunda Chair like most Pilates exercise machines uses adjustable springs, which can be set to a variety of resistances.

The design of the Ladder Barrel is pretty much described by the name itself. It is a ladder attached to a raised barrel, which is set on a sliding base. The Ladder Barrel focuses on strengthening and stretching deep postural muscles.

The Pilates Magic Circle, also known as a Magic or Exercise Ring or Fitness Circle is an exercise device usually constructed of rubber or a flexible type of metal. The Magic Circle is used in a multitude of ways and positions. The participant can use it in a sitting, standing or even a lying down position focusing on problem areas such the inner and outer thighs, your upper arms and chest as well as the muscles in your pelvic area.

Will your body benefit from incorporating one or more of the above-mentioned Pilates exercise machines into your routine? Most definitely, however it must be noted that it is not necessary to purchase any of them to begin a Pilates routine. As you advance in skill level and experience you may want to add a different dimension to your routine and adding one or more Pilates exercise machines may be just the answer you’ve been searching for.

C. Farrell is an Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur and mother of 2 toddlers, who somehow finds the time to freelance write and create niche content websites. For more information about Exercising with Pilates [http://www.pilatesforhealthyliving.com] please visit Pilatesforhealthyliving.com [http://www.pilatesforhealthyliving.com]

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Swimming Pools Designs – What Style is the Best Choice For You?

Types Of Swimming Pools

A home swimming pool could be a fantastic refuge for weary family members. It is the one place where we all wish to be on a hot day. Swimming is a calming exercise, as well as a healthy one, for individuals of all age groups. In addition, a nicely created swimming pool adds class as well as value to any home.

But what type of pool should you put in?

You will find numerous options to consider. Here are probably the most common options:

Swimming Pools Designs: Above Ground:

Above ground swimming pools are the simplest to build and the cheapest to buy, as they come as pre-made kits. They are the summer-fun answer for those who don’t wish to make the larger commitment of an in-ground swimming pool. If you’re not yet ready for a permanent structure in your yard, then an above-ground may be the way to go.

Here are the above ground swimming pool tidbits to think about:

Quick to install: Grab a few handy neighbors and you can be hosting a pool party in just a few days.

Moveable: Should you move, you can take your pool with you, give it to a friend or even sell it. Or you can leave it as a gain for the next owner of your home.

Choices: You are able to choose from aluminum, resin or steel sidings. All 3 types have numerous benefits, ranging from rust-resistance to average life-span. Your local dealer can help you to weigh the pros and cons of each kind.

Affordable: Above-grounds are excellent for those searching for a fairly affordable way to provide years of backyard family entertainment.

Great for Small Lots: If getting a back-hoe into your yard might be next-to-impossible, an above-ground can usually be carried in a kit to your yard and set up.

Variety: Above-grounds come in several sizes and shapes, and a range of decorative wall patterns and decking choices.

Swimming Pools Designs: Below Ground:

Fiberglass:

Fiberglass pools are built utilizing molded fiberglass, reinforced plastic. Fiberglass pools are in ground, and can provide you years and years of family fun and swimming pleasure. Fundamentally, a fiberglass swimming pool is similar to a giant bathtub.

Here are fiberglass pool tidbits to think about:

Installation: As soon as your yard has been excavated, the swimming pool is delivered in one piece and set up. Building time is usually about two weeks.

Cost: Fiberglass pools are usually more expensive to purchase than concrete inground pools, but can save you money over the life of the pool. This is simply because they usually will require fewer chemicals than concrete pools. You also avoid upcoming replastering and liner replacement expenses.

Shock absorbent: What happens if the earth moves? Fiberglass has a shock-absorbing capability that allows it to bend up to 2 feet. However, there also are new concrete building methods that allow concrete to flex. So, it’s important to remember that if you live in an earthquake-prone region, be certain to have your dealer explain the features and benefits of fiberglass and concrete construction.

Maintenance: Unlike a plaster finish, a fiberglass shell doesn’t change the chemistry of the water, so you often will use much less acid. Simply because of the non-porous surface, you do not need to brush the pool nearly as often as a plaster-finished concrete swimming pool. However, you typically do not need to brush a pebble-finish concrete pool as frequently as a plaster-finish pool, so when discussing this choice with a dealer, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Poolremovalsydney.com.au offers top of the line services for swimming pool removal Sydney wide.

Vinyl:

Vinyl lined swimming pools would be the cheapest kinds of in ground styles you can get, even though you will need to have the liner replaced every ten years or so.

A vinyl-liner swimming pool typically is shipped from the manufacturer in kit form. After excavation, the panel walls are bolted or fastened together and supported at the bottom by a concrete footing. The vinyl liner is spread over the interior of the swimming pool and covers the excavated floor and paneled walls. It is connected to the top of the panel walls by a vinyl rib at the outside edge of the liner. Be sure to ask your liners usually have to be replaced in your area of the country. Construction time for vinyl-liner swimming pools is usually one to three weeks.

Listed here are vinyl swimming pools design tidbits to think about:

Smooth Surface: The vinyl liner is smooth and nonporous, making stain removal simple if stains are treated promptly.

Climate: Vinyl-liner pools are popular in cold-weather areas of the country. These pools could be very easily winterized by draining them down and covering them until the spring.

Concrete:

Concrete is another popular design for in ground pools, as they offer plenty of room and no need to have the liner exchanged.

By its very nature, a concrete pool is custom-built to your specifications by the pool-builder you select. It’s the most common kind of in-ground swimming pool, and the initial installation usually costs much less than a fiberglass pool. Concrete pools are constructed in stages, including swimming pool layout and excavation; steel installation; plumbing installation; equipment set; gunnite or shotcrete application; tile and coping installation; and interior finish installation. Even though they take longer than fiberglass pools to construct, they have the benefit of essentially unlimited shapes, sizes and designs. The construction time on a concrete swimming pool is generally three to 12 weeks.

Concrete Swimming pool tidbits to think about

Weather Resistant: Some industry specialists are convinced that concrete pools are well-suited to parts of the country that have very high summer-time temperatures. Concrete also is perceived by some to function better in places where the soil is really expansive.

Price: The initial installation of a concrete pool is generally much less than a fiberglass in ground pool. So, should you want an in-ground, but the total up-front expense is of concern to you, a concrete pool might best fit your needs.

Strength: Both fiberglass and concrete are materials of excellent strength. Talk to your dealer or contractor about the ramifications of your soil type and climate on both types of materials.

Variety of Finishes: A variety of interior finishes is available, such as plaster, paint or pebbles. These provide you with a number of choices to best suit your budget and desired design.

Conclusion:

A swimming pool is an ideal feature for any home It can add value to the property, and can provide numerous hours of fun and relaxation to your family members. Just keep in mind, however, a good pool demands extensive preparations, and once these are completed, maintenance is really essential. As long as the preparations and ongoing maintenance are attended to, then your swimming pool will be a family asset for decades to come.

Lenny is passionate about swimming pools. He has written many article on his favorite subject. And he has a website devoted to all topics that concern building, maintaining, and enjoying, pools. You’re invited to explore his site: [http://www.foxboropool.com] which offers literally thousands of articles, videos, etc.

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