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Top Considerations When Researching an Electrical Panel Change or a Service Change​ for Your Sherwood Home

Why homeowners should get an electrical panel or service change Most electrical panel and/or service changes are done for two reasons:...

Top 5 Electrical Projects to Enhance Your Tualatin Oregon Outdoor Space This Spring and Summer

Everyone is spending more time outside now that the weather is getting nice and there are several projects you might be thinking about that require electrical work. Here are the top five electrical projects to enhance your outdoor living space....

Is my Sherwood Oregon Federal Pacific Electrical Panel Safe?

Your electrical panel is the heart of your home’s electrical system. If it isn’t working right, then there is the potential for some serious problems. There are two electrical panel manufacturers known for being unsafe: Federal Pacific and Zinsco. Generally, I see more Federal Pacific panels in homes than Zinsco panels—at a rate of about five Federal Pacific to one Zinsco—but I see both of them. In fact, one home I was in had a Federal Pacific electrical panel for the main house panel and it had a Zinsco electrical panel for the subpanel! If your home has one of these panels, you should seriously consider having the electrical panel changed as soon as possible....

How to Choose the Right Residential Sump Pump for Your Sherwood Home

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Cost Factors of Residential Electrical Projects: Good, Cheap, or Fast?

Good, Cheap, and Fast Have you ever heard of this? Simply take your finger and place it over one of these words. Let's start! Place your finger over the word Good. If you want a good job done, it won't necessarily be cheap or fast. Place your finger over the word Fast. If you want a job done fast, it won't necessarily be good or cheap. Place your f...

How Much Will My Beaverton, Oregon Electrical Project Cost?

How much will my project cost? So you want to know what it's going to cost?! Okay. The old rule of thumb is generally 1/3 parts to 2/3 labor. Using this model will get you in the ballpark. It will not fit all jobs as some jobs will have a lot more parts or a lot more labor obviously. All things being equal, using the 1/3 to 2/3 model at least y...

Residential Electrical Projects Are Not Easy (But Some Are Straightforward)

Do you love what you do? How do you feel if someone says what you do is simple or easy? I recently got a phone call about adding a circuit for a microwave. During the conversation the owner explained, "It should be pretty easy—just run a wire up the panel, across the attic to the microwave. I said to the owner, "You mean this is straightforwar...

An Electrician Watching Christmas Vacation

Tis the season for Christmas movies and tree hunting with the family, which got me thinking about one of the most hilarious and memorable movies that most watch year after year…. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. After watching this movie with my wife, I couldn't help but jot down a few "electrician thoughts" about several scenes....

How Is My Wilsonville Electricity Bill Calculated?

Is 240V cheaper than 120V? There is a common misconception that 240V is cheaper than 120V. Let me explain why that is not entirely true. Your electric bill is based on KW or kilowatt hour. You pay based on watts used. For example, a 100W light bulb uses more wattage than a 60W light bulb. If you have a 500W 240V heater, it will cost just as much...

What Do Reverse Polarity and Double Tap Mean in My Home Electrical Project?

Reverse polarity and double taps – what are they? You see these terms used in home inspection reports all the time. Reverse polarity basically means you wired the plug backwards. It should be wired one way. When you reverse the receptacle wiring, the tester will show it on its reading (as shown in the picture above). The most common cause of thi...

Why You Should Never Ask Sellers to Perform Electrical Work on Your New Home

If you're buying a house, take control of the repairs that need to be done yourself!...

How Does a Plug in the Wall Expire If Nothing Is Plugged In?

How does a plug in the wall go bad with nothing plugged into it? In this example it shows the electrical panel on a dedicated circuit that feeds plug #1, goes on to feed plug #2, and continues to plug #3 where a heater is plugged in. If the heater is on and being used and there is a loose connection to the connections of plug #1 or plug #2, y...

Do Residential Electricians Design Home Electrical Projects?

Do electricians design electrical? A question I get asked from time to time is why I do not design electrical and lighting layouts. When I walk through a project with a customer, we will discuss where they want lights, switches, plugs, etc. to be installed and why. Many times I don't get the opportunity to design electrical because there are o...

Why Aluminum Wiring And Receptacles Are Not Safe in Your Newberg, Oregon Home

If you have aluminum wiring to your stove, water heater, dryer, or main wires to your electrical panel, this can be very normal even today. The problem is mostly the receptacles. Let's start from the beginning. Aluminum is significantly softer than copper. Aluminum is ch...

What Are Volts, Amps, and Watts - and Why Do They Matter?

  Volts, Amps, and Watts  What are these terms and why do I need to know them? The answer is simple—without this information I cannot begin to run wires. Let's start from the beginning using a water analogy to explain. If you have a water hose that has water in it—without voltage the water would never come out of the hose. It would just lay i...

What Are Tamper Resistant Receptacle Outlets (Or Plugs)?

  Tamper Resistant Receptacle Outlets (commonly referred to as plugs) This type of receptacle outlet has been on the market for a while now, it's purpose is to protect young children. I thought I would write about it as many people are not aware of the function or placement of them....

Should I Buy An Older Home Or A New Home in the Tigard Area?

Are you looking to move to the Tigard, OR area? Or maybe you love your neighborhood and you're just looking to move houses? There's a lot to consider when it comes to buying a newer or older home in the Tigard area. Here are just a few things to consider during your research phase: Older homes Major issues will have already shown themselves – the first 5 years usually will show nails coming out, foundation issues, paint peeling, etc. You might get it for a lower price, but that leaves you with more money to remodel it...

Smoke Detector And Carbon Monoxide Detector Safety 101

  Let's begin with smoke detectors. I first started working in the electrical trade in 1996. The code that was in effect back then was that every house had to have one smoke detector installed per floor in the home. If you had a single-story house, you only needed one smoke detector total. If you had a two-story house, there would be a total of two—one on each floor....

Why Do I Have So Many Light Switches? What Do They Do?

​ This can happen for different reasons. If you have a newer-built house that you bought new or used, sometimes homeowners don't realize they have a Christmas circuit. There would be receptacle outlets (commonly known as plugs) up under the eaves under the rain gutters of the house. Without any lights plugged in, if you turned on the switch, nothing would happen....

The Personality of an Electrician

    A contractor I once knew referred to electricians as prima donnas. Usually this isn't the case. However, I can very easily understand why he thought that generally speaking. Part of the so-called attitude starts in apprenticeship school. We are taught from the get-go that the Oregon electrical apprenticeship is the best in the nation. From all the studies I have read, we definitely rank high for sure....