It Pays to Upgrade to LED Lighting

Are you looking at ways to reduce your electricity bills and overhead but don’t know how? One simple way is to upgrade to LED lighting and enjoy huge money saving benefits almost immediately. In fact, experts say that business lighting upgrades can cut lighting bills by 50% to 70%!

Why You Should Consider A Lighting Upgrade

Upgrading to LEDs is an upfront investment with fantastic long-term returns. The attractive returns come in the form of savings in utility bills but that’s just the beginning. Here are some benefits of LED lights:

  • LED Lights Last Longer: LED lights can last for 30,000 to 100,000+ hours! You will be replacing lights less frequently when you use LED lights. LED lights can outlast metal halide or CFLs (fluorescent lighting) significantly.
  • Helps Optimize Usage of Space: LED lights can provide optimum illumination, making it possible to use more square footage of your space. You can put every inch of costly floor space to proper use by simply upgrading the lighting.
  • More Environmentally Friendly: LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting, including fluorescent and incandescent lights. 95% of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only 5% is wasted as heat. Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Delmarva Power/Pepco Incentives: Delmarva Power and Pepco offer commercial and industrial customers in Maryland a suite of energy efficiency programs through the EmPOWER Maryland program. Major initiatives include the Existing Buildings program, which provides pre-defined cash incentives for the installation of energy efficiency measures on lighting, lighting controls, and more. The Custom Incentive program provides incentives for other efficiency measures, systems and technologies based on projected annual energy savings. Learn more here.
  • Dominion Power Incentives: Dominion Energy Virginia’s Non-Residential Lighting Systems & Controls Program provides qualified customers with rebate incentives for upgrading existing lighting or installing new energy efficient lighting systems, including lighting controls like occupancy sensors. This will help you gain energy savings that will benefit your bottom line. Learn more here.

A Smart Business Move That Can Bring Multiple Benefits

As you can see, upgrading the lighting system of your business to LED lighting makes smart business sense. Interested in learning more? At Fab Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy your LED lights and cost savings in no time! Call us at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

Labeling your Electrical Panel

Ever need to flip a switch on your electrical panel, and you don’t know which one to flip? It can be a frustrating process, but it doesn’t need to be! Labeling your electrical panel can save time and confusion.

Labeling your electrical panel is important, not just to lessen frustration for the homeowner. Knowing which areas of your home are serviced by which circuit breaker is crucial in case of an emergency. You never know when you might need to shut off the power. After labeling your electrical panel, you’ll be able to confidently control any area of your home or business with just the flip of a switch. Here are some tips from Fab Electric to make this process both simple and safe:

  • Turn off every circuit in your home: Once you’ve done so, turn on each one individually to note which light fixture turned on. Label the electrical panel accordingly.
  • Don’t go it alone: Take on the labeling project with a partner. Designate one person to flip the switches in each area, while the other is at the panel testing it. This is the most efficient process.
  • Use blank labels: Buy some blank sticky labels to apply on each switch. It’s easier than taping individual papers.
  • Multiple breakers may be required: Clothes dryers and washing machines, water heaters and ovens often require multiple breakers due to the high amount of power required to operate. Don’t be confused if this happens!

Remember, this process can be time consuming and a bit frustrating at times, but it will be worth it in the end! For any other questions regarding this process, or if you’re dealing with other electrical issues, contact Fab Electric today!

At Fab Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, things will be back in order and working safely in no time! Call us at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

Would Your Home Pass an Electrical Safety Inspection?

Whether you’re cooking dinner, browsing the web, or blow drying your hair, you rely on electricity more than you probably realize. Since we depend so heavily on appliances and outlets, of course we want to make sure they are functioning reliably. Most of us would also like the peace of mind of knowing whether our home is at risk for an electrical fire.

Would your home pass an electrical safety inspection? If your home has any of the following defects, it may not:

  • Old knob and tube wiring
  • Broken or missing carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms
  • New lights installed onto old wiring
  • Overcrowded wires
  • Non-IC-rated recessed lights that touch attic insulation
  • Illegally spliced wires

Bathroom

A code-compliant bathroom meets the following requirements:

  • The combination fan/light/heater has its own 20-amp circuit.
  • All outlets are ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
  • Light fixtures in the shower or tub area are moisture resistant and covered with a lens.

Kitchen

Electricity demand is high in the kitchen. Code requirements demand the following:

  • Each motorized appliance has its own circuit, including the microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and garbage disposal.
  • The electric range, cooktop, or oven has its own dedicated 240-volt circuit.
  • A minimum of two receptacle circuits are installed above the countertop.

Laundry Room

For your laundry room to be code compliant, it must meet these requirements:

  • The washer and dryer are plugged into their own 20-amp receptacle.
  • The electric dryer has its own 240-volt circuit.

Living, Dining & Bedrooms

While these rooms don’t usually feature large appliances, certain electrical codes still apply:

  • Each room has a wall switch installed beside the entry door. This switch may control a ceiling light, sconce light, or outlet where a desk or standing lamp is plugged in.
  • Ceiling fixtures are controlled by a wall switch, not a pull chain.
  • Outlets are installed no further than 12 feet apart.

Hallways & Staircases

Even the halls and stairs in your home have specific electrical codes, largely because they serve as escape routes in the event of a fire, inclement weather, and another emergency. Here are the codes you must meet:

  • Lights are located frequently enough along the hallway or staircase to prevent casting a shadow.
  • Hallways longer than 10 feet feature an outlet for general purposes.
  • Three-way switches are located at the top and bottom of each staircase and both ends of every hallway.
  • If a staircase or corridor turns, additional lighting illuminates the area.

Attached Garage

The attached garage is an extension of your home and must meet these code requirements to pass an electrical safety inspection:

  • At least one wall switch controls the lighting, which is in addition to the garage door opener light.
  • Three-way switches are installed at the side door and the door leading out to the garage.
  • At least one GFCI outlet is installed in the garage on its own circuit to accommodate power tools.

Concerned about any of these things? Whether you have a home or business, FAB Electric is your source for reliable service. To schedule service, call 1-888-FAB-Elec or 301-622-6979, or submit the form on our Contact Us page.

 

 

Resolve to Fix Bad Electrical Wiring in the New Year

Is your electrical wiring up to code? If you know your wiring is faulty, old or insufficient to handle your electrical needs, the new year is a great time to commit to a wiring inspection. In some cases, problems are severe enough that you should seriously consider replacing the wiring in your home, but that’s not always the case. Regardless, ignoring serious problems simply isn’t worth the risk! Continue reading “Resolve to Fix Bad Electrical Wiring in the New Year”

There Are How Many Different Types of Electrical Outlets?!?

Trivia Question: How many types of outlets are there? Most people would say two, maybe three. Nope, there are 75 electrical outlets in the average home, of various sizes, shapes, and functionalities.

Are the ones gracing your walls the right ones for the job? Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of outlets in your home, including what they have to offer, and discuss some new home outlet contenders designed to make your space more user-friendly and efficient.

What Are the Most Common American Electrical Outlet Types?

Old & Outdated: 2-Prong Outlets. These make using modern electrical items difficult, because most of them have three prongs (so an adapter is often needed!) These are rapidly becoming obsolete due to safety and code requirements.

Old Faithful: 3 Prong, 15 amp, 125 Volt Outlets. One of the most easily recognized and common outlets found in homes, this outlet features two long, upper slots, with a bottom, upside-down u-shaped slot for grounding, helping to prevent electrical shock should any wiring comes loose.

Multi-Tasker: Switch/Outlet Combos: This combination outlet provides two features in a single device. Great for kids rooms and night lights, it can also allow you the ability to transform a receptacle, adding an additional switch or outlet to an existing box – without the need for any added wiring.

Shockingly Safe: GFCI Outlets. GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets are required in areas with close proximity to water, such as bathrooms, the laundry, wet areas of the kitchen, crawlspaces, basements, and the outdoors. They prevent electrical current from leaking, monitoring flow, and cutting off power to equipment if current leaks or spikes to a hazardous level. They can be easily identified by the 2 small buttons in the center – a “TEST” button and a “RESET” button, each of which is in a different color.

Large & In-Charge: 20 Amp, 125 Volt Outlets. Used with high current devices as specified by electrical code, such as large kitchen appliances, these outlets are similar in appearance to standard, 15 amp outlets, but with a slightly different look: On these outlets, there is a horizontal slot connected to the top left vertical slot of the outlet.

USB Outlets: Family fighting over outlets due to mobile-device charging overload? USB outlets offer a functional, simple solution.

Recessed Outlets: Add extra space to your home, and banish large gaps between walls and furniture with recessed outlet options.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles: A must-have for every home, these specialized outlets are now required by code in newly-built homes, and feature a barrier to prevent children from inserting small objects into them.

Built-In LED Night Light Outlets: Keep tiny and fragile night light components away from little fingers with this convenient, safe, nighttime lighting option.

Some of the newer outlets described above offer functionality many of today’s standard outlets do not. Interested in learning more about specialty electrical outlets to better improve the function of your home? At Fab Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, things will be back in order and working safely in no time! Call us at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

Dead Outlet? – What to Do About It

Dead Outlet? – What to Do About It

Do you have an outlet that can’t seem to keep its act together? We know just how maddening that can be! Today the experts at Fab Electric will share with you how to troubleshoot and handle a dead outlet, and when it’s time to call us!

To begin, you should look for obvious signs of serious electrical issues. These are easy enough to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Below is a list of tell-tale warning signs:

  • burned, discolored, or melted outlet;
  • nearby appliances not working properly;
  • outlet sparking when you plug things into it;
  • strange odors in the room.

If any of these are occurring, then you should immediately shut off the circuit, if it is safe to do so (at the panel) and call us. Not only is your outlet likely dead, if you leave it the way it is, it could kill a whole lot more of your home’s electrical, and could even cause an electrical fire in your home.

What if there aren’t any obvious signs or the problem is not with the outlet? Drag over a lamp or other small device that you’re absolutely certain is in working order and plug it into the affronting outlet. If the appliance works fine, then the fault isn’t with the outlet, but with the appliance you were trying to use.

Another thing you should do is to check the breaker panel. In most cases, when a breaker trip occurs, it will kill all of the outlets on that circuit, usually cutting off lights and other active outlets in the room or section of the home. However, if the outlet you’re trying to use is dedicated, as would be the case with a microwave or oven outlet, or even a fridge, then it’s on its own breaker. Check to see if that tripped, and if it did, give it a reset.

Outlet Wiring and Repair Services in MD, VA & DC

Still not finding the solution you’re looking for? At Fab Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, things will be back in order and working safely in no time! Call us at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

How to Avoid a Hair-Raising Outdoor Electrical Experience

How to Avoid a Hair-Raising Outdoor Electrical Experience

Outdoor electrical outlets are quite convenient! They provide the power needed to light your yard, operate power tools, plug in holiday lights, and power up speakers and other entertainment devices. It is extremely important to protect these outlets, however, because failure to do so can create a dangerous situation for your family and your home!

Protecting Your Outdoor Outlets

Though most outdoor receptacles include weatherproof covers to keep moisture and dirt from compromising outlets, once you plug in a device – a dangerous situation could present itself, if proper precautions aren’t taken. Luckily, you can ensure safety with the help of a few simple tips, as follows:

  • Select the right kind of outdoor outlet: National Electrical Code requires the use of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets for safety. You can identify these outlets by their ‘TEST’ and ‘RESET’ buttons – and by the ‘WR’ on the outlet, indicating that it is ‘weather resistant.’ Only this type of outlet is safe for outdoor use.
  • Ensure proper installation: To protect against shock, and to safeguard the lifespan of valuable tools and electronic equipment, ensure adequate ground. A 3-bulb receptacle tester can help you determine this – IF you know what you’re doing. If you’re not sure what you’re doing – NEVER toy with electrical yourself – enlist the help of a qualified electrician, such as Fab Electric and Generators.
  • Ensure proper installation: To protect against shock, and to safeguard the lifespan of valuable tools and electronic equipment, ensure adequate ground. A 3-bulb receptacle tester can help you determine this – IF you know what you’re doing. If you’re not sure what you’re doing – NEVER toy with electrical yourself – enlist the help of a qualified electrician, such as Fab Electric and Generators.
  • Add a weatherproof cover: The addition of a properly connected weatherproof cover can allow you use of the plug while safeguarding it against moisture – even allowing for use in the rain. Sometimes referred to as ‘flip up’ or ‘bubble covers,’ these outlet additions are now mandatory as per the National Electrical code.
  • Don’t assume safety: Were there outlets already installed on the outside of your hold, prior to the purchase of it? Don’t assume they are the right kind. Call us to check them for type and proper installation.

Remember: before using outdoor outlets, be sure to protect your home and your family by ensuring the safe and proper operation of outdoor outlets. Call us for an inspection, or for other electrical services and generators at (301) 622-6979 or visit http://www.fabelectric.com/.

Why You Need a Standby Generator for Your Home or Business

Why You Need a Standby Generator for Your Home or Business

Being prepared in the event of a power outage is a very valid concern, as severe summer and snow storms can create a loss of electrical service. In some cases, the outage may last for days or even weeks.

Anyone who has wished they had electricity when no power was available can appreciate the value of having a standby generator available for use. A generator is an essential backup power supply to use in the event of an emergency power outage in your home or business. Below are some reasons why you should consider the purchase of a standby generator for your home or business.

Backup Household Electrical Power

Having a backup source of power will keep food in the refrigerator fresh during a lengthy power outage. In addition, with a large enough generator and proper wiring, a household air conditioner or heater can be powered with a standby generator.

Power Backup for Small Businesses

Any business that would be significantly harmed by more than a few hours without electricity is a candidate for buying a standby generator as an emergency backup. For instance, small businesses, such as family restaurants, food shops, and other stores that rely on refrigeration could have inventories ruined by a power outage and could benefit from having a standby generator. For critical health care providers, a backup electricity source is vital, particularly to power life-saving machines for critical patients.

Considering a Standby Generator for Your Home or Business? Call the Experts!

Standby generators can be nice convenience, an essential business tool, or a life-saving power backup system. Buyers have a number of different reasons for purchasing a standby generator and getting the right generator for your needs is important.

Whether you have a home or business, FAB Electric and Generators is your source for standby generators.

Electrical Safety Tips at Home: Appliances

To prevent unnecessary exposure to electrical hazards and safety risks, it’s important that your family members know the risks involved and simple prevention measures that can be taken to avoid dangerous situations.

Appliance Safety Tips

From a simple electric clock to the microwave oven, these safety tips can help keep all appliances operating safely:

  • Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of pets, young children or hazardous situations.
  • Appliances that generate heat, such as clocks, televisions and computer monitors should be given several inches of clearance all around for good air circulation and cooling. Do not drape clothes, toys or other items over warm appliances.
  • Always follow appliance instructions and do not attempt amateur repairs or upgrades.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from water such as sinks, bathtubs, pools or overhead vents that may drip.
  • Do not operate any electrical appliance with wet hands or while standing in water.
  • Keep clothes, curtains, toys and other potentially combustible materials at away from radiators, space heaters, heating vents and other heat sources.

Carefully observe all safety measures when using electricity to keep you and your family safe.

If an Electrical Short Happens

An electrical short (or short circuit) is a problem which occurs when an accidental path is created in a circuit, generating a connection where one did not exist before. Electrical shorts are very serious problems. The high rate of current results in the generation of heat, which can cause sparks or a fire.

An electrical short often generates a distinctive popping noise when the circuit is activated, as the electricity follows the new connection it has discovered and the circuit is suddenly overloaded with energy. Smoke or flames may appear, and the short can be strong enough to melt insulation on electrical wiring, or to cause damage to the circuit itself.

When an electrical short or spark happens, it is vital to understand what to do to prevent or put out an electrical fire to keep the damage from spreading. When a fire first ignites, it may be small enough that you can extinguish it with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher on hand. If the fire is quickly spreading, producing dangerous amounts of smoke, or taking longer than five seconds to defeat with a fire extinguisher, evacuate quickly, and call 911.

Unrepaired shorts can cause fires and severe damage, and it’s usually much safer and less expensive to get an electrician out the minute a problem occurs, rather than to wait for a fire to spark, or for an electrical system to fail catastrophically.

Need an electrician? Whether you have a home or business, FAB Electric is your source for reliable service. To schedule service, call 1-888-FAB-Elec or 301-622-6979, or submit the form on our Contact Us page.

 

 

Why Your Business Needs an Electrical Preventive Maintenance Program

Why Your Business Needs an Electrical Preventive Maintenance Program

Does your business have an Electrical Preventive Maintenance (EPM) program in place to keep its electrical system running efficiently and effectively?

If you answered “yes,” that’s great – keep it up! If you answered “no,” or you’re not quite sure what an EPM program is, here’s what it boils down to: It’s a regular check-up for your electrical system.

Electrical equipment failures account for millions of dollars in damage and lost business every year. Ironically, more than two-thirds of electrical system failures can be avoided by a routine EPM program. Why?

  • The failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher for components that are not part of a scheduled EPM program as compared with those that are.
  • A planned EPM program allows you to schedule system outages at times that are convenient to your business rather than having to correct major problems resulting from an always-untimely failure.
  • An effective program will reduce equipment failure and unplanned down time. For this alone, the time and effort to establish, implement and maintain an effective program has proven to be well worth the effort.

In general, preventive maintenance check-ups should be conducted once every three years by a qualified electrician, such as Fab Electric. Ultimately, though, these activities should be scheduled based on the condition of the equipment, historical information concerning the equipment and the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Some locations may require more frequent maintenance due to the physical environment or the operational nature of the electrical equipment. For example, harsh environments with excessive moisture or dust would warrant a more frequent EPM program. Similarly, consider more frequent programming for equipment that is essential for continued operation.

Call us for details on our Preventative Maintenance Programs, an inspection, or for other electrical services at (301) 622-6979 or visit http://www.fabelectric.com/.