Practical Electrical Safety Tips

Practical Electrical Safety Tips

Understanding rudimentary home electrical wiring and observing electrical safety precautions makes most repairs an easy task.

Among the various kinds of home repairs you can make, an electrical repair is considered by some as the most difficult. The truth is that understanding rudimentary home electrical wiring and observing electrical safety precautions makes most repairs an easy task.

Working with home electricity can be precarious if the safety precautions presented in this article are not observed. Even though you can make most electrical repairs, there are still times when it’s best to rely on the expertise of a licensed electrician.

Homes receive their electricity through wires joined to the electric company’s power lines, meter, and circuit breaker panel. Older homes will have a fuse box instead of a circuit breaker box.

Typically, the electrical service will be 220 Volts and rated for 100 Amps. Most household electrical appliances operate on 110 Volts, made by dividing the 220 Volts into different branches of 110V and 220V lines at the electrical service panel. We see this a lot in kitchen renovations in Townsville, Queensland.

For safety and protection of a home’s electrical circuits, circuit breakers are the first line of defense in preventing a dangerous electrical overload. Plugging in too many appliances or devices into a single electrical circuit creates the potential for an electrical overload, causing the circuit breaker or fuse to disconnect.

A typical current carrying capacity, or load, for circuit breakers is 10, 15, or 20 amps.

Standard 3-wire electrical wiring uses the black wire for the hot wire. The hot wire carries the AC voltage that is most threatening when making an electric home service as it carries the electrical current throughout the house.

In certain cases, such as a two – or three- way switch, you will find either a blue or a red wire serves as the hot wire. The white wire is the electrical neutral wire that returns the power to the service panel. The ground wire may be bare copper, or can be either green or yellow.

The ground wire gives the electrical current a safety connection to ground in case of an electrical short circuit failure.

Inside the Electrician’s Toolbox

There are just a few handtools required to make an electrical improvement, including a straight slot screwdriver, needle-nosed pliers, a wire stripper, and an electrical circuit tester. An electrical circuit tester can be a simple two-wire bulb, an inductive voltage tester or an inexpensive Volt-Ohm Meter (VOM). Plastic electrical tape, splices and twist-on connectors or crimp connectors complete the accessories one should have on hand.

First rule of electrical safety is that electricity around the home demands extreme caution when making electrical repairs. The reason is that electrical currents approaching only 100 mA (milli-Amperes) can be lethal if they pass through sensitive portions of the body.

Especially hazardous are any spaces that are damp or wet like kitchens, bathrooms and even basements depending on how damp or if it is a finished basement or not. These spaces require extra precautions to make sure that the electricity is turned off.

The risk of injury or death from an electrical shock has been reduced by advances in the design of outlets and plugs. Just make sure that you have or have bought the newest sockets as many today even have their own trip switches built right in, a nice secondary backup, especially in kitchens and bathrooms where water is a major concern.

The first step in electrical safety is to always turn off the proper circuit breaker or remove the fuse before starting to make electrical repair. If you’re not sure which breaker switch it is, just turn on the switch, then turn off one breaker at a time until you find the right one. You should then mark the breaker if it isn’t already so the next time you know.

Never insert any metal object, such as a penny into a fuse socket – You Could Burn Your House Down if the circuit becomes overloaded.

When testing wires with a meter, or multi-meter, be sure that the leads are properly joined and the meter’s range and function switches are set above the expected voltage or current range.

Standing on a metal ladder while working with electricity is extremely hazardous and requires extra precautions.  Similarly, undergound wires that are cut while mowing your lawn can also have dire consequences. I saw a man electrocuted on a putting green while he was mowing the turf from an undergound wire. Never handle or make contact to a bare wire or exposed wire unless you are certain that no electricity is present. If you must use a ladder, use a fiberglass or wooden ladder and still be cautious.

Always double check the circuit you are working in order to be certain that the power is off by using an induction voltage tester or some other similar electrical testing device before starting your electrical service.

You time and effort in reading this article is much appreciated. Be safe when making home electrical repairs by keeping these electrical safety precautions in mind.

What Are The Latest Bluetooth Hearing Protection Benefits?

What Are The Latest Bluetooth Hearing Protection Benefits?

If you do tedious tasks such as mowing your lawn regularly, it’s nice to listen to music while you are doing this work. This may also include using a vacuum, or perhaps you are in a profession where it is extremely noisy. Yes, noise pollution is a real concern.

If you are able to, you may want to consider using Bluetooth hearing protection that will fit easily over your ears. They will look like standard headsets, yet they may be able to connect with your cell phone to play music as you are working. Some people use them to listen to radio programs while working outside, or at work if they are allowed.

Here is an overview of where you can find the latest Bluetooth hearing protection products that will effectively block most of the noise that is around you.

How Do These Block The Noise?

Earmuffs for workplace safety are able to block the noise because they use what is called noise canceling technology. They are able to use sound frequencies that can prevent the noise from getting to your eardrums. All the while, you are going to hear your music or radio program as if there is no noise around you at all. This technology has been around for quite some time, but they have made them extremely effective, allowing people to use them in even the loudest environments.

Finding The Best One Is Easy To Do

You can locate one of the best ones by going to a major website where hundreds of these are sold every week. You will see customer reviews of these different products, and those that have good feedback are ones you want to consider.

You also need to think about the technology that is being used. Some of them will only connect with your cell phone, whereas others may have a built-in radio. It just depends on what you would prefer listening to, and what you have access to, when you are choosing one of these to provide you with noise cancellation technology.

Are They Easy To Use?

These are extremely easy to use. They will typically take AAA batteries. They will then be placed over your ears, and you will turn it on. You will instantly notice, even before you turn on your music, that you do not hear the world around you. There will be some noise, but it will be extremely quiet by comparison.

Once you do turn the music or radio program on, you will hear only the person talking or singing, as if you are in a very quiet place.

When you purchase these, make sure that they come with a guarantee. Even if you are getting one that has exceptional feedback, you need to consider that you may get a faulty unit.

Also think about the prices that you are paying. Compare how much the same unit is selling on different websites. This may allow you to save a substantial amount on your purchase, especially for the more expensive items. Using Bluetooth hearing protection technology can literally change the way that you do things every day.

Solar Power Now A Better Investment than Stocks?

solar power equipment being installedBased on a recent study conducted by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, West Valley EIS has learned that the majority of homeowners in at least 42 of the 50 U.S. states can enjoy lower utility costs by getting off their local grid and investing in a fully financed solar PV system.

It has long been assumed that an investment in residential solar power is the preserve of the rich who can more easily afford the costly equipment and installation, but no more.

The study made use of several data metrics collected by online quote service EnergySage, including first year monthly average utility savings, average cost per kilowatt over the expected 25 year lifespan of the solar array, and the value of investing in solar, relative to a long term investment in the S&P 500 stock index.

The study found that even with utility rate disparity across different regions, savings could still be achieved in the majority as consumers enjoying lower electricity prices tended to consume more energy units than those suffering higher rates.

Some of the initiatives identified as being useful in bringing down the cost of solar investment include the federal tax credit, net metering, value-of-solar tariffs and state renewable portfolio standards. We believe these measures have gone a long way in meeting their goal of encouraging the increased use of renewable energy sources amongst the states and making access to solar power affordable for lower income households.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that the median cost of residential solar power has fallen by about 60{f768468bb2d4dab05951c2801c54539ad2023140a623d7295e273c5082f990fa} over the last 15 years to $4.70 per watt, while EnergySage puts the current level at between $3.70 and $4.24. At these rates, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center study estimates that roughly 21 million households in the 42 states will save money by acquiring fully financed solar systems. 9 million households in 14 cities are also expected to make savings should they opt to buy the solar systems outright.

Since most consumers are unable to afford an outright cash purchase of solar photovoltaic systems, low cost financing would be an ideal solution. In the study’s results, found that with this low cost financing, with an assumed interest rate of 5{f768468bb2d4dab05951c2801c54539ad2023140a623d7295e273c5082f990fa}, residential homeowners would wind up paying less for electricity than if they continued to be hooked up to the local power grid.

One of the reasons for the decline in solar power energy costs is the fall in prices on equipment. Many of the currently available solar components and solar power storage options are more affordable now than they were a few years ago, and are expected to become more efficient in design, allowing for more harvesting of solar energy.

The non-hardware costs associated with solar PV system installation will drop in coming years. This refers to such expenses as those that arise from customer acquisition, installation, inspections and financing. These non-hardware costs account for more than half of the expense of investing in a solar PV system.

One of the reasons that the study found that an investment in solar energy would be more profitable than many of the top stock market index funds was the projected increase in electricity costs from utility companies and the expected decline in non-hardware costs related to solar PV systems. This theory will hold should the financial incentives offered by federal and state agencies, such as the federal tax credit, continue to be extended in the long term to the households.

In addition to the study’s conclusion that there is plenty of monthly savings and long term investment value to be had by investing in solar systems, this also points to the property value added by such installations, which have an estimated lifespan of 25 years.

What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?

What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?

Asbestos is a term commonly associated with harmful carcinogens and disease related substances that were used heavily in the productions of our homes, factories and many WWII naval vessels.

Asbestos is a singles term for a variety of naturally occurring silicates with a fibrous nature and many useful applications.

There are actually six different types of asbestos as legally described in the US Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) of 1986, that effectively controlled the use of this potentially hazardous material. There are six types of legally recognised asbestos as follow: chrysotile, anthophyllite, amosite, tremolite, crocidolite, actinolite.

In order to determine which form you are dealing with requires asbestos testing that can be done at many testing facilities.

Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos can be shattered into tiny microscopic fibers that can’t be detected by the senses, which allowed the use of the product to go on for more than a century completely unchecked. There are also no immediate symptoms to having large amounts of asbestos in the body system.

This allowed the use of this potentially fatal substance to be applied in just about every aspect of commercial and industrial productions.

But, the small fiber strap within the body never dissolve and the body fights long and hard to get rid of them. This results in scarring of the tissues and lots of inflammation in the vital organs. Eventually the damage can get so severe that the cell damage it causes is genetic.

The condition caused by asbestos in the body take many years to fully develop and most of the conditions being diagnosed today were caused by exposure long before the control measures were in place.

Asbestos exposure is extremely dangerous in any amount, but the very worst cases were from those who were exposed heavily to the use of this material in industrial and construction yards. The more asbestos is in the body the greater the conditions that can be caused.

Those working in the great shipyards during the first and second World Wars had one of the highest fatality rates.

What Products Contain Asbestos?

Since the 1800s, asbestos was used for its many practical applications in construction and even heat shielding. Asbestos, was just another word for insulation for many decades and the materials was soon in every part of the locomotives steam engines and other important features of the Industrial Revolution.

By the time, the twentieth century rolled around there was asbestos in every family home and power house.

Asbestos was available in huge amounts and was fairly easy to extract from the ground in large amounts. The big businesses looked for every possible application for the abundant resource. Fire-resistance was one of the most important uses for this material and it soon found abundant applications in construction for homes, barns and even skyscrapers.

Things got worse when the common talc powder used for babies and families also included asbestos materials. It wasn’t until the late 19070s and early 80’s that the true dangers of asbestos were made known to the public and massive limitations were placed on the use of this dangerous material.

Save Money, Save Energy

Save Money, Save Energy

Want to use less energy in your home and save money at the same time?

Nothing is keeping your electric and gas bills from piling up in your mail box. Annual averages of home energy bills have topped $1600 making American energy consumers cringe in fear. Energy costs are only expected to increase by 9 percent in 2010 leaving fewer dollars available for other regular home costs.

Because of these stresses on home income nearly 30 million households find it impossible to afford to fully heat and cool their homes. Only you can prevent your costs from soaring skyward with a few simple easy preventative steps to lower energy costs.

The power is in consumers’ hands to lower energy bills by making simple changes in lifestyle and preventative steps can maximize these benefits.

Household chores like laundry can be the difference between a small energy bill and running for the hills.

Using coldwater washing detergents and settings can drastically improve your energy efficiency and save you annually $63 a year. By ensuring you are only washing full loads of clothing and dishes you can augment these savings drastically.

Showers are another utility saving practice and with budget friendly low flow showerheads water conservation can add up. Leaky faucets can also be an energy stealing and wasting nightmare so perform maintenance using a 24 hour plumber Townsville on water pipes and ensure that your water heater and hot water pipes are properly insulated with approved materials.

Not using your sprinkler system can also save a ton. And making sure the system is running correctly and there are no sprinkler blowout or other issues.

The simplest measures are sometimes the most effective. Remember your parents complaining that unused electrical appliances were left on or a sink left dripping? It is time to get that mentality back.

Leaving computers, stereos, and televisions on are some huge energy wasters along with leaving chargers plugged into outlets when not being used.

So let the next utility bill you receive be lower than the last and with these easy to follow steps it will be simple and effective.

Guest Author: How Is Nuclear Power Regulated In The United States?

A lot of people have concerns about nuclear power. Even if people are familiar with the many benefits of nuclear power, they may worry about how this type of power is regulated. Are nuclear power plants as safe as they need to be?

In the United States, nuclear power is carefully regulated. Read on to learn more about how nuclear power is regulated in this country.

Federal Policy

Any nuclear power plant in the United States has to abide by federal laws and regulations regarding nuclear power. These regulations are fairly strict, and they tend to prioritize safety.

If a nuclear plant fails to abide by these regulations, the plant could face a fine. In more severe cases, it is possible that the plant could be shut down. There are real consequences for plants that ignore safety regulations. Because of this, most plants are operated safely and efficiently.

State Policy

In addition to the regulations imposed by the federal government, there are a number of states that have their own policies regarding nuclear power. State regulations cannot be laxer than the federal regulations are. They can only be more strict.

Nuclear power plants are located all across the United States. Even though some states have stricter regulations than other states do, there are still power plants being operated across the country. It’s clear that these regulations aren’t a major deterrent; they are simply there for safety’s sake.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

While the US government has regulations regarding nuclear power, there is also an independent organization that keeps a watchful eye on power plants. Having this organization ensures that the United States is safe even if the government weakens laws regarding nuclear power regulations.

This operating body regularly inspects plants and evaluates them. This organization helps to ensure that nuclear power is as safe as it needs to be. Few types of power are regulated this strictly. This is why many concerns regarding nuclear power are misplaced. There are many different entities working to ensure that nuclear power plants operate safely like we buy houses Porter.

Major Changes In Energy Policy

Nuclear power regulations haven’t always been this strict. There have been a number of significant changes in nuclear power regulation over the years. One of the first big changes took place in 1978. This was when the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act was established.

New regulations were also introduced during the 1980s. This was when the Nuclear Waste Policy Act was introduced. The Low-level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act was introduced during this time as well.

In the 1990s, a new energy policy act was created. This act primarily revolved around radiation protection standards. While the initial bill was focused on the Yucca Valley region, this act has been used in regulating radiation protection in other areas as well.

Nuclear power regulations continued to be introduced in the new millennia. The Energy Power Act of 2005 is one such example. However, there were some people that thought this piece of regulation was too lenient.

All of these acts have been amended over the years. Nuclear power regulations have not remained static over time; they have gone through changes and seen a number of updates. It is because of this that we have such strong and efficient regulations today.

The Growth Of Nuclear Power

A lot of people assumed that overregulation would destroy the success of nuclear power. Surprisingly, it’s actually had the opposite effect. Nuclear power has seen a tremendous amount of growth over the last few years.

Why has nuclear power been growing? The regulations are actually one of the reasons that nuclear power has seen so much success. States are more likely to support nuclear power plants if they know that they are safe. Now that people see nuclear power as a safe and clean energy source, it will continue to grow.

Now that you know more about how nuclear power is regulated, you can see why so many people see nuclear power as a safe and efficient power source. Nuclear power isn’t something that you have to be worried about. Because nuclear power is so well regulated, it is actually one of the safest sources of power available.

Guest Post: Ways to Keep Warm While Keeping The Heating Bill Down

Does your home have gas heating? Trying to keep the heating bill down, but freezing yourself out in the process?

Here are some warm ideas to keep you toasty. Almost.

Friends of mine used to live in a gas-heated home, in an area of the country that regularly saw temperatures 10 below celcius, nevermind the windchill. They were always swathed in socks, sweaters and blankets, trying to keep the heating bill down.

For three students, living in a large, drafty old apartment and trying to stretch their pennies as far as possible, keeping the heating bill manageable was of utmost importance, and it was no contest for sweaters and pots of hot soup to trump a mild room temperature.

Here are some of the ways they came up with to keep themselves warm, and cheerful, through the long cold winter.

1. Close a part of the house off.

My friends had a large living room off the back of the house, with tall bay windows which might as well have been wide open, they let in such a draft. Heating this room would have put the bill in the hundreds easily, so they simply closed it off for the winter; closed the French doors, stuffed blankets in the gap under the bottom, and taped it over with window plastic. They lived in the kitchen instead, a room much more conducive to keeping warm daily. They learned all of these tips at sell my house fast Houston.

2. Keep a pot of hot soup on the stove at all times.

With three students coming and going at all hours of the day, there was almost always someone at home cooking. These girls would keep a large pot of homemade soup on the stove top almost every day… easy to heat up, warm and hearty in your belly, and having the stove on and a big warm object on top heated the small kitchen quickly.

3. Hot water bottles or bean bags.

When they went to bed, they would fill hot water bottles to take with them, as the house would cool significantly overnight, and if you didn’t take precautions, you would wake up with a chill. If hot water bottles aren’t your style, there are always those microwavable bean pads that heat up for applying to sore necks and backs. I regularly take one of them to bed with me for the heat as much as the pain relief.

4. Hot drinks at all times.

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cider or even a cup of broth, can be a calming nourishing way of keeping your body warmed. Essential while studying, reading or watching TV, a cup of hot tea should always be within arms reach. Get yourself a nice big tea pot, and you have an instant hand warmer, as well as your mug to wrap your cold fingers around. Oh and don’t forget hot toddies for the extra cold nights.

5. Exercise

Dance parties in the kitchen always make after-dinner clean up go faster. Put on some favorite tunes and move your buns while you put away the dishes, to get your blood flowing and your face flushed. Never fails to be both fun and warming!

6. Warmth in numbers

Potluck parties are a staple of winter socializing in our neck of the woods. On a Friday or Saturday, or even a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, as more people are often available then, call all your friends up and invite them over for a potluck party. Everyone brings a dish of food, and you will likely find that no planning is necessary, as it is a truth universally acknowledged that amount and variety of food always seems to work itself out in potluck situations. Having a dozen extra bodies in the house warms it up quickly, the steam from warm dishes and warm breath from conversation will keep you toasty for hours. The more the merrier – as long as they stay for the clean-up dance party afterwards!

7. Cuddling with a friend

Movies are better watched together under a pile of blankets anyway. Have your best friend or significant other keep you company and cuddle away an evening keeping each other warm.

Space heaters, hot showers, and baking cookies are just a few more warm activities to consider, and I’m sure you can come up with even more!Energy Savers