Monthly Archives: February 2018

What You Need to Know About GCFI Outlets

What’s better, a GCFI outlet or a GCFI circuit breaker?

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What’s better, a GFCI outlet or a GFCI circuit breaker? BILL H., CASPER, WYOMING

Both are equally lifesaving devices that have contributed to the steady drop in electrocutions from consumer products—down from 481 in 1968 to 30 in 2015, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Outlets and breakers with GFCI, which stands for ground fault circuit interrupter, monitor current flow on the ungrounded (the hot) and the grounded conductor (the neutral). When a tiny discrepancy occurs between the two conductors, that indicates an electrical leak or “fault” to ground. This trips the device and current flow stops. A person may receive a small shock but not a deadly electrical jolt.

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One big advantage of a GFCI outlet is that it’s simple to test and reset, since the buttons are right there on the outlet. You don’t have to go to the service panel. Also, the receptacle can be installed nearly anywhere—like, say, an old bathroom. This immediately provides safety benefits, since the presence of water in that room increases the risk of electrocution. But if you have an old house, you often have small and crowded electrical boxes. A GFCI is slightly larger than a standard outlet, sometimes making it a tough fit. That’s when you’re better off with the circuit breaker. Whichever you use, I would advise leaving the installation of either GFCI to a licensed electrician.

Original Source: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/a18212346/gcfi-outlet-circuit-breaker/

 

Four Rules for Electrical Safety After A Flood

Ensuring electrical safety after a flood must take precedence over salvaging any remains or inspecting the home. The reason: water and electricity do not mix! It is understandable that you are very eager to check on your belongings, to try to get things back to normal as soon as possible. However, there is always a high risk of electrocution after flooding and of course, no material belongings are worth facing any risks and hazards associated with live electricity in your apartment. Here are few practical tips that will help you ensure electrical safety after a flood.

Stay Away from A Flood-Damaged Basement

A flooded basement may have live electrical wires that you are not aware of. While it is easy to think you can really avoid meeting such wires, even the water may not be safe. It would be best to contact an electrician to ensure the home’s electrical meter is removed from the socket to ensure the house is totally disconnected from the grid. This is an ideal way to shut off all power to the house as there can still be an electrocution even if you have lost power – telephone wires, the cable wire or other wires may have electricity due to shorting and contact from outside electricity.

If there is Power Outage, Do Not Assume It Would Remain Off

After flooding, there may be widespread power outage from the municipal electricity supply. However, it is not ideal to rely on the power outage from the general supply for safety after a flood as power may be restored at any time. Never rely on the municipality utility but take steps to shut off the power from your own apartment.

Do not operate the HVAC Equipment until it is inspected

Flooding may sometimes affect the ductwork and could even flow into parts of your air conditioning system or some areas that may appear dry. The HVAC system could be a big electrical risk if powered up without inspection. Ensure a qualified HVAC specialist checks the system before power is restored.

Dispose Electrical Equipment Affected by Flood

After water in your apartment has been pumped out and recovery efforts have begun, you would need to dispose any electrical equipment affected by the flood. Items such as armored cable, fuse boxes, building wire, switches, air conditioners, heaters, circuit panels and breakers and any items that cannot be salvaged must be disposed to avoid any potential risks and dangers while they are in use.

Learn more about J & P Electrical Company and their vast line of new, surplus, and refurbished industrial electrical components including: circuit breakers, bus ducts, bus plugs, disconnects, fuses, panel switches, tap boxes, and transformers at www.jpelectricalcompany.com.  To contact one of our product reconditioning specialists, call 877.844.5514 today.

 

This Slow-Mo Video Will Show You What Happens When Your Circuit Breaker Flips

YouTube channel Warped Perception opens up a common domestic circuit breaker to reveal what is inside.

Most people will have experienced the lights and power going out when a circuit breaker has been tripped. It’s usually pretty easy to simply reset the switch. But what is actually happening inside the break during a trip?

The host of YouTube channel Warped Perception had the same question and so created an episode dedicated to the interior of the common circuit breakers. In his words: “I open up a household circuit breaker and replicate a couple very common household fault scenarios, I film it with the high-speed cameras to reveal exactly what’s going on inside that circuit breaker.”

The first scenario tested is a typical slow blow overload. The second is a complete short circuit. To show exactly how a circuit breaker works Warped Perception opens up a breaker and films it as it does the job it was intended. Watching the breakers work in slow motion is surprisingly mesmerizing. Not only is this video fun to watch it’s highly educational. If you live in a house with electricity it really pays to understand what is going on in the electrical circuits around you.

If you enjoyed this video, spend some time on the Warped Perception channel. The host cuts a fine line between your annoying uncle and your favorite science teacher. His laid-back style makes for educational videos that surprise and delight. Backed up with a 4K camera, the content that he creates always looks good and are often accompanied with some very cinematic soundtracks.

Orignal Source: https://interestingengineering.com/video/this-slow-mo-video-will-show-you-what-happens-when-your-circuit-breaker-flips

 

Different Types of Electrical Switches

We use electrical switches every single day in our lives. Whether they are used to turn on the light or if they are used indirectly while using computers and other appliances, switches are one of the most common electrical accessory around. There are a number of different electrical switches we can use, each having its own unique purpose and use. The type of electrical switch we need to use depends on what we need to use it for. It is a secondary accessory that is highly dependent on the primary accessory it supports. Out of all the switches available in the market, two are highly common and of great use: panel switches and line switches. Let’s have a more detailed look into the two most common types of electrical switches that are in use today.

Panel Switch

Panel switches were developed in the 1910s by Western Electric labs and introduced in the Bell System. Panel switches became used as early types of automatic telephone systems. Known for their huge panel like structure, panel switches are basically very tall strips of layered terminals that are separated by a fine layer of insulation between them. First installed in 1915, the panel switch became the go to method for phone terminals.

That is, however, just one type of panel switch. The second type is far more common and known to almost everyone. Common panel switches are the ones we see on our walls. Most of the switches in our homes are arranged in a panel arrangement. It is basically a plastic panel fitted in the wall with multiple switches embedded in it. This makes it easier for people to switch multiple appliances off or on since the switches are arranged together in the same place.

Line Switch

Much like common panel switches, line switches are very popular as well. In fact, they are perhaps the go to switches to attach to smaller electric appliances. Lamps especially almost always line switches. Line switches carry a relatively smaller load than panel switches and are used for electrical appliances you do not commonly use. An analogy can be drawn with toys that have their own specific switch for use whenever it needs to be used.

In that manner, line switches are commonly used for appliances that are rarely turned on. Lamps, decoration pieces, fountain lights, and disco lights are all common appliances that have line switches attached. Line switches are fairly simple and can be fixed or attached by anyone who has an idea about how to. However, panel switches are often very complex since they are attached to wires from all around a room, or even the entire house! This makes them too difficult for common people to understand, and they cannot find and fix faults on their own. Therefore, whenever there’s a fault with a panel switch it is important to hire a professional for repair or replacement.  You can purchase a new one or a refurbished switch, both will have gone through rigorous testing before making it to you the consumer.

Contact Us Today

Learn more about J & P Electrical Company and their vast line of new, surplus, and refurbished industrial electrical components including: circuit breakers, bus ducts, bus plugs, disconnects, fuses, panel switches, tap boxes, and transformers at www.jpelectricalcompany.com.  To contact one of our product reconditioning specialists, call 877.844.5514 today.