How to Change a Fuse

Fuses and circuit breakers are safety devices that disrupt the flow of electricity in your home when needed. They are part of the main system that distributes electricity into your home. When a breaker is tripped and has broken the circuit, it can be reset to provide further protection to the circuit. Fuses are metal safety devices that melt during over-currency, stopping the distribution of electricity to your home.

While circuit breakers can be easily reset, fuses must be replaced. Remember to be safe when working with electricity: wear rubber shoes, gloves, and safety glasses, and check to see if the floor below the fuse box is dry.

What You Will Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • New Fuse (of the same amperage as the original)
  • Multimeter Unit
  • Safety Equipment

Follow these instructions to change your circuit breaker fuse:

Step One: Turn Off the Main Power Supply

Open your fuse box and find the main power switch. Ensure that it is in the “off” position.

Step Two: Identify the Faulty Fuse

Inspect the fuses to determine which one needs to be replaced. Different types of fuses show different symptoms when they’re the problem. Look for a breaker in the “off” position that cannot reset or be turned back on, or a fuse whose metal has been melted, scorched, or discolored. This will tell your which fuse is broken and needs to be changed.

Step Three: Check for a Current

At this point, you need to check and make sure there is no electricity running through the fuse you want to replace. Ensure the damaged fuse is set to “off”. Then, use a multimeter unit to double-check for currency. Set the multimeter to “Volt AC”. Put one pin on the terminal screw of the fuse you’re replacing and the other pin on the ground screw, which is opposite the terminal screw in a row on the side of the box. The multimeter should indicate there is no voltage. Do not continue if it says otherwise.

Step Four: Remove the Fuse

To remove the fuse, unscrew it or simply pull it from its socket.

Step Five: Insert the New Fuse

First, it’s important to ensure your new fuse is of the same amperage of the old one. The best way to do so is to take your old fuse with your to a hardware store when you purchase your new fuse. Set your new fuse to “off”. Insert the original wires into the terminals of the new fuse and tighten the screws with a screwdriver. Push the fuse into its socket, ensure it’s in place, and turn it to the “on” position.

Step Six: Reconnect the Power Supply

Finally, turn the main power switch back on, and close the fuse box. You have successfully changed a fuse. Plug in some appliances associated with the fuse box you worked on to ensure your problem has been solved.

Electrical Outlet Do’s and Don’ts

Proper electrical outlet safety is very important for maintaining a safe home. Following these outlet do’s and don’ts will help reduce the likelihood of serious electrical issues from occurring.

 

an uncovered electrical outlet in an officeDon’t: Plug in Near Water Sources

It goes without saying that electricity and water are not a good combination. This means you should be especially careful when using electrical appliances in the bathroom or kitchen. If you do use an appliance near a sink, make sure the water is not running and the surrounding surface is dry.

Do: Inspect Cords and Sockets Before Use

Frayed cords are a serious fire hazard and can deliver an electrical shock. Make sure all cords are completely free of breaks or exposed wires. If an outlet emits a spark, smoke, or a burning smell, do not use it. Call an electrician to inspect it and make repairs.

 

Don’t: Use Extension Cords as Long Term Solutions

Extension cords send electrical currents at longer distances, requiring greater energy consumption. They also tend to get very hot when used for long periods of time. Using them to power a device for too long can cause the rubber surrounding the connector to melt around the plug. Extension cords are fire hazards when used inside the home and should be limited to outdoor use.

Do: Unplug Unused Electronics

Electronics that are plugged into the wall will draw power even when they’re not in use. So, before you go to work, make sure you check your sockets and unplug all unused electronics.

 

Don’t: Leave Outlets Uncovered

All wall outlets should have plastic covers to prevent debris from interfering with the sockets. Covering your outlets will also prevent pets and small children from accidentally shocking themselves. Even if an outlet isn’t working, you should still make sure it’s covered. Replacing a broken cover is very simple, so no excuses.

Do: Use Safety Plugs on Unused Outlets

It’s a good idea to use safety plugs when an outlet is not in use. This will protect children and pets and prevent them from trying to stick their fingers or paws in the outlet. Even if you don’t have children or pets, it’s still a good idea to use safety plugs. This will keep your sockets free from dust and prevent static electricity from spitting out.

 

Don’t: Overload Power Strips

It’s never a good idea to plug a second power strip into one already being use. Doing so can lead to electrical shortages, overheating, power outages, sparks, and fires.

Do: Call an Electrician When in Need of Rewiring

You should never do your own rewiring unless you are a certified electrician. If you aren’t, Dependable Electric is here to help. Just give us a call at 404-789-4811 or fill out our contact form.

How to Child-Proof Your Sockets

Having children can be one of the most joyous, rewarding, and wonderful things that you can do. Raising them, on the other hand, can have its caveats. Luckily, the good far outweighs the bad and you determine, in the end, that’s it’s totally worth it. However, one of the things that may frighten you as a parent is electricity. And, let’s be honest, it should scare the heck out of you or anyone that isn’t an electrician. Electricity isn’t something to be messed with – plain and simple. That’s why at Dependable Electric we’ve decided to take today to give you some suggestions and methods of baby-proofing electrical outlets, securing loose cords, and making the electrical aspect of your home much safer. A few things we’re going to cover may seem like common sense to some, but for new parents of toddlers, crawlers, and babies, it might be revolutionary information.

 

TRR
Tamper-Resistant Receptacle by Leviton, available at Home Depot

With electricity the name of the game never changes, it’s always SAFETY. One of the simplest yet most important steps in keeping your children safe from electrical shock is to talk about electricity and how dangerous it can be. Unlike other dangerous aspects of growing up, it’s not a good idea to show your kids a real-life example of what electricity is capable of. You must, however, stress how essential it is that they are aware of what electricity can do. So like any other responsible, grown adult, show them a YouTube video. One like this one should be effective. The bottom line is that you must communicate with your kids in a plain language they understand, how serious electricity is. And maybe tell them to thank Benjamin Franklin while you’re at it.

Most people are quite aware of the little plastic outlet inserts, like these. But there are quite a few other products made that are a little more elegant and a little less noticeable. If your home was built 2008 or later, there was a new national code that mandated all electrical outlets in homes must be the tamper resistant receptacle type. This is basically a built-in security measure that requires both parts of the plug to be inserted simultaneously in order for it to work. If a child were to stick a bobby pin, key, or any other metal item into one slot, the spring-loaded shutter will hold fast and keep your kid’s science experiment from happening. The chances of a child being able to stick two items into the slots at the same time are extremely slim.

 

Keeping electrical cords, plugs, and outlets out of reach can be a huge factor in helping your kids avoid any type of electrical shock.  When that’s not an option, there are quite a few other types of safety devices available. Most of them are relatively cheap and easy to find. The ones we’ve compiled can be found here:

  • Outlet covers – must be aligned to properly plug anything in.
  • Safety 1st Power Strip cover – buy here.
  • Plug Lock – insert plug, turn key, remove and hide the key. Poof! Unable to plug in!
  • Tamper Resistant Receptacles – buy here.

These and plenty more devices made to keep your family safe can be found at Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowes, just to name a few places.

 

 

 

Energy Saving Tips

Everyone is always looking for ways to save money. Your electric bill is probably one of your biggest expenses and there are tons of methods you can employ to lower your energy bills. Today we are outlining some that will ring true for most homeowners.

Tips for Lowering Energy Bills

money

The small fixes we list on here are not anything that’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. Though a more efficient heat pump or furnace system may save you in the long run, right now we’re focusing on “right now”. Follow a few of these tips and you may find yourself with lower bills the next time you get the mail.

  • Everyday Checklist. Millions of American homes use loads of energy when they don’t need it. Don’t be this family! Go through each night and when you leave the house to make sure all appliances are either turned off or unplugged and that the thermostat is set a few degrees warmer or cooler than when you’re normally home. This step can save you tons in electrical costs.
  • Shut Doors Quickly. Heating and cooling makes up the majority of your energy usage. Don’t let that precious air out any longer than you have to. Open door-leave-close door. Open door-come in-close door. Necessary warmth can escape very quickly with an open standard sized door. Your system has to work a surprising amount harder to heat or cool the outside air, too. Keep those doors closed tightly.
  • Kill The Leeches. Appliance leeching is when your appliance is turned off, but still manages to draw a small measurement of energy. Though they are not on, most appliances do leech on a regular basis. That desktop computer? Huge source of wasted energy. Flat panel TV? Draws quite a bit of power when just plugged in. Unplug when you’re going to be out for the day or a week. Studies have shown that leeching may comprise up to 12% of your power bill. Over a 12 month period that really adds up.
  • Make the Change to LEDs. The short trip to the hardware store will be well worth the money you save purchasing light bulbs in the future and the money you’ll save with your energy costs. Switching from incandescent to LEDs can have a great impact on your wallet. They shine just as bright, and last longer-some even last up to 50 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. LEDs look similar but act differently and will soon be your go to bulb.
  • Let Pros Inspect, Maintain and Replace Your Equipment. Properly trained technicians-whether it’s electrical, HVAC, plumbing or mechanical-can really save you money in the long run. These experts at trained to see the things you don’t, and fix the things you cannot. Put your faith in them and they’ll take care of you.

Save Money, Energy and Your Valuable Time With Dependable Electric

We will never assume to know everything, but rest assured, when it comes to electrical maintenance, repair and know-how, we’ve got your covered and will never lead you down the wrong path. Call Dependable 24 hours a day for any of your electric wiring, installation, repair and maintenance needs.

 

Space Heater Safety Tips

space-heaterA space heater’s sole purpose is to heat up that place in our home that never seems to be able to get warmed from our furnace or heat pump. These small heaters give us a little reprieve from the cold without raising our electric bills by too big an amount. But you must keep in mind that space heaters are to be used with caution and under a watchful eye. Left unattended and space heater can start a fire that could spread in under a minute. Heating equipment is the second most popular culprit of home fires in the US, accounting for countless injuries, homes lost; millions of dollars in insurance claims and sadly, even deaths.

Plug Directly Into Outlet

Always plug your space heater directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip to give your heater power. Doing this can lead to fire or electrical shorts to occur. Be sure to check the wires and the body of your heating unit to make sure nothing is frayed, rusted, broken or otherwise malfunctioning.

Do Not Leave Heater By Itself

Whenever you get up to leave the warm sanctity that is your hot spot, turn off or unplug your space heater. Whether you’re walking out for the day or just for five minutes be sure that it is powered down. This will decrease your chances of it starting a fire by almost 100%. It only takes a fire a few precious moments to start and spread. Avoid this catastrophic outcome every time you use your heater.

Read and Follow Your Specific Heater’s Manual

When it comes to most things to read (i.e. OS updates and the like), you generally can get safely by without reading them. When something has the ability to burn your house down you take it a bit more seriously. They don’t print those manuals and put warning stickers on the units for no reason-heed the warning!

Stay Back 3 Feet

To be effective, a heater must do a few things to function properly: warm a small area; not start a fire; turn on or off when prompted. As a user, you must do a few things also: use caution by keeping anything that could burn at least 3 feet away; turn it off when you’re leaving the room; examine it for defect or anything unusual. Staying a minimum of 3 feet away is ideal for proper safety of your heater. Remember it’s a space heater, not a grill, not a blanket warmer and definitely not a microwave.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are a MUST

Smoke-which you can smell-and carbon monoxide-which you can’t-are potential signs of fire or poisonous gas. Each floor of your home should have at least one smoke and one carbon monoxide detector. Both can be very hazardous to your health,  and depending on your type of heater may be emitted if not working properly.

Just like all the devices and appliances in your home, use each with caution and be sure you know enough about it to operate it properly and with great care.

Hiring an Electrician

electrical light bulbFor most people, hiring an electrician is about as fun as going to the dentist and hearing that wonderful drill. It’s not fun. In fact, looking for an electrical contractor is probably the lowest on your list of things you want to do.  But when the time comes to hire someone you’re going to trust, it’s always good to have the trump card up your sleeve. I’m talking about Dependable Electric. It’s easy to tell you about how they’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or how they will be extremely competitive when it comes to price and the value of their service for your hard-earned money.  But if you’re a hard sell and really need convincing, simply read our reviews. Dependable Electric Services LLC really does have a great reputation, and it’s all built around our commitment to customers.

Why You Need an Electrician

Of course, you could always do the work yourself. Oh, you need a new outlet in your home office? Go ahead and rip up the drywall and splice in the new outlet. No problem, right? Wrong. There is virtually no situation where you come out on top while trying to manipulate electricity and all of its mythical wonder. Luckily, the professional electricians from Dependable Electric in Lawrenceville are expertly trained and have got your back for any electrical needs stemming from your home or business. That’s another quality these guys have – they do both commercial and residential services, and they’re exceptional at them!

Hiring professionals to carry out the jobs required at your home or work will ensure that the job is done correctly and safely. The last thing you want is to get shocked because you thought you could save a few dollars. The cost of contract electrical work isn’t worth near  the risk you assume by attempting a DIY electrical project. Not to mention, there is an incredibly large number of homes that have been wired improperly. That means, there’s a chance an electrician will find the issue and fix it before you can say, “electricity.” Haven’t you watched those home fix-it shows when they go to flip an older house and lo and behold the entire electrical system needs to be overhauled or isn’t up to code? Don’t let a little curiosity get the best of you. Hire a professional.

Unlike a lot of other electricians out there who are probably great contractors and have a sparkling track record, Dependable Electric Services is open 24/7 to meet and exceed all of your wiring, fuse box and complete electrical needs.