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It’s time to upgrade if you have knob and tube wiring

knob tube wiring jerseyMany home upgrades are made for the sake of convenience, functionality or even personal taste. But, there’s one upgrade that serves a much higher purpose: Protecting the safety and well-being of your home and family from the dangers of knob and tube wiring. 

Between the 1880s and the 1930s, the most common form of home electrical wiring was Knob and Tube. With the advent of modern advances in electrical technology, there are safer and much more efficient methods for electrical wiring. Additionally, there are many benefits to upgrading or phasing out and replacing the knob and tube wiring in every home.

The most common issue with Knob and Tube is that the insulation material that constructs the outer casing consists of rubber, which (over time) breaks down and degrades. What this means for homes with Knob and Tube wiring is that eventually, it becomes dangerous as moisture and air reaches bare, live wires.  Modern wiring systems, use durable plastic insulation materials - providing lasting protection.

While the complete conversion from Knob and Tube wiring to standard modern wiring is an investment, the benefits are well worth the costs. Ask your electrician how to gradually phase out your knob and tube wiring over time for cost-effectiveness. The safety this vital replacement provides far outweighs the tragedy and cost associated with a home fire or electrocution.   It will also most likely make you eligible for a significant reduction in your home insurance premium.

Space Heaters and Electric Blanket Safety

by Nicole Stevens

space heaterWinter in Florida may not feature any snow, but it does produce a chill that makes you want to pull out that electric blanket and a small space heater and warm up! With that kind of weather slowly creeping in for the season, a crash course in space heater and electric blanket safety is a great idea. Here you’ll find five top tips to keep your home safe this winter.

  1. Update your equipment! Sometimes it’s worth it to bite the bullet and get that new heater or an extra electric blanket just in case. Frayed wires can easily spark and ignite a fire inside your home. Any indication of a color change in your electric blanket means it’s time to discard that one and use a new one. The discoloration means the heating elements are beginning to burn internally.
  2. Never leave units on unattended. Sure it’s a welcoming thought to come home to a toasty home, but it could suddenly end up in flames. New unit or not, a space heater should never be left on unsupervised. Along with that, it’s advised to keep young children and pets away from the space heater as well. The surface can become incredibly hot and burn if touched.
  3. When purchasing a new unit, check for an automatic shutoff feature. This is especially important in heated blankets, as it will insure the unit does not overheat. Overheating can end up in melted elements and potential burns.
  4. Never use extension cords! Space heaters and electric blankets are only meant to be plugged into a wall outlet, never an extension cord.
  5. Keep space heaters on  level ground, preferably a tile floor. Never elevate heaters with furniture or place on carpet.

Following these basic tips will help keep your home warm and safe during a chilly winter. Make sure all unit purchased have been tested for safety and come with the marks UL, ETL, or CSA. That’s just one extra tip for insuring your home is protected.

Sources 1, 2, 3

Elon Musk - Puerto Rico

solar panels puerto rico muskThe island of Puerto Rico has seen many hardships, but none the likes of Hurricane Maria. A storm so powerful it knocked out power to 100% of the island, and only 10% regained power two days later. That’s 90% of a very populated island, the very same island who’s electrical company declared bankruptcy several months ago befortoe the storm. After the damage was surveyed, the cost reached that of the billions, an estimated $85 billion to be exact. Out of 3.4 million residents, 80% of them are still without power while 30% are still without clean drinking water (Coto - ABCNews).  

The time to restore all of the power to the island does not have an estimated time, only that it “will take a while." Not to mention the amount of money it will take to build an entirely new power grid, while Puerto Rico is still severely in debt already. At this point, it’s time to find new alternatives, and one of the hottest topics is solar power. That’s where Elon Musk and Tesla Technologies come into play.

The governor of Puerto Rico recently reached out to Elon Musk via twitter, saying “Could @ElonMusk go in and rebuild #PuertoRico’s electricity system with independent solar & battery systems?” to which Mr. Musk responded with; “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR” (Alexander – Telegraph UK/Twitter). A couple more tweets were sent back and forth, and Elon mentioned being happy to talk further about the project.

What this could mean for Puerto Rico is no more importing and burning oil for energy. Because of this method of power, it’s cost the island an exuberant amount of money. Along with planet and money saving, using Tesla’s solar power units, it is 100% self-powered, meaning there is no grid. If there is a power outage, this source of energy ensures no loss of power for 7+ days after an outage (and that’s just with one of the most basic and smaller options offered).

If Elon Musk decides to use Puerto Rico as the flagship project for Tesla Technologies power and innovation, it would greatly benefit the island in the long run. No longer burning up money on oil to power an entire island, but renewable sources that don’t come with high priced monthly dues. After a disaster like Hurricane Maria, it’s time to make some changes forward into how power is produced and kept on.

Sources 1, 2, 3

Wiring a Finished Basement for the Future

by Nicole Stevens

basement electrical wiringBuilding a new home with a basement, or redoing an existing basement typically will require lots of new wiring down in said basement. Wiring a finished basement is a quite simple procedure, but it should be taken into though to wire for the future. What is the purpose of the basement? Will it be more for storage or used more like a den, or entertainment room? This decision will better help you prepare for the future of your basement’s wiring plans.

Using a basement as the main storage area really wouldn’t require any far ahead planning with wiring. A basic wire set up with multiple outlets would be sufficient enough.  This allows the use of any pluggable appliances to be used and moved at will. If you wanted to go a bit more involved, a wired setup for a washer and dryer is an easy fix, as well as adding an addition refrigerator or deep freezer (most just require a simple plug-in).

If you wanted to  take a bit more interesting route with the finished basement, say an entertainment room, wiring for that is a bit different. Technology is always changing, and along with the change of consumer tech products, the wiring may change as well. A home theatre is one of the more popular  choices for a finished basement, but it provides you with that in the movies feel, a large open room, cool air, and hopefully no sticky floors. Now I know what you’re probably thinking since we want to focus on the future of the wiring, why not go wireless with all the new technology? Well of course, but it’s not always 100% reliable. With sturdy wiring, you know you’ll always have it working correctly, instead of cursing the slow wifi and general bad connection down in your basement. The type of wiring involved for a home theatre/entertainment room include;

  • Coax cabling – For your cable and HDTV antenna
  • Ethernet cables – For internet access and also very important. CAT6 is a better version to use.
  • Electrical circuit – Having plugs that don’t share the same electrical line will prevent power surges or drops in voltage.
  • Speaker wires – Much better than a stereo system sitting on the floor with unsightly wires in plain view.

This type of wiring will keep your finished basement up to date and ready and wired for the future!

How touch plate lighting can make your life so much easier

touchplateSince the 1940's, Touch-Plate low voltage lighting remains among the last historical-era remote control lighting/wiring systems that are still manufactured. With a wide variety of switch styles to choose from, Touch-Plate devices are stocked regularly and available at home improvement stores or authorized dealers. Touch-Plate control stations deliver convenience and cost-effectiveness in a single unit system that includes the devices, the mounting brackets, the cover plates and the screws. Touch-Plate systems are also able to be wired to work with various other three-wire low voltage systems, like GE, Remcon, and Bryant -  for which replacement parts are more difficult to find.

Modern and stylish, these low voltage lighting systems come conveniently packaged with all of the materials needed for a quick installation. 

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I called Best Electric for a problem I was having with non-working pendant lights. Joe promptly called back to schedule an appointment. He arrived on time, was straight forward with the pricing and was able to diagnose and fix my problem in a relatively short time. While he was at my home he also was able to hang a new chandelier. I would highly recommend Best Electric!

I hired Joe Bartels and Best Electric Service to add a 240V circuit for a hot tub at my home. I couldn't have been happier with their thoroughness and customer focus. They worked with our installation schedule, listened to my input and were creative in routing the final conduit. Quick and very professional. They have my highest recommendation!

I was extremely pleased with the work Joe did for me this past week and wanted to say something positive so others would consider him for jobs.  But the rating has to be done through a google account, and I do not want to have an account with them - the information required is personal, and I have no doubt sold immediately to places that do solicitations.  But if there is a way to insert my comments, so they contribute to the rating system, here they are. I wanted to say this:  I have an older home and a not-so-robust budget.   Joe inspired confidence with his knowledge, solved a sticky problem for me with my new range, left everything looking good and accommodated my work schedule.  His fees were competitive and, most importantly,  I am confident the work will stand up to the test of time.  I would recommend him highly to anyone asking for an electrician.

Brands We Carry

  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • Square D
  • Cutler Hammer
  • General Electric
  • Siemens

Brands We Service

  • Casablanca Fan Company
  • Square D
  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • General Electric
  • Kichler
  • Cutler Hammer
  • Siemens
  • Federal Pacific
  • Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems

Areas Serviced: Black Forest | Castle Rock | Colorado Springs | Falcon | Fountain | Larkspur | Manitou Springs | Monument | Palmer Lake | Peyton | Security-Widefield | Woodland Park