Helpful Tips – All about GFCI outlets

By | Electric, Electrician, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Residential Electric, Tips | No Comments

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs are special electrical outlets designed to protect you. You’ll often find them close to water – in the bathroom, by the kitchen sink, in the garage or on the exterior of your home. GFCIs are specifically designed to for use in wet environments. This has to do with it’s design. A GFCI outlet constantly measures the current in both the black and white wires, and compares them. Any shift in either, and the outlet shuts off, protecting you from a porentially lethal electric shock. If you run over the electric lawn mower cord with the mower, or mistakenly drop a hairdryer in the sink, a GFCI will come to the rescue!

Here’s where you come into play. Every GFCI receptacle has two buttons on it – test and reset. You should be using these once a month to test the integrity of the outlet. It has moving metal parts, and is often in a wet environment, so it has potential for failure. To test it, just press the TEST button. The button will pop out and the circuit will shut off. Press RESET to turn the power back on. If the button isn’t working like it should, the unit should be replaced. Never replace a GFCI outlet with a regular one – always replace with another GFCI outlet.

If you have any questions or would rather leave the job to a pro, give us a call.

Fall Electrical Safety Tips

By | Canada, Electric, Electrician, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Residential Electric, Tips | No Comments

As the temperature begins to drop this autumn, people start readying themselves for the upcoming winter here in Eastern Canada. Away goes the lawnmower and whipper snipper, and out come the electrical heaters and blankets. We’ve put together some great tips to help you prepare for the colder months.

  • When raking the yard, be sure to keep piles of leaves away from any outdoor outlets, lighting or power cords
  • Check the condition of all summer equipment you are storing away for the colder months (lawnmower, trimmer, clippers) AND the tools you are pulling from storage (leaf blower, snow blower). Pay particular attention to power cords looking for frays, rips or unusual wear and tear. Replace cords as required.
  • Disconnect and safely store any and all batteries that won’t be in use until spring. Trickle chargers and battery tenders are great for keeping them in prime shape until they are required again.
  • Inspect your outdoor outlets and upgrade them to GFCI outlets as necessary. Also install covers on them to protect them from moisture and corrosion.
  • Ensure all electrical blankets are in good condition, and are safety-certified by CSA, UL or ETL. Inspect cords for any frays, cracks or cuts.
  • Never put anything on top of your electric blanket (such as other comforters, duvets or beadspreads) while in use.
  • Never tuck in an electric blanket – under your mattress or your children.
  • Never allow pets to sleep on an electric blanket.
  • Consider layers of clothing for warmth, rather than an electric blanket. By layering up, you can keep heating costs down.

Helpful Tips – Label your Circuits!

By | Canada, Electric, Electrician, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Residential Electric, Tips | No Comments

Whether you are a homeowner or just renting, you should always take the time to label your home’s circuits upon moving in. Then when the power suddenly cuts out, or you need to cut specific power for a project, you’ll be prepared! I even have a crude map taped to the inside of my fusebox, to show me where each area is. Room names change over the years – what was a rec room is now a bedroom, and the storage room is now an office!

Look around and locate that grey metal box – and if you have access, get in there and get labeling! To start just flip a switch, and see what went out. Chart lights, as well as outlets. When I used to do my outlets, I’d simply walk around with a small lamp. Nowadays, I own more gear, so I usually use one of the cool toys pictured. They test for live current and light up when they find it. You simply pop them into the outlet or a slot, and see. These are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at local retailers like Canadian Tire and Princess Auto.

Now that you’ve got your system labeled, it makes it easier the next time a storm rolls in and the power cuts out… or you put two 1500W heaters on the same circuit…. don’t ask. It also makes it easier for your favorite electrician, when you need to call in the pros to help you out.

Weclome to our BLOG!

By | Canada, Commercial Electric, Electric, Electrician, Halifax, Industrial Electric, Nova Scotia, Residential Electric | No Comments

As some of you may have noticed, our website has recently undergone some changes. We’ve bolted into this century at warp speed, and now have a sleek, responsive new website courtesy of Richard Black of the local design and marketing firm, Rich Graphics. Part of this new site is the blog, where we intend to share tips, tricks, do’s and don’ts and other helpful information. Please come back to visit often, and subscribe to our RSS Feed to always keep informed!

Remember, Flinn Electric is always available for electrical needs! Whether it be commercial, industrial or even residential – son’t hesitate to reach out today. We are based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and proudly serve the greater Halifax area and beyond.