LaCarrubba Electric

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What steps should I take to be sure I don't burn out my circuits this Xmas?

1.  Make sure your receptacles are ground-fault protected.  If it snows or rains on your outdoor lights, you don't want to risk electrical shock hazards by plugging them into non protected electricity sources.  Look to see whether your outlets have "reset" buttons on them, which means they are GFI - protected. "If there's any question, a professional can test your outlets."  To further protect your plugs from rain, use an outlet with an in-use cover that can be closed after you plug in item, and put electric tape around the connections between extension cords, he adds.
2.  Lean toward LED lights.  The newer ones use much lower wattage per amp then traditional incandescent Christmas lights, so you can get more lights on your home without the risk of overloading a circuit.
3.  Loading together too many pings on one adapter increases your risk of heat buildup at the connections, which can either trip the breaker or start a fire, especially with older homes.  Instead, you should use multiple outlets so that the electrical current is distributed appropriately.
4.  Holiday Mycofloras might be tempted to drill through walls to pass extension cords from one room to the next, but this is never appropriate. "Everything in the electrical industrial industry has a UL listing (underwriters lab), but if you're using an electrical device for something that hasn't been Untested, you're putting yourself at risk.  Extension cords are not designed to pass through or up walls."
5.  If a package of Christmas lights indicates that they are for indoor use only, heed that advice.  Same goes for extension cords - do not use indoor extension cords in your yard.

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How do I size up a ceiling fan for my room?


A ceiling fan is a cost-effective way to cool off without turning up the AC.  Here's how to choose one:
To select a fan with the appropriate span, we recommend:  36 inches for rooms up to 100 square ft.  42 inches for up to 200 square ft.  52 inches for up to 400 square feet, and either one 60 inch fan or two 52 or 56 inch fans for rooms larger than 400 square ft.  Keep in mind, there should be at least 18 inches of clearance from walls.

Fans should be hung about 8 ft. above the floor for maximum cooling effect.  For rooms with high ceilings, purchase a just the right size downrod by subtracting 8 ft. from the ceiling height and adding back about 1 foot to accommodate the motor and casing.  If your headroom is less than 9 feet, choose a hugger-style ceiling fan, which has a more compact shape.  Sloped ceiling?-You can purchase adapters that let fans hang at an angle of up to 48 degrees.

Whether installing a ceiling fan from scratch or replacing an existing light fixture, we will verify that the ceiling can support the weight and that the electrical box is fan-rated and will do all wiring necessary

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Are bare lightbulb fixtures dangerous?


The uncovered electrical parts and the heat from a bulb left burning can spark a fire, especially if cardboard boxes or other flammables are stored close by.  You need to be especially careful in closets, where you often do find bare bulbs burning.  Also in closets, it's very easy to shatter the bulb when removing items from top shelves, etc.  Check that any fixture you buy is rated for storage areas.