What Are Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters? Why Do I Need Them?

September 21, 2020

Electrical fires are one of the most common causes of household fires. Each year, there are more than 51,000 electrical fires in American homes. Those fires cause an estimated 1,400 injuries, 500 deaths, and $1.4 billion in property damage. An arc-fault circuit interrupter is a device that lowers your risk of an electrical fire in your home in New Braunfels, TX, and the surrounding areas. What an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Is An arc-fault circuit interrupter is a circuit breaker that detects arc faults. The device detects low- and high-voltage arcs. These arcs can create a small fire within a wall that spreads through insulation and other materials without you realizing your home is on fire. How an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Works Arc-fault circuit interrupters have an internal microchip. It detects arcing conditions. The chip can tell the difference between normal or safe arcing conditions, such as when a light switch is flipped, and dangerous conditions, such as an appliance demanding too much electricity. It interrupts the flow of electricity during the dangerous arcing events. Why You Need Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters The National Electric Code and Consumer Product Safety Commission require these devices in newly built residences, including single-unit and multi-unit...

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Do I Need a Professional Electrician for Smart Home Setup and Installation?

September 10, 2020

If you’re planning on installing a total smart home system, it’s a good idea to have professional electricians do the work. They’ll take care of all the setup so you don’t have to figure it out. Here are the benefits of hiring an electrician. Convenience It can take days to set up a smart home system if you try to do it yourself. You’ll have to run wiring in walls and make sure all the hardware is set up correctly. You may have to call the manufacturer’s support team if you run into a problem, and they’re sometimes not located in the same city or in the United States. Knowledge and Experience Electricians can tell you about the system and how to make the best use of it. They can answer questions about wiring that may need to be added or rerouted. This can save you time and frustration. GVEC Home® electricians can install smart home systems or perform any other electrical jobs for customers in South Central Texas. Our offices are located in Gonzales, Seguin, Cuero, La Vernia and Schertz, and we serve all surrounding areas, including New Braunfels. Safety Products like smart doorbells, thermostats and security systems require...

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Explaining Electricity to Your Kids

August 20, 2020

Childproofing your home is a responsible way to keep your kids safe, but eventually your child will need to learn how to respect electricity. Children are naturally curious and prone to poking fingers and objects into electrical outlets. When you teach your children about electricity, the risk of accidents decreases. Here are three tips for explaining electricity to the youngest members of your family. 1. Keep It Simple and Fun Children don’t need to know the science behind electricity to learn to respect and navigate its dangers. Besides, most kids will learn the science in school. We suggest relaying to your kids that electricity is everywhere. It’s an important resource that makes modern life possible, but it can be dangerous, too. As such, electricity must be valued and respected. We further suggest avoiding the use of language that could instill fear in your child. Try striking an appropriate balance between being informative and helping your child respect the dangers electricity poses. 2. Be Patient and Answer Questions About Electricity Your child will naturally have questions about electricity as you start to explain the concept. Be patient, and listen carefully as they restate what you say and ask questions. These are...

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How Does My Breaker Panel Work?

August 10, 2020

When your lights and power go out in a certain area of your home, one of the first places to consider checking is your breaker panel. Chances are, one of the breakers may have been tripped, and you can reset it to restore power. Understanding how the breaker box in your house works helps you to better understand when an issue might require a professional electrician from GVEC Electrician services in Gonzales, TX, Schertz, Cuero, La Vernia, New Braunfels, Seguin and surrounding areas. Why You Need a Breaker Panel Breaker panels are safety mechanisms that help protect your residence from fires and significant damage to electrical wiring. The breakers work by shutting off electrical flow to any circuits that experience spikes in the flow of electricity. These spikes overload the circuit, tripping the breaker and automatically cutting power, which helps safely prevent any serious problems. What Trips a Breaker in the Panel? The most common reason for breakers getting tripped in a circuit panel is lightning strikes near your home. Other reasons for tripped breakers inside the panel include: Excessive electricity demand by large appliances Running too many electrical devices at once on the same breaker, especially in older houses...

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Best Lighting Types and Arrangements For Your Bathroom

July 20, 2020

It’s almost impossible to use a bathroom in the dark. Thankfully, there’s a variety of lighting arrangements on the market suited for different rooms and uses. Let us take a closer look at some of the best lighting types and arrangements for your bathroom. Mood Lighting Mood lighting is becoming increasingly popular for bathrooms. There’s no reason that your bathroom can’t have a bit of a personality of its own. Mood lighting tends to be a bit softer and accented around the edges. Consider lighting the edges of your mirror or sink for an awesome effect, and you can also add a dimmer for ultimate control over the lighting. Matching the mood lighting of your bathroom with the rest of your home is stylish as well. LEDs Next, LEDs are a great option due to how budget-friendly and energy efficient they are. You can purchase LEDs for your entire bathroom without breaking your wallet. At the same time, they are extremely reliable for lighting arrangements that can take a variety of shapes and sizes. You can add an LED strip on the ceiling to illuminate every square inch of your bathroom. On the other hand, concealing LED lights behind a...

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Why Do My Lightbulbs Keep Burning Out?

July 10, 2020

It can be frustrating to have bulbs burn out after just installing them a few weeks or months before. Here are some common reasons this happens and what to do about it. The Bulbs Are Screwed in Too Tightly You want to screw bulbs in well enough that they have good contact with the base but not too tightly that it ruins the connection. If you screw one in too tightly, it bends the brass tab at the bottom of the socket. To fix this, flip the circuit breaker for the light fixture and use needle-nose pliers to pull the tab back up. Too Much Heat Excess heat can build up in recessed or covered light fixtures, which burns out the bulb. To prevent this, use lower wattage bulbs in these fixtures or replace the fixture with a larger one. Too Much Vibration Vibration can cause bulbs to fail. This can happen in a fixture in a child’s playroom, for example. Use LED bulbs since they don’t have a filament that will break due to vibration. The Dimmer Switch Isn’t Compatible With New Types of Bulbs Older dimmer switches may not work with CFL or LED bulbs. In these instances,...

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How Do I Know if I Need an Electrical System Upgrade?

June 20, 2020

Although the appliances in your home are top models from name-brand manufacturers, perhaps they aren’t working well. “They” means the problems seem consistent among several appliances. The issues you’re experiencing might include problems with appliance lighting, fans that don’t work quite right, unusual noises or maybe something else. If said appliances are just a few years old and especially if they’re new, it’s unlikely you need an updated model. Maybe you’re experiencing other electrical issues in your home unrelated to appliances. This might be a sign that your electrical system needs serviced or even upgraded. If so, you’ll want to turn your attention to the electrical panel. Upgrading the panel might be essential to straightening out any electrical issues around your home. How do you know when it’s time to do so? The Panel Is Old The expected lifespan of an electrical panel is 20 to 30 years. If years and years pass without an upgrade, like any other device in your home, the panel will inevitably become old and outdated. Did you buy an old house, or have you lived in your home for decades? Either way, if the panel becomes old and you begin experiencing electrical problems, a...

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The Best Lighting Types and Arrangements for Your Bedroom

June 10, 2020

Although you sleep every night in your bedroom, you probably don’t want it to be dark all the time. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be. There are several options for lighting a bedroom suited to different activities, including, for instance, reading a book or getting dressed. Below, we present a few of the lighting types and arrangements that work best for most people. Recessed Lighting Fixtures Recessed lights, also known as downlights and sometimes as can lights, shine down into the room from fixtures hollowed into the ceiling. The lighting itself appears to come from a hole in the ceiling. Stylistically, recessed fixtures don’t offer as much variety as other lighting types, but they’re a solid choice for general bedroom lighting. They can also be used for accent lighting, and they go well with other types of lighting styles for added aesthetic appeal. Choose a dimmable variety, and you’ll get greater flexibility by being able to adjust lighting levels according to time of day and/or specific activity (e.g., you want a darker room before bedtime). Ceiling Fan Lighting A ceiling fan with a light serves to both provide light and help you feel cooler when spending time in the bedroom,...

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The Right and Safe Way to Clean Lighting Fixtures

May 29, 2020

Light fixtures are a magnet for dust and dirt. There’s a correct and safe way to clean them. Here’s how to clean fixtures so you stay safe and keep lighting from becoming dim. Take Your Time First, gather your supplies. You need a soft cloth, warm water, glass-safe detergent, and a towel for deep cleaning. For regular cleaning, use an extendable duster so you don’t have to stand on a ladder. You shouldn’t try to rush through cleaning your lighting fixture as that is how accidents can happen. Turn off any lights you will be cleaning an hour before you get started. Glass Dome Light Fixtures If you have fixtures with a glass dome, remove the dome to make cleaning easier and safer. You should dump out any dead bugs and dirt before soaking the glass in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Gently clean and rinse the dome so it doesn’t break. Dry the domes completely with a towel before putting them back in place. Recessed Lighting Recessed lighting is easy to clean. You should remove the light bulbs and then wipe down the inside of each recess with a damp, soft cloth. If the recessed lighting has...

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The Best Lighting Types and Arrangements for Your Kitchen

May 10, 2020

Your kitchen needs to have the right balance of lighting to fulfill all the purposes it serves. Kitchens are used for many things besides cooking and eating such as homework, work and entertaining. Here’s how to properly light up your room, so it fits the needs of you and your family. Three Types of Lighting The three types of lighting are ambient, task and accent. Ambient lighting is your home’s main source of lighting, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Task lighting should be used to help you navigate your kitchen, as ambient lighting leaves shadows in many places. Task lighting helps you read recipes, prepare meals and find things in your cabinets. Accent lighting should be used to accentuate the elements of your kitchen you most enjoy. It can also be used to highlight things like art or a buffet area for dinner parties. Consider Your Space Different layouts and sizes of kitchens call for different measures. If you have tall ceilings and dark cabinets, for example, your kitchen will need more lighting. Put task lighting over your stovetop, sink and counters. Task lighting should be around two-and-a-half feet above the surface you need to be illuminated to...

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