North Vancouver and West Vancouver Electricians

Holiday Season

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The Holiday Season brings people together and is a time to spend with family and friends. Setting up Christmas Lights is one way for everyone to get involved. Here are a few Holidays Lights Do’s and Don’ts to keep everyone safe this winter season!

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DO’s

  1. Put up Christmas lights and get into the spirit of the holiday season. Holiday lights will brighten up your area, whether it be work, classroom or home.

  2. Use lights that are location appropriate. Indoor lights are meant for indoor use while outdoor lights can withstand the weather conditions (rain, condensation, wind). Check to make sure they are properly rated. Bargain Christmas lights usually have a higher fire hazard.

  3. Check that your lights are in working condition. Make sure there is no fraying or bulb damage. If unsure, it is best to replace the lights.

  4. Turn off all Christmas Lights when going to bed or leaving the house. Even if placed on a timer, Christmas light pose a higher risk of fire, especially lights placed outside due to unforeseen weather conditions.

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DON'Ts

  1. Nails or staples are not ideal for holding the cords as they can damage them. Instead, use special insulated holders that will not do any damage to the lights.

  2. If using extension cords, do not hide them. Common places where people may hide them is under carpets or in door ways.

  3. Try not to use too many cords in one plug. This may create overheating or cause the circuit to short.

  4. Avoid using lights in combination with metal Christmas Trees (usually made from aluminum). The risk of electrical shock and fire hazard are significantly increased.

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From TDR Electric, wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday Season!!!

Home Standby Generators

Home Standby Generators

Standby Generators are becoming increasingly more common in businesses and residential homes. A standby generator, though like a portable generator, provides uninterrupted electrical power for days when a power outage occurs.  The generators are directly connected to the building’s power supply and operate automatically via a transfer switch.

Standby Generators

Home Standby Generators are directly connected to the home electrical panel. This is why the generators can automatically switch to start up; as they are able to detect an interrupted service. Most home generators are fueled by diesel, natural gas or liquid propane gas.

Once the power is returned, the generator will automatically reconnect your house to the main electrical panel, again, providing uninterrupted electrical power to the building.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance of a standby generator is important as it is something that most people will rely on when in need. Remember to always read and follow the instructions in the manual. It is also recommended that when the generator is in use, you check the engine oil and run it at no more that 75% of its capacity. If the standby generator is overworked or there is some deficiency with the motor, it may be time to replace. 

Choosing a Generator For You

Choosing a home standby generator will depend on each individual need. Things to consider is what is important to you when there is a power outage. Common items include things such as fridge and heating, but more complicated items may also be on the list. However, some items may require permits, inspections, proper installation and may need an activation. An experienced electrician can help start the process of installing a home standby generator so that you are ready for the next power outage.

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Wiring

Copper Vs. Aluminum Wiring

Most wires in homes and businesses use copper. Copper wiring is ideal for electrical use as it is very conductive and even when it rusts, there is still uninterrupted electrical flow to the home and business.

Residential and commercial buildings constructed in 1950’s to 1970’s switched over to aluminum wiring due to the increased costs of copper and the cheaper cost of aluminum. Interestingly, aluminum has better conductivity when compared to copper but aluminum wiring does have some serious hazards, such as:  

1.       Aluminum is much softer than copper. This can be dangerous as the wiring can easily be cut and damaged exposing the electrical wires to the elements.

2.       When aluminum rusts, it slows down the continuity of electricity to the home

3.       Aluminum increases and decreases in diameter when it becomes hot. This can cause loose wires and connections

The above hazards should be taken seriously as they can cause overheating and electrical fires leading to injury.

Presence of Aluminum Wiring

If you experience some problems with your electricity, the home may have aluminum wiring present. Below you will find signs of aluminum wiring:

1.       Periodic flickering of lights

2.       Light switches and outlets are warm and changing colours

3.       Repeated tripping of breakers and fuses

4.       Sparks or smoke coming from receptacles and switches

If any of these signs are present, contact a TDR electrician immediately to inspect the house for aluminum wiring.

Circuit Breaker

What Is It?

Circuit breakers are an essential part of your home as they control the amount of electricity that is being distributed through the house. They are specifically designed to stop excess current (electricity) to prevent any electrical or fire injuries. At predetermined current loads, a circuit breaker is designed to shut off (or “trip”) when it is overloaded, consequently cutting off electrical flow to a specific line.

Reasons for a circuit trip:

1.      Short Circuit: usually occurs via faulty wiring causing too much current to be pulled

2.      Overloaded Circuit: when too much current passes though the electric wires. This may cause over heating and melting of the wires, causing a potential fire hazard. Often occurs when too many appliances are in use at the same time.

3.       Ground Fault: this occurs when the electricity travels though the ground, rather than through the wires. Very common around areas of worn insulation and where dust and moisture are present.

Location of Circuit Breakers:

Circuit Breakers are usually found in a breaker box. These are usually found in basements, storage rooms or in a garage (though some may be hidden in other areas of the home). If you are having trouble locating the box, the electrical meter outside your home is a good place to start the search.  The breaker box is usually somewhere close to there for safety and optimum distribution of electrical power.

Reset:

If there is a loss of power somewhere in your home, a circuit breaker could have been tripped. To reset the breaker, locate the breaker box and inside you will find a set of toggles. Most toggles should be pointing toward the center of the box, indicating they are in the ON position. If they are pointing away, the breaker is in the OFF position. Toggles that have been tripped will be pointing in an “in between” position. To reset properly, you must turn OFF the toggles first and then switch them to the ON position.

Sometimes, the toggle may trip immediately after resetting. If this happens, turn OFF the toggle and contact a TDR electrician to help determine what may be causing the trip.

Repeated Trips

If a circuit breaker trips regularly, it is important to examine further as to the cause of the trip. This is important because a repeated trip may be a potential injury or electrical fire. If you notice any charred breakers, smell fire or something just isn’t right; turn off the breaker and contact a TDR electrician to investigate the cause and eliminate the repeated trips.

Electric Vehicle Installations

  Electric Vehicle Chargers (EVC)

As the use of electric vehicles becomes more prominent in Vancouver, so is the need for Electric Vehicle Chargers. An EV Charger can provide a safe and dependable way to charge your electric vehicle for your residential needs.

Installations:

Installations of an EV Charger can only be done by a professional electrician. TDR’s electricians are qualified to install Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, Tesla Wall Connectors, as well as receptacles and service upgrades. We can provide you with a free estimate on a charger that is best suited for your vehicle; including the ideal location to install the charger and any wiring or circuit breaker changes that need to occur. The installation process is quick and painless so that you can start driving your new car as soon as possible. 

Residential Buildings

TDR’s electricians are able to install an EVC in most residential buildings: including older and newer homes, apartments and town-homes. After the purchase of your electrical vehicle, most likely an EV charger will need to be installed in the home. The ideal and optimum location can be assessed by one of TDR’s electricians and they can also aid in any wiring changes or replacements that may be required.

Commercial Buildings:

Installation of EV chargers in a commercial building allows their clientele and employees to charge their electrical vehicles while on the go. This is a great incentive for companies to attract a greater number of clients and a great way to motivate their customers and employees to be more eco-sensitive.

Contact TDR today for your free estimate on installing your new EV charger as we know you are excited to start driving as soon as possible. 

Summer Safety Tips

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Warm sunny days means more time spent by the pool and building that new deck. As the season kicks off, it’s important to be smart with your electricity. TDR Electric has compiled some helpful tips to ensure your safety this season.

Keep Your Pool Lighting in Top Shape:

Older pool lights cause the greatest risk for electrical accidents. If the wiring becomes lose or exposed, the electricity can be conducted throughout your pool water electrocuting anything touching it. Consider upgrading to newer lights that provide enhanced safety features.

GFCI Outlets:

Have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets installed for all outlets near water. These outlets are highly sensitive and will detect changes in electrical currents casing them to disrupt the power. These outlets can potentially save you from an electrical shock. If you’re looking to get GFCI outlets, our electricians can install them for you.

Electric Yard Tools:

Do not use electric yard tools such as a Trimmer or Skilsaw when it is raining, or the ground is wet. Keep all electrical cords at least 10 Feet away from water to avoid serious injury. Use battery-operated electrical devices whenever possible.

Educate Your Children:

Always be sure to educate children on the dangers of electricity. Don’t allow children to climb trees near power lines. If a branch comes in contact with the line, it could be very dangerous for anyone touching the tree. Always assume every power line is live and dangerous to approach.

These few tips can make all the difference in keeping you and you loved ones safe during this summer season. Do you need electrical upgrades or more information? Call TDR Electric today! (604)-987-4837

Switching to LED Light Bulbs

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LED light bulbs used to be quite costly. Now that the price has rapidly lowered and continuing to do so, its time to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of all the benefits LED lights have to offer! These lights use 75% less energy, are cool to the touch, and save you a ton of money, but that’s just the beginning.

Better Control Your Light

LEDs create truer colors and even whiter whites than other bulbs. Since they have more specific lighting options, as well as most of the bulbs having the ability to connect to dimming switches, you can set the energy and mood of every room with ease.

Just How cheap are they?

You can currently purchase an entry-level LED for less than $3 per bulb in a multi-pack, or upgrade to higher lever models for a couple dollars more. Dimmable options come in at around $7, and color changing bulbs at around $25 per bulb.

They are More Durable and Last Longer Than the Alternatives

LED bulbs are safer in many ways, one being the strength of the bulb itself. LEDs are made by using a tough plastic, which is possible due to them producing such little heat compared to the old-fashioned glass bulbs.

The most significant advantage of all, is how much longer LED bulbs last compared to incandescent or CFL lights. Quality LEDs last 25,000 hours or more. That’s 25 times longer than the alternatives. LED bulbs use less energy, and don’t have to be replaced as often, meaning you save money!

Ready to reduce your carbon footprint with energy efficient LEDs? Give us a call for more information!

5 Reasons To Upgrade The Lighting In Your Home

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New lighting can completely transform your home. From your bathrooms, to your patio, updating your lighting can have a number of advantages.

Create Ambiance:

Every room has a certain mood to it. You can change and define the ambiance of each room with the correct lighting. Take your living room for example, adding a dimmer to your lights could add the perfect touch for those movie nights in.

Add value to your home:

Updating and improving your lighting can add to the value of your property. Replace those boring lights with an eye-catching chandelier!

Reduce Energy costs:

You can reduce your home lighting costs by adding timers, ceiling fans with lights and low energy lighting.

Enhance Security:

Motion sensor lights and flood lights are a great outdoor security option. These lights will scare off any pests such as raccoons, and also help prevent break ins.

Improve Visibility:

Make sure to replace your light bulbs or upgrade to a new lighting fixture to ensure you have sufficient lighting in every room. Good lighting promotes good eye health!

 

Always hire a certified electrician to handle your lighting installations. Contact TDR Electric for a free estimate today!

Electric Vehicle Chargers

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Electric vehicle purchases have been growing more and more every year, and with those vehicles, come new owners. Being a first-time owner, choosing your type of electric car charger can be a little overwhelming without knowing all the details. TDR Electric has compiled some helpful information and tips to help ease your transition into greener living.

There are two major types of Electric Vehicle Chargers available; Level 1 & Level 2

Level 1 Chargers

Level 1, or 120-volt, is the charging cord that comes with every electric car. It has the conventional three-prong plug that goes into any properly grounded wall socket. This charger is the slowest type of charging method that normally will draw no more than 1400 Watts. Although this option will place a lower added load to your panel compared to the Level 2 charger, it will have a drastically slower charging time. This charging cord will test the circuit when you plug it in, to ensure that it’s properly grounded and the current is strong enough to power the charger.

Level 2 Chargers

Level 2, or 240-volt, is the most dedicated home and public charging station choice. This charger will be at least twice as fast, often quicker, due to the higher amperage of the circuit, compared to the Level 1 charger. You may be required to install a 240-volt amp outlet in your home, which must be an exact match with your vehicle. The best location for this charger is inside your garage, but can also be installed outdoors, providing you have the correct outlet and protection. Level 2 chargers are the most common throughout public charging stations.

Where to charge?

  • Home: Most of recharging is done at home overnight. This is usually when electricity is cheapest.
  • Public Stations: There are now thousands of public charging stations across Canada. You can download Smartphone Apps to help locate your closest charging station!
  • Work: Charging at work is growing in popularity. It’s a great way for businesses to cut down on their carbon footprint.

Plug In BC Rebate Program

The Charging Solutions and Incentives Program provides rebates towards the cost of Electric Vehicle charging equipment and provides support services for planning and installing Electric Vehicle chargers. Find more information here:  https://pluginbc.ca/charging-program/charging-solutions-incentives/

Free Estimates 

TDR Electric is the recommended electrical contractor for Tesla Charging Stations in Greater Vancouver. Our team of certified electricians are skilled in the installation of car chargers. We are here to make this a quick and painless process as we know you are excited to get your new car. Email us today for a free estimate!

How to Protect Outdoor Outlets

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Outdoor electrical outlets provide convenient power access for many uses, such as operating power tools, entertainment devices, and lighting your yard. Now that the weather is getting warmer you’ll be more inclined to use these outlets, however failure to properly protect these outlets can do serious damage to your equipment, home, and family. In order to avoid any electrical surprises, we have complied some helpful tips for protecting your outdoor outlets.

Add a weatherproof cover:

Most outdoor outlets include waterproof covers to keep out dirt and moisture, the little flip up tabs are designed to cover and protect the outlet when its not in use. Weatherproof, or ‘bubble covers” are designed with a large lid and grooves allowing for your cords to come out of the bottom while still protecting the outlet from weather while it is in use.

Update your outlets:

Make sure that all outlets outside your home are updated to the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GCFI) outlets.

Outdoor Outlet Safety:

·         Do not overload outlets with too many devices.

·         Test your outlets often to ensure there are no issues with the wiring.

·         Keep wires away from any pools, hot tubs, or any other water source.

Ensure proper installation:

Always make sure to enlist the help of a certified electrician when it comes to installing outlets and other electrical devices. Email info@tdrelectric.ca for more information.