So you may be asking yourself how they did it in the olden days. How did they survive the hot, muggy nights when it seem almost unbearable in your house due to the sultry conditions? And don't even think about getting any sleep on one of these sauna-like nights. Then there's the heat of the day that seems to suck the life right out of you.
Just like your kids, that say they couldn't go a day without their texting phones or computers, some of us think the same about air conditioners. I know I'm thankful to have mine at night in order to get a restful night's sleep without tossing and turning half of the night! But again, what did they do before air conditioners? Could it be the planet was just cooler then and it always got to a comfortable temperature at night just in time for bed? Likely not! In fact, they had hot, sticky days and nights just like us today. So let's look at some ways to keep cool in our times without using an air conditioner. You to may want to give a few of these a shot. Now remember, not all of these are quick fixes and in fact some take years to institute to aid in the cooling process for you and you home. Take comfort in knowing that you can reduce your dependency on electricity and save a little of the green by putting these tips to use. Here are my top 10 cooling tricks.
Today we are talking about testing electrical devices like switches, outlets, extension cords, etc... without actually having to touch any live parts. this avoids the danger of getting shocked...or at least lessens it. I'm taking about a non-contact voltage tester. this handy little device clamps right to your shirt pocket and is ready for use whenever you need it. With this little gadget, you can see if the power is on or off. check for breaks in an extension cord, and safely check the status of outlets and switches without worrying about shorting out anything with tester leads, like you might when using a regular voltage tester or multimeter. Let's look at some of its unique testing abilities.
When faced with pulling wire in conduit, there is an easier way that requires a lot less effort. Have you ever gotten red in the face do to overexertion? If you've ever tried pulling electrical wires through a conduit that just didn't seem to want to go, you already know what I'm talking about. Pulling wires through conduit can be a challenge, especially if there are a lot of bends in the run. There is a lot of resistance and drag when electrical wire is pulled and the friction between the wire and the conduit walls makes pulling wire a drag!
Luckily, there is something on the market that makes pulling electrical wire a breeze! It makes the outer jacket of the wire slick and reduces friction between the wires and the conduit. Before you know it, lickity-split, the wire is sliding through the conduit with ease. So next time you attempt to pull electrical wire, use a little cable lube on the wires and save yourself the aggravation. No more high blood pressure, pulled muscles, or red faces! Pull electrical wire smarter, not harder with wire pulling compound.
Alright, here are your mystery clues today. The "what is it?" series has an important device used in the electrical trade. First, it comes in different sizes, but performs the same task. Second, it can slide through tight spaces with ease and some would say it can really sail along at high speeds. Third, it has an attachment point that is used when performing its function. Fourth, it doesn't have a tail, but it is named after something that does have one. Fifth, it pulls something from one point to another. Sixth, it can be forced through electrical conduit or drawn through it with the help of a vacuum. Seventh, its name rhymes with house.
Congrats! If you figured out the answer is mouse, you are correct. This ingenious little device is quite the time saver. Yes, in some instances, especially in shorter runs, a fish tape could do the job, but in longer runs, a mouse is an obvious choice. A simple piece of wire with a loop on each each, a piece of foam in between two plastic seals on either end, and you have yourself a pulling mouse.
Now a mouse is usually tied to a spool of jet line string that is then placed into a conduit run via a conduit fitting or junction box. On the other end, the place you want the string to end up, a shop vacuum does the dirty work of sucking the string through the conduit. This process can go quite quickly on occasion, depending on the length of the piping and the number of bends in the pipe.
Let's take a closer look at a mouse used in the electrical industry and how this helpful little guy can make your life easier when doing electrical wire pulling. When you are working, do you have a mouse in your pocket?
Unfortunately, I see this far too often and I thought it was something that needed to be addressed. I'm talking about the speedster that thinks he or she can dodge under a closing garage door without being hit. If you are one that can, congrats, but it's probably not the smartest thing you've ever done, right?
Let's consider the older garage door openers that had no safety mechanisms. There was nothing to stop the downward door, except for a strip at the bottom that would sense an obstruction and return the door to the upright, open position, that is, if the sensor was connected.
Speaking of sensors, there are newer models that have sensors just inside the door that detect someone walking under the door. They are positioned on the outside of the door tracks within your garage. One is a sender and the other a receiver that has a beam that tells the door opener the coast is clear. When something passes through the beam, trouble is detected and the door opens to keep everyone safe. Consider a child chasing a ball just as you push the button to lower the garage door.
That is just one of the many dangers that garage doors pose to you and your family on a daily basis. Let's take a look at some more garage door dangers.
Have you ever considered owning a garage door opener that is able to operate even when the power is off? Image a day or night when you come home in the rain or snow, you push your remote control to open the garage door and nothing happens! Is it broken? No! It's a power outage and the door isn't opening. What a bummer!
Faced with the obvious options of either getting out in the rain to open the garage door manually, which will surely get you filthy, or get out and leave the car outside until the power resumes, you think to yourself there must be a better way! Luckily, you are right, whether you know it or not. There is a solution to this problem and it is on standby, ready to work when the power is off. How nice would it be to have the only functional garage door on the block when the power is off? You would be all the rage on the block!
If you haven't figured it out already, it's a battery-backup garage door opener. This little gem is able to open your garage door when the power fails, allowing you to get the car in or out of the garage in your time of need. Once you own one, you'll be wondering how you ever did without it. Are you ready to learn more about battery-backup garage door openers?
Well it's that time of year again for thunderstorms, tornadoes, rain, wind, thunder and lightning. Severe storms cause a lot of damage from flooding rains, to downed trees and power lines to lightning strikes. Lightning strikes cause many dollars of damage each year to homes, appliances, and electronic devices in your home. Surge protection only goes so far for protection, but lightning strikes are a far different evil to deal with.
When I was a kid, it was a usual sight to see lightning rods atop houses, especially in the country where houses were the highest point on a given piece of property. I know we had them on our house and they did the job on grounding the lightning strikes, well, all but one that blew the outlet out of the wall, ruined the TV and took out the VCR. The lightning came in on the coaxial cable, through the TV and blasted everything connected to it. Here's why lightning protection is great to have.
Memorial day weekend at last! The official holiday to kick off the camping season and the kids are ready to get out of school and stretch their legs. What better way is there than to get out into the great outdoors than camping? The fresh air, the birds chirping, the smell of grills cooking, MMM good!
To get to this vacation away from home and the everyday grind, you'll need to ready the camper and make sure it's safe for the voyage out into the camping wilderness. So take your favorite yard games, grill, camping lights, lawn chairs and mosquito spray, for a fun-filled weekend of family togetherness in a campground of your choice. before you leave, here is a must-read camper safety list for you and your family. Now, ready the camper!
A balanced load. Why would that be important and how would it benefit me as a consumer to have a balanced load? Moreover, why should I even worry about that in the first place? These are all terrific questions and I'll try to explain how balancing the electrical load in your load center (electrical panel) can benefit you in the wallet! First of all, you need to know that there are two different power phases coming into your home. We'll call them phase "A" and phase "B" for simplification purposes. Now phase "A" to neutral has 120 volts. Phase "B" has 120 volts to neutral. The reading from phase "A" to phase "B" is 240 volts. You see, they are different phases and that's how we get 240-volt appliances to run, unlike the 120-volt things like lights, microwave ovens, refrigerators, etc... Let's take a deeper look at how the utility company charges you for their service.
Your power coming into the home needs to be fed from an electric service provider. They monitor the usage of your home's power consumption and guarantee that they will provide you with the peak amount of power you require at all times. To do this, they check the records of your home's usage and bill you on the highest demand factor per billing cycle. Just because you don't use that peak amount of power every day, you'll pay the elevated rate because they have to have that much power available for your use. Think of it as they have reserved power especially for you. Doesn't that make you feel special? Now, consider that it's a hot day and you run two window air conditioners on 120 volts. Now you just happen to have them both plugged into phase "A" and there is a spike in power usage on that phase, recorded at the service provider. Let's say that on that particular day you use a peak of 1,000 kilowatts, on phase "A" and only 500 kilowatts on phase "B". The total consumption would be 1,500 kilowatts. The power company will charge you at the 1,500 KW rate for both legs, betting that you may need that much power on both legs.
Now, as a consumption saver practice, let's say you have 240-volt air conditioners that split the power consumption between both "A" and "B" phases. In this example, the power would be split between the phases. So in the case of unit one, it would use half or 500 kilowatts and unit two would use half or 250 kilowatts. The total consumption would be only 750 kilowatts and would save you half on the bill. Now, consider the peak usage chart at the service provider. They look and see that you only need a peak of 750 kilowatts for the 240-volt air conditioning peak on that day, so they charge you at a lower demand rate, saving you money. Balancing your electrical load can do just that for you and here is how simple it is to balance your electrical load.
There are many dangers associated with electricity. The real danger with electrical shock is amperage, not voltage. Although people have been killed by as little as 120-volt AC and low voltage DC, the silent killer is the amount of amperage in milliampers that flow through a person's body. Any electrical device is capable of dealing a deadly blow, depending on the amount of current flowing through it. In fact, a deadly dose of current in the 100-200 milliamperes range is likely a fatal amount.
Electrical current cannot be outrun by your quick reaction, so don't think you can out maneuver it. Electrical safety is your best defense. Don't ever assume that a wire or device is off! Check it or cal a professional electrician or the utility company to check it for you. Don't become a victim of electrical shock!