Why do my lights dim when the air conditioner turns on?
Can this service detect problems in outlets or light fixtures?
How can you check the wiring behind my walls?
Do you fix problems when you find them?
What happens if you find a critical problem ready to cause a fire?
What happens if CurrentSAFE® finds code violations?
Our electric panel has fuses. Do we need to replace it?
How can I reduce my electric bill?
Can you find an electrical short in my home?
Will my insurance company give me a break on my homeowners policy?
I have knob and tube wiring. Do I have to replace it?
What is a ground fault interrupter?
Is an arc fault circuit breaker the same as a GFI beaker?
How many smoke alarms do I need In my home?
How does CurrentSAFE® test smoke alarms?
What type of smoke alarm should I buy?
Are there requirements for installing smoke alarms?
This is the #1 question we are asked, including its many variations based on the appliance in question (furnace, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.).
Identifying the cause of dimming lights and determining the extent of the problem can be time consuming.
Our CurrentSAFE® Electrical Hazard Detection service INCLUDES testing and documenting the conditions for all of the following possibilities:
- Low voltage
- Loose connections
- Undersized wiring
- Resistance problem in wiring
- Phase imbalance
- Circuit breaker malfunction
- Overloading of circuits
Other issues found beyond our standard service testing procedures include:
- Failing motors or internal wiring issues in appliances or heating and air conditioning equipment.
- The quality of power provided by the utility company. NOTE: This does not always mean that the utility provider is obligated to rectify the problem. Utility providers have acceptable limits and tolerances that allow some fluctuation, and it will be necessary to experience the dimming event to identify the problem. When we have completed our service, we will provide you with a report detailing our findings and discuss your options.
Yes! We have specialized testing equipment to identify these problems.
- Ultrasonic Detection listens for corona, tracking, and arcing, which are the three stages that precede an electrical fire. Our equipment listens to sounds at 100,000 kHz (you and I hear an average of about 16,000 kHz), which means we can hear the very beginning stages of electrical discharge and confidently verify the safety of your electrical system and home.
- Our FLIR, or infrared thermographic imaging camera, will detect a temperature variance of less than 1º! We use FLIR to quickly identify abnormal overheating in your electrical equipment and devices.
State-of-the-art testing equipment!
- Costs have prohibited these services in the past, but CurrentSAFE® has combined specialized testing equipment to make the service economical.
- We use a patented Circuit Analyzer that checks the wiring behind the walls. This analyzer tests for loose connections, false grounds, and high-resistance connections that can cause heating and possibly fires.
Only minor problems.
- Our service is based on detecting problems that are causing or may soon cause an electrical fire or shock hazard in your home. When we find an immediate hazard, we will eliminate it. Furthermore, recommendations for a future repair option will be included in the report and provided to you at the completion of the testing.
- We do include cleaning and minor repairs (i.e. missing straps, unused openings, loose connections, etc.).
We eliminate the problem!
- We will determine the circuit that is distributing power to the problem and turn off the circuit breaker. If only a minor adjustment is necessary, we may attempt to repair the problem.
First, we will verify that the code violation will not cause an immediate electrical fire or shock hazard.
- Code violations do not always mean an electrical fire is imminent.
- For example, many code violations are more of a shock hazard than a fire hazard. After our testing and verification process is completed, if left alone and undisturbed for a brief time, the risk of fire is minimal.
- We will provide you with options to repair or replace the code violation.
You are not mandated to replace it.
- CurrentSAFE®can perform comprehensive testing to identify the integrity of the fused panel.
- If the fused panel shows signs of problems or fatigue, you can choose to repair it or replace it.
- If no problems are detected and minor adjustments are made to verify that the operation is safe and correct, you may choose to continue maintaining the existing panel and not replace it.
First, we need to verify that you have no wiring conditions affecting your electric utility costs.
- After testing, we can offer additional energy-saving ideas that work specifically for your home.
- Consider replacing standard incandescent lamps with low-wattage, long-life fluorescent lamps.
- Install timers or photo-cell controls for outside lights.
- If the circuit is accessible for testing, we have the equipment to find an electrical short in your home.
You need to check with your insurance agent.
- We have discussed the service with a variety of insurance agents and they were excited. Hopefully they will see the benefits and pass on some help to the homeowner.
Let’s see if there are any problems first!
- We detect electrical problems that increase overheating and shorting risks. Identifying and eliminating immediate fire and shock risks allows you to determine if replacement is necessary.
An electrical shock prevention device.
- GFI electrical outlets and breakers constantly monitor the power flowing through them, sensing even a 0.5 millivolt change in current and shutting off the power to the outlet.
- The National Electric Code requires that all residences shall have GFI protection in bathrooms, kitchens, unfinished basements, garages, outdoor outlets and all other areas. These devices are also required in areas, which can be exposed to water. Detailed guidelines of installation locations can be found in the National Electric Code.
- Carefully replace GFI outlets! If they are wired incorrectly, the “Test” button may work but power can still be flowing through the outlet.
No. The arc fault circuit breaker is designed primarily to protect against fires. The GFI circuit breaker is designed primarily to protect against shock.
- The National Electric Code requires that all new homes shall have arc fault circuit breakers protecting bedroom circuits.
- These breakers sense the stability of current flow through the circuit. When the internal circuitry of the breaker senses a disruption in the current flow, it will automatically determine if the disruption is a normal occurrence or an arcing situation. The breaker will automatically trip if arcing is identified.
- Although these breakers are quite costly, you may consider upgrading in older homes to give an early warning of failing wiring.
NFPA regulations state that in new homes, smoke alarms shall be installed in each separate sleeping room and on each additional story of the family living unit, including the basement and excluding crawl spaces and unfinished attics.
REMEMBER: Smoke alarms only detect smoke when it passes in front of the sensor. If a fire starts in concealed areas of the home, such as the attic, chimney or crawl space, the alarm may not sense the fire in its early stages. We believe that in such cases, exceeding code requirements may be a wise decision.
NOTE: Manufacturer recommendations for maintaining smoke alarms include an annual vacuuming.
- Each residence must have a minimum of one (1) smoke alarm on each floor.
- Bedrooms and sleeping areas should have a minimum of one (1) smoke alarm inside each bedroom or sleeping area.
- Stairways and stairwell areas are capable of acting as a chimney during a fire.
- If the hallway between two bedrooms is over 30′ long, two alarms are required.
- Homes built prior to the newest regulations are not required to meet the new code.
- When remodeling or upgrading your home, you may be required to meet the most newly updated code requirements. Check with your local electrical inspector for full details.
- We recommend that any room with a motor operating in it, such as a furnace, should have a smoke alarm.
- Obviously we push the button but did you know that the button only tests the alarm and the battery – NOT THE SENSOR!
- We use unscented canned smoke to test the sensor. This service is used everyday by hospitals, schools, churches and many commercial facilities.
- This proven comprehensive method of smoke alarm testing is now available for your home.
First decide if you want 110 volt or 9 volt smoke alarms.
- The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has updated codes to require that new homes be equipped with hard-wired 110 volt smoke alarms. This permanent wiring feature provides a constant, 110 volt power circuit directly to the smoke alarm, thusly eliminating the risks associated with not installing or not replacing batteries.
- 110 volt smoke alarms need power to operate under normal conditions. They also have a battery back-up for the system during a power outage.
- The standard 9 volt smoke alarm, if checked and maintained regularly, is sufficient.
- Next, determine if ionization type or photo-electric type would be best for your home.
- Ionization smoke alarms sense invisible fire particles (common to fast-igniting fires) faster than photo-electric alarms.
- Photo-electric smoke alarms sense visible fire particles (common to smoldering fires) faster than ionization alarms.
- You may want to have an even mix of ionization and photo-electric smoke alarms throughout the home.
- Ceiling mounting is recommended, although wall mounting is acceptable.
- The center of the room’s ceiling is the most practical location. If there is a light fixture installed here, locate the alarm nearer to the door.
- Ceiling-mounted smoke alarms should not be mounted closer than 4″ to any side wall.
- Wall-mounted smoke alarms must be installed a minimum of 4″ to a maximum of 12″ from the ceiling.
- Avoid mounting smoke alarms in corners.
- Sloped or cathedral-style ceilings are required to have smoke alarms mounted at, or within, 3′ of the peak.
- All sloped ceiling with a horizontal 1′ to 8′ slope shall have smoke alarms mounted on the high side.
- In kitchens and bathrooms containing a tub or shower, smoke alarms shall not be mounted within 3′ of the door.
- Areas with high humidity may cause nuisance alarming.
- Keep smoke detectors 3′ from whole-house ventilators, ceiling fans and forced air heating or air conditioning ducts.
- Mounting smoke alarms near fluorescent lights may cause nuisance alarming.
- Operating temperatures are limited to approximately 40º Fahrenheit to 100º Fahrenheit.