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Electrical Tips

Lights and Light Switches
Saving Energy

Lights and Light Switches

Defective Light Switches

BE CAREFUL---but you can do this job yourself! Concentrate fully on what you’re doing. Begin by shutting off the breaker that controls this circuit. Test it to make sure the circuit is now dead by checking that whatever the switch powers no longer works. Loosen the screws off the plate. The switch will be loosened and you can gently pull it loose from its setting. Then loosen the bolts holding the switch and remove it. Put on the new switch and return it to the wall. Tighten it and replace the switch cover.

Light Switches

Add a special touch to your walls or match a room’s paneling with custom-made light switch plates! Use up some of your wood scraps, paneling or wallpaper scraps. Construction time should take under an hour to complete!

Halogen Lights

Halogen lights are useful in that they emit a whiter, brighter and more easily focused beam of light than conventional incandescent bulbs. These lights help reduce eyestrain for reading and other close work. The bulbs tend to last much longer, therefore they are great for using outside in hard to get to light fixtures. They are also 10 to 20% more energy efficient and tend to burn brighter longer.

Maximum Light

To achieve maximum illumination from the bare light bulbs hanging in your basement and /or attic install reflectors above the lights. Just cut a square piece of scrap plywood, leaving a hole in the center for the light. Then paint plywood piece white, nail up piece to the joists, and you’re all set!

Lightbulb Sizes

We’ve all read the warning on lights or ceiling fixtures to stay with a certain size bulb,(e.g. 60-watt). This warning is in place because if a hotter, oversized bulb is used, heat can buildup and fire can occur! This is especially true for recessed lighting since there is no way for the air to circulate around the fixture! If you need more light in a room, add another fixture or replace the existing one that is too small.

Saving Energy

Saving Energy Tips

Try to limit the amount of heat entering your house during the summer. Try not to use lights and appliances during the hottest part of the day- as they generate more heat! Covering your windows with drapes or awnings will help keep the house cool. Every little bit will help and minimize the use of your air conditioner! That means you save money!!!

Vacation/Energy Savings

If you are soon off on vacation, take a few minutes to unplug small and large appliances not needed. Also, turn water heater and air conditioner to their lowest settings. Backing up your computer is probably a good idea, in case a power outage occurs while you are gone.

Swimming Pool Heaters/Pumps/Bills

Have high summer energy bills? If you are running a pool pump and heater, you can try reducing the thermostat setting on the pool heater by 1 degree, this should reduce your energy usage by 10 %. Also, try using a transparent pool cover to capture the sun’s heat naturally.

Beat High Fuel Bills

Installing programmable thermostats to automatically coordinate your home’s temperatures with your day-to-day patterns can help in the lowering of your yearly fuel bill.


Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker is an overload switch that prevents current from exceeding the capacity of the line. Fuses used to do the same in older homes. Therefore, when you plug in too many appliances to a circuit, the breaker will trip or switch off the circuit. This prevents damage to the wiring, chance of getting too hot and causing a fire.

GFCI Receptacles

GFCI units need regular monthly testing to check on daily “ wear and tear.” There is a higher percentage of failure where lightning is more prevalent. So, remember to press the TEST button and the power to the outlet should shut off. If it doesn’t, then the unit needs to be replaced.

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Now that the warmer weather is here, check into your backyard swimming pool, and outside lights to make sure they are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters. Electrical codes require GFCI’s for any outdoor outlets. Take a few minutes and be safe all summer!

Electrical Shocks

The human body is 70% water which makes it an excellent conductor of electricity. Touching anything with a live current, such as a bare wire or faulty connection, helps the electricity pass through you to the ground. If the current is strong enough, it could seriously injure or fatally shock you! So take EXTRA care working around electricity ! BE SAFE!


Cordless Phones

Remember when purchasing telephones for the home to buy at least one phone that plugs directly into a jack and requires no electricity. Many people buy only cordless phones, which are great for mobility around the house, but don’t work at all when the power goes out!!! The cordless phone base stations need electricity to work. So be prepared for the next storm!

Extension Chord Knots

To prevent chords from separating as you work in the shop, simply tie a knot with the 2 chords being used and then plug the 2 chords together. Since the strain is on the knot, the two chords will not come apart.

Digging Underground

Call your local utility company asking about the location of any underground wires and pipes in your yard BEFORE you commence digging. They provide this service for FREE, usually. You can save yourself dangerous and costly surprises.

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