Posts Tagged ‘code’

Grounding; Knowledge for your Home or Business

July 15, 2009

Grounding; Knowledge for your Home or Business

     When speaking about proper grounding in the home or business we are referring to the capability of your system to carry a fault current back to the electrical panel where a fuse or breaker would trip, shutting off the power to that area. There is also the grounding from the main electrical panel to the cold water pipe and a ground rod that is driven outside of the home or business. Both of the above would require a site visit to assure they are done up to code, correct sizing of the wire is a must to assure proper grounding. Not having the proper grounding in your home or business could leave the site without protection from electric shock or fire. Damage to equipment, your home/business, or your person is much greater when proper grounding is not present.

     A few common things to look for to assure you’re properly protected with a grounding system in the home or business is the following…

 

3-prong outlets: Although a test should still be done to assure the grounding wire is connected and working properly; the presence of 3-prong outlets usually means the outlets are grounded. Any 2-prong outlet should be considered suspect. Never use a 2-prong to 3-prong adapter as this bypasses the necessary ground on the equipment. Any appliance or equipment with a 3-prong cord requires a proper ground to assure correct operation.

 

GFI/GFCI outlets: The presence of a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet is required in the following areas bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoor locations. Mainly any damp location requires a GFI/GFCI outlet not a standard outlet. The GFCI outlet has a small test and reset button located on the front of it. The GFCI outlet has an internal circuit that will shut off if it senses any current leakage or unequal incoming and outgoing currents. If you don’t see any outlets like this in the areas discussed it is highly recommended to update the system to include them. Electricity and water is a dangerous combination and without protection is a hazard waiting to happen.

GFCI breakers: The ground fault circuit interrupter breaker is essentially a GFI for an entire wiring circuit. The GFCI breaker is installed in the electrical panel. It monitors the amount of electric current going to and from the circuit itself. It will trip and shut off power to the entire circuit if any problem voltage/current is sensed. The presence of this style of breaker is normally a confirmation that the circuit is being properly grounded.

Surge Protectors are not grounding your equipment: Many people mistake the use of a surge protector as the grounding for your equipment. I have even seen surge protector strips being used in conjunction with a 2-prong to 3-prong adapter to plug it in. Although a point of use Surge Protector is a great thing to have you must still have the proper grounding on that line to properly protect the equipment. If using a point of use surge protector please verify the outlet it’s being plugged into is properly grounded. You can also get a whole house surge protector that would be installed directly at your electrical panel. We highly recommend these products but having one does not assure the grounding in the home is up to code.

 

     The simplest way to verify the condition of your current grounding system is to have a licensed, qualified electrician that is up to date with the local and state codes do an evaluation. Caron Electric provides this service as a free estimate to any consumer in our coverage area. Wiring in the home or business can always be updated to assure you have a proper working grounding system. You can contact us anytime at #800.440.9940 or service@caronelectric.com

Visit our website to read more about Caron Electric Inc. http://caronelectric.com/index.html

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What you don’t know about Carbon Monoxide – Can hurt you.

July 14, 2009

     For anyone unfamiliar with Carbon Monoxide it is Poisonous gas which is Odorless, Colorless, and Tasteless. That is why it is so important to assure your protecting your home or business from this harmful gas.

      Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Flu like symptoms including: headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, fainting. At higher levels CO exposure could result in unconsciousness, or death.

This information is relevant to Massachusetts residents and businesses:

     As of 11/4/2005, at the time Governor Romney signed “Nicole’s Law”, named after 7-year old Nicole Garofalo who died on January 28, 2005 when her Plymouth, MA home was filled with deadly amounts of carbon monoxide on January 24. The furnace vents had been blocked by snow during a power outage.

     The new regulations require carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home and within ten feet of each sleeping area and in habitable portions of basements and attics. The alarm you use must be approved by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL)

      The CO detectors may be:  Battery operated with battery monitoring; or Plug-ins with battery back-up; or Hard-wired with battery backup; or Low voltage system; or Wireless, or Qualified combination (smoke/carbon monoxide alarm). To assure compliance you can always check with your local Fire Department or Inspector before installing. Caron Electric always recommends having a licensed/qualified installer do the work.

     On September 6, 2006, the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations passed additional regulations requiring carbon monoxide alarms in transient residential buildings such as hotels and motels, institutional buildings such as hospitals, nursing homes and jails, and day care centers and after school programs. The Legislature has given owners of these buildings and those owned by the Commonwealth and local housing authorities until January 1, 2008 to complete installation.

     Landlords must inspect, maintain, and replace, if necessary, required CO alarms annually and at the beginning of any rental period. Tenants should report any problems with detectors to the landlord immediately and learn to recognize the difference between the smoke alarm and the carbon monoxide detector. Fire departments are currently required to inspect smoke alarms when one-five unit homes are being sold and transferred.

    For residential homes the following will help with the protection of your family:  CO detectors on every level of the home except unfinished basements and attics. Locate the detectors near bedrooms to allow for the family member to be awaken by the alarm Detectors should not be located near windows/doors to exterior of home, excessively hot, cold or damp areas or corners or rooms and peaks of ceilings. Do not place a CO alarm in a garage, furnace room, near the stove or fireplace.

Some other helpful tips to keep CO levels down at your home or business:

 1) have a yearly inspection of your heating/cooling equipment

 2) Check vent pipes, flues, and chimneys for leaks or blockage

3) Un-vented kerosene heaters are illegal in MA

4) Never use a charcoal grill indoors

5) Never use your gas oven to supplement heat for the home

6) Never leave a vehicle running indoors/garage even with the garage door open , the fumes build up quickly

7) Do not use gas powered engines i.e. generators, chainsaws, blowers, weed trimmers, mowers or snow blowers indoors or near doors or windows.

     At Caron Electric we understand the importance of safety and hope this article has been helpful to better understand the reason for CO detectors.

Have a question: #800.440.990 or service@caronelectric.com

Visit our website @ http://caronelectric.com/index.html