Electrical Tips, Longwood Electrician

Understanding Your Septic System

There are many homes throughout the country–both in rural areas and in neighborhoods–that do not have sewage lines available, so in-ground septic systems are installed. They are built by the plumbing contractor and follow strict, pre-engineered guidelines, according to state regulations and local building departments’ requirements. When installed properly and correctly maintained, they will work well and can last a lifetime. Use the following guidelines for understanding your septic system so that you can avoid costly and inconvenient repairs.

Septic systems may sound foreign and intimidating, but the process is fairly straightforward. The house’s main sewer line dumps into the tank, depositing the solids at the bottom while the grease and fats float to the top. Then the liquids spill out the top side into the drain field, allowing the liquids to percolate into the ground.

In order to keep the septic system in your Longwood home running properly, it is best to follow a few simple rules. You do not want to dump solid objects, grease, or fats into your toilets or sinks; do not use your disposal as a garbage dump (in fact, it’s best not to use it at all); and do not pour chemicals or bleach down the drain. The chemicals can interfere with the microbe bacteria breakdown process and cause a problem with your tank and drain field.

The industry recommends that you have your tank pumped out every 5 years (under proper use). After a while, the bottom of the tank builds up with sludge and the top is covered with a layer of floating, scummy debris. If there is an excessive buildup of debris, it will spill over into your drain field and create a non-porous coating, which will prevent the liquids from percolating into the soil. You’ll have no problem knowing when this has occurred, as you’ll notice the sewage will begin to back up into your toilets and into your shower basin. Usually the only cure for this is to dig up your drain field and install a new system. This is why properly using and maintaining your system is very important.

Also, keep trees and shrubs far away from your septic tank (the root systems can interfere) and do not drive across or build a structure over it. In the long run, having your own sewage system can save you a lot of money, but improperly using or maintaining it can cost you a lot of money.

Electrical Tips, Longwood Electrician

Accent & Security Lighting

All Longwood homes have your basic exterior entry lighting that is sufficient for the purpose of lighting the front door area. With the relatively low cost of the fixtures and the wide array of designs, having a fixture that provides accent to the house adds to the home’s curb appeal and overall eye-value. Accent lighting enables you to highlight features on the house and highlight low landscaping and tall trees with illumination. Long sidewalks and driveways can also benefit from pathway lighting. These fixtures are available in high voltage, low voltage, and also solar-powered. The industry now offers a wider selection of styles and much better quality fixtures at much more affordable pricing. Now, there are even do-it-yourself kits for the home handyman.

Security lighting for area illumination is a good crime deterrent and can also add accent to your property and home. Lamp posts, in the front and back yard, and matching lantern lighting on the side of the house is just one example of what you can do to provide accent security combined with area lighting. These lanterns and lamp posts can be connected together on a photo cell, where they will come on at dusk and turn of again at dawn. The compact fluorescent bulbs that are available for these lighting fixtures can make it very inexpensive in terms of your electric bill.

Motion sensor lighting fixtures add an even higher level of security because they only activate and illuminate when something passes in front of them, which gives the element of surprise to a trespasser and draws attention to them. The newest and most exciting addition to the lighting market are the motion activated flood lights that swivel 180 degrees and follow the movement of a person. These are equipped with a chip that provides a digital recording of the movement when it is activated and can by downloaded to your computer for later viewing. Many of these are even available with an audible alarm warning.

Protecting and accenting your home with lighting is a cost-effective and simply way to offer more safety and security while highlighting your unique Longwood home. When you are ready to upgrade your exterior lighting, make sure you contact a Longwood electrician and find out the necessary specifications, cost factors, and all of your fixture options.

Longwood Electrician

Your Generator: A Residential Backup Power System

When it comes to generators, there are both portable and fixed-in-place house models, ranging in size from 5 kilowatt to 48 kilowatt generators, which means you can power up just the lights up to your entire house, depending on the size of the generator. Years ago, generators were not commonly used for providing power to Longwood homes. Portable generators were commonly used by Longwood electricians and contractors in remote locations, where electricity was not available for tools and temporary lighting. Now, in recent years where power has been lost multiple times for days and weeks on end to some people in rural areas, generators have become very popular.

In many cases, whole house, fixed-in-place generators with automatic starters, propane tanks, and transfer switches are much too costly and impractical. So, portable generators have become much more popular, but there are some concerns when it comes to safety, since these devices have a high accident rate. If installed correctly, it can work well and safely, so you need to be sure and call a professional Winter Park electrician to do the job.

For an average 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,500 square foot Longwood house, using a portable generator ranging from a 5 Kilowatt to 12 Kilowatt load can provide power for simple lighting all the way up to using appliances and the air conditioner unit. Now, that won’t provide enough power to use all of the appliances at once with smaller devices turned on, but you can run the lights, refrigerator, and a few other big-power appliances like the water heater and A/C. From there, you can alternate the other devices, like the range, dryer, and well pump by only running one or two at a time.

The key is having the generator installed by a master Longwood electrician to your exact needs. First and foremost, the correct size generator is key. Then, you will need the correct exterior W/P receptacle and the proper sized cord and connector. Also, a panel with a transfer switch that will provide power to the necessary circuits and turn power off to the house panel when the generator is in use; or an inter-locking safety device that will turn off the main power if you decide to back-feed the panel, is important for overall safety.

Having an understanding of what you are doing and how the generator works is critical so you don’t back feed the electrical meter and cause arcing if the power comes back or back-feeding a downed power line, which can cause injury or death to a repairman working on the main line.

When thinking about installing a generator, take the time to have a professional Longwood electrician design and install a backup system that can work effectively and safely. Remember, only use your portable generator in a dry and well ventilated area!

Longwood Electrician

Electrical Maintenance for Your Home

There are some things you should know about your Longwood home‘s electrical system, which consists of branch circuit wiring, switches, receptacles, and feeder connections between your meter cabinet main disconnect and circuit panel. Even though your house was wired by a Longwood electrician to all NEC spec codes and all of your devices, switches, receptacles, fixtures, appliances, panels, and main disconnect comply with the code and are UL approved, there is a difference between the quality and the method of the wiring. (more…)

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