Electrical Tips, Maitland Electrician

Understanding Your Electric Bill: Maitland Electrician

These days, most homes have all electric appliances and the power company charges per kilowatt hour based on the usage of those appliances. In a typical mid-sized, 3-bedroom home with 2 bathrooms, here is a list of most of the appliances and the wattage ratings* of each one:

  • Electric Furnace – 10,050 watts
  • Air Conditioner – 3,500 watts
  • Owen – 2,500 watts
  • Cook Top – 1,500 watts
  • Microwave-  1,000 watts
  • Refrigerator-  750 watts
  • Dishwasher-  1,500 watts
  • Garbage Disposal – 350 watts
  • Portable Oven – 1,500 watts
  • Deep Freezer – 750 watts
  • Water Heater – 3,500 watts
  • Washing Machine – 750 watts
  • Dryer – 3,500 watts
  • Portable Heater – 1,500 watts
  • Ceiling Fans – 250 watts
  • Television – 30 watts
  • Hair Dryer – 1,500 watts
  • Pool Pump – 1,500 watts
  • Typical Light Bulb – 60 watts

Now, here are some examples on how kilowatt hours are determined:

  1. A 10,000-watt furnace runs for 1 hour, you will pay for 10 kilowatt hours.
  2. A 3,500-watt A/C runs for 1 hour, you will pay 3.5 kilowatt hours.
  3.  A 100-watt light bulb will have to be on for 10 hours before you will pay for 1 kilowatt hour.
  4.  A 60-watt light bulb will have to on for 16.5 hours before you pay for a single kilowatt hour.

 

In Seminole County, Progress Energy (now known as Duke Energy) services most of the residents. Below, is their basic residential rate schedule structure based on kilowatt hour usage.

  • First 1000 kilowatts – 7.05 cents per KWH
  • Over 1000 kilowatts – 8.28 cents per KWH
  • Fuel Charge – 3.39 cents per KWH
  • Over 1000 kilowatts – 4.39 cents per KWH
  • Base Rate Effectively – 10.43 cents per KWH
  • Over 100 KWH – 12.67 cents per KWH

There is also a customer charge of $8.76 per month, then gross receipts tax and county utility taxes. Most of the homes in the mid-ranged size have electric bills in the $200-$300 range per month. Now, when you add up all of the charges for the average medium sized 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home, you are really paying 12 to 13 cents per kilowatt hour of electrical consumption.

Normally, heat-related appliances cost more than non-heat-related appliances. Other than your heat and air conditioner, most other appliances run in intermittent cycles or for a short use, like a toaster, coffee pot, or microwave. If it were to take 10 minutes to heat up your toast, then you can use that toaster 8 times before you pay for a single kilowatt hour at 12 cents.

These days, utility meters are more reliable, but if you want to read your meter, then you can find out the billing cycle and read it on the first and last day of the cycle to get the most accurate results for monthly consumption. Whether you take it upon yourself to look into your energy consumption or you simply call a qualified Maitland electrician to survey your home, it is important for you to know exactly how you can save money and understand your electric bill, saving money each month.

* The list of appliances and ratings may vary slightly depending upon the brand and settings.

Electrical Tips, Winter Spring Electrician

Having Electrical Problems? Call a Winter Springs Electrician

There are many signs to determining if you are having any electrical problems in your home. Here are a few things you can look for:  full or partial loss of power; pool pump or water pump straining or making noise when starting up; bright, dim, or flickering lights; a burning odor; darkened or brown-coloring on switches, especially receptacle devices; warm or hot switches and receptacles; light bulbs burning out frequently; sizzling or popping sounds; experiencing any electrical shocks when touching all-metal appliances, your air handler or air condenser, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, oven, cook top, microwave, water heater, washer, dyer, kitchen sink and faucets, and especially shower heads.

It is important for you to know these signs, because they are all indicators that you are having a problem in your home with either your switch and receptacle devices being loose or broken circuit connections, bad or worn breakers, or even burn damage. Your bus bar could even be loose or broken. Your main panel may be loose or burned, the lugs and meter base lugs could be damaged as well. Further still, your breakers might be bad or there could be overall poor service to your main grounding system. Diagnosing these issues in your home is your first step toward solving your electrical problems.

Understandably, these issues can be complicated and overwhelming for the average homeowner. Simply put, that is why you should call a Master Winter Springs electrician immediately if you are experiencing any of these issues. An experienced professional will know how to diagnose the problem quickly and efficiently and will be able to tell from your reports what the issue may be even before visiting your home, meaning a more effective visit. Once a professional electrician arrives to your home, it will simply be a matter of tracing and checking a few variables to ensure the safety of your electrical connections.

If you have any receptacles that seem loose or switches that feel floppy with no more snap, any of the appliances listed above that feel warm or hot, discolored or darkened, then it is important for you to replace them. A simple step today that can save you a lot of headaches tomorrow. Call your Winter Springs electrician today!

Winter Spring Electrician

Repairing the Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters are one of the many appliances in our home that we set and forget, yet rely on to work properly for many years. Until there is a problem, it is common to totally forget about the water heater, but when something does happen, the situation can become very overwhelming and probably requires the services of a quality plumber.

The life expectancy on a hot water heater according to the manufacturer will most likely be about 10 years, but these devices can last much longer depending on the usage and the environmental water conditions. When initially installed, the thermostat will generally be set to about 125 degrees, though this may range from 90 all the way to 150 degrees.

If the water in your Winter Springs home simply won’t heat up, check your circuit breaker, because you may not have any power going to the tank. If the water is warm, but not hot, one of the electrical components in the tank may be broken and you will need an electrician in Winter Springs to come service the hot water heater tank’s electrical elements. The heating device consists of two heating elements and two thermostats, the upper and the lower. The upper thermostat turns on the upper heating element until it reaches the desired temperature, set by the thermostat. Then, the power alternates to the lower thermostat and heating element. If one of these functions fail, you will only have a partially heated tank.

First, press the reset buttons on the thermostats and if that does not correct the problem, you will need a volt and amp meter to test the thermostats and heating elements. The thermostats snap in place and only require a Phillips screw driver for the electrical terminal connection. Removing the heating elements, however, will require a socket wrench to unscrew them. Before you begin to remove the thermostats, remember to turn off the power supplying the unit at the circuit breaker.

When replacing the heating elements, you must also turn off the water supply going to the house. Connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve, open up the pressure relief valve, and the closest sink’s cold water faucet, which will allow gravity to drain the water out of the tank. Once the water is completely drained, you can replace the heating elements from the tank. The parts can be found at a building supply store. However, if you don’t feel comfortable repairing the hot water heater yourself or you need to replace the entire tank, you should contact a professional to handle the water lines and fittings for the tank.

Learn how to handle other household electrical issues from my other blog posts, such as Your Generator: A Residential Backup Power System and always make sure your home is safe by knowing everything about your Smoke Detectors & Fire Extinguishers. Finally, with the holidays coming up fast, make sure you read this Early Holiday Lighting Guide.

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