Why Hire a Licensed Electrician ‘Near Me’ in Indiana?

Licensed Electrician Near Me - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Being a licensed electrician means that a person has fulfilled his or her licensing requirements. It means they’re educated and have completed the required number of training hours. And it means they can complete electrical work safely and to the specifications of your “near me” local, state, and national standards.

Why is it Important to Hire a Licensed Electrician ‘Near Me’?

High Stakes

Licensing is important because of the stakes. Low electrical voltage in homes (120 and 240 volts) can stop hearts, and industrial voltages can reach to ultra-high levels of more than 1000kV. Not only can electricity kill people, but errors within electrical systems can lead to fires and thousands of dollars in equipment failure. Simply put, electrical errors lead to worse consequences than mere inconvenience (which itself may be severe if the electricity goes out, considering how many appliances rely on electricity).

Electricians Need to Complete Training

It’s for these reasons that training to become a licensed electrician is among the longest apprenticeship programs. Electrician apprentices learn how to safely work with electrical systems and how to abide by local and state laws.

In Indianapolis, Indiana, once an apprentice completes his or her training, the apprentice must pass an examination to become a licensed electrician. To do so, they must have at least six years of documented experience as an apprentice. They must also have at least three reference letters from customers they’ve worked for during that time.

Municipalities that offer contractor’s licenses usually require additional training and experience. For example, the licensing board in Lafayette, Indiana, requires that an electrician have ten years of experience, verified by a city engineer, before receiving a contractor’s license. An electrician may, alternatively, have a four-year electrical engineering degree and six years of experience.

Licensing requirements for electricians are similar throughout the state.

Only Electricians can Work on Electrical Systems

It’s also important to hire a licensed electrician because, by law, a person must be licensed to perform electrical work. Indianapolis code Sec. 875-201 “requires an electrical contractor to be licensed if performing work to connect electrical power for onsite construction, to install, alter, replace, service or repair a system distributing electrical power, to service equipment supplying power to factory-constructed dwellings located in a mobile home park, and to install, modernize, replace, service or repair all or any part of an electrical power distribution system.”

Codes such like this are in the books of every municipality throughout Indiana. Local codes vary, however, which is why you want to find an electrician who is “near me.”

How to Verify an Electrician’s License

Depending on the city in Indiana, licensing boards will offer several types of licenses. A residential license allows an electrician to work on one- and two-family structures. A master’s license (also referred to as a commercial/industrial license) allows an electrician to perform unrestricted electrical work. And a contractor’s license requires that an electrician verify an employee’s work. Local municipalities may also divide contractor’s licenses into commercial/industrial and residential licenses.

When you view a license, make sure that a person’s name matches the name on the license.

There are three ways to verify an electrician’s license:

  • Use the electrician’s full name, license number, or the company name to verify the license with your local licensing board. In Indiana, there is no state-wide licensing board, so you will have to look up a license within an individual municipality.
  • Ask for proof of liability insurance. The insurance company can verify the license.
  • Look up the electrician on a digital list of

If you’re looking for a licensed electrician in or near Indianapolis, Indiana, White’s Electrical has you covered. Specializing in residential electrical work, White’s Electrical is licensed, bonded, and insured to ensure your home and family remain safe and that all our work is performed correctly. Call or schedule an appointment with us today.

2017 Recap: Electrical Device Recalls

Hoverboard - 2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

During the past two decades, recalls of electronics and electric devices have steadily increased. 2017 was no different. Stricter regulations and easier reporting have forced manufacturers to stop on top of product safety.

Of all the electrical items recalled in 2017, the lithium-ion battery led the charts. The problems these batteries pose is consistent among manufacturers and products: the batteries overheat, catch fire, and (in some cases) explode. Eleven hoverboard manufacturers had to issue recalls because of these batteries; three computer manufacturers issued recalls; and one electric window covering manufacturer and electric skateboard manufacturer had to issue recalls.

Why all these lithium-ion batteries have failed is not because they’re a new technology. Lithium-ion batteries have been around for decades. Their failure has more to do with poor quality control, poorly designed circuitry, and manufacturers failing to cool the batteries, which are known to degrade in high temperatures. Recalls for lithium-ion batteries came scattered through the year.

The award for Impeccable Timing of a Recall goes to Nantucket Distributing. Nantucket issued a recall of its pre-lit, artificial Christmas tree on January 12. Conveniently, the recall came right after the 2016 holiday and post-Christmas discount shopping season ended.

We’ve put together a list of all electrical devices recalled in 2017. We’ve only included residential equipment in this list, so you will not find recalls for vehicles or medical devices here. We have also only included electrical products that have been recalled due to failure of their electrical system. Thus, we haven’t listed recalls such as Southwire’s Globe and Snow Globe stake lights. (The globes on these items refracted light, which could single or melt items in close proximity. Obviously, this posed a fire hazard.)

For a full list of items recalled in the United States of America, visit the website for the United States Product Safety Commission.

2017 Recalls for Electric Equipment

Cleaning Equipment

2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Dirt Devil Pet Vacuum

 

  • Vacuum Cleaners — Royal Appliance recalled 149,000 Dirt Devil Pet vacuums because the prongs in the electrical cord can detach and remain the outlet.

Electrical / Lighting

LectroFan Sound Machines - 2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

LectroFan Sound Machine

  • Adaptors — Barns & Noble has recalled the casing on the power adaptor for its NOOK Tablet 7. The casing can crack when the adaptor is plugged in, which puts consumers at risk for electric shock. Power adaptors sold with LectroFan Sound Machines have also been recalled. ASTI issued the recall the adaptors’ casing can break when plugged in, exposing the prongs and posing an electrical shock hazard. In December, Netgear issued a recall for the power adaptors to its outdoor Arlo cameras. Water can leak into the “waterproof” connector and cause a short circuit, fire, melting, and overheating.
  • Batteries — Springs Window Fashions LLC recalled Zeus lithium batteries in some of the company’s motorized window coverings. The batteries overheat, leak, and discharge, posing fire and burn hazards.
2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Moonlight Soothers Nightlight

  • Nightlights — Skip Hop recalled its Moonlight & Melodies The problem is that the nightlights’ power adaptors can break, which poses the risk of shock. AM Conservation Group likewise recalled its Model 2017-G nightlights because they can overheat. In February, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts recalled its Happy Holidays! Mickey Mouse Nightlights. Liquid from the nightlight can leak from the nightlight and into the electrical outlet, which poses a fire hazard.
  • Outlet Converters — Ningbo Litesun Electric recalled its outlet converters, sold through Home Depot, because they reverse electrical polarity, which creates a risk of shock and fire.
  • Portable Generators — MWE Investments recalled its Westinghouse Portable Generators, as the generators can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Electronics

  • Cellphone Batteries — Replacement batteries that FedEx Supply Chain used to refurbish Samsung Galaxy Note 4s can overheat. Apparently, some of the batteries FedEx used were counterfeit.
  • Clamp Meters — Digital clamp meters produced by Extech were recalled because they fail to provide accurate voltage readings.
2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Panasonic Lithium-Ion Battery for Sony Laptops

  • Laptop Batteries — Sony has continued its recall for Panasonic batteries used in Sony laptops because the lithium-ion batteries can overheat. In January, HP expanded a recall for lithium-ion batteries in HP and Compaq Notebook computers because the batteries overheat. Toshiba did the same earlier in the month for lithium-ion batteries used in laptops for the same reason.
  • Science Kits — Little Passports recalled Science Expeditions Northern Lights Kits. The battery packs overheat, posing a burn hazard.
  • Solar Panels — Bosch Solar Services recalled 28,000 roof-mounted solar panels because the panels overheat. SolarWorld recalled its Amphenol PV cable connectors, which it sold with solar panels. The connectors can develop cracks, which let moisture in and therefore threaten electrical shock.

Decorative

  • Christmas Trees — Nantucket Distributing issued a recall of its prelit, artificial Christmas tree because the fuse can overheat and blow, which poses a fire hazard.

Food and Water

  • Filtered Water Dispensers — Nestle Waters North America recalled its AccuPure floor standing filtered water dispenser. The units can overheat and smoke.
  • Food Dehydrators — Greenfield World Trade recalled its EZDRY Food Dehydrators because the units overheat.

Heating & Air Conditioning

  • Air Conditioners — Carrier, Bryant, and Fast have recalled certain Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner models because their power cords can overheat, which poses a fire hazard.
  • Air Handlers — Goodman has issued a recall for certain wall- and ceiling-mounting air handling units that are commonly installed in apartment or condominium units. The units’ disconnects may not disable the power, which puts people servicing the unit at risk of shock.
  • Furnaces — Goodman, Amana, and Daikin recalled 80 percent of their gas furnaces due to an electrical shock hazard.
2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Carrier and Greenspeed Heat Pumps

Household Accessories / Lighting

  • Door Chimes — Swann has recalled certain models of its wireless door chimes. The back cover can detach from the units, which exposes electrical parts that can shock users.
2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Curio Design’s Modular Light Kits and Bases

  • Lamps — Michaels has recalled three models of its Rock Salt Lamps because the cover grill can overheat and ignite, putting consumers at risk of electric shock and fire. A few days before Michaels issued their recall, Curio Design recalled about 1,500 modular light kits and bases. The lights can crack during assembly, and the bases have faulty wiring. West Elm recalled its Table Lamps because the wire running through the lamp can cut or fray the adjustable joint, putting consumers at risk of shock. Also, earlier in the year, Williams-Sonoma recalled its Rejuvenation Wall Sconces because the wiring in them can fray, posing a shock hazard.

Infant/Baby

  • Motion Seats — Fisher-Price recalled various models of its Soothing Motion Seats because the motor housing can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Large Appliances

  • Dishwashers — BSH Home Appliances recalled 469,000 dishwashers because the power cords they produced overheat. The recall affects dishwashers from Bosch®, Gaggenau®, Jenn-Air®, Kenmore®, and Thermador®.
  • Stoves — Arçelik A.S. recalled its Blomberg and Summit electric range stoves. Due to incorrectly installed electrical system, the stove can become energized, which can shock or electrocute people. One death was reported due to this issue.

Outdoor

2017 Recalls - Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Outxpro Mosquito Zapper LED

  • Bug Zappers — R & D Products recalled its Outxpro Mosquito Zapper LED light bulbs because the base of the LED bulb can separate from the connector, posing the risk of an electrical shock. The zappers were sold through Amazon.com.
  • Extension Cords — The Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd., recalled certain of its Mastercraft brand outdoor extension cords. The manufacturer improperly installed the unit’s prongs on these cords, which can cause the female end of the electric outlet to spark.
  • Lawn Mowers — Hongkong Sun Rise Trading recalled its cordless electric lawn mowers because its electrical system can short circuit and catch fire.
  • Swimming Pool Motors — Nidec Motor recalled some of its programmable, variable-speed swimming pool motors because they are not properly grounded. The affected units have “Emerson” or “EcoTech EZ” printed on the control box.

Recreation/Relaxation

  • Adjustable Beds — Customatic Beds recalled its adjustable beds because the bed’s outlets were wired incorrectly. The units pose an electrical shock hazard.
  • E-Cigs — Firewood recalled its Firewood 4 vaporizers because the electrical system is not wired correctly, and an electrical short can occur, posing the risk of fire.
  • Handheld Massagers — HoMedics recalled their handheld massagers due to the fact that the massagers’ cords can break and pose electrical and burn hazards.
  • Lift Chairs — La-Z-Boy issued a recall for the power supply covers on certain lift chair models. The covers can become detached, which poses a risk of electric shock.

Safety Equipment

  • Fire Alarms — Honeywell International recalled its SWIFT® wireless gateway, which it sold with its fire alarm systems. The SWIFT® systems fail to communicate with the fire alarms, which means that the fire alarms might not go off if the system detects a fire.

Toys

  • Battery Chargers — Performance Designed Products recalled its XBOX ONE 2X Smart Chargers battery chargers for XBOX ONE game controllers. The battery chargers can overheat and damage the game controllers or burn consumers.
2017 Recalls Electric Devices - White's Electrical - Indianapolis Indiana

Sonic Smart Wheels Hoverboard

Four ways to Upgrade Two Prong Outlets

Two Prong Outlets - White's Electrical - Indianapolis

Between 1920 and 1960, tens of thousands of houses were built in the United States. Almost all of them had two prong outlets. Many of them still do. While the majority of Indiana’s houses were built in the 1990s, there are more than 8,600 currently for sale built between 1920 and 1960 in the Hoosier state. Many more off the market. If you live in a house with two prong outlets, you might want to consider an upgrade. You are at risk for more than inconvenience when you try and plug in your 21st century TV into one of these outlets.

Risks Associated With Two Prong Outlets

There are two risks associated with two prong outlets: electrocution and power surges. Both of these issues have to do with the fact that the wiring in two prong outlets isn’t grounded. In outlets built since 1962, U.S. electrical code has required all outlets be constructed with a ground wire. This ground wire protects electronics and people from electrical surges and faults by providing a pathway for extra energy to escape the house’s circuitry. When a fault or surge occurs with grounding, the energy travels through the ground wire to the electrical panel. There, it will trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse, thereby shutting down the circuit before damage (hopefully) occurs. The energy then continues through the ground wire into the earth below the structure, where it dissipates harmlessly.

Without grounding, it’s also impossible to protect your electronics and appliances with surge protectors. Surge protectors work only if they are can connect to a ground wire. Without this wire, they offer no better protection for electronic devices than do multiprong outlets.

Two Prong Outlets are Not Up to Code

GFCI - Two Prong Outlets - White's Electrical - Indianapolis

GFCI Receptacle

Upgrading your home’s electrical system can cost between 5 and 15 percent of your home’s value — a price tag many people cannot afford. With this in mind, regulators determined that homeowners with two prong outlets need not upgrade them. However, that doesn’t mean they’re the safest option.

For more than 50 years, code has required all new construction have grounded, three prong outlets. More recently, U.S. electrical code has required that not only outlets be grounded but that outlets in areas with water present have a GFCI. A GFCI, short for ground-fault circuit interrupter, protects people from electrical shock by cutting off the circuit if a short circuit occurs. (A short circuit is when energy is directed out of the regular circuit pathway through a path with little or no resistance.) If that short circuit occurs because a person is being electrocuted, a GFCI can save their life.

No such protection is available with a two prong outlet.

Two Prong Outlets Suggest Other Problems

Murray fuse box - White's Electrical - Indianapolis, Indiana

Murray fuse box

Two prong outlets also raise flags about other electrical issues that may be present. Homes built before 1965 were built with 30- or 60-amp fuse panels. While 60-amp fuse panels were made with at least one 240-volt wire for larger appliances, 30-amp fuse panels only provide 120-volt wiring, and they are inadequate for modern household electrical needs.

60-amp fuse boxes are problematic because they, too, cannot handle well modern requirements upon electrical systems. In comparison, newly constructed homes today are built with 200-amp circuit breakers (the service panels that replaced fuse boxes).

When there is too much energy running through a wire, the wire heats up, putting the house at risk for fire. Too much energy (electricity) will also blow fuses. You will have to constantly replace if your fuse box’s amperage rating doesn’t meet your needs.

Another problem to be on guard for when two prong outlets are present is the lack of grounding in outlets that have three prongs. If a house has both two and three prong outlets, it means that the three prong outlets were installed for convenience and that they’re not actually grounded. It could also means that only part of your house’s electrical system is grounded.

You will want to test your outlets to find out whether they are grounded or not. If the three prong outlets are not grounded, regulations require that you label them with the words “No Equipment Ground.”

Four Ways to Upgrade 2 Prong Outlets

To upgrade your two prong outlets, you cannot simply add a three prong outlet. While this will solve the convenience issue, it will not solve the safety issue.

If you truly want to address your two prong outlets and make them safer, you have four options.

Option 1: Rewire Your Outlets

Your first, and best, option is to hire an electrician to rewire your house’s outlets and its electrical panel. If the expense is a concern, consider having your electrician rewire select outlets into which you will plug larger or more sensitive electronic devices, such as a computer or game counsel.

Note that this is not a project you can do yourself. Only a certified electrician has the expertise necessary to run a ground wire from the outlet to the service panel and then properly ground it.

Option 2: Ground Three Prong Outlets with the Metal Housing Box

Many two prong outlets were installed in metal boxes. While the circuitry itself wasn’t grounded, these individual boxes oftentimes were. If your house has two prong outlets with metal boxes, it is possible you can ground your outlets without overhauling the wiring.

To find out whether the metal housing is grounded, purchase a circuit tester. Insert one of the tester’s prongs into the hot slot (the shorter slot in the outlet). Put the other prong onto a screw holding the cover plate. If the tester lights up, it means the metal box is grounded.

If the box is grounded, you can install a three prong outlet and ground it by attaching it to the armored, or BX, cable in the back of the box.

Option 3: Install a GFCI at the Outlet

The third option to upgrade a two prong outlet is to replace it with a GFCI. While a GFCI will not protect your electronics from power surges, it will protect you from electrocution and short circuits. If you replace your ungrounded, two prong outlet with a GFCI, you must label it with “No Equipment Ground.”

Option 4: Install a GFCI at the Circuit Breaker

It’s also possible to replace your two prong receptacles with three prong ones and add a GFCI circuit breaker at the service panel. Doing this will likewise protect you from electrocution. If you do this, you will have to label outlets with “GFCI Protected, No Equipment Ground.”

Whatever you decide to do, we recommend having a certified electrician complete your electrical work. Safety is always a concern when working with electricity, and an expert will best take care of your home.

Funny-Sounding Terms Electricians Use

Funny Terms Indianapolis Electricians use White's Electrical

Imagine you are remodeling your home in Indianapolis, and you need your electrical system rewired. So, you hire an electrician from White’s Electrical. Upon arriving and poking around, the electrician begins talking about the neighborhood bird and how there is a problem with the bank. You might assume he is up to some funny business, but you would be wrong. Electricians use industry language and slang like everyone else. A BURD (not “bird”) is a Buried Urban Residential Distribution. And a “bank” has nothing to do with the financial institution. Rather, it is a group of electrical devices connected in a specific way to increase electrical capacity.

Below is a list of funny-sounding, industry-specific words electricians use that, were you uninformed, you might find confusing.

Dictionary of Funny Words in the Electrical Industry

 

Funny Words Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Alligator

A tool on a hot stick with which utility workers tie a wire or cable into an insulator.


 

Anchor

Holds conductors where they end at a pole or other structure. It is buried in the ground and connects to the pole by a guy-wire.


 

Arc

An electrical discharge through the air.


 

Arrester

Limits surge voltage by diverting it.


 

Baker Board

An insulated platform used when working on a pole.


Ballast

A device that limits the current.


Funny Terms Indianapolis Electricians use White's Electrical

Bank

Electrical devices that are connected to increase electrical capacity.


Bayonet Cap (BC)

A type of lamp base.


Bonding

Joining metallic parts.


Funny terms Indianapolis Electricians use - Buried Urban Residential Distribution

BURD

Buried Urban Residential Distribution.


Burden

An electrical load on a circuit.


Bus

A conductor, such as a metal bar, that connects one or more circuits to an interface.


Power Transformer - Funny Words Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Can

An overhead transformer.


Candlepower

Luminous intensity.


Cold

Circuits, lines, or equipment that does not have electrical power.


cutout fuse - Funny Words Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Door

The tube of a fused cutout.


Drop-Out

When a relay moved to a position in which it is no longer electrified.


FAT

Factory Acceptance Test.


 

Fishing

The act of pulling wires through walls when installing the wire.


Flower Pot

Slang for Universal Bushing Well.


Gut

Slang for “Line Hose.”


Hand bender - funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Hand Bender

A tool used to bend metal tubing and conduit.


Hertz

Unit of frequency.


Home Run

The main line from a service panel to the first device in the circuit.


Hot

A line or device that has electricity running through it.


ILL

Initial Lamp Lumens.


funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

IOU

Investor Owned Utility


Keyless

A lighting device made out of porcelain used for temporary lighting or in a storage area.


funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Ohm

Unit of electrical resistance.


Pick-up

When a relay switches to an electrified position.


funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Pig tail

A temporary light.


Pothead

Slang for the device electricians use to move an overhead conductor underground.


funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Raceway

A channel used for holding conductors, cables, tubing, wire ways, and bus ways.


RPM

Reinforced Polymer Mortar.


Tag Line

A rope used to control things that are being lifted.


Temper

The softness of metal.


Funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

Transformer

A device that changes voltage.


Transmission System

The highest-voltage network an electric utility system uses.


Trunking

A long metal or plastic container that houses cables and wires.


Funny terms Indianapolis Electricians Use - White's Electrical

UPS

Uninterruptable Power Supply.

 

 

How to Safely Dispose Broken LED Bulbs

How to safely dispose led bulbs white's electrical mooresville indianapolis greenwood indiana

LED bulbs are on track to replace CFLs as the lighting method of choice. They’re more energy efficient than CFLs, they last longer, and they don’t contain mercury — a poisonous heavy metal used to create CFL lightbulbs. However, although LEDs don’t contain mercury, they do contain other toxic substances, of which consumers are largely unaware. Because LEDs so have toxic substances, it’s important to know how to safely dispose of LED bulbs.

LEDs are a Good, Energy-Efficient Choice for Lighting

First, it’s important to note that LEDs are excellent choices for lighting. They’re 90 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. That efficiency means homeowners who replace incandescent lights with LED bulbs will save on average $4 per year per bulb per year, which over the lifespan of a LED bulb amounts to $163 saved. And that’s with an estimated LED bulb price of $8.

But LEDs are much less expensive than they were even in recent years. 60-watt equivalent bulbs currently average between $1.50 and $2.50 per bulb on Amazon, making them very affordable.

How to safely dispose led bulbs white's electrical mooresville indianapolis greenwood indiana

LEDs also outshine their CFL cousins, literally. CFL bulbs, though still much more efficient than incandescent bulbs, consume more energy than LEDs. And they’re notorious for not shining at full brightness for several seconds after being switch on. Plus, homeowners cannot control these bulbs with dimmer switches, something they can do with LED lights.

Besides all this, although LEDs do contain toxins, aren’t by considered toxic by law, which means you can dispose of them at the landfill (although we encourage recycling).

LED bulbs are simply the best choice on the market for residential and commercial lighting needs, and no home- or business owner should shy away from installing them. Quite the opposite — they should be looking to retrofit their residence if they haven’t already.

Toxins in LED Lights

How to safely dispose led bulbs white's electrical mooresville indianapolis greenwood indiana

Going with LED lights for their benefits doesn’t mean ignoring safety. It’s well known that LEDs contain lead, arsenic, and other potentially harmful substances. A study published in 2010 in Environmental Science and Technology specifically identified low-intensity, red LEDs as most often containing the highest amount of toxic materials. The study identified white LEDs as having the last amount of lead but still containing nickel, another heavy metal.

Disposing of Broken LEDs

How to safely dispose led bulbs white's electrical mooresville indianapolis greenwood indiana

The study therefore suggests that people treat broken LEDs as hazardous materials. If an LED lightbulb breaks in your home or workplace:

  • Put on protective gloves and sweep up the LED pieces into a plastic bag using a stiff piece of cardboard (if you use a broom, consider disposing of the broom after using it).
  • Next, use sticky tape to pick up any small fragments left over. Put the tape with the fragments into the plastic bag.
  • When all the pieces are picked up, place the bag in a sealable container.

Because LEDs aren’t considered toxic by law, you can dispose of the fragments with other landfill materials. If you want to dispose of them in a more environmentally manner, contact your local municipal agency for instructions.

Municipal agencies in central Indiana include:

If your LED bulb has simply dimmed out (LEDs don’t burn out; they emit less light over time), you can either throw it away or recycle it at a local recycling center, via an online recycler, or with a local retailer who accepts LEDs.

If you’re looking to retrofit your business or otherwise want LED lighting, contact White’s Electrical to learn how we can meet your needs.

Wiring: A Gnawing Problem

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rothwerx/2641452698. By Jeremiah Roth. Mice rats chewed wire. Electrical Electrician Indianapolis Indiana.

Photo by Jeremiah Roth

It’s a well-known fact that rodents incessantly gnaw. They have to because their front teeth never stop growing, and they need to wear the teeth down. Because of their instinct to chew and gnaw, rodents — namely rats and mice — can wreak havoc in electrical systems when they expose wires after chewing off the coatings. Once wires are exposed, the wires can short or cause fires.

Another reason rats and mice gnaw on cables is because the cables obstruct their path. Rodents and other animals tend to move very efficiently when they travel. So, when a cable obstructs their route, they will try to remove it by gnawing and biting at it so they can travel easier.

A third reason (or theory) why these animals gnaw cables is that they’ve learned food is often stored in plastic containers. So, they’ll chew through plastic in hopes of finding a meal.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that vermin are here to stay and will continue to get into electrical systems. Here are five ways to prevent rats and mice from destroying your wiring:

No. 1: Deter Rats and Mice

The best way to prevent chewed cables and wiring is to deter the rats and mice that cause the damage. There are a number of ways of doing this.

Clean Up

First, make sure the areas around the wires are free of clutter and debris. Rats and mice are constantly looking for places to nest. So, the cleaner an area is, the less chances are that they’ll take up residence.

Seal Holes

Mice can enter buildings through cracks as small as 1/4 inch. So, to keep rodents out, you’ll need to identify and block all the entry points into your building. Weakened areas and rotting wood are also possible points of entry for rodents, as they’ll gnaw their way into the structure.

Limit Access to the Roof

There’s no reason to make it easier for rats and mice to get into your building. Trim back limbs and plants that are hanging over your roof or growing right beside the building.

Take Out the Trash

Store biodegradable trash (food) outside in containers vermin can’t get into. Nothing invites rats and mice more than the smell of free food.

Use Repellents

Commercial repellents can deter rodents from entering an area. Some spray repellents mimic predator scents, like coyotes and bobcats. Others come in pouches or bags and smell pleasant (peppermint, eucalyptus, etc.).

No. 2: Protect the Wires

Some locations, like college campuses and stadiums will always invite rats and mice. If it’s impossible or very difficult to keep rodents out of your facilities, your best bet is to protect your wires.

One way to protect your wires is to lay them in concrete. Rodents won’t chew through concrete. Even a thin layer will protect wires.

A second option is to run the wire through steel trunking or covers. Like concrete, rats and mice can’t chew through it, so wires inside of these housings will remain safe.

A similar idea is to run wires through plastic tubing. It, too, will protect wires from gnawing and chewing. With either steel or plastic, however, you’ll have to make sure there are no gaps or entryways into the conduit, as the tight space will make a nice nesting area for rodents. The rodents will gnaw the wires if they can get in, which is what you’re trying to prevent.

No. 3: Stick to the Route

One of the reasons rats and mice chew cables is because they’re trying to clear a path so they can travel efficiently. Thus, if a cable goes through a hole or joist, rodents may gnaw at it so their path is clear. But if a cable lies flat or goes over the top of a joist, the rodents will most likely ignore it.

No. 4: Check Out the Material

Producers are being pushed to develop biodegradable products. That being the case, some now make wiring with coatings derived from soy. Apparently, rodents find the coating particularly attractive. Environmentally friendly indeed.

No. 5: Roadblocks

Since the eighteenth century, cones have been used to stop rats and mice from traveling along cables. Modern adaptations, such as ConeStop, do the same. Rats and mice run along conduits because they provide a nice roadway for them through buildings. But if you block their road, the animals will go elsewhere, where they can move more freely.

Apparently, the method works, and it keeps rats and mice off cables.

If you’ve experienced trouble with shortages or fires because of chewed and damaged cables, call a pest control expert to deal with the animals. Call White’s Electrical to repair your wiring.

Electrical System Maintenance

Maintenance Program Electrical System White's Electrical Indianapolis

When the budget is tight, business owners are forced to decide where to cut costs. Oftentimes, they plan for only what’s pressing their attention at the moment: employee pay, utility bills, material costs — the bare essentials. What they sometimes forget or neglect is often a hidden necessity. Preventative maintenance for electrical systems is essential for so many business owners, yet it is often overlooked.

At first glance, their choice seems understandable. After all, no one wants to write a check for recurring maintenance. But by calling upon electricians for minimum maintenance or only for emergencies is a mistake. Not only do managers put employees at risk for accidents and the business at risk for lost productivity, but they risk spending more money than they would if they were to invest in properly maintaining their electrical systems.

Professionals Advocate Maintenance Programs for Electrical Systems

The National Fire Protection Association has for decades advocated businesses to maintain their electrical equipment. According to the NFPA:

“A well-administered Electrical Preventive Maintenance program reduces accidents, saves lives and minimizes costly breakdowns and unplanned outages. Impending troubles can be identified, and solutions applied, before they become major problems requiring more expensive, time-consuming solutions.” (NFPA 70B – 2013, Section 4.2.1)

An unmaintained electrical system is a liability managers cannot ignore. The NFPA isn’t the only organization to suggest this. In Maintenance Excellence, Optimizing Equipment Life Cycle Decisions, John Campbell shows that it costs three times as much for the same number of hours worked responding to electrical emergencies as it does maintaining electrical systems.

After study, he devised this formula for how much electrical work costs:

Planned electrical work = $1.00
Unplanned electrical work = $1.50
Emergency electrical work = $3.00

This means that every three hours of preventative work is equal to the cost for one hour of emergency work.

Maintaining Electrical Systems Saves Money

Spending more on maintenance rather than responding to problems on the backend results in money saved. For this reason, it really is best for businesses to hire electricians who can maintain systems full-time or to purchase a maintenance program from a local electrical company.

So, if you’re still unsure whether such a program will result in savings, consider conducting your own study. Gather financial records for the past five to ten years and compare costs for past electrical repairs without a program to the cost of a maintenance program. You can get a quote for a maintenance program by contacting an electrician in your area.

Motion Sensor Lights for Your Home

motion sensor lights

Motion sensor lights can help calm your nerves by lighting up a dark garage, sidewalk, or any other area of your yard. Whether you want to install motion sensor lights for added home security, or to help you see when you’re coming home at night, you’ll feel safer when nearby motion activates your motion sensor lighting and they turn on automatically.

How Motion Sensor Lights Work

Motion sensor lights work by using small electronic “eyes” to detect infrared waves, or heat waves that radiate from moving objects. When the detector senses moving objects in its range of “vision” it automatically turns on the lights. The lights typically stay on for up to 20 minutes, depending on how the timer is set. They automatically shut off the light at this time unless they continue to sense movement.

Choosing Motion Sensor Lights

Most people choose to install motion sensor lighting for either added security or added safety. Although motion sensor lights aren’t actually advertised for the sole purpose of security or safety, it gives the homeowner a starting point for choosing what will meet their needs. Security-based lights are designed to deter criminals from the property, while safety-based lights are designed to light up darkened areas.

When choosing the right motion sensor light, it’s important to decide how easily you want the light to be triggered. Broadly speaking, there are two types of motion sensors used in lights: active-motion and passive-motion. Active-motion sensor lights send out signals that then return to the motion sensor. When an object has moved in front of the sensor, the signal returns to the sensor quickly, which triggers the light. Active-motion sensors can be triggered by any moving object, including people, animals, or blowing leaves. Passive-motion sensor lights only receive signals, and scan the area for heat. Only objects that emit heat (a human body) trigger the sensor to turn on the light.

Installing Motion Sensor Lights

For your motion sensor lighting to be most effective, position the lights to cover walkways to your door and driveway. If safety is a concern, place lights to cover areas such as decks, patios, and pools. If security is a priority, position lights to cover all entrances to your house, and any darker areas of your yard.

Motion sensor lights are typically easy to install, but each brand is different, so be sure to read the instructions before you begin. And remember – safety first! If you aren’t completely sure of your electrical knowledge, call a local licensed electrician for help.

Motion sensor lights can help ease your mind in the dark, and White’s Electrical can help. From choosing the right lights, to finding the best locations and completing the installation, the licensed electricians at White’s Electrical are happy to help. Give us a call today!

Outdoor Lighting for the Perfect Patio

outdoor lighting

Summer is nearly here, which means we’re firing up the grill and spending more time outdoors. Just like we put a lot of effort into curating the perfect décor inside our homes, many of us pay special attention to the details of creating just the right outdoor living space. Yet, what often seems to go overlooked when designing our ideal outdoor space is how to keep it cool during those hot summer days, and well-lit during the beautiful starry nights. At White’s Electrical, we can help make the outdoor lighting choices to make your backyard living and dining area perfect.

Ceiling Fan Installation

If you have a sunroom, screened-in porch, or even a covered porch, having a ceiling fan installed is a great way to increase air flow and help keep your covered space a comfortable temperature. Make sure to put your fan in reverse for a downward airflow to effectively cool your outdoor living space during the warmer months. Having ways to cool your covered outdoor living area can make all the difference in the comfort and amount of time you can spend there. The licensed electricians at White’s Electrical can help you choose and install the fan that would best meet your needs.

Patio and Yard Lighting

Choosing the right lighting for your outdoor living space can extend the amount of time you are able to be outside, and make that time more enjoyable. With so many different styles, sizes, colors, and placements, lighting fixtures can have a dramatic impact on your outdoor living space.

Lamp Posts and Sconces

Some of the most popular outdoor lighting options include more traditional options such as lamp posts and lanterns or sconces attached to the home. These can not only be useful during the summer months when you’re spending time outside, but can be used year-round to light walkways and other outdoor areas.

outdoor lighting

String Lights

Simple string lights are an option that is gaining in popularity that is not only easy to install, but can help create an intimate, romantic ambiance. They can easily be strung from beam to beam on the patio or around the edge of doorways, just like you would hang Christmas lights. Be sure you’re using string lights safely, though, and only use extension cords approved for outdoor use. If temporary lighting such as string lights are your choice, you may want to have a GFCI outlet installed on your patio. This can help prevent circuit overload and lower the risk of electrical hazards.

Outdoor Lights on a Dimmer Switch

Depending on the mood you’re looking to create, choosing to have outdoor lighting installed that can be dimmed with a dimmer switch may be a good option. Being able to control the amount of light put out by just one fixture gives you the ability to easily change how brightly or dimly a light is shining on your dinner party.

No matter what mood you want to create in your outdoor living space, White’s Electrical can help you make the right choices on outdoor lighting to fit your needs. From lamp posts, GFCI circuits for outdoor lighting, or outdoor lighting on dimmer switches, White’s Electrical can do it all.

Should I Upgrade the Electrical System in my Older Home?

Many of us find appeal in owning an older home – the charm and character are unbeatable to say the least. The stately exterior and ornate fixtures have been able to withstand the test of time. However, under that beautiful craftsmanship, a dangerous secret may be hiding: aging electrical wires that pose a fire hazard.

Outdated electrical systems can have an impact on the safety and energy consumption of an older home. Indianapolis is known for some of the most beautiful historic housing districts in the Midwest. If your home is older than 50 years old, here are a few things to keep in mind when considering the condition of your home’s electrical system.

Outdated Breaker Boxes and Modern Appliances

Most of us like to live with our modern conveniences, such as microwaves and refrigerators. Modern homes require the use of more electricity than in the past. Today, most homes require 150-200 amps of electrical service. If you are using new, large appliances or other gadgets that require a lot of electricity, it may be time to upgrade your electrical system. Talk to a licensed electrician about how much electricity your home needs and whether your current breaker box can support that, or if you should upgrade.

Outdated Wiring

Most electrical systems post-1960s are safe (although they may not supply enough amps to power the entire home), homes with unsafe, outdated wiring still dot the landscape all over Indiana. Prior to the 1900s, builders installed knob-and-tube wiring where wires are run through ceramic knobs and tubes to keep the wires from electrifying the wood. Also commonly used wire insulators of the past were asbestos and cloth.

If you are at all unsure on the condition of your home’s electrical system, have a licensed electrician perform a full inspection to determine the quality of the wiring in your home, and see whether or not you need to upgrade the electrical system. While rewiring your home will require cutting and drilling into your home, it is certainly a worth-while investment. Not only will this increase the value of your home, but it will greatly reduce the chance of a fire due to faulty wiring.

Ungrounded Electrical Devices

During an inspection by a licensed electrician, remember to ask to have your lights, switches, and outlets checked. Outdated electrical device that are ungrounded can be dangerous. Ask your electrician to check them to see if they meet safety guidelines.

Need to Upgrade the Electrical System in Your Older Home?

Call for an inspection today from White’s Electrical. We can’t stress enough the importance of having your older home inspected by a licensed electrician. Take control of the electrical system in your older home – call White’s Electrical today!