THE STORMY TRUTH - IS YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM A TICKING TIME BOMB

THE STORMY TRUTH – IS YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM A TICKING TIME BOMB?

Every year, Kansas City, the Kansas City Metro Area, and its surrounding areas are plagued by heavy storms, tornadoes, and high-speed winds. Last year alone, over 1000 tornadoes touched down in the region, dealing more than $13 million in damages. Read our service experts advice for ensuring that your home is ready for any storm…

An Electrifying Truth

Five Warning Signs Of Electrical Disaster

Electrifying Truth Blog Header

Many people never even think of the electrical panel in their home, but without regular maintenance, this critical piece of the lifeblood of your home could all too easily cause financial ruin, or worse.

Bickimer Electric is committed to ensuring our valued customers have the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. This article from our service experts lays out five warning signs in your home’s electrical panel, and what you can do to prevent it.

1. Breakers That Constantly Trip

Annoying as it may be, breakers which regularly trip can be a vital warning sign that there is a weakness in your electrical panel. As breakers are exposed to the constant surges in our Kansas electrical grid, the heat generated begins to wear them down.

Importantly, every time a breaker trips, there is a period of around 20 milliseconds during which the breaker absorbs the entire current running through the circuit. Each trip causes extensive damage to the electromagnet that triggers the breaker and reduces the load it can bear before tripping again. It’s recommended that breakers be replaced every 3-5 trips to avoid failure.  

2. Scorching or Burning Around The Breakers

As the connections around the breaker begin to loosen over time, enough separation can cause electricity to arc between the breaker and the connection; this causes blackening from oxidation around the contact points, screws, and around the plastic casing. Loose or burned connections can cause a breaker to fail, allowing unrestricted current to travel through a circuit and burn out the cabling and all attached devices.

3. Flickering Televisions and Lights

Uneven distribution of power through a panel or repeated surging can cause attached televisions, monitors, and lights to flicker. Flickering can be an excellent early warning sign of severe weakening in your electrical panel.

4. Overheated Metal or Burning Plastic Smells

As electricity is passed through wires, it generates heat. The excess current and temperature in proper wiring are carried away by the ground wire, but surges generate far more heat than can be handled, and this translates to scorching. The melting plastic and overheated wiring produce very distinctive odors that should immediately be inspected by a qualified and licensed professional.

5. Federal Pacific Panels

Between the 1950s and 1980s, millions of electrical panels produced by the Federal Pacific Electrical Company were installed in homes across the nation. Decades after their installation, it was discovered that Federal Pacific falsified their testing data when seeking certification under the National Electrical Code.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a testing report which showed a shockingly high rate of failure in Federal Pacific panels.

Consumer Safety Outdated Panel Report
A Consumer Safety Institute report on outdated electrical panels and safety
Consumer Safety Report - FPE Safety
A Consumer Safety Institute report on Federal Pacific Panel Safety Testing

Consequently, all Federal Pacific panels were delisted, decertified, and are recommended for replacement and destruction by all governmental and independent safety and regulatory bodies. If you have or suspect that you have a Federal Pacific panel or breakers in your home, have them inspected by a qualified and licensed service expert.

The Bickimer Difference

Through our decades of experience in the service industry, we at Bickimer Electric understand that electrical panel safety is key to preventing disastrously expensive and potentially fatal hazards in the home. That’s why we are proud to offer a 50% discount on our electrical panel safety inspections.

To take advantage of this outstanding time-limited offer, give our friendly office team a call at 913-313-6751, or book online using our handy Contact and Book Now buttons.

We are your number one Kansas City electrician, serving Kansas City KS and Kansas City MO, Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, Lansing, Leavenworth, Leawood, Louisburg, Prairie Village, Merriam, Mission, Spring Hill, Bonner Springs, De Soto, Gardner, Fairway, Mission Hills, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Parkville, Liberty, Kearney, Excelsior Springs, Pleasant Hill, Raytown, Gladstone, Belton, Raymore, Peculiar, Wyandotte County, Johnson County, and Jackson County

National Electrical Code

Navigating the National Electrical Code (NEC)

Last Revision 2017
(updated every 3 years)

To be a Master Electrician, you must be well versed in the NEC (the National Electrical Code) set by the NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association). These standards set the foundation for electrical safety in residential, commercial and industrial occupancies. (https://www.nfpa.org/NEC)

There are many electrical codes that an electrician to know for your benefit, protection, and safety. Many problems, injuries, and unfortunately deaths can happen if you hire an unlicensed or inexperienced electrician for your electrical project.

When becoming a Master Electrician, you get tested on all areas of the codebook. From New Construction Electrical Wiring to Commercial Electrical Wiring to Multi-family Homes and yes even Motor Controls. It is not an easy thing to navigate. So, it is important to remember, if you are going to hire an electrician then hire a Master Electrician.

Being a master electrician is not enough. The master electrician must be licensed and insured to perform work in the local area. I say local because Kansas and Missouri state does not have a statewide electrician licensing or electrical inspection agency. Instead, local jurisdictions (county and/or cities) are responsible for allowing an electrician to be licensed and work in their area. Each jurisdiction has authority over the National Electrical Code (NEC) and thus can have its own spin on the NEC and inspection process.

We recommend you look to see if your Kansas City electrician is license in your county and/or city. Maybe it is listed on their website? Could ask if they are licensed? Or you can search online to find out if their license number is active and in good standing?

Many electrical renovations such as installling new electrical wiring and adding circuits require permits. You want a licensed electrician that can pull these permits. So be wary of an electrician that asks you to pull the permits! That is the electrician’s job. Under permitted work can lead to violations of local ordinances which subjects you to fines, if you are caught or can cause problems when it is time to sell.

For example, Bickimer Electric is a licensed electrician in Missouri and Kansas. We are then licensed with Kansas City Kansas (KCK) and separately with Kansas City Missouri (KCMO). See our list of servicing cities at the bottom of home page. What may be acceptable in KCK may not be acceptable in KCMO. A good electrician will know the requirements of all cities and practice the best electrical wiring methods for that cities.

Ask them if they will send a licensed electrician to do the work? Some companies send unlicensed electrician to do the work, either “borrowing” or “work under the supervision” of another master electrician’s license. If you do not, you may face the reality that you owe a lot of money to someone who does not adhere to local and state codes.

Other important things to look for a when searching for a Licensed Electrician near you include:

• Do they have a website with contact information? Do they have marked vehicles and uniforms?

Those are nice signs of legitimacy. You want to be able to get a hold of them. Avoid electricians who want you to contact them only through P.O.boxes, pagers and answering services. A reputable contractor should be happy to give you his permanent information. Contractors who show up in unmarked vehicles or without uniforms may be suspect.

What do they do most often? Do they have any sub-specialties?

Compare that to what you need to be done! Know what you want before you talk to them. Does it match?

Do they do more than just electrical work?

It is best to hire a company that ONLY does electrical work. There are many companies out there that do heating/cooling, plumbing, and electrical. Stay away from those. More than likely you will be paying for something you don’t need or overpaying for the electrical work you do need. Hire the specialist. Hire the Kansas City electrician that knows about electricity.

• Do they have insurance?

Can ask for a copy. Any insured electrician will gladly be able to provide you with proof of insurance (certificate of insurance COI).

Look at the quality and quantity of online reviews.

Do they have GOOD Google Reviews and Facebook reviews?

Check disciplinary boards?

Do they have NO Better Business Bureau reviews? Customer’s only leave BBB reviews when they have a problem.

Of course, if you can get a reference, then that is even better than an online review.

Maybe from a friend, relative or co-worker? Any past clients or contractors who can tell you if the Licensed Master Electrician does good work.

We also recommend you get three Quotes or Estimates.

At Bickimer Electric, Quotes and Estimates are Free.

When you are dealing with electricity, you can never be too careful. It is so important that your Kansas City Electrician keeps up with the current and local NEC. The National Electrical Code is constantly being updated and so should the electrician you hire.

Through continuing education and active participation with local jurisdictions, Bickimer Electric is fine-tuned. Bickimer Electric only hires Master Electricians and implements a rigorous training program to make sure their electricians stay sharp. If you are considering hiring an electrician for either commercial or residential work, do your homework.

Don’t just hire any electrician. Hire Bickimer Electric!