NECA Connection

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Residential Construction

Electrical and electronic devices have dramatically improved our standard of living. Many homes now include integrated electrical and communication systems, lighting and HVAC controls, security and entertainment systems, and energy-efficient appliances.

Today’s residential construction projects, whether new or retrofit, require an electrical contractor who can design and install complicated systems, while keeping a family’s most valuable investment safe from electrical and fire hazards.

Help for Homeowners

There are many enthusiastic and competent homeowners, who prefer to do much of their own home maintenance and renovation.

The primary concern for any electrical work should be safety – staying safe while doing the work and making sure the results work according to the applicable code and standards. There are a number of resources designed to help homeowners do electrical work safely, including the Electrical Safety Foundation. If you have any questions about whether you can perform the work safely or ensure that the work will be hazard-free upon completion, then you should contact an electrical contractor or master electrician.

NECA contractors can help homeowners with electrical problems, upgrades, renovation and saving energy.

Problems

Most home electrical wiring problems results from mistakes in installation or connection, inferior connections, or inferior materials. Wiring does not “go bad” in the walls, though adverse conditions like flooding can affect the wiring.

1. Lighting and fixtures: Flickering or blinking lights can indicate poor connections along the circuit. NECA RECOMMENDS: Find a pro.

2. Outlets don’t work: The receptacle device could be broken or the wiring connections to the device could be poor. NECA RECOMMENDS: Check to see if any circuit breakers have tripped. Turn off power to the outlet before removing any covers.

3. Circuit breakers and electrical panels: Frequently tripped circuit breakers or a circuit that can’t be reset is probably responding to a problem in the circuit. NECA RECOMMENDS: Find a pro.

Upgrades

Home offices, automated environmental controls, and home theaters are upgrades that can dramatically improve a home’s value and comfort. Professional installation of new electrical equipment can protect the equipment and warranty, and add flexibility to systems. NECA RECOMMENDS: Follow the manufacturer’s installation directions carefully or find a pro.

Renovation

Remodeling work frequently requires electrical work, whether it’s relocating electrical receptacles (outlets) or installing new lighting. Renovation is also an opportunity to check your home’s electrical panel and circuits to ensure that the system is functioning correctly and not overloaded. NECA RECOMMENDS: Find a pro

In a long-term study of the electrical wiring in older homes, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that when the electrical system was correctly designed and installed and still functioning within the environment it was intended to power, it was generally still safe, despite the age of the wiring and electrical components.

However, the study also found that older systems that had been modified improperly by homeowners or contractors were not safe and at a much greater risk for fires. Learn more about www.homewiringsafety.com.

Saving energy

Homeowners who want to “go green” have several options for saving energy in their homes, including energy-efficient lighting and lighting controls and EnergyStar appliances. Check out NECA’s energy solutions site for more information.