Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

No More Wires for TV - Vacaville Electric

Tom talks about the nuisance of wires hanging from a nice TV and how Vacaville Electric can help. See more at

Saturday, December 21, 2013

An Electrician Lights Up Home Remodel

Whether you're looking forward to improving the lighting in your kitchen, creating a lighting scheme for your outdoor living space or you're trying to install a home theater, an electrician's skills will be extremely useful. They can help you with every stage from safe removal, installation that is up to building code, and the connection with computers and other devices from which you can direct and adjust the lightening in a given room. A few of the most significant spaces include: the room you spend the most time, the kitchen; the space people are most intimidated by until they renovate it for optimal use, the backyard; or, the coveted home entertainment space, the theater room.
Increasing the lighting in your kitchen can help it to be more of a pleasurable room to be in. Not only will you enjoy your food more in a beautiful room, you'll be able to see your food. And not only are there sky light, window and sunroom additions that can be made to your kitchen space, artificial lighting can greatly improve the ambiance of any size kitchen and an electrician can show you how. The professionals who work in construction can design, layout, and install a variety of lighting options for your space. The lighting can highlight working stations at the stove, under the cabinets, on the center island, over the bar or dining table. The improved lighting can help you read your recipes, see the progress of the contents of your pots and create a relaxed or romantic dining experienced for you, your spouse and your entire family year round.
A lighting design for outdoor space involves more of an understanding of your general yard renovation layout. An electrician would have to be in on the construction from the very beginning. Depending upon the type of lighting you envision, some of the wiring and fixtures may have to be prepared and installed before much of the permanent benches, decks, hot tubes, pools, gazebos, and landscaping is completed. Only a well-trained electrician can know the best wiring and applications and safety measures for your type of construction.
Lastly, home theater installation is about the light that you want to keep out more so than making it a well-lit space. However, when the lights are on, you want to have options that bring about that theater feeling for all who enter your special viewing room. You create movie atmosphere with floor lighting during the film, shelf or table lighting nearby for easy access to a beverage or snack, screen lighting before and after the viewing as well as soft lighting over head to illuminate specific areas of the room or movie posters.
Lighting is only one aspect of the training and experience that a skilled electrician can offer any home, commercial, government, or public space. They work wiring for design, installation, and repairs for as long as electricity is servicing a specific area, structure, or apparatus. No matter where you are or what your needs are, in any space you require electricity. They understand that their jobs are risky but they make sure that the clients are safe as a result of their expert applications.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Lighting Tutorial - Electrical & Wiring - PT 2

Here we compare 25 FT holiday lighting strands to commercial grade holiday wiring as well as ampacity or the ability of a wire to carry elecricity.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Lighting Tutorial - Electrical & Wiring - PT 1

In this video we go over wire gage, current flow, and bulb wattage and how they relate to one another.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Preparing Your Home's Electrical System For The Winter Season

It's that time again: time to winterize your home for the next few months. Old Man Winter is upon us and that means now would be the best time to prepare your home for the winter months to avoid significant damage to either the interior or exterior.
Experts project that wallets will be taking another small hit this winter season across the country. According to a report from the United States Energy Information Agency (EIA), more than 90 percent of homes will have higher bills for heating costs between the months of October and the end of March.
It is estimated that electricity costs will jump approximately two percent from last winter. In this timeframe, it's crucial that homeowners perform various winter electrical maintenance tasks and perhaps even repairs to ensure the electricity functions correctly and to avoid a higher bill in these months. Indeed, there is an array of areas to deal with in the home, but the electricity is one of the most important matters to winterize.
Here are five important tips for electrical maintenance and repairs.
One of the very first tasks to complete is an outdoor evaluation. It's important to check the wires attached to a utility pole are correctly and safely secured. Also, be sure to find out if there are any branches that could harm those wires in the event of a major storm. After that is done, make certain that all exterior outlets and switches are working properly.
Electric heaters
Before winter makes its triumphant return this year, it would be a good idea to see if the electric heaters to prevent ice dams on your roof or pipes from freezing are fully operational and won't experience an outage for the next few months. In most cases, households may have to wait for the ice to melt before the electric heater, or ice dam heater, can be repaired after a deep cold.
Yearly infrared scan
It's a known fact that equipment heats up dramatically before it falters. Unfortunately, by the time this heat is detected it will be too late. To avoid this, complete an annual infrared scan because this process can discover any problems before the cold arrives. For those interested, infrared scanning is great for boilers, chillers, electrical switchgears and pumps.
Boiler cleanings
Similar to the annual infrared scans, it is suggested that households should also perform annual boiler cleanings. Not only is cleaning a preventative measure that can help your electricity perform its best, it can also save money on your energy bill: just 1⁄32 of an inch of soot in a boiler can result in a 9.5 percent loss of energy efficiency.
Call in an expert
To be absolutely certain that everything is ready and roaring to go, schedule an appointment with a professional, experienced and certified electrician to complete an inspection. Since an electrician is fully trained, he can spot any problems, deficiencies or growing issues that can cause mayhem during the coldest day of the year. You won't be sorry.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fix Your Electrical Problems With The Help Of A Great Electrician

There are many unique circumstances in which you many find yourself needing the services of an excellent Atlanta electrician. You will definitely want one of the many Atlanta electricians that is both great with people, respected in this very specialized line of work as well and very professional in his or her encounters with you. You will definitely be sure to value the services that a great electricity specialist can provide in improving both the great value of your home, but also in improving the overall beauty of your home.
The great services of an electricity specialist in your home can make a great difference in both your quality of life and the overall quality of the excellent home you live in and spend quite a lot of time in. If you have children, it is definitely of great importance that you keep in mind just how important that your electrical wiring is to the overall success and viability of your household. Many home owners definitely can not imagine living without the great luxury of electricity in their homes, however many of them do not pay much attention to the great care that you must give to your electrical wiring in order to make sure everything is running smoothly. An electricity specialist can definitely help you make sure that the electricity in your home is running excellently and without any problems that would be bad for you as well as your family or roommates. You and your great electricity specialist should discuss any problems or special needs you have for your electricity and any specific limitations your electricity professional encounters when working with the electrical wiring system in your excellent home.
You would definitely be surprised to know that many homes have bad electrical wiring that can definitely lower the overall value of your home. One great thing that many potential home buyers look for in a potential home is an excellent system of electrical wiring to help them manage their everyday lives and to use their electrical appliances. It is definitely a great way to improve the selling value of your home, especially if your current system is lacking. Many people hire electricity specialists when they are looking to either sell their excellent home or to improve and do repairs on a new home. Many people definitely recognize how very important it is that your home has a great system of electrical wiring throughout, therefore they hire electricity specialists to help solve or find any potential problems with their electrical wiring in their homes.
You will definitely be proud to own a home that is properly wired and made safe by an excellent person who definitely knows what he or she is doing. That is why you should definitely call an electricity specialist to help you with your many needs that pertain to the installation, maintenance and fixing any problems with your great electrical wiring system in your home. It is definitely important to keep in mind the services of a local electricity specialist.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

AC/DC What Does It All Mean?

We all know Thomas Edison, his accomplishments are legendary, over 1000 patents were issued to this prolific inventor. Nikola Tesla, noted Serbian academic, was another inventor from the same period, trained in Europe as an engineer, he emigrated to the United States where he never attained the stature of Edison but arguably accomplished more. He is the inventor of our modern electrical power grid. This video summarizes this accomplishment and the role that both Edison and Tesla played in this accomplishment.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Call Us For Commercial Projects!

Tom shows that Vacaville Electric is a full range contractor ready to tackle any commercial job. See more at

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tips When Choosing Home Lighting!

Before you go out and buy new lighting for your home, it is worth walking from room to room to get a feel for the furniture, color scheme and existing lighting that is already in place. When shopping for new lighting you need to be mindful about where you will be placing these lamps within the room, how much lighting you require and if you will be focusing the light on any particular focal point. The focal point could be painting on the wall or a prized family airlume on the mantel piece.
The bedroom is a more informal room than the rest of the house and provides you the opportunity to add personal decorative ideas that you may not necessarily choose for the living room for instance. You may want to by lighting that is luxurious in style, rather than a more modern or minimalist look that you would see in other rooms. You have the option of buying side lamps for each side of the bed, or a free standing corner lamp. The amount of furniture and floor space you already have in the bedroom will probably be the deciding factor on whether a floor lamp is feasible.
If you do not have enough floor space, then you can buy table lamps that can be placed on either side of the bed. Having side lamps is a great way to add a relaxing mood into the bedroom as they do not tend to be very bright. You can also match the lampshades to the color of the bedding, curtains or the walls. If you have a ceiling light installed, you can also match the ceiling light shade to the color scheme within the room as well.
The dining room requires a more formal setting and therefore a more formal lamp as well. One important factor to note when choosing a light for the dining room that you may easily overlook is the height of a floor lamp. When you are in a standing position, the light will not shine directly at your face, but sitting down is another story. Many people forget that lamp shades will shine directly into the faces of people when sitting down. You may want to look at lighting that can be directed at the wall or ceiling so that the wall or ceiling reflects the light back into the room. Alternatively buy a lamp that uses a shade which fully surrounds the light bulb.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

We Do Residential

Vacaville Electric will provide all your Residental needs. With over 1,000 track homes and 50 custom homes under our belt, we bring the basics as well as all the 21st Century technology options. Whether your home is "Colonial Cozy" or the "Next Generation," we will make sure you always get the best bang for your buck.

We understand Residential including a keen awareness for the infrastructure of your home. When installing electrical devices we will meet your lighting needs while maintaining the integrity of your walls, ceilings and tiles. Not knowing what is going on is a shame when you are building. 

Call today for a Prebuild Design Consultation. If you are already in your house and you need some help making it into a home, we are just a phone call away.

Listed are examples of some of the electrical work that we do. If there is something you do not see on our list, keep in mind that we are excited to welcome new challenges!
• New Home Construction (Ground Up)
• Additions and Partials
• Lighting Design (Comfort, Effect, Security)
• Code Correction
• Fire and Water Damage
• Driveway Lighting
• Gates
• Solar

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Common Problems With Electrical Outlets

If your home is like most, you probably have numerous electrical outlets. Although most times you can simply use these outlets without giving them a second thought, sometimes problems do occur. If you are noticing any problems with one or more outlets in your home, you should immediately evaluate and remedy the problem. If left unattended to, an annoyingly problematic electrical outlet could quickly turn into a serious safety hazard. To avoid personal injuries or fires, calling an electrician at the first sign of outlet problems is usually the best course of action. Here are some common electrical outlet problems that you might be experiencing.
Overloaded Circuits and Outlets
Overloading is often the culprit behind many electrical outlet problems. Although it can be tempting to plug too many appliances or electronic devices into one outlet, it is a practice that should definitely be avoided. If you are using a power strip or an extension box to increase the number of items you can plug into a single outlet, you might be unintentionally setting yourself up for problems. By utilizing power strips and extension boxes, it often becomes possible to plug six or more devices into an outlet that was only designed for two. In some cases, you might simply blow a fuse or trip a breaker switch as a result of overloading the outlet. However, in other cases an electrical fire could be the end result.
Crisscrossed Wiring
Just because your outlet generally works does not mean there are not problems with faulty wiring or a faulty electrical outlet installation. In some cases, even if the wiring has been improperly installed, the outlet will still function acceptably most of the time. If you are experiencing sporadic problems with equipment and appliances plugged into a specific outlet, it might be a symptom of crisscrossed wiring. Sometimes when outlets are installed, mistakes are made. In the case of crisscrossed wiring, the outlet may have been installed with the "hot" and "neutral" wires reversed on the terminal screws. Although appliances and equipment often still work when this situation exists, it can be quite dangerous. Crisscrossed wiring could cause damage to your electrical equipment, due to the reversed polarity. This wiring problem will also generally interfere with the grounding of an outlet, which can also cause damage. If this issue is discovered, the wiring should be fixed immediately to avoid potential problems.
Improper Outdoor Electrical Outlets
Improper outdoor electrical outlets are actually quite common, especially in older homes. Although modern electrical codes require the use of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt receptacles, often referred to as simply GFCIs, it was common in the past to install standard outlets outdoors. This can cause a very dangerous situation, since moisture is quite common in most outdoor environments. If you accidentally touch an outdoor outlet when it is wet, the fact that it is a GFCI could just save your life. Have all outdoor electrical outlets inspected periodically as a safety precaution, even if they are GFCI outlets, to ensure that water or moisture is not leaking into them.

Article Source:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How To Use Lighting Controls & Switches To Help Sell Your Home

Welcome to Learn It at Leviton, your one-stop source for reliable information on a range of home improvement topics 

Are you selling your home? If so, use these simple tips to help increase the value of your home.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Solar Panel Electricity - An Affordable Energy Source

Smart consumers today are looking no further than solar panel electricity as a natural and efficient energy source. The solar panel is a component used in a photovoltaic system to generate renewable energy from the sun that is used as electrical power in residential homes and commercial buildings.

The panels actually collect solar radiation found within the sun's rays and then convert those rays into energy which produces the electricity. The first solar panel was used to power a satellite made by Hoffman Electronics in 1958 and was used as the primary satellite energy source until the 1970's.

Solar panel electricity is a clean, natural and environmentally safe source of energy. Solar cells have been used to power calculators, outdoor light fixtures, street lights, satellites, water heating systems, air conditioners and heaters. Solar panels have become a great energy source for marine vehicles and recreational vehicles since they are a portable form of energy.

There is no need to plug in to an electric source while on the road or when boating. Solar generators are even available so you can take them camping in the great outdoors. They can heat water for a shower or keep your tent warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Solar panels will produce all the electricity you need for a great outdoor experience. They produce no harmful pollution compared to fossil burning fuels that produce toxic gases. The toxins are released into the atmosphere and are a danger to animals, plants and humans.

Since these panels renew the sun's energy at no cost to the consumer, once the initial hardware is purchased and installed there will be no future charges to renew the sun's energy. The sun is actually able to produce enough energy in the space of an hour to meet the needs of all mankind for the rest of their lives. The sun is a very powerful energy source and people are beginning to sit up and take notice of it. It is affordable and healthier for the planet as a wonderful way to discontinue or reduce the use of fossil fuels.

The federal and state governments continually offer rebates and tax incentives for consumers to purchase solar panel electricity in an effort to help offset the initial costs of setting up a solar energy system. These types of panels can be purchased from home improvement stores, building, heating and air conditioning contractors, and online merchandisers.

These sources can provide you with the most accurate information regarding prices, rebates and tax incentives on purchasing do-it-yourself kits or professional installation. Contact a solar specialist as soon as possible if you want to save money and help make your environment healthier.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Electric Vocabulary

View full lesson on TED-Ed BETA:

We all know the words around electricity, "charge," "positive," "battery" and more. But where do they come from and what do they really mean? Let the history of these words illuminate the physics of electric phenomena.

Lesson by James Sheils, animation by TED-Ed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

History of Electricity - A Timeline of Innovation and Multiple Key Discoveries

The history of electricity is an interesting one. It outlines numerous inventions, key discoveries or milestones which collectively have brought us to where we are today. Understanding the evolution of the past and where we are today does contribute to what we should be doing going forward.
One of the first questions that arises when we think about the history or evolution of electricity is when electricity was invented or discovered and by who? In my opinion there does not seem to be a clear or single answer to this because electricity as we know it today is an outcome of multiple observations, inventions or key discoveries that took place over a extremely long period of time.
This timeline starts with the discovery of static electricity, invention of electric batteries, the concepts of voltage and Ohms law. From there direct current provided electricity to incandescent lights which was later replaced by alternating current. This was then distributed to homes on a widespread basis to address lighting and eventually appliances.
Returning now to today, just how do we generate electricity which we all take for granted? Electricity is generated or produced by several primary energy sources most notably coal, natural gas, nuclear power, petroleum. Some other renewable sources are hydro power, geothermal, solar, wind and biomass.
Why should we be concerned with understanding the history of electricity, timeline, discuss who invented or discovered it and how is it generated today?
The first main reason is to understand that the electricity is a secondary energy source. This means that it is generated from other primary energy sources. To draw out an example we can use the US. The Department of Energy has reported that during 2006 approximately 49% of the total electricity produced was generated from coal and about 19% from nuclear power generation. In terms of renewable sources, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal collectively generated about 5% of the overall electricity during the same period.
This helps me to introduce my second point which is the overall majority of electricity produced or generated in the US for this period was a result of using non-renewable energy sources. There is obviously a limitation further down the road which implies this course of action is not fully sustainable.
The last point to highlight is the journey or evolution of discoveries and innovations which have led us to where we are today will likely continue going forward. This implies that on-going usage of energy sources should be adapted, new or enhanced technologies that optimize electricity will ideally be deployed. The increased awareness today on energy conservation and renewable energy sources should act as a strong catalyst towards even further innovation over the coming years.
The take-away for consumers is we should collectively implement ways to conserve energy or more specifically save electricity wherever possible. In parallel to these energy conservation steps, adopting new renewable energy sources should be a key priority. The outcome ideally being to stimulate more innovation, similar to what we have see in the past.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Basics Of Electricity

Simplest model of an atom 

To ward the end of the 19th  century, science  was barreling along at an impressive pace. Automobiles andaircraft were on the verge of changing the way the world mov ed, and electric power was st eadily making its way into more and more homes. Yet even scientists of the day still viewed electricity as something vaguely mystical. It wasn't until 1897 that scientists discovered the existence ofelectrons -- and this is where electricity starts.
Matter, as you probably know, is composed of atoms. Break something down to small enough pieces and you wind up with a nucleus orbited by one or more electrons, each with a negative charge. In many materials, the electrons are tightly bound to the atoms. Wood, glass, plastic, ceramic, air, cotton -- these are all examples of materials in which electrons stick with their atoms. Because the electrons don't move, these materials can't conduct electricity very well, if at all. These materials areelectrical insulators.
Holy Electricity
In the late 19th century, electricity truly had a noble or even divine reputation -- to the extent that members of the scientific community protested the idea of the electric chair as a degradation of both electricity and the scientific breakthroughs that made electrocuting a criminal possible. What might these critics have thought of such modern marvels as the battery-powered blackhead remover or the dance-floor horror known as the electric slide?
Most metals, however, have electrons that can detach from their atoms and zip around. These are called free electrons. The loose electrons make it easy for electricity to flow through these materials, so they're known as electrical conductors. They conduct electricity. The moving electrons transmit electrical energy from one point to another.
Think of electrons as pet dogs and a negative charge as a case of fleas. Homes where the dogs lived inside or within a fenced-in area would be the equivalent of an electrical insulator. Homes where the pets roamed free, however, would be electrical conductors. If you had one neighborhood of indoor, pampered pugs and one neighborhood of unfenced, free-roaming basset hounds, which group do you think could spread an outbreak of fleas the fastest?
Dogs aside, electricity needs a conductor in order to move. There also has to be something  to make the electricity flow from one point to another through the conductor. One way to get electricity flowing is to use a generator.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Decoration Safety - Electrical Precautions

Many people to extra care and safety while trick-or-treating, but few consider the safety of their guest trick-or-treaters. Make sure your outdoor electrical decorations shut off immediately if shorted out.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How to Evaluate Electrical Features When Buying A Home

Welcome to Learn It at Leviton, your one-stop source for reliable information on a range of home improvement topics.

Are you buying a home? If so, here are some electrical tips to help you evaluate a home.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How To Use Leviton Lighting Controls & Switches To Help Make Your Home Greener

Welcome to Learn It at Leviton, your one-stop source for reliable information on a range of home improvement topics

How to use Leviton lighting controls & switches to help make your home greener.

Monday, October 14, 2013

adorne Wireless Lighting

Creating the perfect mood for dinner guests? Turn on your favorite lights and save the settings. Want specific lights to turn on when you come home? Create your own "Welcome Home" light setting. adorne's wireless lighting gives you complete flexibility

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weatherproof Your Home - Waterproof Electrical Connectors

Do you have a new baby in the house? Worried about your kids spilling water near electrical wires or electronic devices? Setting up Christmas lights and worried about rain or snow? Perhaps it's time to weatherproof your home with waterproof electrical connectors.
Water and electricity are a bad mix. In fact, when they do mix, the results can be seriously damaging. Even deadly. You just can't risk it -especially when you have kids around.
I was always worried about people getting electrocuted in my home. With two toddlers, I kept on imagining water bottles being spilled on electrical appliances and little hands trying to wipe the spill. Also, because of global warming, the weather has been going haywire lately. Gone are the days when you can be a hundred percent sure of rainless weather. In the town where I live, it has rained twice already this season. Being a big fan of outdoor lighting, this posed a problem for me.
How do you weatherproof your home to make sure everyone's safe and sound? Here are some areas you might want to check out to make sure everything's water-resistant: 
  1. Communication Connections - This includes phone lines, cable TV, computers, etc. Make sure all the wires and cables for these networks are waterproof.
  2. Outdoor lighting - This is important. Outdoor lighting systems are susceptible to dew, moisture, rain, etc. Make sure your wiring systems are weatherproof.
  3. Boats and Waterfront properties - If you own one of these, you need definitely need to waterproof them.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Whole House Surge Protection


To some, whole house surge protection is achieved simply by installing a surge protective breaker or panel at the home's main breaker load center(s). However, true whole house surge protection requires surge protective devices at various levels within the home to provide the most reliable protection - a surge protection network if you will.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Dangers of DIY Electrical Installation

Many people enjoy indulging in DIY tasks in their homes. It is usually a big boost to their egos whenever the task goes well. Many people may also perform tasks personally to save the cost of hiring a professional. When it comes to DIY electrical installation, there are many dangers and risks involved. The task is better left to professional electricians. Some home owners are equipped with tools for electrical purposes. However, it is still not advisable to experiment with electrical connections. The results could be hazardous and at times fatal. The risk involved is not worth it. You had better incur some costs of hiring an electrician and be safe.
There are several dangers that come with DIY electrical installation. The most common one is electrocution. You will be at a risk of being electrocuted if you touch live wires. Electrocution could also result if wrongly cut through cables. This could result to serious burns that could render you being disabled for the rest of your life. It could also lead to heart failure leading to death. Should a friend or family member try to save you from being electrocuted, he will face the same risk.
Poorly installed electrical cables could lead to fires. A fire could result if the wiring is incorrect, badly insulated or loose. A fire could start in the electric socket and spread to other parts of the house. Why risk burning your house down if you can hire an electrician? You could be doing the installation to save the extra cost. However, after burning up your home, you will incur much higher costs of replacing your belongings. Apparently, the DIY installation is not worth it.
Conducting unlicensed electrical installation could cost you high fines. Unlicensed electrical work is illegal. Should any damage result, you could face a penalty of as high as two hundred thousand dollars. You may also be legally charged and suffer a jail term of up to three years. Damages in your home resulting from unlicensed electrical work may not be compensated by your insurance company. Thus, if any loss occurs, the home owner will bear it.
The DIY homeowner may not understand the correct size for wires and cables. Electric wires come in many sizes and types. The type and size of wire will determine the manner in which it is used. If the wrong size is installed, overheating may result. The wires should match the appliances with which they are used. The wires used for appliances like television are different from those used for electric cookers. Many homeowners are not armed with this kind of knowledge.
While doing electrical installations, the power boards should not be overloaded. DIY electrical installations could result to overloading of power outlets and power board. This could lead to straining of the circuits. The same case applies for electrical box connections. Electrical boxes are meant to give protection against external elements. Inexperienced people may overload the electrical box. This will in turn result to overheating and short circuiting. By seeking the assistance of a qualified electrician, such scenarios can be avoided.
It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with a minor electrical installation or a major one. You still need to hire a qualified electrician. Mistakes can be made even when performing simple tasks such as installing light bulbs. You may put a bulb with a higher wattage than a socket. There will be a risk of overheating. The socket will burn and cease functioning. You are likely to keep replacing bulbs and sockets every now and then. This is not economical at all. In fact, the risks and costs of DIY electrical installation exceed the cost of hiring an electrician by far.

Article Source:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

5 Licensed Electrician Tips for Safety at Home

Naturally, electricians hear a lot of easily preventable, yet tragic stories of electrical accidents that could have been easily prevented with a little know how. Accidents can happen any time and a volt of prevention is worth a watt of cure.
Cords: Cords must never be stapled or nailed into place; moreover, they should never be placed under rugs. If covered, the cord is not only a trip hazard, but it cannot cool down properly. What's more, any wearing or frays will go unnoticed, which is a perfect recipe for a fire hazard. Tape your cords along the outskirts of the room for a safer household.
Plugs: Electrical contractors see this one a lot. Do not modify a plug for any reason. Filing down prongs or removing the third prong (aka the ground pin) will lead to an electrical shock. A plug should fit snugly into a socket, and should never require force. The consequences of ignoring this tip can be painful and even deadly.
Water: It's basic science. Water is highly conductive; any electrical current introduced to a body of water will spread all over that body of water until power runs out...and if that's a plugged in hair dryer that fell in the bath tub, that's a lot of electricity for a long time. Never reach into water to retrieve an appliance that fell in, even if it's been turned off.
Lightning: Every Electrician knows that this one is often overlooked. During an electrical storm, turn off all appliances and stay out of the water (including baths and showers). If lightning strikes the electrical wires outside your home, there will be a surge of power throughout the house. Anyone in the bath or shower will be electrocuted from water coming out of electrified pipes, and any active appliances will likely be blown out. It only lasts a few seconds, but the loss of life or property is permanent.
Space Heaters: Space heaters are small devices placed in a room to generate heat. Due to their size and function, they are usually a temporary addition to a room and some important safety information gets ignored. Never, ever place a space heater within a yard of anything flammable. Rugs, furniture, and draperies are the most common examples of things that have lit up when placed carelessly close to a space heater.
All electrical contractors typically likely agree that if everyone acknowledges these simple tips, the loss of life and property can be reduced considerably. Be safe!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Have Us Check Your Electrical Panel!

Tom talks about the dangers of not servicing your electrical panel. Give them a call for a free inspection at 707-448-8222 or see more at

Monday, September 23, 2013

How Do You Know When to Update Electrical Wiring?

Even the most beautiful house can be damaged within. Old, outdated, and even dangerous wiring may be hidden behind your lovely, decorated walls. Even if your home's electrical system seems to be working well and you haven't noticed anything unusual (flickering lights, unexpected power outages, sparks, warm sockets), it could be unsafe. If your home is over 40 years old, it might be time to update electrical wiring to ensure that your home is safe and secure. Of course, it will be expensive and require some major construction work, but isn't it worth it to know that your family is safe? Plus, an updated electrical system adds a lot of value to an older home.
Of course, not all old homes have bad wiring, but unless you open the walls, you'll never know. Maybe your wire insulation is deteriorating or your electrical system isn't even up to code--how will you know unless you have it inspected? Hire a licensed electrician to check it out so that you can determine if and when you need to update electrical wiring in your home. This is essential if your house is over 40 years old, but there are other red flags you should watch out for. If you notice any of these issues, call an electrician and schedule that inspection:
  • You get a tingling feeling when you touch an appliance.
  • Lights flicker or dim unexpectedly.
  • Your circuit breaker often trips or your fuse box blows.
  • Your outlets have sparked, sometimes feel warm, or are discolored.
  • A room or appliance has a burning smell.
  • There isn't a GFCI in rooms exposed to moisture like the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • You have multiple two-prong, ungrounded outlets.
You should also check to see if your home uses aluminum wiring, a common feature in homes built during the 1960s and 70s. It was a popular material 40-50 years ago, but aluminum wiring is now considered a safety hazard (it can loosen over time, causing overheating that may lead to fires). Sometimes your entire system will need to be replaced if you have aluminum wiring; other times, copper connectors placed on receptacles and circuit breakers are enough.
Finally, you might also need to update electrical wiring because your home just can't keep up with you. If you have a lot of high-power gadgets that require (in total) more than 200 amps a day, old wiring won't always suffice. Or, you might need more electrical outlets in your home. If you do, have outlets installed by a professional rather than relying on power strips and extension cords, which are dangerous if over-used.
Faulty wiring is the number one cause of residential fires, so it's important that you consider the health of your system before it's too late. It's a massive, costly undertaking, but it's always worth it if you consider the safety of your family and the security of your home.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Looking For A Job?

Vacaville Electric
Insured & Bonded: License #936815

707-448-VACA (8222)

1011 Mason Street, Suite 9
Vacaville, California 95688

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

adorne TV commercial

Turn on ordinary into extraordinary with the adorne collection by Legrand. It's time for a beautiful switch.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Now Hiring!

Vacaville Electric
Insured & Bonded: License #936815

707-448-VACA (8222)

1011 Mason Street, Suite 9
Vacaville, California 95688

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Several Reasons Why Your Electrician Is Very Important

The primary roles of electricians include fitting, repairing and testing wires and electrical circuits in residential and commercial buildings. They may also be involved in installing switches and lighting in homes or traffic lights and street lighting. Some of the common tasks they perform include installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems within buildings such as security and fire system. They also play the important role of testing electrical systems regularly. Electrical contractors have the choice of working in industries, commercial property or residential properties. They also have the right to choose to work in a team or on their own. The reasons why they are so important are:
They fix all electrical problems
If you lose electricity but your neighbor does not- the problem may not be with the utility company. As a result, you will need to hire the services of a professional electrician to fix the problem. If you are experiencing problems with the supply of electricity in your house it is always advisable to contact experienced electrical contractors to undertake the necessary repairs. When you choose to perform the repairs on your own terms, accidents can arise. You may not want to get into a position where you are causing harm or setting your house on fire.
They are good at their job
Electricians are good at their job because they have spent time in technical school. Others have acquired the necessary skills on the job, working under the guidance of experienced master electricians. When you hire the right technicians, they will be able to quickly diagnose the problem because they have the necessary knowledge in handing different electrical problems. They understand how electricity needs to work and what it can do. Some DIY homeowners often undertake simple projects such as re-setting the circuit breaker and rewiring the home entertainment center or computer. Nevertheless, simply because a homeowner can undertake some simple projects does not suggest they can handle high voltage electrical problems.
They have a good reputation
If you are looking for an electrical contractor, you will choose from several technicians with a good reputation. Many of them are recommended for their quality work. Therefore, you must avoid looking for professional hands based on price. Instead, you need to consider the workers based on superior work and customer service experience. The right technicians can be found through word of mouth. Consider asking your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to recommend the right professional. However, make sure they have a valid license and insurance.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Great Home Lighting Ideas

The lighting design of your house should be one of your priorities when interior decorating. It is often taken for granted and people just add it at the last minute, which results in bad choices. It is highly recommended that you include it even at the beginning stages of floor planning and space decorating. Lighting can enhance the ambiance, feel, and general mood of your home. Not many are aware that poor lighting can hide even your most perfectly decorated room. Since it can tremendously affect the aesthetic aspect of your environment, you need to plan your interior lighting well.

Here are some things to consider for your interior lighting:

Contrast. To give your space more personality, try to allow shadows and contrasts through lighting design. If you have an overly even lighting, it might appear bland and boring. Use it also to highlight the architectural details of your home. If you have a textured wall, for example, you might want a light that is not too bright so as not to whitewash your wall.

Fixtures. To save time and energy in choosing different fixtures for every light source, you might like to use fixtures from the same theme or collection. There are collections available in the same finish for chandeliers, wall fixtures, pendants, and even wall lamps.

Intensity. Nothing can transform a room as fast as a light dimmer. You can go from a functional work area to a romantic and dramatic room the next moment. Installing a dimmer can add flexibility in your lighting. It is also easy to install.

Efficiency. A brighter, more durable, and more energy efficient bulb will not only save the earth but also give you lots of savings. Electricity used from light comprises around 25% of your energy bill so replace all your bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). It is said that a CFL bulb will pay for itself in 6 months.

Existing Space. As with any other interior design aspect, you should always consider existing factors in the room when dealing with lighting. Think of your existing wall, its texture, color, and accessories, such as frames or artwork, when positioning and choosing your light fittings. Consider the function of the room as well. Is it going to be a work area, such as a home office, or will it serve many purposes? There are different types and approaches for different functions and styles. You should also plan your lighting design to match furniture placement. You can't have your reading light far from your bed or reading chair.

As long as you plan it well and you consider all these, you can light up your home and see the big difference.

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Good light shouldn't be only be in art galleries and in the movies. Your home should have it, too! From the cutting edge of LED to Induction Lighting, Vacaville Electric can brighten your day and help you set the mood.
707-448-VACA (8222)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Smart Power Plugs John La Grou unveils an ingenious new technology that will smarten up the electrical outlets in our homes, using microprocessors and RFID tags. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires -- and to conserve energy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Why do Americans and Canadians celebrate Labor Day? - Kenneth C. Davis

In the United States and Canada, the first Monday of September is a federal holiday, Labor Day. Originally celebrated in New York City's Union Square in 1882, Labor Day was organized by unions as a rare day of rest for the overworked during the Industrial Revolution. Kenneth C. Davis illustrates the history of Labor Day from Union Square to today.

Friday, August 30, 2013

LED or Compact Fluorescent Kitchen Lighting Fixtures: Weighing Your Options

Deciding on the best kitchen lighting fixtures is a real concern for many people. This is because of the information they get regarding the qualities of different types of lighting fixtures. It can be very confusing for someone trying to make a good decision relating to the best type of lighting fixture to use. Among the popular lighting available, the most confusion is in the decision between LED, and fluorescent kitchen lighting fixtures. The main reason for this confusion is that these two types of fixtures are presented as the most efficient alternatives in terms of energy consumption. However, each one of them seems to have other qualities that a homeowner must look at before settling for any of them.
Compact Fluorescent Lighting For A Kitchen Lighting Fixture?
The fluorescent lamp is not a very new concept in illumination. However, the ones that have been in use are the fluorescent tubes. They have been the most efficient form of indoor lighting for many applications. However, due to their relatively higher installation costs, many people settled for incandescent bulbs. As long as energy prices were low, they worked just fine. In the last few years, a new type of fluorescent bulb- the compact fluorescent light has come into the market. It is designed to fit in the existing lighting fixtures previously used for the incandescent bulbs. They are more efficient and hence they have been marketed as a green option. The main concern with the compact fluorescent lights is that they contain mercury, which is hazardous. They require careful handling both at home and at disposal centers because of the risk of mercury poisoning.
LED Lighting
LED kitchen lighting fixtures are the newest addition to the lighting options. They too have very outstanding efficiency credentials. However there are questions about their reliability because the technology is still in development. There are units which have been developed that can fit in existing fluorescent light fixtures but use much less power.
The choice of the most effective lighting between LED lights and fluorescent lights is really a choice between safety on one hand, and reliability on the other. LED lights are easy to handle and to dispose. They are slightly more expensive to acquire but they also promise a longer operational life when compared to fluorescent lights. On the other hand, fluorescent lamp technology is more stable because it has been polished over time. The two major disadvantages of the lamps are that they need careful handling and in case of breakage, they can cause mercury poisoning in the home. In addition, they are sensitive to power quality hence they can burn out easily under conditions of over or under-voltage, such as during a storm.
In the kitchen or in your home in general, safety should take precedence over anything else because a lapse in safety may result in exposing your family to mercury poisoning. The choice of LED lights seems best because of the elimination of any potential threat that could occur from breaking the bulb or the kitchen lighting fixtures themselves. Of course, this is a rare occurrence but a potentially lethal one nonetheless. It justifies the choice of LED Lights as the best kitchen lighting fixtures.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Electrical Safety For Older Adults

Electrical failures or malfunctions are a leading cause of home fires every year. Older adults (ages 65+) have a higher risk of dying in fires caused by electrical distribution and lighting equipment than the general population. This high-quality 60-second public service announcement provides safety tips to help older adults identify and prevent electrical hazards that can result in a home fire.

This video is part of a new, multi-faceted Home Fire Safety for Older Adults program that has been developed by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) with funding provided by a FY 2011 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Be sure to check out the other videos in the series - Home Heating Safety Tips for Older Adults and Cooking Safety Tips for Older Adults. Additional program materials are also available on ESFI's website at

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hiding Your Entertainment System's Ugly Wires

Selecting, purchasing and installing a home entertainment can be a very time and energy intensive project. As a result, many homeowners just don't have the energy or motivation to go about hiding all of the wires after the theatre system is in place. Because you probably spent a good amount of money on your setup, you owe it to yourself to spend a little time making it look as good as possible. Each setup is different, but hiding and organizing your wires can be as easy or as extensive a project as you want to make it. The result is a clean, professional, great looking home theatre system that you can be proud of.
Cable Organization
The best place to start when hiding your unsightly cables is organization. For more basic setups, this just requires some simple cleanup. Take advantage of cable ties, organizers, and other organizational devices to help keep all of your cables together. This works especially well if you have an entertainment center with an open back. You can then use cable ties to run bundles of cables behind components, table legs or other obstructions so that they are no longer seen.
Organization can be much easier with a closed-back entertainment center. Rather than bundling everything together, you can organize your cables with cable tacks or screw hooks on the back of the console. Because it has a closed back, most of your cables are naturally hidden.
Hiding Your Cables
After you have organized your cables, there are many things that you can do to completely hide them. What you ultimately do depends on the way your system is set up.
If you have a wall-mounted television, there are several options for hiding your cables. If you are able to, think about having an electrician install an electrical outlet directly behind the TV. While they are they, they can also help you run your component cables through the wall and back into your components. You are left with a very clean looking setup with nearly no visible wires.
Hiding Your Components
If you want to achieve the cleanest, most minimal look possible, consider hiding your components as well as your wiring. This works best if you have a nearby room or closet to put everything in. You will also need to look into the equipment you will need to repeat the IR signals from your remotes back to your equipment. While this requires a little more work and planning, it can pay off when done properly. After running all of your cables through the wall and into your new, designated component space, you are left with nothing but your television visible in the room. Get ready for everyone who comes over to ask you how you did it. Make sure to work with an electrician or other professional to make sure that you cover all your bases. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours on relocating your components, just to find out that you left something out.
Whether you are looking for the complete minimal setup, or just a less cluttered entertainment system, this type of project can be anything that you make it to be. Although relocated components and an ultra hidden setup may appeal to some, others prefer to keep everything close at hand. Whichever route you choose to take, spending some time cleaning, organizing and hiding the wires in your entertainment system will make the whole space appear more functional, clean and well thought out.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No More Wires for TV - Vacaville Electric

Tom talks about the nuisance of wires hanging from a nice TV and how Vacaville Electric can help. See more at

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why You Should Use a Professional Electrician

Most people are sensible when it comes to working with electricity: they call in a professional or someone who is qualified. Carrying out electricity work isn't like plumbing work. Anyone with basic DIY skills can change a tap. If you do it wrong, you'll get wet. Botch an electricity job and you can die.
Check Laws and Regulations
Always do some research into laws concerning electrician work. They are changed regularly and often restrict the type of job unqualified electricians or the homeowner are allowed to carry out. In some countries, only certified people can carry out electrical installation work, or the work must be certified upon completion.
Some electrical work, such as repairs on existing circuits, can be undertaken immediately, while some work, such as adding new circuits, must be sanctioned by the local authority before the job is carried out. For this reason, it is best to always use a qualified, professional electrician who will assess the job, notify the local authority if necessary, and certify the finished work.
Certified electricians not only have the technical knowledge and expertise to carry out an electricity job to a high standard, they will also have the requisite knowledge of how to work safely. Sometimes it's not enough just to know to switch off the electricity supply at the mains, remove relevant fuses and seal the fuse panel, or test that the supply really is off.
Professional electricians will obviously know all the correct procedures to carry out before starting the job, but they will also ensure that the working environment is safe, and work safely with additional tools and electrical components.
Differences Between Pros and DIYers
While DIY enthusiasts may think they know the ins and outs of carrying out an electrical job, technical details and experience separate the amateurs from professionals.  Professional, qualified electricians will know the following:
  • Up-to-date regulations.
  • Up-to-date industry changes, e.g. cable core colour changes, mandatory types of circuit breaker.
  • Whether or not to notify local authorities about the job.
  • Remove flooring safely and with minimum fuss and disruption.
  • Exactly where to drill in a wall to fit cables.
  • The best places and ways to fit cables.
  • What thickness of cables to use.
  • What size of fuse or circuit breaker to use.
  • How many sockets can be run from one fuse.

Check Qualifications
Would you trust someone who is unqualified to rewire your home or business, or repair a faulty circuit? Make sure the electrician you use is fully qualified. In the UK, make sure the electrician is either NICEIC, ECA or ELECSA certified. In the US, ensure your electrician has passed a National Electrical Code inspection. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the job will be done safely and no damage will occur to your property.

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