Winter In Cache Valley

Winter Home Improvements in Cache Valley

It’s Cold Outside

Winter is almost here. As we move into the final days of autumn, the days are getting colder. Soon, the snow will fall. Temperatures for Cache Valley are predicted to be colder than last year. Good time to stay indoors, right?

Winter Home Improvements

When you say “home improvements,” we often think about fixing up the yard, redoing the roof, or other outdoor chores. You do these in the summer. Winter is a great time for indoor home improvements. Whether it’s adding insulation, replacing an outdated furnace, or just a simple repainting, there are lots of things to do when it’s cold. While you’re doing these, why not consider getting a couple of electrical fixes and upgrades?

Brighten Up Your Holidays

If you’re repainting your house, why not improve the interior lighting so your holiday guests can really appreciate it? Here at Kendrick Electric, we know how to fix up your lighting. If you’ve got flickering lights, or faulty light sockets, we can repair these hassle free. We can also improve on your lighting fixtures to give you the best quality of interior lighting possible.

New Fixtures for New Improvements

If you live in an older home in Cache Valley, you probably have older lighting fixtures. Sure, they work, but technology has improved a lot since your house was built. Old style fixtures and their light bulbs use up lots of power. Why have that extra expense on your electricity bill? Give us a call and let us switch out your old lighting for brand new LED appropriate fixtures. While you can buy LED bulbs and use them in old sockets (sometimes), older fixtures are sized for older, larger light bulbs. LED bulbs don’t look quite right in them. Let us replace them for you.

GeneracGet A Backup Generator

What good is new interior lighting if the power goes out? While you’re fixing up your lighting, why not consider getting a Generac backup generator? As the only Generac Authorized dealer in Cache Valley, we can deliver, install, and provide routine maintenance for the #1 best-selling backup generator in the United States. With a backup generator, you’ll never have to worry about losing power during a winter storm. Enjoy the comfort of your new improved interior lighting in the cozy warmth of your home while the winter wind blows outside.

Get In Touch

Whether you want a new generator, improved interior lighting, or just need some quick repairs done, Kendrick Electric has you covered. If you live anywhere in Cache Valley, we’ll pull up in our van and fix you right up. We’ve got the skills to handle all your electrical needs.

Fall

Fall Electrical Safety Tips

Everybody loves fall (this statement is not backed up by any formal research, please don’t quote me on it).  The colors, the cooling temperature, the most awesome holiday ever – Halloween – What’s not to love?  But fall does have a few things you should think about when it comes to electrical safety.

Check Your Detectors

smoke detectors            First thing to do is check your Smoke and CO detectors. They should be tested twice a year, in spring and fall.  Safety laws that went into effect in 2013 now require all smoke detectors to have 10-year batteries, so you should need to worry if your smoke detector is newer than that for a few years yet, but you don’t want to take a chance.  And if you detectors are older than 2013, you should definitely be keeping a close eye on them.  If your detectors are older than 10 years, you should consider replacing them, as they are only designed to last that long.  There are new combination devices that detect both CO and smoke, so look for them at your local home improvement store.

Inspect Your Extension Cords

Halloween is a holiday most people like to go overboard with decorating.  Lights, laughing skeletons, flying bats, and more get hung around the house and all need to be powered.  If you’re going to put up decorations, then be sure to check your extension cords before you do.   If they’re frayed or damaged, replace them, as they are a serious fire hazard.  And don’t forget to follow other fire safety procedures with extension cords, such as avoiding doubling them up and do not put too many into the same socket.

While you’re inspecting extension cords, be sure to check up on your power tools, such as the leaf blowers you might be using to clean up your yard.  And speaking of falling leaves . . .

Clean Up the ClutterFall

People love fall for the way the leaves change color, but don’t forget that they’re going to fall off soon after.  Dry leaves can land near outdoor electrical outlets and other fixtures, becoming a fire hazard.  It only takes a single spark to light them up, so make sure you clean them up quickly.

Check Your Outdoor Lighting

You’re going to have trick-or-treaters in a month, so you want to make sure they can see where they’re going as they walk up to your house. Take some time to check all the lighting fixtures you have around your porch and driveway.  If they’re out, replace the bulbs.  If they flicker, find out why before the holiday starts. Halloween has enough dangers on its own without adding the possibility of them tripping and falling on your property.

Be Careful of Electrical Lines

The falling leaves won’t just clutter up your yard; they’ll clog your gutters, too.  You’ll definitely want to clean them out before the snowfall so that the water has some place to go when it melts in the spring.  While you’re doing this, be sure to watch out for power lines that are near or connect to your house.  If your shovels or brooms get tangled up in the wire, it can make you fall or deliver potentially fatal electric shocks.  Keep your eyes open to avoid a tragedy.

electrical safety

Check Your Wiring

Finally, be sure to do a good check up of your wiring before winter.  If there are any wiring problems that could lead to shorts, you want to take care of them now.  It will be much harder to correct these issues during the winter, not to mention that a power failure in your house during the colder months is really unpleasant to deal with.  Inspect your wiring before the snowfall.  It’ll be much easier and cheaper if you do.

Enjoy the Fall

These simple safety tips should keep you in good health this fall and ensure you have everything you need to get through the winter without any problems.   If you have any problems, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help you out.

Take care, and have a pleasant fall!

fall storms

Fall Storms and Power Outages

Power Outages

The last couple of days have seen some sizable fall storms. Just Tuesday evening, the heavy winds and rain caused a power outage in the Logan area that lasted from around 9 PM to about 11:30 PM.  Rocky Moutain Power’s own Twitter account is full of tweets about recent power outages, keeping their customers up to speed.  As the fall and later the winter weather swings into full gear, the potential for power outages will increase.

 

Fall and Winter Storms

fall stormsAccording to Edison International, the most common cause of a power outage is storms.  High winds can cause power lines to come into contact with objects that might short them out.  They might even knock them over.  Trees growing near power lines are likely to cause damage during storms, especially if they aren’t properly trimmed. Ice and snow building up can also cause interruptions.  Lightning strikes are further down on the list, but they’re still common enough to be a concern during stormy weather.  Another common cause is too high a demand.  This most often comes up during the summer, when everybody has their air conditioners turned on, but during the deep months of winter there is also a risk.  All the heaters can stress the power grid and cause brown outs.

 

Power Outages Can Damage Your Appliances

The initial outage isn’t going to do too much damage. The power simply goes out, so everything turns off.  The real damage happens when the power comes back on.  Even if the interruption only lasts a couple of seconds, the sudden return of power can cause a power surge.  The heat generated by these power surges can cause electrical components to melt, damaging or even destroying them.  This also can potentially create a fire hazard.  If the power goes out, turn off all appliances and electronics so you don’t have so many devices trying to turn back on all at once.  For additional safety, use surge protectors for as many appliances and devices as you can.

But why worry about that when you can avoid the power outage all together?

 

The Value of a Backup Generator

A back up generator is very reliable protection against power outages.  Whether powered by propane or natural gas, they can generate power independently of the main grid.  Permanently installed, they turn on automatically when the power goes out. This will protect your home from dangerous voltage fluctuations.  You’ll never have to worry about the heating or cooling going out, so you can stay comfortable during the more extreme weather conditions.  While the fall storm rages, you’ll be safe and comfortable in your living room.

Generac Backup Generators

Northern Utah Generac Generator            Generac is the #1 selling brand of home backup generators.    As a Generac Authorized Dealer, Kendrick Electric can deliver, install, and provide maintenance for all your generator needs.  So, if you’re tired of worrying about power outages, get in touch with us and we’ll get you set up. Rest easy knowing your house and all your electronics are protected against the fall and winter storms.

Older House

7 Common Electrical Problems with Older Homes

So You Want To Buy an Older Home?

Older HomeUnless you pay for a unique design, construction companies tend to use the same floor plan for multiple projects.  This may save some money, but it makes so many houses feel like they come off an assembly line.  If you want a house with some personality to it, you might consider buying an older home.  Older houses have a rustic charm to them that you often don’t see in modern buildings.

It’s not all glam and glitz, though.  Older homes have unique problems to deal with.  If you are going to buy an older home, you should be aware of the kinds of electrical problems you can run into.

Insubstantial Power

The power needs of modern homes have changed considerably over the years, as have the codes and regulations.  In the “good, old days,” contractors built houses with just enough power to run the basic needs.  It wasn’t much compared to the high-energy demands of today.  If you buy an older home, it might not be equipped to handle your needs and this can lead to all sorts of electrical problems.  You may find the lights flickering as soon as you turn on any appliance.   Be sure to have your home examined by an electrician before you buy it to find out if it meets your needs.  It might be worth it to upgrade it (if possible).

Old Wiring

With old houses comes old wiring.  Rats and other pests can damage the insulation, or it can simply deteriorate over time.  Once the wiring gets exposed, you’re at risk for all kinds of problems.  The biggest risk is fire.  Stray sparks from an exposed wire can turn the old walls into a bonfire in minutes.  When buying an old home, it’s best to replace the wiring to be safe.

Lack of Proper Grounding

Older homes often lack ground-fault circuit interrupters. As a result, running more than one appliance at a time could cause your fuses to start popping.  While older fuse boxes are usually safe, they won’t be able to handle a modern energy load.  The easiest and best solution is to have an electrician upgrade the fuse box to a circuit breaker panel.

Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and Tube WiringReally old homes, especially those built before the 30s, often used knob and tube wiring in their construction.  This consists of open wiring running through tubes in the walls held up by knobs.  These materials deteriorate with age, creating a high risk of fire.  You cannot install new insulation over the wiring, so be sure to have your electrician replace these bygone relics.

Backstabbed Wiring

At the back of every outlet and switch in any building is a terminal for securing wires to it.  If you look, you’ll see holes where wires can be stabbed through, as well as the terminals for wrapping wires around.  In a lot of older homes, it is common for the wiring to be stabbed through. It’s faster and cheaper, but it’s easier for the wires to come undone, posing a fire hazard.  Be sure to check that all the outlet wiring is properly secured before moving in.

Bad DIY Projects

The older a house is, the more people are likely to have lived there.  Every homeowner tries to do some upgrades to their house on their own, even when they really should get a professional.  If you’re buying a house that others have lived in, you’ll probably find remnants of DIY projects that didn’t turn out quite right.  The most common DIY screw-ups occur in the wiring and the plumbing. If you find something in your new home isn’t quite right, call a professional to take a look rather than trying to fix it yourself.  In the long run, it will save you time and money.

Flickering or Dim Bulbs

You might think flickering and dim bulbs are normal for old houses.  While you will get this from time to time, you definitely shouldn’t think it’s normal for it to occur regularly.  This is often a sign of a problem in the wiring and could even indicate a fire hazard. If your lights flicker like the house is haunted, don’t ignore it; have a professional check it out as soon as you can.  It might just save your house from burning down.

Call the Professionals

Buying an older home is always a fixer-upper project.  There’s no way around it.  You might be looking to save money on the repairs and that’s understandable, but never let money concerns override good sense. Older homes have unique electrical problems that you need to resolve before you move in and it’s better to get it done right the first time.  You may balk at the expense of a professional, but it will be more expensive to do it wrong the first time and have to have it fixed later.  This is especially true if the first time you realize you’ve done it wrong is when a room goes up in flames.

Don’t take chances when buying old homes.   Get in touch with us first.  Let us look over and fix up the place before you move in.  We can make sure that the house is up to standard and fix up what isn’t.  An initial expense when you first buy it could save you a lot of money – and stress – in the long run.

Generac Generator

8 Things to Consider When Buying A Backup Generator

Maybe you’re having problems with frequent power outages.  Maybe you just want to be absolutely sure you’re covered if something goes wrong.  Either way, you’ve decided that it might be a good idea to get a backup generator for your home.  Kendrick Electric is a Generac authorized dealer with over 20 years of experience.  We’re here to help you out with all your Generac generator needs.  But what do you look for in a standby generator?  Here are a few things to consider.

 

1. What are your power needs?

Generac Generator           While your budget may play a roll in answering this, the real question you have to ask first is this: do you want your generator to power the entire building, or just part of the building?  As a homeowner, this is largely preference, but both decisions come with different costs and different size needs for the generator.  If you want your generator to power your whole house, you’ll need to factor in power required for all electrical equipment.  This will require a larger generator, which may be a bit more expensive on initial installation.

If you’d prefer just powering a small section on an emergency basis, such as a living room or kitchen, the generator can be a smaller, less expensive unit; however more labor is involved.  You need a transfer panel installed next to your existing breaker panel to choose what circuits to keep running.  Or we can keep the transfer switch on the outside of the house and add relays to shut down equipment with large power consumption requirements.  This requires additional work to be done inside the house.  Be thinking about what you want your generator to do before you make your purchase.   Kendrick Electric can help you evaluate what you want and how to best serve your needs.

 

2. What fuel type do you want?

While gasoline might seem convenient, it’s a poor choice for fuel because of relatively short period of stability. There are two main fuel types for a Generac generator: propane, natural gas.   Costs for either of these vary depending on the size of the generator and the availability of the fuel type.  Propane provides an on-site fuel source, but you refill your fuel storage yourself.  Extended outages may require multiple refills.  Natural gas is supplied by a local utility station and avoids that problem, except in the case of a natural disaster that requires shutting off the gas lines.  You will need to upgrade your gas meter to connect it to your generator.

City ordinances and codes may also dictate what fuel you can use.  Some cities, for example, do not allow propane usage within city limits.  If you’re not sure about what’s allowed, you can speak to a local city representative.  Kendrick Electric, will be happy to find out for you.

 

3. Where will the generator be located?

Generac Generator            A generator will need to be installed in a location that provides easy access for maintenance.   If you’re installing it outside, it needs to comply with safety codes for minimum distance of 18” from house walls and 5’ from windows, doors, and vents. With these in mind, the generator should be located as close as possible to main service electrical panel and fuel supply.

 

4. Any special considerations for outdoor generators?

Some HOA areas have strict ordinances, so you should check with them first to find out what considerations they require.

 

5. What is the voltage requirement?

In the United States, the common low voltages are: Residential 120/240 volts single phase, Commercial Properties120/208 volts three phase, 120/240 volts three phase, and 277/480 volts three phase. If you are unsure of what your needs are, we are more than happy to help you find out.

 

6. Which type of transfer switch?

Transfer switches are automatic for standby generators, though manual transfer switches are possible.  We will determine the size of the switch based on what you decided for question 1.

 

7. Any additional accessory requirements?

There may be additional accessories available if you want them.  Residential systems typically have a remote panel that can tell you your Generac generator’s status from a particular location indoors so that you don’t need to go outside to check up on the generator.  Cold weather kits and other remote monitoring equipment may also be available.

            Cellular monitoring is also available with an app for your phone.  The app will let you know if the generator has started running, or if it has shut off due to an alarm.  It will also alert your generator service company of your choice.  Generac authorizes us to make any and all repairs to your generator.

 

8. What is the duration of the warranty?

Generac gives a 5-year warranty on all air-cooled generators sold.  The factory authorizes us to make full repairs during that period.

 

Maintenance For Your Generac Generator

Just like a car, your generator will need regular maintenance to keep it from breaking down.  Not only will Kendrick Electric install the generator for you, we also provide regular maintenance for it as well.  It’s easy to forget about your generator, especially if you go long periods without an outage.  Be sure to have us service it annually to make sure you don’t experience an unexpected equipment failure just when you might need your generator.  To keep the 5-year warranty valid, you must have routine maintenance performed on your Generac generator.  We are available whenever you need us.

Give us a call at (435) 752-1888, or get in touch with us through our main page contact form and we’ll take care of any issues you have as quickly and conveniently as we possibly can.

Backup Generator

Why Get A Backup Generator?

Why Get A Backup Generator?

Generac Backup GeneratorIt’s 9:30 PM on a cold December night.  The sun went down hours ago and a brutal storm plasters the windows with snow.  You’re just about to put the kids to bed when you suddenly hear a crackle.  Everything goes dark.  Outside, the winter wind howls.  Just the sound of it makes you shiver.

The power’s gone out. How long will it stay out?  Is it just a short outage, or did something go critically wrong at the power plant?  How long will your house stay warm?  Will the food in your fridge spoil?  What do you do?

Meanwhile, down the street, your neighbor who recently installed a backup generator hasn’t noticed a thing.

Electricity Is Everything

It’s so easy to forget how much of our lives revolve around electricity now, up until the point where it goes out.  We rely on it for our lighting, our heating, to keep our food fresh, to entertain us; when we lose it, we lose everything.  Power outages can occur without warning at any moment.  Anything from a minor glitch in the power grid, to a downed power line, to a catastrophic failure at the power plant can cut you off the energy that keeps everything in your house going.  You never know how long the power will be gone.  

An outage can last anywhere from a few moments to a few weeks depending on the cause.  Once it goes out, you’re stuck without power until the issue is resolved.  This may be nothing more than a minor and temporary inconvenience, but under some conditions, an extended power outage may just put you and your family in danger.

Why Get A Back Up Generator?

A propane or natural gas powered generator can be a lifesaver when the power goes out.  These days, it’s a requirement that hospitals have a backup generator to keep their life-support and environment control systems running, lest a power outage result in needless deaths.  Many businesses are installing backup generators as well, since even just an hour without power can be a significant loss of revenue.  Why not take advantage of those benefits in your own home?  Just imagine never having to worry about losing your food, or about getting out the spare blankets on a cold winter night.  If you have a home office and need your computer to do your work, you’ll never have to worry that a power outage may interrupt your business.

A backup generator allows you to maintain your comfort and peace of mind during an emergency.  Your heating stays on and you don’t lose the lights.  No more stumbling around in the dark trying to find a flashlight, no more worrying about the batteries.  You stay warm as the cold rages on outside, or keep cool as the summer sun beats down.  To top it off, a backup generator can protect your home from dangerous voltage fluctuations and power surges when the power finally does come back on.

With all these benefits, the only question that remains is why you haven’t got a backup generator already.

Generac Power Generators

Generac is the #1 selling brand of home backup generators.  As a Generac Authorized Dealer, Kendrick Electric is prepared to give you the full service.  We’ll deliver, install, and provide maintenance for any Generac backup generator that you purchase.  Generac generators are permanently installed, automatically restore power when it goes out, and can backup your entire home in the case of an emergency, so you’ll never have to worry about power outages again.

So, if you’re tired of all the hassle and worry of power outages, get in touch with us (call 435-752-1888) and find out how you can have a Generac backup power generator installed today.