Tag Archives: electrician

Getting a New Patio? The First Call You Should Make

getting a new patioIf you are planning on installing a new patio, avoid the shoulda, woulda, couldas by making this one phone call first – to your electrician. Why? Once you pour the concrete or lay the bricks, adding underground wiring is extremely difficult.

Disadvantages to Using Overhead Cable

Unless you enjoy dragging extension cords out every time you want to plug something in, which is inconvenient, not the safest, and unsightly, you’ll want some convenient outlets available near your patio. If your patio already exists without electricity, your only choice may be overheard electrical wires. If the span between the house and the patio is ten feet or less, you can use ordinary PVC covered cable.

Longer spans must be supported by a tensioned support wire and cable buckles, and this wire must be grounded to the house’s main grounding point. If the wire hangs over a pathway, the span must be at least 12 feet above ground, and at least 17 feet above ground over a driveway or any other area where vehicles may be driving. Sure, it gets the job done, but it’s not very attractive. Why ruin the aesthetics of a beautiful new patio with dangling wires?

Related Read: 3 Types of Patio Lighting Every Patio Needs

Two Options for Running Cable Underground

When running cable underground, there are two ways it can be done. Either run the wire underground through PVC pipes, or use cable designed to be buried underground.

Wire in PVC Pipe

The first option is to run electrical cable underground through PVC pipes. This conduit can be solvent-welded together to make a continuous run.

Bury Cable Underground

Another option is to use underground cable designed to be buried. There are a couple of rules to follow when burying cables – the cable must be buried at least 18 inches beneath paths or patios, and 30 inches beneath lawns and flowerbeds.

Other Tips for Patio Electrical

The problem with outdoor lighting is that outdoors gets wet. Water and electricity don’t mix. That’s why outdoor lighting requires special equipment and professional installation to ensure safety.  Here are a few other areas to be aware of when installing outdoor lighting for your patio.

Covered Outdoor Outlets

Outdoor outlets should have spring-loaded covers. These covers protect the outlet from bugs, insects, dirt, and moisture. Also, by code, they need to be ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) for added safety. Because water is often present outdoors, a person working with power tools, for instance, is in danger of electrocution without a GFCI that will cut off the flow of electricity in the case of a surge. GFCI protection can be added easily to outdoor outlets.

Fountains & Water Features

The best way to provide power for fountains and wet location lighting is by the use of low voltage circuits. Low voltage usually means 12 volts – this is the same voltage as typical car batteries. Systems can be bought that provide wiring, lights and the transformer. The transformer is plugged into a standard household outlet and transforms the electricity to 12 volt DC. This is safe to use in outdoor and wet locations because it cannot electrocute you or your pets. The transformer should be plugged into an outlet protected by a GFCI. This added safety feature protects the circuit as well as the users.

If you are planning to install a new patio, make sure you call an electrician first. Give the professionals at Jeremy Electrical a call at (913) 375-0070 or contact us online.

Everything Homeowners Need to Know About AFCIs


AFCIsArc Fault Circuit Interrupters, or AFCIs, are an extremely important component of your home’s electrical system . What do they do, why do you need them, and how are they helping keep your home safe? Jeremy Electrical breaks down everything Kansas City homeowners need to know about AFCIs.

What Are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters?

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are circuit breakers that reside in your electrical panel and are essentially designed to help prevent house fires. They distinguish between harmless arcs (or bursts of electricity) and more serious ones and disconnect power before a fire starts. A harmless arc could be switching a light on or off, or plugging in your toaster. A serious arc could be caused by poor or old wiring, or even a dog chewing through a cord.

Why Do I Need to Ensure My AFCI Is Working Properly?

Without an AFCI, electrical panels, and thus, homes are susceptible to an electrical wiring fire. In fact, home electrical wiring is the cause of over 51,000 fires each year in the United States. Unfortunately, this type of house fire accounts for more than 400 deaths and 1,400 injuries every year.

Does My Historic Home have AFCIs?

Sadly, many older homes do not have modern electrical panels that support AFCI capabilities and as such are at greater risks for home fires. Although some older electrical panels may be able to be retrofitted with AFCIs, it’s a better and easier practice to simply upgrade your electrical panel to a newer model instead.

What Is the Difference Between AFCIs and GFCIs?

As a homeowner you have heard of GFCIs, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. GFCIs are a breaker that is designed to protect against the electrical shock of a person. They are a common component to outlets that are near water. AFCIs, on the other hand, are designed to protect against electrical fires. While they each have their own purpose, both AFCIs and GFCIs have a test button.

The Jeremy Electrical team cares about the safety of you and your family. It is important to ensure that your home’s AFCI is working properly.

Interested in installing AFCIs into your home? Contact us at (913) 956-0057 to give you and your family a peace of mind. We also handle breaker panel replacement! 

 

What To Do About Aging Wires & Outlets

electrical outlets

At Jeremy Electrical, we have been providing electrician services in Kansas City for over a decade now, and one thing we know for sure is many people ignore their electrical systems until they have a problem. After all, they’ve lasted this long. Is leaving them in place for a little longer really such a problem? Each year, between 45,000 to 55,000 house fires occur across the United States due to faulty electrical work or old wiring. If your home is over 30 years old, chances are, you need to replace the wiring and outlets throughout it.

Why is Aging Wiring a Problem?

Aging wiring has two key problems. First, safety standards are constantly increasing. The older your wiring is, the better the odds that it doesn’t meet current safety standards. Second, aging wiring can lead to bald spots, shorts, and other problems that could ultimately cause a house fire.

What Are The Warning Signals That Your Wires Are Aging?

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to update the wiring in your home:

  • Switchplates are dark or discolored–and not just as a result of dirt
  • You have issues with blown fuses or thrown breakers on a regular basis
  • You notice lights frequently flickering or dimming
  • Your outlets are loose
  • You smell a burning smell
  • You see electrical sparks when you plug in or move a cord

Why Are Aging Outlets a Problem?

Outlets and the wires behind them often age faster than you think. Not only that, they might not be able to keep up with current technology. Grounded outlets are a better way to make sure that your home is safe from fires and up to handling the current load on its electrical systems.

What Are the Signs That Your Outlets Need to be Updated?

Outlets may need to be updated sooner than you think. Flickering lights, problems connecting items to your outlets, or sparks when you plug something in are all red flags that it’s past time for an update to your outlets.

The Solution To Your Problems

So what’s the solution to all of your electrical wiring and outlet problems? It’s simple! Make sure all of your wiring and outlets are up to safety code and remember to install grounded outlets and GCFIs around your home. If you need help, it’s best to call an expert electrician to make sure the job gets done right– and safely.

If you’re struggling with outdated electrical systems throughout your home, you need an electrical panel upgrade, or you have other electrical problems, contact us today!

We’ll help you ensure that your home’s wiring is up to date and decrease the odds that you’ll experience significant problems down the road.

Top 4 Warning Signs It’s Time for an Electrical Evaluation

electrical evaluationYou’d like to believe that your house is safe, but there are plenty of potential electrical problems that could cause your home to burst into flames–all without you ever being aware that there’s an issue. Electrical fires can quickly cause a serious amount of damage to your home, leaving you scrambling to repair.

If it’s been too long since the last time your electrical system was evaluated by an electrician, it’s time to call Jeremy Services. If you have any of these four key electrical symptoms, today is the best day for you to schedule an evaluation:

1. You’ve never had your home evaluated

Unless you’ve just moved into a home that was only recently constructed, an electrical evaluation is a must. You want to make sure that nothing was missed during the home inspection or has gone wrong since then that might lead to a fire.

2. You’re used to having electrical problems

Appliances don’t seem to be running at full power, light bulbs, whether bulbs throughout the house or bulbs in specific fixtures–burn out faster than the norm–and you catch your breaker tripping or blowing fuses on a regular basis. If this is the case, it’s past time you had your wiring and fuse box evaluated by a qualified electrician.

3. Your electrical panel makes noise

While you might hear power lines crackling as you walk beneath them, that’s not a noise you should hear in your own home! If you hear noise near your electrical panel, make sure you have it evaluated as soon as possible.

4. Your home is showing symptoms of faulty wiring

Flickering lamps or other power issues that suggest that the power is going in and out aren’t something you should deal with on your own, especially if you have no electrical experience. Instead, hire a qualified electrician to deal with your problems for you.

Electrical fires are devastating. You don’t want your home to be at risk! To help keep your family and your possessions safe, call Jeremy Electrical, Heating & Cooling at (913) 375-0070 or contact us online today to learn more about our inspection services and our repair options.

Breaker Box 101: A Guide to Electrical Panel Parts

Are you familiar with your home’s breaker box? If you’re not, you should familiarize yourself with it since a properly functioning, properly sized breaker box stands between breaker box guideyour family and an electrical fire.

A breaker box — aka electrical panel — is mounted on the wall, usually in the basement of a home, and its purpose is to take in electricity supplied by your power company and redistribute it throughout your home via electrical circuits. Inside the breaker box are the following components:

Circuit Breakers

These are rocking switches that act as safety devices to quickly shut off power to a circuit when there’s too much electricity flowing through it. When that happens, and the breaker rocks to the “off” position, we say that the circuit breaker for that zone has “tripped”.

Most of the circuit breakers in your breaker box are single pole breakers, meaning they can handle 120 volts of power and are either 15 or 20 amps. (Remember 15 and 20 amp fuses? electrical panel guideCircuit breakers are the modern equivalent of those old-fashioned devices.) Some of the circuit breakers — the ones that look like two single breakers stuck together — are double pole breakers. As you may have guessed, they can handle a larger power load of 240 volts and are typically between 15 and 125 amps. These are for the large appliances in your home like your refrigerator, stove, clothes dryer, water heater, etc.

There are also some “special purpose” breakers designed to provide your home with extra protection from fire (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters or AFCIs) and electrocution (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs).

Service Disconnect Switch

This is where the electricity that powers your home comes into the electrical panel. The service disconnect — sometimes called the main breaker — looks like a larger version of a circuit breaker and is usually found at the very top or bottom of the breaker box. It can handle 100 to 200 amps. In case of emergency, this is where you can turn off power to your home by rocking the switch to the “off” position.

Expansion Slots

These are empty slots that are there to accommodate extra circuit breakers when a licensed electrician adds additional circuits to your home due to, for example, a room addition.

Determining the Right Size Breaker Box for Your Needs

Most homes have either 100 or 200-amp breaker boxes. This refers to the amount of electricity the electrical panel can handle. Most newer homes opt for the larger size to accommodate the ever-growing collection of electrical devices in a modern household. If you have a 100-amp box and need more circuits, you can either add a “sub-panel” or upgrade to the larger 200-amp breaker box.

Replacing a Breaker Box

The average lifespan of a breaker box is 60 years, but this can vary, and the circuit breakers themselves can stop working properly and fail to turn off electricity to an overloaded circuit as a result. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have your breaker box inspected by a licensed electrician, especially if you live in an older home and you aren’t sure of the age of the electrical panel.

Have more questions about your electrical panel and how it works? For your Kansas City-area home, give the professionals at Jeremy Electrical, Heating & Cooling a call at 913-375-0070 or simply contact us online! We would love to answer your questions, or you can take advantage of our exclusive offer below:

Bring on the Night with Beautiful Patio Lighting

Outdoor living has made a huge resurgence in the last decade or so. Outdoor kitchens,  outdoor fireplaces, stone patios with water features, three season rooms, stamped concrete designs, etc. With all of this outdoor living, comes a need for lighting at night. If you’re looking to add some light to your outdoor patio, pool, deck or any living area, call Jeremy Electrical. The electricians at Jeremy Electrical are pros when it comes to adding outdoor lighting to patios both new and old. Let us create a nighttime oasis in your backyard.

Bright Ideas to Light Up the Night

Here are just a few ideas for inspiration that you can incorporate into your patio, deck or pool area. Some are DIY, but others may require a professional electrician like Jeremy Electrical. Either way, you’ll be excited to add a little light to your backyard after you see these ideas.

String Along with Me

String lights add just the right touch of twinkle throughout your outdoor area. No glaring bright lights shining in your face, just a little glow. Whether you hang them taut, loose, straight or at an angle, the effect is the same magical.

Outdoor Patio String Lights Picture

Backyard Patio String Lights Picture

Deck String Lights Picture

Patio String Lights Taut Picture

Chandeliers Add a Touch of Class

If you have a covered area, consider adding a chandelier. Chandeliers are not just for indoor rooms anymore! Add a touch of class to any outdoor room with a chandelier, or two, or three! Even a whole collection adds a bohemian vibe.

Chandeliers on Porch Picture

Stone Patio Chandeliers Photo

Chandeliers Under Deck Picture

Built-In Lights Create a Soft Way to See Steps and Add Safety

Sometimes these lights are actually built in while the patio or deck is being built, but most can be added after the project is done. You can choose wired lighting or solar lighting. Either will do the job and add the ambiance you want.

Built-in Lights on Raised Deck Picture Built-in Lights 2 Built-in Lights 3 Built-in Lights 4

Swing for the Fences

If your backyard is enclosed by a fence, or your patio is surrounded by a wall, that’s a great place to add lighting. Lighting expands the perimeter of your yard at night and adds a feeling of coziness. It can be as simple as hanging a few lanterns on the fence.

Deck with Built-In Lights Picture Fence 3 Fence:Wall 5

 

 

 

 

Lights Strung on Fence Picture

Don’t Forget the Trees

If you are lucky enough to have trees in your backyard, include them in your lighting plan. Trees wrapped in lights or draped in lights create a mystical, woodland feel when the sun goes down. Blur the line between indoor and outdoor living by incorporating these green giants into your outdoor landscape at night.

Fire Pit in Lighted Garden Picture

Tree with String Lights and Pendants Picture

 

 

Lighted Tree Canopy Picture

 

 

 

 

Lighted Tree Trunks Picture

 

 

 

 

 

We hope we’ve inspired you to add some lighting to your outdoor deck, patio, pool area or just your backyard. If you need professional electrical help, don’t hesitate to call the backyard outdoor lighting experts at Jeremy Electrical at (913) 375-0070.

Somewhere in the Night…Bathroom Lighting Ideas

We’ve all made the midnight trip to the bathroom. The house is dark and we don’t want to wake everyone by flipping on the bright light in the bathroom. The electricians at Jeremy Electrical have found three clever ways to light your bathroom at night without waking the whole house. Check out these illuminating ideas.

Add Some Color to the Commode

Toilet Nightlight PhotoThis lighted hinge toilet seat offers a soft alternative to glaring overhead lighting.  The new Nightlight seat features a lighted hinge, illuminating the toilet space just enough to allow you to see where you need to “go” without assaulting your weary eyes and waking you up completely. This is perfect for families with young children who may require a late-night visit to avoid a wet bed. It’s actually very soothing to the eyes.

Light the Floor with Under-Cabinet Rope Lighting

Under Cabinet Rope Lighting PhotoIt’s the perfect place for late night lighting in the bathroom. Because it’s low, it doesn’t assault your sleepy eyes. It’s just enough light to illuminate your path without blinding you (or waking you up too much). You can even make it a soothing color to add to the dreaminess. Rope light is popular and available at lighting stores as well as home improvement stores. It’s an easy DIY project that won’t take much time either.

Related Read: Clever Kitchen Outlets You Have to Have 

The Outlet Nightlight

Outlet Nightlight PhotoThese nightlights are easy to install and provide just enough light to navigate or wash your hands after using the potty. Add them to any standard outlet, without having to do any wiring or buy any more batteries. They include a built-in light sensor that automatically turns the lights on when it’s dark, and off when it’s light. To install one, just turn off the power to the outlet, remove the outlet cover, slide the Guide Light over the outlet, and then replace the existing screw to attach it to the outlet. They use about a nickel’s worth of power over the course of a year and the LED bulbs inside are estimated to last about 25 years. They are made by SnapPower and can be ordered at snappower.com. 

For Those Non-DIY Projects, Call Kansas City’s Favorite Electricians

These lighting projects are all DIY, but if you need help with a larger project, give the expert electricians at Jeremy Electrical a call. We can install everything from ceiling fans to a new electrical panel. Call 913-375-0070. And don’t forget, for electrical emergencies, we are available 24 hours a day.    

End Nightstand Clutter with These 3 Bedroom Electrical Upgrades

We’ve all got cluttered nightstands. Books, magazines, glasses, tissues, electronics, lamps…the list goes on. So what can you do to help alleviate some of the clutter on a permanent basis? Jeremy Electrical has three great electrical ideas for your bedroom that are pretty simple and cost effective to have installed.

Add Recessed Lights above Your Bed

Recessed Lights Above Bed PhotoIt’s always nice to have a little light to read by in bed, but who says it has to come from a table lamp? Can lights (also called recessed lights) installed above both sides of the bed provide great lighting for reading and offer the same on/off convenience from the comfort of your bed as a lamp on your nightstand.

Replace Table Lamps with Pendant Lights

Pendant Lights in a Bedroom PhotoIf you like the decorative touch lamps provide, you can still have lamps that don’t sit on your nightstand. Pendant lamps are suspended from the ceiling and provide the same lighting you would receive from a table lamp without taking up any real estate on your nightstand. Pendant lights come in thousands of designs so you’re sure to find one that’s right for your bedroom.

Related Read: Clever Kitchen Outlets You Have to Have

Banish Electronics from Your Nightstand Forever

Electrical Outlet in a Drawer PhotoWe can hear you now, “But I want my phone nearby so I don’t miss any important calls or texts”. Don’t worry. Your phone will still be within arm’s reach. It’s just tucked away inside the top drawer of your nightstand. Hidden outlets can be installed in your drawer providing convenience without the clutter.

Lighting and Outlet Installation Is Quick and Easy

The good thing about these space saving additions is that they are not expensive to install. Give the expert electricians at Jeremy Electrical a call and we’ll have it done in a jiffy. Call 913-375-0070. And don’t forget, for electrical emergencies, we are available 24 hours a day.    

Top 4 Things to Check Before Calling an Electrician

Check for Electrical Problems Image When you have electrical problems at your Kansas City area home, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem before calling an electrician and paying for a service call. At Jeremy Electrical, we want to make sure you’ve exhausted all of these possibilities before you call in the professional electricians.

Check the Electrical Outlet

This sounds like a simple solution, and it is. But, many times, people will assume that there is something wrong with an appliance when it doesn’t work. Instead, plug the appliance into a different outlet to clarify if it’s the outlet or the appliance that is malfunctioning.

Check the Appliance

If the appliance works when plugged into another outlet, the outlet is the problem. However, just because it is not producing electricity, it may still be operable. Some outlets are controlled by switches. This is most common in living rooms and bedrooms. Leave the appliance plugged in and flip any nearby switches to see if they control power flow to that outlet. If it goes on, your problems are solved.

Check GFCI Outlets

Sometimes the trouble is not caused by a lack of electricity, but rather the outlet itself. GFCI outlets or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets work like mini-breakers and cut off the power when there is a danger of a surge. GFCI outlets will be located near water and are typically found in the bathrooms or kitchen and sometimes outside. When switched off, they must be reset by pressing the red button in the middle. You will usually hear a click sound when it resets.

Related Read: Does Your Home Have These 4 Electrical Hazards? 

Check the Circuit Breakers

Find your breaker box and look for the breaker that is out of place. Flip it off then on again. They should be labeled, but this isn’t always the case. If all of the breakers seem to be in the on position, go ahead and flip them all off and back on. If nothing changes, be aware that some homes have more than one breaker box. Check both the basement and garage for another breaker box.

If none of these troubleshooting tips rectify the situation, call one of the professional electricians at Jeremy Electrical to come figure out the problem. You can reach us at 913-375-0070. We are available 24 hours a day.

Clever Electrical Outlets For Your Kitchen

Electrical Outlet usage in KitchenAt Jeremy Electrical, we love to help Kansas City homeowners update their homes. One of our favorite rooms is one of the busiest in most homes – the kitchen. The kitchen inevitably is the place guests gather, food is prepared, and good times are shared.

Because it is such a busy room, any improvements that will make it more convenient and easy to use are always welcomed. In that spirit, we’d like to share some of the best placements for electrical outlets we have seen. We hope they will inspire you to improve your kitchen or give you some great ideas to add to your remodel.

 

Under Cabinet Outlet Strips

Photo of Under Cabinet Outlet StripUnder Cabinet Outlets PhotoToday’s backsplashes are really works of art. Glass tile, metal accents, rich stone…sometimes you don’t want to break up that design with disruptive outlet panels. If you want to keep your backsplash clean and continuous, then the under cabinet outlet strip is for you. Instead of outlets dotted across your backsplash, the outlet strip hides the under your cabinets. They are just as accessible and convenient for plugging things in, but they are out of the visual field leaving your backsplash to bask in all of the glory.

Pop-Up Outlets

Pop Up Kitchen Outlet 2Photo of Pop Up Outlet White There when you need them…gone when you don’t. Pop-up outlets are ingenious in their functionality. You can hide several outlets under the counter and only use them when you need them. Otherwise, you have full use of your countertop for preparing a meal. These outlets come in several different styles – some horizontal and others vertical. Just choose the style you like the most.

 

 

 Hidden Island Outlets

Photo of Electrical Outlet in IslandKitchen Island Outlet PhotoThese outlets are pretty traditional in their design, it’s just where you place them that makes them clever. Extra outlets are always handy on the island, but now you don’t have to look at them cluttering up the sides of your beautiful center island. Tuck them under the edge or cover them with a simple hinged drawer front that disguises the outlet and leaves your island looking sleek and clean.

 USB Port Outlets

USB OutletUSB Port in Electrical Outlet PhotoWith all of the electronic devices we use these days, a USB outlet in the kitchen makes complete sense. Cell phones, tablets, computers and more no longer need long extension cords or clunky adapters. Just plug them into the dual outlet or add an outlet that is just USB ports. There are plenty of styles to choose from. One will be right for your family and lifestyle.

 No matter what kind of outlets you want in your home, or where you want them, call the lighting professionals at Jeremy Electrical at 913-375-0070 to make sure your outlets are installed professionally and safely.