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Keeping Up with the Electricians

Monday, November 1st, 2010
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Putting it on remote-control and not having to really think about it fits our busy lives so very well. Even though many of us have chosen to migrate near and around the more laid-back Portland area as compared with the breakneck pace of the larger urban sprawls like L.A. or even Seattle, life on the go can seem hurried. Everyday at Mr. Electric we receive calls concerning emergency electrical problems that occur around the office or home. Knowing that inclement weather is a norm in our town, we know that harsher conditions are forced upon us. The most common problems deal with water. And we understand that water damage is invasive and can wreak havoc on the normally dry interior conditions we rely upon for productivity and a comfortable life. When a person thinks about dangers dealing with water and electricity, images of being struck by lightening in a storm might be conjured up. But the probability of that is minuscule as compared to hazardous conditions of more common conditions caused by rain. Harsh injury and death can result from lack of knowledge when improper drainage and leaking roofs produce enough dampness near poorly insulated wiring. An electrician's everyday concern for himself can be summed up in a few words - proper insulation. Personal protective equipment and OSHA laws aren't just for the professional, but should also be practiced by consumers like you, especially if water and electricity mix. Nobody is safe when it comes to potential electrocution. Anytime an exposed source of electric exists, electricity is busy at work to find a way to be grounded. A positive lead charge seeks to neutralize itself and as physics proves, it will use anything it can find as a conductor to get there. In this case, it is you and me! When it comes to spotting danger, here are a few things to keep an eye out for when rain storms occur:
  • Condensation or moisture forming on walls in the form of warping or paint peeling
  • Sparking or electrical buzzing when plugging an item into an outlet
  • Obvious dripping from ceiling and/ or fixtures, or pooling water on surface
  • Flickering lights or electrical surges experienced via television or computer monitor
  • Fuse breakers popping off relating to an associated location of your home or office consistently
Here's where stating the obvious isn't something to apologize for. If you spot any of these potential danger signals in any combination, do NOT attempt to touch the surface that are wet or damp. Rather contact a professional to determine the source of leakage. Like water, electricity also can "leak" in tandem using water as it's primary mode of seeking ground as the conductor. Avoid touching plugs or cables and ensure you are wearing insulated rubber soles near these areas. Staying safe through electrical consciousness is never secondary whether at home or work. Using good sense will save you and your loved ones from undue harm. So when calling on a professional, our experienced team of electricians are always here for you at Mr. Electric twenty-four seven!

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Posted in Life as an Electrician | 5 Comments »

Got Squirrels? Mr Electric to the rescue?

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
007-300x200 A call, a regular call on the way‚ or so I thought! I pull up to the residence and take a few moments to compose myself as I prepare to embark upon the last call of the day. I roll out my Mat in the doorway and knock a few times then step back away from the door and a little to my right to place myself in easy view of the window to the side of the door. A few minutes later I am in the foyer listening to what the homeowner has to say about the reason for the call. The lights are out in this section of the house. I take a few minutes to listen to the symptoms and then to go over the pricing and, after he agrees to the diagnostic, initiate some paperwork. Now it is time to wave the magic wand; which, I feel, may involve a trip into the attic‚ NO power to the switches beside the door, AH HA! After exhausting all possibilities in the living area, I make the decision to bring the ladder in and go up into the upper regions of the house, aka, the attic. Nice attic‚ ones that can be walked around in. Donning the appropriate garb I climb into the darkness, headlamp lighting the way. A sea of insulation and rafters and toward the problem area I can see an odd mound of dis-similar insulation. I make my way that direction and realize that the homeowner at the top of the ladder is not the only spectator to bear witness to my troubleshooting endeavor. A squirrel is watching my every move from the corner of the space that I am heading toward! I am not too sure at this point if he/she is blinded by the beam of light from the headlamp or if there is some other reason why he/she is not scampering away‚ I do know that I am going over to this mound of Pink insulation oddly placed in a sea of white. Carefully, and under the watchful eye of my furry witness, I start to pull aside the pink. Lo and behold! There are pink shapes wiggling around! Babies! I turned to the homeowner and reported what I found, he could see me but not what I could see. With his help, gloves and a basket, I was able to remove the babies and place them in the care of the homeowner. Under the nest there were several electrical wires gnawed bare of all insulation! The copper color of the wires was quite apparent! The wires had shorted together resulting in the loss of power to the circuit. The squirrel babies found a new home and the potential for a fire has been averted! All in an afternoons work. I was able to splice together the wiring utilizing the placement of a few junction boxes thus eliminating the bad wiring. The homeowner was thankful and now dedicated to the task of figuring out how they got in! When a light or an electrical outlet stops working there is always the possibility that there could be a loose connection that could lead to a potential fire hazard, best not to take chances and that is for sure! In the field of service work we see dangerous situations on a weekly basis that, often times, could have been much worse if immediate action was not taken. Written by Brian Simmons Mr. Electric, Clark County, Vancouver, Wa P.S. Thank you Brian for going above and beyond the call of duty! Readers will be happy to know that the baby squirrels were adopted by a loving neighbor.

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Mr. Electric of Portland and Vancouver. Portland and Vancouver's best electricians. Locally owned and operated
Portland location: 5933 NE Win Sivers Dr STE #205, Portland, OR 97220
Gladstone office: 260 82nd Dr, Gladstone, OR 97027
Vancouver Office: 418 NE Repass Rd #B1, Vancouver, WA 98665.