Thursday, November 2, 2017

1988 Manufactured Housing Electrical Troubleshooting

Manufactured housing mobile homes or whatever your idea of  of this type of housing refers to is a nightmare to diagnose major electrical issues with because not only is there inside wiring to consider but also the outside pole or pedestal utility meter and Main Breaker tap for the power source and all wiring involved.

This call for help was that the monthly utility grid billing was over $300.00 and the inside light fixtures would turn off and on by themself or the light bulbs would just blow up as soon as they were screwed in. To start the gas furnace a kitchen outlet controlling the coffee pot had to be turned on for the furnace to start?  Many outlets did not work and on and on the list of problems continued for a onsite meeting to determine the course of action to take to resolve the many issues.

The recent onsite electrical service call for help has me scratching my head even with 43 years hands on experience and a retired master electrician with this 1988 mobile home 2 bedroom 2 bathroom typical kitchen and living room. Reversed polarity on outlets, extension cords hanging out of windows feeding outside lights these issues stem from many years of poor electrical repairs. WIth a pole mounted utility meter base 100 amp 240 volt stepped down to a 60 amp 240 volt breaker to feed a plug and cord attachment for the inside 100 amp Main Breaker panel. As usual the inside home panel was full of 120 and 240 volt breakers and all of the 120 volt breakers that were the piggy back style. The PVC 2" pipe that came thru the floor to feed the inside mobile home panel also had 3 other sets of 240 volt wiring that was feeding ? along with the plug and cord attachment for a total of 4 sets ?. (The above pipe should hold only the plug and cord cable) so this leads me to believe that was added onto after the factory wiring ?.

After 20 hours of  all new inside outlets and switches devices and correcting the old backstabbed wire termination to the more reliable pigtail true series circuit according folded and removing all light fixtures and replacing with plastic keyless with 9 watt LED bulb replacement from older 60 watt bulbs. (The reason for light fixture replacement was all old fixtures had brittle wiring and sockets from using 100 watt bulbs in 60 watt sockets) And replacing the old inside Main Breaker panel along with all new circuit breakers gauged to proper wire size and zero piggy back . All that work tightened up everything humanly possible with the original mobile home inside wiring harness and if further issues arose which they did it would be with the outside pole mounted utility meter base 100 amp 240 volt stepped down to a 60 amp 240 volt breaker to feed a plug and cord attachment for the inside 100 amp Main Breaker panel.

Getting voltage reading between 197 and 220 in the 120 volt on the inside outlets and very dimming on the inside lighting when loads like the furnace and refrigerator start ups? Further troubleshooting on the  pole mounted utility meter base 100 amp 240 volt stepped down to a 60 amp 240 volt breaker to feed a plug and cord attachment for the inside 100 amp Main Breaker panel. Found that LINE SIDE utility grid meter at a steady 120 240 volt single phase and LOAD SIDE utility grid meter jumping all over when startup loads were trying to be applied? A call the the local utility grid provider for a service call revealed that a Neutral Switch was the cause of the voltage spikes and replacement of this Neutral Switch would revolve the spiking issues? Between you and I this seems fishy as I have never heard of a Neutral Switch used in grid tied residential electrical useage?

My recommendation to the client was to remove the pole mounted utility meter base 100 amp 240 volt stepped down to a 60 amp 240 volt breaker to feed a plug and cord attachment for the inside 100 amp Main Breaker panel. And to upgrade the service to 200 amp meter base and 200 amp weatherproof Main Breaker panel. This than would allow the plug and cord 60 amp 240 volt to be removed and replaced with 100 amp thhn copper wire and PVC conduit feed by a 100 amp 240 volt breaker in the new weatherproof panel. Also another 100 amp 240 volt PVC conduit feed for a metal pole barn on the property with a 100 amp 240 volt subpanel installed there to power the necessary loads.

Sadly the client did not take my recommendations and went to cobbling up the pole mounted utility meter base 100 amp 240 volt stepped down to a 60 amp 240 volt breaker to feed a plug and cord attachment for the inside 100 amp Main Breaker panel themself.

D B Electric

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Residential Load Troubleshooting

Working on original wiring issues that was installed by some licensed electricians is not for the faint of heart or non experience or knowledgeable troubleshooters. As it takes years of hands on skills to become proficient in the abilities that it takes to get projects completed A to Z with with quality craftsmanship.  

This phase of past and current client troubleshooting issue stems from a outbuilding that had a attached indoor greenhouse. A #14-2 w ground 15 amp 120 volt NMB romex cable was stabbed thru the wall for greenhouse feed terminating inside a single gang plastic nail on box that usually is put inside walls for outlets ect but in this case it was screwed to the outside outbuilding wall for greenhouse power? Reusing the existing power tap but terminating it inside a single gang weatherproof box now called my splice box power feed. After removing all the other old NMB wiring, splitters, extension cords and cowboy electrical new PVC conduit and weatherproof boxes and covers were used for single pole switch for 2 over head LED 4' lights and 4 outlets load side of GFCI lineside. Turning power back on bang goes the breaker? Troubleshooting revealed that over 20 openings (lights and plugs) were being controlled by this 15 amp 120 volt circurit breaker. Along with a old dinosaur of a refrigerator load and now the Greenhouse load.

Ok the fix as it's always is that it's in the numbers is to take the greenhouse and add it onto it's own circuit breaker as well as add another circuit breaker for the old dynasoar refrigerator. By taking these 2 loads off of the overloaded over 20 openings original circuit breaker still does not solve that issue but it does free up 7 spaces now lowering the 20 to 13 openings on a 15 amp 120 volt circuit breaker. The fix than is to add yet another circurit breaker and split the 13 openings between the 2 circuit breakers. And splitting circuits up in original wiring that is behind closed walls and ceilings that is stapled in place is not fun in the least.

By openings I mean a outlet is a opening a light fixture is a opening and by code you are allowed X number of openings for the amperage of the circurit breaker that it is designed to control the branch circuit wiring and device openings being operated. It seems as some electricians do not know how to count as I see overloaded openings in residential usage on a regular basis. Usually problems do not occur until more and more things are being plugged in  and being operated than it is a call to a quality craftsman to figure out what in the dickens is going on?

Simple to complex grid tied or a mixture of alternative electrical energy D B Electric has your A to Z electrical troubleshooting issues taken care of with quality craftsmanship and services.

D B Electric

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Slvania Circuit Breakers & Panels Dilemma

Service call original wiring 1 Sylvania breaker panel 240 volt 200 amp 1 Sylvania 240 volt 100 amp both panels stuffed full of 240 volt breakers and 120 volt piggyback breakers with wiring crammed in and less than 10 years old from a total rewire that was done by licensed electricians and inspected from a total remodel.

Client wants to add a 2.5 KW 240 volt load for a Sauna and wants to know how safe it would be to do so? The 2 panels are both Main Breaker and lead to overhead and underground to grid tied utility pole CT meter tap and meter is located on this utility pole.

The 240 volt 100 amp panel Out Building and would hold the intended new load and is located away from the 200 amp Home panel as described above for grid utility metering. 
(But the wires from grid wires to 100 amp Main Breaker are only #2 aluminum? 
How this even got inspected and passed and then hooked up by the grid utility is beyond me?) In short the only right fix for the #2 aluminum wires in question, that are not rated for 100 amps and the only fix is replacement to #2 copper thhn.

 Personally I dislike aluminum wire of any type because of the oxidation process that can happen if the oxide paste fails. Along with any aluminum wire needs to be twice the size of any copper wire for the same wattage & amperage being operated.

The next problem is the name Sylvania, go do any online research and you will discover nightmare after nightmare with these circuit breaker panels and also the breakers themself. The problem stems from the way the breakers snap onto the buss bar with a Zinsco engineering clip design that was prone to many failures. The only recommendations that I can find to see if a Sylvania breaker panel is good or bad? Is to have a licensed electrician shut the Main Breaker off and remove each breaker for inspection of arcing damage along with the buss bar where the breaker came from. Research has shown that clip failure causing loss connection and also code does not allow cross referencing brands of various manufactories.

In this service call there not only is Sylvania circuit breakers but also Square D Homeline, G E, ITE and one other I can not make out? So in this case I have 5 different breaker manufacturers all new less than 10 years ago? Where does this end? Sadly it keeps going because every bit of it already has been inspected and passed and the homeowner does not have a clue of the screwing that they got on the updated electrical that they paid for less than 10 years ago. Without removing every outlet and switch and doing a visual inspection as well as a test tone inspection God and the licensed contractor who did the original rewire work know where all those wires lead to? Just looking at the craftsmanship that they left behind tells of fault after fault. (An example of this is SEU cable in the 2" riser pipe for the 100 amp panel the SEU neutral is bare aluminum wrapped with black tape inside the 100 amp panel. The whip going to the central AC unit outside is regular flexible conduit rated for indoor use but they got clever and painted it gray. The whip should be weatherproof coated rated as well as all exterior whip connections.)

All I can do is document what I see for this client and let them make there own choices on how to proceed with or without additional repairs as the last licensed electrician sure did not do these people a good job at all. So back to the the original question can the 100 amp panel hold the 2.5 KW 240v load?

Yes as long as no other large 240 volt loads are also operated on the original #2 aluminium wires (grid to Main Breaker) will hold the 2.5 KW load. 

Clearly you can see that a quality craftsman takes every aspect of a client's wattage load requirements into consideration as well as what he has to work with when it comes to original wiring issues. These 2 Sylvania panels have a bad rap and I would not want them in my home period. 

A to Z D B Electric has your electrical needs taken care of with quality craftsmanship and services.

D B Electric

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Alternative Electrical Energy 2017 and Onsite Wattage Loads

Any AC electrical power usage consumes wattage for operation cycle an example of this is turn any AC load off or on and wattage is being consumed. Every onsite AC electrical power usage is different for each off grid or grid tied location because of the needed wattage to operate total onsite wattage usage and needs.
Grid tied customers have a much better advantage when considering lowering or eliminating their monthly billing as the KW or Kwh gives a better understanding needed to adjust those numbers into a alternative electrical energy system for their onsite wattage needs. Off grid and remote alternative
electric energy is as simple as spread sheeting every intend AC or DC device to be operated and matching those numbers for the required onsite system.
Grid quality AC single and three phase electrical power energy can be matched by alternative electrical energy that is also grid quality. It never has been so reliable and easy to make alternative electrical energy than it is right now today with the advancement in microprocessor controlled devices.

 Alternative electrical power can be achieved by anyone that wants to invest into a system that pays for itself by lowering or eliminating grid tied monthly billing. There are many off the shelf vendors worldwide that offer grid quality products that are designed to be mixed and matched with other vendors products of the same grid quality standards.  This allows systems to start small and as funding allows keep adding to meet the final onsite system needs.

Alternative electrical energy is no more than adding up your wattage loads and designing the required system that can meet or exceed those required wattage loads. The higher the voltage the less the amperage draw for the same wattage being operated gives the best yields possible for alternative electrical energy . Todays 2 main solar panel types are DC charging to battery bank control and AC no batteries required that tie direct into AC electrical circurit breakers. Wind power even in small systems are all ready 1 or 3 phase AC and have to be rectified down to DC voltage for charging.

Combining and making these various alternative electrical energy devices play together nicely is achieved effortlessly with PLC (programmable logic controller) and SCADA software.
This mixing and matching of various grid quality vendors products can be achieved by adding any alternative electrical energy source for charging solar, wind, hydro. Combining all these switching sources from alternative energy produces microgrid electrical power energy in a wide range of voltage and wattage requirements in either 50 or 60 hertz.

The benefits are endless when it comes to alternative electrical energy and AC electrical power with microprocessor control. Consulting clients worldwide on alternative electrical energy power in either grid tied or off grid systems by a retired master electrician with over 43 years experience.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Good old boy Electrical Troubleshooting

A recent call from a out of State crew called with switching and lighting issues on original commercial wiring near me? The crew could not go home until the projects that they were working on were 100% completed and this was the last issue that was holding them up as no one on their crew could figure it out?

The service call problem was 1 kitchen lighting and 1 ceiling light for an office along with 2 gang switch box for control. Scheduling the project meant after normal business hours repairs evening work for me and one other of  my crew member.

Arrived onsite and spoke with their crew leader and his explanation of the electrical issues? Discover that to the original described electrical issues that also splices were discovered in the attic area X 3 different octagon metal box locations that also are part now of this original wiring issue?

Crawl up into attic area and do visual inspection on the 3 splice octagon metal box locations and discover yet more nightmares of many NMB romex cables of #14 2 & #12 2 mixed together going God knows where and many wire nuts and wires wrapped into a twisted mess in each of these 3 splice box locations.

It worked once make it work again was the crew leaders message to me. Bewildered why anyone would want to keep such a mess as this original wiring harness was in? And it was explained that the the original wiring would be upgraded in next phase of their projects that were upcoming. The old wiring harness just needed to work as temporary power till those projects were then completed.

The fix was to disconnect all wiring within each of the 3 attic splice locations and tone generate each wire individually for line, switch leg, neutral, ground it worked once make it work again, it was also discovered that 2 separate circurit breakers were controlling each light and switching individually.

What took the good ole boys many hours to try and figure out was completed in 2 hours by myself and one other of my crew member by performing the testing of the original wiring issues.

A to Z  D B Electric has your electrical energy needs covered


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Residential Basement Remodel Electrical

Client wanting a carte blanche project undertaken for a basement remodel

That was to have a full bath with a grinder and lift station for the sewage along with a kitchenette, bedroom and living room. Doing a visual inspection of the original 200 amp grid tied Main Breaker panel that was entirely filled with circurit breakers.
Along with a original 100 amp subpanel that was installed to the left of the Main Breaker panel that was also full of circurit breakers. A unsorted mass of wires that not only looks unsightly but also appears to be spliced with numerous wire nuts and other corrections that need attention. 

Hold on 1 more subpanel was discovered in the attached garage feeding electrical power to that area for lighting inside and out, outlets, switching as well as a 2nd story efficiency apartment with full bath above the garage. 3 total panels filled and more circuit breaker space that is needed for the basement remodel?  

Most DIY, handymen even licensed contractors may take the quick way out by using tandem circurit breakers which in the long run could become even more costly if over heating makes the wiring brittle.  The reason this style of circurit breaker produces twice the heat than a single pole circurit breaker of the same amperage rating. Simply put twice the heat is being put onto the same spot in the buss bar as well as the wiring . Personally I never take the quick fix,  quality craftsmanship and materials will always outperform and outlast minimum code requirements, substandard installations and every jacked up mess known to mankind.

The solution to this jigsaw puzzle was to remove the 100 amp subpanel reusing all original branch circurit home run wiring other than the cables that were feeding power power to the old subpanel that were to be replaced from the ungrounded SE U #2-3 cable that was using bare copper for a neutral. A new 24 space 100 amp subpanel was chosen to replace the old 12 space 100 amp subpanel, along with new PVC conduit that was to be used to refeed the new subpanel. All wire nuts splices need removed and relocated as necessary. 

The Main Breaker panel needs to be cleaned up removing all internal wire nut splicing and all circurit breakers relocated to the highest amperage and voltage closest to the main on down the buss bar. The reason for this relocation of circurit breakers in the main breaker panel is quite simple to explain as follows. Heat of any type rises upwards during the course of it's operation by having the 240 volt 100, 50, 30 and 20 amp circurit breakers all over the buss bar was making more heat than was necessary to the other 120 volt circurit breakers. A circurit breaker by design is made to operate by heat the more wattage that it controls the hotter that it becomes until it reaches its trip point or a dead short to ground if properly grounded. By taking the highest 240 volt amperage circurit breakers and placing them under the main breaker downward on the buss bar then makes a heatsink to dissipate the heat as rapidly as possible for efficiently if the wiring is installed correctly to do so. Remove and reroute any tandem circurit breakers as needed

Nothing can ever be easy when dealing with residential original wiring issues and this project was a classic example of this because the LB conduit body underneath the old subpanel had to be relocated also because the new 24 space subpanel was twice the size of the old subpanel. The obvious choice was to relocate the LB conduit body to the top of the new subpanel which meant having to pull the wiring out of that conduit raceway to be able to cut the original raceway as needed along with redrilling a new entrance hole. All these repairs had to be done before any new work could begin for all the new recessed light cans, outlets, switching, AFCI bedroom outlets, GFCI bath outlets. exhaust vent with light kit and all the other new wiring needed for the remodel.

All that still leaves numbers to be taken into consideration as total wattage load determines Main Breaker sizing.  Even with these 3 circurit breakers panels operating the Main Breaker is only going to take its amperage rating and then trip from overload. Before that even comes close to happening further testing 7 24 is needed on meter load side to original Main Breaker cables. to determine how much amperage and wattage is really being operated. Than that bridge can be crossed when those numbers are known? A grid tied original meter at 120 240 volt 200 amperage single phase is 48,000 watt (voltsXamperage=wattage) (wattage/voltage=amperage).

Personally I do not operate any Main Breaker to no more than 80% of its capacity leaving 20% in reserve for startup of motors, compressors, pumps and other large loads which require more voltage at startup. By doing this you see far less flickering in lighting. (200X80%=160). If the 7 24 load reports come back within those ranges than my next step would be to consider to upgrade the utility grid meter, weather head connections and necessary components for a larger amperage  to grid tied connection.

A to Z   D B Electric performs quality craftsmanship and services for clients.


Update Aug 3 2017

The task was 21 man hours and materials to do the heat sink step down method. Clearly shows the improvements completed. The original 200 amp Main had all piggyback breakers removed and transferred to 100 sub panel that was removed from 12 space and upgraded to 24 space. As well as placing each large 240 volt breaker highest amperage closest to the main breaker on down aka heat sink step down method . Allowing additional breaker space for basement walkout remodel electrical loads.  7 24 data loggers are gathering data for total current wattage usage more to follow after remodel loads are applied.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Old School Client Communication On Electrical Issues

It appears that the days are long gone that clients and some contractors have with communication between themselves is what I hear from clients concerning their electrical projects. Having cost overruns and change orders rising the cost on labor and materials is what some contractors call doing business now days.

Personally I conduct business with the approach that I only want to do the job once and do it correctly the first time giving the client years of trouble free electrical useage whether grid tied or alternative electrical energy. The key that I find to have good communication with clients from the very beginning is knowing the daily wattage numbers that they want to operate safely, reliable and efficient as possible. Electrical energy is no more than adding clients wattage loads together for a foolproof operating system, (It's All In The Numbers).

Call it old school if you want but a Punch List is an itemized list of details that will lay out what is wrong and how to repair the problems and issues that clients are having. This eliminates most  surprises when other reports like Materials and Labor are generated for Project Cost and Quotes, Contracts and Payment Options to begin projects. All these reports take the guess work out of cost and give a clear communication between client and contractor on what will and will not be completed on original existing projects that need upgrading. But even with all this communication between client and contractor it still comes down to old school tactics like you are only as good as your word. If you tell a client that you will do something and document it then do as you say with quality professional craftsmanship thru out any project or client issue.

All to often I hear from clients that they hired X company to do such and such and they show up for a couple of hours and take off for other jobs that they are over booked on. Which to me personally is mismanagement of labor and equipment and other resources that affect the bottom line on whether a project is making profit or losing money for the contractor.

Simply put original upgrade work is a lot harder than new construction because you are working on a finished project that could be over a 100 years old. That is where Change Orders come into communication between client and contractor as closed finished walls hold many unforeseen nightmares that may need additional steps to repair.

Not only is total (email, phone, onsite) communication 100% important with any client but also having the equipment, tools, knowledge and skilled manpower, necessary materials on hand and any other requirement. Than stageing each step into the most efficient means possible for a seamless approach on completing the task at hand. That means if it takes longer to complete than do what is necessary to make the client 100% pleased with the efforts taken to get the project completed as fast as humanly possible. Being prepared for the task at hand and showing up as promised to a client's project tells a client from the very start that you are as good and true to your word for 5 star client reviews when the project is completed.

A good example of this client and contractor communication is a recent electrical troubleshooting issue that was diagnosed on a Friday afternoon for a client with the reports generated that same evening for Quote cost. With client approving the upgrade project on a Saturday and supplying necessary down payments to cover required materials and delivery transportation cost. Good luck trying to find a electrical wholesale house on a weekend so large box stores were the only choice for the necessary supplies needed and delivered that same day Saturday. Sunday was the day that the project could begin along with the necessary manpower, tools, equipment. transportation and staging. Being an original electrical service issue with the loss of one leg of 240 volt from a melted over heated Main Breaker the client had been running a gas powered generator now non stop for over 3 days with this issue to have the required voltage needed.

Discovering why the Main Breaker melted in the 1st place was related to the original wiring harness causing many overheating issues. Any electrical motor, compressor loads takes more voltage at startup and if these loads are already on other branch circuits controlling other outlets and lighting than you are starving the startup load causing more heat than is necessary. The fix was to home run each large appliance load back to it's own cabling and circurit breaker and taking those loads off the original wiring harness that was to be reused to refeed the original wiring harness. With each original wire load on it's own circurit breaker not having 3 wires or more under 1 old fuse or old circuit breaker as all to often is discovered.

OK 14 straight hours with crew on a Sunday got the client to where they could turn the gas generator off for good. With a return trip the following Monday to finish up all the Add On's that were discovered and needed corrected. Needless to say the client was 100% thrilled and left a 5 star review on Facebook business page for the professional effort that was taken to address their electrical issues.

Call it 43 years of old school customer service but 100% (email, phone, onsite) communication between client and contractor is still offered and practiced by D B Electric, we have your electrical issues covered A to Z!

Thank You For Your Time

D B Electric

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Office 269 254 9029

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Residential Emergency Service Call

A recent client issue of a over overheating grid tied 100 amp Main Breaker and one lost voltage leg of 120 240 volt at the Main breaker location.

Utility grid Meter load and line side both have 120 240 at all required locations but the problem is the 120 240 voltage is not going thru the Main Breaker which is so hot to the bare skin touch that instant touch and release contact was required.

Hum wonder what's up here by investigating the original wiring harness along with asking the client what 120 and 240 loads that they were attempting to operate to cause the wattage loads over heating issues? Just a standard 240 volt water well pump and many refrigerator's X 4, freezers X 2, window air conditioners X 5 and other various loads 120 volts thru out the home.

Well it does not take a rocket driver to discover that the 120 volt loads are the guilty party to the over heating issue because any motor will always take more voltage and amperage at start up. If these motor, compressor appliance loads are mixed with other loads on the same branch circurit than more heat is being produced than is necessary.

A circurit breaker by design operates on heat, the more wattage that it controls the hotter that it becomes till it reaches it's tripping point or a short circuit thru the grounding system if properly installed in the original wiring harness issues.

Every electrician, handyman, contractor have their own methods of electrical residential wiring harness installations some may meet current National Electric Code standards and some may not.The NEC is the minimum standard allowed in most areas  meaning you can never go below the bare standards required. You can always go above NEC with quality craftsmanship & materials by adjusting the numbers to meet any clients life style of what they operate on a daily basis.

By adjusting the wattage numbers to meet any clients needs is as simple as home running the individual appliance wattage load back to it's own branch circurit breaker to give it the ump it needs at start up and not allowing it to be starved for the necessary voltage needed. Most older residential homes wiring harness do not even come close to those standards because usually those older wiring harness have been added onto for many years to the point that over heating issues or even fires have occurred.

With over 43 years of hands on electrical knowledge and a retired master electrician I still do troubleshooting and consulting for residential, commercial, industrial client issues and find that work done even by licensed contractors to be just the bare minimum required by the NEC standards and inspections required. An example of this is the back stabbing of devices like outlet and switching that most handyman, electricians, do on a daily basis for others. It is not a good practice for any wring harness because down stream devices will be lost also from the faulted device that is causing the issue.
photo courtesy

A upgrade to back stabbing outlet & switching devices is called pig tailing according folded and it is a 100% better device connection because it stops down stream devices from losing voltage even if the device goes bad itself only a dead short will trip the entire branch circuit. Pig tailing is also the making of a trunk line and the pig tail tap for the device to be operate from, this additional step than makes a true series circurit that is being operated from the branch circuit breaker along with the devices controlled by that circuit breaker.

The solution that I recommended to this client was to have the Main Breaker and utility grid meter upgraded from 100 amp to 200 amp and to

 (1) eliminate original 60 amp 240 volt fuse box and wiring located in a 1st floor clothes closet to the basement area along with all the necessary original wiring to re feed the original branch circuits that were being controlled by fuse protection.
(2) Another basement area has the original Main Breaker voltage from the outside utility pole entering this location with small sub-panels operating other branch circuit protection thru out the home also, eliminate all these assorted boxes, panels and hook ups.

Both (1) & (2) will have new 1 each 100 amp 240 volt panels set at those basement locations. And will reefed all original wiring as required for individual circuit breaker protection on each wire individually instead of having 3 wires under one fuse or old breaker

(3) Also any large appliance load will be home run wiring back to it's own circuit breaker.

The client than wants to know pricing on materials and labor to get er done? Which takes research to find the necessary materials and labor man hours to complete as well as inspections. 1st step is to write a Punch List of whats wrong and how to fix it. Followed by Materials List, Man Hours Labor List, Quote, Inspection Fees, Permits Cost. 5 hours of research and the necessary information was emailed to client for approval ? Very next morning client calls and wants me to fund all materials and pay me in 2 weeks for the necessary parts. Well lets add this up so far 1 trip to the clients home to  visual glance and hands on test cost $0.00 5 hours spent on research and all List $0.00 and now client wants me to fund the material and delivery cost. Not the way that I conduct business as I have been burnt one to many times on doing just that. Simply put cover the cost of materials and delivery before any work begins and pay me the same day that all work is completed to the original Punch List submitted.

Well this client at this point had done there own research on me and my business and choose me to handle this project for them that they arrived at my home with cash in hand to get it complete. With having only 120 volt of the original wiring working they wanted it done and fixed yesterday. Which was a chore in itself as the material could not be picked up till a Saturday from large box stores like Home Deopt, Menards and Lowes. And good luck trying to find a electrical wholesale house open on a Sunday if other materials were needed. The next day Sunday arrived and did 14 straight hours on the up grade and returned the next day Monday to finish up all the Add On's that were discovered.

It's fixed and now the client can turn on everything at once with out having any problems and the proof comes when you bare hands touch the new 200 amp Main Breaker with every light on in the home along with every thing turned on at one time the Main Breaker is cool to the touch. 5 star review gained on my business Facebook page.

D B Electric


Monday, June 26, 2017

Amish Log Cabin Electric

 A client purchased a Amish 2 story 1500 square foot log cabin that was delivered to there location and raised the eyebrows of the local inspections required for the building, water, sewer and electric requirements.

The building inspector made the client 2 X 4 stud frame every exterior wall inside the home to allow the required trades to do there installations as well as exterior inside ceiling and insulate and dry wall finish all framing.

Consulting client's on current National Electric Code NEC requirements to pass a Home Owners Permit inspection with client preforming there own Labor using either onsite or online consulting options makes every project a mission in itself to say the least.

This Amish log cabin now 2 X 4 framed makes NMB cable the inside wiring harness pigged tailed true serious circurit connected the obvious choice for the exterior inside walls and flat metal Wire Mold true serious circurit connected products for log cabin interior walls.

 My personal preference is to not mix lighting with outlets on the same circurit breakers for the obvious reason if you trip a outlet than you are not knocking your lighting out also. Along with it makes great use of dedicated lighting grid circurit breakers to switch to alternative electrical energy. Also it is very easy to lower wattage by using LED lighting the old days are over that it takes 60 watts for a standard light bulb to operate when LED can do the same task at only 9 watts that is a 51 watt saving for each LED bulb installed.  This than makes battery banking and inverter energy operate an home lighting system free using solar and wind combined for charging along with other small 120 volts house hold loads like TV sets, computers, ect very easy and reliable.

This Client wants to go total electric with zero gas appliances. The following home wiring harness, electric 240 volt water heater X 1 (on-demand style)  heat is base board electric 240 volt X 4 with wall X 4 thermostat, window ac 120 volt X 3, X 1 sewer lift station & grinder 240 volt, electric range 240 volt, X 1 240 volt Water well pump And room for further circurit breaker space for the following X 1 240 volt Automatic Transfer Switch ATS to propane generator, X 1 240 volt ATS to Pure Sinewave Inverter, X 1 ATS to grid Main Breaker. Along with dedicated circurit breakers for following appliance loads microwave oven, refrigerator, upright freezer, dish washer, window ac units.

Needless to say the jigsaw puzzle here is to add load numbers to operate with the required wattage to make it safe, efficient and reliable In short it's all in the numbers added together than taking those daily operating numbers to make it happen fool proof. You can never go below NEC standards but you can always go above NEC standards with quality craftsmanship and quality materials. It never has been as easy than as it is today with microprocessor control devices to make electrical energy and than to switch that electrical energy also.This makes grid connections and off grid connections play nicely together in harmony.  

The old days are a bygone error of waiting 10 seconds for a auto-start generator to start after a grid loss and is over for those that know how to get it done. Today's off the shelf grid quality DC to AC pure sinewave inverters that are microprocessor controlled are so fast on switching from grid or various sources of alternative energy that clock or computer resets are not needed. . Using today's inverters is like adding brains to electrical energy it chooses where it wants to get the electrical power that it needs to operate the required wattage loads. This makes mixing all these different forms of electrical energy together and is done easily with Microgrid methods making each source a switching point.

Understanding the 2 major types of solar panels and there uses.

(1) DC that charge a battery or battery bank the best choice because it offers 24 hour storage but more costly due to multiple battery's linked together
(2) PV micro inverter that tie directly to single or 3 phase AC circurit breakers the draw back is it only generates electrical energy when the sun is shining. It is possible to battery bank this type of electrical energy also.

Understanding 3 basic wind system types

(1) many small wind turbines generate AC voltage to a rectifier that is used to covert the AC voltage to DC voltage that than is usually hooked to a charge controller
(2) DC that tie directly to to a charge controller
(3) large wind turbines that make primary high voltage that has to have transformers to step the voltage down for onsite usage.

From simple to complex D B Electric has each Clients electrical needs taken care of. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Alternative Electrical Energy aka Microgrid

Doing the math to generate 120 240 volt AC voltage
In either single or 3 phase voltage options to any onsite wattage requirements and needs is as simple as adding the AC wattage load and designing a system to meet those needs. Solar panels come in either DC or AC voltage and wattage options. Solar PV micro inverter AC that tie directly to existing onsite electrical circurit breakers buss bars and Solar DC that tie into battery banking. Wind electrical energy comes in either AC or DC voltage and wattage options.

It may seem to be a mystery with alternative electrical energy and how to take different sources from solar, wind and any other source available and mix them all together to operate safely, efficient and reliable.
This makes free electrical energy possible to lower, stop or Net Metering to grid any onsite Net Zero AC wattage needs.

With advancements in off the shelf components that are grid quality, microprocessor controlled
and other options available from various vendors it is possible to mix all these different sources of electrical energy together and to make them operate safely, efficient and reliable. What is even better is that each source is a switching input for the required onsite AC or DC wattage needs. Made possible by stacking items as needed for higher AC amperage, wattage, voltage needs.

 DC to AC pure sine wave inverters that are grid quality microprocessor controlled and other options available from vendors that are so fast that there is zero lag time from these various switching sources, this makes clock or computer resets not necessary.  The old days are over from having to wait 10 seconds for a ATS automatic transfer switch to kick in an onsite fueled generator. Any onsite original generator that is ATS can be lowered or stopped with the advancement in DC battery banking options.  Battery banking also lowers or stops generator fuel consumption by storing electrical energy into AH amp hours for later use. Battery banking design can make it possible that days, weeks, or not at all charging maybe required.

With 43 years electrical experience and a retired master electrician in residential, commercial and industrial knowledge
It is possible to mix these different sources together such as Solar PV & DC, Wind AC & DC, Battery Banking, Grid and to make them all operate safely, efficient and reliable together. All with plug & play hot swap out cabling with PLC programmable logic controller and SCADA Supervisory control and data acquisition. This makes generating electrical electrical energy fool proof and logs errors, alarms, EOL end of life shelf life of electrical items and other options. It also gives switching control of onsite electrical energy from remote locations possible. 

Those that have grid electrical energy 
Can stop or Net Meter (where allowed) there original metering with many switching options. Mixing these different forms of electrical energy gives many switching options and even if grid power is lost from storms or other grid loss issues the onsite electrical energy is not lost from these grid issues. Safety and switching is done with ATS which isolates onsite grid so that no back feed to grid is possible from grid loss. But also monitors grid loss voltage for grid restart than again switching options are available like for example to stay off grid and consume the alternative electrical energy microgrid switching sources. 

Consulting clients options on grid tied and off grid electrical energy needs and issues.
Electrical energy is as simple as adding the correct wattage & voltage load numbers together and adding the inputs from solar and wind and any other onsite alternative electrical energy sources together. By producing onsite electrical energy you than are your own source of electrical energy aka microgrid. You than have design choices to Net Zero meaning no monthly electrical billings or Net Metering (where the onsite meter utility pays you monthly) where allowed. Either way alternative electrical energy is an investment can pay for it's self.

D B Electric

There is no reason ever not to have safe, reliable and efficient electrical energy 
From grid electric energy to alternative electric energy this retired master electrician can consult you on how to add the numbers and what off the shelf grid quality vendors and material sources are designed to operate from various vendors together into onsite microgrid electrical energy. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Residential Hot Tub Electrical

Image result for hot tub photo

Clients that just have to have that hot tub usually do not take into consideration usually the amount of electrical power that it takes to operate on a daily basis even if it is not used daily. Typically factory specifications call for most residential hot tubs that are grid tied to be single phase 120 240 VOLT 50 AMP GFCI circurit breaker protection. (wattage/voltage=amperage)  How to figure the wattage (amperageXvoltage=wattage) 50 X 240 = 12,000

Most older residential MAIN BREAKER grid tied utility metering is only single phase 120 240 VOLT 100 AMP if you are lucky and the original electrical panel is usually loaded with no room for additional circurit breakers.

Residential clients that are already operating 240 VOLT loads like water heaters, cook stove, HVAC
and similar on their existing original 100 AMP electrical grid tied panel do not realize that by adding the hot tub spa will overload the existing grid tied metering & panel electrical service. One safety consideration is that hot tubs are rated at contine use of 3 hours or more for heating and pumping useage rated not like HVAC loads that are rated at under 3 hours and are rated intermittent.

The only quality grid tied fix is a upgrade to the grid tied electrical weatherhead cables. metering and MAIN BREAKER panel by doubling to 200 amps or even 300 to 400 amp residential. The answer to the problem is to add any clients total onsite wattage requirements and design a system that will peak to 80% of capacity leaving 20% in reserve for motor and compressors surges. The goal is to see less flicking in lighting and smoother starting for all residential loads.

Usually at this point the client goes with a low ball bidder and you are out travel, time and sharing of quality knowledge of how to get er done and safety is thrown out the window with those lowball bidders or the quality of the installed materials is less than half or more of what a quality material installation would be. Needless to say do it right the 1st time as people's lives are at stake and safety should be always followed concerning water and electrical power.

But for those that indeed consider quality and realize that the NEC (National Electric Code) is just the BARE minimum allowed with craftsmanship and materials and that you can never go below the bare minimum standards but you can always go above current code with quality craftsmanship and materials. It comes down to luxury and how much control you want over any electrical appliance including hot tubs. Having total control with smartphone is the order of the day and ringing up the newer spa's to set a certain temperature and jet flows along with covers that can be raised or lowered gets the job done with style.

D B Electric


Onsite meeting
Online meeting

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It all started out with a client wanting 1 ceiling fan removed and a 1 new light hung in it's replacement reusing original wiring.

After discovering that the original ceiling fan was unswitched meant that a problem had risen and a solution was to be discovered by troubleshooting methods. Traced the wiring voltage back to the main breaker panel and a 120 volt 20 amp circurit breaker marked Garage . The plot thickens as the wiring in the box at the ceiling fan opening is only 14 2 NMB spliced solid to stranded for unknown reason? This meaning the 142 NMB wiring was over loaded, the plot thickens.

Having killed electrical power to the circurit breaker a tone generator was placed on the original wiring at the ceiling fan removal location. The path that this 14 2 NMB spliced solid to stranded for unknown reason was traced out and terminated in a octagon metal junction box on the garage area.
The wiring from the circurit breaker is 12 2 NMB and is run thru this conduit. Also the power to feed the 14 2 NMB ceiling fan is tapped off this junction and another 12 2 NMB is stubbed down from the attic into this junction? 

Solution remove 14 2 NMB from junction box in garage to ceiling fan removal locations and refeed with new 14 2 NMB wiring from old fan opening and switched interiour light by front door making both lights come on together off the original switch and wiring. 

Rehang 2 new LED 19.1fixtures that can be dimmable 

From A to Z  D B Electric has you covered with quality craftsmanship and services.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Electrical Energy Power Voltage & Wattage Loads

Whether grid tied or off grid electrical alternative energy power AC voltage both take wattage to operate AC electrical devices like lights, outlet loads, pumps and everything inbetween!

Grid tied relies on the Main Breaker or Fuse, load side meter design amperage rating. 
Off grid relies on system design to match onsite electrical energy daily wattage usage.

AC electrical energy power voltage has many theories from the very start of its invention.

An example of this is that by raising voltage lowers amperage for the very same wattage being operated, the formula is wattage/voltage=amperage & voltage X amperage=wattage.  A standard grid tied secondary that is 200 amp 120 240 voltage single phase residential line drop is 48,000 watts controlled by Main Breaker and billed by utility meter.  This same grid tied 48,000 wattage load is only 6.67 amps on primary Line Side 7200 volts and then transformed down to secondary.

Off grid alternative electrical energy power voltage can greatly benefit from the history of  AC electrical power by mixing and matching the numbers. The same off the shelf grid quality utility transformers are available for wind and solar switching PLC SCADA for grid tied or remote onsite system designs. Needless to say this has angered some utilities and they do not allow Primary or Secondary Net Metering into their utility grids. The next step than is NET ZERO it is very easy to legally stop a grid tied utility meter from spinning for days or weeks at a time before any battery bank or banking charging maybe required.

Today's grid quality off the shelf  DC to AC inverters are so fast on switching from one voltage source to another voltage source that clock or computer resets are not necessary.

The same principles apply to AC transformers whether grid tied or off grid alternative electrical energy as long as the quality of the voltage is designed to be matched.
Image result for photo of generator
An example if a grid tied service drop was back feeded by an onsite 120 240 volt generator  it would charge the transformer to 7200 volts if there was no grid tied voltage present. If the secondary line was energised by utility voltage it would blow the generator up and possibly cause a fire. Not good ideas as it could also kill a linesman or oneself if improperly designed and operated. This is why ATS (automatic transfer switch) protects and switches various voltages from one another.  ATS is no more than a contactor based system that can be either normally open or normally closed once again it is in system design.
By taking grid quality off the shelf vendor products from various vendors worldwide makes it possible to have grid quality electrical energy even out in the middle of nowhere and the options are endless for wattage and voltage requirements in single or three phase options. 

By mixing solar and wind and any alternative energy a microgrid is formed and the options are endless as everyone's needs differ from their onsite wattage load requirements. D B Electric solution is to custom tailored each individual onsite usage demands and built in stages as funding permits. Bottom line alternative electrical energy is an investment that pays for itself and system design makes it safe, reliable and efficient. 

D B Electric consults clients on grid tied and off grid alternative electrical energy. Pre Built and onsite quality craftsmanship and services options A to Z.


Friday, February 17, 2017

inverter AC electrical power energy

With the many different types of  DC to AC inverters on today's market the 2 big players are Pure Sinewave and Modified Sinewave inverters. The Pure Sinewave inverters will always outperform the Modified Sinewave inverters because of the parallel inverter grid quality stacking for the AC wattage needs.

The best solution in alternative electrical energy is to use inverters that are capable of being stacked for higher onsite AC voltage & amperage needs. Along with producing the matching grid tied voltage if available. By taking grid quality off the shelf components from various vendors worldwide  that can produce grid quality electrical energy power in either 50 or 60 hertz, are all switching points that can be configured into endless microgrid electrical energy power needs.

Mixing and matching the numbers all by microprocessor control are yet more endless configurations of switching possibilities but out performs standard ATS switching for onsite autostart generators. The old school days of waiting for 10 seconds for a autostart generator to kick on after a grid tied power loss is over with by the newer pure sinewave inverters on today's market that are microprocessor controlled. By mixing and matching all these grid quality vendors gives total control of onsite electrical energy power and all transfers needs from one source of AC voltage to another source of AC voltage is possible. All this switching with this newer tecknowledgey is so fast that clock or computer resets are not necessary the old days of waiting 10 seconds are gone.

Any AC electrical device takes wattage to operate knowing your daily onsite wattage needs sets a target to match those numbers into alternative electrical energy power needs that can be built in stages as funding permits to achieve the required target numbers. Meaning start small and keeping adding by using grid quality off the shelf components from various vendors worldwide and you can have your own microgrid electrical energy power.

Microgrid electrical energy power is an investment that pays for itself with FREE electrical energy power. Mixing and matching multiple solar & wind switching sources from alternative electrical energy power into the onsite wattage requirements.

What makes this all easy is the microprocessor control and the endless switching possibilities that can all be controlled, monitoring, operational thru PLC (programmable logic controller) & SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition). Remotely from anywhere in the world for efficient, safe and reliable grid quality electrical energy power.

Retired master electrician with 43 years residential, commercial, industrial experience consulting clients on grid tied and off grid electrical energy power. Pre built and onsite quality craftsmanship and services options.

Book a meeting to get your microgrid stated today

D B Electric


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Clients & Electrical Quotes 2017

Often clients contact me for free meetings that they want free Quotes prepared for. Most contractors do not charged for those services even though they all take time and money to complete as there are expenses involved for travel mileage, hours to research and to prepare documents for those Quotes and other billable options. These expenses have to be passed along somewhere within their business operation? Lowball bids are just that an educated guess of what a project may amount to without considering other factors that could change the final cost involved. Also lowball bids are a starting point for some contractors to get their foot into a client’s project only to be highly billed for extras and addons. D B Electric knows to the penny what a project will cost because the research and time is taken to understand the client’s needs and issues.

D B Electric does not offer free quotes because it takes time and money to prepare that information for our clients. Our approach as always is honesty, integrity and dependability from the very start with new and existing clients. A 1 hour minimum onsite meeting and mileage will be invoiced by email using PayPal or Square for payment processing.  We let our client’s book a date and time that works for their schedules at this booking confirmation number is than the clients Invoice number also.

To prepare Quotes we now know really does takes time and money to complete and we meet our client’s needs with itemized reports that they can pick and choose for their individual pricing information requirements.
Punch List
(What’s wrong and how to fix it in word processing format)
Materials List
 (Total items itemized to the nut and screw of quantities and totals in spreadsheet format)
Project Report Updates
 (Daily, Weekly, Monthly onsite or online project progress reporting in person or video online conference)
Quotes, Bids, Statements

Change Orders

Account Audit Updates

Quality craftsmanship and services that will perform years of trouble free operation is our commitment to every client we serve. D B Electric is there when our clients have an electrical issue A to Z small or large jobs are all welcomed.

So the next time someone says that Quotes are free something's not adding up are there are many numbers to crunch to know what any electrical project will cost turnkey. D B Electric would rather inform clients from the very beginning what those cost are and let clients choose what works best for them.

Thank you for your time booking new dates and times for 2017
D B Electric

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Residential Troubleshooting & 2017

Residential electrical troubleshooting takes years of experience to make it appear easy but there is nothing easy to any of the problems and issues that were discovered in 2016. 

The worst of the worst was an entire 2nd floor of a home that had over 40 openings (lights & outlets) on a single 120 volt 20 amp circurit breaker feeding 3 bedrooms, hall ways & stairway and an upstairs bathroom. The client's request was it worked once make it work again. No matter what type of  quick fix on these issues it will always be a accident waiting to happen as it is entirely unsafe and over loaded. Needless to say the breaker box was full of tandem style circuit breakers the type where you remove one circurit breaker and make it two with a tandem style circurit breaker. What people do not realize by doing this is that they are doubling up the Heat Factor on the buss bar on the same circurit breaker location. All this nightmare electrical wiring harness had worked fine for over 30 years and the client was steadfast that it should work again for another 30 years and that no upgrade was needed.

Another troubleshooting issue with a different client was a outside weatherproof box under the utility meter that had no Main Break protection. Even with all the circurit breakers in the OFF position the buss bar still had live electrical power. The only way to de energize the buss bar was to remove the utility meter from it's socket. If someone who did not have the knowledge or skills and was trying to perform a repair they could be seriously hurt or killed with this outdated electrical wiring.

One of the most interesting request came from a client that said that they had to touch the switch and outlet face plate to make the bathroom lights/outlet operate along with 2 other rooms with lights and outlets that were going off and on with this operation. They insisted that they wanted one of those new GFCI outlets installed by the bathroom sink when the problem was fixed. (Needless to say in in most new residential wiring the bathroom outlet is on a dedicated circuit breaker to supply electrical power to the hair dryers, curling irons and others devices that are all going at once)

2016 saw it's challenges and jigsaw puzzles of residential electrical issues and we look forward to 2017 along with many more older electrical issues with new and existing clients far and wide.

Our approach to 2017 as always is honesty, integrity and dependability. Quality craftsmanship and services that are safe and efficient with no short cuts is not forgotten here at D B Electric. Our approach is an onsite meeting to discover and troubleshoot whats going on and to gather the required information to prepare a Punch List of what's wrong and how to fix it with client approval. D B Electric has a one hour minimum along with mileage to your address for this service that is Invoiced by email for payment prior to arrival. Our TimeTrade scheduling links lets clients pick their own date and time that they want this onsite service performed.

The TimeTrade confirmation number is also the client's Invoice number for billing that can be completed by either PayPal or Square services for Invoicing and Payments.

Thank you for a great 2016 and looking forward to servicing your electrical needs in 2017