Is Your Pool Electrically Ready For Summer?

With Memorial Day a week away, the unofficial start of Summer 2017 is upon us. That means the roughly 10.4 million residential pools in The United States will be opening.

Aside from the cleaning, and chemical treatments, there is one important step in pool opening that is often overlooked. Your pool’s electrical system. Depending on the age of your pool, what was code then, may no longer be code complaint now. That does not mean the township code enforcer will red tag your pool for the summer season. It does, however mean that you could be inadvertently subjecting yourself, family, and guests to a potentially hazardous situation.

Weather you have an in-ground, above ground, inflatable pool, or hot tub, all of the electrical requirements can be found in the National Electrical Code under Article 680. Those 16 pages can be tough to wade through if you are not sure what you are looking for. Some highlights are:

  • Receptacles for pump motors or any other equipment associated with water circulation and sanitation shall be located at least 10′ from the inside walls of the pool, or not less than 6′ if they are single GFCI protected locking type.
  • All 15 amp and 20 amp single phase 125 volt receptacles located within 20′ of the inside walls of the pool shall be GFCI protected.
  • Equipotential bonding is installed to reduce voltage gradients in the pool area. A solid #8 copper bonding jumper shall surround the perimeter of the pool and include all pool equipment, metal fittings, metallic components (think ladders), underwater lighting, and a conductive surface measuring nine square inches that is in direct contact with the pool water. pool-wiring-and-shock-prevention-NipperElectric

To be certain your pool is ready for Summer 2017, give Hawke Elctrical, Inc. a call and we will give you an onsite electrical evaluation of your pool. We can provide solutions for any safety concerns you may have, and for ones you may not be aware of. Don’t spend the summer second guessing your pools electrical safety. Call Hawke Electrical, Inc. today and spend the rest of your summer enjoying your pool!

 

 

Add Some Curb Appeal With New Lighting at Your Front Door

Your front door can leave a lasting impression on visitors to your home. The right fixture can create a welcoming environment for both you and your guests.

When dealing with the front door, symmetry is key. An even balance of light will give your entrance the “red carpet” effect. To make a bold statement, select a larger sconce. If you have side doors or garage doors that are visible from the street, you can install the same sconce design in a smaller size to make your front door the focal point. Most lighting manufactures, such as Progress Lighting and Kichler, offer the same exact sconce in two to three distinct sizes. front door 

For those of you who have an arched overhang at your front door, a chain supported hanging pendant is the way to go. If the overhang is flat, you could choose a decorative surface mounted fixture. If height clearance is an issue, a recessed light can give adequate lighting at your entrance. traditional-exterior

When combined with a post light, and landscape lighting, the right fixture at your front door can create the perfect outdoor scene. Sufficient exterior lighting will enhance your home’s safety and security as well. home-night-lighting

You don’t have to take my word for it. Drive around any residential area at night and take notice of what homes are well lit. The curb appeal of exterior lighting can make your home the “it” house on the block. We spend copious amounts of time and effort to beautify our homes interior. Why stop there? Start bringing your style outside with new lighting fixtures at your front door!

5 Electrical Upgrades to Spend Your Income Tax Refund On

Today is the deadline to file your federal income taxes for 2016. In honor of tax day, we’ve compiled a list of 5 electrical upgrades to spend your tax refund on. These improvements can enhance your homes’ appearance, as well as your overall quality of life.

1. Standby Generator

No single upgrade will make as big an impact to your quality of life as installing an automatic standby generator. Imagine never worrying about loosing power again? You can buy a basic unit to cover heating, refrigeration, and sump pumps, or a whole house unit to cover all of your electrical loads, even central air!standby-generator

2. Whole House Surge Protector

Walk into any home and you will likely find surge protectors behind every TV and computer. What about your fridge, dishwasher, dryer, and microwave? A whole house surge protector is installed at your main service panel and will protect all of your expensive electrical appliances.CHSPT2ULTRA

3. Ceiling Fans

Installing a ceiling fan in your bedroom will make your room more comfortable year round. In the summer, a fan delivers a refreshing breeze to keep the room comfortable and cool. Change the rotation of the fan in the winter, and the fan will push down the hot air as it rises to evenly warm the space. You can definitely utilize your ceiling fan 365 days a year!ceiling fan

4. Attic Fan

An attic fan is an often overlooked component to your home cooling system. Without ventilation, your attic will trap hot air above your home, causing your air conditioning to work twice as hard. An attic fan will force that air out, resulting in lower electric bills during the summer months.atticventilation-1

5. Landscape Lighting

With summer right around the corner, we are about to be spending a lot more time outside. Why not add some landscape lighting to show off your home’s landscape and exterior. Landscape lighting will add to your home’s curb appeal, in addition to providing an added level of security.landscape lighting

Enhance Your Bathroom Experience With These Inexpensive Lighting Upgrades

According to a recent study, the average amount of time a man spends in the bathroom is 856 days over the course of his life. Women are slightly less, at 770 days. With all that time spent in the bathroom, why not upgrade your bathroom lighting to improve your bathroom experience. 

New lighting can dramatically change the dynamics of your bathroom without the need for a complete remodel. Not only will a new fixture change the appearance of the room, but the right light will aid in daily tasks as well.

Let’s start with the vanity. Properly designed lighting will make tasks such as shaving and applying make up much easier. If you only have overhead lighting, you will cast a shadow while standing at the mirror. Add a sconce on each side, and you will eliminate those shadows and illuminate your face. The size of the sconces should be proportionate to the size of the mirror and the bathroom itself.shower

Another situation I see is a bathroom having only a light at the vanity. When you pull closed an opaque shower curtain, you are taking a shower in the dark. The solution? Recessed lighting. A 5″ recessed light with a water tight lens will provide plenty of light for bathing and shaving. It is code complaint, and will make a world of difference in a dark shower.

There are numerous other lighting options that will change the complexion and functionality of your bathroom. A new “whisper quiet” exhaust fan, a recessed light fan, or a chandelier (code permitting) will all drastically change your bathroom, and how you use it. Now that your lighting is upgraded, we can upgrade your controls. Dimmer switches for your lights, and count down timers or humidity sensors for your exhaust fans will put the finishing touches on your lighting upgrades.bath2

If you live in South Eastern Pennsylvania, and you are tired of your dark, depressing, bathroom, give Hawke Electrical, Inc. a call. One of our trained technicians will come out and give you ideas on how to brighten your bathroom. Better yet, stop in our showroom and see our display bathroom vanities and see for yourself what the appropriate lighting can do for you. We can also point you in the direction of what fixtures to use from our preferred vendors. Let Hawke Electrical, Inc. be your one stop shop for your bathroom lighting upgrades!

Don’t Regret the Wrong Contractor, Consumers Beware…

There is no shortage of “qualified” electrical contractors out there, ready to take your hard earned money and deliver sub-standard workmanship. As consumers, you need to do a little homework to ensure you don’t hire the wrong contractor.

When seeking out contractors to perform work at your home, selecting the right one can be a daunting task. If you do not know someone in the trade, or have a recommended option from a trusted friend or family member, you are left to fend for yourself. Price is a factor, but when it comes to your home, it should not be the deciding one. Online review sites are a start, but they only tell part of the story. To make sure you are selecting the right electrical contractor, you should look for a company that has a great reputation, with a foundation based in customer service. That is exactly what you will find if you choose Hawke Electrical, Inc. to complete your next electrical project.

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Here is a an exposed splice, with no ground path present for potential stray current.

 

We are only as good as our reputation, so we strive to make your experience a great one. All of our uniformed technicians are background and drug tested. They take classes periodically throughout the year to remain the most knowledgeable in their field. All of our labeled vehicles contain drop clothes, vacuums, and shoe booties, so we can show your home the respect it deserves.

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This is a lighting circuit ran in 18 gauge wire, much smaller than the minimum required conductor.

We also have a brick and mortar office building which is home to our generator warehouse and consumer idea showroom. We purchased a high visibility location to show the public that we are here to stay. It should give you piece of mind that by choosing Hawke Electrical, Inc. you made the right decision. We have all heard horror stories of customers giving contractors deposits, only for the contractor to disappear with their money, never to be seen again. Call us, and our friendly office staff will answer the phone. Stop by and see our showroom for yourself, we love discussing electrical projects with prospective customers. Hawke Electrical, Inc. is here, and we intend to be here to stay.

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Here the grounding conductor is taped up and used as the grounded conductor, yet another code violation.

 

While working and estimating in countless homes in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I have seen my fair share of sub standard electrical work. The difference between a bad paint job and bad electrical work is a bad paint job has never burned down a house. Unfortunately, an uninformed customer assumes that since they paid a “professional” to complete their work, they have nothing to worry about. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions are the 3rd leading cause for residential fires. Additionally, Pennsylvania ranks number 3 in the entire nation in fire related deaths.

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Here a loose neutral melted a receptacle. The compromised wire was originally white before it burned inside the wall.

 

Do not let yourself be a victim of a bad electrical contractor, or worse, a statistic. If you live in the Philadelphia suburbs and are looking to have some electrical work completed at your home, call Hawke Electrical, Inc. Do a little bit of homework and look us up, or stop in our showroom and ask us why we should be your electrical contractor. We take your electrical work very seriously, and as the consumer, so should you.

Save Time and Money With LED Flood Lights

Spring is here, bringing with it longer days and shorter nights. Warm summer evenings are right around the corner. Install LED Flood lights now, so you and your family can enjoy your outdoor living space!

We have all been there. The first warm night of the season is here and you decide to cook dinner on the grill. The problem? It’s hard to grill and hold a flashlight at the same time. Whether your old halogen flood lights have burned out, again, or you never had flood lights in the first place, now is the perfect time to redo your flood lights for the summer.

Nobody looks forward to dragging out the extension ladder to change flood lights. You are lucky to get one calendar year of life out of a typical halogen flood bulb. A typical LED Flood light boasts a life span over 25,000 hours, which equates to 22 years. Imagine not having to drag out that extension ladder for the next two decades?

Your old halogen bulbs use anywhere from 150 to 90 watts. That consumption adds up quick on your monthly electric bill. LED flood lights use less than 15 watts for the same amount of light. That means each LED bulb will cost you less than $2 a year. The efficiency of LED technology is not just green friendly for the environment, but green friendly for your wallet as well!

Not sure what LED option is right for you, or need to install new flood fixtures all together? Give us a call and one of our knowledgeable and friendly technicians will be happy to give you an evaluation. Summer nights are meant to be enjoyed outside under the inviting glow of LED lighting. Let this summer be remembered as the one you could grill with two hands, and forget about changing flood lights for a long, long time!

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