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Recent Blog Posts - Electrical

Circuit Breakers

Circuit Breakers. Most everyone has heard the term. Any residence built after 1960 has them, power plants have them, commercial buildings have them. But what are they, how do they work, and why do we need them? Wikipedia defines a circuit breaker as "an automatically operated electrical switch...

Why Do Aluminum to Copper Connections Fail?

Electrical connections between aluminum and copper wires present special hazards for property owners. Aluminum to copper connections may deteriorate over time if not installed in a proper manner. A deteriorated connection can lead to overheating, which can result in a fire. Why do aluminum to copper...

Electrocution, Electric Shock, and Safety

The words electrocution and electric shock strike fear in many. However, many people use these two words interchangeably, when in fact they are not the same. An electric shock is when you somehow touch an energized circuit and, as many electricians say, you get "bit". An electric shock can rattle...

How Old is Old?

When working on scope of damage/value of loss files, I am frequently asked how long should electrical equipment last? In this case, I was tasked with a fire origin and cause in a lumber yard. Upon first look, it was obvious that this was not actually a fire - it was something else...

Voltage Surge or Lightning Strike?

Many times electrical engineers are confronted with trying to classify damages to electrical and electronic equipment as the result of a lightning strike. More specifically, was the damage the result of a surge or a direct lightning strike? The answer is “maybe neither.” The chances are the damage...

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

What is an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and how does it work? AFCIs are microprocessor-controlled devices that continuously monitor the voltage and current flowing in a circuit and interrupt the current flow if an arc is detected, and have been required as part of the National Electrical...