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About Mr. Electrician

Too often as an electrician I see potentially hazardous wiring in homes. These dangerous electrical  installations were done by thrifty landlords, unqualified contractors, and homeowners as well.  Therefore I see a need for everyone to be informed of the hazards that can occur when electricity is delivered in a careless and shoddy manner.   
Two by-products that result from electricity making our lives easier are heat and sparks.  When things have been wired correctly with the proper devices and materials, heat and sparks are kept to a minimum.  However, improper wiring methods, age, poor maintenance, and abuse can all contribute to an increase in heat and sparks.  If the heat and sparks are in close proximity to combustible materials such as wood, paper, curtains, carpeting, bedding, gasoline and lots of other things, a fire can occur.
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A few weeks ago I saw a homeowner's new kitchen which was completely done by a contractor after I had installed recessed lights over a year ago.  The homeowner was proud in showing me the nice cabinets and pointed out the under-cabinet lighting that the contractor installed himself.  A red flag went up in my head so I looked closer at the wiring for the under-cabinet lights.  The contractor had installed under-cabinet lights that came from the factory with a cord attached.  These were designed and built to be plugged into an electrical receptacle with the cord hanging loosely. 

However this contractor had run the cord wires directly into the wall.  That was all that I saw.  There were no electrical receptacles inside of the cabinets.  I saw a wall switch for the under-cabinet lights that had been added to an existing countertop receptacle which is a National Electrical Code violation.  The cord wiring is not rated for permanent installation in a wall which is also a National Electrical Code violation.

Eventually the insulation on the cord wire could fail prematurely by drying out, becoming brittle and allowing arcing to take place.  Arcing generates heat and sparks which are not good to have inside of a wall constructed of wood materials.  A fire could result.

I began my career in the electrical field at an early age.  While in grammar school my father, an electrical contractor, would baby sit me on Saturdays by taking me to work.  As I grew older I began working for him at the early age of 10 for which I was paid a dollar a day.  My salary eventually grew to a dollar per hour (1960's dollars) and I soon realized the value of money and building a savings account. 

By the time I was in high school I had achieved a substantial apprenticeship in the electrical profession. My father's business concentrated on commercial and light industrial work, but those customers also wanted electrical work done at their homes.  Consequently, My experience in electrical work is quite diverse.  I get a kick out of TV shows demonstrating restoration of old houses because I was already doing that in the 1970's. 

 

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Updated December 14, 2015

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