How to Find Out Which Breaker the Outlet is On 101.

Unless all the breakers are marked correctly, it can be a real pain to find out what breaker is connected to an outlet. If you own an expensive circuit tracer, then the job is easy. But if you don’t, there are only a few options.

First, you can plug a light fixture in, run to the panel, shut off the breaker and run back to see if the light is off.  This will give you a great workout, but isn’t exactly efficient. Or, you can plug in a radio, tune it to your favorite station and turn off breakers until the music stops. The problem is, if the outlet is too far away from the panel then you will have to crank up the volume and if it’s a good song, who wants to shut it off?

Well I found this cool device from Reliance that can take care of this problem!

The THP109 Circuit Scout – Circuit Analyzer and Breaker Locator.

Simply plug in the device, move switch to ON and device will sound (adjustable) siren up to 105 dB until circuit breaker is turned off and outlet is no longer live, identifying the outlet that is fed by a specific breaker. Analyzer: color-Coded LED’s identify specific problems with outlet wiring and it has a GFCI test button.

~Woody

This is real secret squirrel stuff! (They’re changing the USB ports.)

USB-C is the emerging standard for charging and transferring data. Right now, it’s included in devices like the newest laptops, phones, and tablets. Given time, it’ll spread to pretty much everything that currently uses the older, larger USB connector.

USB Type-C has a new, tiny physical connector—roughly the size of a micro USB connector. The USB-C connector itself can support various exciting new USB standard like USB 3.1 and USB power delivery (USB PD).

Just think of it, now we will need an adapter to plug into a receptacle for the normal USB, and an adapter to go from the new USB to the old USB, or just an adapter to plug the USB-C in. Either way, it’s going to be a mess!

Well Pass & Seymour is here to save the day. They have come out with a new receptacle with two USB charging ports for mobile devices – one Type-A port and one Type-C port for newer products.

The PTTR15ACUSBW with The PlugTail® termination provides a more productive, secure, and safer installation and allows you to connect with the future of wiring device innovations.

~Woody

Who doesn’t love singing in the shower?

Or just listening to music while taking a relaxing bath? Everyone does!

The problem has always been getting the music into the bathroom. I remember as a kid my parents had a toilet paper holder that had an AM radio built into it. The reception wasn’t great and the sound was bad, but we could rock out to the AM top 40. Today there are all kinds of portable Bluetooth speakers, but, you get what you pay for. Lithonia has come out with an awesome LED wireless speaker downlight!

The LED Wireless Speaker Downlight provides an easy and efficient way to light up a room and enjoy music for the entire family. Wirelessly stream audio from Bluetooth™ enabled devices and pair up to 8 units together for an enhanced sound experience.

Retrofits into most standard 6″ recessed housings or new construction and remodel applications.

So, don’t forget your microphone soap on a rope (sold separately) and rock in the shower to your favorite tunes!

CONSTRUCTION — Aluminum die cast trim with poly-carbonate housing. Round fixture with integral LED’s. PATENT PENDING

OPTICS — Diffused lens surrounding speaker provides even light distribution for general illumination. The LED module maintains at least 70% light output for 35,000 hours. Wide flood beam angle at >45?.

ELECTRICAL — High-efficiency driver mounted on the module. 1 x 1 4?, 5W loudspeaker. Primary power disconnect provided for simple connection to a dedicated LED connector in the housing or E26 adapter provided. Accommodates 120 volts DC at 60Hz. Dimming down to 10% with most standard incandescent, magnetic low voltage and electronic low voltage dimmers. For compatible dimmers, see page 4 for recommended triac dimmers. Rechargeable lithium ion battery that lasts up to 6 hours when the light is off. The battery charges when light is turned on and takes approximately 4 hours to fully charge.

INSTALLATION — Suitable for installation in standard rough-in sections.

E26 socket adapter ships standard. Twin torsion springs ensure easy installation for 6″ recessed housings. Tested to fit in a minimum enclosure of 6” diameter by 6” height, with a maximum flange diameter of 7.5” For examples of compatible housings No third party application required to operate speaker downlight.

LISTINGS — ETL certified to US and Canadian safety standards. Wet location listed. WSEC ASTM E283 for Air-Tight (with IC housings).

WARRANTY — 3-year limited warranty for LED’s and Driver. 1-year limited warranty for Speaker.

~Woody

I like big butt………splices!! (and I can not lie.)

BURNDYC00004_A54_TN_001Splicing large wire has been a challenge since it was invented.

First there was the split bolt. This device requires you to strip the wire, scratch brush it, put anti oxide on it, tighten it with 2 wrenches, and wrap it with 2 rolls of rubber tape then 3 rolls of electrical tape. It looks awesome (NOT), and takes a lot of time and space in a box.

Then came the compression splice. Strip the wire, stick it in both ends of the splice, crimp it down and then heat shrink. Problem is, a lot of folks don’t own a crimper so they go old school with a hammer or a rock to smash it!

Now there is a quick and easy way to splice. The Burndy Unitap!

This is so cool!!! Strip the wire, insert into the Unitap and tighten down the set screws and you’re done. No tape, no heat shrink and it is a nice looking splice.

BURNDY BIBS-2/0-3

Features & Benefits

  • 600 Volt Rated
  • Fully Insulated Aluminum 6061-T6 connector body saves time and lowers installation costs by eliminating the need for taping
  • Listed to UL486A-B (File E9498)
  • CSA Certified to C22.2, No. 65 (File 042860_c_00)
  • Rated for use with flex conductor (No Ferrules Required!)
  • AL9CU dual rated for use with copper and aluminum conductors
  • Range taking designs will accommodate wire sizes from #14-750 kcmil Class B & C, and #14- 535 DLO Flex
  • Configurations include Taps, In-Line Splice Reducers, Single-Sided Entry, and Double-Sided Entry with the number of ports from 2 to 14
  • Clear Plastisol Insulation allows visual confirmation that conductor is properly inserted into port
  • Operating temperature from -40°C to 135°C
  • Conductor ports are pre-filled with oxide inhibitor
  • Screw Port and Conductor Port caps provided to protect against contamination and accidental contact of energized parts
  • Caps are color coordinated to quickly identify maximum conductor size accommodated
  • Screw Port caps contain recommended installation torque values for quick and easy reference
  • • Conductor Port caps contain the accommodated wire range and allowable conductor classes

~Woody

Man that is an Ugly Book!

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One thing I have learned about working with electricity over the years is that there are a ton of formulas and calculations to consider.

From figuring out an amp load to bending the perfect offset.

Most electricians will use The National Electrical Code, but trying to read that thing can be like figuring out instructions from Ikea! Not to mention that before the internet, lugging that NEC binder around was a like being back in high school carrying books from class to class.

For more than 35 years, customers have turned to Ugly’s for all the information they need, where they need it most: in the field. Updated regularly to meet the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and the National Electrical Code® (NEC), these convenient pocket-size guides deliver quick, accurate answers in a unique, one-volume “tool-box library” format to ensure electrical and plumbing jobs are completed safely and correctly every time.

~Woody

How are today’s kids going to learn?

Yes, this is going to be one of those “Back in my day we……….” blogs, so here it goes! Well, back in my day we had to learn things the hard way. Like never smash a can of shaving cream with a cinder block unless you want to be covered in shaving cream, never ride your bike through a pile of burning leaves if your bell bottoms are frayed at the bottom, and never throw a bucket in the air to catch a bat under the street light unless you know what to do with it if you catch it.

The biggest was never stick a screw driver in the duplex receptacle! (Makes a big boom and lots of smoke.) Today, that lesson doesn’t need to be learned the hard way because the NEC has adopted the code calling for Tamper Proof Receptacles.

The Pass & Seymour TradeMaster® receptacles combine a traditional look with reliable, time-tested operation for any residential application. This receptacle is also outfitted with our patented automatic shutter system to prevent young children from inserting common objects, such as hairpins or keys. The shutters release when a plug is inserted. Required by the National Electrical Code® (NEC®).

  • Meets 2008 National Electrical Code Tamper-Resistant requirements
  •  Protects children: patented shutter system—now with black “invisi-shutters” that disappear for an invisible effect—helps prevent improper insertion of foreign objects
  • High-impact resistant thermoplastic construction
  • Extra-long strap
  • Quickloop wire looping aid
  • Long-term blade retention
  •  Longer tri-drive screws for easier 12 AWG looping
  • Extra-large circuit break-off tabs
  • Side-access push wire release
  • Ultrasonic welding of face to back body
  • Side wire accepts #12 – #14 AWG solid wire
  •  Push wire accepts #14 AWG solid only
  • Superior protection than traditional outlet caps or protection plates
  • Low profile face
  • Traditional contoured face (3232 models)
  • Self-grounding models provide automatic ground clip

~Woody

The Smart House!

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When I think of it, I always remember the Jetsons! George would fly up on in his car, he would be greeted by his wife Jane, and she would just press some buttons and there was dinner! Everything was automatic. (Interesting fact, on the show George was 40 years old, Jane was 33, there oldest daughter was 16. Well, you do the math.)

But then in 1999 there was a movie called The Smart House (cool title). It told the story of a smart house taking over. Not just spying through the microwave, but terrorizing the family!

So, I’m torn…………….

The problem is that most of us live in a “NOT SMART” house. If you are building a new house, it is easy to plan and run tons of cables. If you live in an older home, then this is a major job. Until now!

Leviton has a very simple way of controlling the lights and devices in your home. The Decora Smart with Wi-Fi Technology family of products feature five devices including in-wall dimmers, a switch, and plug-in modules for appliances and lamps, supporting a wide range of load types including LED and incandescent with multi-way capability.

REMOTE ACCESS FROM ANYWHERE, NO HUB REQUIRED
Control connected loads and lights using the free My Leviton app for iOS and Android, no hub required. Simplify control of the residence – schedule lights and connected loads to turn on/off at specific times or based on sunrise/sunset, easily group smart devices into rooms, and create scenes to activate multiple lights at once.

APP CONTROL
Use the free “My Leviton” app for iOS and Android devices to easily add new devices to your home. Create schedules like “Good Morning” to activate appropriate lighting at preset times. For instance, at 6:30AM every Monday through Friday, turn the bedroom lights to 25% and master bath lights to 50%. As well, Activities can be created so that you can manually set the lighting for “Movie Time” from the app as you begin your movie.

VOICE CONTROL VIA AMAZON ALEXA AND GOOGLE
simply tell your favorite voice assistant from Google or Amazon to adjust the lights or plug-in loads whenever you need that helping hand. Compatible with all products that support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant providing voice control of the load: “Alexa, dim living room lights to 25%” or “Ok Google, Turn Chandelier to 10%”.  Use your imagination and have fun controlling every light and load in your home.

~Woody

In gastronomy, a wafer is a crisp, often sweet, very thin, flat, and dry biscuit, often used to decorate ice cream. In lighting, it is a very cool LED fixture!

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LED lighting is getting crazier by the day. The good thing is that the fixtures are getting smaller and easier to install.

Installing recessed cans in an existing ceiling can be a pain. From crawling on your belly like a snake through insulation, to trying to mount the can with one hand so it won’t fall through the hole. Then there is the space factor. Trying to cram a 6 inch can in a 3 inch space full of insulation that many fixtures cannot have contact with.

Luckily, Lithonia has come out with a solution to these problems!

The Wafer LED!

The 6″ Wafer-Thin LED recessed downlight with remote driver box combines high quality light output and efficiency while eliminating the pot light housing for competitive affordability. This innovative wafer-slim Type IC design allows easy installation for new construction or remodel from below the ceiling without the requirement of a pot light housing.

 

Ideal for shallow ceiling plenum; no housing required. Steel spring clip for easy installation. 6″ cut out template is provided to ensure a correct sized hole is cut into ceiling for proper installation of the trim. Size of hole should not exceed 6 1/4 inches for this product.

 

Wafer-Thin downlight edge-lit LED technology uses light guided plate to distribute light.

Polycarbonate lens provides even illumination throughout the space. Utilized 3000K and 4000K color temperature LEDs.

Wafer 3000K

Wafer 4000K

 

~Woody

You might think it’s just another flash light, but this one is pretty sweet.

These days there are tons of LED flash lights out there!  Every size and shape imaginable.

Klein has come out with a new Penlight that is really cool. This is great for up-close inspection. It also has a glow in the dark tip, (I LOVE anything that glows in the dark). I think the coolest thing about it though, is that it has a laser pointer! Most people will use it to point out conduits, wires and other important things. Myself, well, I have a huge in door cat! I use it make him run from one end of the house to the other to hopefully drop some weight. (The flash light comes in handy to look under the couch for cat toys).

The new Klein Inspection Penlight uniquely features a laser that can be used to pinpoint hard-to-reach places, which is ideal for communicating with foreman, inspectors, colleagues, etc. Helping to reduce, or even eliminate, mistakes is what makes the Inspection Penlight with Laser a job site necessity.

  • LED penlight for up-close lighting in dim areas
  • Laser pointer pinpoints objects or features that are out of reach
  • Glow ring tip charges while the light is on and allows for easy retrieval in the dark
  • Pocket clip for easy, convenient storage
  • Aluminum body with cushion-grip handle

~Woody

This can save your life.

5757789Every month I write the blog hoping to entertain and inform our customers about new products, but this month’s blog is going to be a little more serious.

This month I want to talk about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors. Every year, 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States are sickened by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and approximately 500 people die, many in their own home. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which is why carbon monoxide detectors are so important. Most detectors are hard wired and interconnected, but if you have an older home, this may not be the case.

Kidde makes a battery powered detector that can be installed anywhere.

The Nighthawk battery operated carbon monoxide alarm is an easy to install unit that provides reliable protection against the dangers of carbon monoxide. Written information and instruction make this unit’s operation easy for anyone to understand. The Nighthawk DC Basic alarm has a small, sleek design that is suitable for all living areas and has a 7-year limited warranty.

  • Battery Operated (3AA’s included) – Provides protection during power outages.
  • Test/Reset Button – Tests the unit for proper operation. Resets the Carbon Monoxide alarm.
  • 7-Year End of Life Warning – Alerts user to replace CO alarm after 7-years of operation. (40% longer than other CO alarms)
  • UL Listed – Lifelong Warranty

 

~Woody