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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LED's Provide Energy Significant Savings

LEDs: Comparing Apples to Apples
Chuck Ross

Over the years, we’ve become used to describing lamps by how many watts they draw, as with basic Edison lamps, or by the size fixture or ballast in which they’re used, as with fluorescent tubes. 

However, neither of these approaches says anything about the quality of the light those lamps produce, which can cause problems when trying to match expectations to actual lamp performance. 

While terms like “warm white” or “soft light” might have become familiar marketing terms, the lack of quantitative measurements for these qualities can make matching new lamps to well-established expectations difficult. More

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Monday, July 23, 2012

44 NJ Contractors Issued Registration Violations

New Jersey Consumers should beware of Home Improvement Contractors that hold themselves out as Licensed when they are not in fact licensed. Many list a "License Number" on their vehicles beginning with 13VH. This is not a license number it is and always has been a State of NJ Home Improvement Contractors Registration Number.

Only Electrical, Plumbing and Alarm Contractors are Licensed in the State of New Jersey, Home Improvement Contractors are not Licensed, they are merely required to be Registered. If there is no number at all, that is a huge RED Flag for any consumer to stay away from that contractor.

To that end New Jersey has issued violation notices to 44 home improvement contractors that the agency found to be non-compliant and unregistered. The Division of Consumer affairs is seeking $195,000 in civil penalties from the contractors. The investigation was based on complaints and referrals from consumers across the state.

Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says the division receives more complaints about home improvement contractors than any other category. Chiesa says four of the contractors face sanctions for failing to perform work after accepting customer deposits. Forty of the contractors allegedly performed or solicited home repairs without properly registering with division. 
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Home Fires On The Rise All Over New Jersey

Over the past several months – in counties all over Jersey – there has been a significant spike in home and apartment fires.

No one is sure why this is happening, but many fire officials think the increase may be tied to the economic downturn- where people have been more willing to put off fixing or upgrading the electric wiring in their homes, because it’s so expensive.

New Jersey state Fire Marshal Bill Kramer says “we don’t have the data yet to make a comparison (on how many fires there have been this year compared to previous ones” but older homes or apartments can have sub-standard electrical wiring, and if you find yourself having to reset – or your breakers are tripping on a regular basis – and it’s the same breaker all the time – that’s a problem – that circuit is overloaded and you need to either find out where that circuit is and unload it or have an electrician come in and upgrade your service or add more outlets.” Read More

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Faulty Circuit Breakers In Thousands of Homes 
May Cause Serious Fires

Circuit breakers are designed to keep you, your family and your property safe from fire, some breakers might not only fail to protect your family, they may cause a fire.

“There’s thousands of them out there,” Clifton, N.J. Fire Chief Vince Colavitti told NBC 4 New York's I-Team. “It’s a ticking bomb waiting to happen.”

The breakers, mostly found in homes built before 1990, were made by Federal Pacific Electric and there are thousands of these breakers that are still installed in homes today. 

Circuit breakers are designed to trip during an overload or short circuit, if the breaker doesn't trip, the increasing current causes excessive heat and can ignite a fire. Any circuit breaker can fail however Federal Pacific has the reputation of an extreme failure rate. Any competent Electrical Contractor would always suggest that Federal Pacific Electric breakers and panels be changed..

Home inspectors and some insurance companies are aware of problems with Federal Pacific Electric breakers. Some insurance companies refuse to cover homes that have the breakers. Some Municipalities also notify Homeowners of the dangers and suggest that the electric panels be changed. 

According to fire investigators, the Federal Pacific Electric breaker in Clarissa Rosario's New Jersey home did not trip when overheated wires were burning in the ceiling between her bedroom and the attic. “I saw the light flickering and I thought it wasn't normal,” said Rosario. “When I opened the attic, it was full of smoke.” 

Engineer Jesse Aronstein has been studying the breakers for decades. He has testified in lawsuits against the company and published reports about the failures. According to his research, Federal Pacific Electric breakers may be associated with as many as 2,800 electrical fires each year in the U.S.

“People should know that these have a high defect rate and should be advised to have them replaced,” said Aronstein. Read More 

May is Electrical Safety Month !!!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Planning for Florescent T12 Lamp Phase Out

More than 500 million T12 fluorescent bulbs are still in use throughout the U.S., but by July 2012, manufacturers will cease producing most of these products. As with many incandescent lamps, the T12 fluorescent – with a design that hasn't changed significantly since 1938 do not meet current energy-efficiency standards.

The first choice is to maintain the existing fixtures and retrofit them with florescent T8 ballasts lamps. Choosing this option will provide environmental and economic benefits since T8 lamps contain less mercury than T12 lamps and offer longer life. Their light output also does not degrade as much over time than less-efficient T12 lamps.

On the surface, a one-for-one T8 retrofit may seem the least expensive approach, however new fixtures designed for T8 technology may provide better light optics a comparable overall cost, especially when energy savings are factored into the equation. Read More

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