Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cost vs. Benefit I

Cost benefit analysis should be factored into all business decisions. In some cases inferior goods are feasible and quality should be compromised when the benefit is miniscule. For example, store brand cereal verses name brand cereal, or store brand cotton swabs verses Q Tip cotton swabs. For most products and services there is no brand differentiation. Gas is gas, whether you fill up at the Mobil or the local BP. Why pay more for the same product or service? 

Does electrical service fall into this category? 

Not exactly and here are a few reasons why. According to the law, a license holder is required to perform all electrical work. Home and business owners tend to hire journeyman for execution of small projects to reduce costs. Customers tend to believe that a lack of overhead will insure a more cost effective job. This is possible. This is also illegal, but it happens. 

However, a professional license holder is optimal in regards to executing any project. These projects may include open Certificates of Occupancies, Legalization's, and open permits. A licensed electrician is recognized by the county or city for their skills and qualifications. The license holder is knowledgeable and works according to the NEC, National Electric Code book, which is tested. The NEC is the governing law to maintain safety and correct installation of everything electrical; including materials and controls. A license holder in Westchester, NY is required to have a minimum of 11.5 years experience in order to qualify for the exam and if successful they are obligated to be insured. 

This means your license holder has been tested and certified to have the experience necessary to manage any electrical project. The licensed electrician should be capable of consulting, offering suggestions and advice to a customer based upon the task at hand. Another positive is that the project should be done correctly the first time. A journeyman cannot file for a job and if the job is not done properly the customer could be fined or forced to shut down, or close their residence. The benefit of having a licensed electrician is the peace of mind will save you money and time. 

 Michael M Muqattash MBA, February 19, 2013.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Safety II – Co2 – Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide Detectors or Co2 detectors identify the presents of Carbon Monoxide in an area, zone, or room. Co2 is lethal and odorless; therefore, a detector must be installed in any commercial or residential dwelling that utilizes gas or oil such as, garages, boiler and laundry rooms, including apartments. There are five types of Co2 detectors with two variations, indicator and digital. Indicators address the presence of Co2 with a beeping sound and a digital Co2 detector beeps in addition quantifies the amount of carbon monoxide in the air.

The five types include: 1. Screw in, battery operated, indicator, (By a beeping sound) 2. Battery operated, digital read out, 3. Plug in, digital read out, (Plugged into an outlet) 4. Hard wired, indicator, (Battery backup optional) 5. Hard wired, digital, (Battery backup optional)* Recommended

In Westchester, NY it is mandatory for new construction to have hard wired detectors; however, in Yonkers, NY it is mandatory to have a digital read out Co2 detector in all commercial and residential properties. The locations of Co2 detectors are also governed in any residential setting that utilizes gas or oil at their residence. There must be one detector per floor, one per bed room, and one per boiler & laundry room. In a commercial setting that has gas or oil present there must be one Co2 detector installed per floor throughout the building.

Co2 detectors by law must be installed in all old and new construction. It is also law that the Co2 detectors must be replaced every five years. It is highly recommended to check and change the batteries twice a year, or as the time zones changes for daylight saving. Keeping up with your carbon monoxide detectors will save lives. Installations of Co2 detectors are necessary to pass inspection. This is governed and mandatory by law.

Be sure to have a qualified license electrician install any battery or hard wired Co2 detector with a battery backup.

Michael M Muqattash MBA, February 15, 2013.

Go Green I - Energy Saving Bulbs

Going green will take a collective effort of the masses in order to be successful in energy saving throughout the US. Our government has done its part by eliminating the production of standard screw in Edison/Incandescent light bulb. It is a regulatory movement that forces all manufactures to produce the screw in energy saving light bulb in-place of the traditional one.

The Edison bulbs that are currently in stock are the last of its kind and for good reason. The average amount of watts needed to illuminate one standard room pumps out 100 Watts with an equivalent input output. The energy saving florescent light bulb works with 2/3s less the wattage with an output of 2/3's more in watts, thus saving nearly 70% of energy consumption. For example a 30 watt energy saving bulb will output over 90 watts and save you 60 watts of energy.

The average home or business can utilizes up to 5000 watts per hour at a rate given by their electric provider. Energy efficient bulbs could reduce that to an input of 1650 watts matching the same output of 5000 watts provided by the Edison bulb. When energy efficient screw in bulbs were initially introduced there was limitations, the bulb couldn’t be connected to a dimmer switch. Now the electrical manufactures produce an energy efficient dimmer switch to complement mood lighting. Also, these bulbs also come in a variety of shades of light to fit your preference of ambiance.

So how can you save money and help go green?

Replace every traditional Edison screw in light bulb with the florescent energy saving bulb. Here are a few suggestions for your home, workspace, or office that are applicable. Change multiple bulbs on your chandelier, high hats/recess lighting fixtures and bed & bathrooms, including hallways, kitchens and outdoor lighting fixtures. We encourage this change and look forward to a brighter cost efficient future.

Michael M Muqattash MBA, February 18, 2013.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Safety I - GFCI

GFCI is an acronym for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. The GFCIs primary function is to detect a fault in the ground or circuit and trip the outlet. This is basically a smart outlet that thinks on its own in efforts to ensure safety by cutting off electricity to anything plugged into the device. In this situation one would press the reset button; one of two buttons displayed on the front of the GFCI much like tripping a circuit breaker in the panel box.

There are three reasons a GFCI may trip, it could be an error, an overload, and or an interruption in the circuit. An overload can be caused by over using the GFCI, for example; consistently operating multiple blow dryers in succession. If there is an interruption in the circuit, than there is a problem with the ground, neutral or positive wires. This interruption can be caused by rodents chewing on a wire, or a repairman drilling into an unexposed wire in the wall.

So where should you have a GFCI installed?

Well, in Westchester County, NY, as well as throughout the United Sates GFCIs must be located in all bath rooms, kitchens counter tops, outdoors and garages. A GFCI must be located within five feet of any sink, whether in a commercial or residential setting. The installation of GFCIs is crucial to maintaining the safety of people and is mandatory in passing electrical inspections regardless the city, village or state. This should be installed by a quality Licensed Electrician, because there are secondary factors to be addressed when installing a GFCI.

We only recommend manufactures whose products are UL approved such as Hubbell and Leviton. In the event that your GFCI will not reset after the device trips it then needs to be replaced.

Michael M Muqattash MBA February 15, 2012.