Booming Plano Labor Market

Booming Plano Labor Market

Booming Plano Labor Market – A series of prominent developments in Plano is expected to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the city in the coming years—but it will be harder to fill some of those job openings than others.

From the executives and staff in brand-new, sparkling corporate offices, to the cooks and servers in restaurants at the Legacy West development, the demand for labor in Plano is diverse and growing. But local business leaders have said the Plano restaurants, retail stores and hospitality employers that have struggled for years to retain their workers could be in for a harder time in the coming months.  Booming Plano Labor Market,  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman for all your home repair needs.

“In a community like Plano where you have a large number of restaurants, retail [and] hotels that are coming online at once, you have a lot of competition” for labor, said Jamee Jolly, president and CEO of the Plano Chamber of Commerce.

Part of the issue, Jolly said, is tied to the cost of living in Plano, where fewer service-industry and retail professionals can afford to live than in some other areas of North Texas. The average home in Plano is valued at well over $300,000, and apartment rents tend to be higher than most low-wage earners can afford, she said.

These same conditions, common throughout Collin County, mean the area draws a high concentration of educated residents that higher-paying employers would like to attract. More than half of Plano residents have a bachelor’s or graduate degree, compared with fewer than 1 in 4 residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at large.  Booming Plano Labor Market

Booming Plano Labor Market

The local labor market has been moving in this direction for years, even before the latest round of development in Plano, state demographer Lloyd Potter said.

“There’s been a shift of the occupation of people that are in the labor force toward higher-skilled, higher-paid jobs, and away from the lower-skilled, lower-paid jobs,” Potter said.

Looking outside for answers

The restaurant industry is known for its chronic struggle to maintain stable staffs, but the past three years have been the most difficult Javier Ventura can remember.

Ventura, general manager for the Taco Diner location at The Shops at Legacy, said he works regularly to fill vacancies on his high-turnover restaurant staff.  Booming Plano Labor Market

Plano Texas Has a Highly Educated Workforce
Education Plano DFW Metro
High School 19% 37%
Some Secondary 26% 30%
Bachelor Plus 55% 23%

“I will say that 80 percent of the people that I hire are going to be young, really young people,” Ventura said. “Those are the ones that either they last for one month or they just work for maybe a couple weeks and they say, ‘You know what, it’s just not for me.’”

Over time, Ventura said, the older, more experienced employees tend to stick around longer than younger employees with less experience. However, most of these employees who constitute the backbone of his staff do not live in Plano, he said.  Booming Plano Labor Market

“It’s people that come from Dallas, Garland, maybe Carrollton, because I guess they find it a little bit more hard for them to find a job,” Ventura said.

The restaurant starts employees off at $11 to $12 an hour in an effort to attract more candidates, Ventura said. When out-of-town candidates express interest in working at Taco Diner, however, Ventura said they will often hesitate when they learn the exact location.

Other business owners and managers have reached out to the chamber with similar stories of hiring difficulties, Jolly said.

“When you’re talking about an hourly job, to ask someone to drive across North Texas to get to that job is not really feasible,” Jolly said. “Plano is surrounded on three sides by a toll road. That can be cost-prohibitive when you’re talking about a lower-wage-earning job.”  Booming Plano Labor Market

Antonio Oreste, a 42-year-old cook at Ventura’s restaurant, drives to work from his home in Garland each day.

After he finishes his shift at Taco Diner each day, Oreste walks to a second job at another restaurant.

For other potential employees who, unlike Oreste, depend on public transportation to get to work, a broad swath of Plano is not served directly by rail or buses. That said, Plano is more connected to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit network than suburbs to the north.

“We do have light rail into our eastern sector, and that’s been very good for the restaurant industries on the eastern portion that have been able to bring in talent from Dallas and other areas; that’s been great,” Jolly said. “We are increasing the [bus] routes … into Legacy and Legacy West.”

Increasing these bus routes is a step Ventura and other employers in The Shops at Legacy have sought for a while, Ventura said.  Booming Plano Labor Market

‘Mecca of migration’

Plano’s relative shortage of service-industry labor is not unexpected in light of the city’s demographic trends, said Potter, the state demographer who also serves as director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The bulk of new people moving into the Collin County suburbs, Potter said, are moving to Texas from other states like California.

“Collin County,” he said, “is this mecca of migration.”

Those willing to move to Collin County from out of state are likely to be wealthier than those simply moving between Texas counties, and therefore more likely to seek a high-paying corporate job rather than a lower-wage job, Potter said.  Booming Plano Labor Market

“The people that are moving [to Collin County] are those that employers aren’t having problems finding,” Potter said. “There are people who can afford the housing market there, who have higher levels of education and have the resources usually to move there, many of them from out of state.”

However, immigration patterns could also be depleting the supply of low-skill labor in a second way, Potter said. National analyses of government data from Pew Research Center and other sources suggest immigration from Mexico may be in a decline that dates back to the Great Recession.

“We’ve seen at the United States level, a leveling off [of Mexican immigration],” Potter said. “And some people even estimate that there’s been a reversal of the flow of migrants from Mexico—that more migrants [are] going to Mexico than are coming to the United States.”  Booming Plano Labor Market

Although Potter does not know of studies that have tested this national trend at the state or local level, he said Mexican nationals choosing to leave in greater numbers would have a disproportionate effect on the service-industry, restaurant and hospitality employers that have historically relied on such labor.

“We have a pretty significant dependence on labor of immigrants from Mexico, both authorized and unauthorized,” Potter said.

High cost of housing

Home prices are rising in Plano, but area apartments are not getting cheaper, either.

New apartment communities are popping up across the city, many as part of mixed-use developments coming online, including Legacy West on the city’s northwest corner and Heritage Creekside on its southern border.

But many of these apartments are aimed at the young professionals who may be living and working in the offices nearby. The lowest rent at one Heritage Creekside apartment community, for instance, is over $1,000 per month. Figures like that are more than what many who earn service-industry wages can afford, Jolly said.

“With the housing costs currently the way they are in Plano and most of our immediately surrounding communities, it’s cost-prohibitive for those folks to live and work here,” Jolly said.  Booming Plano Labor Market

Jolly said some measures companies have used include offering competitive wages and benefits, as well as flexible hours compared with competitors more central to Dallas.

Despite the continued hiring difficulties many employers in the retail and service industries are having, Jolly said she believes they will manage the new challenges as they have until now.

“Again, there’s a lot of competition, but I feel good that they’re aware of it,” Jolly said. “They’re doing their best to be proactive.”

Reprinted from the Community Impact Newspaper, Plano Edition – Follow this link to their website

Apple HomeKit

Apple Homekit

Apple HomeKit – If you own a recent iPhone or iPad, you have HomeKit. Control these products with Siri or Apple’s Home app.  With the Home app, you can easily and securely control all your HomeKit accessories. Ask Siri to turn off the lights from your iPhone. See who’s at the front door on your iPad. And even control things remotely with the help of Apple TV. The Home app makes all your connected devices work harder — and smarter — for you.  With the Home app, you can easily and securely control all your HomeKit accessories. Ask Siri to turn off the lights from your iPhone. See who’s at the front door on your iPad. And even control things remotely with the help of Apple TV. The Home app makes all your connected devices work harder — and smarter — for you.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman to discuss the installation of your Smart Home system.  Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.  Apple HomeKit

August Smart Lock HomeKit Enable
d – Use Siri to lock and unlock your door, or issue virtual “keys” to the babysitter. – $216.86 at Amazon.com  Apple HomeKit

Beddi Smart Alarm Clock – A clock for your nightstand with three programmable buttons to launch custom smart home scenes.

Carrier Cor 5C Thermostat – Let Siri change the temperature for you.

Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub – Use Siri to open and close the garage door and check its status.

D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD – View your camera’s live feed in Apple’s Home app.

Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat – A budget alternative to Nest that lets you tweak the temp with your voice.

Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat – Stands toe-to-toe with Nest and lets you tweak the temp with your voice.

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat – Connect your Ecobee4 to HomeKit to access your thermostat via Siri — or the Home app.

Elgato Eve Energy Switch & Power Meter – Use Siri to turn this smart plug on and off with your voice, or use it to automate whatever you plug into it.

Elgato Eve Room – A sensor to keep tabs on temp, air quality and humidity, which you can then ask Siri about.

Fibaro Flood Sensor-Ask Siri if your basement is flooding.  Apple HomeKit

First Alert Onelink Environment Monitor– Ask Siri for the status of your child’s room.

First Alert OneLink Wi-Fi Smoke and CO Alarm – Siri status updates can’t save First Alert’s uninspired smoke alarm.

Grid Connect ConnectSense Bluetooth Extender – Control Bluetooth devices, even when you’re out of range.

Giant Drone Racing May Be the Next Big Spectator Sport – Drone racers are evolving the sport by using bigger, more powerful drones that could inspire the future of commercial drone use. Learn more here.

Grid Connect ConnectSense Smart Outlet – Turn these plugs on and off with Siri or with an app.

Honeywell Lyric Home Security System – Use Siri and Apple’s Home app to check on the status of your security system.

Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat – Use Siri to set the temperature at home with this budget-priced thermostat.

Honeywell Lyric Thermostat Second Generation – Control this thermostat with Siri, but beware its poor location-sensing tech.  Apple HomeKit

Hunter HomeKit-Enabled Ceiling Fan – Ask Siri to turn these fans on and off, or automate them via an app.
$343.76 at Amazon.com

iDevices Instant Switch – Control this Bluetooth switch with Siri — or from Apple’s Home app.

iDevices Outdoor Switch – Turn on outdoor Christmas lights with your voice.

iDevices Socket – Screws into a light socket, giving you app access and Siri voice control.

iDevices Switch – Turn these switches on and off from an app or with Siri.

iDevices Thermostat – Use Siri to control your home temperature.

iDevices Wall Outlet – Plug whatever you like into this outlet, then ask Siri to turn it on and off.  Apple HomeKit

iHome iSP5 SmartPlug – Turn things on and off with Siri.

iHome iSP8 SmartPlug – Turn things on and off with Siri and Alexa.  Apple HomeKit

Incipio CommandKit Wi-Fi Power Strip – Control each power outlet with a Siri command.

Incipio CommandKit Wi-Fi Switch – Tell Siri to dim the lights. No hub needed.

Insteon Hub with HomeKit – Brings Siri and Home app control to Insteon’s family of plugs and light switches.

Kwikset Premis – Punch in your own unique code to get inside — or just tell Siri to let you in.  Apple HomeKit

Lifx Plus Wi-Fi LED Smart Bulb – A color-changing LED with Siri voice control, it has a special IR feature to help night-vision camera visibility.

Lutron Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit – Turn switches on and off with Siri or the Home app. A CNET Editors’ Choice winner.

Nanoleaf Smarter Kit – Control Nanoleaf light bulbs with Siri commands or the Home app.

Netatmo Healthy Home Coach – Ask Siri for indoor air quality, temperature and humidity readings.

Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm – Ask Siri to check on the status of the alarm.  Apple HomeKit

Philips Hue Beyond – A color-changing, LED table lamp, controllable with your voice.

Philips Hue Go – Use Siri to control this battery-powered LED lamp.

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus -A strip of color-changing LEDs you can control with Siri.

Philips Hue White Ambiance – LED light bulbs with Siri voice control.  Apple HomeKit

Philips Hue White and Color Ambience Starter Kit – You can control these color-changeable LEDs with Siri.

Schlage Sense Bluetooth Deadbolt – A lock with a number pad that works with Siri. You’ll need an Apple TV to lock and unlock beyond 30 feet.

Sylvania Smart Multicolor LED – Ask Siri to turn this bulb on and off, dim it up and down or change its color. No other hub required.

Withings Home Plus – Use Apple’s Home app to monitor and make adjustments to this security camera.

Yale Assure Keyless Bluetooth Smart Lock – For $75, you can upgrade with $200 keyless smart lock with a module that’ll let you control it using the Home app on your iPhone or iPad, or…  Apple HomeKit

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman to discuss the installation of your Smart Home system.  Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.  Apple HomeKit

Summer Guide to your HVAC System

Home projects you shouldn’t ignore for home maintenance

Summer Guide to your HVAC System – Beware! Or you might lose money on your HVAC System.

Whether the weather is getting warm or it is freezing, all of us depend on a heating and cooling system. But, what is the correct HVAC system for you? If you already own one, how do you make sure it lasts from one season to another? Will you need regular residential air conditioning services and heating services? Do not fall into these most common traps.

Problem: Air condenser isn’t running
According to an air conditioning service contractor, if your air conditioning isn’t running, check the power to make sure the unit is plugged in. If so, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Restore the power and see if it starts or get an emergency ac repair and hvac system services as soon as possible. Heating service and air conditioning repair or installation is best done by Eco Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning.

Another potential cause is a thermostat that isn’t set properly. Lower the thermostat by five degrees and see if it kicks on. If not, the problem is likely a faulty motor or compressor. You’ll need to get professional help to fix that problem. 
Problem: Inadequate air cooling
If the central residential ac unit doesn’t seem to be cooling your home adequately, start by lowering the thermostat five degrees. If that does not fix the problem, you may have a dirty evaporator. Carefully clean the evaporator and let it run for a few hours. If the problem remains, it could mean you have an improperly sized air conditioner.

Keep in mind that an extremely hot day may impact your unit’s effectiveness. If temperatures outside are over 100 degrees, you may not be able to achieve 62 degrees inside your home no matter how much your A/C blows cold air, especially if you have a lot of windows letting in the sun’s energy. Always consult with an air conditioning repair professional before making the decision to replace your A/C unit, especially if temperatures have been unusually high.
Problem: A/C unit is not cooling
If your A/C isn’t cooling your house even though it’s running, you should first check the thermostat to make sure it’s working properly. Next, take a look at the condenser to see if it’s dirty or blocked. If so, clean it and remove the blockage. The condenser can become blocked by tall weeds, grass or other airborne debris.

If the A/C still isn’t blowing cold air, this could be the result of a faulty compressor or an inadequate amount of refrigerant in the system. Again, these are problems that an air conditioning contractor needs to address. An ac contractor can help you with an air conditioning repair or installation.

Problem: Air unit shuts on and off repeatedly
This is another problem that can happen with a dirty or blocked condenser unit, as well as a dirty evaporator. Most of the time, giving the entire unit a good cleaning and removing any obstructions will eliminate the problem.

Size matters when it comes to your HVAC system
Do you buy clothes that are two sizes too big? No! They need to fit. Apply the same logic here. The HVAC system you install needs to be consistent with the size of your property. The bigger units will heat or cool quickly, thereby shutting on and off fairly repeatedly, making room for various issues. If you have any Questions About HVAC then ask the person who’s installing it. They’ll definitely be happy to help!

A unit should not cycle on and off too much or you will incur more repairs cost. Electricity consumption also increases and causes higher electricity bills. Bigger units are expensive, not only to buy, but to install as well. To make the right decision on what size unit to install, ask the technician what calculation were used to arrive at the load required for your property. Summer Guide to your HVAC System

How to determine the right HVAC size
Unfortunately, bigger is not necessarily better with a cooling system. An oversized system will experience short cycling periods, which means it will run just long enough to send cool air into the home, but not long enough to remove the humidity in the air.

Further, your new system is likely moving a lot more air than your 40-year-old system did, which would allow for better cooling, but poor humidity removal. An undersized unit will actually be more effective in your situation because it will run in longer cycles, which would still cool the space but work better at removing humidity and moisture. There is also the possibility that the system was installed poorly, which would lead to duct-work leakage, to avoid the same to happen to you, we recommend to hire the hills district air conditioning installing services.

Carefully consider part replacement
You can call over a heating contractor for furnace or air conditioning repair and he points out a part and says “take a look, this needs replaced.” Please think seriously about replacing it. Whenever a technician or an expert says something needs replaced, accept that you may not know everything about your unit. But that does not mean you shouldn’t seek a second opinion. Ask your questions and do your research and understand why the changing of the part is important. You could even buy some HVAC gear and set up your own HVAC business.
Don’t fall for free or discounted HVAC service
Everyone knows nothing in life is free. You may get a dozen calls a day when the weather starts warming up or cooling down about the exciting free air conditioning or furnace service. Just think of the last time you bought something for free or discounted and were fully and completely satisfied. If the answer is never, then do not fall in the trap of free or discounted inspections. Most HVAC companies have websites which will give you a quote, compare quotes and offer competitive pricing. Read the reviews and surveys and check for certification. Determine your needs and chose a company that suits your requirements.

You need to recharge your air conditioning unit?
Your air conditioning unit is not your mobile phone. It does not need to be recharged. Beware of the technician who recommends that you recharge your refrigerant. If your AC unit is low on refrigerant, the most likely cause is leakage. The leakage needs to be fixed and you need to be billed accordingly.

At the time of installation, the refrigerant needs to be weighed before and after it is poured. Pay close attention to how much was put in and pay accordingly. Similarly, at the time of leakage fix, take a close look at the before and after weight of the refrigerant tank.

Get an agreement in writing
The most common trap of all! Wherever you go, whatever you buy, you need to insist on a bill and/or a written agreement. The same goes for air conditioning and furnace maintenance and repair. If a HVAC technician says you need to replace one part and will service another part and wants you to pay upfront, it is a red flag.

Before you place your trust on a technician, get the services provided in writing. It is very simple: if they are not going to break your trust, they will give you honest instructions and answers. But if there are hidden fees and costs, an agreement becomes complicated. Beware of overcharging and overpricing of parts. Always ask for an agreement. When in doubt, take a second opinion, ask around and search for viable options for you. Summer Guide to your HVAC System

Smart Home Technology

Smart Home Technology:
You wake up refreshed after a good night’s sleep. That’s because your mattress not only adjusts itself to your ideal sleeping temperature, but also has an alarm that wakes you at just the right moment of your sleep cycle. Your living room blinds automatically open, and the coffee maker has a fresh cup brewed and waiting. Leave for the office and your lights turn off; the alarm and security surveillance systems are enabled; the thermometer has already started lowering the home temperature, not raising it until 10 minutes before you return home in the evening.

These are just a few of the scenarios that can play out if you look at this smart homes guide. Smart home technology can provide automation of just about any household chore, from remotely firing up a slow cooker to alerting you to water leaks.

The smart home has arrived, but many of us remain confused about what one is. That’s because the devices and services that make a home “smart” will be different for every individual. In fact, whether you know it or not, chances are that you already have some type of smart home device. Ted at Plano Texas Handyman can design a system for you and your family, call him at 214-507-3415. Smart Home Technology

Smart Home Technology / Home Automation – With one touch, dim the lights, play music, turn up the heat, lock the doors and arm the security system. Check in on your home from your smartphone, no matter where you are. Press a “Goodnight” button that will put your house to sleep, turning off all lights and locking all doors. With Control4, your options are virtually limitless. We examine all the options available to make your home more efficient, more energy efficient, and completely automated at an affordable price. We look at the price of a smart home system detailed by each electronic device. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation. For a small investment of less than $2500.00, you can convert your home into the most tech savvy home anywhere. Below is a list of the items we recommend and install. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Plano Texas Handyman recommends the Rachio Sprinkler System Controller, Arlo Wireless Camera Systems, TP Link wireless light switches and plugs, August Smartlocks and Nest Thermostats. Contact us for more information.

Home Automation System Overview
Description Features Controls Cost
Rachio Sprinkler system controller Highest Rated on Amazon / 8 & 16 zones Smart Phone & Alexa $200 (8 zone) & $250 (16 zone)
Arlo Wireless Camera System Indoor / Outdoor / Rechargeable Batteries (3 month) – Audio Feed Smart Phone $350 (4 camera system)
TP Link Wireless Light Controls Single Pole / 3 way / In Wall Switches / Outlet Plug-Ins Smart Phone / Alexa / Google Assistant $35 Each
August Smartlock Deadbolt attachment Inside Home / No more Keys / Access Monitor Smart Phone / Alexa / Apple Home Kit / Google Assistant $229 each
Nest Thermostat Wifi Phone Tablet or Laptop / Home Away Assistant Smart Phone / Alexa $275 each

To help you make smarter decisions about this rapidly evolving category, we’ll answer some key questions: What are the elements that make up a smart home, and how do they connect? What are the security concerns and implications? And what does the roadmap of this much-hyped technology look like?
What Is a Smart Home?
We are way past the days of the Clapper. Simply put, a smart home is one that includes some gadget, system or appliance that is connected either to the Internet and/or to your smartphone. You can typically control and interact with these devices using an app. Smart Home Technology

Smart home products and services come in all shapes and sizes. Have a security system that taps into your Internet connection for monitoring? You have a smart home. Do you have LED light bulbs that you can dim or turn on using your smartphone? Guess what, you have a smart home. Do you own a webcam installed that monitors your windows or front door, or perhaps the baby’s room? You, my friend, have a smart home. Even if you only have a wireless router connected to the Internet with a laptop or a tablet or two connected via Wi-Fi — you have the foundations of a smart, connected home.

In the coming years, you will likely make your home even smarter. Gartner, a leading tech analyst firm, predicts that a typical abode (in a “mature affluent market”) could have more than 500 smart home devices by 2022. It’s a projection some tech-industry watchers question, but it’s one that Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, stands by.

“The Internet of Things will bring billions of connected Wi-Fi enabled devices to homes,” said Dana Knight, TP-Link’s director of marketing.

Still, the automated home is the exception and not the norm. Acuity Group’s 2014 study of the Internet of Things adoption (of which smart home tech is a subset) found that smart technology was in about 4 percent of all U.S. homes. What’s the biggest barrier to adoption the study discovered? Unfamiliarity with the concepts of the Internet of Things and smart tech.

Making a House Into a Smart Home
There are two ways to make your house smart: DIY gadgets that you install yourself, such as smart outlets, baby monitors and light sensors; or by subscribing to services such as ADT’s security systems or those of an ISPs, such as Time Warner Cable’s IntelligentHome Service. Smart Home Technology

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most popular options:

Nest and Smart Thermostats. No device exemplifies the DIY smart home as much as the Nest Learning thermostat ($249 on Amazon). This gadget, designed to be installed by a homeowner, learns your habits, and then adjusts the temperature based on your patterns. The more you use Nest, “the more accurate it gets,” said Mike Soucie, product partnership lead at Nest Labs.

But what really makes the Nest smart is that it can interact with a number of other devices in your home and perform a set of actions without you having to lift a finger. For example, if the thermostat is connected to the Nest Protect smoke detector, it can automatically shut off your HVAC system if smoke is detected.

Nest’s enormous success in the smart home space can be attributed to its focus on ease-of-use. “We really focus on the end-to-end consumer process,” Soucie said. The main goal for Nest is to create products that don’t require customers to program things, according to Soucie. Smart Home Technology

The hassle-free setup of the Nest thermostat and other products in the nest ecosystem have proved to be a winning formula — as is the energy cost savings Nest users are experiencing. As of January 2014, there were 40,000-50,000 Nest thermostats shipping per month. No wonder it was acquired by Google last year, for $3.2 billion. Nest is not the only smart thermostat on the market, however. Honeywell, which has been a leading name in the home heating industry for more than 125 years, has also jumped into the home automation arena with its Lyric Smart thermostats. A number of “green” tech startups, including Ecobee, also offer smart thermostats and are battling for market share.
Security Cameras
To date, the most popular type of smart home device, as a category, has been security cameras, also known as IP cameras. iControl’s 2014 State of the Smart Home Report revealed that of 1,000 people surveyed, 90 percent said personal and family security is one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system. Revenue from the video surveillance market is expected to reach $42.81 billion by 2019.

A number of companies, including D-Link, TRENDnet, Linksys and Belkin, have developed Web cameras that integrate with their traditional products. For instance, the TRENDnet Wireless Cloud Camera TV-IP751WC ($39.95, Amazon) works with TRENDnet’s cloud service and routers to allow for easy remote viewing of the camera’s video stream. Smart Home Technology

Now owned by Nest, Dropcam made a name for itself by making cameras that are easy to view and control from your smartphone. The $199 Dropcam Pro’s 3-megapixel, 130-degree field-of-vision camera provides home surveillance as well as video-recording to the cloud.

Baby Cams – An offshoot of security cameras, baby cams not only provide live feeds and motion detection, but also two-way audio and other features tailored to this segment. For example, the D-Link HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Baby Camera (DCS-855L, $269.99, Amazon) monitors temperature fluctuations in a nursery and also plays lullabies. It’s almost like a micro-chipped Mary Poppins.
Smart Lights

Lighting is also getting smarter. Smart LED bulbs can be controlled with an app and dimmed, turned on and off, and, in the case of the Philips Hue system (starting at $199.97 for starter kits), even change color to set a room’s mood. Other smart lights can do more than just brighten a room. For example, the Sengled Pulse ($179, Amazon) has a built-in wireless speaker. Smart Home Technology

Smart Plugs – Smart plugs sit between your electrical outlet and the appliances in your home (smart or not). The plugs then connect to an app on your phone, allowing you to remotely turn those appliances on and off, such as with the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch ($59.99). Some plugs, such as the MeterPlug ($49), will even monitor how much energy an appliance uses.

Smart Locks – Smart locks such as the Goji Smart Lock ($278) allow you to control when your home is locked or unlocked, great for scheduling access for babysitters and dog walkers. Goji also takes pictures of everyone who appears at your door in front of your lock — adding an extra layer of security.
Appliances

When it comes to making appliances smarter, companies such as Whirlpool and GE are seeking to discover what people want to automate.

“Say you want to be one step ahead of dinner prep,” said Lou Lenzi, director of industrial design for GE Appliances. “Just tell your oven to ‘preheat 350 degrees’ from your mobile device while you’re heading home from the office. Or maybe check your refrigerator’s ice maker to see how much ice you have in the dispenser — and tell it to make more before those unexpected house guests arrive.”

Perhaps to no one’s surprise, smart appliances are a little pricier than their “dumb” non-connected counterparts. Whirlpool’s 30-inch Drop-In Electric Range with smart sensors to remotely manage oven temperature is priced at $1,699. You can typically find a crockpot (or slow-cooker) on Amazon, ranging from $30-$80, but Belkin’s Smart Crock-Pot, which lets you change the cooking time or adjust the temperature using your smartphone or tablet. Smart Home Technology

Energy Efficient Homes

home energy

Energy Efficient Homes – Builders often refer to the exterior of a home as the “envelope” or the “shell.” Sealing the envelope or shell against air infiltration (air leaking into the house from outside) and air exfiltration (air leaking from inside the house to the outside) helps reduce your energy expenditure for space heating and cooling. Besides, no one likes to live in a drafty house.

In this article, we’ll show you a variety of ways you can seal leaks and improve insulation to make your home cozier and more energy efficient. Once you’ve sealed and insulated the weak areas, the work doesn’t stop there. We’ll show you how routine cleaning and water conservation can increase energy efficiency and save you even more money on your energy bills. Begin the improvement process with the following basic sealing guidelines to help you secure your home’s exterior. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Baseboards and Floors – Gaps are often left between baseboards and hard floors, such as tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring. These gaps can be successfully and neatly filled with latex caulk, thus preventing air from entering the home at foot level.

Weatherstripping Doors – While windows attract most of the attention when it comes to energy efficiency, doors can play a major part in what can go wrong — or right. Doors have a particularly difficult role to fill. Not only do they need to open and close smoothly and easily, but they also have to seal tightly to keep out drafts, and must have at least some insulative value to keep cold at bay.

There are many different options on the market that can be used to upgrade a door’s existing weatherstripping. Some of the most effective are types that contain a vinyl bulb or padded strip set into the edge of a conventional wood doorstop. The wood part is nailed to the doorjamb and is flexible enough to conform to even a badly warped wooden door. The vinyl bulb or strip seals out air movement, but is gentle enough that the door’s function is not affected. Energy Efficient Homes

Sealing Windows – Owners of older homes that still have their original windows are often dismayed by the amount of cold air leaking through those old windows during the winter. There are several ways of dealing with this problem that don’t involve a lot of time or money.

One option involves using a caulk gun and “weatherstripping caulk sealant” or “temporary” caulking to seal up the cracks between the window and window frame. Weatherstripping sealant is caulk that is designed to stick in place nearly as well as regular caulk but can be peeled off when it is no longer needed. It is available inexpensively in regular caulk tubes and comes in a clear color. It is nearly invisible when in place and removes easily without damaging either paint or clear finishes. The only other obvious solution is to replace the windows entirely. For example tilt and turn windows are known for being really good for not only heat insulation, but sound insulation too so you’re getting two perks in one! Switch from incandescent to fluorescent – Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, the end result is considerable savings. This is because fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Even using a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting throughout your home can have an impact in overall energy usage. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details Energy Efficient Homes

The big difference between CFLs and incandescent bulbs is how much energy it takes to use them over time. CFLs use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last years longer than traditional bulbs, and only cost about a dollar more per bulb. Energy Efficient Homes

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of CFLs is that it takes a few moments for them to warm up and reach full brightness. That means they’re not ideal in spots where you want lots of light as soon as you flip the switch, such as a dark, steep basement stairway. They also cannot be used with a dimmer switch. Energy Efficient Homes

Now consider that those savings are from just one bulb. Think about the number of lights in your house — some fixtures, like chandeliers or ceiling fans, probably even use three bulbs or more. If you replaced 20 incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs throughout your home, you could save up to $3,260 over their 23-year lifespan (and that’s assuming utility rates don’t rise).

Eliminating Ice Dams – If you have ice dams forming on your roof during the winter, it means that heat is escaping the house and leaking into your attic. Ice dams are the manifestation of energy inefficiency in a home. They are the result of poor air sealing, a lack of insulation, and inadequate ventilation in an attic. Speaking of poor ventilation, it could be as simple as getting in touch with a round rock roofing company, for example, or one closer, to fix the problem with the roof.

Warm air travels upward because of its natural buoyancy. As it reaches the ceiling in the top floor, it seeks ways to rise even higher through cracks and gaps in the ceiling and walls. Some of those pathways are obvious; many others are not. Openings around and through recessed canister lights, whole-house fan installations, attic-access hatchways, and pull-down stairs, and electrical boxes in the ceiling and walls all provide conduits from the house into the attic. Also this roofing repair services points out that, heat is conducted upward through the top-floor ceiling through inadequate attic floor insulation. The result of the air leaks and conducted heat is an accumulation of warm air in the attic. Energy Efficient Homes

Attic Sealing and Insulation – Most every attic has at least some insulation in it, and that’s fine. Insulation helps prohibit heat loss. It doesn’t stop airflow, however, and that’s a problem. The insulation lying on attic floors often conceals a very large problem — cracks, gaps, and holes through which pressurized air from the house below is driven into the attic.

These fissures take many forms: holes drilled into the wood framing where wiring runs from a room below up into the attic; lighting fixtures and electrical boxes; areas where the tops of partition walls in the room below intersect with the attic-floor framing; bulkheads over kitchen and bathroom cabinets; exhaust vent fans; and fireplace and heating equipment chimneys and flues. It’s a long list, and it’s likely you can find fissures in your own attic that aren’t even mentioned. Energy Efficient Homes

These days most attics don’t have enough insulation or have insulation that isn’t working as well as it should be. An upgrade — one that will pay off every year and in every season you live in your home — is only one messy afternoon away. Yes, you can and should add more insulation to your attic. It’s one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

R-factor is a numerical indicator of an insulation’s efficiency at retarding the flow of heat. The scale goes from low to high; higher R-numbers mean a given insulation is better able to stop heat from moving from one place to another. Current building codes recommend an insulation R-factor of R-38 for attics in most of the country. That would be about 10 to 12 inches of fiberglass batting or blown cellulose fiber insulation. Bear in mind that R-38 is actually the minimum recommended standard for attic insulation. Proposed energy codes would increase that number to R-50.

Cleaning Refrigerator Coils Regularly – The coils underneath and behind a refrigerator are dust magnets. Refrigerant is pumped and circulated through the coils as a fan blows room air across them. The moving air removes heat from the refrigerant inside the coils. As the fan sucks air from underneath the refrigerator, it brings along with it dust and dirt that stick to the coils. Removing the access panel from the lower front of the refrigerator can reveal a startlingly filthy sight if the coils haven’t been cleaned in a while. Energy Efficient Homes

Home Automation

Home Automation / Smart Home Technology – With one touch, dim the lights, play music, turn up the heat, lock the doors and arm the security system. Check in on your home from your smartphone, no matter where you are. Press a “Goodnight” button that will put your house to sleep, turning off all lights and locking all doors. With Control4, your options are virtually limitless. We examine all the options available to make your home more efficient, more energy efficient, and completely automated at an affordable price. We look at the price of a smart home system detailed by each electronic device. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation. For a small investment of less than $2500.00, you can convert your home into a the most tech savvy home anywhere. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Plano Texas Handyman can provide you with the envy of the community by automating everyday chores such as, and all these devices can be controlled by your smart phone, Apple I-Phone or Adroid device:
A.  Automatic door locks
B.  WIFI light switches
C.  Turn your outdoor sprinklers on and off with your Smartphone
D.  Control pool equipment electronically
E.  Put an Automatic mister in your backyard
F.  HVAC cooling / Heating and thermostat controls
G.  Wireless home camera systems, CAT5 home camera systems
H.  Media room Automation

Home Automation System Overview
Description Features Controls Cost
Rachio Sprinkler system controller Highest Rated on Amazon / 8 & 16 zones Smart Phone & Alexa $200 (8 zone) & $250 (16 zone)
Arlo Wireless Camera System Indoor / Outdoor / Rechargeable Batteries (3 month) – Audio Feed Smart Phone $350 (4 camera system)
TP Link Wireless Light Controls Single Pole / 3 way / In Wall Switches / Outlet Plug-Ins Smart Phone / Alexa / Google Assistant $35 Each
August Smartlock Deadbolt attachment Inside Home / No more Keys / Access Monitor Smart Phone / Alexa / Apple Home Kit / Google Assistant $229 each
Nest Thermostat Wifi Phone Tablet or Laptop / Home Away Assistant Smart Phone / Alexa $275 each

Wireless Sprinkler Controls – Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation:

Highest-rated, best-selling. The smart watering category leader, overwhelmingly recommended by users.
Easy to control anywhere, anytime. Get complete access to monitor and adjust your sprinkler system from your phone, tablet or laptop.

Automatically adapts for weather. Rachio continuously adapts to local weather forecasts and changing seasons, automatically optimizing watering schedules.

Save water and money. Save up to 50% of your outdoor water use while keeping your plants healthy. EPA WaterSense Certified, eligible for rebate options up to 100% of retail value.

Water with precision. Rachio uses specific yard details, advanced watering algorithms and proven irrigation science to create accurate schedules customized to the particular needs of your yard.

Connect with top smart home platforms. Extend your smart home out into the yard. Rachio directly integrates with the best-connected home platforms (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest, and more), so you have more options and more control.  Smart Home Technology

Wireless Surveillance Systems – Arlo Security System – 4 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision (VMS3430)

See in stunning clarity and sharper details with HD cameras and watch live streamed or recorded videos from your computer, smartphone or tablet using Arlo’s free App.

Patented 100% wire-free design and magnetic mounts let you discreetly place cameras where you want and monitor your home from every possible angle.

Night vision cameras with HD clarity even in the dark.

Motion activated cameras and customizable activity alerts provide real-time email or app notifications while home or away.  Smart Home Technology

Indoor/Outdoor weatherproof cameras install easily for DIY security so you can even monitor the exterior of your home.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.

Wireless light Controls – TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch, No Hub Required, Single Pole, Control Your Fixtures From Anywhere

Remote Access: Control your home lighting from anywhere with your smartphone or tablet using the free Kasa app.

Scheduling: Set lights to turn off and on at dawn, dusk, or any time that works with your daily schedule.

Away Mode: Make it look like you’re home when you’re not by having your lights turn off and on randomly while away.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Works with Amazon Alexa: Turn on or off the bulbs connected to the Smart Switch just using your voice with Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap and other supported devices(sold separately), LED Indicator: Find the switch easily, even at night when all your lights are turned off
Input voltage: 100 – 120VAC, 50/60Hz, 15.0A, Maximum Power: 3.68KW.  Smart Home Technology.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.

Home HVAC Controls – Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation

Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).

Auto-Schedule: Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself in about a week.
Home/Away Assist: Nest automatically turns itself down when nobody’s home to help you save energy.

Remote Control: Connect your thermostat to Wi‑Fi to control the temperature from your phone, tablet or laptop.

Farsight: When Nest spots you across the room, it lights up to show you the time, temperature or weather.

Energy History: Check your Energy History in the Nest app to see how much energy you use and why.

Nest Leaf: You’ll see the Leaf when you choose a temperature that saves energy. It guides you in the right direction.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.

August Smart Lock (2nd Gen) – Keyless home access – Control with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or your smartphone (Dark Gray)

No more keys: Open your door and control who comes in – all from your August Home smartphone app.

Easy install: Attach to the inside of your current deadbolt in minutes. Your home’s exterior is unchanged.

Hands-free access: Auto-unlock when you arrive home. Auto-locks after you’re inside.
Feel secure: Share temporary virtual keys with guests & monitor access with 24/7 in-app activity feed.

Remote access: Control your front door from anywhere from your app. Requires August Connect.
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, IFTTT, Wink, Logitech Harmony, Logitech POP, iOS and Android devices.  Smart Home Technology.  Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for a quote on your perfect home automation.  Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Benefits of Drip Irrigation

foundtion Watering

Benefits of Drip Irrigation – Drip irrigation watering systems have many benefits, such as being ecologically sound, cost effective, provide a higher success rate and promote healthier plants.  Listed below are even more benefits.

Water Efficiency: When your plants need water, a drip irrigation system will provide that water with much less runoff or evaporation.  Plano Texas Handyman will be happy to discuss these interesting and helpful hints, please call Ted at 214-507-3415 for more information. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

 – Root Zone: Your plants need water at their roots, and a drip irrigation system combined with a timer enables you to provide the water your plants need and targets the root systems, saving you both water and money.  Benefits of Drip Irrigation

– Versatility: When you need the most versatile watering system available, you need a drip irrigation system that can adapt to any landscape and can be used for container gardens, vegetable rows and balconies. A drip irrigation system can grow with you as your gardening needs grow and can be used anywhere in your garden.  Benefits of Drip Irrigation

– Conserves Earth’s Resources: It isn’t a surprise that as the Earth’s population increases, using less water is an absolute necessity. Without a drip irrigation system in place, most of the water you use in your garden will evaporate due to the summer heat or be exposed to runoff and not reach your plants’ root systems. Drip irrigation uses less water and promotes lush plant growth offering our planet a beautiful and more abundant future.  Benefits of Drip Irrigation

– Savings: Drip irrigation saves water.  With a properly installed drip irrigation system, you could see up to a 50% reduction in annual water usage for your garden.

– Reduction of Pests & Weeds: Water that sits on top of the surface of your garden causes an increase in pests, weeds and fungal growth. A drip irrigation system directs the water at the root systems of your plants and effectively reduces pests, weeds and harmful fungal growth.  Benefits of Drip Irrigation

– Ease of Installation: Installing a drip irrigation system is easier than ever; our kits require no cutting of water supply lines, and they route easily wherever your garden is located. Our kits can be installed with a simple pair of scissors and nothing more; and what’s even better, our kits are not only easy to install, they are very inexpensive and will save you money on future water usage.

A properly installed drip irrigation kit will save you money, help the environment and provide your plants with the nourishing water they need, where they need it most, their root systems. Drip irrigation systems can be used anywhere plants grow and will take less time to install than you would imagine and a drip irrigation system from the Drip Depot is a good place to start; we can provide you with the right kit for your needs.  Benefits of Drip Irrigation

Grout Cleaning Simplified

Bathroom Design Planning

Grout Cleaning Simplified – We’ve got nothing against hard work, but scrubbing is so 10 years ago. Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach Foamer keeps the elbow grease to a minimum as it delivers serious cleaning and disinfecting power. Just spray it on, and let the power of foam bring that sparkle back to your bathroom surfaces. More clean, less sweat, all good. Clorox foamer is the most effective method – read on…  Grout Cleaning Simplified – Call Ted at Plano Texas Handymen to discuss a through grout cleaning or some re-grouting with sealing.  Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

To foam: Turn nozzle to ON. To Spray Every Drop: Tilt bottle at a downward angle while spraying. To Clean Soap Scum: Spray, wait a few minutes, wipe with sponge. Heavy soap scum buildup may need two cleanings with the help of commercial cleaners. To Disinfect and Kill Mold & Mildew on Hard, Nonporous Surfaces such as glazed ceramic tile: Spray surface until thoroughly wet, let stand 5 minutes, and rinse, read here about our recommended contractor.. To Remove Mildew Stains: Spray 6-8 inches from surface until surface is thoroughly covered. Allow foam to deeply penetrate mildew and problem areas. Wipe with a wet sponge or cloth, and rinse. Heavy mildew buildup may require longer contact time, or two cleanings.  

Grout Cleaning

Cleaning tile grout can be an extremely tough, tedious, back breaking job, just like cleaning huge carpets (get yours cleaned from Carpet Cleaning Sacramento). You spend hours on you hands and knees scrubbing the grout lines, just to see them get dirty within a month or two later. Grout is very porous, therefore everything that touches the grout is absorbed directly into it. Any and all spills are directly  absorbed into the grout immediately. This  makes it impossible to clean, because the  liquid is actually deep into the grout opposed to sitting on the surface. The #1 cause of dirty, discolored grout lines is due to cleaning the  the grout regularly. When you start mopping the floor the dirt from the tile and grout is turned into a liquid that is immediately soaked up by the porous grout. The more you mop your floor the dirtier and darker your grout lines become. The dirty water from your mop bucket is darkening your grout with every stroke of the mop. However, there are solutions to dirty, discolored grout lines!  To hire expert cleaners in order to help you with your home cleaning, visit https://ecocleansolutions.ie/house-cleaning-dublin-services/. Grout Cleaning Simplified

1. Removing the grout and replacing it with new grout.
2. Steam Cleaning the grout or using strong chemicals.
3. Professionally Color Sealing the Grout
Removing and Replacing the Grout

Not a good idea and here is why…  Removing the grout completely from the tile and replacing it with new grout is a  tactic that some homeowners and businesses use. This process is extremely messy, dusty, expensive and takes days to weeks to complete. This process has to be done  with extreme perfection and precision to avoid cracking or chipping the tile. Once the  grout is removed and the new grout is installed it will only be a matter of weeks you are right back where you started with dirty, discolored grout lines!  If you also need to get your carpet cleaned, They use many other techniques to clean carpets which leaves them as new.
Steam Cleaning Grout

Not a good idea and here is why…Steam Cleaning grout lines or using rotary machines has become a very popular  method over the past several years. Cleaning grout lines with this method can be effective on the surface dirt but can not eliminate the stains and discoloration that are deep in the grout. Steam cleaning alone can only remove a small fraction of the  stains and bacteria and can cause significant damage to both the tile and the grout. High pressure cleaning and rotary machines weaken the grout lines by removing layers of the grout and forcing water under the tile. Over time the grout will begin to deteriorate, crack, and eventually crumble out. Once the grout begins to deteriorate  and weaken water will begin to build up under the tile causing the tile to loose, crack  and buckle.

The Ceramic Tile and Stone association of Arizona report;
“Steam is an improper grout cleaning technique (method) because:”

*Steam Cleaning can be far to aggressive for grout that is under 1 year old.
*Steam may cause significant damage to the grout.
*Most grout manufacturers void their warranty if the grout has been steamed.

Steam Cleaning chemicals are improper grout cleaning products because:

*The chemicals used are too strong for newly installed grout
*These chemicals can extract pigments which will modify the grout color
*Harsh chemicals can actually eat into the grout making it even more porous
Color Sealing Grout Lines

Color sealing grout is the most effective and efficient technique to obtain perfect, stain free grout lines. The process starts by using a mild cleansing product that will remove all surface dirt and bacteria. Once the grout has been cleaned a color sealer will be applied to the grout lines that will fill all the holes and cracks that make grout porous. Grout Works color sealer can be matched to any shade or color. The customer can  choose to go back to the original color or completely change the color of the grout to match the tile or décor of their home or business. Once the Grout Works color sealer  has been applied, the grout lines are permanently protected from any stains, bacteria or discoloration. Grout Works color sealing process is typically done in 1 day and does not create and dust or mess. By the time the Grout Works technicians are done the  grout can be walked on as normal. Grout Works color sealing process is always  guaranteed against cracking, chipping and peeling to ensure a lifetime of perfect stain free grout lines! If you are tired of dirty, discolored grout lines ruining the look of  your tile floor, call Grout Works today and have perfect, stain free grout lines tomorrow.  Grout Cleaning Simplified, Grout Cleaning Simplified – Call Ted at Plano Texas Handymen to discuss a through grout cleaning or some re-grouting with sealing.

 

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners Should Know

Home Electric Codes

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners Should Know – Learn how to identify the electrical safety hazards you can’t see before problems arise. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities.

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners Should Know. I often wonder what they would have thought of microwaves, entertainment centers, dishwashers and the armies of other gadgets we take for granted on a daily basis. But your home’s electrical system may have a few things going on that might shock you too. Enlighten yourself with these tips that can help you be a more aware homeowner and may alert you to dangerous electrical problems that need to be fixed by calling Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

1. Throw your home a birthday party
For electrical safety reasons, it’s good to know how old your home is and to celebrate its birthday with an electrical safety inspection. Older homes weren’t built to handle the electrical load our contemporary lives carry. Knowing whether your home’s electrical system has been updated to safely handle all the electrical current your family uses is imperative. Replacing an old circuit breaker box merits the expense – for a number of reasons. Electrical Safety Tips

2. Know your electric panel
Even as recently as the 1990s, faulty electrical panels were being installed in many new homes. Certain brands, including Federal Pacific, ITE, Pushmatic, Zinsco, and GTE/Sylvania, are no longer manufactured and pose electrical hazards that could lead to a fire. Your electric panel should never feel hot to the touch. A hot electric panel points to a big problems. Electrical Safety Tips
Your circuit breaker panel ensures your home’s electrical safety, but is the panel itself safe?
If your home was built between 1950 and 1990 and is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, you run a significant risk of breaker malfunction and fire.

The breakers inside the panel are designed to guard your home against serious electrical problems by preventing circuit overload, short circuits and outside power surges coming into the panel. When an overload occurs, a breaker protects you by tripping, thus shutting down the power to the circuit. However, if a breaker is defective or not operating properly, the risk of fire to the panel and consequently to your home becomes imminent. You should consider hiring a professional (like inphaseelectric.com/electrical/, for instance) to check yours.

Why are Federal Pacific breaker boxes dangerous?
Multiple tests done on the breakers since the 1980s have proven that one in four Stab-Lok breakers are defective and will not properly trip off. Unfortunately, when the testing began in the early 1980s, a New Jersey court later ruled that FPE committed testing fraud and a cover-up, labeling the breakers as meeting the standards set by the UL when in reality, they were defective. Electrical Safety Tips Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

In 1983, the Consumer Product Safety Commission closed its two-year investigation and felt it impossible to create a product recall at the time because of budget issues, even as Federal Pacific panels and breakers continued to be installed in millions of homes that to this day still run the risk of an electrical fire. An estimated 2,800 fires each year directly result from Federal Pacific panel breaker malfunction. Federal Pacific Electric has been out of business for many years, but the danger and damage caused by their negligence continues. Electrical Safety Tips
3. Understand the breakers
These guys are your friends, even though you may find their interference irritating when they trip. They’re trying to tell you something, and it’s usually that you have too many appliances or gadgets connected to the same circuit. Reconfigure your appliances, and if the breakers keep tripping, get help from an Ankeny Iowa Electrician if you need to.

4. Make friends with your fire extinguisher
The only safe way to extinguish an electrical fire is with a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher. Never use water; it conducts electricity. Keep fire extinguishers on each level of your home, and know how to use them and when to replace them. Electrical Safety Tips Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415

5. Feel your outlets
Place your hand on the outlets in your home. Warm or hot outlets point to trouble. A warm outlet could mean one of several dangerous situations is brewing: an electrical load on this circuit is too high, wiring is melting, wiring isn’t up to code or is loose. Also, note if the outlets don’t hold plugs, or if the outlet itself seems loose on the wall. Replace any two-pronged outlets with newer, grounded three-pronged outlets. Any outlet near water should be switched to code-correct GFCI outlets. Outlets can be changed by the homeowners, but it’s always better to contact a professional to ensure it’s been done correctly. Perhaps the electricians at safeandsoundelectric.com/emergency-service/ could be of use for anyone wanting to change their outlet. Even if homeowners notice their outlet is warm or hot, they should still contact a professional to check that it’s safe to be using electricity in the house.

6. Keep an eye on the lights
Flickering lights could mean you need to repair or replace your electrical panel, or you have too many appliances plugged into one circuit. Don’t ignore this issue.
What Do Electrical Wire Color Codes Mean?
All home electrical wires made in the U.S. follow standard color codes that identify each wire’s function in a circuit.

7. Ground older appliances
Older appliances could have grounding issues that might put you at risk for a shock. Ensure all of your appliances have three-pronged plugs that can properly connect to a grounded outlet. Any kitchen appliances with just two-pronged plugs should be replaced. If the outlets aren’t grounded, they should be replaced, and a new circuit should be installed. You can consult with your local electrician, perhaps at https://redstarelectricny.com/service-areas/scarsdale/
, for advice about grounding or replacing circuits.

Electrical work is inherently dangerous. Professional electricians receive years of training and on-the-job experience before the state grants them a license. Use discretion when attempting your own electrical work. To make sure all the electrical systems in your home are safe, up to code and working as they should, hire a trusted electrician to handle the job. Electrical Safety Tips. Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415