Electrician Santa Monica – What Are Transfer Switches?

Chances are, you’ve done considerable amount of research when choosing a new generator for your home or business. Because this is such a large ticket item, it is only natural that you spend a reasonable amount of time exploring different options. Whenever this choice has been made, however, don’t forget that you have yet another choice to make. You must make the important choice of which transfer switch to install. The transfer switch will help you make a smooth transition from your traditional electricity source to generator power. Here are a few tips from your electrician in Santa Monica for choosing the right switch for your generator.

What Is a Transfer Switch?

Transfer switches come in both automatic and manual varieties. Its job is to redirect your electricity from your primary source to your backup power source. This type of switch is normally used for generators that are hardwired into a home or business.

Manual or Automatic?

The differences between manual and automatic are pretty basic. A manual switch requires someone to physically make the switch in order to change power sources. An automatic transfer switch does everything on its own, and does not require any intervention from the owner at all. Any time power is lost, an automatic transfer switch detects this power loss and switches you from standard to backup power.

Regardless of which type of transfer switch that you choose to install, it is important to employ the services of your local electrician Santa Monica to ensure that it is installed by properly and safely. An improperly installed switch can lead to both inefficient operation and even electrical safety hazards, depending on how it is installed. For the best results, always work directly with your local electrician. To learn more about installing a backup power generator, contact any of our technicians at H Electric at any time.

Electrician Santa Monica – Why You Should Upgrade to Energy Star Appliances

The amount of electricity that we require on a day to day basis is at an all time high, due to a growth in both population and the advancement of technology. Because of this, we are more dependent on electricity to live in the manner that we are used to. Although this is a great thing, which has resulted in a handful of appliances that make our lives much easier, it also means that we contribute at a higher level to many environmental practices that can be harmful to the world that we live in. To counteract this, the US Government developed the Energy Star rating system to rate appliances according to their energy efficiency and usage. Whenever you decide that it is time to upgrade your appliance, H Electric recommends that you select appliances that are energy star rated so that you can both reduce your electric bills and lower your carbon footprint.

What Exactly Is Energy Star?

Regardless of whether you need the help of an electrician in Santa Monica to install your new appliance, or if you can just plug it in and get started, Energy Star ratings ensure that the equipment that you are using is energy efficient, high quality and built to last. To receive this rating, an appliance must meet a variety of different rules and regulations. Testing is done to determine where an appliance stands on performance and energy consumption against the current standards in these categories. The result of this is that you know that the energy star appliance that you purchase will be more efficient, durable and long-lasting than a similar appliance that is not rated.

Although the big-ticket items such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers are the main ones to look out for, you should also consider buying energy star rated LED Light bulbs and other small items. These items are tested in the same way, and can create a cumulative effect on your overall energy consumption. To learn more about energy star, or for assistance choosing and installing appliances, just give us a call.

Electrician Santa Monica – Installing Christmas Lights Without Tripping Your Breakers

In just another month or so, it will be that time of year again: time to put up Christmas lights. The ritual of putting Christmas lights on our homes may be the world’s largest collective experience with electrical danger. In an effort to outdo our neighbors and overzealous Christmas light hangers down the streets, we put our breakers to the test by attempting to string up as many lights in the most convenient way possible. This sometimes means plugging string after string of lights into a single socket so that we only have to switch one switch. Is this safe? Rather than risking a home fire, or having to make an extra call to your electrician in Santa Monica, take a few extra precautions and wire your Christmas lights the smart way.


If you live in a newer home, there is very little chance that you will actually overload your entire system with holiday lights. How many lights, however, should you plug into a particular circuit? Your circuit breakers are designed to trip whenever the circuit breaker becomes overloaded, overheated or if there is a short from a damaged wire somewhere.

Determining Circuit Capacity

The solution to this is determining how much can be plugged into a single circuit. Find the circuit that serves your outdoor electrical outlet and look at the number on one end of the breaker switch. It is normally 15 or 20 (amps). You can then multiply this number by 120 (volts) in order to find the total amount of watts that the circuit can handle. You then multiply that number by 0.8 to find the total amount of wattage that is safe for that circuit.

You can then check the wattage on each string of lights and add them up to make sure that you are not overloading that particular circuit. While this may seem to take extra time, it can actually be a fairly quick process once you get started, especially if you are using the same type of light strings. For additional assistance, or electrical advice, call us at H Electric. You can find all of our contact information and resources on other electrical topics at www.electriciansantamonica.org.

Santa Monica Electrician Knows If It’s Time to Switch to LED Lighting

Over the last few years, lighting technologies have changed in leaps and bounds. While the incandescent bulb was the standard for many years, more energy efficient options such as the Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) have become more available, more popular and more affordable. As more people try to both lower their electric bills and reduce their impact on the environment, LED lighting has increased in demand rapidly over the last couple years. Because of this, lighting suppliers have responded and are creating more LED bulbs than ever before.

Why Switch?

There are many reasons to switch to an LED bulb, regardless of whether you are lighting a small home or a large business. One of the greatest benefits that the LED offers is its superior lifespan. The average LED light will last about 100,000 hours. This means that a single LED bulb could last as long as 11 years. Chances are, you’ll probably have your electrician in Santa Monica in to change out the fixture before you change out your bulb. In addition to their long lifespan, LEDs use substantially less electricity than incandescent and much less than a CFL. As a result, switching to LEDs uses less electricity and lasts longer.

What About Price?

Price is often one of the most prohibitive factors when it comes to switching to LEDs. Despite their extensive lifespan and attractive electrical usage, LED bulbs are still much more expensive than alternatives. Because of this, many people do not choose them when replacing their bulbs. To combat this, you can either remind yourself that the bulbs will last longer and use less electricity, or attempt to find price reductions by buying in bulk.

If you have any questions about LEDs, or need some help buying and installing new bulbs, give us a call at H Electric.

Santa Monica Electrician Can Help You Find Out How Safe Is Your Electrical System Is

When it comes to home maintenance, electrical systems tend to be overlooked. As long as things work when they are plugged in and the lights turn on when the switch is flipped, we tend to assume all is well. However, electrical system malfunctions are among the leading causes of house fires, and they often go undetected until a serious problem occurs. So having a licensed electrician in Santa Monica inspect your system is extremely wise.

It’s a known fact that home electrical system problems can develop gradually and quietly behind the scenes. Since wiring is tucked away inside your walls, electrical problems aren’t always obvious until the problem has become bad enough to pose a real hazard to your safety. Over time, a number of factors can cause wiring to break down, such as moisture, overloaded circuits, crumbling wire insulation or rodent damage. Often these issues simply result in outlet or switch failure, but they have the potential to cause more serious problems, like electrical shock or fire.

Sometimes there are early warning signs that electrical problems are brewing. If your lights flicker when the refrigerator kicks on or the clothes washer changes cycles, it’s probably time to have your system looked over by an electrician. Santa Monica homes built decades ago can easily become overloaded with the increased power demands of modern appliances and electronics if the electrical has not been upgraded. Other warning signs of a deteriorating or overloaded electrical system include frequent tripping of circuit breakers and electrical switches or outlets that feel warm to the touch when in use or have become discolored from heat or sparking.

If your home hasn’t had any electrical upgrades lately or has been showing the signs of a stressed electrical system, it’s time to call a licensed electrical contractor. Homes are damaged or destroyed by electrical fires far too often, so signs of trouble should never be taken lightly. The dependable and experienced professionals at H Electric take safety seriously. Let us help you find and repair any problems that may be brewing in your electrical system before they find you. Just give H Electric a call, we’ll be happy to inspect and test your electrical system to help ensure the safety of your home and family.

The Pros and Cons of Solar Power – Ask Your Santa Monica Electrician

With energy prices on the rise, and the economy in a crunch, many people are looking for new ways to help save money on their electrical bills. Although it has been around for many years, solar power is by no means a new technology. Because of the increased emphasis on the environment and the desire to save money, however, many more people are beginning to give this type of energy generation a serious look. Before deciding on a solar power system for your home, however, you should take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of owning such a system. You should also consult with an electrician in Santa Monica like H Electric to determine all of the necessary changes and installations that will be required.

Pros of Solar Energy

Solar energy is a highly renewable resource. Unlike oil and other fossil fuels, there is no limit to the supply of solar power. The only constraint that you have depends on the amount of sun that your area receives during the day. Solar energy also has a very small environmental footprint compared to other fuel types. Oil, coal, natural gas and other common fuel sources, on the other hand, are not renewable and can have harmful effects on the environment.

Another great thing about solar energy is that the panels installed by your electrician in Santa Monica CA, such as H Electric, take very little maintenance after they are installed and make no noise when they are generating electricity. In most cases, the only maintenance that you are required to perform on your solar panels is a yearly cleaning. You should also inspect them to make sure that none of the solar cells are damaged or deteriorating.

Cons of Solar Energy

Although there is a downside to every technology, there are relatively few disadvantages to using solar power. One of the greatest disadvantages is the amount of power that you can generate at any given time. This depends on a variety of factors. During storms, cloudy weather and anything else that impedes the suns rays reaching your panels, for example, the amount of power generated will be relatively low. Much of this can be avoided by proper installation and location. Your electrician Santa Monica will help you choose the best site for your panels and take care of your electrical panel upgrade.
Despite the fact that you cannot generate as much energy on days where the sun is hidden by the clouds, many electrical companies will give you the option of selling excess electricity back to the utility company on days that you generate more than you use. This means that whenever the sun is in full force, and you generate a surplus of energy, it will effectively run your meter backwards, having a very desirable effect on your electric bill. In most cases, this will more than make up for any days where you generate less power than you actually need. An electrician Santa Monica CA can help make sure that your solar panel interfaces directly with your existing electrical system so that your power usage will
switch seamlessly between on-the-grid and off-the-grid power.

If you are interested in adding solar power to your sources of electrical energy, get in touch with H Electric, a top rated residential Santa Monica electrician in your area to have them perform any necessary electrical estimates. During this time, they will assess your electrical system to see if you need an electrical upgrade, electrical rewiring or any of their other services. You may also consider other upgrades to have completed during their electrical service call, such as home lighting, having ceiling fans installed or having outlets installed. Get in touch with H Electric, a fully licensed and bonded Santa Monica electrician today, if you are interested in installing solar panels.

All About Whole House Surge Protectors – Your Santa Monica Electrician

Because more and more homes have delicate electronics such as computers, stereos and home theatre systems, surge protectors have become very commonplace. Furthermore, many appliances now have special “smart” circuitry that is also very susceptible to power surges. Because of this, the less-publicized whole house surge protector is becoming more and more common in people’s homes. Rather than purchasing a surge protector for every device in your home, you should consider having a whole house surge protection system installed by an electrician in Santa Monica.
To start, you should understand the two different kinds of power surges. The most commonly talked about type of surge is a catastrophic power surge caused by lightning. Despite its popularity in conversation, this is not a very common event. A power line within one mile of your home would have to be struck by lightning for you to be affected. The types of surges that an electrician Santa Monica will warn you about are the smaller surges that you may not notice immediately. These small fluctuations in power can damage your appliances and electronic devices over time, greatly decreasing their lifespan. Electricians such as H Electric must repair GFI outlets, interior lighting and other electrical items because of these incremental surges every day.

Why You Should Get a Whole House Surge Protector

There are different ways that you can combat both catastrophic and small surges, but combining different types of surge protection is by far your best bet. Any electrician Santa Monica will recommend that you install a whole house surge protector to defend your entire home, while still using individual power strips for the devices that are particularly affected by power surges. You will have the whole house surge protection system to act as your first buffer against spikes in electricity. The surge protectors that you plug your computers, home theatres and other expensive electronics will help to make sure that they are not damaged in the event of a large surge. Under normal line conditions, surge protection systems both large and small allow power to flow normally. When there is exceptionally high voltage, they will stop the flow of power.

Installing a Whole House Surge Protection System

In most cases, installing a whole house surge protector is an easy job. These systems install right into, or next to your breaker panel. Talk with your electrician Santa Monica CA about how much protection you need, as well as the types of alerts and protections that your surge protection system will have. They can help you choose the system that is exactly the right size for you. Another important protective measure to take is to install surge protection onto your cable and phone lines. What many people don’t know is that high voltage can also enter your home through these lines. Your typically electrician in Santa Monica CA can have your whole house surge protection system installed in just a few hours. The exact length of the installation depends on the complexity of the system that you have chosen, and the state of your current electrical system.

Investing in a whole house surge protector can be a very smart and worthwhile thing to do. This relatively small sum can eventually save you from the enormous amount of replacement cost involved during a catastrophic power surge. It can also greatly extend the lifespan of all of your electronic devices, which can lower the frequency that you must replace them. This type of maintenance and protection is just as important as the other maintenance that you perform regularly on your home. Call H electric or another electrician in Santa Monica today to talk about whether or not installing a whole-house surge protection system is right for you.

Quick and Responsive Santa Monica CA Electrician

If you have an electrical situation at your home or business that you need a Santa Monica electrician to handle, you’ll need to find a competent Santa Monica electrician that will make your electrical problem his or her priority. When you deal with a well established local company such as H Electric, you can expect a quick response to your electrical situation, and you can expect to have an electric service call scheduled in a timely fashion. If the time has come for some remodeling or electrical system upgrades, you’d no doubt like to be able to have the work done in a reasonable amount of time, so that other contractors involved in your remodel project are not slowed down allowing your remodel to be wrapped up as soon as possible.

Local electrical contracting companies like H Electric that are large enough to meet the needs of their customers, yet small enough to retain that personalized touch are a great choice for an electrician in Santa Monica CA to build a relationship with. That way, you can count on getting the sort of quick response you hope for if you have an emergency electrical situation or major failure that needs to be handled as quickly as possible. A local Santa Monica electrician services company, like H Electric, has the flexibility to work with your schedule if you are planning a remodeling or renovation project and you need to have an electrician in Santa Monica CA do some electrical work before the other contractors can complete their tasks.

H Electric, your licensed Santa Monica electrician, has an excellent reputation, one that they’ve worked hard to earn during the more than two decades that they have been serving the commercial and residential electrical needs of the region. They have a high standard of customer service, demonstrated through their attention to promptness and in the clean up after the job is done. When you make an appointment for a service call with an electrician in Santa Monica CA from H Electric, a fully certified and insured professional Santa Monica electrician will arrive on time, with the knowledge, experience and equipment to get the job done right. And, that means right the first time.

H Electric stands firmly behind the skill of their carefully selected team of expert electricians in Santa Monica CA with a lifetime guarantee on their workmanship. This Santa Monica electrician group puts a high priority on the safety of their customers, and offers a wealth of information via their web site, including tips on maintenance and troubleshooting electrical systems. You can view their website by searching for electrician Santa Monica CA on the web, and you’ll quickly find their site. That way, customers can easily find out which electrical system symptoms are hazardous enough to require the professional assistance of an electrician in Santa Monica sooner rather than later and which are of the sort that can be attended to when it is more convenient for time and budget.

When you deal with a local electric contracting company with more than 20 years worth of roots in the community, you can relax and know that if you have any electrical situation come up, you can get the timely service you need and want. H Electric is made up of Santa Monica electricians who live and work locally, and know that cost matters. They keep their pricing within reason, and offer free over the phone estimates to people seeking an electrician in Santa Monica CA that they can count on.