CALL BEFORE YOU DIG (or lose your cable TV)

Call-before-dig-image2If you are planning any projects around the house that involve digging or driving objects into the ground, do yourself a huge favor and “call before you dig”!

A short time ago, I was having my gravel driveway finished with concrete.  The crew came out and installed the wooden form that would make up the edges of my new driveway by laying out long boards and pounding wooden stakes into the ground to keep the form in place while the concrete was being poured.   Read more



Lightning Density Map

As spring approaches here in Atlanta, now is a good time to assess your surge protection system to help guard against lightning damage to the electronic devices in your home.  Of course, nothing can guard against a direct lightning strike, but there are steps you can take to minimize lightning and surge damage. Read more

HDTV for Free – UPDATE

FCC-blog480If you are still getting TV programming from a cable TV provider, you may have noticed that some of your TV’s are no longer receiving channels.  Comcast has started encrypting its “Limited Basic” services.  In the past, if you had a digital TV, you could just hook the coax cable to the back of your TV and watch your local channels.  This was convenient for houses with multiple TVs and for people who are trying to save money by just getting the bare minimum TV channels over cable TV.  Once the encryption is in place the only way Comcast customers will be able to view their cable channels is by using a Comcast “set top box” or a CableCARD enabled device on each TV.  This means that you will have to contact Comcast and order additional equipment for all TVs that are not currently connected to a Comcast tuner.

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Household Mold Problems


Mold Growth

Recently my family purchased a 25 year old house in Atlanta, Georgia.  During the home inspection due diligence period we found that there was extensive mold growth in the unfinished basement.  I thought it might be helpful to others to pass along some things we learned from the experience.  Though I am not a mold remediation expert, I did gain quite a bit of knowledge from a homeowner’s perspective, and learned that the problem can be resolved and future growth prevented.

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Is an Underground Pet Fence Safe?

Invisible Fence

Invisible Fence

I recently read a well-written newsletter from a power company about the electrical dangers of underground or “invisible” pet fences.  It really got me thinking.

As a Master Electrician with over 20 years’ experience, I feel qualified to discuss the electrical concerns associated with these devices.  I could even tell you about my Setter that just didn’t get the concept, but that’s another story.

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Plasma TVs vs LCD/LED TVs – The Gap Is Narrowing!

Plasma-Blog-Imaga-1Two years ago I posted a blog titled, “Plasma TVs – Why they are still, and always will be, superior to LCD and LED TVs”.  If you missed the original blog, you may want to click on the title above and check it out.

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Trustworthy Contractors Are Hard To Find


Contractor Redferrals

Where can you go to find an honest, quality contractor if you don’t have a referral from someone you trust?  This is a question that most people will face sooner or later.  We all have need of a service company or contractor at some point.  Whether it be a Plumber, Heating & Air, Electrician, Roofer, Painter, or any one of dozens of other trades that we rely on to keep our homes & businesses in top working order, sooner or later we will all need to call on the expertise of these craftsmen.Trying to pick one out from the endless list of companies that clog the pages of the phone directories and internet can be maddening!  How do you know if this company is insured, or that company has a license, or if any of them care about their customers and will give you a pleasant experience along with good, quality work?

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Phantom Power

When most people turn an electronic device off they expect it is truly off and not drawing any electricity.  In many cases that is not true.  They still may be drawing “phantom power”,  also called standby power, vampire power, etc.  “Phantom power” was described by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 as follows:

“Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.” Read more

What is an Energy star rated bulb and why should I use them?


Energy Star Bulb

In follow up to my last blog regarding the phasing out of T12 fluorescent lamps, I wanted to share some brief information and a helpful link about the “new wave” of energy efficient lighting sources.

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Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI), Electrical Safety Every Home Needs

AFCI Outlet

AFCI Outlet

There is a relatively new electrical safety device on the market and it can save your life! What is this wonderful device you ask?  It is the Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter, commonly referred to as an AFCI.  It was introduced in 1999 and has been slowly incorporated into the National Electrical Code over the years.   Read more