Electrical advice from our master electricians on our blog
Electrical advice from our master electricians on our blog
Minneapolis 612-587-2777
Lic. EA005137

Archive for the ‘Emergency Electric Services Minneapolis’ Category

Who’s Responsible For Damage To Your Electrical Service?

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Blog Bullet-e 50When damage has occurred to your electrical service, sometimes it can be confusing to know who is responsible for what.  Overhead power lines create the most problems and confusion when speaking of electrical outages at the home.

Generally speaking, the overhead power lines and the connections to your wires are the power company’s responsibility.  The electric meter is also the power company’s.

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The weather head, mast & wires and the meter base (the piece the meter sits in) is the homeowner’s responsibility.  Any damage to these components are repaired at the homeowner’s expense.

Downed power lines are a common occurrence year round and are extremely dangerous. Remember, stay away from downed power lines and call the power company before you call us

Xcel Energy 1-800-895-1999
Connexus 763-323-2650
Dakota Electric 1-800-430-9722

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Ice Dams

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Blog Bullet-e 50Ice dams are a problem this time of year… Using a snow rake to keep the snow six feet above your gutter helps prevent the problem. Do not use a hammer and a chisel to remove your ice dams, call a professional and they will use a steamer, your roof will thank you for it.

Preventative measure: Having electric de-icing cables (heat tape) installed can automatically help eliminate ice dam build up, most heat cables have moisture sensors to heat only when needed. Heat cables free up pathways for water and ice to escape and should be installed by a professional. A heat cable installation would be best installed in non winter months and usually require a dedicated electrical circuit.

If you’ve had water damage in your ceilings and walls and you think your electrical system has been affected, give us a call and we’ll come check things out.

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Awareness About Federal Pacific Electrical Panels Is Starting To Catch Fire…

Monday, December 16th, 2013

e 200If you watch the evening news, from time to time you hear a report about a product recall for a safety defect. In our society, recalls have become routine and we consumers have become accustomed to being told through the media about specific recalls. Imagine if there was a serious risk with the brakes on your car, you would want to know about it, right? Federal Pacific Electrical Panels (or FPE) also have a serious safety defect and have been installed in millions of homes; however a recall has never been issued. Why?

The full story of Federal Pacific Electrical Corporation is a corporate yarn filled with fraud, deception and legal battles, but in the end the Consumer Product Safety Commission ran out of money while pursuing the investigation back in 1983. The CPSC’s final position says “that the matter is closed without making a determination of safety.” Reassuring huh?

Many independent tests have been conducted since then which tell of 70% failure rates in many of the 2 pole circuit breakers. The Federal Pacific Electrical company is now defunct and replacement parts are hard to find except on the internet.

Who Cares? 
Between 1950 and 1980 FPE “Stab-Lok” electrical panels were installed in millions of new homes across the entire United States and are still being used in thousands of homes in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. These electrical panels are considered a latent fire hazard which means the circuit breakers pose a high risk when your electrical system acts up or you have an overloaded circuit.

The danger posed by the high failure rate of these circuit breakers is the main reason most electricians, home inspectors, realtors, insurance companies and local fire chiefs are recommending immediate replacement of the entire electrical panel. Although a class action suit was awarded in New Jersey in 2002 to homeowners who were original to the home, most homeowners who are replacing their panel have had paid out of pocket for the expense.

120913-Federal Pacific Electric Panel-220913-Federal-Pacific-Electric-Panel-2.jpg

Do you have an FPE in your home?
Here are a few ways to tell by just looking at your electrical panel:

  • Red or orange handles on the circuit breakers
  • “Federal Pacific” or “FPE” will be on the panel cover
  • “Stab-Lok” will be on the panel cover

WARNING! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE THE COVER OFF OF THE PANEL.

Even experienced electricians have a hard time safely getting the cover off of a FPE Stab-Lok panel.

Do your Homework
If you think you have an FPE panel in your home or know someone who does, we encourage you to read about this topic online and give us a call. These panels have been described as ticking time bombs. We will be able to consult with you on replacement and complete the work necessary to remove your old panel and install a new one backed by a lifetime warranty. We have replaced hundreds of FPE panels and perform panel replacements routinely. 651.587.5512.

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Lights Flickering/Power Outlets Not Working

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

e 200A common call we receive is a customer’s lights are flickering and many outlets not working. This can be a very scary situation and should be reported immediately. Many times this is due to a loose connection in a home owner’s electrical panel or meter enclosure. Connections that are loose cause arcing at that connection. The arcing causes corrosion and the process of arcing starts over. Eventually there is no connection there and people have lost power to half of their house. If you notice that half of the power to your home is out do not attempt to run your 240 volt appliances. There may only be 120 volts at that appliance and it could be damaged if you try and run it. This can be prevented by have an electrician out to your home every year to complete an electrical panel and meter enclosure tune up. At Edison Electric we offer these services and they are included with the purchase of our valued member protection plan. Call us today at 651-587-5512 to schedule your panel tune up.

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June Storms In Minnesota

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

It is difficult to understand the random nature of a powerful storm and the property damage it leaves behind.  One family loses their roof yet their neighbor’s house is unscathed, garbage cans didn’t even blow over.  After the June storms had passed, many Minneapolis residents were left without power; some of the less fortunate were without power for more than a week.

When it came time for getting power restored, many homeowners were told by the power company that they needed electrical repairs performed first.  It didn’t take long for the phone to ring off the hook at Edison Electric.  We performed work for many Minneapolis residents and our crews worked tirelessly replacing damaged masts and meter sockets.  We were really amazed at how pleasant all of these unfortunate residents were to work for, even though they had no power and trees laying uprooted, sideways in their yards.

For Edison Electric it was a hectic time with long hours.  We didn’t get to meet some of our customers who we performed work for because they were out of town when the storms came through or weren’t available for other reasons.  Sometimes when we get that busy time can go by in a blur and saying thank you can get lost in the chaos.  So we would like to take a moment to let all of our customers know that we sincerely appreciate your business.  We hope our service exceeded your expectations.  We hope everyday life is back to normal and things are good.

Most of the service calls we went to during this period were all similar in nature, however the required repair work varied from house to house.  Below are some pictures of the work we did on a five unit apartment building in south Minneapolis that had been without power for 4 days when we arrived. A tree limb had fallen on the utility lines and ripped the electrical mast from the outside wall of the house.  The previous electrical equipment did not meet the current standards of the electrical code or the power company metering requirements.  The electrical meters needed to be moved to the rear exterior of the home, the fuse panels needed to be replaced and the grounding needed to be updated

In total, the building was without power for over a week.  The people who live here were absolute champions and handled the inconvenience with grace.  The job was an undertaking but in the end everything worked out great.

072513-Apt Bldg Fix

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Electrical Emergencies

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Electrical emergencies rarely occur at convenient times. More likely than not, it will be the coldest day of the year when the power goes out or you’ll be blow drying your hair for an important gathering when the circuit breaker fails and your house goes dark. In each of these scenarios, you cannot wait for days for an electrical technician to come to your rescue. You need immediate assistance.

There is sometimes confusion as to what should be classified as an electrical emergency, as well as who should be contacted to handle particular scenarios. An electrical technician is needed in each of the following situations*:

  • If you smell an electrical burning odor
  • If your circuit breaker fails
  • If you hear crackling noise in switches
  • If you see any scorched areas around electrical outlets or wiring
  • If your lights flicker repeatedly
  • If you have to constantly reset your circuit breaker

These warning signs can indicate more serious electrical problems. Most whole house power outages are not classified as an electrical emergency. In fact, power companies usually handle this problem because outages are typically the result of a disturbance to local power lines. Some power outages are the result of storm damage to your overhead service lines and service mast, which is attached to your house. If you experience a power outage, first try contacting your utility provider, then call professional, licensed electricians.

If you see any signs of a fire, immediately evacuate and call 911. Keep children and pets away from the dangerous area, and clear away any items or furniture that may obstruct the work area.

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