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Don’t Blow A Fuse!


Don’t Blow A Fuse!

A few weeks ago we were contacted by a marketing company we know through a business networking organization to which we both belong to. Like many small companies to save on expenses they operate from an office the built out in a basement of a home. They have one of the most impressive arrays of technology we have encountered in a SOHO (small office-home office), with the owner using three monitors simultaneously from a single computer. On top of that there were five printers, a large UPS (uninterrupted power supply module) and different DVD-drives, external hard drives, scanners, duplication equipment, shredders… you name it they probably have it!

Did I forget to mention in the sitting area opposite the workspace they have a flat panel plasma television, complete with a surround sound receiver, a sateliite dish receiver, and another external hard drive!

When you throw in the overhead lights, desk lamps, and anything they may wish to charge (like a cell phone) the amount of power needed is rather large. In fact they draw much more power than the single circuit can provide.

­Overloaded outlets do cause fires — an estimated 5,300 annually in American households.Just how many appliances you can plug into an electrical outlet before it catches fire depends on a variety of factors.

It is never simple to add and chanel wiring from an existing garage circuit breaker to a downstairs basement, but we have done this many times. There are methods involving PVC pipe that can allow us to safetly run the new circuit to the basement office without having to tear out walls or ceilings. And we can adhere top local  electrical and building code while insuring the new wiring conduits are not overly unattractive or burdensome.

This SOHO required three hours for two of our technicians to add the new circuits. When they were done the SOHO had an impressive multi-outlet capability on two side of the work area, freeing up the original circuit for the home theater system and lighting. And now the power consumption is better distributed, safer, and the chance of the homes ground fault interupter kicking off is eliminated.

And if you are curious, here is the formula to determine how much electricity you are using: p/e=i (wattage divided by volts equals amps). ­Say you’re using 2,000 watts of power with your appliances. Divide that number by the volts in your house (usually 120) and you come up with 16.6 amps of current that you’re using. With a 20 amp electrical outlet, you’re using around 80 percent of the available current, whic­h is the most you should be using per circuit.


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A&K Electrical Contractors
Post Office Box 54
Glen Gardner, NJ 08826

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Office: (908) 537-9381
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