Troubleshooting Electrical Problems

After we moved into a house that seemed to have a lot of electrical problems, I had to learn how to troubleshoot things and fast. I learned how to flip the switch on my circuit breaker, deal with tripped GFCI outlets, and even how to rewire an outlet with the power off. It was a lot of work, but I was able to save a lot of money on professional services. However, after trying in vain to fix my circuit breaker on my own, I realized that I needed some help from an expert. A professional came out, took apart my panel and fixed everything. This blog is all about troubleshooting electrical issues and when to call a pro.

Types Of Smoke Detectors And Alarms For Your Home


Whether you're building a new home and wondering what the best types of fire and smoke alarms are for residential use or whether you've recently had a fire scare and are looking to update your defenses, adding more smoke detectors is a great option. But once you've started shopping for smoke detectors and alarms, you'll probably notice that the field is actually broader than you may have expected. If you're wondering what the differences are between the different types, read on. Here are the differences between some of the most common residential smoke detectors and fire alarms.

Ionization versus photoelectric

Smoke detectors that rely on ionization rely on a current that gets disrupted when there's too much smoke in the air. Photoelectric smoke detectors are probably better-known; they use a light beam that hits a sensor, and when smoke particles get in between, the sensor notices that less light is hitting it and the alarm is triggered accordingly.

These two systems work differently and can also be complementary, since the ionization detector is most effective when there are lots of flames and the photoelectric can be best for a smoldering fire. So if you can find a smoke detector that combines both of these mechanisms, you'll be better protected than with just one or the other.

Hardwired versus battery

Some homeowners are most familiar with the classic battery-powered smoke detector. If you're in this boat, you may be wondering what the basic difference is between this style and the hardwired variety. They both work similarly; the hardwiring is simply an alternative power source.

It's smartest to choose detectors that are hardwired and also have battery backup to reduce the chances of a power loss to the smoke detector. In addition, having all your detectors wired together can improve your fire safety by making sure that if one is triggered, all the alarms are triggered (including the ones near where you sleep).

This ensures you'll be alerted right away in the case of fire, rather than later on when the smoke reaches your bedroom. However, installation is less convenient because it involves electrical wiring and isn't an easy DIY project like battery-powered detector installation is.

Knowing the differences between different types of smoke detectors can help you analyze which ones you need for your home. As you can see, taking a combined approach with smoke detectors that use both ionization and photoelectric detection and have hardwiring as well as battery backup is likely to provide more effective protection.

For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Kunselman Electric, Inc.


2 March 2018