Monthly Archive: August 2016

Electrical Components – Best Brands to Use

Electrical Components – Best Brands to Use

How Your Electrical System Works

This section of the Electricians Texas website covers various brands of electrical components like breakers, outlets, and wiring.

Most homeowners will limit electrical repairs to changing out a light switch or outlet, replacing a worn circuit breaker or perhaps rewiring an electrical device like a garden well pump or old lamp in need of a new electrical cord.electricians

The most important thing to remember when doing these repairs, aside from general safety precautions when dealing with electricity, is to make sure you use the proper replacement parts.

Take a light switch for example. Most people would just run up to the hardware store and by a new switch. Many would determine what switch to buy based on price.

However, you need to make sure you get the proper switch for the job. What is the amp rating? Does your house have copper or aluminum wiring? Is it a standard switch or 3-way switch?

And what about replacing a breaker in your electrical panel? Do you know what type and brand to replace it with? You need to see who manufactured the panel and then use that manufacturer’s breaker.

In Buffalo, the most popular breaker manufacturers are: Square D, General Electric, Federal Pacific, Thomas and Betts, and Westinghouse. Here is a great website where you can type in information on your existing circuit panel box and it will tell you what breaker to order:

When it comes to wiring, the most important consideration is to use the proper gauge. Wiring comes in different sizes depending on the circuit amp requirements and number of wires, or conductors. So, if you have a wire in your home that feeds a standard electrical outlet, it will have two conductors… the black wire which is the hot leg, and the white wire which is the neutral leg. It will also have a ground wire but this is not considered a conductor so is not used to label the wire.

Depending on how much current flows through the wire, it will be rated by size and the electrical industry uses a set of numbers to indicate this size like, #8 gauge or #12 gauge. They combine the wire size with the number of conductors and name the wire like that. So, a typical circuit might have a wire labeled, 10-2.

This means it is 10 gauge and has 2 conductors. It is absolutely vital to choose the right size wire for the amp draw of a circuit or appliance. If you are replacing the power cord for an appliance that is rated at 10 amps, would you know what size wire to use?

Here is a great site that has a chart for all the amp draws and wire sizes to use for those draws:

So, do your homework and get the proper components and make sure they are rated for your electrical requirements. You will be glad you did and can rest easy knowing you have done the job right!

Complete Plumbing Repairs

Complete Plumbing Repairs

Don’t continue looking at your old shower or tub and wondering why it hasn’t been replaced! Restore the beauty of your bathroom by getting rid of that outdated tub or shower and installing a new one. Call us to get expert Texas shower and tub services today! Click here to view our current specials and discounts. Plumbing Repairs

Some people are looking for a way to upgrade their bathroom without doing a full-scale bathroom remodel. The easiest way to do that may be to replace the bathtub or shower. Some people want to take their time in planning their remodel, taking a portion of the remodel on one minor project at a time. They may start with the lighting or consider replacing the bathtub initially. If you’re looking to replace your shower or tub, call Complete Plumbing, Heating and Air Inc. today and see how we can help you accomplish this without any stress on your part.

If you’d like to see what residents of Texas, and the surrounding areas are saying, visit our reviews and testimonials page here.

How do you know its time to replace your shower or bathtub? Well depending on what you’re looking for in your bathtub, it could be one of several reasons, the most common of which you can find below:Tub discoloration

When the tub becomes discolored, the rest of the bathroom may end up looking dingy and dreary. Having the bathtub replaced can give the bathroom a different look. Since the bathtub is often the focal point of a bathroom, homeowners pay particular attention to discoloration when determining whether or not to get a new tub.Walls surrounding the tub

Many homeowners reason that when the walls surrounding the tub begin to deteriorate, it may be time to consider upgrading the bathtub. The bathtub walls may be outdated and no longer add anything to the aesthetics of the space. A liner or a new bathtub may be needed to cover the wall surrounding the tub. An instant upgrade is often the choice when people begin to notice that the walls are in poor condition.Remodeling inspiration

It only takes a minor change in a bathroom to get the creative juices going for some. A quick coat of paint or the addition of decorative elements to the bathroom may be all that’s needed to inspire a full on upgrade. Modern elements against the backdrop of a dated tub make for a lackluster finished project. Adding a new tub is one of the simplest ways to get more results from minor makeover efforts.Changing health needs of loved ones

Sometimes the home has to be modified to accommodate someone with special needs. If a person is injured or becomes disabled, some modifications may be needed to be made to the bathroom. The tub may need to be refinished or replaced to facilitate easy entry into the bathroom space. One of the most important things to consider is safety. Replacing the bathtub for a disabled loved one makes life easier and empowers the individual.Whether you decide on relining, replacing or refinishing a tub, Complete Plumbing, technicians are there to assist. Give us a call today and we can help you install your new shower or tub however you want it. Complete Plumbing repairs

One Thermostat Control for your House

One Thermostat Control for your House

It is impractical to have separate thermostats and other equipment in each office for individual comfort control. That is why you only have one thermostat in your home. That one thermostat controls the temperature for every room in your house. The area or rooms that are controlled by a single thermostat is referred to as a “zone”. If you only have one furnace at home, you only have one thermostat and therefore you only have one “zone”. In an office building There will be several zones per floor. In each zone a thermostat controls the temperature in several offices. It operates a zone box, usually a “VAV” (variable air volume) box. In our model we are going to use a VAV box to illustrate how the thermostat controls the office temperature of your Air Conditioning system.

A VAV box has a damper inside that is operated by an actuator controlled by the thermostat. This damper meters the amount of cool (50 – 55 degrees) air delivered to the office. The position of the damper that meters the proper amount of air to the office is determined by the thermostat. The thermostat detects the temperature of the air in the office. If the temperature is higher than the set point (the temperature you have the thermostat set for), then the thermostat causes the damper in the VAV box to open enough to allow more cool air to enter the office to absorb the additional heat that caused the temperature to rise. The temperature is then lowered. If the temperature goes below the set point, the flow of air is reduced by the damper. The reduced volume of air permits the heat load in the office to build up causing the temperature to rise. Obviously these changes are very subtle. The thermostat is always trying to reach an equilibrium or balance between the temperature in the room and the set point. When this balance is reached, the damper does not move until the thermostat detects a change in temperature.
There are many elements in place working together to maintain a comfortable temperature in a space. This is necessary to make certain the proper volume of air is always available for the VAV box to do the job the thermostat asks it to do. This includes maintaining a constant static pressure in the supply duct serving the VAV box.
Static Pressure is a term you hear frequently and do not have a clue to what it is. It must be bad or it must be good depending on the context in which it is used. Engineers use the term like everyone knows what it is. Static pressure is very important because without it we could never get the air where we want it.
It helps to think of air as a fluid just like water is a fluid. Air is a gas and water is a liquid, but they are both fluids.

The principals applied to a fan or blower is pretty much the same as the principals applied to a pump. They both move a fluid and they both put that fluid under pressure. If the nozzle on your garden hose is turned off, you feel the hose swell a little and get more rigid. This is because the pressure in the hose is pressing against the sides or walls of the hose even though it is not flowing. If you had a gauge in the hose you could see how much pressure is in the hose. The same thing applies to the air in the ducts. It is called static pressure, and now you know. This pressure is what gets the air through the duct (hose) and out the diffuse (nozzle). I am sure you have been in the shower and someone flushes a toilet, starts a dishwasher or turns on a faucet and suddenly the shower water gets very hot. You yell, curse a little and adjust the hot water. About then they turn off the faucet or the toilet tank finishes filling and your shower gets very cold. This is because of variations in the flow in the cold water side of your shower. More or less gallons per minute are being used causing the pressure to change. The same thing will happen in a VAV (variable air volume) system. Think of a VAV zone box that controls the temperature in an office as a valve that opens and closes more or less to supply the required amount of flow to satisfy conditions.

As discussed above, on a mild day the offices are satisfied easily and the thermostats throttle down the VAV air flow. This could cause the static pressure to increase (remember the hose when you turned off the nozzle). If it is a hot day, the VAV boxes may fully open to get all the air flow to the offices that they can. This could cause the static pressure to drop drastically effecting the ability to maintain the needed flow to satisfy the offices. Obviously Static pressure regulation is needed and becomes very important. Static pressure must be maintained during the peak flow demand (cooling) yet be controlled at the same level during low air flow demand (heating) otherwise high static pressure could seriously damage duct work, VAV boxes and other components. High static pressure also drastically increases the cost of operating the fan system.
There are several ways to control static pressure through all air flow demand ranges. The most common method is with vanes or dampers on the inlet of the fan or blower itself. The Static Pressure is monitored by a sensor (a kind of gauge) mounted at some strategic place in the duct system. The signal from the sensor is transmitted to a controller that responds by modulating (opening or closing at a controlled rate) the vanes or dampers on the fan inlet. As the demand for air flow goes up, the vanes open more to permit more air to be supplied by the fan to keep the static pressure from dropping. If the demand for air flow goes down, the vanes throttle closed to reduce air flow and prevent the static from rising.
The next time you hear an engineer mention static or static pressure, hopefully you will understand and will not be intimidated by the term.
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