Each year in southern Ontario, we feel the heat in the summer months. For some, their relief comes through a refreshing dip in the pool. As you prepare to open or fill your pool this year, it would be a good idea to consider the associated electrical system.

On a recent service call in Oshawa, Zac and Jonah found a burnt up pool pump GFI receptacle that met its end due to being overloaded and exposed to the elements (see picture below).

Remember, pool systems have special electrical requirements for your safety and convenience. If you have any questions or concerns about your pool or hot tub, give us a call! Or visit our website to learn more about our Pool and Spa Wiring services

Durham Region 905-683-4195 Scarborough 416-281-2700 Markham 905-305-9535

Burnt out pool pump GFI receptacle

Durham Region 905-683-4195 Scarborough 416-281-2700 Markham 905-305-9535

Have to beat the heat! (Or – Keep your Cool ) Like millions of others in Southern Ontario, we at Captain Electric are suffering under the intense heat of the mid August sun! What solution have you found to beat the heat? Popsicles? Tank tops? A quick swim? All these are good ideas, but if you want a more permanent solution for indoor comfort, give Captain Electric a call. We can help with remedies such as Whole Home Exhaust Fans, Air Conditioners or Ceiling Fans. In the meantime, stay cool everyone! (OR – Keep your Cool)

intense-heat

PICKERING, February 16, 2016: Captain Electric is pleased to announce that it has been honoured with a HomeStars Best of 2016 Award celebrating its commitment to quality work and service. The awards event took place in Durham as well as four other major cities across Canada.

2016 Homestars award - Kiera and Brian

"To be recognized with a HomeStars Best of Award is a great accomplishment and we are proud of this honour," says Brian Wilson of Captain Electric. "Our goal is simple … to provide our clients with an outstanding service experience and we would like to thank all of our clients who took the time to review our company."

Best of Award winners are the top performers on Homestars, ranging from independent contractors to larger retailers. Winners are selected using several criteria including homeowner reviews as well as their responsiveness to homeowners.

"To win one of these awards is really a testament to a contractor's quality of work," says Nancy Peterson, Founder and CEO of HomeStars. "We like to think of them as our own People's Choice Awards since they are based on the reviews written by homeowners."

About Captain Electric

Captain Electric is an electrical service, repair, and installation company, serving Durham Region Toronto and Markham, specializing in helping homeowners and business owners. - Since 1992, we have been dedicated to providing our clients with the best in service, professional workmanship and guarantees.

About HomeStars

HomeStars is a free service helping homeowners find reputable renovators, repairmen and retailers through its database of 2 million companies and hundreds of thousands of reviews. Homeowners write reviews based on their home improvement experiences - both good and bad - helping build a collective knowledge base that is invaluable in helping homeowners make better hiring decisions. A trusted resource since 2006, HomeStars has grown to be the leading online community of homeowners and home improvement companies in Canada.

Why is now the time to consider getting your home ready for your new new electric vehicle?

Ontario’s Liberal government will hand out $20 million in grants next year to help create a network of public charging stations for electric vehicles.

When installed in your garage by a certified installer like Captain Electric, electric vehicle charging stations are reliable, safe, and easy to use. In addition to the convenience of choosing when to charge, they will reduce your battery charging time to about 4 hours, and will allow you to drive more gas-free and emission-free kilometers.


The province wants public and private sector partners to build fast-charging electric vehicle stations in cities, along highways and at workplaces, apartments and condominiums, said Premier Kathleen Wynne.

“This program is part of Ontario’s new, $325-million green investment fund,” Wynne announced Tuesday at the climate change talks in Paris. “We know that for electric vehicles to take off in Ontario there has to be the infrastructure in place.”

Read the full article here

Our Client Care Representatives do their best to provide friendly, professional service for our clients. Diane, Kiera and Todia are our Superheros, always ready to provide you with great service.

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Client Care Superheros
Diane
Diane
Custome-Care
Kiera and Todia

Here is a review by a satisfied customer.

Electrical Outlet Removal & Smoke Alarm Installation
Had a very good experience. The staff at Captain Electric has been amazing. Starting with Diane at customer service, and working with Dave, Enrico, Kevin and Brian. Great attitude, great customer service, professional service associates. I will use this company again and will recommend this company to my family and friends without hesitation.

To see more reviews on Homestars click on the Homestars Logo here.

homestars

Our Superhero Crew of Certified Electricians always work diligently to complete the work quickly, efficiently, on-time.

Time is the most important thing that any of us have. We realize this, and do our best to keep appointments within the time slot that we provide our clients.

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Certified Electrician Superheros
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Ryan - Restocking
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Kevin - Lighting Installation

Here’s a sample of what our customers are saying ...

Great work and great customer service. Was at my door in the time slot they told me, came in and accessed the issue quickly, and had the repairs done in under an hour. Very helpful in pointing out what the root cause was and how it would be fixed before proceeding.

I contacted Captain Electric to have the [Knob & Tube] wiring in my home updated. Dan performed a comprehensive assessment of the work required and provided a quote.

I contacted them a few weeks later to give them the job and the work was booked for the following week. Dan, Ryan, Kevin and Cody arrived on time each day and worked very hard. Dan directed the crew and they worked very diligently, I was very impressed by how well they work together.

They left the job site clean at the end of each day and patched all holes (which they kept to a minimum) when they were done. I know that I made the right decision hiring Captain Electric for this job. I am a very satisfied customer and have recommended them to a few friends already. Well done guys!

Are your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms up to code and in good working order?

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“October was Fire Safety Month, so for the next few months, along with the service we are providing - we will be checking your Smoke and CO Alarms, and Electrical Panel, to make sure that there are no safety issues.”

Call today to book an appointment.
Durham Region 905-683-4195 Scarborough 416-281-2700 Markham 905-305-9535

In addition to the above statistics, it has been found that half of home fire deaths happen between 11 pm and 7 am when most people are asleep.

A working smoke alarm doubles a person's chance of surviving a fire.
It can reduce fire fatalities up to 90%.

hear the-beep where you sleep - graphic

Follow these tips for a safer home:

kidde smoke alarmsSmoke Alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms.

They should be tested monthly, and batteries should be replaced each year.

 

  • Replace alarms every 10 years.
  • Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or when they do not sound when tested.
  • Some people, especially children and older adults, may need help to wake up. Make sure someone will wake them if a smoke alarm sounds.
  • When smoke alarms sound go outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
  • For the best protection install interconnected smoke alarms in your home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbours phone. Stay outside until the fire department says its ok to go back inside.

Carbon monoxide (CO) Alarms

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odourless poisonous gas that can be fatal when inhaled. It is the number one cause of unintentional poisoning deaths.

Install one on every level of your home.

CO Safety Tips to Protect Your Family

It is law in Ontario to install CO alarms outside sleeping areas.

CO alarms are required by law to be replaced within the time frame indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions and/or on the label on the unit. Some new CO alarms offer sealed lithium batteries that last 10 years from activation.

  • For optimal protection, install additional CO alarms on every floor of the home.
  • Have a licenced technician inspect your fuel burning appliances annually, (eg. furnace, range, fireplace, water heater) to ensure they are in proper working order and vented correctly.
  • For families with older parents or relatives, it is wise to help them inspect their CO alarms.
  • CO alarms don’t last forever. They need to be replaced every 7-10 years, depending on the brand.
  • If your alarm goes off get everyone out of the house, stay out and call 911! Exposure to CO reduces your ability to think clearly, so never delay if your alarm goes off and you sense a problem.

Emergency Power Solutions are designed to be a reliable and stable supply of power in the face of impossible to predict weather conditions.

emergency-power-options
Backup power for your home during a blackout

In the Summer issue of Get Connected, we included a brief article on Backup Power Options. These solutions are even more important now that the seasons of severe weather are here.

In this article we will compare 4 options to provide emergency backup power for your home, including their benefits and limitations.

Option #1 - A Standby Emergency Backup Generator

'The Ultimate Solution"

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Standby Emergency Generator

it’s not too late to install a Standby generator; Do it now! Be prepared before the winter storms arrive.

  • 87% of power outages are caused by severe weather
  • Weather related outages have doubled since 2003

Potential Cost of Damage Repair

  • Burst or Frozen Pipes - $10,000
  • Flooded Basement - $21,000
  • Mold Removal - $500-$30,000
  • Food Loss - $250-$500
  • Alternative Shelter - $110-$180 per night

If you are looking to install a standby generator, we have the experience and expertise to help you make the right choice. A standby generator provides you with 24 hour blackout protection, and peace of mind in knowing your family and home are safe and warm.

At Captain Electric, we ensure your generator is professionally installed, maintained, and covered by our 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Here are the top 3 benefits:

  • 24 hour blackout protection
  • Capable of fully backing-up the home, Can power everything in a home, including heating, HVAC, lights, appliances and sensitive electronics
  • Totally Automatic. Starts automatically and transfers power upon failure of Regular Utility; homeowner does not need to be present

Additional reasons to consider this option

  • Automatic Exerciser starts the Generator Weekly, to maintain readiness to work
  • Permanently attach to a home - similar to a central air-conditioning unit
  • Adds value to your house
  • Run on propane or natural gas (self-feeding fuels)
  • Quiet reliable power
  • Fully Guaranteed Installation, with Warranty
  • Maintenance Plan, yearly service to maintain your system in top condition
  • Financing Available OAC - Flexible Terms

Option #2 - A Portable Furnace Connection & Portable Generator

Furnace Circuit modifications

A Portable Furnace Connection makes the furnace a plug-in unit. Captain Electric will rewire the furnace circuit so that the furnace can be unplugged in the event of a power failure and then re-connected to a portable generator by an extension cord.

An electrical permit is required. The work should be performed only by an ECRA licensed electrical contractor. This method of installation is approved by the ESA and meets the requirements of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code .

There is a single outlet providing a dedicated connection, so the circuit cannot be inadvertently overloaded.

A Portable Generator Independently powers up the furnace in the event of an emergency when the incoming power to the house is cut off.

In the event of a Power Failure, simply unplug the furnace and plug in to an extension cord connected to your Portable Generator.

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In the Event off a Power Failure
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Disconnect the Furnace from the Plug-In Unit
Use extension Cord to connect to a Portable Generator
Extension Cord connects Furnce to a Portable Generator

This is the most basic set-up, and most limited as well, as it will provide power only through extension cords. Depending on the size of the Portable Generator, there may be only one or two circuits available. A 2000Watt Generator with 2 plug-in points is recommended as a minimum size. This will provide power for the furnace and the refrigerator.

This option should be a minimum to consider.

Option # 3 - Power Inlet, Manual Transfer Switch & Portable Generator

This option Uses your Portable Generator to power critical loads in your home. Simply plug your Portable Generator into an Power Inlet Box installed by Captain Electric on the outside of your home, near your electrical panel.

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Power Inlet Box

Captain Electric will wire selected circuits directly into a Manual Transfer Panel or Emergency Panel.

Manual Transfer Panel
Manual Transfer Panel

The Portable Generator must be manually started, plugged into the Inlet, and the Manual Transfer Switch {or Panel) must be manually switched to "Emergency."

Only the selected circuits will be energized during a power outage. Furnace, freezer, refrigerator, sump pump, well pump, and a few selected lighting loads may be all that will work with this system.

Option #4 - A Meter Collar Transfer Switch & Portable Generator

Meter Collar Transfer Device

Uses your Portable Generator to power critical loads in your home.

Simply plug your Portable Generator into a Meter Collar Transfer Switch installed by Captain Electric behind your electric meter.

This option requires no rewiring of your electrical system.

Meter Collar Installation
Meter Collar Installation
Meter Collar Transfer Switch
Meter Collar Transfer Switch

Top Reasons for Installing a Meter Collar Transfer Switch

  • Makes connecting a portable generator safe and easy.
  • More cost effective than an Automatic Standby System, but has limitations and requires the physical ability to Manually start the Generator, refuel, and understand the system.
  • Eliminates the use of extension cords and other connections that can be hazardous to customers and utility personnel.
  • Detects when a generator is operating and automatically disconnects from the utility grid, eliminating dangerous backfeed.
  • Equipped with a unique interlocking power cord system that provides a quick and easy connection of a portable generator.
  • Customers have the flexibility to run virtually any appliance, up to the capacity of their generator by simply energizing appliances from their breaker panel.
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A reason for flickering lights?

Captain Electric recognizes the importance of being able to read what others are saying as a part of the decision making process. more and more people are relying on reviews to evaluate a company.

Many of our customers have submitted reviews on Homestars.

We now have a new place where you can submit your reviews.

Make sure you are logged in to your Google account.

Then click the link below.
https://goo.gl/H8G2Zm

google-plus-icon

If you are logged in to your Google account, a new window will open with a 5 star rating option and a text box where you can describe your experience. Here is an image showing what this window looks like.

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Google Review Submit Box

If you are not logged in you will be asked to sign in, If you do not have a Google account you will be directed to a link where you can set one up if you so choose.

Your review will be posted publicly on the web under your name.

High Winds Can Damage Electrical Systems!

Electrical Safety Authority recommends checking your home for possible damage to electrical systems and equipment caused by the storm.

With the significant storm damage that occurred over the summer, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is cautioning all Ontarians affected by storms to check around and in their home for potential electrical damage and to take safety precautions. Residents are advised that if there is serious damage to a home’s connection to the electricity system, the utility may not be able to safely restore power. There could also be damage to the equipment even if the power was not lost during the storm. Follow these electrical safety tips; it could save your life, or the lives of first responders and utility personnel working in the area:

Storm Damage GTA

Cleaning up after the storm

When attempting to clean up after the storm please follow these tips:

  • Downed powerlines may be live and are extremely dangerous. Stay back at least 10 metres (33 feet). Electricity can travel through water and the ground around powerlines.
  • Call 911 and the local electricity distribution company to report any downed lines. Remain well back.
  • Please wait until the power is disconnected or powerlines are repaired before starting yard cleanup – downed powerlines may be hidden beneath debris and tree branches.

Look for possible damage to electrical service coming into your home –

Visually check (do not touch!) for damage to electrical wires connecting your home to hydro wires on the street. If these wires are down, sagging, touching trees or your home, or pulled away from your home or the hydro wires:

  • Do not touch! Even if you believe the power is off.
  • Stay back at least 10 meters (33 feet) (about the length of a school bus) back from the wires.
  • Do NOT attempt to repair yourself.
  • Contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to make repairs.

Look for damage to the overhead electrical connection to your house (service mast)

Visually check (do not touch!) for damage to your service mast. These are the pipes typically attached to the side of a house, connecting incoming hydro wires to the electrical meter. If the mast is bent, pulled away from your home or otherwise damaged in any way, contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to arrange repairs.

  • Do not touch! Even if you believe the power is off.
  • Stay back at least 10 meters (33 feet) (about the length of a school bus) back from the wires.
  • Do NOT attempt to repair yourself.
  • Contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to make repairs.

Flooded basement? Don’t go down there!

If water has risen above the level of power outlets or near the main electrical panel, do not go into the basement. Electricity can travel through water or wet flooring and you could receive a shock. Contact your electric utility to disconnect power immediately and then contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to make repairs.

ESA reminds all homeowners and businesses including restoration companies to ensure that power has been disconnected to the entire property before entering to avoid shock and electrocution. This includes flooded basements and outbuildings that contain electrical equipment or are connected to the electrical system.

Four steps to ensure electrical repairs are done properly

ESA strongly recommends you hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to evaluate your home’s electrical system to determine if it is safe.

  • The contractor will arrange for an electrical permit with the ESA so there is a record of the work;
  • When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely and that it meets the Ontario Electrical Safety Code so that power can be reconnected;
  • ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect; the utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.
  • After the work is done, ask the contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records and insurance.

Preparing for Future Storms

Here are a few tips that Ontarians can take to help them prepare for the next summer storm.

  • Make sure you have an emergency survival kit ready. Ontario’s Emergency Management Office recommends every family have an emergency survival kit containing items that you’ll need to remain comfortable for at least three days immediately after or during an emergency.
  • Visit the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services website for more information on Emergency Preparedness - the information is available in several languages.
  • View this video from Toronto Hydro: Essential Items for a Household Emergency Kit.
  • Check the trees on your property and call your local electric utility to trim branches away from overhead powerlines before a storm. High winds can bring trees and branches down onto powerlines causing power outages and electrically charged hazards.

About the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario with specific responsibilities under the Electricity Act and the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act. As part of its mandate, ESA is responsible for administering regulation in four key areas: the Ontario Electrical Safety Code; licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians; electrical distribution safety; and electrical product safety.

For further information:
Electrical Safety Authority Media Relations
905-712-7819 or Media.ESA@electricalsafety.on.ca