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For some, understanding anything about electrical wiring can be as confusing as detangling multiple wires from each other. When there are issues with electrical wiring, it’s no wonder that reaching out for electrical repairs in Calgary is an easy solution. 

Yet, many can benefit from understanding their home’s electrical system. By equipping yourself with basic knowledge of electrical wiring, you can spot any early signs of trouble and even fix minor issues safely. 

So, learn everything you need to know about electrical wiring and see how this knowledge can help you!

Tools and equipment being used to upgrade a homes electrical panel.

Understanding Electrical Wiring in Calgary

Basic knowledge of electrical wiring can come in handy in another unexpected way – obtaining an electrical permit. According to the City of Calgary’s homeowner electrical wiring guide, homeowners must have basic knowledge of electrical wiring for an electrical permit. It’s a handy document for reviewing what’s necessary for installation and what you can or cannot do regarding electrical work. In addition, looking into what the Canadian Electrical Code entails can further detail the regulations and rules surrounding electrical work. 

Types of Electrical Wiring

When it comes to your home’s electrical system, various types of wiring help power it. 

Here are the following types of wiring that are in your home:

Romex (non-metallic)

They are the most common type of circuit wiring since they’re suitable for use in dry, protected areas that won’t be susceptible to mechanical damage or excessive heat. Think stud walls or the sides of your joists for where these wirings are located.

Bx Cable (aka armoured cables)

These wires run inside a flexible aluminum or steel sheath and are fairly resistant to damage. You can expect to find this wiring in appliances like dishwashers and garbage disposals. 

Conduit

Made of rigid metal or plastic tubing, it helps protect individual insulated wires. These wires are used as a means of protection for garages, sheds, and outdoor applications.

With either wiring, you want to ensure their size according to each circuit’s amperage. The wire size is important because it comes with a gauge number that can dictate how much current it can handle. The lower the gauge and the bigger the write, then it can have more current. 

Fundamentals of Electrical Wiring

Power Service & Electrical Meter

The source of all your power! You can find your utility company’s services cable here from either overhead or underground. The meter helps measure the amount of electricity your home uses. It can give you an idea of your electrical bills since it only runs when electricity is being used in the house. 

Breakers & Main Panel

After passing through your electrical meter, electrical service goes into your main panel (aka a breaker box) through hot wires—this feeds into utility on the neutral wire and completes the electrical circuit. The panel contains the main breaker, sized according to your home’s service capacity. Along the main breaker panel are switches that help control the flow of electricity in the house. Turning these off shuts off all power to devices and appliances in a circuit. When overloaded, it will shut off everything automatically. However, you can reset it by turning the switches on again.

Understanding these electrical systems in your home can help prevent the overload of your devices and appliances and any issues regarding your outlets and switches. 

Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

A lot goes into electrical work that most people wouldn’t know how it all works. That’s why electricians in Calgary must have an electrical permit to do their job. Yet, there are times when a homeowner must go out and apply for an electrical permit themselves.

Yet, the question is: when would you need to get an electrical permit?

Before you handle any electrical work in your home, see why you need one before doing so. 

What is an Electrical Permit?

Under the Alberta Safety Codes Act and Permit Regulations, an electrical permit is required to install, alter or add to an electrical system. Since electrical systems are rather intricate and complicated, homeowners can only tie into the main panel without physically changing it and can add a sub-panel to an existing main service, provided there is a current main breaker​.

However, homeowners are not allowed to do the following regarding electrical work:

  • install, alter or modify the main electrical service, including the main panel, main breaker or the meter base.
  • install electrical wiring in permanent, in-ground swimming pools, and hot tubs
  • install or alter solar photovoltaic systems

Generally, these electrical alterations result when homeowners decide to renovate or move in or out of a house. Many electrical companies in Calgary can’t stress enough that this is when homeowners should obtain an electrical permit. 

Why is an Electrical Permit Necessary?

Uphold Safety Code Standards

The most important reason to get an electrical permit is for the safety of your home and family. All wiring must meet current building code standards to ensure that your home is safe from electrical fires. 

Proper Electrical Installation 

Another reason to get an electrical permit is to ensure that your home’s electrical system is installed correctly. Incorrectly wired homes can lead to annoying electrical issues and, worst-case scenario can become a possible fire hazard. An electrical permit ensures everything is in working order. 

Avoid Legal Issues

If you do not get an electrical permit to work on your home’s wiring, you can face legal problems. You can be fined or even have your work redone by a professional at your own expense. 

Benefits of an Electrical Permit?

Protect Home’s Resale Value

If you are planning on selling your home, it is important to get an electrical permit for any work that has been done on your home’s wiring. It will ensure that your home is up to code and that the work has been done correctly. An electrical permit assures potential buyers of your home’s safety and will be more willing to purchase. 

Avoid Costly Repairs

If you do not get an electrical permit for work on your home’s wiring, you may be faced with costly repairs down the road. If your home is not up to code, you may be required to have the work redone by a professional. In some cases, it can easily become expensive when you need to tear down walls to get the job done correctly.

Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

An electrical inspection refers to examining and testing an electrical installation’s condition, adequacy, or functioning. Those who schedule in regular electrical maintenance in Calgary have identified unsafe installations or equipment failures that could lead to damage, injury, and fire risks and prevent unnecessary power outages. 

In which case, what things does an electrician look out for during an electrical inspection? What is all included in one?

Read on to see what you need to include on your checklist! 

Reasons for an Electrical Inspection 

When it comes to electrical maintenance, an inspection is instrumental in ensuring safety by preventing and addressing any apparent issues. Yet, what circumstances would you need to get an electrical inspection? You would be surprised that there are various situations where you might need one!

Here are a few reasons why you may need an electrical inspection:

  • If you noticed any electrical issues
  • Before buying a home
  • After major renovations
  • In the aftermath of a brutal storm

In these circumstances, it’s warranted since you want to ensure that all electrical wiring is in working order and meets safety standards. 

Electrical Inspection Checklist 

During an electrical inspection, there are various things that an electrician will be on the lookout for that are important. The listed checklist below is what’s included within a routine electrical inspection:

  • Identifying any electrical hazards – such as uncovered, exposed, or outdated wiring
  • Ensure GFCI outlets are wired correctly
  • Testing and checking safety switches, and electrical meter
  • Examining the electrical panel by checking the circuit breaker capacity
  • Assessing and maintaining past repairs 
  • Locating and testing fire alarms 
  • Making sure everything is up to code 

Frequency of Inspection for Electrical Maintenance 

Maintenance can seem like a chore. Yet, ensuring electrical maintenance through an inspection is rather low maintenance! It’s generally recommended every three to five years. Yet, other factors can affect how soon you should get an electrical inspection. As a rule of thumb, it’s in your best interest to get one if a place is over 25 years old since they can be riddled with older wiring, which can be prone to faulty use and even pose a safety hazard. In addition, if you notice any DIY work done with your electrical wiring, call in a professional for an electrical inspection to remedy any issues the DIY work could potentially create. 

Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

Sudden power outages can be so jarring and unexpected that they can leave you stupefied in complete darkness and unsure of what to do next. 

Even though the electricity has been zapped from your home, it doesn’t mean you need to be a sitting duck until the power comes back on. 

Until a Calgary electrician can assist you, there are many self-sufficient ways to cope with power outages. Below we have compiled a list of insightful tips and tricks that will prepare you for the unexpected.





How-To: Deal with a Power Outage





Prepare For The Long Haul

Power outages can vary drastically, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several hours. If your power isn’t coming back any time sooner, it’s best to anticipate a longer power outage by allocating necessities effectively until the power comes back. 

For families, it is recommended to have a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit on hand during potential power outages. The kit can supply a family with common necessities and supplies for up to three days. 





Mind Your Electronics & Appliances

A staple for power outages is to make sure to have backup batteries for electronics – they’re handy for any essential use. 

In addition, a good way to protect your electronic devices is to use a surge protector. How does this help? A surge protector protects your electronics from sudden power loss because of voltage spikes. It notably comes in handy during lightning strikes.

To avoid damage from overload when the power is restored, make sure to disconnect any electrical appliances and equipment. 





Wary of Carbon Monoxide

During a power outage, it’s strongly recommended not to use anything that emits carbon monoxide. This includes indoor barbeques, kerosene heaters, or camp stoves. When you use gas stoves for too long with poor ventilation, it can be incredibly dangerous. 

If you need to keep warm, you can do so by bundling up with a few layers. Also, if you’re living with other people, you can keep warm together and stay close to one another to retain body heat.





Preserve Your Food

Appliances like your fridge and freezer will be down with the power off, leaving your food high and dry to get spoiled. You can use a cooler filled with either ice or snow to help keep food cold.

However, once a power outage is over, it’s important to look through your fridge and freezer in case anything becomes spoiled anyway. If power has been out for more than 48 hours, it’s best to throw out all refrigerated food. 





Get Electrical Repairs

Homes are not completely immune to damages inflicted from a power outage. Common cases of brief power outages happen due to extreme weather conditions or a planned interruption from your service provider. In other instances, some power outages can result from faulty wiring or an issue with your home’s electrical system. If these issues persist, it’s best to reach out for electrical repairs. Make sure to save some of your phone’s battery life to make a call to your local electrician!





Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

During the winter, the possibility of a power outage is always a concern, especially with the volatile weather in Alberta. When a power outage hits and you need electrical repairs in Calgary, it can be a scary moment if the temperature is below freezing and you aren’t prepared to handle the cold.

Tips for Winter Power Outages in Calgary

The best thing you can do to handle the scary time after your power goes out and the electrical repairs in Calgary that bring it back on, is to prepare for a power outage before it occurs. Below is a list of things you can do or buy to ensure you can handle your next winter power outage.

Ways To Prepare

-Purchase a generator.

-Ensure you have plenty of food and water stored.

-If you have a fireplace, make sure you have plenty of wood to keep it going.

-If you don’t have a fireplace, make sure you have plenty of heaters compatible with your generator to keep your home warm.

-Making sure you have a way to stay warm if the power goes out during a snowstorm.

-Ensure sure you have a battery-powered radio in case of emergency.

-Ensure you have flashlights and extra batteries in case of emergency.

Things To Keep In Mind

Always remember that children and the elderly are most susceptible to winter weather. Always make sure they’re warm enough during a power outage, especially if it’s cold outside. Make sure they have plenty of extra clothes, blankets, and heaters to keep them warm.

If you live in an apartment or condominium complex which is not sufficiently heated due to a power outage, the first thing you should do is contact your landlord or building manager. They will be able to make the arrangement for electrical repairs in Calgary as soon as possible.

If you think something is wrong with your power line, call your utility company immediately. Don’t try to fix it yourself – that could be very dangerous to you and others. Remember, a power outage in the winter can be dangerous, but with proper preparation, you can make sure you and your loved ones are safe. Stay warm and stay safe!


Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

As we continue to make advancements in the field of electrical science, we’re exposed to the ways in which our previous codes and standards are no longer suitable. This means that older homes may have been built properly, but their electrical wiring no longer meets the standards that we hold today.


For those looking for peace of mind and a safer electrical system, opting to call a Calgary electrician for an aluminum wiring replacement may be worth exploring. But how much will such a project cost? And why should aluminum wiring be replaced in the first place? Let’s take a closer look.


How Much Do Aluminum Wiring Replacements Cost?


Aluminum wiring replacements can be a rather costly home improvement project to take on, ranging anywhere from $300 to $500 per outlet. This can add to up to between $8,000 and $15,000 for replacing the wiring in an entire house.


Therefore, some homeowners may opt to simply repair the aluminum wiring instead, which can cut the price tag in half. However, it’s important to note that this is not a permanent solution and does not remove the fire hazard altogether.


Why Should Aluminum Wiring Be Replaced?


In terms of functionality, aluminum wiring works exactly like copper, which is what you will find in more modern homes and builds. However, its main issue lies in its connections and conductivity.


When the electrical current passes through the cables and connectors, the wires begin to expand and eventually heat up. While thermal expansion is normal and to be expected, regardless of the type of wire, aluminum wiring expands three times as much as copper wiring. 


When the electricity is turned off and wires cool down, the wiring contracts and the connectors, in theory, follow suit. However, the aluminum wiring places so much pressure on the connectors that, over time, they begin to lose their shape and fail to seal completely to the wiring. These small gaps expose the wires to oxygen, which then oxidizes and allows the connection point to heat up even more. 


As the gap widens, the oxidation continues, and the connections loosen, you increase the risk for fire hazards.


While aluminum wiring replacements are undoubtedly a large undertaking, they are worth your consideration. Don’t hesitate to contact a Calgary electrician when approaching the project, as they will be able to offer you a number of options and solutions.


Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

It may surprise you how vast and extensive the role of an electrician is. Thanks in part to home renovation shows, they may be best known for installing new electrical systems in a house, but they hold many more responsibilities than that.


Conducting electrical repairs in Calgary is also an integral part of their job, as wiring and electrical systems can be damaged post-installation. But what might these electrical repairs entail? Let’s take a look!


6 Types of Electrical Repairs


Panel Box Repairs


Your panel box is your main source of electricity. However, if you begin to notice consistent issues with power around your home, your panel box may no longer be operating properly. Electricians will be able to come in and offer any repairs, as well as suggest when a new panel box is required altogether.


Outlet Repairs


Loose and damaged outlets are incredibly dangerous to your property, as the exposed and faulty wires can become a fire hazard as soon as the outlet is utilized. Electricians will be able to repair or even replace your outlets, depending on the severity of the situation.


Generator Repair


For businesses that require constant power, such as hospitals, or homes located in the countryside, having a reliable generator can be the difference between a slight delay and a major headache. Electricians are able to tackle any issue related to your generator, as well as conduct check-ups to ensure it’s still functioning properly.


Wiring Repairs 


Older homes tend to have aluminum wiring running through the structure, which, we have since learned, tends to heat up while in use. This can become a major fire hazard. Electricians can be called to replace any old and faulty wiring, ensuring your home is completely safe. 


Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm Repairs


When it comes to fire safety, never put off repairs to systems that keep you safe. By conducting a regular test on your safety systems, such as your smoke detectors or fire alarms, you can be alerted when there is an issue. You can then ask an electrician to come in and ensure everything is restored to peak condition.


Lighting Repairs


Similar to that of old wiring, some lighting fixtures are outdated, thus causing more harm than good to your home. By contacting an electrician, you can ensure all wiring and electrical surrounding your lighting is collecting the correct amperage while also taking measures to be more energy efficient, thus saving you money on your monthly bills.


Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

Whether you want to save money on your electric bill, decrease your carbon footprint, or a combination of both, using less electricity is always a good start. Fortunately, there are many small and simple ways to accomplish this. Once implemented, you are certain to see the difference within weeks!


If you ever want advice on how to save electricity, reach out to your Calgary electrician! They will be more than happy to offer tips and tricks. But in the meantime, here are a few ways worth exploring.


5 Ways To Use Less Electricity


Turn off unnecessary lights


This is an easy step: simply turn off the lights as you leave a room! While you may know that you’re returning to that space in your house later on, the minutes can add up when it comes to electrical usage. 


Additionally, consider replacing any incandescent bulbs with LED ones. That way, when the lights are on, they’re not eating up as much power. 


Unplug unused electronics


Power on standby can account for 10% of your home’s annual electrical use. We’re talking laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, and even toasters and kettles. While some are easier to plug in when needed than others, by unplugging just a few of your unused electronics, you could see a significant difference.


Alternatively, consider getting a power strip. This will allow you to control which appliances or electronics are getting electricity with the flip of a switch, rather than actively unplugging them before bed every night.

Use natural light


Take advantage of that free energy source: the sun! Particularly in the summer months, lights are rarely needed during the day, provided your blinds are open and the sun is shining through. By essentially cutting your lighting needs in half during the sunnier months, you’ll notice a drop in your electric bill.


Air dry your clothing


Your dryer is a huge energy spender. So next time you run a load of laundry, consider skipping the dryer and invest in a drying rack instead! While this method requires a little more patience, the electricity you will save will be significant. 


Alternatively, if you’re dedicated to your dryer, simply wait to do laundry until you have a full load. That way, you’ll be able to run a single cycle, rather than using the dryer in extended bursts.


Keep your oven door closed


Every time you open your oven door, the internal temperature can drop up to 25 degrees. This then requires your oven to use additional electricity to heat your oven back up. Therefore, try to utilize your oven window or light and minimize the number of times you need to open your oven.


Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust, and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

As we strive to become more eco-conscious, there are several ways our homes and businesses can do their part. Solar panels, for example, are a simple step to take that can have a large impact. 

 

But how exactly do solar panels help the environment? Let’s explore a few of the ways.

 

3 Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels

 

1. Saves Water

 

Traditional electricity production can use thousands of litres of water every year. The water is used for cooling generators, processing and refining fuel, and transporting fuel through pipes.

 

Generating electricity with solar panels, however, requires no water at all. Seeing as how you are harvesting energy directly at your home or business, the entire refining process is skipped entirely. This also ensures that water is no longer risking contamination and filtering back into the earth. The only water you’ll ever need is when you want to give your solar panels a quick clean!

 

2. Reduces Air Pollution

 

Electricity generation from fossil fuels can generate harmful carbon dioxide and methane emissions that lower the quality of air that we breathe. These gasses build up over time and negatively impact our ozone layer, which in turn contributes to climate change.

Workers Measuring Photovoltaic Cells Dimensions Of Solar Panel

By using solar panels, you are ensuring that no harmful emissions are being produced. As more and more homes and businesses choose solar installations in Calgary, you will be able to quantifiably measure the difference in air pollution.

 

3. Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

 

Solar energy is one of the cleanest sources of energy. Not only do solar panels not require any water to successfully work or give off emissions, but they take advantage of an abundant and free resource: the sun. This is an extremely effective way for your home or business to become more efficient and sustainable.

 

Save both the environment and money on your monthly electricity bill by choosing solar installations in Calgary!


Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.

Unfortunately, power outages don’t take summer vacations. If anything, it often seems as though they make an appearance at the worst possible moment. Blackouts during heat waves can be inconvenient to most and even dangerous to others.

 

So why do summer power outages occur? We list a few of the possible causes below.

 

4 Reasons Why Power Outages Happen in the Summer

 

Sustained Demand

 

During a heatwave, the demand for power drastically increases. As the power transformers work overtime to provide energy to those requesting it, it begins to heat up. While this can be expected, they do require time to cool off. Normally, the transformers find time to do this overnight, when less power is being used. 

 

However, when the temperature is so hot, people will continue to use their air conditioners and fans throughout the night, preventing the transformers from taking a break. This can cause them to overheat and damage the electrical systems.

Man restoring power on circuit breaker after electricity outage

To prevent any or further damage, circuit breakers or other protective equipment will shut off the flow of power. This then creates a power outage.

 

Storms

 

With heatwaves come summer storms. Lightning strikes and circuit failures may increase the likelihood of a power outage due to the system’s inability to maintain a regular power flow.

 

Tornados are also born out of extreme heat. Their intense winds are able to knock out power lines, while flying debris creates the risk of damaging the lines and transformers.

 

Overloaded Lines

 

Like the transformers, power lines can heat up during times of high demand, as well as expand and sag. This might cause the lines to droop into nearby tree branches, thus causing them to tangle and short circuit. This then shuts off power to that entire power line.

 

Animals

 

This one may be less expected, but animals are actually a huge cause of power outages. From squirrels and other rodents to birds, animals can compromise the flow of energy by damaging the power lines or crawling inside power boxes.

 

It’s important to note that whenever power outages occur during the summer, trust that professionals are working to resolve the problem. 

 

Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home or business for Calgary electrical services or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, client trust and superb value showcase our commitment to providing our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.