Got Questions? We've got Answers

What is the cost of upgrading an electrical panel board
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The cost of upgrading an electrical service up to 200Amp is between $2500-$5000 CDN. Factors that can make an installation more expensive are location and barriers that can obstruct an easy installation.

Do I need to upgrade my electrical panel
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The amount of electrical power that you use during the day may surprise you. Calculating the maximum power is more complicated than just adding up the breakers in the panel. There are certain electrical loads that only run for an hour a day and others that run more often. Electrical appliances that can be calculated at 100% are heating loads such as hot tub, baseboard heaters and electrical range. Heaters and Air conditioning units should not be calculated together because it is highly unlikely you will be using them at the same time.

What causes electrical fires.
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Electrical fires can be caused Do-it-yourself handyman with the lack of electrical training to make it safe. Electrical fires can also be caused by improper or insufficient maintenance on aluminum wiring. The biggest cause of electrical fires is loose connections.

Does my house have aluminum wiring.
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An easy way to check if you have aluminum wiring in your house is to have an electrician do an inspection on your electrical panel. All wiring stems from the buildings electrical panel.

Why is aluminum wiring unsafe
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Aluminum wiring is only unsafe if not maintained properly. Due to aluminums characteristics it is more suseptable to expanding and contracting from temperature changes. This causes the connections to become loose over time and creates electrical arcing like a welder.

Why does my home insurance want to know if I have aluminum wiring
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There have been many house fires caused by insufficient maintenance on aluminum wiring. If wiring connections are not tightened every few years they can become loose due to expansion and contraction. Loose aluminum wiring connections start to arc like a welder. Insurance companies usually charge 20-30% more for homes with aluminum wiring.

What is the cost of wiring a house
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A Rancher style home between 1000-1500sqft would cost approximately $8 000 -$12 000 CDN for minimum electrical code rules. Approximately $3500-$5000 per 1000 sqft in addition for larger homes

Is it unsafe to have aluminum wiring
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It is not unsafe to have aluminum wiring as long as proper maintenance is done to prevent arcing and corrosion. An experienced electrical contractor should be hired to inspect and make any adjustments to aged aluminum wiring.

What does it cost to replace aluminum wiring
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It would cost between $10 000-$12000CDN to replace the wiring in 1000-1500sqft house. It may cost more than wiring an entire home from the beginning because the electrician would have to pull out all old wiring and replace it with new copper wires.

Do I need to replace aluminum wiring
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You don’t have to replace aluminum wiring. If properly treated by an experienced licensed electrical contractor the aluminum wiring is safe. With proper sizing and treatment aluminum wiring is still used in electrical installations today. There is a minimum safe size of aluminum wiring electricians are allowed to install for branch circuits.

How to fix aluminum wiring
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Always hire an experienced electrical contractor to work on aluminum wiring.

What are the best smart home systems
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The best smart home systems are not just the ones with heavy advertising. As a pro smart home installer we get a lot of customer feed back from many brands that they are unhappy with. A well built smart home system needs to be reliable, easy to use software for all devices, compatible with all brands and great customer support. We like to work with and promote great brands Lutron and Nest products.

What can smart homes do?
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Smart homes can accomplish a lot of great features for a home or business. Here is a quick list of devices that can be controlled: Ceiling fan control, automated shades, lighting, plugs, christmas lights, yard irrigation, landscape lighting, sound systems, television, door locks, cameras, fireplaces, garage doors. Smart home systems can also preform automated features such as schedules, random schedules, lighting scenes, lighting delay, lighting fade rate, Artificial intelligence, voice control, geo fencing, smart phone app control, notifications and indicators.

How much does a smart home system cost?
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Smart systems cost depends on the amount of devices you want to be automated. An entry level smart device is between $50- $85 CDN for a better quality and functionality devices can range in the $150-$250CDN per device. Quality systems usually require a hub or a starter package to start. Then there would be an installation and programming cost from the installer.

What are the benefits of a smart home?
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The benefits of a smart home system are: Controlling multiple shades, plugs and lighting switches with one button. Scheduling exterior/ holiday lights, Voice control, energy savings, status of lights (on or off), control from anywhere, making scenes and geo-fencing. Customers love being able to turn their lights on when they are on their way home so they don’t come home to an unlit home.

What is a data network?
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Multiple computers connected to each other is a data network. An office building with cubicles and computers connected with cat5 or cat 6 structured cabling is a local network.

What do electricians do?
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Electricians learn about how electricity works and how to make it safe from the general public. During the electrical apprenticeship, apprentices learn how to install, maintain and troubleshoot electrical circuits. Experienced electricians also learn about other building systems during their career such as data networking cabling and emergency systems.

How much does it cost to hire an electrician?
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In the BC Okanagan Electricians must be insured, licenced and bonded before they can do any work on someones home or business. This protects the consumer from any damages such as fires and life threatening electrical shock. An electrician makes between $25-$35 per hour but to hire one that is legally allowed to work on a privately owned building would cost $60-$100 per hour. Electrical Contractors usually have a minimum call out rate of 2 hours. The reason for a minimum call out rate is because of travel times and supplies. An electrician may only be at your place for 20-30 min but he probably drove across town and had to visit the suppliers for the materials to get the job done.
Electrical Contractors usually charge between $75-95 per hour. The reason it seems high is because electrical work is a regulated industry. Electrical Contractors must have a $10 000CDN Bond, liability insurance, contractor licence and permit before they can make any changes to electrical in a clients home. A certified electrician is not legally allowed to work on a clients home without liability insurance. If they did something wrong and the house burned down or someone was seriously electrocuted the insurance company would not cover the claim. The electrician without insurance could be personally sued for damages.

Who installs smart home systems in Kelowna?
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Pfitztech Electrical & Data has the electrical background in lighting, controls and training to install Lutron and Nest/Google products.