Installed knob and tube wiring in a home

What to Know About Knob and Tube Wiring

How to Spot and Replace Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring was an electrical wiring method used by electricians from the late 1800s to the mid-1990s. It was considered to be revolutionary for home electricity at the time. However, as time has passed and technology has advanced Knob and tube wiring is no longer used or supported for current-day technology. Its lack of compatibility with current technology and home appliances can lead to numerous problems in your home.

How to Spot Knob and Tube Wiring

If you are currently unsure if you have knob and tube wiring in your home it’s not too late to check. The best areas for spotting knob and tube wiring are within your basement or attic. Simply look around the joists for small ceramic tubes and knobs. If you spot the wiring, you should begin to think about how to replace it. If you do not spot any wiring in these areas that does not mean you are completely free of knob and tube wiring. Sometimes knob and tube wiring can be behind walls from previous homeowners trying to cover up the problem rather than resolving it. The only way to truly tell is by creating a hole in the wall to view the wiring in your home. While this may seem like a tedious task it can help you save thousands in the future by helping you avoid a major incident.

Potential Knob and Tube Wiring Hazards

Going out of your way to spot knob and tube wiring can feel unnecessary or like an overreaction. However, this is not the case knob and tube wiring can present a number of possible hazards for your home. The biggest hazard is the risk of a fire in your home due to wear and tear over time or too large electrical loads from modern appliances. Another common risk associated with knob and tube wiring is the lack of electrical ground. Not having a ground wire can lead to your devices and yourself being severely damaged. Whilst knob and tube wiring isn’t necessarily illegal it definitely has its cons that make it worth avoiding.

Knob and Tube Wiring Effects on Home Value

Knob and tube wiring is obsolete and carries many risks. Therefore, most insurance companies do not insure or renew homes that have knob and tube wiring. Nor, do they make it easy for you to finance a home with knob and tube wiring. Overall it becomes a financial headache that you may have to deal with for quite some time. Knob and tube wiring can potentially lower the overall value of your home as well. Since the cost of rewiring a home is very expensive you would need to deduct the additional cost from your selling price. Since many people stay away from knob and tube wiring it’s important to be transparent with any interested buyers. If you’re thinking of selling your home that contains knob and tube wiring just be prepared for a longer selling period.

How to Replace Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring replacement throughout a home is not an easy job. An ordinary electrician may find many complications and can do more harm than good if not experienced. That’s why it’s important to choose a trusted electrician for the job. Someone like Brunelli Electrician who has been in business for decades has the experience your home needs. With great prices and customer service, it’s no wonder why our customers keep coming back. If you want to replace knob and tube wiring in your home make sure to call Brunelli Electrician today!

short circuit

What Is Considered An Electrical Emergency?

There’s never a good time for an electrical issue to arise, so it’s a good idea to be prepared in the event that one comes up at an inopportune time. One of the easiest ways to do this is to know ahead of time what constitutes an electrical emergency and what can wait until a better time to address it.

It is also important to keep in mind that most electrical work requires a level of expertise and can pose a serious risk to anyone who tries to tamper with it. Not only that, but certain electrical issues can put your home and loved ones at risk if left unaddressed, so it’s good to know when to call in a professional for an emergency.

1. An unexplained power outage

Most power outages have a relatively simple explanation. Whether it’s inclement weather, infrastructural work, or an accident that has knocked out power to an area, your utility company should be able to explain why your power is out. 

However, if your home has lost power, the utility company can’t explain it, and the problem is isolated to just your home, you can consider this an electrical emergency.

2. You find a burnt outlet

If you see brown or black marks surrounding an outlet, this is a clear sign that it has been overloaded. When an outlet is overworked, it heats up and can reach a point where it actually begins to burn. An overloaded outlet should be addressed right away, so be sure to call an electrician about the issue immediately, no matter the hour. 

3. A new noise coming from your circuit breaker

If you notice that your circuit breaker is suddenly making a noise that you’ve never heard before, this could be indicative of a larger issue. The biggest risk in this situation is that your breaker isn’t tripping properly. 

It can be frustrating when a circuit breaker trips, but when this happens it’s actually a good thing. Circuit breakers trip when they sense something is wrong, so the tripping mechanism works to prevent further harm.

If the breaker isn’t tripping, it can leave your home vulnerable to electrical damage. There’s no doubt this is an electrical emergency, so don’t hesitate to contact a professional if this is happening in your home.

4. An electrical issue that can’t be fixed with simple troubleshooting

Sometimes fixing something electrical is as simple as unplugging it and plugging it back in again, wiggling a cord, or ensuring everything is plugged in where it’s supposed to be. But if these easy steps don’t do the trick, you may be dealing with an issue that requires professional help.

If an outlet, appliance, or light fixture isn’t functioning as it should and it’s putting off an unusual noise or smell, it should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. 

Leave it to the professionals at Phillip M. Brunelli Electric

There’s a reason electricians go through intensive schooling, apprenticeships, and additional training. Electrical work can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and it’s easy to make a situation go from bad to worse if you try tinkering with the problem in an attempt to fix it. 

Our team at Brunelli offers 24/7 support for any electrical emergencies you may experience. If you are in the midst of an electrical emergency do not wait! Contact our team today.

How Often Do I Need an Electrical Inspection?

As a homeowner, there are a lot of intangibles that often get overlooked. More so than not, utility maintenance tasks are a number of the issues that pop up with the day to day upkeep of a home. No more than electrical issues, seeing as so many do not understand the workings and layout of electrical systems. For that reason, it is one major aspect of home maintenance you’ll want to do regularly. How often? That requires a bit of knowledge about electrical inspection and repair. For starters, there are a few things to note about electrical safety.

Electrical Safety

There’s a reason specific schools and programs solely focus on electrical work. For one, it is incredibly intricate, with numerous scientific and engineering elements to it. To lay an electrical network in a home, it takes quite a bit of time because each every small part is connected to one another. When one thing goes wrong, everything could come grinding to a halt. Likewise, if one thing is outdated or worn, its danger is spread to all of its connected parts. For that reason, electrical safety is of the utmost importance. Many home fires that occur are electrical related. This makes staying on top of electrical maintenance incredibly important.

On this note, there are a number of homeowners that will argue that you can check things out yourself. Sure, switching a pilot’s light is relatively easy and quick, but major electrical problems are best left up to the professionals. There are a ton of issues that come from mismanagement of the electrical circuit of your home, and even if you follow along with a YouTube video or online tutorial, there are too many intangibles that amateurs do not know about. For that reason, regular maintenance is crucial.

How Often Should I Inspect My Electrical System?

As listed above, doing any sort of your electrical inspection is going to be flawed from the get-go. In order to properly, safely inspect your electrical system, it should be done often and by a professional. On average, homeowners are nearly always behind on regular electrical inspection. For that reason, professionals recommend a checkup at the beginning of the summer and winter. These seasons are both times of extreme weather and conditions, as well as different electrical needs. Checking with Phillip M Brunelli Jr. Mater Electrician and his team twice a year on the condition of your electrical system ensure your home’s safety, as well as everyone living in it.

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarm Systems

Nowadays it’s pretty commonplace to have fire alarm systems in most homes. Even pre-war homes and apartments have been retrofitted over time due to fire codes and various building safety ordinance and regulations. Most of the time our fire alarm systems are simply an afterthought – how often do you think about it without those annoying ‘beeps’ to let you know the batteries need changing? It is exactly because of that very reason that we have listed out some good reasons to install or have your system regularly checked on.


Safety Is Important, Especially When You Least Expect It


It’s easy to sit around and be comfortable with the fact that you have a fire alarm system. After all, what can go wrong as long as you have a fire alarm? A lot, in fact. When a fire will start is anyone’s guess. What’s not entirely left to chance is whether or not you decide to put your fire alarm system through a variety of checks and tests. At least once a month, you should be checking your fire alarm system to make sure the batteries and sound systems operate properly. You never know when a circuit will short and a small house fire might develop.


Hard-Wire Systems Are Still Vulnerable And Need Back-Up


Making sure your hard-wired systems are not faulty or susceptible to shorting out is an important task. Unless you have a lot of experience working with electrical wiring (and even if you do) it is often best to leave these tasks to an electrician. For the same reason that you trust an IT expert even if you know a thing or two about a computer, it is best to leave the most important (and dangerous) check-ups to the professionals.


Fire Alarms Can Reduce Your Insurance


A good, reliable fire alarm system can reduce your insurance costs as well as ensuring payout of your policy in case there is a fire. Insurance companies are often relieved to see a pro-active homeowner. Talk to the electrician performing your installation for more information about other insurance cost-cutting safety options such as regular maintenance scheduling, etc.


All in all we can understand that fire alarm systems are helpful, however, too many of us write them off as unnecessary – after all, when was the last time you had a fire?  Just like in a casino, however, you shouldn’t gamble based on what has already happened – especially not with your life. Your best bet is to speak with a professional and to have your household electrician regularly perform check-ups on all your systems after installation. This way, you’ll sleep more safely at night knowing your house – and all your memories inside – are covered with protection and insurance. 

Why wait? Contact Phillip Brunelli and his team of electricians operating all over Eastern Massachusetts! Call (508)-400-5571 or request a free quote online!

Smoke Detectors: What You Need to Know

According to National Fire Protection Association, there are two basic kinds of smoke detectors, commonly found in Massachusetts homes.

The first type is ionization smoke detector, which is primarily designed to identify flame fires. Its principle of work is based on a tiny amount of fire-sensitive radioactive material, trapped between two electrically charged plates inside the device. When this compound detects fire, the ions of the substance are reduced, which triggers the alarm sound to go off.

Another common type of alarm is a photoelectric smoke detector, and it works better with smoldering fires. There are interfering light and a sensor installed inside a detector. As the smoke enters the device, it disrupts the communication of light to a sensor, which sets alarm into action.

It’s highly recommended to have both ionization and photoelectric alarms installed in your home, as one can never predict the nature of a potential fire. NFPA recommends having several fire alarms on each floor of your house, especially in the bedrooms and outside each sleeping area. For the kitchens, we recommend ionization detectors to minimize the risk of alarm sound while cooking. Make sure to test your alarms monthly and change batteries twice a year.

According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), it is recommended that smoke detectors be replaced every ten years. Philip Brunelli recommends you remove the alarm and check the date of its manufacture. If it’s been over 10 years since the date on the back, contact online or call us at 508-400-5571 for an urgent replacement of your smoke detectors!

electrician working with wires

How to Avoid the Most Common Electrical Code Violations

You depend heavily on electricity throughout the day, but is your home’s electricity safe? Electrical code violations can put your home and family in danger. Make sure you avoid these common electrical code violations and keep your family safe by hiring a reputable electrician to make repairs.


Knob & Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring is considered very dangerous in today’s day-and-age. The wires aren’t grounded, so the circuits support a lower amperage than what is needed today. The wires used in this type of wiring, feature insulation that disintegrates over time. Many insurance companies won’t insure buildings with knob and tube wiring.

When to Hire an Electrician to Avoid This Code Violation: If your home was built before 1950 and the wiring has never been updated.


Old Wiring

A very common wiring mistake is running new light fixtures with old wiring. New fixtures often run at a hotter temperature, overloading wires if they’re older.

When to Hire an Electrician to Avoid This Code Violation: If your home has wiring from before 1987.


Overcrowded Wires

Overcrowding wires is when four or five wires are shoved through a ⅞ inch hole in the wall. This can be extremely dangerous as it leads to damaged wires. When the wires rub against each other, the insulation can be torn off of them, leaving them exposed and a fire hazard.

When to Hire an Electrician to Avoid This Code Violation: If your home has more than three wires running through the same ⅞ inch hole in the wall.


Illegal Splices

One of the worst code violations is a splice. This is a connection between two or more wires and is extremely dangerous if not contained inside a junction box.

When to Hire an Electrician to Avoid This Code Violation: If you have any wire splices in your home that are not through a junction box.


Need an electrician to fix these problems in your home? Call Philip M. Brunelli Jr. Electrician today! 508-400-5571