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Exhaust fan

Bath fans help remove odors and moisture  and can be used in some homes to satisfy whole-house ventilation requirements. Older homes often lack bathroom exhaust fans. In the old days, if the bathroom was smelly or steamy, you were supposed to open a window to air it out.This isn’t a very logical ventilation method, especially when temperatures are below zero, or when the weather is 90°F and humid. Yet this time-honored method of bathroom ventilation is still enshrined in our building codes. According to the 2009 International Residential Code  a bathroom with an operable window does not need to have a ...

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Fall Electrical Tip

Protect your outdoor electrical systems:any outdoor electrical outlets should be GFCI outlets and covered by a “bubble cover” to keep the elements out. If your electrical service cable is exposed, make sure it’s not damaged. During the holidays, don’t hang any decorations on or near the cable.

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Ceiling Fan installation

Electrical Codes for Ceiling Fan SupportCeiling fans weigh more than most ceiling fixtures. Therefore ceiling fans must be supported properly to prevent them from falling. To properly install a ceiling fan and provide the necessary support there are two methods that must be followed: An approved fixture box designed to support the weight of the ceiling fan must be installed. The fixture box must be attached to supported structure components such as wood ceiling joists or wood blocks that are properly fastened between two ceiling joists. Approved ceiling fixture boxes that have expandable bar hanging devices can be used when installed by following the ...

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When and how do I test the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)?

It is important that you follow the manufacturer's instructions with respect to the use of a GFCI.  Test permanently wired GFCIs monthly, and portable devices before each use. Press the "test" and "reset" buttons. Plug a "night light" or lamp into the GFCI-protected wall outlet (the light should turn on), then press the "TEST" button on the GFCI. If the GFCI is working properly, the light should go out. If not, have the GFCI repaired or replaced. Press the "RESET" button on the GFCI to restore power.If the "RESET" button pops out but the "night light" or lamp does not ...

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What is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)?

A Class A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) works by detecting any loss of electrical current in a circuit (e.g., it will trip at a maximum of 6mA). When a loss is detected, the GFCI turns the electricity off before severe injuries or electrocution can occur. A painful non-fatal shock may occur during the time that it takes for the GFCI to cut off the electricity so it is important to use the GFCI as an extra protective measure rather than a replacement for safe work practices.GFCI wall outlets can be installed in place of standard outlets to protect against ...

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What are some tips for working with power cords?

Keep power cords clear of tools during use. Suspend extension cords temporarily during use over aisles or work areas to eliminate stumbling or tripping hazards. Replace open front plugs with dead front plugs. Dead front plugs are sealed and present less danger of shock or short circuit. Do not use light duty extension cords in a non-residential situation. Do not carry or lift up electrical equipment by the power cord. Do not tie cords in tight knots. Knots can cause short circuits and shocks. Loop the cords or use a twist lock plug.

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What are some general safety tips for working with or near electricity?

Inspect portable cord-and-plug connected equipment, extension cords, power bars, and electrical fittings for damage or wear before each use. Repair or replace damaged equipment immediately. Always tape extension cords to walls or floors when necessary. Nails and staples can damage extension cords causing fire and shock hazards. Use extension cords or equipment that is rated for the level of amperage or wattage that you are using. Always use the correct size fuse. Replacing a fuse with one of a larger size can cause excessive currents in the wiring and possibly start a fire. Be aware that unusually warm or ...

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What kinds of injuries result from electrical currents?

Do not work close to power lines. Recommended distances vary by jurisdiction and/or utility companies. Check with both your jurisdiction and electrical utility company when working, driving, parking, or storing materials closer than 15 m (49 feet) to overhead power lines.If you must be close to power lines, you must first call your electrical utility company and they will assist you. If your vehicle comes into contact with a power line:DO NOT get out of your vehicle. Call 911 and your local utility service for help. Wait for the electrical utility to come and they will tell you ...

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What do I need to know about electricity?

All electrical systems have the potential to cause harm. Electricity can be either "static" or "dynamic." Dynamic electricity is the uniform motion of electrons through a conductor (this is known as electric current). Conductors are materials that allow the movement of electricity through it. Most metals are conductors. The human body is also a conductor. This document is about dynamic electricity.Note: Static electricity is accumulation of charge on surfaces as a result of contact and friction with another surface. This contact/friction causes an accumulation of electrons on one surface, and a deficiency of electrons on the other surface. The OSH ...

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Why is it so important to work safely with or near electricity?

The voltage of the electricity and the available electrical current in regular businesses and homes has enough power to cause death by electrocution. Even changing a light bulb without unplugging the lamp can be hazardous because coming in contact with the "hot", "energized" or "live" part of the socket could kill a person.