Can An Electrician Install EV Chargers?

Can An Electrician Install EV Chargers?

  • Electrical

As the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to soar, the demand for convenient and accessible charging solutions has skyrocketed. One common question that arises is can an electrician install EV chargers. In this article, we will delve into the topic of EV charger installation and the pivotal role electricians play in this process. Discover if electricians can install EV chargers and explore McHales’ exceptional EV charger installation services.

Signs You Need an EV Charging Station

Before we discuss the installation process, let’s explore the signs that indicate you might benefit from an EV charging station. Some key indicators include:

  1. Increasing EV usage: If you own an electric vehicle or plan to purchase one soon, having a dedicated charging station at your residence can enhance your overall driving experience.
  2. Limited public charging infrastructure: If you frequently struggle to find available charging stations in your area, installing an EV charging station at home can provide convenient and reliable charging options.
  3. Cost savings: Charging your EV at home can be more cost-effective than relying solely on public charging stations, as electricity rates are typically lower.

What Does EV Charger Installation Involve?

EV charger installation requires several steps to ensure optimal performance and safety. These steps typically include:

Site assessment:

A McHales’s licensed electrician assesses your property for the ideal EV charging station location, considering infrastructure, accessibility, and proximity.

Electrical panel upgrade (if necessary) 

Depending on your existing electrical system, a McHales’ licensed electrician may need to upgrade your electrical panel to handle the additional load required by the EV charger.

Wiring and conduit installation

Proper wiring and conduit installation are essential for delivering electricity to the charging station securely. This involves running a conduit from the electrical panel to the charging station location and wiring it accordingly.

Mounting and connecting the charging station

A licensed electrician from McHales will mount the charging station on a wall or a dedicated post, ensuring it is securely fastened. They will then make the necessary electrical connections, including wiring it to the electrical panel and configuring the charging settings.

Can Electricians Install EV Chargers?

Yes, McHales’ licensed electricians are qualified and experienced professionals who can install EV chargers. They possess the necessary electrical expertise and knowledge of local electrical codes to ensure a safe and compliant installation. By entrusting a licensed electrician from McHales with your EV charger installation, you can have peace of mind knowing that the process will be conducted efficiently and safely.

Why Choose an Electrician to Install EV Chargers

When it comes to installing EV chargers, choosing a licensed electrician from McHales offers several advantages:

  1. Expertise and experience: McHales’ licensed electricians undergo extensive training and certification programs to develop a deep understanding of electrical systems. They are well-versed in the intricate details of EV charger installation, ensuring a high-quality and reliable setup.
  2. Compliance with electrical codes: McHales’s licensed electricians are knowledgeable about local electrical codes and regulations. By hiring a professional, you can rest assured that your EV charger installation will meet all necessary safety standards and comply with legal requirements.
  3. Efficient installation: With their specialized tools and expertise, McHales’ licensed electricians can complete the installation process quickly and efficiently. This minimizes disruption and ensures that you can start using your EV charging station without delay.

Benefits of Choosing McHales’ Licensed Electricians for Installation

Opting for a licensed electrician from McHales to install your EV charger offers several benefits, including:

  1. Safety assurance: Mchales’s licensed electricians prioritize safety during installation, minimizing the risk of electrical faults and potential hazards.
  2. Technical expertise: McHales’ licensed electricians possess the knowledge and skills required to troubleshoot and resolve any technical issues that may arise during the installation process.
  3. Warranty and support: Many electricians provide warranty coverage for their installation services, offering peace of mind and support in case any issues arise post-installation.
  4. Comprehensive solutions: McHales’ licensed electricians can assess your electrical infrastructure as a whole and offer recommendations for upgrades or improvements that may enhance the performance and efficiency of your EV charging station.

Can Electricians Install EV Chargers? The Answer is Yes!

In conclusion, when it comes to installing EV chargers, McHales’ licensed electricians are the experts you can rely on. And when it comes to exceptional EV charger installation services, McHales is your trusted partner. With their expertise, extensive knowledge of electrical systems, and unwavering commitment to safety, McHales offers a seamless and efficient installation process for your EV charging needs. By choosing McHales, you can enjoy the convenience and reliability of charging your electric vehicle at home or your place of business. Don’t hesitate to consult with McHales’ licensed electricians to explore their top-notch EV installation services and experience the numerous benefits of having your own EV charging station.

Remember, when it comes to EV charger installation, trust the expertise and reliability of McHales, your premier partner in delivering exceptional electrical solutions.

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200 Amp Electrical Panel Upgrade: 3 Reasons To Get One In 2023

200 Amp Electrical Panel Upgrade: 3 Reasons To Get One In 2023

  • Electrical
200 amp electrical service panel upgrade

As a homeowner, it is important to stay on top of the latest advancements in technology and safety when it comes to your home’s electrical system. One of the most important updates you can make in 2023 is a 200 amp electrical panel upgrade. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of upgrading to a 200 amp panel and why it is essential for your home’s electrical system.

Increased Safety and Reliability

One of the main reasons to upgrade to a 200 amp panel is the increased safety and reliability it provides. A 200 amp panel is able to handle a larger electrical load, which means it can safely power more appliances and devices in your home. This is especially important if you have a larger home or plan to add more electrical devices in the future.

A 200 amp panel also provides increased reliability by reducing the risk of power outages and electrical fires. The larger load capacity of a 200 amp panel means it is less likely to overload and cause a power outage or fire.

Future-Proofing Your Home

Another important reason to upgrade to a 200 amp panel is that it future-proofs your home. As technology continues to advance, more and more devices and appliances will require more power to operate. By upgrading to a 200 amp panel, you are ensuring that your home will be able to handle the increased power demands in the future.

Cost Savings

Upgrading to a 200 amp panel may seem like a costly endeavor, but it can actually save you money in the long run. A 200 amp panel is more energy efficient and can help reduce your energy bills. Additionally, upgrading to a 200 amp panel can also increase the value of your home, which is beneficial if you plan to sell in the future.


A 200 amp electrical panel upgrade in 2023 is a smart move for any homeowner. The increased safety and reliability, future-proofing, and cost savings make it a worthwhile investment. It is important to hire a licensed and experienced electrician to handle the upgrade, to ensure that it is done safely and correctly.

By having a 200 amp electrical panel upgrade done, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home’s electrical system is up-to-date, safe and reliable, and ready for the future. Call McHales today to schedule your upgrade to a 200 amp electrical panel, and don’t forget to check out our Google reviews!

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7 Christmas Light Safety Considerations

7 Christmas Light Safety Considerations

  • Electrical
christmas light safety considerations mchales

With Thanksgiving over and more holidays around the corner, you may feel that it’s finally appropriate to start hanging decorations. For those who celebrate Christmas, that means lights around the tree, outdoors, and more. These lights can draw a significant amount of energy and pose a safety hazard if not properly installed. Here are some Christmas light safety considerations to keep in mind while hanging your decorations this year.

Christmas Light Safety Considerations

1. Never leave the lights on without supervision

The number one rule to keep in mind before installing Christmas lights is to never leave them on without supervision. You should never leave them on if you have to leave your home, or while you are sleeping. While you may be home while sleeping, it’s easy for an issue to go unnoticed, causing a much larger and more dangerous problem. 

2. Application matters (indoor/outdoor)

Don’t overlook this crucial safety consideration when buying lights for your home. While indoor lights may be less expensive, they are NOT made for outdoor use. Outdoor Christmas lights are sealed and protected from the elements. Indoor lights are not built with the elements in mind, so avoid installing them outside. 

3. Consider their environment

When hanging Christmas lights, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you need to consider their environment. If you are hanging Christmas lights on a metal tree, any imperfections in your lights could pose a very dangerous scenario. Christmas trees are the number one source of house fires during the holiday season. And this isn’t solely due to metal trees. Keeping a live tree watered and maintained can reduce your risk of fire. When the tree dries out, its risk of catching fire increases dramatically. Considering the heat that some lights generate, keeping your tree well-watered is crucial.

4. Type of bulb matters (& age)

When you’re buying your Christmas lights, consider choosing LEDs over incandescent lights. Going back to heat, LEDs produce much less heat than incandescent lights. This will reduce the risk of setting your live tree on fire. Older incandescent lights tend to have fewer fail-safe features built in, such as fuses. Fuses will prevent further damage in the event of a surge or short. Additionally, since incandescents draw more power, never string them to LEDs.

5. Properly secure your lights

Securing your lights goes along with choosing the appropriate environment for them. If your lights were to fall, would they come into contact with anything that could be dangerous? Properly securing your lights to your roof, tree, or whatever fixture they may be tied to is critical in preventing hazards. Even if they won’t hit anything that could be an issue, the wires or bulbs can break leaving an open, live circuit. That itself can cause a host of issues. Something to keep in mind is to NEVER use staples, nails, or any construction hardware to secure your lights. Fasten the appropriate hangers to string your Christmas lights for safe and secure application.

6. Don’t plug too many into one outlet

Christmas lights are convenient in that they typically allow owners to stack cords into one outlet. Seems great, right? Well, to an extent. Your outlets are designed to manage a certain amount of current. When that current exceeds the rating of the outlet, you are creating an unsafe situation. How many you can safely plug into your outlet depends on the draw of the lights.

7. Use caution with extension cords

Extension cords used for extended periods of time should be avoided. Sometimes, for temporary applications such as Christmas lights, it makes sense to use them. You should keep in mind where they are run to avoid issues. If the extension cord will be around water or snow, especially at a low point, they are vulnerable to moisture. It should go without saying that water and electricity do not mix, so this should be avoided at all costs for proper Christmas light safety.

If you need your home electrical system inspected before you run your Christmas lights this year, feel free to schedule an inspection with us here at McHales! If you don’t already know how great we are, check out our wonderful reviews!

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10 Solutions to Fixing Air Leaks

10 Solutions to Fixing Air Leaks

  • Electrical
  • Remodeling
air leaks

You wouldn’t run the heat in the house with the windows open in the winter, would you? Of course not! Unfortunately, when you have multiple air leaks in the house, this is the exact effect happening within your home. The warm, expensive indoor air is permitted to escape the house, while chilly, winter outdoor air is allowed into the home. These air leaks can be found in many areas of the home. The attic, windows, doors, and basement are prime places for the average homeowner to lose warm air to the outdoors.

If the weather in your area is beginning to get a little chilly, you may want to begin some yearly maintenance tasks to keep the cold air out of your home. If the warm air leaks outdoors, your heating unit will have to work overtime to try to keep the house comfortable. This means more wear and tear on your unit, and possibly costly repairs in the future. Additionally, you will feel chillier in the house and your heating bills will skyrocket if too much cold air is able to penetrate your home. Most of the following ten repairs are fairly inexpensive and simple to do, requiring little more than a screwdriver, a few easily found items, and a sharp pair of eyes. If you can’t afford the big tasks, like new windows or a complete insulation replacement in the attic, do what you can in other areas of the house. Tackle a few of these jobs each weekend, and you’ll be surprised at how much cozier your home is this winter.

1. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.

You know what it’s like to stand in front of the door with cold air blowing on your toes from the crack under the door. Seal those door jambs and thresholds with weatherstripping. Also, pass your hand around the window frames and door frames. If you feel cool air, caulk the cracks to keep out the air

2. Install foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on the wall.

This is super easy to do, but it does take a little bit of time.  For just a few dollars, you can buy a large packet of foam gaskets to insulate behind your light switches and electrical outlets. Simply remove the center screw that holds in the faceplate, place the foam gasket in place, and replace the faceplate and screw. 

3. Install foam sealants on larger gaps on windows.

If you have larger cracks and gaps in the framing around your windows and doors, you may be better off using expanding foam to seal them up. Use this stuff carefully and always wear gloves while applying it.

4. Inspect insulation for mold and leaks.

When checking out the neglected corners of your house for air leaks, pay attention to the status of your insulation. If you have moldy insulation, you should replace it. Mold can make people very sick, and it’s an indication of dampness that can lead to rotten wood. Make sure there are no gaps or leaks in your insulation .

5. Cover or replace single-pane windows. If you seek replacement, install efficient double-pane windows instead.

While it can be expensive to replace the windows in your home, installing efficient double paned windows can save you big money over the years and keep your home more comfortable. The air space between double paned windows serves as insulation to allow light in, but keep cold air outside. If you can’t afford new windows at this time, using a window insulation kit or heavy insulated drapes can help keep winter drafts at bay.

6. Cover the kitchen exhaust fan when you are not using it.

The kitchen exhaust is like a huge chimney and can vent your indoor air if you don’t pay attention to it. You can cover this opening with a dishtowel using Velcro type attachments. However, it is very important to not forget to remove it before you turn on the fan. Also, don’t make the mistake of shoving an old rag in the opening. If someone doesn’t know about it or forgets to remove it before turning on the fan, the rag can be sucked up into the exhaust fan, completely ruining the appliance.

7. Seal air leaks around furnaces, chimneys, or water heater vents with fire resistant materials.

Be sure that when you insulate and seal around potential fire hazards that you use fire retardant materials. Places like chimneys, furnaces, and hot water heater vents can get very hot. Flammable materials could ignite in these places.

8. Check your dryer vent for any blockage.

While you’re checking around the dryer vent, you may want to make a quick inspection of the dryer vent. If the dryer vent is blocked this is a fire risk.. Also, your dryer will be very inefficient without maximum airflow.

9. Check attics, basements, and crawl spaces for air leaks before the winter begins.

Look around in the frequently overlooked areas of the home for cold air leaks. Attics, basements, and crawl spaces can be places where cool air can enter the home. Close the vents to crawl spaces to keep cool air out. Shine a flashlight in dim corners to ensure that rodents or other critters haven’t chewed holes in unexpected places. Seal up cracks with putty or caulk, and make sure the insulation in the attic hasn’t been disturbed.

10. Seal air leaks around any plumbing or electrical fixtures coming from the walls, floor, and ceiling. 

Any time an electrical or plumbing fixture enters the house, there’s a chance that the opening through the wall isn’t sealed well. Double check these areas, and use foam insulation or caulk to close up holes where cold air can invade. Look behind toilets, under sinks, where the refrigerator water line enters the house, and where the dryer vent exhausts to the outdoors.

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What to Look for During a Home Plumbing Inspection

What to Look for During a Home Plumbing Inspection

  • Electrical
  • Remodeling
home plumbing inspection

Your plumbing is something you tend to take for granted – until something goes wrong. When that happens, you realize just how dependent you are upon properly performing plumbing. It is more than a little inconvenient when your toilet won’t flush or you turn on your faucet and only a trickle comes out, but your basement is flooded because a pipe rusted through. Emergencies such as these can be avoided for the most part if you spend time conducting regular plumbing inspections. Just as a car only performs well with regular maintenance, so it is with your plumbing. Neglecting your plumbing can lead to some serious complications over time, complications that can cost you a great deal of money.

The Effects of Neglect

Other than a non-working toilet and flooded basement, neglecting to have regular plumbing check-ups can see you:

  • Frequent drain clogs
  • Reduced lifespan of plumbing fixtures
  • No hot water
  • Frequent pipe leaks
  • Higher costs on utility bills
  • Higher risk of frozen or burst pipes
  • Greater in-home discomfort

Benefits of Regular Maintenance

On the other hand, if you take a few minutes on a regular basis to go through and check on the health of your plumbing, you will realize a great many benefits, including:

  • Improved plumbing fixture lifespan
  • Lower costs on utility bills
  • Reduced risk of water damage
  • Greater convenience around the house
  • Hot water 24/7 for showering, laundry, dishwashing, etc.
  • Improved water quality
  • Better peace of mind

What to Look For

Now that you know the importance of regular plumbing inspections, you probably want to know exactly what you need to check, and if you will know when something needs to be fixed. A general inspection is easy to do and we will tell you what needs checking and what you are looking for. As for repairs, it is best to leave most plumbing repairs to professionals as one wrong move can end up creating a lot of damage. Taking the time to perform an inspection, however, is something that you will become proficient at over a short period of time.  Include the following in your inspection:

  1. Check water heaters for any leaks – Look for signs of damp concrete or puddles beneath the tank.
  2. Testing shut-off and pressure relief valve on water heaters – Turn this off and then on and make sure it is operating as it should. Operation should be smooth and without sound and reaction should be immediate.
  3. Check electrical or gas valve connections on water heaters – A short in the electrical unit or a leak in the gas valve connections can not only cost money but also create a fire risk.
  4. Inspect plumbing fixtures leaks or damages – check for drips on the floor, signs of leaking in walls and any moisture on pipes. All of these can indicate there is a leak somewhere. Small drips become major leaks if not repaired.
  5. Be alert of any slow drainage from fixtures – This indicates there is a clog somewhere in the system. Water should flow freely and quickly.
  6. Check faucets for leaks. – Washers wear out and seals get broken. The little drip that may appear barely noticeable can add up to hundreds of dollars in wasted water over time. 
  7. Test flushing on toilets for leaks. – Your toilet should only run long enough for the tank to refill when you flush the toilet. If your toilet runs continuously or seems to run at odd times between use, it can mean the seal inside needs replaced.
  8. Check or install water softening systems – Hard water not only leaves stains but it also causes build-up within your pipes that will slowly rust them from the inside out. Installing a water softening system takes care of both problems.
  9. Check or install water filtration  – Chemicals added to water to clean it can cause problems with build-up within pipes. A water filtration system will help eliminate the worst of the damage in the areas around the spigot and in such appliances as dishwashers and washing machines.
  10. Ensure piping is insulated and leak free – A frozen pipe can burst as it warms back up. The constant expanding/contracting of repeated freezing/thawing weakens the pipe, and all the pipes connected to it. Install special pipe insulation around all pipes and check regularly to make sure it remains free of tears and holes.

Run through this general inspection twice a year and you should be able to catch any minor problems before they become major ones. It is also recommended that once a year you have a professional come in and inspect the parts of your system you can’t. With regular maintenance, you won’t have to worry about being left high and dry at the worst possible moment.

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“Why Don’t I Have Hot Water?”

“Why Don’t I Have Hot Water?”

  • Electrical
  • Remodeling

A dreaded question that few consider the answer to until they find themselves high and dry; literally. There are a few common reasons why people find themselves without, and if you are sure you’re up to date on your bills, most of them have to do with your heater. Here are some common reasons your water heater isn’t working and some quick ways to help resolve your issue. 

No Hot Water 

If you have none whatsoever, that’s cause for some alarm. After all, your water heater’s one and only function is to provide you with hot water. Before you call up a professional, the first thing you’ll want to do is check the pilot light. You can typically locate the light at the base of the water heater. If the light is out, your next move should be to call up a professional plumber to get you back on track. 

You Don’t Have Enough Hot Water

Maybe you have some hot water but not enough to suit your needs. We’ve all taken those nice warm showers that turn into frigid nightmares because the hot water fails on you. In cases like these, there are one of two culprits, the first of which is a broken thermometer. This is a very easy fix for any water heater professional can patch up. The other possibility is that your current heater is unable to match your hot water needs. This can be because your household has grown in size, your hot water usage has increased, or the equipment’s effectiveness has been curbed in old age. In this instance, increasing your tank size may be the optimal solution to getting more hot water.

Your Heater is Leaking 

Of all the issues you could have with your heater, this is probably the worst. A leak is a sure fire sign that your water heater is on its way out and you’re due for a replacement, and heaters can be some expensive pieces of equipment. Sadly there’s not much to be done about a heater that’s so far gone that it sprung a serious leak, and you need to act quickly before the leak turns into a burst that floods your home with gallons of water. The team at McHales can walk you through the process of finding a new heater to last you for years to come. Never ask “why don’t I have hot water?” again!

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10 Warning Signs You Need Repiping Service

10 Warning Signs You Need Repiping Service

  • Electrical
  • Remodeling
repiping service

Many people neglect repiping service as a household need. However, there are warning signs to pay attention to that indicate you need repiping.  Repiping services can potentially prevent homeowners from experiencing a terrible disaster while saving them a great deal of time, money, and psychological stress in the long run. Pipes really don’t last forever, and it’s important for homeowners to recognize when their pipes are going to need to be replaced by pipe replacement:

1.  Low Water Pressure

When pipes start to fail, they immediately start taking the water pressure with them. You might notice that the water pressure in your shower isn’t as strong as it used to be, or that you are not getting much pressure from the sinks. This means that the pipes may be in the early stages of failing at that point, or they may have already progressed in that direction. 

2.  Corroded Pipes

In most cases, household pipes are hidden from view. However, some pipes are going to be visible outside of the house or in some other locations like the basement. If any of these pipes appear to be rusty, it’s a sign that some of the interior household pipes are just as rusty and in need of replacement.

3.  Murky Water

Tap water does get murky sometimes, which is why using a filter for drinking water is a good idea. However, when the water is consistently murky and the murkiness does not go away even after letting the water run for several seconds, it’s a sign that there might be something wrong with the pipes and you need to call a plumber right away.  

4.  Rusty Spots

Given that pipes run throughout a person’s house, people are sometimes going to see rust spots in odd places throughout their homes if they have old and rusting pipes that need to be replaced. This is more common in older houses.  

5.  Unexplained Cracks and Holes

Pipes run through an entire house, and failing pipes can cause cracks and holes in odd places. Overall, people should note that old and failing pipes can actually cause a lot of tremendous household damage. It’s important for people to recognize these signs and take measures to fix any cracks or holes with professional help.  

6.  Unexplained Dampness

People who are starting to get random water stains on their walls or floors might have old and leaky pipes. Unexplained household leaks are often caused by failing older pipes and not by water coming in from the outside.  

7.  Multiple Leaks

One household leak could have multiple sources. However, if people have several household leaks, and they seem to occur in areas that are heavy on the plumbing, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the internal piping system.

8.  Outdated Piping

Older piping systems do not last as long as many of the newer pipes that people have today. Of course, most people should want to get their polybutylene and especially lead pipes replaced for the sake of health reasons. One way or another,  replacing these these old piping systems will be beneficial.  

9.  Strange Noises

Sometimes, old pipes that really need to be replaced can make funny noises when water runs through them, owing to the fact that their internal flaws will make the water’s path less smooth. Pipes will usually make some noises, however really pronounced and unsettling noises should not be ignored.

10.  Advanced Household Age

The older the pipes, the more likely they are to fail. People don’t often change their pipes, and when people purchase an older home, they may well be dealing with the original pipes of the property. The older the house gets, the more advanced the damage to the pipes is going to be in almost all cases. Older houses should always be suspect in this regard. Houses that were built in 1960 or earlier are particularly susceptible.

The Benefits of Replacing Pipes

People often waste money on their water bills as a result of bad pipes, and repiping can fix that. Bad pipes can cause a lot of costly and difficult household damage that people can prevent through repiping services. Bad pipes can affect water quality, and replacing pipes can give people cleaner and healthier water.  Furthermore, replacing pipes will prevent a disaster that may require expensive water damage restoration. Today’s household pipes last longer and are more durable than older pipes, giving homeowners peace of mind knowing they are saving money and improving their health with superior water quality.

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Five Signs You Need to Replace Your Electrical Outlets

Five Signs You Need to Replace Your Electrical Outlets

  • Electrical
  • Remodeling
replace electrical outlets

A safe home is everyone’s dream haven. Ideally, your dwelling is a place where danger isn’t allowed to enter.  However, as a responsible homeowner it is imperative that you safeguard every inch of your abode to the best of your ability. If not harnessed correctly, electricity can be a foe instead of the illuminating friend we rely on. Toward that end, we’ve included a list of what to look for in terms of protecting your home and more importantly when to replace your electrical outlets for maximum safety. 

1. Home is equipped with two-prong outlets

A quick scan of your outlets will answer this question. The National Electrical Code or NEC, made grounded three-prong outlets a requirement in 1965.  NEC though not the federal law is a part of the National Fire Codes series under the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA. The aim of NEC is to ensure a standard of safe electrical practices. Grounding an outlet refers to having a direct circuit path back to the actual earth or ground for extra current. This is what makes the third prong necessary. Two pronged outlets are known as being polarized. If there is a short in the wire, or excessive current due to a faulty appliance or for any reason, the chances of an electrical fire are greater in a two pronged circuit system since the excess or misdirected current has no way to travel to a neutralizing port – the ground.

It is critical to check for two pronged outlets quickly and if any are found schedule an electrician visit immediately to have the outlets updated.   

2. Outlets have significant wear and tear

 This is a point that many people overlook or put at the bottom of their to-do list. Signs of significant wear and tear include worn outlets. If inserted cords do not fit snugly in the receptacle. If the cords slip out easily or are hanging out of the outlet, there is a chance that excess or even the proper voltage current may not have the proper channel in which to flow due to ill-fitted prongs.

Other signs of wear and tear include broken plate covers that expose the electrical outlet mechanism. Paint or other decorative substances inside the outlet pose another risk. To ensure safety, outlets that are exhausted from years of use need to be replaced as soon as possible.  

3. Electrical outlets are not tamper resistant

If you look around your home and find that the outlets are not tamper resistant then it is a good chance you need to replace them.  For over twenty years the NEC mandates require tamper resistant electrical outlets for the pediatric floors of hospital settings. Since 2008 NEC has required tamper resistant outlets on newly constructed residential dwellings.  The tamper resistant outlets are manufactured with a shutter that only allows a two pronged plug into the receptacle to properly create a circuit. If a child attempts to put a foreign object into one of the receptacles the shutter will not open allowing for proper contact to connect the flow of electricity. Since many people do not live in a new construction it is important to speak with your landlord about the outlets in your abode.   

4. Home is equipped with builder’s grade outlets

Builder’s grade or homeowner’s grade outlets are the least expensive outlets that can be purchased. It is a very good chance that if your home has been built by a contractor and you did not specifically request a higher grade outlet you have builder’s grade outlets installed in your home. If you are a renter again you should speak with your landlord regarding the outlets in use in your rented dwelling. Builder’s grade outlets are of an overall poorer quality and are designed to last for 5 to 10 years at most.

Not significantly more expensive are the better choice for residences which is commercial grade outlets. These outlets are built to last for one hundred years. Replace builder’s grade outlets with commercial grade. The third general type of outlet on the market is the hospital grade outlet. These outlets are very expensive and not typically recommended for residential use.

5. Outlets have ungrounded receptacles 

Ungrounded receptacles are receptacles which are two pronged and have no way to channel electrical current to a ground or earth source. Replacing two pronged outlets with three pronged outlets will remedy the problem and provide safe outlets for your home.  In addition to replacing the two-pronged receptacles it is necessary to have an electrician check your panel’s grounding source.

Keeping your home safe can start with a visual sweep and inspection of your electrical outlets. With a little thought and savvy you can quickly ascertain whether or not you need to replace your electrical outlets.   

Call McHale’s today and replace your electrical outlets today!

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8 Kitchen and Bathroom Lighting Upgrades

8 Kitchen and Bathroom Lighting Upgrades

  • Electrical
  • kitchen remodeling
  • Remodeling
lighting upgrades

One of the biggest concerns that you should have as a homeowner is finding the right additions to add more appeal to your residence. For most homeowners, making upgrades in both their bathroom and kitchen is important due to the amount of use these areas get. Lighting is one of the main issues that should be addressed when trying to make these areas more functional. Without proper lighting upgrades, you will experience issues like an overall decline in the room’s atmosphere or the inability to function in either rooms due to a lack of visibility. Below are some of the lighting upgrades you need to consider for your home’s bathroom and kitchen.

1. Track Lighting Upgrades

If you are looking to increase both the appeal and visibility in the bathroom or kitchen of your home, then track lighting is a great option. Track lighting is both easy to install and will provide a higher degree of illumination. The addition of track lighting will allow you to point the lamps in any direction that you want, which only increases the level of customization you can take advantage of.

2. Shelf and Cabinet Lighting

One of the most poorly lit areas in a bathroom or kitchen is around the cabinets. Trying to find spices or even towels without the proper amount of lighting can be nearly impossible. Installing under cabinet lighting is the best way to solve this problem while adding an ambiance to the kitchen and bathroom areas in your home.

3. Chandeliers are a Great Addition

Creating an environment in your bathroom or kitchen that is luxurious and classy is easy when finding the right chandelier. In smaller bathrooms and kitchens, having a chandelier is essential due to the space that it can save you. If you have no room for floor lamps in these areas, a chandelier is a great option due to the amount of light it can produce and the appeal it is able to add. When choosing a chandelier, you will need to contemplate just how grandiose you want it to be. There are a variety of different chandeliers on the market, which means you can achieve the customized look you need with ease.

4. Recessed Lighting

Are you looking for lighting fixtures that can help to make your bathroom or kitchen appear bigger? Recessed lighting is a great option when trying to accomplish this task. Adding recessed lighting will result in what is called wall washing. This term is used to describe a lighting fixture that offers increased illumination to the walls in a particular room. Most homeowners who have sloped ceilings will benefit the most from the installation of recessed lighting and the subsequent wall washing effect it will produce.

5. Dimmer Switch

If you are looking for more control of the lighting that you have in your bathroom and kitchen, then a dimmer switch is a great option. Not only with the installation of this switch allow you to adjust the brightness of a room, it will also allow you to save energy in the process. Generally, bulbs will last 25% longer when used in conjunction with a dimmer switch.

6. Change Light Bulbs

When trying to improve the ambiance and illumination that you have in the bathroom or kitchen in your home, you may want to change out the existing light bulbs. You need to make sure that the bulbs you are using are the right wattage. Using a higher wattage than recommended can lead to the bulbs burning out quicker.

7. Bathroom Mirror Lighting

One of the most used methods of illuminating a bathroom is via a mirror with lights built into it. Not only will these mirrors help you to navigate your way to the bathroom during the night time hours, they can offer a level of appeal that is unrivaled. When trying to get the right backlit bathroom mirror, you will have to take some measurements to ensure you get the proper fit. Due to the complexity involved in installing these mirrors, you will need to hire a professional with plenty of experience to help out.

8. Accent Lighting

In some instances, the reason for installing additional lighting in the bathroom and kitchen of a home is to highlight some of the structural features it has. Using accent lighting will allow you to draw attention to the best features in your home, while creating ambiance in the process. If you are unsure what type of structural elements you need to highlight with accent lighting, then having a professional familiar with home illumination give you guidance is vital.

Investing in new bathroom lighting will not only add more appeal to your home, it can also increase the value. Choosing energy efficient lighting can also help you to save money on utility bills over time.

Call McHale’s today and see our full selection of lighting upgrades for your kitchen and bathroom!

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7 Common Causes of Home Heating Loss

7 Common Causes of Home Heating Loss

  • Electrical
heating loss

With the winter months quickly arriving, maintaining heat in your home is essential to cut down on costs and energy waste. It’s also vital to avoiding becoming a human popsicle.  Feel as though you are turning up the heat too often? There are quite a few common causes of home heating loss that quickly lead to significantly higher bills and energy waste. Even small drafts of cold air from an open window can have a major effect on upcoming bills. It’s also likely to cause long-term poor furnace efficiency, increased chance of illness exposure, and discomfort in cooler weather. 

Open Doors and Windows

Leaving doors and windows open is a quick way to deplete heat from the home, accounting for a surprising 10-11% of all heating loss each year. Be sure you caulk and repair spaces in the home prior to the winter and check for weather stripping to patch up windows and doors before kicking on the heat. Check door window glass and screens, replacing them if they are not fully intact or secure. Additionally, check for dents or other possible openings of exterior doors in your house.

Electrical Outlets

In some homes, cold air is able to seep through electrical sockets, causing a 2% heating loss. Not all electrical outlets are easy to spot, so be sure to check more than once when entering each room in your house. Ensure you check all outlets in your home for unwanted cool air coming in and install foam gaskets as a solution for those that are causing a draft. 


Checking your entire basement for potential leaks within vents and fans can save you up to 4% of household heat loss during the wintertime. Because basements are sometimes neglected (and may even going unused for periods of time), it’s highly advisable to conduct a thorough inspection before you begin running your heat. If you are unable to check vents and fans yourself in your basement, professional companies are available to review and repair any leaks prior to winter.

Recessed Lighting

One of the lesser known causes of heat loss includes recessed lighting, which can take a massive 13% of your total heat. Having recessed lighting installed in your ceiling can be detrimental to budgeting if you have a plan in place, and can be resolved with effective weather stripping to properly prepare. 

Air Conditioners

At times it seems the winter arrives just as summer is ending. Even so,it is important to remove current window air conditioning units swiftly to keep cold air from freely flowing into the home, especially when running your heat. Some homeowners prefer keeping window air conditioning units in place throughout an entire year, which, over time, is likely to cause cool air drafts from surrounding areas of the unit. Properly store your air conditioner away in its original box or in a safe, dry space to keep your windows closed at all times. This will help you to save as much energy as possible while cutting back on overspending on heat.

Ceiling Openings

If you have any ceiling openings, leaks, or cracks in your walls and floors, you run the risk of losing up to a whopping 31% of heat when you are running your heat regularly to keep warm. Sealing leaks and cracks, replacing ceiling tiles, and properly insulating all rooms in your home will cut down on energy waste and heat usage. Checking your roof prior to cooler months is another way to spot any potential openings that you may have been previously unaware of in past years. It is also recommended to check on attic insulation if you have not done so in a few years.


Although fireplaces can be wonderful to cozy up to on bitter and freezing nights, it’s important to inspect them to in order to avoid potentially costly mistakes. If you have a fireplace in the home, be sure to check the unit out itself before running your heat this year. When you have missing or improperly installed fireplace dampers you allow cold air to move up and out of the chimney freely, costing you more in heating bills while not sufficiently heating your home enough, especially on extremely cold nights.

Doing a thorough sweep of your home and checking all potential areas of energy loss is a great way to gain greater peace of mind during cold months. Taking the time to properly prepare your home for the colder months of the year is beneficial not only to help cut back on heating bills, but also to better avoid potential illness by allowing more cold air in when unnecessary. By taking care of potential risks of home heating loss in your home this winter, you can relax by saving money on your heating bills, extending the life of your furnace, and enjoying a healthier atmosphere indoors.

Have any questions about heating loss? Call McHale’s Today!

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