PANELS & SYSTEMS
RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL - REPAIRS, INSTALLATIONS, UPGRADES
Licensed electricians in Kailua know electric panels and circuit breaker panels are the single most important part of your entire electric system. The electric panel receives the main secondary feed from HECO and is responsible for distributing the correct amount of electricity to the various circuits in your home or business. For all of your wiring and electrical distribution needs in your home or office call your local electricians in Kailua with Windward Side Electric at 808-670-1383.
CONVERT 120V TO 240V CIRCUITS & OUTLETS
Upsizing and upgrading an outlet or circuit from 120V to 240V is very common and is required when an appliance's desired location only has a 120V power supply. The most common items that require upgrading a circuit are electric water heaters, air conditioners, ovens, washer and dryer, hot tubs, swimming pool pumps, air compressors, and many more. This is usually a straightforward procedure but the primary consideration is always the current and voltage requirements of the new appliance and piece of equipment when used at its max use. It helps to have the manual for the new item or at a minimum, a nameplate to reference as most manuals are available on-line if you know the make and model of the equipment. The hardest part is usually access and how to install the new circuit because the existing circuits are usually inside of finished walls and ceilings, but that is all part of the fun. For more challenging projects involving interior finishes, I have an excellent drywall contractor that can make anything look brand new.
2-WAY & 3-WAY SWITCHES
2-way and 3-way switches are more complicated than people realize. Just look on-line at how to install them and you'll quickly realize that it takes knowledge and experience to get it right and to make your lights work like you want them to work. New construction and remodels are the easiest to install switches in since the walls and ceilings are opened up, but if not, it can still be done with more time and creativity.
Receptacle replacements are common and easy to do if the location is accessible. The reason why the receptacle no longer workers and why it needs to be replaced, needs to be determined first. Very commonly the circuit breaker in the panel has been tripped and this is an easy fix that can be checked over the phone before I even come out. If you haven't already checked this and are not sure how to do this, it's a very straight forward check and I'll walk you through it over the phone first. This is all part of the troubleshooting process, but simply replacing a receptacle just because it doesn't work anymore is not wise. Sometimes the circuits are just old, but consideration on the load put on the outlet, wiring size and condition of wiring to the outlet, and the breaker in the circuit breaker panel needs to be considered. If replacing an outlet that does not work anymore, consider replacing it with one that is a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to provide an extra element of safety and to prevent current overload.
Electric panels are an umbrella statement but usually refer to the main service feeds into a home or building and can then branch out to other sub-panels. Here you will find the main breakers for the sub-panels and most important, is the main power disconnect or shut off.
CIRCUIT BREAKER PANELS
Circuit breaker panels are where all electrical circuits are located in one centralized location. It is important to have an accurate and up to date circuit breaker identification system. I prefer a card inside of the panel that shows all of the breaker spaces whether filled or unfilled and a simple 1 or 2 word description for what that circuit breaker serves. This is vitally important if you ever need to reset a breaker or to isolate and de-energize a specific circuit without de-energizing circuits where power is still required.
Service panels are synonymous with electric panel, electrical panel, and circuit breaker panel. A service panel is called a service panel when the building is large and has more than one panel. By having a unique panel for a specific part of a large building, and electrician can quickly look at the 1-line diagram and know which panel serves which part of the building. Sometimes large buildings can have 2, 3, 5, 10+ panels so it is important to stay organized and to never intentionally fill all of the breaker spaces in a panel in case more breakers need to be added at a later date.
SINGLE BREAKER & MULTI BREAKERS
There are a wide array of breakers available but typically you will see single breakers inside of your panel. There are instances where breakers will be joined together if the circuit requires it. If two breakers are connected inside the panel, this is done so with a mechanism that physically joins the two breakers together and is a called a tandem breaker. This ensures both breakers are opened and closed simultaneously.
COMPLETE INTERIOR & EXTERIOR ELECTRICAL WIRING & RE-WIRING
Do not overlook the importance of completely re-wiring your home's electrical system if you are performing a complete re-model. Electrical systems wear out and become outdated with time just the same as a kitchen that needs to be completely re-modeled. Hire an electrician to evaluate the condition of the current electrical system, discuss your plans for appliances and equipment, and your expected and future electricity consumption requirements. Many people take their electrical system for granted, but at an absolute minimum call an electrician to evaluate the condition of the current electrical system and decide from there. A partial upgrade may be all that is required to satisfy your specific electricity usage.
EMERGENCY GENERATOR SYSTEMS
An emergency generator system of some sort in Hawaii is a very great idea. Every year Oahu is subjected to numerous storms and hurricane threats and with each one that passes, the potential for a prolonged power outage becomes a reality. Being without power for 4 hours is an inconvenience, but imagine being without power for 4 days. An emergency back-up generator system can help you sustain the blackout by supplying electricity to your essential items. Most people would like to have their refrigerator, freezer, lights, and air conditioning running during a prolonged power outage, but a generator is not a magic box with infinite power. Generators have their limitations and it is important to know exactly how much and what type of items can be powered by the generator at any given moment. If you'd like to prepare yourself and your family in case of a significant power outage, consider buying a generator and know how it works. I've installed a dedicated generator circuit which ties into the existing wiring system so that specific items can have emergency generator power in an instant. Connect the generator, turn it on, and close the emergency generator breaker and your essential items will have power.
AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
Air conditioning systems are one of the top energy consuming items in Hawaii and it is important to properly size and install the power to the A/C system. Depending on the size of the A/C system you will want to make sure that the entire system can operate at full strength without overloading the electrical circuit. Consideration must also be considered for the A/C system running at full capacity plus all other appliances, lights, and other devices running at the same time. Its rare and highly unlikely that your electrical system will ever operate at full capacity, but that is what you ultimately want to prepare for and is how you want your electrical system to be designed and installed. The small increase in material cost to install a larger capacity electrical system is a small price to pay to know your electrical system can handle and operate at maximum capacity.
SOLAR ENERGY & PANEL SYSTEMS
Solar panels, PV panels, and solar water heaters should be installed on every building and home in Hawaii. The technology is constantly improving and so have the prices. Think of solar as a long term investment and try not to be deterred by the high initial cost. There are always financing options available for purchasing the materials. Installing and maintaining the solar power panels and appurtenances to safe and useful energy is a long term investment that will end up paying you. Have your PV system installed and explained to you by a professional electrician so you'll know how to keep your investment healthy and operating for many years.