home cinema system

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If you’re a movie lover, there’s nothing better than bringing the experience of a movie theater into your own home.

With a properly set up home cinema system, you can get the same movie-watching experience, but without the uncomfortable seats or expensive snacks. For these reasons, Americans are spending more on home theatres than ever before.

That said, setting up a home theatre can be a daunting experience. From choosing the right gear to hooking up your equipment to the right components it can be easy for homeowners to get overwhelmed.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. This guide will help you set up your home theatre. Depending on your specific needs, you may be able to set it up yourself, or you may choose to hire an electrician.

Equipment You Will Need

The first step to setting up your home theatre is purchasing the necessary equipment.

First, there are the basics:

  • A widescreen television, or a projector with a screen
  • A DVD or Blu Ray player

Of course, these items are needed for any media room. What really sets a home theatre is the right sound equipment.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A surround sound receiver
  • Loudspeakers
  • Subwoofer
  • Connection cables

With these basic items, you’ll be ready to get started on the perfect theatre for your home.

Of course, there are plenty of additional items you can add to your home theater to create an even more luxurious experience. For instance, many homeowners have speakers installed discreetly into their walls. Or, you can set up a home theatre that is integrated with your iPhone.

Map Out Your Connection Plan

One of the main factors that will impact how you set up your home theatre is the size and layout of your room. The number of people you want to seat and the placement of your screen are important factors to consider.

At first, all of your equipment might just look like a mess of electronics and wires. But at the end of the day, you simply need to get your media player connected to both your television and your speakers.

An easy way to set up the system is by using a home theatre receiver. This is a centralized system that you can plug the rest of your components into. This makes it easy to control the entire system.

Where to Place Your Speaker and Subwoofer

As we mentioned before, the sound system is one of the most important features of a home theatre. Placing your speakers and subwoofer effectively will greatly improve the sound quality.

If you are using a wired speaker and subwoofer, make sure to place them somewhere where you’ll be able to run the wires to the receiver. You don’t wires tripping guests or creating an eyesore.

If possible, consider placing your subwoofer in the corner of your room. This will increase its output, which will improve the quality of the bass, and make the subwoofer sound louder.

To create a surround-sound experience, you’ll want to place speakers around the room. Placing speakers directly behind the seating will allow for better performance.

Getting the Home Cinema System You Want

If you need help setting up your home cinema system, contact us. Our expert technicians can help you set up a basic home theater, or can create a custom setup just for your home.

rewiring a house

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Have you ever thought about rewiring your house?

The chances are, you haven’t. However, there are lots of reasons why you should — especially if you’re not sure how old the wiring in your house really is.

In this article, we’ll explain the 5 most common ways to know that rewiring a house is required.

5 Signs Your House Needs Rewiring

1. You Need to Improve Safety

The biggest and most important reason to rewire a home is to improve safety.

There are 30,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home reported every year. In some cases, fatal accidents happen, too.

One of the most common causes of electric shocks and fires in the home is faulty wiring.

Rewiring a home ensures that everything is in working order. This reduces your chances of having any electrical accidents. As a result, your home will be safer.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends having your home electrical system checked by an electrician for safety standards. Call a professional in to take a look. They’ll let you know if rewiring is what you need.

2. Your Home is Over 40 Years Old

If your home is more than 40 years old, chances are that the wiring isn’t up to date.

It’s a good idea to bring a qualified electrician in to take a look at everything and bring the wiring up to current standards if required.

3. Your Lights are Dimming or Flickering

If you’ve noticed that your lights are dimming or flickering for seemingly no reason, you should first check the wiring.

Faulty wiring, an overloaded circuit, or a bad circuit breaker are the most likely causes. Rewiring a home will put them right.

4. Outlet Problems

Over time, outlets can become wobbly and start to hang out of the wall.

This is dangerous because it can lead to exposed wires. Rewiring a house will tighten outlets up so they sit in the right place again. Other problem signs with outlets include a buzzing sound when plugging things in. You may also notice discoloration around the edges.

Of course, if you notice sparking when using your outlets, you should have an electrician take a look at them immediately.

5. Fuses Keep Going Out

If your electricity cuts out from time to time, you may have a serious problem with your wiring.

Fuses and circuit breakers trip and cause your electricity to cut out when the circuit has been overloaded. This is a safety measure to prevent electrical fires, but can also happen as a result of bad wiring.

If you notice a problem but aren’t sure what the cause is, you can use a circuit breaker tester to check if it’s working properly.

If it’s not, you’ll need to call an electrician.

Ready To Start Rewiring A House?

If any of the signs above apply to you, it’s time to think about rewiring.

However, rewiring a house isn’t a job you want to do yourself.

Rewiring should only be done by a qualified electrician. This kind of work requires a huge amount of knowledge and experience that only a professional possesses.

Before you start looking for an electrician to rewire your house, see our 5 simple tips for hiring an electrician.

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With so many do it yourself blogs on how to go about fixing electricity faults you may feel encouraged and informed enough to try fixing electricity problems in your home. This will not only save on costs of hiring a professional electrician but also ensure quality appliances are used. However, some electrical maintenance requires the presence of an experienced electrician. These tasks are highly sensitive, and any mistake would lead to a fire hazard or an electrocution. It is advised you seek the services of qualified personnel for such tasks. Below is a list of electricity problems that you should never attempt on your own.

1. Breaker box replacement

The breaker box is a complex and hazardous unit that is the center of electricity at your house. The voltage in this unit is very high and can cause serious damage if mishandled. As such it should never be replaced by an inexperienced person. Complex wires running through this panel are enough to halt any thoughts you had of attempting to replace it on your own. It is designed to tap electricity from the main line and distribute it around your home. A mistake would result in a serious fire risk, or you could end up getting a nasty electricity shock. It is packed with explosive voltage hence it is highly recommended you call an experienced electrician should you suspect any malfunction.

2. Rewiring

Blown out fuses, frequent tripping of circuit breakers, burning smell around electricity switches or charred switches are a cause of concern. You may be tempted to grab your tools and check for the problem and possibly attempt the repair. This is highly discouraged. Call a qualified electrician because you probably need to rewire your house. This work requires advanced electrical know how that only a professional can perform. If improperly wired, serious damage to electrical appliances, electricity shock or the risk of fire can occur. This is one task you are highly advised to seek the services of a professional electrician.

3. Choice of wire and cables

Electrical wires come in different sizes as they perform different uses. Getting the wrong size would result in overheating or short circuiting. A wire for the boiler is larger than that one for your lights. One of the basic skills a qualified electrician is equipped with is the knowledge on how to match electrical wires with the correct device. As such never attempt choosing electrical wires without the assistance of a trained electrician.

4. Outlet upgrades

AC power plugs and sockets supply electrical energy to your appliances. These appliances face the risk of damage should some fault occur. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) reduce the chance of damage to appliances and electricity shock. GFCIs have built in circuit breakers designed for this. It is highly recommended that you install ground fault circuit interrupters in bathrooms, kitchens, near sinks and places near water to reduce the possibility of short-circuiting. Local laws require that you install GFCIs. If your house doesn’t have them, seek the services of a professional electrician and have them installed.

5. Blown out fuses

It is easy to assume that replacing a blown out fuse is a walk in the park. However, you may end up replacing them with larger or wrong ones. These will end up blowing out too. Blown out fuses most likely result from faulty circuit wiring. This calls for an experienced electrician. Save yourself the trouble of making erroneous judgments by having a qualified electrician take a look into the cause behind blown out fuses.

Do not be tempted by the money you will save while performing electrical repairs by yourself. You will most likely end up messing things more resulting into higher expenses. Save yourself the trouble by hiring professional electricians to fix electricity problems for you.

Whole House Surge Protection

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You’re home at night, enjoying a quiet evening when you hear the distant rumble of thunder. You think nothing of it and continue on with your evening.

After all, there are hundreds per year, why should this one be any different?

Soon, rain is pounding against your windows, you can hear emergency sirens in distance. Your house goes dark. Not to worry, you think, this happens sometimes.

You start to smell something burning, and realize it’s coming from your living room! As you run into the room, you notice that your electronics are smoking, costing you thousands of dollars. In the case of a fire, it could cost you your house.

This disastrous situation can be easily avoided. Read on to learn why you should invest in a whole house surge protection system today.

5 Reasons to Install Whole House Surge Protection

1. Power Outages Have Doubled Since 2003

This figure may sound a bit alarmist, but according to Climate Central, blackouts have doubled in the past few years.

The reason for this sharp increase in outages comes down to weather-related incidents. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes were three of the top reasons listed.

That isn’t to say cold climates are entirely safe, however. In fact, cold weather and ice storms can cause power lines to snap.

You shouldn’t have to worry about your devices and home safety just because of a power outage. Installing a whole house surge protector can give you peace of mind during a scary time.

2. They Can Keep Your Family Safe

After all, it isn’t just your electronics and devices you’re concerned about. Your family and their safety take priority. Did you know that power surges can cause fires?

Why? Because your standard power surge increases the flow of electricity through your home. And not by a small amount, either.

Since the electricity needs somewhere to go, it flows through your sockets and into your home. This can result in dangerous fires that are preventable with a surge protector.

3. Keep Your Electronics Functioning

These days, technology is as much a part of our lives as any other part of our home.

The average North American household uses anywhere from 7-15 connected devices per day! You likely can’t imagine losing one of them, not to mention all of them.

Accordingly, you’ll want to keep them safe. Surge protectors are commonly recommended for a good reason — they’re effective. Save yourself thousands of dollars in replacements by looking into whole home protectors.

4. Damages Cause Insurance Hikes

Assuming you’re lucky enough to have quality home insurance, you’re not quite safe. While it’s true that your policy may cover most of or all of the damage, you’re ignoring one important factor.

With every claim filed, your insurance rates get raised. Insurance is already expensive enough as it is.

5. Installation is Easy and Affordable

Perhaps you’re thinking that whole house surge protection will cost you a fortune. Or maybe you’re worried that installation will be difficult.

Not to worry! You’re covered in both instances.

An Echelon Electric specialist can install one of these nifty devices in your power box. It shouldn’t take longer than an afternoon. Plus, the price is little when compared to your peace of mind.

These days, you can’t afford to risk losing your home and electronics. Get in touch today for a free estimate and let us help.

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When a random power outage strikes, it can be both frustrating and frightening. Maybe you planned on watching the big football game, or your children are afraid of the dark. Whatever the case is, our electrical contractors in Vancouver BC want to help you through that situation. So, here is a list of five things to watch out for if your power goes out.

1. Check for Planned Outages

The first thing you might want to do is make sure there are no planned outages. This happens a lot in many towns and cities, so it’s likely that it’s happening in yours. Planned electrical power outages take place when new work needs to be done with the power sources. This may include giving power to other homes and businesses or fixing problems with the system. You can save a lot of time by checking this out first!

2. Take a Look at Your Electrical Appliances

You might want to unplug some items in your house; this is because too much electric use can overwhelm your system. Experts recommend you leave only one light on, to know when you have power again. Everything else can be left unplugged until then. Having less electricity in use might help your power turn on faster, as it allows the circuit breaker to normalize itself. And don’t worry; circuit breaks are usually normal and a good sign that your system works properly.

3. Make Sure Your Wires are Good

Another thing you should look for is anything strange about your lights. It may seem obvious, but flickering or sparking lights are reason for concern. It could mean that you have bad electric wiring, or that something has gone awry with it. If you do think something is wrong with your wiring, it may be best to see about hiring a professional to fix your problem. Don’t wait until the last minute, if you can help it!

4. Ensure There are No Small Animals Around

Tying in with bad wires are rodent problems. An animal chewing your wires could lead to big problems, such as power outages. So, if you’ve noticed any strange noises or incidents lately, you may want to investigate the presence of animals around your home. There are plenty of good resources online for how to keep rodents out if you’ve noticed a real problem.

5. Watch the News for Car Accidents

One of the biggest electrical problems is car accidents. If a car runs into a power pole, that could mean the end of working power for the day. Instead of worrying about possible problems with your wiring or environment, you may want to check for recent, local car accidents. A car accident can do more harm than you may think.

Now you know what to look for next time your power goes out. With these tips in hand, you should be able to spot any real problems surrounding the outage. With that knowledge, you can either wait it out, try and fix it yourself, or call a trained professional.

Until next time, be safe and have a great week!

Vancouver electrician

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Do you have electrical work to complete at your Vancouver area home or office?

Hiring a Vancouver electrician can help save you time and money!

Because they are trained to recognize problems with your electrical system. They also know different ways to help you fix these issues and can incorporate an approach that helps across your home or office.

By fixing these electrical issues, your system can run smoother and you can minimize energy costs!

Read on to learn more about how an electrician can save you money!

Lower Energy Costs

One way electricians help you save — lowering energy costs.

Depending on the time of year, your air conditioning system may be running hours and hours each day. Your electrician can help you by suggesting ways for how you can run your AC system less often.

One option: install ceiling fans in rooms where you spend the most time.

A ceiling fan helps improve the flow of air in a room while cooling it down.

They can also help you feel more comfortable in the winter months with heated flooring solutions! Your electrician can install energy efficient light fixtures in your home or office.

For example, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs last 25 times longer than traditional fluorescent light bulbs and use less energy!

Your Vancouver electrician can also install dimming switches and other controls that help you curb your energy usage.

Creative Thinkers

An experienced electrician is also a creative thinker that can help you with electrical solutions.

Have you purchased a new home or office?

You may want to improve the lighting in a bedroom or conference area. You may not be aware different lighting technology options.

You won’t get the most effective use of your space. You may also try different lighting solutions on your own with disappointing results.

When a Vancouver electrician is involved, he or she will speak with you about the way your rooms are used and make suggestions to you about ways to maximize that space in an energy-efficient way.

By making changes that work the first time, you eliminate the trial and error process that can happen without the assistance of an electrician.

Hiring a Vancouver Electrician

The decision to hire an experienced electrician can help you save energy costs and enjoy a better environment in your home or office.

You may want regular maintenance on your air conditioning system. Or you could be calling an electrician to have them change the electrical or lighting system so that you can ensure you’re making the most of your space.

At Echelon Electric, we are a team of professionals serving homes and businesses in the Vancouver area. We specialize in electrical systems, heated flooring and other energy solutions in your home or business.

We also offer 24/7 support to the businesses we serve. This way you know if you’re in a pinch, our team is there to help you get out of it.

Contact us tody to learn more about how we can help you!

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At some point, you will likely find yourself in need of a qualified electrician. Whether you’re building a home, remodeling an existing one, or rewiring outdated wiring in an old home, your top priority should be to hire the best electrician. Faulty wiring contributes to most home fires. However, an electrician with the right qualifications will make sure your home wiring is safe and secure. Here are five simple tips for hiring a Coquitlam electrician:

1. Conduct Pre-screening and Check References

As soon as you’ve zeroed in on the potential electricians you wish to hire, be sure to inquire about their capabilities, experience, references, and insurance coverage. Make sure you get answers to the following questions:

  • Are you licensed and qualified, and how long have you been licensed?
  • What guarantees do you offer? Would the guarantees apply to my home if something goes wrong, and will it be recorded in writing?
  • Do you belong to any group that is well-established and trustworthy?
  • Are you insured?
  • Can I get at least two references from you?
  • Do you conduct background checks of work-related behaviors and performance traits?

Ask as many questions as possible. If you cannot get genuine answers from a Coquitlam electrician, it’s advisable that you move on. Any reputable electrician should be able answer your questions easily and procure related documents. Ideally, you should not have to ask for these—a serious electrician should be ready with them.

2. Get Multiple Price Quotes

Consult several electricians for a quote on the repairs. Be sure that all of the professionals you consult include similar criteria in their quotes. This ensures that you get a fair price for the project. Once more, be sure to get references of past clients that you may question about their past services. If he avoids your request, go elsewhere.

3. Work Details and Bid

First, understand what your requirements are and then hire a technician depending on the nature of your project. Ask him to go to the site and evaluate what the work entails. Get the bid and ensure that he has included everything in it. Get bids from different electricians; however, when making comparisons, compare bids from different electricians with the same experience and skills.

4. Scour the Internet.

As soon as you get enough recommendations, scour the internet for information on your recommended contractors. If you do not have recommendations, then you can also search for possible leads to the best electricians in Coquitlam.

5. Costs

Confirm that your electricians’ rates are friendly. Although they make good money, do not allow them to rip you off. Be sure to compare costs before you decide on your electrician. Most likely, there are several electricians that you may look into before you hire one. Avoid making hasty decisions—look into the electrician you are hiring and understand their rates before you make any decisions.

Hiring an electrician that you trust is necessary to ensuring the safety of your home. A reputable electrician will not over charge you for the project. In addition, you will receive quality work for your money. Since faulty wiring is the leading causes of house fires, hiring a professionally trained, licensed, and certified electrician is a must.

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The use of electricity and electrical appliances has become one of the most common things in the world today. Although electricity has become an important part in our day-to-day activities, it is important to take precaution while using it. Electricity is very dangerous and can cause serious injuries, fires, and even death. There are some electrical problems that you could easily repair yourself, especially if you have some knowledge of electrical devices, including changing bulbs, replacing fuses, and more. However, some problems may not be as easy to solve and, hence, require professional help.

Here is a list of 7 everyday things you should really let an electrician do.

1. Burnt plug or socket

This can be observed as a dead outlet where your appliances seem to not be working. It could be a problem with the electrical appliances, so it is advisable that you confirm where the problem is exactly. Replacing a burnt plug or socket may appear to be a very easy task, but it can be very dangerous if it is not done properly. If the connections aren’t tight enough, they could cause the plug to be burnt again, damage your appliances, or cause a fire or an electrical shock. Therefore, it is advisable that you call an electrician to help fix the problem, just to be safe.

2. Circuit breakers tripping and fuses blowing

This is a very common problem in homes or in work places, since power surges occur very often. Circuit breakers and fuses help to protect your electrical appliances from the effect of power surges. Fuses blow and breakers trip, preventing the flow of power to your devices. Therefore, if they are not correctly repaired, your appliances could sustain damage.

3. Appliances emitting electric shock

This problem could very easily cause electric shock or fire. Mostly, this problem originates from within the appliance, and it is advisable to have a professional take a look at it. You could also take the appliance back to the manufacturer to have it fixed.

4. Light bulbs burning out frequently, lights flickering and dimming

Changing light bulbs is easy, and you should do this when they start becoming dim or stop working entirely. However, when these problems are recurring, it is important to call an electrician to fix them. This is because the problem may be a result of a bad connection in the wiring.

5. Faulty switches

When switches stop working, especially those that are two-way switches, it is advisable that you have an electrician come to fix them. This problem is mostly associated with faulty wiring, and this could put you at risk of an electric shock or cause a fire.

6. When you see smoke coming from a socket

This is a dangerous thing to experience. The important thing to do in this case is to turn off the main power switch in order to stop any electricity from getting into the building. Afterwards, call an electrician to fix the problem before turning the power back on.

7. When you hear noises and see sparks coming from the main switch

With such an electrical problem, the appropriate thing to do is to vacate the building and call your Vancouver, BC, electrical contractor immediately. This may be the result of some wires burning or having too much power flowing in. This could very easily lead to a fire or cause an electric shock while you are using any electrical appliance.

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Your property is a very vital asset and investment. Therefore, it is advisable to make sure that it is safe at all times. One of the ways of ensuring this is to check that your electrical system is in the right condition. You have to check your system regularly, so you can detect any problem when it arises. There are certain warning signs that warrant a call an electrician. Here are 6 warning signs you immediately need an electrical contractor in Vancouver, BC.

1. Fuses and breakers going out often

If your circuit breakers are tripping regularly, this is a sign that there is excess current flow through the circuit. Current overflow can cause the fuses to blow out. It is possible for you to reuse breakers many times by just untripping them, but you need to replace fuses. Therefore, whenever breakers are tripping and fuses are burning out, this is a warning sign that you need to call an electrician to sort out the problem.

2. Flickering and dimming lights

Flickering and dimming of lights is a major sign that there is a circuit overload. This might be allowed in case some of your appliances, including motors, are switched on. However, if such appliances are not on, and you realise there is flickering and dimming of the lights, call an electrician for the right help.

3. Discoloring of your outlets

If you realise that your outlets are becoming discolored, there is a potential danger in your house. For this reason, immediate replacement is necessary. You should have your electric circuit checked because it is the main cause of such problems. In such a case, you should contact your Vancouver, BC, electrical contractor to rectify the problem.

4. Smell of burning object

If you notice a burning smell in your house from a specific source, you need to call your electrician immediately. Fire caused by a faulty electrical system usually has an acrid smell. Such a smell indicates that something is burning. Therefore, immediate help from an electrical contractor is needed to avoid more damage if the fire escalates. You should also make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on hand to put the fire out in case it arises before your electrician arrives.

5. Shocking outlets and switches

Shocking outlets and switches is a sign that there is loose wiring or a short circuit somewhere. The shock is very dangerous, as it can cause injuries and even death. Only a qualified electrician, who is able to quickly perform the proper repair work, should handle shocking outlets and switches.

6. Burning of your electrical appliances

If you realise that your electrical appliances are burning often as a result of electricity flow, you need to call a Vancouver, BC, electrical contractor to check out the problem. There might be an overflow of current or another problem that requires the attention of an electrician.

Tips on finding an expert electrical contractor

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When you are looking for a professional electrician to work on the electrical repairs of your home or workplace, you want to make sure you choose the right people to get the work done. In addition to being certified, qualified, and insured, they also must be highly skilled with great experience in the field. However, this can be a challenging task if you are determining all these qualities through a phone call. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind while selecting a top notch electrician:

  1.  Licenses and Insurance: It is crucial and extremely important to make sure that the electricians you call to your home or workplace are well insured and licensed, and they are willing to show you the proof. When working with independent electricians, it is still just as much important to know these details as you wouldn’t want just anyone to come over and make a ruckus at your place.
  2. Getting references: One of the best ways to know about the reputation of a specific electrician is through references. What better way to know about an electrician you are about to hire than by knowing their experiences with others – whether they were satisfied with the service provided or not.
  3. Get free estimates: Many electricians provide free estimates for their customers. This is a great way to know the prices of their services. You can receive quotes from more than one electrician before you choose “the one” who will be looking after the electrical repair of your home or workplace.
  4. Receive permits: Well qualified electricians are never in a hurry to get the work done. They make sure to do the work only once they have received a permit. It is always better to receive approval before carrying out any electrical works. The best electricians are those that allow time for permits and can wait long enough for the approval to come in.
  5. Best listeners: Some of the best electricians are known primarily for carefully listening to the needs of their customers. This is key in understanding the customer and performing the duties just how they would like it done. Electricians who are well knowledgeable in their field also provide excellent recommendations to their clients and explain things in the simplest manner that the client can understand.
  6. Timeline: A proper electrician will estimate the total cost of the entire work and will not turn back on their words. They will also create milestones that will give you a clear idea of how the work is progressing and how much of the work is left. They also provide an estimate of how long the entire project will take to complete.

Keeping these 6 quick tips in mind before choosing the right electrician can save you lots of time and perhaps money in the future. We, as electrical contractors in Vancouver BC, hope that reading these tips will put you in a better position to make an effective and wise decisions in choosing the best contractor for your project.