844.435.5646

New Installation & Upgrades

H.O. Electric Home Automation Services

Automate your home for better energy savings.
Introducing a new smart home system from H.O. Electric.

We're always looking for new ways to provide you with the best energy savings and total peace of mind in your home. That's why H.O. Electric brings you the industry leading energy management, home automation, and damage prevention system that will help you do that, and so much more!

Get total mobile access and control of your home - right in the palm of your hand.

  • Experience the comfort of connecting to your home from anywhere - access your home at all times with your smartphone, tablet or from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Turn on your heating system using a smartphone from 200 miles away while driving home, so that it's comfortable as soon as you walk in the door.
  • Set controls to switch on and off lights or heating and cooling systems at specific times to save on energy costs, no matter where you are.
  • Control what you need, stay informed with what's important, and give yourself one less thing to worry about.


 

How does our home automation system work?

The Z-Wave Gateway is the brains of the system and is what keeps you powered. It communicates with all the devices in your home to keep you connected from anywhere, at any time. The gateway can connect to over 200 z-wave devices, allowing you to enhance your system with just the push of a button. It also makes it easy to add new products to your platform, whenever you want to.


How does our home automation system work?

Automate your home, enjoy total peace of mind and save big on energy costs.

Our system can be customized to fit your home and particular needs to deliver the best possible energy savings, home automation, and customized damage prevention alerts to give you complete home awareness at all times. You enjoy total control and access to all of your home automation, energy management and damage prevention devices, including:

  • Thermostats
  • Lights
  • Smart energy switches
  • Energy meter
  • Door locks
  • Garage door
  • Video cameras
  • Image sensors
  • Water sensors and shut off valves

We offer a number of home automation packages to fit your mobile access and control needs.

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Electric Car Charging Systems

There's a new car in town and it doesn't need gasoline to go-go. In fact, there's a variety of new electric cars offered by a number of car makers. From the domestic American made Chevrolet Volt to the Japanese Nissan Leaf, these new models of electric cars are going to change the way we drive.

The EVs, as they are called, will require an electric charging station. Think of it as a gas station right in your own garage. Better yet, EV charging stations will soon begin appearing all over the nation. Any commercial parking area today will have the option to install EV charging stations for the convenience of their EV driving customers. The dealerships will also need charging stations to demonstrate the new electric vehicles.

So, which EV charger is the right charger for your home? You do have a choice. There is the 120 volt charging system that can plug right into any household wall socket, preferably in your garage. This charger can fully charge your EV in 10-14 hours. This standard charging system comes standard with all of the new Electric Vehicles.

How would you like to have to stand at a gas pump for 10 hours pumping gas? Obviously, you're going to have to plan your driving habits. Your EV will have to be parked at least 10 hours per day, most likely while you sleep.

What if you could fully charge your EV in 4 hours? What would that be worth to you? Let's face it; these cars aren't cheap to begin with! To fully charge your EV in 4 hours, you'll need a level 2, 240 volt rapid electric vehicle charging station rated at 20 amps. These are available from the EV manufacturers as well as from a number of 3rd party providers.

In order to install a 240 volt level 2 rapid charger in your garage, you'll need a licensed electrician or electrical contractor. Both the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet VOLT require the use of one of their own certified electrical contractors. Soon you may be able to hire your own electrical contractor if you sign a waiver, however initially the electric vehicle car manufacturers want you to use their certified installers who have been trained to their specifications. The electrician will need to install a 240 volt electrical outlet in your garage and also to install the charger on the wall near the outlet.

So what's involved if you decide to purchase the optional 240 volt, 4 hour charger?

First you will need to purchase the rapid charging station either from the electric car dealership or from a 3rd party provider (if allowed). Then you will need to hire either the dealers electrical contractor of one of your choosing.

The electrician will need to acquire a double pole, or 240 volt circuit from your electrical panel. This means that there must be space in your panel to accommodate 2 additional circuit breakers. A 240 volt circuit breaker is commonly referred to as a double pole breaker. If there isn't any room for additional circuit breakers, sometimes the existing breakers can be replaced with tandem breakers. Tandem breakers are 1/2 the size of a standard breaker. Two of them will fit in the space designed for one full size breaker. By doing this, it's possible to create enough space for a new double pole circuit breaker. Once that is established, a 240 volt copper wire, size 8 gauge, is installed from the panel to the garage to carry the power required for your 240 volt EV charger. Eight gauge wire is recommended by the manufacturer. The manufacturer also recommends installing a sub-circuit panel in the garage for the charger, but I do not believe that is absolutely necessary.

So how does the electrician get the 240 volt circuit wire from the panel to the garage? Often times, the panel is a combination circuit breaker panel and electric meter box all in one. In a perfect world, this box will often be found on an exterior garage wall. However, it can also be located on the opposite side of the house! If the panel is on a garage wall, the installation is much easier and less costly. The closer the circuit panel, the less time and material it will require. If it's not on a garage wall and is located further away, then creative measures may be necessary.

If your house has a crawl space either above or below, that's the best case scenario. In that case, a short section of electrical conduit will be installed out of the bottom or top of the panel and turn into the crawl space to carry the wire across to the garage. Worst case scenario, is when there is no access above or below the house. These are the most challenging.

You will want to hire an experienced electrician that takes a great deal of pride in his workmanship. The electrician will be required to install electrical conduit from the panel to the garage. Exterior wiring of 120 volts or higher must be protected inside electrical conduit, either metal or PVC. Usually the conduit will be fastened to the exterior of your home. Sometimes, to avoid what some may call an unsightly addition to the exterior, the conduit may be buried in the ground.

I have installed miles and miles of electrical conduit on the exterior of people's homes over the years. If your electrician is proficient at bending and installing metal or PVC conduit, then he can do a good job without detracting from the appearance of your home. Knowing how to properly bend electrical metal tubing (EMT) has become a lost art among many of the younger residential electricians.

If you plan to install a 240 volt rapid charger in your garage for your EV, and you will be required to run electrical conduit on the exterior of your home, then you'll want a conduit expert in order to get a nice, neat job. Conduit can be painted, but a neat installation is critical. Bad conduit installations can really "ugly up" a house. Not all electricians are skilled at conduit bending. It takes a lot of practice. Many handymen and even some less reputable electricians will simply staple plastic jacketed cable (Romex) right to the exterior of the house. It serves the purpose, but it's not legal. All exterior 120 volt wiring or higher must be inside electrical conduit. This is also the rule when running exposed AC wire on a surface wall indoors as well.

If you can live with a 10 hour charge time, then you won't need to spend any additional money for a level 2 rapid charging station. If you wish to fully charge your EV in 4 hours, prepare to spend a little more money. I think things will evolve as time goes by and maybe the charging systems will become more efficient and less charging time will be required. Only time will tell.

If you are located in the Greater Boston area and would like to discuss installation of a level 2 rapid charging station in your home, we would be glad to discuss your options with your. Currently H.O. Services is certified to install level 2 charging stations for several of the different chargers on the market. Call (844) 435-5646 or visit us at www.hoelectric.com

Call Us Today! (844) 435-5646
Contact us for answers to your questions or to schedule service now.

Basic Information About Doorbells, Buzzers or Chimes

Here are tips and instructions for installing doorbells, buzzers or chimes. Take a few minutes to read the directions thoroughly. Following both these and manufacturers' instructions can save you time and effort while helping you achieve a satisfying finish. Inside this document you will find information about:

  • Basic Information About Doorbells, Buzzers, or Chimes
  • Information About the Transformer
  • Installing a Single-button Doorbell
  • Wiring for Buttons on Front & Back Doors
  • Wiring for a Backdoor Buzzer & a Front Doorbell
  • Wiring Arrangement for Combination Bell & Buzzer
  • Locating the Transformer in the Basement
  • Wiring Door Chimes
  • Wiring a Four-note Chime
  • Locating Trouble in Bells & Chimes

BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT DOORBELLS, BUZZERS OR CHIMES

  • Wireless doorbells, buzzers and chimes consist of two units. The pushbutton unit is battery operated. The sound unit runs on household current provided by a regular outlet.
  • Most of today's doorbells and buzzers operate on 10 volts. Most modern door chimes operate on 16 volts.
  • Be sure the transformer you purchase with a doorbell, buzzer or chime is designed to provide the correct voltage for the mechanism you plan to install.
  • When you replace an older doorbell or buzzer with a new chime unit, you will probably have to replace the transformer too. The new transformer will provide the required voltage output.
  • If you are installing a battery-operated unit, you will not need to worry about transformers or power sources. These units are attractive enough to be installed on a wall in a room. Follow the instructions for button installation that matches the type of battery-powered unit you have–bell, buzzer, chime or combination.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRANSFORMER

  • On the newer doorbell, buzzer and chime units, the transformer is built into the unit. This eliminates the need for a separate transformer. When working with older systems you will need a separate transformer.
  • The 16-volt transformer needed for chimes is slightly larger than the 10-volt transformer used for bells or buzzers.
  • Both transformers are relatively small and fit into small areas such as outlet boxes.
  • A transformer reduces normal 120-volt power to 10 or 16 volts, thus adapting regular current to low-voltage equipment such as chimes, buzzers and bells.
  • A transformer usually has two permanent wires–one white and one black–designed to provide power to the unit from the power source.
  • Two attachment screws are mounted on the opposite side of the transformer for attaching low-voltage wires that in turn are connected to the bell, buzzer or chime.
  • Most transformers are designed so they can be mounted directly to an outlet or junction box. The primary power source wires can then be run directly into the box.
  • If the transformer is not mounted directly to the outlet or junction box, the connecting 120-volt wires should always run through safe, insulated connectors and be spliced inside the box.
  • Use No. 18 bell wire to connect to the two terminal screws on the low-voltage side of the transformer. Even though the voltage on these transformers is very low, you must still practice the rules of safety. Turn off the power before you start to work.
  • Use insulated staples to hold the bell wire in place. It is normally run along baseboards or in other exposed areas in a room.

INSTALLING A SINGLE-BUTTON DOORBELL

  • The simplest doorbell or buzzer installation is the wiring illustrated in. In this instance, a button is mounted on one door only to operate the buzzer or bell.
  • One wire runs unbroken from the terminal screw on the button of the bell or buzzer to the terminal screw on the transformer. The second wire runs from the button to one of the terminal screws on the bell, then from the second terminal screw back to the other screw on the transformer.
  • The button can be mounted on any door–as far away from the bell as you'd like–and the bell and transformer can be mounted in any concealed location.

WIRING FOR BUTTONS ON FRONT & BACK DOORS

  • When you would like to have doorbell buttons on both the front and back doors, one wire goes directly from the terminal screws on both the front and backdoor buttons to one of the terminal screws on the transformer.
  • The second wire goes directly from the other terminal screw on both buttons to the terminal screws on the bell.
  • Finally, a third wire connects to the left terminal screw on the bell and to the other terminal screw on the transformer.
  • One disadvantage to this system is that the person hearing the bell from inside the house never knows whether to answer the front or back door since both buttons activate the same bell sound.

WIRING FOR A BACKDOOR BUZZER & A FRONT DOORBELL

  • One way to solve this problem is by installing a bell and a buzzer. Try using a buzzer at the back door and a bell at the front door.
  • Use the wiring system shown for wiring a buzzer and a bell at two different locations. The wiring is basically the same, except the buzzer is wired in between the terminal screw on the backdoor button and the terminal screw on the bell.
  • The buzzer, bell and transformer can be concealed in any location. This works well if you already have either a bell or buzzer installed. If you do not, consider a combination bell and buzzer unit to simplify installation and reduce cost.

WIRING ARRANGEMENT FOR COMBINATION BELL & BUZZER

  • A combination bell and buzzer gives you a buzzer for the back door and a bell for the front door in one unit. You'll notice that this unit has three terminal screws rather than two.
  • Follow the wiring arrangement shown in the picture for installing the combination bell and buzzer unit so the bell rings when the front door button is pushed and the buzzer is activated at the back door.
  • The bell and buzzer should be placed so that the sound can be heard throughout the house. The sounds from bells and buzzers hidden deep in attics or closets may be muffled–and even completely shut out.

LOCATING THE TRANSFORMER IN THE BASEMENT

  • The best location for the transformer in many homes is the basement. You can see how to connect the transformer to an outlet box in the basement, while the wiring is run to the front and back doors and the bell and buzzer unit. Run low-voltage bell wire along the baseboard and around door frames, and use insulated staples to hold the wire in place. Such bell wire is neither expensive nor unsightly.
  • Always select a transformer with overload protection on the secondary or low-voltage wiring. Built-in protection of this type will cut off the current when trouble occurs in the transformer.

WIRING FOR DOOR CHIMES

  • Many homeowners enjoy the sound of chimes rather than doorbells or buzzers. Chimes are attractive, and the sound is very pleasant.
  • Most chimes already provide separate tones for your front and back doors. This makes it easy to determine from which door the chime is activated.
  • Chimes of various types are available for you to use. A four-note chime unit may sound single notes for the back door and as many as eight notes for the front door. The wiring diagram shows how to wire a dual-chime unit for one note to sound from the back door and two notes to chime from the front door. You'll notice the similarity between wiring a chime and a doorbell or buzzer.
  • Chimes are usually much more attractive than bells or buzzers. For this reason, you may want to mount them right on the wall in a room.
  • Again, remember that the chime should be mounted in a location that allows you to hear the chimes throughout your home.

WIRING A FOUR-NOTE CHIME

  • Always use a heavy transformer (16 volts to 20 volts) that matches the voltage requirement for a larger chime.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions and follow them carefully. Many larger transformers require specific wiring arrangements.
  • The image shows a simple wiring plan for a four-note chime.
  • In the illustration, the transformer is located in an outlet box in the basement, and the wire feeds to the four chimes in the central unit located elsewhere within the house.

LOCATING TROUBLE IN BELLS & CHIMES

  • Use a low-voltage circuit tester for testing the wiring arrangements for doorbells, buzzers or chimes. This type of tester is readily available at most hardware stores and home centers for a very reasonable cost.
  • When problems arise, the doorbell button is usually the culprit. Always check the button first if a doorbell or chime fails to function. Metal fatigue in the spring or corrosion from the weather may cause the contact point to fail to function.
  • After checking the bell button, inspect all visible sections of the wiring for breakage or mechanical damage.
  • Use a low-voltage tester on each section of the wiring. You will probably locate a break in the wiring rather than a short.
  • The bell will continuously ring–even when the button is not pushed–if you have a short somewhere in the wire.
  • If the transformer has an overload protection device, a shortage may cause it to cut off the secondary current. So, the transformer should also be checked when problems occur.
  • To check the transformer, disconnect one wire from the transformer's secondary screw. Touch the low-voltage terminal and the disconnected wire with the low-voltage tester.
  • The bulb will light if there is a short in the wire. Be sure that the bulb you use in the low-voltage tester matches the voltage in the transformer. If you are using a lower-voltage bulb, it will burn out during testing. If you are using a bulb with a high-voltage rating, the light will simply be dim.
  • Use a low-voltage tester to test the doorbell button. Connect the button from one transformer terminal through the bulb tester and back to the other terminal. If the button is working, the bulb will light when the button is pushed.
  • If the trouble seems to be in the bell, buzzer or chime, the problem is usually in the connections at the contact point. Remove each connection wire, file it with sandpaper and replace each wire.
  • More expensive chimes have solenoids that may be very difficult to replace. In some cases, these solenoids burn out and the chimes will fail to function. You may need to return the chime to the manufacturer for repair.
  • When first installing a wireless unit, if the unit fails to operate, try plugging in the sound unit closer to the location of the pushbutton. You may just be out of the range of the small transmitter in the pushbutton.
  • With the wireless units a weak battery in the pushbutton may cause the unit not to work. Check the battery with a low-voltage tester set to DC volts. If the battery is weak, replace it.

TOOL AND MATERIAL CHECKLIST

  • Doorbell
  • Insulated Staples
  • Transformer
  • Hammer
  • Buzzer
  • Pliers
  • Doorbell Button
  • Stapler
  • Chime
  • Side-Cutter Pliers
  • Keyhole Saw
  • Low-Voltage Tester
  • Bell Wire
  • Electricians' Tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws

How to Size a Bathroom Ventilation Fan

As the trend to larger spa-like bathrooms continues to gain in popularity, the need for proper ventilation becomes more important.  While many people are tired of their noisy and in effective bath fan - not many people know how to properly size a fan to their needs.

There are a few different ways to calculate the number of Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) of air movement needed to properly ventilate a bathroom. Make sure you check out the end of the article and read about static pressure.  A long duct run from the fan to the outside can skew your calculations. 

METHOD 1 

This method works on the assumption that the goal for bathroom ventilation is 8 complete air changes per hour.  Take your square footage x ceiling height to get the total cubic feet to be ventilated.
Example:  Bathroom measures 10 feet wide and 12 feet long.  It has 8 foot ceilings.  So 10 x 12 x 8 = 960 cubic feet.

We take the cubic feet and divide by 60  - which is the number of minutes in an hour.  We take the result and multiply by 8 (remember, our target is 8 complete air changes each hour).  The complete equation is as follows:

STEP 1 
10 ft X 12 ft X 8 ft = 960 cubic feet.             

STEP 2 
960 divided by 60 = 16.                  

STEP 3 
16 x 8 = 128
 

So - we need 128 CFM of air movement to properly ventilate this bathroom.  Assuming there is not and excessively long or twisting duct run to the outside - we would select a fan that moves somewhere around 130 CFM or higher.  Examples would be the Panasonic FV-15VQ4 or Broan QTXE150FLT, both of which are rated at 150 CFM.  If an inline fan is desired - the Fantech FR 110 would suffice.

METHOD 2 

This method is a simple one - for bathrooms under 100 square feet.  According to guidelines of HVI (Home Ventilating Institute) baths 100 square feet or smaller require one CFM per square foot of bathroom - with a minimum of 50 CFM.

So - if you have a 7 foot by 9 foot bath - you need 63 CFM.   It doesn't get any simpler than this.  Most conventional ceiling insert fans, however, are rated either 50 or 80 CFM - so you will have to round up or down (rounding up preferred). 

METHOD 3 

This method of calculation is designed for bathrooms over 100 square feet and factors in the number of fixtures in the bath (toilets, showers, tubs).  The rules are: 

* Allow 50 CFM for each standard toilet, shower or tub 
* Whirlpool and jetted tubs need 100 CFM

So - if you have 1 toilet (50 CFM), 1 shower (50 CFM) and 1 whirlpool tub (100 CFM) - you will need a 200 CFM Fan.  The Pansonic 

How to Size a Large Bathroom Ventilation Fan

As the trend to larger spa-like bathrooms continues to gain in popularity, the need for proper ventilation becomes more important.  While many people are tired of their noisy and innefective bath fan - not many people know how to properly size a fan to their needs.

There are a few different ways to calcuate the number of Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) of air movement needed to properly ventilate a bathroom. Make sure you check out the end of the article and read about static pressure.  A long duct run from the fan to the outside can skew your calculations. 

METHOD 1 

This method works on the assumption that the goal for bathroom ventilation is 8 complete air changes per hour.  Take your square footage x ceiling height to get the total cubic feet to be ventilated.
Example:  Bathroom measures 10 feet wide and 12 feet long.  It has 8 foot ceilings.  So 10 x 12 x 8 = 960 cubic feet.

We take the cubic feet and divide by 60  - which is the number of minutes in an hour.  We take the result and multiply by 8 (remember, our target is 8 complete air changes each hour).  The complete equation is as follows:
STEP 1 
10 ft X 12 ft X 8 ft = 960 cubic feet.             

STEP 2 
960 divided by 60 = 16.                  

STEP 3 
16 x 8 = 128
 

So - we need 128 CFM of air movement to properly ventilate this bathroom.  Assuming there is not and excessively long or twisting duct run to the outside - we would select a fan that moves somewhere around 130 CFM or higher.  Examples would be the Panasonic FV-15VQ4 or Broan QTXE150FLT, both of which are rated at 150 CFM.  If an inline fan is desired - the Fantech FR 110 would suffice.

METHOD 2 

This method is a simple one - for bathrooms under 100 square feet.  According to guidelines of HVI (Home Ventilating Institute) baths 100 square feet or smaller require one CFM per square foot of bathroom - with a minimum of 50 CFM.

So - if you have a 7 foot by 9 foot bath - you need 63 CFM.   It doesn't get any simpler than this.  Most conventional ceiling insert fans, however, are rated either 50 or 80 CFM - so you will have to round up or down (rounding up preferred). 

METHOD 3 

This method of calculation is designed for bathrooms over 100 square feet and factors in the number of fixtures in the bath (toilets, showers, tubs).  The rules are: 

* Allow 50 CFM for each standard toilet, shower or tub 
* Whirlpool and jetted tubs need 100 CFM

So - if you have 1 toilet (50 CFM), 1 shower (50 CFM) and 1 whirlpool tub (100 CFM) - you will need a 200 CFM Fan.  The Pansonic FV-20VQ3 would work well in this bathroom.  An inline fan kit that would work well in this bathroom is theFantech PB 230-2.  This kit includes a 200 CFM fan and allows for 2 exhaust grilles in the ceiling.

Static Pressure and Duct Run: 
A ventilating fan must overcome resistance when pushing air from the inlet, through the duct, to the outside of the building. This resistance is known as static pressure. The amount of static pressure depends on the duct length, type of duct, elbows and the roof jack or wall cap.  Essentially, the more elbows, turns, duct length, etc. that you have - the more static pressure will be present and less effective CFM you will get out of your fan. 

Panasonic provides some tools to calculate the model needed to ventilate properly after factoring in duct lenth, duct type, elbow, type of exterior vents, etc.  As you might suspect - the end result of the calculations only leads you to select their fans.  While it is possible to use air duct calculators and other tools to precisely determine effective CFMs you will get out of a fan - it is probably OK to simply round up to a larger fan if you know you don't have a straight duct run to the outside would work well in this bathroom.  An inline fan kit that would work well in this bathroom is theFantech PB 230-2.  This kit includes a 200 CFM fan and allows for 2 exhaust grilles in the ceiling.

Static Pressure and Duct Run: 
A ventilating fan must overcome resistance when pushing air from the inlet, through the duct, to the outside of the building. This resistance is known as static pressure. The amount of static pressure depends on the duct length, type of duct, elbows and the roof jack or wall cap.  Essentially, the more elbows, turns, duct length, etc. that you have - the more static pressure will be present and less effective CFM you will get out of your fan. 

Panasonic provides some tools to calculate the model needed to ventilate properly after factoring in duct length, duct type, elbow, type of exterior vents, etc.  As you might suspect - the end result of the calculations only leads you to select their fans.  While it is possible to use air duct calculators and other tools to precisely determine effective CFMs you will get out of a fan - it is probably OK to simply round up to a larger fan if you know you don't have a straight duct run to the outside. 

Professional Appliance Installation & Delivery

We are greater Boston's choice for professional, insured appliance installation. We service commercial, multi-family and individual accounts. We offer the following services:

  • Appliance installation for all large and small home appliances including dishwashers, ranges, ovens, microwave ovens, vent hoods, exhaust fans, garbage disposals, dryers, dryer vent cleaning, trash compactors, electric hot water heaters, garage door openers, AC Units, doorbells, alarms and more.
  • Commercial accounts with appliance retailers to provide customers with delivery and installation
  • Multi-family apartment or condo appliance

H.O. Services understands how important it is to have your appliances installed correctly and in a professional manner. With H.O. Services you can rest assured that your dishwasher, refrigerator, range, washer, dryer, garbage disposal, etc. will be properly installed and tested by our experienced, insured employees.

Electricians in Greater Boston MA | Getting an Electrician to Dry Your Clothes

If you are living in an older home in Greater Boston and you decided to purchase a new dryer you may need an electrician to get a load of laundry dry. This is because over the years the NEC (National Electrical Code) has changed. As it happens, one of those changes may have just happened right behind your old dryer without your knowledge.
Electrical dryers require 240v of electricity for proper operation. In older homes and in older appliance the common plug and receptacles were designed for 3-wire connections to transmit the required electrical current. Today however, NEC requires a 4-wire configuration; this change in the electrical code is for your property and personal safety.
This new 4-wire configuration insures that both the grounding wire and neutral wire are directly connected from the electrical panel right into the dryer. The old 3-wire method did not insure that the grounding wire was connected to the appliance. In homes with the older 3-wire configuration proper grounding of the appliance can easily be over looked.
If you find yourself facing such a problem, you have two choices to resolve this issue. The first option is to change the receptacle to accept the new 4-prong plug. Because the code grandfathers in the use of the 3-prong receptacles in older homes this is not a requirement. However, any investment in upgrading the electrical system of your home is a good idea.
I recommend this method of fixing this problem. I also suggest you call a qualified electrical contractor in Greater Boston Ma to make sure the work is done properly and safely. H.O. Services will be able to tell if the condition of your home wiring is safe and if the electrical panel has the correct breakers to handle the amps (amperage) required by you new dryer. Most electrical dryers require a 30amp breaker running through a 10/3 or 10/4 cord. 10 is the gauge of the wire, the smaller the number the larger the wire and the more current the wire is able to carry safely.
The other option you have is to change the cord that comes from the new dryer to a 3-prong plug that matches your homes existing receptacle. You can attempt this project yourself or you can use a Licensed Massachusetts Electrician in Greater Boston MA to do this small job for you. If you do decide to do this yourself be sure to check out the article here: Convert Dry Cord. This short article will give you a general idea of how to do this yourself. If you are still not sure how to address this issue, contact H.O. Services.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are over 15000 Dryer Fires every year resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Fire can occur when lint built up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct ignites.

Keeping your dryer vent hose clean is an important part of long dryer life, operation and the prevention of DRYER FIRES This service includes COMPLETE cleaning of the entire vent line, inside, underneath and surrounding area of the dryer of all lint build-up.

Lighting Design

Many people cannot immediately identify why they may like or dislike a particular room or interior. Proper lighting and illumination is the single most critical factor in designing a pleasing interior environment. A successful lighting design is pleasing to the eye, focuses attention on key room features and eliminates shadows and "hot spots". There are several lighting applications that can be used to meet specific lighting needs or to achieve a desired special effect.

GENERAL or AMBIENT LIGHTING refers to an even overall level of light provided to make a room or space comfortable and safe for its intended use. Recessed lighting is very popular as a general lighting source. Recessed lighting may be in the form of 3" to 8" diameter "can" type fixtures consisting of a "trim" and a "housing.” Recessed "trims" are the visible portion of the recessed light fixture and are available in hundreds of styles and colors to control the spread of light, reflect the light and/or match a particular decor or theme. The "housing" is the actual enclosure that is installed into the attic and connected to the power system. Different housings are available for new construction and remodel construction where attic access is difficult. Where recessed lighting may be in contact with building insulation, an "IC" rated housing is required to prevent a potential fire hazard. In may office environments, general lighting is provided in the form of luminous fluorescent ceiling panels.

TASK LIGHTING typically refers to the higher level of light provided on work areas such as kitchen islands, countertops and desks. Additional light is directed to these areas using recessed, track or pendant fixtures. Concealed under-cabinet lighting is also frequently used by lighting designers to provide task illumination without seeing the source (fixture). Fixtures with either low or line-voltage halogen or xenon bulbs provide a whiter, warmer light than fluorescent under-cabinet lighting. 5 watt xenon or halogen lamps spaced 6 inches apart are suitable for most task lighting purposes where the fixture is within 24" of the work surface. Whether recessed, track or under-cabinet style, low voltage halogen or xenon lighting fixtures are smaller than line voltage lighting but require a transformer to change the voltage from 120 volt to 12 volt. The transformer is included inside many low voltage fixtures but is also sometimes separate depending on the particular fixture and style.

ACCENT LIGHTING. To be effective, accent lighting should be approximately four times the level of ambient (background) light in an area. Focusing light on an "accented object" or "area" draws attention to a picture, vase or other focal point. Here again. Halogen lighting type fixtures provide a whiter, brighter appearance than standard incandescent or fluorescent type fixtures. The selected fixture should be directional, either a swivel or gimbal type fixture to aim the light exactly where it is needed. Adjustable surface mount fixtures, track fixtures and even recessed style fixtures are available with "aimability" in mind. For a dramatic museum-type effect, some fixtures can include a focusing lens for pinpoint accuracy. The "Lighting Illumination" PDF attached to this file is a good guide for estimating the illumination or brightness of various bulb types and wattages.

WALL WASHING is a type of Accent Lighting that creates an area of uniform illumination that may desirable for a series of photos or artwork. Wall Washing reduces the texture of the wall surface. Often the reflected light can create ambient light in the remainder of the room that is pleasing and restful. WALL GRAZING is opposite from Wall Washing in that it creates a dramatic highlight and shadow effect on surfaces such as draperies, stone or brick. Ceiling light fixtures for Wall Grazing are placed closer to the wall than Wall Washing in order to highlight the three-dimensional effect.

DISPLAY LIGHTING consists of small low voltage lighting fixtures to illuminate cabinets displaying keepsakes, ornaments, dinnerware etc. Many under-cabinet fixtures (as described above) are suitable for display lighting. Small space xenon fixtures used on a "Mini" or "Linear" track have unparalleled design flexibility. Tiny fixtures may be spaced anywhere along the track making it possible to create an even distribution or highlight task areas. Lamp choices from 3W to 20W allow illumination levels from a subtle glow to a brilliantly lit area. A "Light Baffle" often serves as a holder for the track and as a visual shield, concealing the halogen or xenon bulbs. An innovative use of the baffle is as a rigid support, such as spanning the edge.

COVE LIGHTING gives a room a more open appearance by illuminating the perimeter of the room where the walls meet the ceiling. A large crown mold or soffit is built around the perimeter of the room providing a concealed space for a continuous halogen or xenon track lighting. Cove lighting looks best with a smooth, even wash of light. Fixtures should be placed at least 4" from the wall with 6" to 9" being ideal to minimize scalloping. The ceiling height above the lamps should be not more than twice the distance from the wall. The lamp spacing and wattage will depend on distance and brightness level desired. For a medium light level, a good starting point is with 5-watt lamps spaced 6" on center, with a track spaced 6" from the wall and 10" from the ceiling. From this reference point you can design the light level up or down as desired. A room with a dark ceiling, or a brightly lit room may need a higher light level.

Lighting that is thoughtfully considered can make a world of difference and will be an improvement that lasts for many years. Many home improvement stores include sample displays of the various lighting systems and fixtures mentioned above. As with most appliances and electronics, there is a wide variety in the quality of lighting fixtures available. Be sure your purchase is from reputable well known company with fixtures that are either UL or ETC listed. There are numerous online retailers that offer name brand fixtures delivered to your door at very competitive prices.

Professional Recessed Lighting Installation & Replacement Services

Recessed lights are usually used by architects and interior designers in rooms where the residents aim for a relaxed and soothing lighting effect. Recessed lighting is considered preferable to the use of multiple standing and side table lamps based on the mood they can induce in the occupant of the room. You will discover why interior designers are using recessed lighting when you enter a room that has recessed lights in them – to see is to believe, as they say.

The experts may recommend that you have recessed lights installed in your hallways and/or kitchen, to get the best use out of this form of lighting. Recessed lights are installed in the form of canister lights that will fit the holes in the ceiling they were fitted for. You will probably need an experienced electrician to guide the installation team in the installation of your recessed lighting, so that the finished work results with the recessed lights are set flush with the ceiling structure without compromising safety.

If you are looking for an electrician to install Recessed Lights, please call us today at (844) 435-5646.

Generator Installation Contractor

Home generators are designed to provide electricity in times of power outages or utility company malfunctions for a short duration of time. Home stand-by generators not only provide lighting for the house in case of power outages but also may, depending on their capacity, provide power to run appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, furnaces, televisions and heaters.

Stationary home generators require the service of a professional licensed electrical contractor for installation. Generators are connected to the home wiring system through an automatic transfer switch properly sized for the home’s electrical needs or can be connected with a manual transfer switch or properly connected inlet to operate selected loads. NEVER connect a portable generator to the home’s electrical system without these critical safety components installed!

Automatic Stationary generators come with an automatic power monitoring system. As soon as there is disruption in power, the generator automatically starts to provide power and switches off automatically after normal power is restored.

Call us today to discuss your home’s standby generator options (844) 435-5646.

Generator Equipment Maintenance Plan »

Electrical Repairs

Our professional electricians can come to your home and diagnosis any problem you may be having. Our vehicles are fully stocked to ensure that we have the right tools and materials to ensure the best service for your home.

We will personally perform all electrical work to guarantee a "Job Well Done" for you. All electrical materials we use for your project will be of the highest standards to ensure years of reliability and safety for your property and family.

Our Up Front Pricing

You should NEVER have to pay the price for slow or inefficient service. But that's exactly what tends to happen when you pay electricians by the hour instead of by the job. Because we diagnosis every job and then give you the price,  you will never be surprised when you receive the bill after our work is completed. The benefits of this system includes:

  • The total and exact cost is known before the job begins.

  • Length of time needed to do the job is no longer a concern, the price remains the same.

  • No hidden costs, your technician will supply you with a written cost before the job begins.

  • Choose whether to do the job or not based on the known cost, not an estimate.

  • No more surprises when the bill comes.

If you are looking for a Greater Boston electrician please call us today at (844) 435-5646.

ALUMINUM WIRE RISK: The Aluminum Electrical Wiring Risks & Hazards Explained

Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early 1970's, is a potential fire hazard. How safe is aluminum wiring?

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard. Problems due to expansion, or more likely micro-fretting and arcing at the connectors, can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at splices. The connections can become hot enough to start a fire without ever tripping a circuit breaker! H.O. Services has the experience and know-how to safely handle your aluminum wiring needs.

The photos shown above are not the most dramatic catastrophes linked to fires caused by aluminum wiring. But these are conditions that are found in many homes with aluminum wiring, confirming that this is a real, common, and widespread hazard.

CPSC research shows that "homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than are homes wired with copper. "Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern. Introduction of the aluminum wire "alloys" in 1972 time frame did not solve most of the connection failure problems.

Aluminum wiring is still permitted and used for certain applications, including residential service entrance wiring and single-purpose higher amperage circuits such as 240V air conditioning or electric range circuits. The fire risk from single purpose circuits is much less than for branch circuits.

But it's not necessarily because of a "new alloy" as some folks assert. It's because there are enormously fewer connections (four or six rather than 30 or 40 per circuit) and thus statistically a smaller chance of a connection failure. These connections do still burn up, as indicated by field reports.

If you have aluminum wiring, call H.O. Services at (844) 435-5646

Chandelier Installation

While recessed lighting is excellent as a main source of light, Chandeliers and add elegance and beauty to your Greater Boston home. Whether you want to install an elegant crystal chandelier in your formal dining room or Victorian style Pendant in your study room, H.O. Services has the know-how and the right tools to install it without any problems.

We install the finest chandeliers and fine fixtures that you wish us to install. Our professional service technicians can also remove old chandeliers, raises or lowers existing fixtures, changes light bulbs and repairs malfunctioning ceiling mount light fixtures.

We ensure that the new location is suitable to handle the weight of the chandelier and can brace for a new box should it be needed. Very few if any other electricians dare to touch a chandelier but we at H.O. Services welcome helping you transport and install your chandeliers for your home.

In addition, we also install, service, and remove old ceiling fans, including adding wireless fan speed controls.

If you are looking for an electrician or need lighting or chandeliers installed, please call us today at (844) 435-5646

Ceiling Fan Installation by H.O. Services

A common misunderstanding among Greater Boston homeowners is that ceiling fans actually reduce the temperature in a room and allow lower air conditioning settings as a way to save on electricity costs. In reality, in the summer a ceiling fan with blades rotating counter-clockwise creates what is called a “wind-chill” effect by evaporating moisture on our skin. On a hot and humid summer day, this “wind chill” effect can make the room feel at least seven degrees cooler so that you can avoid running the air conditioning even when the actual room temperature is in the mid-eighties.

In the winter months the room can actually be made warmer by rotating the ceiling fan blades clockwise and forcing warm air from the ceiling down into the living area. This warmer air allows you to adjust your thermostat so that the heating system runs less, saving money on heating costs.

At H.O. Services, we understand that by using a ceiling fan you can reduce your energy usage by just using a ceiling fan to get the air in your room circulating making the air feel either cooler or warmer depending on the season.

If you are looking for a Greater Boston ceiling fan installation contractor, please call us today at (844) 435-5646

Professional Pool and Spa Connection Contractor

Things to consider when having a pool installed:

  • Control Panels for Remote Control of Pool and Spa functions
  • Modern Pool Control Panels offer you the luxury of controlling all functions of your pool system from a keypad inside your Clearwater home. Control the heater, pump on or off, pump speed, and the motorized valves of the plumbing system from the comfort of your home. Optional Auxiliary Relays provide additional functions, such as control of landscape or fiber optic lighting.
  • Fiber Optic Lighting

Why is Fiber Optic Lighting is the only truly safe lighting for pools and Spas?

Because everyone knows that electricity and water are not a good combination, especially when you are sitting in your pool or Spa. With fiber lighting there is never a chance of an electric shock, or worse an electrocution, because there is no electrical wiring near the pool, only light. Options include changing colors and remote control of your fiber optic lighting.

Spa Wiring Solutions

Having a Spa is like having a year-round vacation in your own backyard. It is a place to escape the cares of the day and spend some quiet time alone or with family and friends.

With family and friends using your Spa, you want to be sure that it is installed correctly, especially the electrical wiring. By hiring a qualified H.O. Services technician to connect your Spa, one that is licensed, bonded and insured, and obtains the required permits, you are assured that it meets current electrical safety standards. You can enjoy your Spa with the knowledge and peace of mind that you and your loved ones are SAFE from electrical hazards.

If you are looking for a dock lighting electrical contractor, please call us today at (844) 435-5646

H.O. Services Troubleshooting & Repairs

You wake up in the morning and “Oh No!” part of your electrical system is not working. What do you do? We can help. The first thing you should do is check your circuit breakers (or fuses) and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets to see if one is tripped. If one of your circuit breakers is tripped, try resetting it by turning it all the way off and then back on. If a GFCI is tripped, push the reset button. If it stays on it may seem that your problem is solved. But wait. Why did the circuit breaker trip in the first place? It is more than likely just doing its job protecting the circuit and internal wiring in your home from dangerous overheating. Why did the GFCI trip? It is more than likely doing its job protecting your family from electrical shock. But more importantly, you need to know now Why this is happening and how can it be fixed. The troubleshooting experts at H.O. Services will not only help you identify all of the symptoms, but will prescribe a cure for your electrical problems and solve them for good right on the spot.

If you checked the circuit breakers and GFCIs and you have no power or it seems like ½ of the house is not working, it is a good idea to call the utility company (NStar) at this time to report the problem. The utility company, in most cases, will send out a line crew within an hour or two, day or night to check to make sure that they are providing the correct power at the first connection of your meter box. (Note: The power company connection is the end of their responsibility. The meter box and the panel/fuse box are your responsibility.) Many times this will solve the ½ power or no power problem. If the power comes back on, you still may want to contact the friendly customer service people at H.O. Services, and get on the schedule to have your electrical system and panel inspected by one of our Professional Service Technicians. This would also be a good time to ask about a whole house generator system to keep you from being in the dark in the future!

If our helpful tips did not solve your electrical problems, then call (844) 435-5646 anytime to schedule one of our Professional Service Electricians to the rescue. You can be assured that your electrician will be a clean, neat company employee who does not smoke, is drug free and has passed both national and local criminal background checks for your family’s safety. With our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and years of experience specializing in servicing homes like yours, you can rest assured that once the problem is identified, the repair will be made with the highest quality materials available on the market today. We refuse to cut corners or install inferior parts into the most critical system in your home, the electrical system. With that said, we guarantee everything we do and strive to help you feel that when you invite the team at H.O. Services to service your home, you have chosen the right company to partner with for all of your home’s electrical needs. Also, be sure to ask about our Service Club Membership program.

Panel Upgrades

Does your Greater Boston home still have an old style fuse panel? Are circuits overloaded? Have circuits been “doubled-up?” Has new wiring been added over the years, and does it meet code? Has your Insurance Company refused to renew your home insurance policy? Your home may be in need of a service panel upgrade.

Modern Circuit Breaker Panels are more convenient, and are built to far higher safety standards than outdated fuse panels.

Extra protection is incorporated into the latest equipment in the form of circuit breakers. These circuit breakers protect every device in the house with sensitive circuitry that responds quickly if there is a fault, opening the circuit and eliminating the risk of danger. There is also excellent protection available in the form of Ground-Fault Circuit Breakers and Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers.

Older Equipment and wiring systems did not have to support the modern appliances of our day. Overloading and doubling up of circuits is commonly seen on older outdated fuse panels, the result of improper installations that were never inspected. This can cause fires. Upgrading the source of power distribution to your home by installing a new Circuit Breaker Main Service Panel, can eliminate this potentially dangerous situation.

Here are some reasons to Upgrade your Panel:

  • Reduce the chance of an electrical fire.

  • Eliminate doubled-up circuits.

  • Eliminate the need to replace fuses, or the chance to install the wrong size of fuse, which is a common fire hazard.

  • Capacity to add additional circuits in the future.

  • Increase the resale value of your home.

Don’t compromise on safety. First, have your system inspected by one of our highly qualified technicians. We will help you to decide on whether you should have your outdated fuse panel replaced with a modern Circuit Breaker panel.

Knowing About Grounding for Those Electrical Activities

What is Grounding?

Most of all, grounding is a safety system for your dwelling. not only does it guard our abodes but it also insures your safety. Simply put your electrical system is connected to the earth. All of the metal parts that your electrical system has or can possible come in contact with are wired in such away as to pass any electrical current directly into the earth if need be.

Understanding what a Ground Fault is.

Grounding is a safeguard that kicks in when an electrical problem known as a ground fault pops up. An example of this would be when a damaged wire makes contact with its conductive shroud. This can also happen if you mistakenly attempt to work on your electrical system without first shutting off the power.

No matter the cause of the ground fault, the path of the electricity does not flow through the circuit as normal. When working properly the electricity is fed through the positive wire into a load, such as an appliance, then it returns to the electrical panel via the neutral wire. When a ground fault happens, the current bypasses the load and if wired correctly pass through to the grounding wire. Because the circuit now has a direct path to the ground, it causes what is known as a short or short circuit. This short in turn causes the circuit to use overflowing power, this extra power consumption then results in the breaker inside your electrical panel to trip shutting off the power to the circuit.

Because grounding is so terribly important, the connections that connect your electrical panel to the earth must be made using specific connections. The main grounding wire from your panel is either connected to the earth via a grounding rod or via cold water lines. Depending on your location, other methods such as ground plates are used or the grounding wire is connected to a concrete foundation.

Call H.O. Services today to look at your homes grounding system. This would be very important to do if you’re a buying a new home as well as checking the integrity of your existing home's electrical system.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Did You Know that Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can cause severe illness, permanent health problems and even death? It is also preventable.

Take action to protect your family from the risk of severe and permanent health hazards or even death by installing carbon monoxide alarms. It is recommended that you install a Carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home (preferably next to sleeping areas).

Did you know that smoke inhalation while sleeping is a major cause of death in house fires? Like injury or death from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, this is also preventable.

We have available and in stock, 120 Volt AC Combination smoke and CO Alarms, with voice warning, to automatically alert you to the danger, whether it be smoke from a fire, or the odorless but just as deadly Carbon monoxide.

If you have older smoke alarms (most are rated only for a 5 year life span), consider having them replaced with new ones, or with the Combination “Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning system.”

Building Renovations & Home Remodeling

If you're in the dark about how to do that electrical project in your Greater Boston home, or are beginning a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, then please contact H.O. Services. Our Boston area electrical remodeling contractors can lay new wiring to add convenience to your home, or rewire existing systems to keep your home safe.

Our professional electricians provides electrical contractor work to the Greater Boston area homeowners by itself, or as a part of a larger remodeling project. We assist in any type of home remodeling project including:

  • bathroom remodels
  • kitchen remodels
  • basement remodels
  • powder room renovation
  • master bedroom remodeling
  • room additions
  • new construction
  • office remodeling

Accent Lighting For Your Home

Many people cannot immediately identify why they may like or dislike a particular room or interior. Proper lighting and illumination is the single most critical factor in designing a pleasing interior environment. A successful lighting design is pleasing to the eye, focuses attention on key room features and eliminates shadows and "hot spots"

Accent lighting is a new trend. It started, as a luxury mean of enhancing the interiors and exteriors of hotels, high-class restaurants or corporate buildings and it is now an affordable home design technique for any Greater Boston homeowner.

There are enough lighting fixtures you could use for interior design, but the ones that could provide for the most spectacular accents are the LED light sources. These come in different shapes, sizes, viewing angles, effects and colors. You could even ask a manufacturer to create a LED luminary of your design (but take care: development costs are high and any nonstandard product is expensive). The LED lights contain no harmful UV rays. Take that and their low power consumption and you've got a highly reliable lighting fixture to replace other conventional lights and create unexpected lighting accents and designs.

At H.O. Services, our professional electricians have superior knowledge and experience in installing all types of accent lighting for your home.

If you are look for a Greater Boston electrician to help you install accent lighting please call us today at (844) 435-5646.

Electrical Heating Installation, Replacement, & Repairs!

Electric heating is clean, compared with forms of heating which involve combustion, e.g. gas, oil, coal, etc. There are no fumes or flues associated with it. It is usually cheaper install than other forms, either in a new build, or in an existing house.

It can conveniently be used as 'top up' heating, where gas or other central heating is used as the main form of heating. Many (but not all) electrical heaters are portable and respond quickly.

It is generally more expensive to run, although the relative costs compared with, say, gas depend on local conditions and costs at any particular time.

The running costs of electrical heaters will be high if the heater has no thermostat, and is left on for long periods, unless it is a low wattage heater. Thus only use a high power heater, without a thermostat, if it is just to be used to heat up a room for a short time, then switched off.

At H.O. Services, we install many different types of electrical heating devices. With our years of experience you can be sure that your electric heating installation will be prompt and painless!

Saving Money and Going Green with Programmable Thermostats

With rising energy costs and a dire environmental outlook - it's no wonder that programmable (or "setback") thermostats are gaining in popularity.

Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, you don't operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house is not occupied.

The benefits are two-fold:

  • Save money on your heating and cooling bills
  • Feel good about saving energy resources

How many degrees do I need to set my thermostat back to realize energy / money savings?

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5%–15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates.

In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal as you wake or return home.

Most newer programmable thermostats will have a feature which allows the thermostat to "learn" how long it takes to get to a particular set point. With this feature - the thermostat can start "recovering" early in order to reach the programmed set point at a given program time. Honeywell calls this Adaptive Intelligent Recovery. H.O. Services calls it Energy Management Recovery.

Call H.O. Services at (844) 435-5646 to install your programmable thermostat today!

Professional Under Cabinet Lighting Installation Solutions

The kitchen is one of the most well used rooms in your home, and it is important for it to be as accommodating as humanly possible. The problem is that most kitchens are not equipped with adequate lighting for the cooking and food preparation that goes on in there. You want to make sure that you are doing everything right. After all, that food has to go into your mouth and you should be able to see it clearly when preparing a meal. Many cabinets can cast shadows on the counter tops that make working in the kitchen even more difficult than it already has to be during times of low light. Under cabinet lighting proves to be very useful in this instance.

There are several ways you can make it easier on yourself as you prepare a meal or clean up the counter tops. You can buy cabinets already pre-fitted with lights if you are remodeling. If you want to format your existing cabinets to hold lights, it's not too difficult, although you may want to seek a professional H.O. Services electrician for that. And don't worry about your electric bill going up much. Most of these lights use about as much electricity as your doorbell.

You won't have to worry about the appearance. Most are hidden out of sight. The only time you even notice they are there is when you turn them on.

If you are looking for an under cabinet lighting electrical contractor, please call us today at (844) 435-5646, or complete our online request form.

Knob and Tube Wiring

What is it?

Knob and tube wiring is the original wiring method used from the late 1800s until approximately 1945. It is a system that involved stringing individual conductor insulated wire across porcelain insulators called “knobs,” and through other porcelain insulators called “tubes.”

Is Knob and Tube wiring safe?

This is an often asked question. There are a number of concerns with knob and tube wiring. Some of them are listed here…

  1. It is an ungrounded system, which provides a greater chance of shock or electrocution and damage to sensitive equipment.
  2. It is very old wiring (at least 62 years old, at best), and in many cases has deteriorated, cracked or is missing insulation, which can lead to fires.
  3. The original switches and receptacles are not CSA approved, and in many cases the contacts are loose inside the device, which makes for a poor electrical connection and potential for fire.
  4. It is common to find that newer wiring has been improperly connected to knob and tube wiring by amateurs, resulting in dangerous conditions in the form of shock hazard, reverse polarity problems, switched neutrals, overloaded circuits, and fire hazards, just to name a few.

Like other components of your home, such as your roof, furnace, air conditioning and plumbing, there comes a time when replacement is necessary. That time has come for knob and tube wiring.

So, to answer the question “is knob and tube wiring safe?” we have to say that in our opinion, the answer is “NO.”

What can you do about it?

In our opinion, rewiring the home is the only solution that correctly addresses knob and tube wiring. Other solutions like eliminating it only where it is open to view (in basements and attics), or installing GFCI receptacles, are band-aid solutions that we do not recommend. Although installing GFCI protection may be acceptable to the Electrical Safety Authority, GFCI receptacles may not work in situations with shared neutrals (commonly found in knob and tube wired homes).

Rewiring the home is an investment that adds substantial value to your home. It is a major project that may take 1-3 weeks, depending on the size and construction of the home. It is the best solution to serve your long term interests.

If your home has knob and tube wiring, and you are concerned about the safety of your electrical system, contact H.O. Services and arrange for an assessment.

Safety Inspections

One of the most crucial components of any home is its electrical system. Electrical systems may be safety hazards if not properly maintained. We are often called in after homeowners or home inspectors disclose aluminum wiring or by homeowners looking for a report on the condition of their home wiring. NOTE: ALL INSPECTIONS MUST BE COMPLETED BY A Massachusetts (MA) STATE LICENSED ELECTRICIAN

We are often called in after homeowners or home inspectors disclose aluminum wiring or by homeowners looking for a report on the condition of their home wiring.

Advantages of Electrical Inspection

  • Home sellers can proactively provide a detailed report on the condition of their aluminum wiring increasing the number of potential buyers, minimizing costly delays and correcting potential home inspection defects.
  • Home buyers will gain an understanding of the condition of the aluminum wiring in their prospective new home along with the cost to alleviate the fire hazard both temporarily and permanently.
  • Realtors and home inspectors can shift the liability regarding the disclosure and condition of aluminum wiring to the aluminum wiring experts.

We can inspect your home by surveying a sample of the devices in your home. These devices are usually the most heavily used in the home based upon our professional experience or can be revealed through conversations with the homeowners themselves.

Furthermore, we can provide a detailed report of our findings describing the condition of the connections, signs of imminent hazards, signs of previous overheating, electrical panel conditions and any code violations.

Download Our Inpsection Check List

To view these files you will need the Adobe® Acrobat Reader™, which is available for free from Adobe's Web Site. (Adobe and Acrobat Reader are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated).
Inspection Checklist

Switches and Outlets

With technology the way it is today, it seems there's always a new gadget to bring home or into the office. If you're like most of our clients, you often find yourself wishing for additional outlets to accommodate the ever-growing number of plugs for all your shiny new toys!

Our licensed master electricians can help. We can move or install additional outlets practically anywhere, including:

Home:

  • Kitchen - countertop and kitchen island outlets
  • Living room - outlets for entertainment systems
  • Bathroom - safety outlets for beauty appliances
  • Bedrooms - multiple outlets for your interior design needs
  • Split outlets - one tied to a switch, the other always hot

Office:

  • Conference room - table outlets for laptops, speakerphones, presentation devices
  • IT stations - surge-proof safety outlets in multiple areas for maximum efficiency
  • Offices - outlets for task areas

Business:

  • Window display outlets
  • In-store display outlets
  • Station table outlets for restaurant kitchens

We also install switches to suit your every lighting need:

  • Dimmer switches
  • Timer switches
  • Toggle switches
  • Custom wall plates

Give us a call today for all of your switch and outlet needs.

Surge Protection in The Greater Boston Area!

Surges are sudden and unexpected spikes in voltage that travel throughout your home/office electrical system.

Some surges come from within your own home/office, such as turning on a vacuum cleaner or sending a document to your printer. Other surges come from outside your home, as in electric utility switching, downed power poles, cut power lines, and lightning strikes. Surges can even enter through cable televisions and telephone wiring.

However, it is relatively easy to guard against power surges by installing surge protection equipment. Surge protection equipment blocks high voltage electricity from passing further through the line. Surge protection equipment helps protect electronic equipment from voltage fluctuations in the lines, before it damages your belongings. Even the smallest surge can damage sensitive electronics, like a computer, VCR or stereo.

For example, if lightning struck a Boston area home or somewhere around it, a surge may go through the electrical system and anything that is plugged in may get “fried”, whether it is turned on or off. Homeowners end having to pay out of pocket to replace these appliances and equipment.

Most homes have some type of expensive electronic equipment in it- for example, kitchen appliances, water heaters, etc., which are vulnerable to power surges. These items can be protected with a whole house surge protector. Additionally entertainment equipment and/or computers can be protected with a surge bar. These affordable surge protectors come with a lifetime warranty and cover up to $25,000.00 worth of appliances.

H.O. Services has been installing surge protection equipment since 1990. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Smoke Detectors

Because fire can grow and spread so quickly, having working smoke alarms in your home can mean the difference between life and death. But these life-saving devices are only effective when they're working properly. Smoke alarms with batteries that are dead, disconnected, or missing can't alert you to the dangers of smoke and fire.

The right way to install smoke alarms

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.


  • Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on your household electrical current. They can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds regardless of the fire's location. This is an advantage in early warning, because it gives occupants extra time to escape if they are in one part of the home and a fire breaks out in another part. Alarms that are hard-wired should have battery backups in case of a power outage, and should be installed by a qualified electrician.


  • If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.


  • If you, or someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and/or sound.


  • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.


  • If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm near the ceiling's highest point.
Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
  • Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarms from working.

"Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week Web site, http://www.firepreventionweek.org/. ©2004 NFPA."

Outdoor & Security Lighting

Outdoor Security Lighting from H.O. Services creates a safer environment for your home or business. Sleep easier with the help of this full-service, turnkey program that provides complete outdoor lighting systems for commercial, residential homeowners.

Better Security by Design

Let us help you create a lighting system that meets all your needs. One of our H.O. Services service technicians will visit your property to design a lighting plan tailored to your requests. Lights can be installed on existing utility poles or on specially placed poles based on the necessary level of lighting.

Homeowners can benefit from a lighting security system that can detect and recognize movement in an otherwise overlooked and dark area. In addition to the position of the security lights, controlling glare is a major consideration. This is crucial because homeowners who can see the criminal can possibly provide authorities with descriptions, information, and other valuable clues.

Effective Outdoor Lighting

The guidelines listed below will help you ensure that your outdoor lighting does the job it is intended to do without causing reduced visibility for passing motorists, light trespassing (spilling of light into areas where it is not wanted or intended) and energy waste. You'll also help preserve the stunning view of the night sky. Lighting installed for walkways and driveways should be directed downward.




  • Accent lighting should illuminate only the intended objects.

  • Use timers, photo cells and motion detectors to automatically turn lights on and off.

  • Use energy efficient bulbs.

Pay Your Bills Online

  • ST, Boston
  • P.D.
  • John M.
  • Steve Savarese
  • Michael
  • GY
  • Anonymous 2
  • Jerri
  • Andy, Arlington
  • Terese P.
  • Kathy G.
  • David and Miriam
  • JL
  • Christopher B.
  • Frederick S.
  • Jerry B.
  • Steve
  • Ed
  • David T.
  • AS
  • Rose M.
  • Joan
  • John M.
  • Jim S.
  • Anonymous
  • George
  • Joanna
  • Paul & Tom
  • Janet S.
  • Latesha
  • Bill W.
  • Bill W.
  • Bill

Howard,
Great work!! Exactly what we were looking for.
Thanks for salvaging that old bathroom fan also. Will get the check out ASAP.

- ST, Boston

H.O. replaced my panel and upgraded it to a 200 amp service. Since we live in a 213 year old house he also did some wiring of old nob a tube in the attic.

I had heard about H O from my next door neighbor had Howard do his electrical panel and was happy with his work. Howard was very professional and took the time to explain what he was doing. After taking the time to do a house inspection he showed me the old knob and tube in the attic, and recommended that it be replaced.

Howard cleaned up after the job and reviewed all the work with me that they had completed. I was quite impressed with Howard and his staff. I have recommended him to others.

P.D.

Great service once again!

I had some small electrical projects for the guys and once again what wonderful service. The guys came out and agian were very professional. They explained everything to me once again so I could remember how they work. I agreed once again and in the end another great job by H.O. Electric! I will continue to call H.O. Electric for all my electrical needs.

from customerlobby.com

Howard

Great job to both your son and company on the flagpole.

Steve Savarese

Reliable, Creative, and Up-front

They always showed up exactly when they said they would and they came up with creative solutions when the existing wiring made it difficult to implement what we wanted. They charge exactly what they say they will charge, although sometimes you need to pay them to do enough work to figure out how much the total will cost.

from customerlobby.com

Thank You, Howard
The fan looks and works great.

- GY

I contacted HO for fan repair, as they are the only authorized ********** repair facility in the area. Even though this isn't the main stream of their business, they treated me very well, even offering to make delivery of the repaired fan - to a relatively remote area of the South Shore - after their business hours.

from customerlobby.com

Based on list recommendations, I called Howard Oven and he was here in 2 days, fixed one overhead light, replaced a wall fixture with a much more appropriate light (and beautiful to boot!), plus fixed the basement overhead and a wall outlet. All in about four hours! They were careful with our indoor cat, very clean and very easy to have around while they were working. Plus, when Howard went out for a part and the store did not have it like they said they did when he called ahead, he called me to let me know what the delay was and when I could expect him back.

We will definitely be using H.O.Electric for our electrical needs in future. Their web site is http://hoelectric.com

Jerri

Howard,

Just a quick and long overdue thanks and note of appreciation for a job well done.

Your crew installed a 220v line extension from the service panel over to a new washing machine installation a few months back. Everything went smoothly, without a hitch, and on schedule. I appreciate how easy it was doing business with you. And the online PDF billing was a piece of cake, too.

Pleasure doing business. We'll certainly be back again.

Andy, Arlington

Very knowledgeable and professional.

I was very pleased with the work done at my house. I would deffinetly call them again for electrical or plumbing work.

from customerlobby.com

Top Notch Professionals!!!!

I have a Casablanca ceiling fan that wasn't working properly. I called H.O. Electric and was very thankful I did. Will (Mike) was very professional, knowledgeable, pleasant, and customer friendly. For a house call they were very reasonably priced and timely. I highly recommend their service to all. Casablanca is a top notch fan and H.O. Electric is a top notch company! I will definitely use them again.

from customerlobby.com

Howard,

We wanted to thank you for the great job you and your crew did on our living room lighting project. You responded quickly, gave us excellent design advice, provided an estimate the same day, and then worked with us to make the timing fit our needs. We could not believe how you were able to fit us so promptly into your busy schedule. The quality of the work was great and your crew, led by Juice, was professional, courteous, and highly skilled. We would happily recommend you to anyone.

Many thanks,

David and Miriam

Thanks Howard. Heat in my office works great!
I'll make sure to pass along your name to anyone
looking for an electrician with lots to offer at reasonable prices.
Thanks again,

-JL

I'm Happy With The Job

I called them, they showed up on time, gave me a price, and did the job the same day. They installed circuits, 200 amp electrical service, lights, and repaired broken switches / dimmers. I would recommend.

from customerlobby.com

Awesome Job!

I needed help with my kitchen lights. These guys came out and provided me with options. They provide great service so I understand if they are a little more expensive than others. Its worth the time and money. I highly recommend them and I will be using them again!

from customerlobby.com

Excellent work, but they really push the service plans.

I recently used H.O. Electric for the first time. They replaced the exhaust fan in my attic, as well as installed a screen, which is something they normally don't do. The workers did very well addressing my concerns, and were helpful. It went quickly, too. The work itself was totally fine.

There were a few negatives in the peripherals, however. All the promotional stuff--get these savings if you sign up for this plan--took away from the experience. They try to sell you on certain plans and tell you what the work will cost with each, and I thought if should be just one price for the thing. Though the work was great, I have to detract points for this part of the experience.

Jerry Brown

from customerlobby.com

Howard, thanks for your help.

Juice did a great job.

We have a couple of other electrical jobs in mind, and we'll go to the web site when we have everything ready to go.

All the best.

Steve

Comments: They are excellent. Very thorough. Howard does a great job explaining everything from start to finish. He's prompt as well. I was thrilled with the experience.

- Ed

Fantastic company!

We were very impressed with the presentation H.O. Electric gave. They were extremely professional and efficient. Everything went great with them and I'd definitely use them again.

from customerlobby.com

Howard came the day I called and was very helpful explaining the situation and quick in fixing the problem so we could turn our fuse back on. He was also helpful with questions I had about improvements I would like in the future - pointing out the most cost-effective solutions and recommending some website to look at fixtures. I am planning to ask him to come by again soon to do more work.

-AS

The cable tv works great

When I needed cable tv in my house, I called the cable co. but they said I needed an electrician. I did not know who to call but read great reviews about H.O. Electric. I gave them a try and was glad that I did. My experience was perfect. Nice guys showed up in uniform and charged me exactly what they quoted.

from customerlobby.com

Everything up front and explained in detail.

I like that they explain in detail and you know how much everything is going to be. They are very upfront. They also stated that there was a problem with some wiring that was previously done. I appreciate this, as safty is very very important. I like that they are not afraid to tell you this. I asked them also to look at a future job and they did so without any problem. They were not rushed. While they are there on a job, you are their only concern at the time. Very much apprecitated. I would recommend them to family and friends without a second thought.

from customerlobby.com

Great electrical company

The guys came out to my house this past monday to fix my heating system. They explained the issue and went right to work. I like how they give me the price up front. No surprises. I will definitely be using these guys again.

from customerlobby.com

H.O. does electrical,plumbing and heating.Would recommend to everybody

H.O. came out tuned up my generator,they did a great job. H.O. does Electrical, plumbing and heating. They are the company to service all your needs.

from customerlobby.com

Got their number off their trucks. Wow. Lightning bolts. neat, professional, and courteous people. Arrived inside scheduled window. Answered all my questions and offered info about problem and solutions. got a choice of level of service and they did the work right then. Paid with a cc and they swiped it and emailed my receipt right there. Going to get more info from them soon.

from customerlobby.com

I was fully satisfied with my experience with the HQ electrians.

Outstanding job.

from customerlobby.com

Reasonable price with excellent service

I had two outlets that had stopped working- a simple thing but it can be difficult to get someone in, especially for a smaller job. The great thing about HO is that it's a company with a team of people behind it, so you can always get someone on the phone. I had called a few independent electricians and got calls back from them 2 days later.. I called into HO elecrtic and got someone on the phone right away who took all of my information, and booked an appointment right away. The electricians then showed up on time, and walked me through what they were doing. Price was the set price in their book. Within half on hour they were on their way.

from customerlobby.com

Any recommendations for reliable and fair pricedelectrician? (I know there is no such thing as aninexpensive electrician.)
Thanks.
Paul

I've had a good experience with H.O. Services. They showed up on time anddid a neat and professional job. www.hoelectric.com (844) 435-5646

Tom

I second that recommendation. Howard just did a great job on some lightingin my husband's office. He is a really nice guy, takes the time to explain,listen, and offer opinions.

Excellent services, details of job explained clearly up front. Would recommend using this companny.

Lighting problem was quickly resolved, All of my questions were answered and options were presented to me. A very professional company. Highly recommend to others.

from customerlobby.com

They were very responsive in taking care of my request.

Pricing is something that yet has to be determined due to the circumstances on the first call, but there was only a $59.00 service call charge which was more than fair for the trip.

But overall, S.O.S maintenance will use them again.

Thank you

from customerlobby.com

Outstanding, first-rate company.

I first started using H.O. Electric several years ago when I had to have some electrical work done. I saw their large ad in the Yellow Pages and noticed that they were a family business in the Cambridge area. Given their longevity, I thought that they must be a good company, and they were.

I have used them 3 or 4 times now for everything from installing TV's to sub pumps. They are a nice group of guys to work with and they will immediately correct any glitch without charge or dispute.

I also have recommended H.O. Electric to many other people. They are an outstanding, first-rate company.

from customerlobby.com

Very responsive, neat, and friendly

I had H.O. Electric out to my house on a saterday evening because I had lost power to part of my house. I called around to other electricians, but did not get through to any one. I found H.O. and called, and to my surprise a REAL person answered.

I explained my issue and the woman explained how they operated. She an electrician would be sent out immediatly. He arrived at my house about 45 minutes later. I was amazed at how fast he got there on a saterday night. He was very friendly, and put on some booties when he came into my house. He listened to my problem and ask me to show him around. After looking at what was not working, he showed me his price book and explained what he planned on doing to resolve my issues. I had him go ahead and do it. He was very focused and worked very quickly until he had got my power back on. I was very impressed. He walked me through what he had done and what the problem was,and I was very surprised to see what actually went into what I thought would be basically turning my lights back on. He cleaned up and took a credit card payment. From the time I called on a saterday night until the time he left was only about 2 1/2 hours. I'm very impressed, as I'm used to waiting days or even a week just to hear back from an electrician. I would definately recommend them to my neighbors.

from customerlobby.com

Thanks Howard -

You guys were impressive. That was like a swat team - in / out / job finished.

As I told you, it was a little more of a job than I was initially prepared for; I appreciate your patience with my situation - and thanks for not wasting my resources on a band aid, but instead bringing us a step forward toward our kitchen rehab.

Impressive billing system too!

Bill 

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