Oh no! Electrical system issues aren’t only annoying — but hazardous. Call us for a Calgary electrician. Here are four common electrical problems we can help you out with:

Lights Keep Flickering

If your lights flicker, check if there is a loose plug or bulb. If they aren’t loose, you may have a more serious issue. Notice when the flickering happens and for how long. These clues can help our electricians pinpoint the issue.

Lights can flicker for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Your neighbor on the same transformer may be using too much power.
  • Fluctuating voltage may be the issue if flickering happens when appliances are off and light bulbs are burning out frequently.
  • Loose or outdated wiring can cause flickering — along with a fire.

Receptacles Heat Up When Used

An electrical receptacle can get warm if something with an internal transformer is plugged into it (e.g. laptop charger or smartphone charger). Unplug it to cool. But, something is definitely wrong if the receptacle becomes hot, and that increases the risk of an electrical fire or shock. A circuit could be overloading or there could be a loose contacts in the receptacle. UpgradeHome.com warns, “If your electrical plug gets hot while it’s plugged in this can be due to faulty wiring. The best thing to do is to turn off the outlet at the breaker, unplug all appliances and call a professional to come and fix the problem before you use the outlet again.”

Plugs Keep Falling Out of Walls

It’s irritating to plug in your vacuum and have the plug come right out of the wall! If every cord you’ve tried to plug in falls out, your receptacle has faulty contact points which aren’t gripping the prongs tightly. This can start a fire, and it happens more with 2-prong plugs. You’ll need a Calgary electrician to replace them.

Circuit Breaker Tripping When the Microwave is Used

Microwaves are notorious for overloading circuits. To rule out a malfunctioning microwave, plug it in elsewhere. If that breaker trips right away, the microwave needs replacement/repair. If the breaker isn’t tripped in this receptacle, then your microwave needs its own dedicated spot in the breaker box.

Calgary electrician can remedy common electrical problems — and more. Don’t deal with frustrating flickering lights, overloaded circuits, hot receptacles, and plugs falling out of the walls any longer. We’ll make your life easier — and safer! Call Westhills Plumbing & Heating today!

Are you considering a new tankless water heater installation in your home? Old, traditional style water heaters can take up a lot of room. They also have to heat water and hold it in a large tank, keeping it hot until you decide you need it. Tankless heater units can last years longer on average since they’re easier to repair, and their energy efficiency makes them attractive. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why tankless water heaters are so popular!

1. Hot Water on Demand

If you’ve ever run out of hot water while more than one appliance is running or many family members have taken a shower or bath around the same time of day, you know that it takes a while for the hot water tank to fill up again. The wait is terribly inconvenient. A tankless water heater heats water on demand, so you aren’t inconvenienced while you wait for a large tank to fill.

2. Longer Lifespan

On average, a traditional style water heater lasts about 8-12 years. A tankless water heater typically lasts 15-20 years (if it’s been properly used and maintained). That’s a major boost in longevity from old style to tankless!

Tankless water heaters are also easier to repair than traditional styles. Plus, you don’t have to worry about major leaking or even the tank exploding — which are possibilities with traditional water heaters.

It’s important to have a qualified technician do any water heater installation. Do-it-yourself installations can cause your unit to malfunction, severely reducing the unit’s lifespan. You also need to follow building codes, pick the correct size for your particular home, possibly obtain a permit, etc. Improper installation could create a dangerous situation. This is a job best left to us professionals.

3. Energy Efficient

Upfront, tankless water heater units may cost more. However, a tankless water heater usually uses 30 percent less in energy costs. That’s phenomenal news for your wallet!

However, tankless water heater installation may not be the best option for every home. Contemplate these questions before purchase:

  • How much hot water does your household use?
  • How many rooms does your house have?
  • How many people live there?
  • How much is your current utility bill?

If you’re considering tankless water heater installation, give Westhills Plumbing & Furnace a call. We can go over the benefits or drawbacks with you so you make the best decision for your own home.

When you’re considering the installation of a new heating system, you may hear about two types of thermostats: Line Voltage and Low Voltage. What’s the difference, and why does it truly matter which you choose to purchase? Heating companies in Calgary can help you understand the difference between the two major types of thermostats so you can find which will work best for your unique situation.

Fortunately, both types of thermostats have a lot of pros — and only a few cons — to consider. Whether you’re building a new home or you’re installing an updated heating and/or cooling system in your current house, you’ll need to choose the type based on your circuit line capability, usage, and costs. (Some homeowners will use both thermostats if more than one kind of heating distribution method is used.)

Line Voltage Thermostat

Line Voltage thermostats use direct current: 120V or 240V (AC) and can be found in your home’s outlets. They’re considered high voltage thermostats. Forced-fan heaters and baseboard heaters usually use Line Voltage thermostats.

  • There’s a larger variety of Line Voltage thermostat products to choose from.
  • They’re easiest to install.
  • They’re affordable.

Of course, Line Voltage thermostats do have a few drawbacks:

  • Their temperature control isn’t as precise as Low Voltage thermostats.
  • They use more energy.
  • Higher voltages are more dangerous.

Low Voltage Thermostat

Low Voltage thermostats are thermostats that use 50V or less. Most homeowners will find Low Voltage thermostats are most common. You, as well as your neighbors, probably use oil, wood, propane, or natural gas as heating fuel. According to TheHomeHacksDIY.com “This means that people most likely use a hydronic based heating system, such as radiators or a duct-based system. So if you have one of these two systems, you use Low Voltage thermostats to heat your home.”

  • Generally, these use about 24V to operate, so you’ll save money over time in energy costs.
  • Low Voltage thermostats pair better with new smart technologies like smartphones and Wi-Fi.

There are a few cons though:

  • They’re more difficult to install since they need a step-down transformer and use more wires than Line Voltage.
  • Installation costs more.

Usage and costs should factor into your new thermostat decision. Ultimately, the choice of Line or Low Voltage in an older home will depend heavily on which kind of circuitry is already there. Heating companies in Calgary can take a look and help you with your decision. Call Westhills today to get your quote.