Harbour Point Exterior Painting

B&G recently painted the Harbor Point Building located in Mukilteo, Washington.   The building was drab and plain and didn’t really stand out in the scenic wooded area just off the Mukilteo Speedway.   The new colors both brighten it’s appearance as well as blending it better to the natural backdrop of the Pacific Northwest landscape.   Tenants include UniEnergy Technologies http://www.uetechnologies.com/ and ABC Special Event Rentals www.cortpartyrental.com .  For leasing information please call RosenHarbottle Commercial Real Estate at 425-454-3030 or online at www.rosenproperties.com .IMG_8822 IMG_8823

Hall Creek Office Building Exterior Painting

B&G recently completed painting the exterior of the Hall Creek Office Building located in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.   This is a three story office complex with good access to both I-5 as well as Highway 99.   Current tenants include Homewatch Caregivers www.homewatchcaregivers.com The University of Washington http://www.washington.edu and Vanguard Cleaning Services http://www.vanguardcleaning.com .   For leasing information, please contact Rosen Properties at 425-454-3030 or www.rosenproperties.com

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Kent Business Campus Exterior Painting

B&G recently painted the Kent Business Campus, located on N. Central Way in Kent, Washington. The four building complex is class ‘A’ office in the heart of Kent. The new exterior color scheme by Freiheit and Ho Architects http://www.fhoarch.com/ makes the largest of the four buildings stand out with great street visibility. Tenancy includes Project World Relief http://worldreliefseattle.org/ Associated Behavior Health http://abhc.com/and Rainier Title http://www.rainiertitle.com/ among others.

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For leasing contact Rosen Properties at (425) 454-3030www.rosenproperties.com

Incandescent vs CFL vs LED Part I

Not too long ago light bulbs were light bulbs. No matter you had to spend, you really had only one choice when it came to interior and exterior lighting options for your home or business: Choose the wattage based on the fixtures wattage rating and head to the hardware store.

In recent years environmental awareness and technology has brought new material available to the public at reasonable prices.    CFL and LED bulbs are more readily available than ever and with a price point that drops quarterly.   Not only are these new options more energy efficient, they can also last years, or even decades longer than the standard incandescent light bulb.

Prices for LED bulbs started out extremely high, upwards of $100 at start.  They have since dropped considerably and are now in definite competition with all other types of bulbs out there.  Since there is a movement to discontinue incandescent bulbs by the year 2020, prices for newer and even more efficient LED bulbs will continue to drop.   B&G Electrical Contracting can provide free estimates for all projects to upgrade home and business lighting to a more efficient, cost effective, long lasting lighting solution.

Incandescent CFL LED
Approximate cost per bulb $1 $2 $8 or less
Average lifespan 1,200 hours 8,000 hours 25,000 hours
Watts used 60W 14W 10W
No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use 21 3 1
Total purchase price of bulbs over 23 years $21 $6 $8
Total cost of electricity used (25,000 hours at $0.12 per kWh) $180 $42 $30
Total operational cost over 23 years $201 $48 $38

How to Recycle Compact Fluorescent Lamps in Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland  

Knowing how to properly dispose of compact fluorescent lamps in Western Washington is important if you or your company replaces bulbs and ballasts on a regular basis.  Compact fluorescent lamps, or CFL’s, are energy efficient light bulbs that contain very small amounts of mercury that could be harmful to the environment.   Due to the potential for contamination, the lamps cannot be put directly in your trash and should not be destroyed or broken. The King County web site has a page providing tips and information about the make-up and disposal of CFL bulbs, including the mercury content and other hazardous material they contain.

Below are some options when deciding how to dispose of lamps properly.

  • Drop off up to 10 bulbs per day, at no cost to you, at your local Household Hazardous Waste Facility. For a list of all locations and hours of operation please call the Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692.
  • The Take It Back Network offers convenient, cost-effective and environmentally sound recycling options. A list of Take It Back Network recyclers who accept CFLs can be found here.
  • Many King County communities sponsor periodic residential recycling collection events. Restrictions may apply and quantities accepted may be limited.  Call or check out their website to confirm.
  • Recycle where you purchase your material. Contact your local home improvement retailers such as Home Depot or Lowes or even Bartell Drug’s stores around the region to see if they accept CFL tubes and bulbs for recycling.

 

Mercury in CFLs
CFL bulbs contain approximately 4 milligrams of mercury – about the amount that would fit on the tip of a ballpoint pen. This small but critical amount of mercury is what enables CFLs to operate up to 75% more efficiently than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.

Mercury is safely sealed within the bulb’s glass coating while intact and in use. Environmental contamination occurs when the bulbs break and mercury is released. Precipitation washes mercury into surrounding bodies of water where it is absorbed by naturally occurring bacteria and aquatic organisms. Mercury travels up the food chain as predatory fish consume smaller contaminated fish. Species at each successive level of the food chain consume higher concentrations of mercury because they are unable to eliminate toxins faster than they are consumed.

Humans are exposed to mercury almost entirely by eating contaminated fish and wildlife. Those most at risk are pregnant women and small children. Exposure to mercury can cause damage to the central nervous system and contribute to developmental disorders in children.

Despite concerns over mercury content and contamination issues, policy makers, manufacturers, and scientists are in agreement over the greater environmental and economic benefits of CFLs. When recycled properly, nearly every component of a fluorescent bulb can be separated and reused – even the mercury.

According to the EPA, electricity from coal-fired power plants is the main source of U.S. mercury emissions. By using CFL bulbs in place of incandescent, we can decrease the demand for coal-fired power and in doing so, significantly reduce the amount of mercury released into the environment.

Electrical Tip Of The Day – ‘Do I Need A Permit?’

There are always important questions to ask and a lot of confusion regarding build permits in Western Washington.  I was recently told by one of our clients that it would be nice to know how all this “permit business” actually applies.

From the City of Seattle web site:  “You need an electrical permit any time electrical wiring is installed, altered, extended, or connected to any electrical equipment. As long as the circuit wasn’t altered or changed, and met the code at the time of installation, you don’t need an electrical permit to replace:

  • Snap switches
  • Fuses
  • Lamp sockets
  • Receptacle outlets
  • Electric ranges
  • Cook tops
  • Wall heaters
  • Baseboard heaters

You may not need a permit for some residential and minimally-sized communications systems”.

Now, making that more specific to the electrical world.  We are typically required to pull an electrical permit and have an inspection as follows:

  • Whenever the electric service must be disconnected to do the work
  • Whenever the electrical meter must be pulled to do the work
  • When making alterations to service entrance equipment, typically including repairs
  • When performing total building remodels
  • When making changes of structural nature or “re-purposing ” of any occupancy
  • When more than 100′ of new wall is constructed or the construction process is structural in nature
  • New construction projects / new buildings / new build-outs (which can also require a State permit as well as a local one)

So who can pull a permit you ask?  It can work out a couple of ways.  A homeowner or property owner can usually pull a permit for any project they own.  In the case of an electrical contractor, the company doing the work must have current bonds in place and current licensing on file (if required) with the municipality or county issuing the permit in order to be able to make application.   As I have stated in earlier entries, do you homework when hiring an electrical contractor.  Make sure they are licensed and bonded in the. State of Washington.

Don’t get shocked! Install GFCIs

GFCI-4For a long time now, ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCI’s, have saved thousands of lives and have significantly reduced the number of home electrocutions by nearly fifty percent. Many homes and business in the Puget Sound Area do not have proper electrical protection in restrooms or outdoor locations. With the unpredictable Northwest weather, you need to make sure that you are guarded from the hazard of a shock both in and outside of your home.

GFCIs are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or current leakage. A person who becomes part of a path for leakage current will be severely shocked or electrocuted.   This could cause serious injury or death.  GFCI outlets prevent shock by quickly shutting off power to the circuit, similar to a circuit breaker in a house panel.   This occurs if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a slight amount from that returning, usually caused by a short circuit or circuit overload.

A GFCI should be used in any indoor or outdoor area where water may come into contact with electrical products like landscaping, a bathroom or around a kitchen sink.  National Electrical Code currently requires that GFCIs be used in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and outdoors. GFCI’s should be tested once a month to confirm that they are working properly.

How to Test Your GFCI:

GFCIs should be tested often to make sure they are working properly. To test your GFCI:

  1. Push the “reset” button on the GFCI to prepare the outlet for testing.
  2. Plug in an ordinary light or plug tester (from Home Depot) into the GFCI and turn it ON. The light should now be on.
  3. Push the “test” button of the GFCI. The light should go OFF.
  4. Push the “reset” button again. The light should now come ON again.

If the light does not turn off when the test button is pushed, then the GFCI may have been incorrectly wired or damaged and it no longer offers shock the protection for which it was designed.  B&G Property Maintenance and Electrical Contracting can give you a free estimate to install or upgrade GFCI outlets around your house to increase electrical safety and make your home electrically protected.

Do-It-Yourself Home Electrical

Do Not Attempt To Solve an Electrical Issue Without Proper Knowledge

For most electrical issues in the home, including adding light switches or outlets, seek the services of a licensed professional electrician.  Attempting to repair an electrical issue without the proper knowledge or training can lead to more expensive issues down the road. The U.S. Fire Administration data reveals that 26,100 home fires are caused by electrical problems, which lead to over $1 billion in property losses. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t solve some of the common electrical issues here in the Puget Sound Region. We can take a look at three common residential electrical issues and how to solve them.

 If The Outlet Doesn’t Work

The first thing to do is check the status of other outlets. Are they working properly? If the other outlets aren’t working as they should, it is an indication that the power in that circuit or the entire house is out. However, if only one outlet isn’t working it might be because a GFCI or circuit breaker might have been tripped. Locate the electrical panel in your home and ensure it isn’t in the ‘off’ position.  Stand to the side of the panel and flip the breaker to the ‘on’ position if it is off.  It is important to stand to the side just in case there is any arcing from re-energizing.  If the issue is not resolved, you should get professional assistance as voltage from a house panel can be very dangerous.

Continuous tripping of the circuit breaker

If a circuit breaker gets overloaded or overheated, it will trip.  A circuit breaker is protection for your home’s circuits, and essential for the safety of the electrical system. If the circuit breaker isn’t functioning properly, appliances and components plugged into that circuit could be damaged and wires could overheat which could cause a fire.  Circuit overloads could also be caused by too many things plugged into an outlet.   Make sure surge protectors are installed and counter top appliances are unplugged when not in use.

If Your Lights Flicker When Turned On

This could be a result of using a bulb of wrong type or wattage or if it isn’t connected properly. Using a bulb of wrong wattage or installed loosely or improperly, can potentially lead to overheating and fire. If the bulb is new and correct, the other possibility is faulty wiring either in the switch or the fixture itself.  Homeowners should definitely seek professional help for these types of wiring issues.