Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter

Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter

  • Electrical
  • Generators
Preparing Your Home's Electrical System For The Winter

The season of chilly air, cozy nights and winter wonders has arrived, and snow is already on the ground in some parts of the nation. In preparation for colder weather, many homeowners have taken care to ensure that their heating system is in top shape and that their plumbing is properly protected from freezing temperatures. When it comes to preparing for winter weather, many people overlook the importance of protecting their electrical system from damage. In order to avoid costly repairs and ensure a steady flow of power to the home, there are a number of steps that should be part of every homeowner’s cold season checklist. Ryan Gath Electric is the trusted local experts to help in Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter.

Test/Replace Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

These devices serve an essential, yet often undervalued role in keeping your family safe and secure. During cold weather preparations, be sure to check that each detector and alarm is functioning properly, and that fresh batteries are installed. Homeowners who have had the same detectors in place for many years may want to consider updating them with newer and more advanced devices. It should go without saying that the cost of replacing old smoke and carbon monoxide detectors pales in comparison to the cost of a fire or the emotional toll of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Install Or Update Exterior Security Lighting

There are a number of excellent exterior lighting options currently on the market, many of which offer multiple features. Homeowners should evaluate their outdoor lighting, and determine if additional or updating lighting would bring value to the home. In addition to improving a home’s security, exterior lighting can make it far easier to unload groceries, care for pets or get the kids settled into the car after dark. Many options are motion-activated, and some even offer high tech features such as a security camera that can be accessed remotely. 

Install A Generator Or Tune-Up An Existing Unit

In many parts of the country, having a back-up generator is a wise choice during the winter months. If the power fails, a generator can ensure that the home remains warm and lit until service is restored. That can make the difference between a livable home and having to find alternate shelter. For those who already have a generator in place, an annual tune-up is a great way to make sure that the unit is in good repair and ready to be called into service if the need should arise. For those who have been considering adding a generator, there are a number of different options available at a wide range of price points. Anyone who has sustained a prolonged loss of power can attest to the benefits of having a generator within the home.

Test Electrical Outlets & GFCIs

Any winter preparation checklist should include a test of all of the home’s power outlets. This is a fast and easy task with the use of a multimeter (which is an inexpensive device that will last for many years.)  The multimeter will not only check to make sure that an outlet is getting sufficient power, it can also let the homeowner know if the wires are properly connected, and if the outlet is safely grounded. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are special outlets that are designed to automatically shut off when an electrical fault is detected. However, they wear out over time, and will need to be replaced. A special device is used to test older GFCIs, and those manufactured after 2006 will simply stop working once the circuitry fails. Replacing a worn out outlet is a simple and inexpensive home repair project.

Replace Light Bulbs With Compact Fluorescent Lights

Updating your home’s lighting can lead to lower power bills and a greener lifestyle. One of the best ways to improve your home’s energy use is to replace traditional light bulbs with CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs produce light differently than incandescent bulbs, and require approximately 70 percent less energy. That can rack up significant savings over the course of a year, especially when most of your home’s light fixtures have been switched to CFLs.

Conserve Energy Throughout Your Home

As the weather chills, conduct an annual check of your home’s energy efficiency. Look for areas where improvements can be made, and be aware of “phantom load,” which is a term used to describe power that flows to unused appliances or electronics. Many people are surprised to learn that power is continuously consumed by many devices, even when they are not turned on or in use. Simply shutting off the power can save hundreds of dollars each year. Be sure to unplug appliances that are not currently in use, and consider using a power strip to supply current to multiple devices, such as a television, gaming console, and sound system. That makes it easy to shut off power to those devices with one simple switch, rather than having to unplug each cord.

Choose Ryan Gath Electric When Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter

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Here at Ryan Gath Electric, we want to make sure that your electrical system and the rest of your home stay safe throughout the winter months. When you call us for electrical system maintenance this season, we will work with you every step of the way to get your home’s electrical system ready for the cold weather. So don’t let your power go out in the middle of a blizzard – Call Ryan Gath Electric today!

By Ryan Gath Electric

5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System in Good Health Over the Holidays

5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System in Good Health Over the Holidays

  • Electrical
  • Generators
5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System In Good Health Over the Holidays

5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System In Good Health Over the Holidays

Can your home’s electrical system safely handle your holiday lighting? The holiday season is quickly approaching, and you may be thinking about how you want to decorate your home this year. An important part of your planning is with your electrical system to make sure everything is in top shape to handle the extra load put on the system.  You should be able celebrate with the peace of mind that your home and guests will be safe.  Here are some things that can happen if your system is not in top shape, the benefits of maintaining your electrical system, and 5 Tips For Keeping Your Electrical System in Good Health Over the Holidays.

Risks Posed Without Electrical System Maintenance

Here are some electrical setback pains you could experience if your system is not maintained:

  • Power Surges – High electrical activity in your home can cause power surges.  Therefor, if there are many electrical appliances, lights and other devices continuously cycling off and on, it puts a strain on the system that may lead to a power surge.  Adding electric holiday decorations will only add to the strain and may guarantee a power surge, which can cause damage to appliances and electronics.
  • Electric Bill – The winter season is often a time for higher electric bills, and adding electric holiday decorations will increase the cost of your electricity.  So making sure your electrical system is running in top shape will help decrease any wasted power.  Another way to help reduce the costs during the holidays is by using LED holiday lights.
    For example, Annual Energy Outlook reports the cost of running a Standard C-7 4 watt lights at 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour is $25.13.  The cost of LED lights is .56 cents.  In conclusion, there is a huge difference in cost, so it is worth upgrading to LED holiday lights.
  • House Fire and Injuries – Unfortunately, electrical systems that are not maintained can cause house fires and injuries.  The Red Cross reports nearly 47,000 fires happen during the winter holiday season.  Many of these fires are due to outdated and older outlets that are not properly grounded and unable to protect the system against sparks, shocks, or electrocution.  Oftentimes, people that have older systems will use plug strips for additional outlet needs instead of contacting an electrician to add additional outlets.  Power strips can add to an overloaded system, which can end in disaster. 

Benefits of Maintaining Your Electrical System

Your home electrical system will benefit from maintenance, which means you and your loved ones will also benefit from the safety it brings.

  • Cost Efficiency – Keeping your system running in top shape and switching to LED lights will help increase your electrical efficiency and decrease your electrical costs.
  • Power Surges – With your electrical system running in top shape, you will be less likely to have power surges that can damage your electronics or appliances.
  • Safety – You will have the peace of mind that your property is protected and your friends and family will be safe from accidental fire or electrocution. 

5 Tips for Electrical System Maintenance

  • Scheduled Inspection – The best way you can prevent problems with your electrical system is to have an expert check it out.  It’s best to have a regularly scheduled inspection by your local electrical company.  This way, you will have an expert assess your system for any concerns or problem areas that need attention.
  • Upgrade Outlets – If you own an older home, the outlets may not be updated.  An outlet with the two-prong openings and no third opening for a ground is outdated.  These outlets are not sufficiently grounded and will not protect against sparks, shocks, or electrocution.  Above all, having an electrician replace old outlets will help prevent power surges, fires, and electrocution. 
  • Install Additional Outlets – If you find yourself out of outlet space often, it may be time to add some additional outlets.  While power strips are handy to add additional outlets, they can easily become overloaded and are a leading cause of electrical house fires.  To be sure, contact your local electrician to evaluate your home for additional outlets to reduce the number of plug strips or extension cords you use.
  • Inspect Holiday Light Strings and Decorations – Before you hook-up the holiday lights and decorations, be sure to inspect them to make sure the electrical cords are in good shape.  Do not use any that have frayed or any other type of damage to the power cord.  These can cause someone to be shocked or lead to a fire.
  • Install Surge Protection Devices – To prevent power surges that can damage electronics and appliances or start a fire, contact an electrician to install your home with surge protection devices. 

Enjoy peace of mind keeping your home and everyone safe by maintaining your electrical system, instead of worrying about electrical hazards or the burden of costly repairs,

Why is Ryan Gath My Best Choice For Electrical Maintenance?

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Here at Ryan Gath Electric, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones can enjoy holiday cheer without having to worry about blown fuses, power surges, or even electrical fires. When you call us for electrical system maintenance this season, we will work with you every step of the way to get your home’s electrical system operating safely to accommodate all your holiday lights decorations. So don’t let the power go out in the middle of your celebration – Call Ryan Gath today!

By Ryan Gath Electric

6 Benefits of a Standby Generator in Chelmsford

6 Benefits of a Standby Generator in Chelmsford

  • Electrical
  • Generators
standby generator in Chelmsford by Ryan Gath

Winter will be here soon enough, and homeowners are thinking about the possibility of losing electricity in a storm. With so many of us relying on electrical equipment, it’s becoming more important to have a backup source of power, like a standby generator. Just think about all of the things that you use that require electricity! If you don’t want to be kept in the dark, consider calling us so we can install a standby generator in Chelmsford. By having one of these installed, your home can stay powered when everyone else is in the dark.

Here are 6 benefits of having a standby generator on your Chelmsford property:

Seamless switching

For most of their life, standby generators sit on your property, doing little. However, when the main power grid goes down, an automatic transfer switch in the generator activates. It cuts you from the main grid, switches your power to the generator, and turns on the generator. This happens in a very short amount of time, so you only lose power for a moment.

Maintain electrical power

Unsurprisingly, having a generator lets your electronics stay active during a blackout. This provides a variety of benefits. Whether you have food that needs to stay in the fridge or you have medical equipment that relies on electricity, you can keep using it.

Stay safe during emergencies

Having power at your home means you don’t need to leave for any power-related issues. Let’s say you have someone who needs to stay hooked on some powered medical equipment. If the power went out from a storm, you might have to bring them to a hospital or somewhere else with electricity. You don’t want to have to go out during a torrential storm. Having power means you and your family can stay safe at home.

Protection from electrical damage

Just because the power is out doesn’t mean your electronics are safe from damage. When you’re connected to the grid, there’s the possibility of violent power surges, spikes, and brownouts. These can all cause damage to anything connected to the grid. Fortunately, the generator keeps you off the grid and safe from electrical dangers. It’ll only switch you back to the grid when it has power and has stabilized.

Protection against other damage

It’s not just electrical damage you have to worry about when the power goes out. If the electricity isn’t working, that means your sump pump isn’t working as well. That means your home is vulnerable to flooding during a rainstorm. Similarly, losing out on your electric heat during the winter can cause your pipes to freeze. If you have a standby generator, all of these systems will stay functioning.

Increases home value

When you have a generator on your lot, it’s a major consideration for home buyers. A generator on your lot says “peace of mind” to potential buyers, and that’s something so many of us want. You can likely get a higher price on your home if you have one installed.

Why is Ryan Gath my best choice for a generator installation?

Ryan Gath Electric is one of Chelmsford’s most trusted electrical companies. Generator installation is a serious task that can be very risky, which is why we employ some of the best in the industry. We also offer a one-year warranty on all of our work. That means if something goes wrong with your newly-installed generator, you’ll be covered. Call Ryan Gath today to learn more about installing a standby generator in Chelmsford!

By Ryan Gath Electric

Why a Standby Generator Will Be Your Saving Grace This Winter

Why a Standby Generator Will Be Your Saving Grace This Winter

  • Electrical
  • Generators
Generator Maintenance by Ryan Gath Electric in Chelmsford, MA

It’s always a good idea to have a backup, especially when you’re not sure when the power will come back. A standby generator works by detecting when your home has a power outage and starts generating power. If well maintained, a standby will be able to operate consistently throughout a power outage and even the most severe winter weather until the power comes back. If you’re unsure about investing in a standby generator, here’s how installing one can benefit you.

How a Standby Generator Can Help You

  • It ensures you stay warm and comfortable. Installing a standby generator ensures that your furnace stays on and continues heating your home. If it’s below freezing outside, it won’t take long for your home to drop to frigid temperatures. Fireplaces provide ambiance and some warmth, but it can’t keep your entire house heated. A standby not only keeps your furnace running, but it also keeps you and your household warm and comfortable.
  • It keeps the essential appliances running. Some appliances should always be running, like your refrigerator and sump pump. The food inside your refrigerator is sensitive to temperatures, and when the power goes out, the clock starts ticking until you have an entire fridge full of spoiled food. Your sump pump also requires constant power to prevent a flooded basement. A standby generator can potentially save a life if you live with someone who has a medical condition and relies on medical equipment.
  • It protects your plumbing. Your plumbing is already susceptible to the frigid temperatures, but when the power goes out; your pipes are at risk of bursting. When the inside of your home isn’t properly heated, your pipes can freeze, and the ice inside the pipes expands until the pipe bursts. Not only will you deal with malfunctioning plumbing, but a pipe flooding thousands of gallons of water inside your home. A standby ensures your plumbing is protected and functioning.
  • It turns on automatically. Unlike some power backup power systems that need to be manually started, a standby backup generator will automatically turn on when the power goes out. This is particularly helpful if you’re away from home or out of town when the power goes out.

How to Maintain Your Standby Generator

A standby generator can protect your home, plumbing, and comfort this winter, but like any other appliance, it requires routine maintenance. Generally, a standby generator can last up to 10,000 – 30,000 hours, depending on how well maintained the generator is and the number of power outages. If you don’t anticipate too many power outages a year, your standby generator can last up to 20-30 years. Whether your standby generator lasts a few years or 30 years, it needs routine maintenance to function effectively and live out its lifespan. To make sure you stay warm this winter, here are a few ways you can maintain your standby generator.

  • Routinely inspect your standby generator. Your backup power system is complicated, and ideally should be inspected annually. Throughout most of the year, your standby generator will sit unused and is prone to damages. An annual inspection ensures it functions properly when there’s a power outage.
  • Keep your generator clean and clear of debris. A standby system needs proper ventilation in order to function. Keeping your standby generator clear of grass clipping, leaves, and other debris ensures it won’t overheat and work effectively.
  • Give your generator a test run. It’s a good idea to give your standby generator a test run before the winter season to ensure its working. A good test run also determines fuel quantity and quality.
  • Invest in a cold-weather kit. Depending on where you live, you might need a cold-weather kit before you can even rely on your standby generator. Cold weather kits work to keep the battery and other essential parts warm so that the engine can start.
  • Replace old batteries. On top of keeping your standby battery warm, it’s also important to replace an old battery in need of replacement. Even when your system is not in use, it’s a good idea to periodically check the battery.
  • Change the oil. Dirty or clogged oil can be detrimental to your standby generator as it doesn’t lubricate properly. Colder temperatures usually require a lower viscosity while hotter temperatures require a higher viscosity, or depending on the model, you might be able to use dual viscosity oil.

Don’t let your home get stuck without power this year. For all of your backup power needs, call Ryan Gath Electric today! 

By Ryan Gath Electric

Benefits of a Standby Generator Installation

Benefits of a Standby Generator Installation

  • Generators

Here in New England, we’re used to storms year round. Whether it’s a blizzard, nor’easter, a hurricane or just a heavy rains, power outages are always a possibility. An outage is not only a major inconvenience, it can lead to damages as well as potential safety hazards. Here at Ryan Gath Electric, we want to help you stay comfortable and safe in the event of an outage. Here are the benefits of a standby generator installation done by us:

Instant Power

Perhaps the best use of a standby generator is the fact that it turns on within seconds in the event of an outage. Instant power generation not only allows you to keep the lights on, but keeps appliances and systems running like normal throughout your home. Not only does it keep important home features on and functioning, a standby generator greatly reduces the risk of harmful power surges that can damage electronics or even start a fire.

Prevents Loss and Damage

Think about all the food in your refrigerator and freezer right now – now consider how fast most of it would go bad if your power were to go out. While the food inside your fridge can stay cool, the clock starts ticking as soon as the power goes off.  Some appliances, such as your refrigerator, need to be running constantly. A standby generator spares you the grief of having to throw away perishables. A standby generator is also a must have for households that use medical equipment or work from home.

 Plumbing Protection

 As temperatures drop outside, it’s important to make sure that your home stays heated and insulated. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, so if your power goes out during the winter months, your pipes could be in trouble. Frozen plumbing is no joke, as the pressure caused by water expanding can crack and bust your pipes. This can lead to costly repairs and water damage, but a generator helps to prevent it. If your basement is prone to flooding, standby generators will keep your sump pump working problem free to keep the water out.


Being without power for an extended period can be rough! Having a standby generator in place can save you from having to stay in a hotel or make other accommodations during an outage. You will be able to save money while staying safe and comfortable in your own home.

Protection for Electronics

A standby generator protects your electronics from power surges that can happen when the power comes back on. While power surges are a common occurrence, and most can be relatively harmless, power surges caused by major power outages are more likely to damage your electronic appliances. A standby generator protects your electronics by waiting until the voltage is stabilized before the generator transfers power generation back to the utility line.

Why Choose Ryan Gath Electric for Generator Installation?

Whether it’s because of inclement weather or a different reason, power outages are always a possibility. If you’re in the market for some emergency power, look no further than Gath Electric. We offer a wide range of different generator models, each suited to a different situation. We’re sure that we can find a backup generator that will meet your needs perfectly. We’re also an authorized Generac dealer, so you know that we sell quality hardware.

We are a turn-key generator installation contractor. Most people don’t realize how much of a process a standby generator installation can be. We take care of everything for you, so you can have peace of mind without any hassle at all. Permits, plumbing, contracts, inspections, and installation – we cover all the bases for you.

If you need generator installation or maintenance in the Chelmsford, MA area, call Ryan Gath Electric today to schedule your service!

By Ryan Gath Electric