Friday, June 24, 2016

New Family Photo

Announcing the newest members of our BRAY family! 2016 is a year of growth and goodness! Call BRAY today 404-378-1212 to allow us to serve your electrical needs residential and commercial.




Friday, June 5, 2015

Four Ways To Keep Homes Safer And More Energy Efficient While Owners Are On Vacation

Four Ways to Keep Homes Safer and More Energy Efficient While Owners Are on Vacation

Energy Education Council provides practical tips to cut electrical costs this summer
Summer months are a popular time for many families to take a vacation. If you plan on spending time away from your home yet this summer, remember to prepare it for your absence. With the proper preparations you can cut electrical costs and keep your home and electronics safe while you are away.
“We want people to enjoy their vacations and keep their homes as safe and efficient as possible when they are away,” said Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council and its Safe Electricity program.
The Council offers tips to help you prepare your home for vacation:
  • Change thermostat settings before you leave. When temperatures are warm outside, it is unnecessary to keep your home as cool as you normally would since you will not be in it. Turn the thermostat up to a warmer temperature or turn it off entirely. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can adjust it to cool down the house just in time for your return home.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics. You will not use your computer, television, or toaster while you are away, but they will use continue to use energy and waste money if you do not unplug them.  Even when appliances are turned off, many of them go into standby mode and continue to draw power. Unplug appliances and electronics to prevent phantom power draw. This also protects your electronics if there is a power surge in your absence. 
  • Adjust the water heater. The water heater can account for 15 to 25 percent of the average energy bill. Water heaters continue to use energy to keep the stored water warm. Since you are not using this water while on vacation, either adjust the water heater temperature to the lowest setting, or turn it off if you will be gone for more than three days.
  • If you plan on leaving lights on to deter burglars, put the lights on a timer. You can save money by not having lights on constantly and make it appear that people are home by varying the times the lights are on. 
There are other ways to make your home more efficient throughout the summer, not just while on vacation:
  • Clean your air conditioning unit. Blocked or dirty air filters and coils can reduce your system's ability to push and pull air through vents, so make sure to wash or replace filters. Also remove debris from around the outside unit. 
  • For inside lighting, use CFL or LED bulbs. Not only do they save energy, but they also give off less heat than regular incandescent bulbs, keeping your home cooler.
  • Make sure all air leaks are sealed. Inspect caulking around windows, doors, and any openings into the home. Weather stripping and caulking will help maintain your home’s temperature.
  • Close your drapes or curtains during sunny or hot days. This helps prevent the summer sun from warming up your home through the windows. 
  • Clean off ceiling fans, and make sure they are circulating air in the correct direction for the season. During warm months, ceiling fans should operate in a counter-clockwise direction. This creates a cooling effect at less cost than air conditioning. 
For more tips on keeping your home safe and efficient year-round, visit EnergyEdCouncil.org.




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 Ways to Keep Your Property Safe with Lights

1. Motion-activated or motion-sensor lighting: The lighting turns on when something or someone passes the area being covered by a motion sensor. The light only turns on when triggered by motion, not by how dark or light it might be outside. It turns off when the motion isn’t detected anymore, which saves on electricity. This lighting is often mounted near the garage to light up when you get out of your car and startles intruders. Be sure it’s mounted high; otherwise, a burglar might try to unscrew it to disable it. Also, insure these lights are protected from the elements by a weatherproof box.

2. All-night lighting: It provides constant lighting, so it would be hard for an intruder to enter your home without being seen. You can set it to turn on at dusk and off at dawn with a timer or a photo cell. Since it uses a lot of electricity, consider using a solar-powered version.

3. Hi/low combination lighting: This lighting offers illumination when you need it. When someone passes by, the motion sensor makes the lights brighten. Overnight, it uses a low-intensity light.

4. Moonlight effect: It’s lighting that’s not stronger than that of a full moon, and yet it’s strong enough to make shadows and highlights. This soft form of lighting gets rid of dark areas where an intruder might hide and spotlights movement on your property.

5. Floodlights: Use them to light a dark garage, stairway or entryway. Light the way for your family to enter the home after dark and discourage intruders from trying to enter. Position floodlights high up enough so that they cast a wide cone of light.

Call BRAY today to make a safety lighting plan to protect your property.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Keep the holidays merry - not shocking!

Be aware and safe by following these tips to ensure that your holidays are merry and bright - NOT shocking!


Check the wires for fraying or cracking. Don't use these, just toss them so you don't risk a fire.

Don't go overboard. Be careful of overloading a circuit breaker or an extension cord.

Use outdoor rated extension cords, not indoor power strips.

Turn off the indoor lights before hitting the hay. Or use a timer so you don't have to think about it every evening.

Check the pathways outside that cords aren't strung across them. We don't want guests tripping on them.

Use clips to hang lights instead of nails or tacks.

When you are checking a strand of lights and replacing bulbs unplug it before messing with wires.

When connecting strands together, only connect as many as the manufacturer recommends.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Charge up your car at home!

It may surprise EV newbies to learn that an electric car’s charger is found on board the vehicle. It’s the equipment buried in the guts of the car that takes an AC source of juice from your house, and converts it to DC—so your car’s battery pack can be charged.

This fact doesn’t stop nearly everybody from calling the wall-mounted box that supplies 240 volts of electricity a “charger.” Actually, that box, cord and plug has a technical name—Electric Vehicle Service Equipment or EVSE—and if you have an EV, you’re going to want to install one at home. BRAY offers this services call 404-378-1212
Bray Electrical Services installation

Cost

The general consensus among experienced EV drivers is that a capable and durable EVSE will cost around $600 to $700. You could spend a little bit less, or twice as much, but that’s the ballpark. This does not include installation. Read on to see which key features—such as portability and connectivity—can send the price higher, or can be avoided to reduce the cost.

Amperage Capacity

You should buy an EVSE that can handle at least 30 amps. The rule of thumb is that 30-amp service will roughly give you the ability to add 30 miles of range in an hour—just as 15 amps will add about 15 miles in an hour of charging. (These range numbers are somewhat optimistic.)
Keep in mind that most plug-in hybrids (and the Nissan LEAF prior to the 2013 model) don’t take full advantage of the faster rate. That’s okay. It’s still wise to have the capacity to charge at least at the 30-amp level, even if your current car can't fully utilize the higher amperage, so you don’t have to upgrade in a few years if/when you buy a new EV that has a faster on-board charger. Also, it’s nice to allow friends with faster-charging EVs to get a full charge from your garage.
Note: A 30-amp EVSE will need a circuit breaker rated for at least 40 amps.

Length of Charging Cable, and EVSE Location

Before you buy an EVSE, imagine where your electric car will be parked. Think about the ideal location for this piece of equipment. Now measure the distance between where the EVSE will hang on your wall, and where the charging port is on your car. Cables usually run from approximately 15 to 25 feet. Make sure your cord can easily reach where it needs to go, and think about its length for a potential second plug-in car in your driveway or garage.
Depending on where you locate your EVSE, an electrician might have to run just a few feet of conduit—or dozens of feet. Longer copper runs will add installation cost, but because you’ll charge almost every night, you want it to be as convenient as possible.

Portability

If it’s possible, don’t permanently install your EVSE. In other words, have an electrician install a NEMA 14-50 outlet or something similar (types of outlets used for things like clothes dryers). Then put a matching plug on a pigtail mounted to your EVSE. You can then mount your EVSE right next to the outlet, and simply plug it in. If the time comes when you move, or decide to relocate your EVSE, simply unplug it—and plug it back into another NEMA 14-50 outlet.
This approach costs exactly the same as a hard-wire installation, and makes the device instantly moveable without additional expense. If your EVSE is outside—because maybe you don’t have a garage—then local code might require that you hard-wire the charging equipment. Otherwise, keep your options open.

Connectivity

In this age of smart phones, smart grids, smart this and smart that, you might feel compelled to buy a Wi-Fi-enabled EVSE. That might not be so smart after all. While these fancier products sound cool because they have timers, meters, touch screens and capabilities for monitoring and changing charging events over the web, most long-time EV drivers believe that connectivity adds unnecessary complexity, as well as cost. In some cases, when connectivity is lost, the EVSE can shut down. Besides, many of these remote controllable features are available directly on the car, or from mobile applications. So, the smart money is on dumb but durable EVSEs.
If tracking electricity usage of your EV (for work or tax purposes) is an absolute must, you'll want to either meter your charging separately, or keep your eye open for add-on devices that perform this function via integration with the smart grid. These solutions are currently being evaluated in pilot projects.

Popular Choices for EVSEs

Okay, we’re finally ready to talk about specific EVSEs. There are at least a dozen different manufacturers, but we won’t cover all of them in detail. Instead, we’ll focus on the EVSEs most highly recommended by the EV intelligentsia. We’ll also briefly mention a few others worth considering.

Clipper Creek HCS-40

Clipper Creek HCS-40
When we reached out to experienced EV drivers, nearly all of them put Clipper Creek equipment at the top of their list. The company has been making these units for more than 15 years. They equipment doesn’t necessarily get the highest marks for aesthetics, but the same words keep coming up in those recommendations: durable, robust, and even indestructible. No screens, no software, no problems. In late 2013, Clipper Creek came out with a more affordable unit, well-suited to private garages: the HCS-40, and selling for $590 on the Clipper Creek website. It has a compact size, the necessary 30-amp limit, and a 25-foot cord.

Aerovironment Chargers

Aerovironment EVSE RS-Plug-in
As an alternative to Clipper Creek, you could opt for the slightly less revered AV charging station. It has about the same specs and footprint, and a nicer cord handling system that wraps around the unit. Some reviewers feel it’s a bit cheaper in feel. Aerovironment offers a full service installation program, better user guides and documentation and a three-year warranty. The hard-wired version starts at $999, with portable versions dropping to $899 for a 25-foot cord, and $799 with a 15-foot cord, both allowing for the portability discussed above. AV offers an online shop, or convenient toll-free number for sales and service: 888-833-2148. And if the offer lasts, free shipping.

Bosch Power Max

Bosch EVSE
Bosch offers a line of affordable hard-wired charging stations, varying from 16 to 30 amps. As we mentioned, it makes sense to go with a 30-amp home charger. The Bosch Power Max, available on eBay, Amazon and other outlets, is a good deal for just under $600. The unit has a nice style, and is compliant with all of the major EVs on the market. This affordable unit comes with an 18-foot cord, which if you want with a 25-foot cord, bumps the price to $750. Purchase of a Power Max includes a free Trained Vehicle Charging Advisor who does on-site cost estimation, then works with the customer on installation and inspection. Bosch Automotive Service Solutions is the former SPX Service Solutions, which Bosch acquired in December 2012.

GE Watt Station 30A

GE Watt Station EVSE
The GE WattStation Wall Mounted 30A is offered on Amazon for $799 with free shipping. It’s an attractive station, although the price is higher than competitors, and some users see the unit as too big. Others have complained of a louder than normal buzz or hum. The power button allows for zero energy consumption when the unit is not in use, when other units—especially those with connectivity—continue to drain energy. An LED ring surrounds the plug inlet and will illuminate white when the charging station is powered on or in standby mode. A green backlit charging icon will illuminate to signal that the EV is in the process of charging. The cord for this unit is slightly shorter at 16 feet. Make sure it reaches all the way around your electric car. In sum, this EVSE is fancier and therefore pricier.

Schneider Electric EVlink 30 Amp Generation 2.5 Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Schneider
Manufactured by Schneider, a well-established brand associated with Square D products, the 30-amp Level 2 charger hits the competitive purchase price of $600, while earning consistently high rankings from EV drivers. While some mention that the body is made of relatively cheap plastic, nearly all owners believe that’s a minor issue, because the unit is effective, reliable and affordable. Its low-depth (it doesn’t protrude far from the wall) and overall small size mean that it doesn’t take up any more room than necessary. This unit is available from Home Depot, which provides free in-home consultations about installation.

Siemens VC30BLKB 30-Amp Bottom Fed VersiCharge Electric Vehicle Charger

Siemens
At a reasonable although not class-leading price of $800, the Siemens 30-amp Level 2 charger gets very high rankings from consumers. It has a high-quality German-built finish, good cable management, and is smaller and lighter than some competing products. Its 20-foot cord is adequate, and users appreciated the “charge-delay” function. Some EV owners have reported incompatibility issues with the Ford Focus Electric and Toyota RAV4 EV, but those are rare and have been reportedly resolved. The only serious ding against the product is poor customer service, in the rare occurrences of problems covered by the three-year warranty.

Eaton RLC EVSE

Eaton EVSE
The Eaton RLC EVSE Level 2 30-Amp Wall Mounted Single Electric Car Charger, with 24-foot cord, is listed on Home Depot and Lowe’s websites for $999. We can’t see a compelling reason to spend a few hundred dollars more for this Eaton charger.

Leviton Evr-Green 300

Leviton
Selling for more than $1,000 on Leviton’s website, the Evr-Green 300 Level 2 charging station with 18-foot cord is not competitive priced. It comes with a three-year limited warranty, that is fairly common, but which Leviton says is “industry leading.”

A Word about Electricians

There’s some debate about whether or not you should use a contractor referred by your dealership. The general view is that any qualified electrician can handle the installation, and that you’ll avoid premiums charged by so-called EV installation specialists. The key is if you can absolutely identify a skilled electrician—because a bad electrician can mess up the job. BRAY offers this services call 404-378-1212
The cost of installation will vary depending on installation quality, distance that wires and conduits need to run from the breaker box (a.k.a. service panel) to the EVSE, and labor rates of the electrician. 
DIY is a low-cost installation option, with a big caveat: don’t take on this job if you don’t know what you are doing. It can be dangerous. Besides, local codes may require permits and inspections to be carried out on your EVSE installation.
One last note: Keep your receipts. In some locations, the cost of an EVSE and installation qualifies for state or local incentives.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

BRAY is a Surge Assure installer!


What is Whole Home Surge Protection and How Do I Achieve It?

Preventing electrical surge damage has traditionally been left to the consumer to guess at what to do. Do you buy numerous surge protector strips? Do you spend time running around the house during a lightning storm unplugging everything in sight while putting yourself at risk for electrical shock? Or do you just do nothing and rely on your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover any surge losses that may occur? You do none of these; instead you protect your investments by preventing surge damage with surgeassure Whole Home Surge Protection. 

Whole Home Surge Protection cannot be achieved by "One Whole House Surge Protector". In fact it requires a system of surge protectors working together. We refer to this as Zoned surge protection. Zoned surge protection is accomplished with the implementation of primary and secondary surge protectors. 

1. First, surge protectors are applied to the incoming electrical, cable/satellite, and telephone utility services to keep externally generated surges from entering your home. This is your primary surge protection. 

2. Then at key locations throughout the home, localized secondary protection is provided to safeguard against any residual surges from the main service and any internally generated surges. 

To apply this type of protection for your home, surgeassure™ developed Total Zone Protection, which consists of dividing the home into three protection zones: Main Zone, Interior Zone & Exterior Zone. Specialized surge protectors are designed for each zone location: Main Zone, Interior Zone and Exterior Zone.
Main Zone
Main Zone Protection stops surges before they enter the home and is the first line of defense. Applying these units knocks down high energy surges making the Interior and Exterior Zone protectors job easier. The Main Zone comes with a 10 year/$100,000 connected equipment warranty for “white appliances”. Refer to the warranty section of this site for detailed information on what is covered. All Main Zone protectors should be installed by a certified electrician.
Imagine a watermelon traveling inside a garden hose. That is exactly what happens when a power surge travels down the telephone/data or cable lines. Telephone and cable line surges suffer an overwhelming majority of all surge induced damages where the equipment was thought to be already protected but had a back door such as an unprotected modem or cable line. Network interface cards, in particular, can be destroyed by relatively mild spikes.

Point-of-use equipment incorporating cable/telephone protection is needed to protect sensitive equipment. However, these devices are not designed for or don’t utilize robust protection. Installing telephone and cable suppressors at the incoming line makes the point-of-use protector’s job easier.

Interior Zone
Insurance claim statistics show video equipment surge damage as the most common.  Our family ofInterior Zone protectors reduces this possibility not only for video equipment but for home office, appliances, and other key items in your home. No longer will you have to run around the house to un-plug everything when there is a storm. Complete protection is achieved when Interior and Main Zone products are installed.

Exterior Zone
The Exterior Zone is the second stage of protection for your Air Conditioner, Pool equipment, and Irrigation controls from remnant surge voltages left over from the main panel, entering equipment outside your home.