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Go Green for Earth Day with Refurbished Equipment & Components

April 17th, 2014 by


As the world celebrates Earth Day, all industries are finding ways to conserve resources and help the environment. For electricians, this means finding ways to offer high-quality equipment without adding to the dangerous emissions created by the parts manufacturing process. By finding high-quality refurbished equipment, electricians can benefit both the environment and their customers’ budgets.

Refurbished and Used Equipment

As many electricians realize, electrical equipment and components are available that yield the same high performance as their brand new counterparts. Often these parts are removed from buildings or are left over from large projects. Supply companies purchase them after ensuring they’re still in good working condition. Once purchased, they’re refurbished to ensure every working part gives peak performance.

Electricians aren’t required to purchase parts for a large-scale operation to put refurbished parts to work for their clients. Many professionals choose to simply begin ordering from a refurbished parts supplier with one or two parts, then graduate to placing regular orders. With each order, electricians are avoiding the manufacture of new parts, helping reduce the number of carbon emissions harming the environment.

Electronic Waste

In general, electronic waste poses a serious threat to the environment, with disposal of electronic equipment and parts creating dangerous emissions. The government has attempted to reduce the amount of e-waste disposal, especially at the consumer level, but the problems are still ongoing. The biggest risk is to human health, since disposal of electrical equipment can often release harmful chemicals into the air.

The best way to safeguard the health of citizens, as well as the overall air quality, is to keep electrical parts in circulation as long as possible. In many cases, even defunct equipment can be disassembled and some of its parts refurbished. Those parts can then be either put in other equipment or used by electricians as they perform installations.

Keeping Landfills Safe

EMSCO helps keep electrical equipment and components out of landfills and recycling centers, removing governments from the burden of finding ways to safely dispose of them. The company offers to purchase equipment and parts from businesses that have excess inventory or from sites that are being demolished or vacated. EMSCO is always in need of items of various types in order to meet the demands of its many clients.

Additionally, EMSCO allows engineers and other professionals to simply place a phone call and locate the refurbished part they need. Many technicians make the refurbished supplier the first call they make when they need a part, only buying new when a used or refurbished version isn’t available. This reduces the amount of parts being sold each day, eliminating the need for those parts to be replaced by more new parts.

When companies have excess parts, they also can contact EMSCO to purchase them. Selling them to EMSCO can be a great way to recoup some of their cost on a major office move. EMSCO makes the process of offering equipment easy, allowing businesses to email a list of all parts along with pictures, if possible, and they’ll soon be provided a quote that they can accept or reject.

For more information on how you can help the environment through refurbished electrical equipment, visit our store.

Want to Get Certified? Try These Popular Electrician Certifications

April 10th, 2014 by


Certification is a requirement for any professional conducting electrical work, but with so many options available, it’s easy to become confuse. As an electrician ponders his career, he may wonder which direction is best.

As you consider your licensing options, here are a few benefits of each of the most popular electrician certifications. Each state has its own licensing requirements, so check with your governing licensing board to determine what you will have to do to reach each level.

Assistant Electrician

Many electricians start out as an apprentice, working while they achieve their certification.  An apprenticeship program is generally a multi-year process that combines work with classroom learning. Many technical schools with electrician programs offer apprenticeship programs to allow entry-level electricians to gain on-the-job experience while still learning the information they’ll need to do the job.

An electrician is required to work a minimum number of hours for completion, usually collecting industry standard apprentice-level rates for the work. The apprentice may be required to work with a local company to ensure he gets the minimum hours per week he needs to complete the program. Until he achieves his license, the apprentice will be required to work under the supervision of a licensed electrician.

Certified Electrician

Once an electrician has hundreds of hours as an electrician, he’ll qualify to supervise assistant electricians and apprentices. This level of certification also requires a minimum number of hours of safety training. Once an electrician advances to this level, he is responsible not only for his own safety, but the safety of those under his supervision.

An electrician will generally be required to pass a qualifying exam before advancing to this level, but having this certification can qualify him for more advanced jobs. This is a great way for an electrician to move forward in his career, bringing in higher pay and gaining additional respect.

Master of Electrician

Eventually, an electrician may choose to advance to “master” level in order to oversee projects and earn a more lucrative paycheck. A minimum level of experience is necessary to qualify for this certification, as well as an extensive education in worksite safety and building regulations. A master electrician is often required to oversee a project, as well as supervise other electricians.

Not all electricians will choose to advance to master level. Some electricians are born leaders, while others prefer to work as part of a team. Once he has his master certification, an electrician often takes on greater responsibility.  Some masters decide to open their own business, employing electricians and apprentices, while other masters work directly for contractors.

At any level, an electrician tackles challenges with ease, keeping worksites safe and working in collaboration with other electricians. Whether an electrician chooses a residential or commercial career, he has many opportunities for advancement within that career. With so many career paths available, the life of an electrician can include the exact types of jobs he wants. An electrician should check with his local governing boards to determine the exact requirements he’ll be expected to meet before he can achieve certification.

The Dangers of Counterfeit Electrical Equipment

March 14th, 2014 by


Every year in this country, thousands of people die in home fires. Upon investigation, many of these fires are traced back to electrical problems. The fire may have been caused by faulty wiring, bad equipment, or another cause, but by the time the problem is brought to light, it’s usually too late.

In recent years, an issue has emerged that could lead to more injuries and deaths if not corrected. Without even realizing it, some homeowners and renters could have counterfeit electrical equipment in their homes. Some businesses may be working in office buildings with counterfeit equipment, as well. The problem is, on the surface these items look similar to other electrical equipment, making it almost impossible for the average consumer to know the difference.

Why Counterfeit?

As Global Purchasing recently reported, manufacturers are counterfeiting almost every electronic component possible, from components to mission-critical equipment. Producing these components can be costly, especially when manufacturing is conducted in bulk. When a manufacturer can find a way to make those same products at a fraction of the price, they can enjoy a bigger profit margin and be more competitive in their pricing.

Unfortunately, many contractors may not realize that great deal on a circuit breaker is actually due to counterfeiting. When presented with two products, even seasoned professionals often have a hard time telling the difference. But one major problem with counterfeiters is that they may not be following the same strict standards as original manufacturers, leading to corner-cutting that could lead to disastrous consequences.

The Danger

Counterfeit electrical equipment isn’t just dangerous to residents and building occupants, it can also be deadly for the qualified technicians tasked with installing and repairing them. These professionals may have no idea the circuit breaker or fuses causing a problem were counterfeit when they arrive at a site, but faulty parts could cause serious injury once work begins.

The issue of counterfeit electrical equipment also poses a problem for legitimate electrical part manufacturers. The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) estimates counterfeiting costs $600 billion each year in jobs and lost sales and results in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs each year.

The Solution

With the difference being so difficult to detect, consumers and contractors may wonder what they can do to prevent the proliferation of counterfeit electrical components. Both parties can help protect against the potentially deadly consequences by assisting on only well-known brands for every part ordered. If a problem emerges later, the brand will be able to trace it to the specific part.

Most importantly, though, consumers and professionals should follow their intuition. If a deal sounds too good to be true, counterfeit parts could be at the heart of it. Building owners should choose qualified contractors who have a great reputation in the community and contractors should find trusted providers for all of their parts. Safety and business reputation are at stake, so it’s important to take all precautions possible.

Counterfeit electrical equipment stands to become a major problem for residents, building occupants and professionals. Awareness is an important first step toward minimizing the damage this equipment can cause. By taking a few precautions, both homeowners, occupants and electricians can stay safe.

3 Electrical Safety Rules Every Business Should Have

March 4th, 2014 by


Electrical hazards pose a serious risk to any business, especially if wiring isn’t up to professional standards. Electrical fires destroy property, causing injuries and even deaths each year in this country. In many cases, these fires could be prevented with just a few precautions on the part of business owners.

Each year, electrical hazards in the workplace lead to more than 300 deaths and thousands of injuries. One of the most important things any business can do is to create written safety policies that are circulated and signed by each employee. These policies should outline clear procedures to prevent electrical fires, as well as reactive measures in the event a fire should occur.

Here are three rules every household should have to help keep employees safe.

Don’t Overload Power Outlets

Technology has given us such conveniences as power strips and power cords with extra outlets. These conveniences have led many consumers to push power outlets to their maximum capacity, however, with surge strips plugged into surge strips.

Many workers don’t realize that each power outlet has a recommended voltage. This article can help you do the math, but to play it safe, it’s probably best to mandate that each outlet be limited to one power strip, divided out on separate walls. If extension cords must be used, they should be allowed for temporary use only. To better facilitate this process, businesses can install hooks in storage areas and encourage workers to store extension cords when not in use.

Never Pull a Cord by the Cable

Unplugging an item can sometimes feel like yoga class, as you attempt to crawl under desks and contort your body in order to reach tucked-away outlets. It’s much easier to grab the cable itself and give it a hearty tug. In some cases, you can even execute that maneuver without leaving your chair. But pulling on the cord can stretch its internal workings, causing damage you might not even see. The cord then becomes a ticking time bomb.

Your office should have a strictly-enforced rule that all power plugs must be removed from the outlet by grasping the plug at the outlet. Try to avoid placing large pieces of furniture like bookcases in front of outlets that will need to be accessed regularly.

Understand Your Limitations

Only authorized personnel should work around electrical systems or equipment. Those workers should be thoroughly trained in the safe operation of each piece of equipment under their care. Employees should understand that they should walk away from a job if they discover it involves more than they realized. Lastly, clear safety reminders should be posted in work areas where electrical work is being conducted.

If more offices put rules like these in place, fire departments would have fewer fires to respond to each year. Workers would remain safe and their internal belongings would remain safe for many years. By having these rules in place, you’ll also protect yourself in the event the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ever pays your business a visit.

Are You Protected Against an Electrical Fire?

February 13th, 2014 by


Each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission expects more than 140,000 electrical fires, causing injuries, deaths, and damage to personal property. The real tragedy is that these casualties could have been prevented with just a few safety measures.

By understanding what causes electrical fires, both businesses and homeowners can put measures in place to protect against them. Here are a few things everyone should do to keep themselves and their loved ones as safe as possible.

Upgrade Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets can experience issues as they age, but homeowners and business owners shouldn’t assume that this only applies to structures built more than half a century ago. Experts actually say that older buildings tend to hold up well over time. Residential and commercial properties can often have problems related to sloppy wiring that overloads circuits and causes frequent problems.

To be as safe as possible, consumers should have a professional electrician inspect their home for any electrical problems. This should also be done prior making a purchasing. Sometimes these inspections uncover problems that could be potentially dangerous, even in newer construction.

Don’t Overload Outlets

In an age of power strips, it’s easy for electrical outlets to become overloaded. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 5,300 fires each year are caused by overloaded outlets. Consumers should make a concerted effort to evenly distribute the power they’re using, choosing separate walls and minimizing the number of items plugged into each power strip. Strips should never be “daisy chained”—the process of plugging a power strip into another power strip in order to add more outlets.

Discard Old Appliances

That toaster with years of burned-on food debris can be more dangerous than you realize. If an appliance begins to malfunction, discard it immediately, even if some time must pass before you can use it. Experts also advise against purchasing appliances at flea markets or other “used” venues, since there could be problems not identifiable at first glance.

Don’t Try to Do It Yourself

Many home and business owners often undertake DIY projects to save money and feel a sense of accomplishment. While these projects can be rewarding, it’s important to avoid taking on the electrical work unless you have the training and certifications necessary. Bring in a licensed electrician and have them do the electrical portion of the work, then complete the rest of it on your own.

Have a Plan

Every home and business should strategically place fire extinguishers where they can be accessed in an emergency. An evacuation plan should be drafted, with regular drills conducted to ensure everyone is prepared. This goes for both workplaces and homes. If possible, purchase a smoke detector that connects to an alarm system to ensure the fire department is notified as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.

Electrical fires are dangerous, but by taking a few precautions, both residents and businesses can be as safe as possible. A fire extinguisher and smoke alarm are essentials for any building and occupants should ensure smoke detector batteries are changed regularly.

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