NFPA 70A: National Electrical Code Requirements in Florida

Want to know if your Tampa- or St. Petersburg-area home is meeting Florida electrical standards as well as National Electrical Code guidelines? You’re not alone. The electrical system in your Florida home is essential to your home’s functionality, and, let’s face it, without a reliable electrical system, how much of your daily activities would you actually accomplish? From illuminating your home to cooking, doing laundry, and watching TV, all are made possible because of its electrical wiring.

Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of Florida’s residential electrical code and some of the most important facts you need to know about NFPA 70A.

What Is NFPA 70A?

The state of Florida adapts NFPA 70A: National Electrical Code® Requirements for One- and Two-Family Dwellings as the official regulatory document determining Florida’s residential electrical standards for electric conductors and equipment installed in a one- or two-family home. This includes houses, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, and yards.

So, what does this mean to you, a Florida homeowner? NFPA 70A, also known as the NEC, covers all state regulations for wiring and protecting your home, including:

Have questions about the National Electric Code? Hoffman Electrical & A/C has the answers!

What Florida Residents Need To Know About NFPA 70A

  1. NEC 210.23 (Permissible Loads) – The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires, should not exceed 50% of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting fixtures and/or cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment are not fastened in place, or both are supplied. In a nutshell, NEC 210.23 states that the electrical load wherever you plug something in (e.g., a lamp or vacuum cleaner) should not be greater than 50% of the branch-circuit ampere rating. This helps prevent circuit overload. If you have questions about the ampere rating of a branch circuit in your home, call Hoffman Electrical & A/C for help.
  2. NEC 210.24 (Branch-Circuit Requirements) – The branch-circuit requirements outline the minimum conductor sizes required for each circuit. This depends on how much electrical load you plan on running through each circuit and may vary. For help determining each circuit’s electrical capacity, contact us online.
  3. NEC 210.52 (Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets) – Are you tired of looking for outlets? According to the NFPA, no point along your home’s walls should be located more than 6 feet from an outlet.
  4. NEC 210.8 (GFCI Protection) – A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet protects your home from dangerous electrical surges. GFCI outlets prevent electrical current from flowing where it is not intended (e.g., through water or a person). GFCI outlets are required in all bathrooms, kitchens (within 6 feet of the outside of a sink), garages, outdoors (outdoor receptacles), crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and boathouses.

Talk to a Certified Electrician at Hoffman Electrical & A/C

If you live in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or Sarasota areas and have questions about the National Electrical Code and how it applies to your home, contact Hoffman Electrical & A/C to speak with one of our expert electricians!

We’ve been servicing homes in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties since 1986. Our electricians can answer all of your questions about NFPA 70A and how it applies to your home. Give us a call at 866-238-3243!

The Difference Between a Lightning Arrester & Surge Arrester

There are many, many things to be confused about when it comes to electricity. But of all the confusing things you could point at, it’s the terminology that gets most Tampa-area homeowners. What’s a lightning arrester? What’s a surge arrester? Is there even a difference!? It’s honestly a sticky topic, but it’s one we’ll be helping you understand today!

Looking for electrical protection equipment in the Tampa and Clearwater areas? Contact Hoffman Electrical & A/C online.

What’s the Confusion?

The big issue here is that there are actually a few appliances and terms all in play here, and many people, electricians included, misuse terms or attempt to use them interchangeably. Most noteworthy for this topic is the confusion with “surge arrester,” which is typically confused with “surge suppressor.” These two items both serve to protect your home electrical network, wiring, and appliances. But they do not do it in the same manner.

A surge suppressor works to mitigate transient voltages and power surges within your home by sending the excess power directly into the attached outlet or circuit grounding wire, reducing the risks of shorting expensive equipment. These are typically installed directly into the network in a whole-home protection system, or can be found in simpler tools like an outlet-expanding surge protector.

A surge arrestor, on the other hand, works to mitigate specific types of surges. It’s easiest to think of an arrestor (and this goes for a lightning arrestor as well) as a form of protection from external problems, such as those caused by lighting or power grid complications.

Okay, So What’s the Difference Between a Lightning & Surge Arrester?

When all is said and done, the difference is as simple as this: one protects your home from inside and one protects the home from outside.

Should lighting strike your home, the lightning arrester, installed externally, would attempt to immediately detour the electricity away from your home and appliances and direct it instead to safe ground.

The surge arrester would perform a similar function, but it would instead intercept the surge caused by the strike and send excess energy into the grounding wire or another acceptable and predetermined grounding application.

Do I Need a Surge Arrester, Lightning Arrester, or a Surge Protector?

When deciding what kind of home protection equipment suits your needs best, it all comes down to what you have to protect. Each tool can roughly perform the same task, and in most homes, any one of these tools will safeguard you and your appliances just fine.

However, that said, it’s always best to consult a trained and certified electrician! Each home is unique, and so are your electrical needs. That means, should you require a more precise or complex solution than “any one will do,” you’ll have the benefit of a specialist who can direct you to the ideal installation.

Still unsure which you need? Call Hoffman Electrical & A/C at 866-238-3243 and we can help.

Surge & Lightning Protection Services in Tampa, FL

Need some help getting the ideal electrical protection system for your home? Contact Hoffman Electrical & A/C online now! Our certified and trained electricians have been serving Florida homeowners for years, and we would love the chance to help you get the right protection for your electrical needs.

Ready to install lightning arresters in your home or at your commercial property? Contact us today for a surge arrester estimate in Hillsborough, Sarasota, Manatee, or Pinellas County!

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Electrical Safety During Hurricane Season

With our foot firmly in the door of hurricane season in Florida, it’s wise to turn to some prevention and safety in order to prepare your home for potential risks. Our electrical systems stand exposed to (and stand to potentially cause) tons of damage in hurricane weather, and you need to be as equipped as possible in order to stay safe. That’s why the team at Hoffman Electrical & A/C has prepared a quick and easy safety guide for your use!

Need help preparing your home for electrical complications brought on by hurricanes or extreme weather? Contact us today to learn more!

Hurricane Electrical Safety

Because the dynamic changes a bit according to the situation at hand, it is best to look at your preparation and proceedings in three parts: before, during, and after.

How You Can Plan to Stay Safe

There are a few things you can do to beef up your home safety, as well as reduce the risks of power or function loss in lesser storms or thunderstorms:

What to do When a Hurricane Is Imminent

Once the weather has been declared, there are some vitally important things that must get done before the storm hits in earnest. Be certain to:

After the Storm

The best thing you can do after is a storm is stay where you are as long as the area remains safe! Venturing out can lead you to downed power lines or exposed live wires, which can result in electrical shock or electrocution.

Stay Safe with Electrical Services from Hoffman Electrical & A/C

Hoffman Electrical & A/C is a family owned and operated business serving the Tampa and Brandon, Florida communities since 1989. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff of electricians install, repair, and perform regular maintenance check-ups in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. When you need an electrician in your home, let our family help yours! We provide a variety of in-home electrical services, including installations, repair, and routine maintenance. Not only do we offer high-quality installs, we’ll also make sure your equipment continues to work efficiently and safely.

For electrical services in Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, or their surrounding areas, contact us online or call us at (866) 238-3243 today!

Can I Wire a Smoke Alarm Myself?

Do you have enough smoke alarms in your home? The odds are probably not if we’re going by statistical averages, and if you’re here reading along then you also are probably thinking about installing more. Which is good! But you might also be thinking about wiring them yourself, and that might not be the best option you have. Why? Today the certified professionals at Hoffman Electrical & A/C are here to help you understand.

Looking for professional smoke alarm wiring services in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, or the surrounding areas? Contact Hoffman Electrical & A/C online today!

Should I Install My Own Smoke Alarms?

This question is going to depend a little bit. It depends on what you mean by install. If we’re talking single, battery-powered alarms that require no wiring, then you can probably feel somewhat safe handling it. Usually just takes some anchors and screws.

But if we’re talking about the better, more reliable, and more functional wired smoke alarms, then no. You really, really shouldn’t attempt an installation on your own!

Why Not?

Hard-wired smoke alarms are a great, highly effective means of making your Tampa home and family more safe. But installing them is an involved, training-needed job. It’s a full-fledged installation, just like appliance wiring, circuit breaker installation, or home lighting installation—all jobs you want to hire an expert for. A DIY attempt can result in:

Why Choose Hard-Wired Detectors & Alarms?

So why not save a buck and just go for battery powered alarms? Well, wired alarms are generally accepted as the best option for home safety, and for a few very strong reasons:

When you’re looking for trustworthy, top-class smoke alarm and detection installation services, you can turn to Hoffman Electrical & A/C for the very best. Contact us online to learn more, or to get a consultation for your service!

Guide to Babyproofing Everything Electrical

We’re not saying anything new by talking about how awesome our kids can be. No parent would doubt for even a minute that theirs is one of the biggest parts of their lives. They also wouldn’t doubt that kids are inquisitive, often to a fault. And with a home full of electronics, outlets, and appliances, it can be hard to feel like your kids are as safe as you want them to be.

Looking for the best ways to babyproof for your child or newcomer? The experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C are here to help! Safety is our absolute top priority, and we want to ensure our clients get all of the best info possible to keep their Tampa home and family safe.

A Quick Guide to Electrical Safety for Kids

Proofing Outlets

Of all of the dangers of electricity involving kids, outlets are probably the scariest, and for good reason. They’re right down there at a kid’s eye level, and they see us using them all of the time, so of course they’re going to be curious.

If you want to learn more about safe outlets, check out our blog on the topic: Are Childproof Outlets Really Safe?

Proofing Electrical Strips

Again, there they sit, right on the ground, full of potentially dangerous plugs. The solution is simple here, too, and you can go about it one of two ways:

  1. Use specially-designed strips. There are some really great products on the market that feature dome or box covers for strips, or there are strips that feature the cover as an addition. They’re kind of ugly, but hey, they do the trick just fine.
  2. Reduce your dependence on strips. Why do you use power strips in the first place? Because you have too few outlets! The easiest solution here, both for you just in general, and for your kiddo, is to just install more safe outlets. Outlet installation is fast and easy for a professional electrician, and can bring you all of the safe electrical access you’ll ever need.

General Electrical Safety

We would urge parents to go room to room, looking for anything and everything that can present a danger. Get down there at kid level and really get a look!

Electrical Safety in Tampa with Hoffman Electrical & A/C

Need a team of professionals that are dedicated to the best solutions for safety and electrical security for you and your family? Contact Hoffman Electrical & A/C today!

How to Properly Use a Power Strip

They're not really our favorite way to gain some electrical access, nor are they the most effective. But honestly speaking, if you live in a home, you’re going to end up needing a power strip—or two—eventually. Whether you’re trying to fit in some kitchen appliances or you’re setting up a computer desk, it’s just hard to have enough outlets!

But before you go plugging away, the experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C would like to have a quick chat about power strips, safety, and you.

Find yourself needing more electrical power access in your Tampa home? Skip the strips and give our certified electricians a call about installing more electrical outlets in Florida!

Proper Power Strip Use: Some Do’s & Don’ts

We know, they seem pretty much plug and play. But the reality is that electrical fires are frighteningly common, and we don’t want you getting hurt or hurting your home when you don’t have to! Don’t worry, these are all fairly simple; it’s just a bit of know-how that might save you some trouble.

When using a power strip:

Outlet Installation: The Best Option

If you need more access to power, there’s a better way to get it done! Your friendly neighborhood electricians are here to help, and we can install new, safe outlets anywhere you need them. It’s a much safer, stronger, and more effective option, and it’ll last forever.

Want to learn more about outlet installation for your home in Tampa, FL? Contact the experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C online today to set an appointment for your consultation!

Are Childproof Outlets Really Safe?

Ask any parent what they spend a large portion of their day doing and many, if not the majority, are going to say worrying. There are loads of potential dangers out there, and as parents we are vividly aware of all of them. They exist everywhere, and we can’t really mitigate literally all of them. But we certainly have control over the dangers in our homes!

Wondering about childproofing your outlets and how best to go about it? The team at Hoffman Electrical & A/C has you covered! Our certified professionals take safety as our number one priority, and we can give you the lowdown on what works, what doesn’t, and how you can make your home safer for you and your children.

What Are Childproof Outlets & Do They Work?

The question is a simple one, but the answer takes a bit of doing. There have been many types of “childproof” outlets or safety measures offered throughout the years. Some are great and work as well as anyone could hope. Others, on the other hand, are a bit lackluster.

The Underperformers

These methods offer some protection, but don’t tend to do as well as anyone would really like:

The trouble with these solutions is that kids are super curious. Outlets are a strange, interesting thing that is right at their level and they see us fiddling with them all of the time. Bottom line, simple covers aren’t going to dissuade an inquisitive mind.

The Best Solution: Tamper-Proof Outlets

The good news is that the best option may already be in your home! Why? Because according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) as of 2014 all homes have to be equipped with tamper-proof outlet upgrades to be up to code. These outlets utilize spring-loaded slide shutters to block access to the outlet.

When a device is plugged in, the two prongs of the device (let’s say a television, just as an example) hit the two points of contact on the spring lock and allow the appliance to be plugged in. Without two points of contact on the prongs, the outlet will not be accessible. So a kid armed with, say, a set of keys or a butter knife, has no chance of gaining access to the outlet. It’s the superior form of safety!

Outlet Safety & Upgrades in Tampa & Clearwater, Florida

Is your home equipped with safe, tamper-proof outlets? If you’re not sure or if you’re sure it isn’t, give our experts a call. You can reach Hoffman Electrical & A/C any time on the web and we’ll be happy to help!

Fall Electrical Safety Tips

The seasons are finally beginning to shift, bringing us (somewhat) cooler weather and a few unique activities. As we settle into fall, our experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C would like to take a moment to clue you in on some potential electrical dangers unique to the season.

To our team, the only thing more important than our service is your safety! Electrical appliances and tools are indispensable these days, but without the proper care, understanding, and preparation, you could be looking at some serious injuries. To avoid risks and keep your home safe, keep up with these safety notes!

Fall Electrical Safety Checklist

These tips and points are really quick and simple, so don’t worry about some involved and frustrating nonsense. For the most part, it’s all about being prepared and staying wary of potential threats:

Why Choose Hoffman Electrical & A/C for your Florida Residential Electric Needs?

Hoffman Electrical & A/C is a family owned and operated business serving the Tampa and Brandon, Florida communities since 1989. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff of electricians install, repair, and perform regular maintenance check-ups in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. When you need an electrician in your home, let our family help yours! We provide a variety of in-home electrical services, including installations, repair, and routine maintenance. Not only do we offer high-quality installs, we’ll also make sure your equipment continues to work efficiently and safely.

For electrical services in Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, or their surrounding areas, contact us online or call us at (866) 238-3243 today!

What to Do During a Power Outage in Florida

To Tampa residents, power outages are nothing new. We’ve dealt with all kinds of crazy storms and annoying weather in our time here, and it can be quite flustering if you’re not sure how to handle things. But if you’re prepared and know what to do, an outage can become little more than brief annoyance. Find out what to do during an outage with the help of the experts at Hoffman Electrical & A/C!

Considering a generator installation for your Florida home or business? Contact the team at Hoffman Electrical & A/C today!

What to Do During a Power Outage: Safety Tips

The first and foremost thing of importance is, of course, safety! Outages come with some pretty big potential dangers, and being ready with the proper knowledge and equipment can keep you and your loved ones safe. When an outage occurs, be sure to do these:

Preparing for Power Outages: Generators

Keeping a stock of good flashlights and preserved food is always a good idea, but if you want to take things a step further and really prep your home, nothing beats a standby generator. A reliable generator supplies your home with the power it needs to remain functional or nearly fully functional in a time of emergency or even during a simple grid outage.

This is indispensable for Florida home and commercial business owners, as it allows us to essentially go on with our lives in the face of an outage, or can help us stay safe in the face of an emergency. The worst thing about an outage is its unpredictability and a generator works around the problem flawlessly.

Home Standby Generator Services from Hoffman Electrical & A/C

Whether you want power restored automatically (without power loss delay) or you have a portable generator that you would like to use with a manual transfer switch, Hoffman Electrical & A/C can provide you with the generator and transfer switch wiring that you need. It doesn’t matter what sort of generator issue you are having, give us a call if you live in the Clearwater area. Whether you want to install a new generator or repair and maintain an older one, Hoffman Electrical & A/C can help.

Contact us today to schedule your home standby generator service from Hoffman Electrical & A/C! We have been servicing the Tampa area since 1989!

When You Need Electrical Code Correction

We all know that buying and selling a home can be one of the most stressful things we ever do. And if you’re selling your house, it’s extremely important to make sure your home is up to code. Some electrical code violations are illegal, others are dangerous—some are both! There is a major benefit to scheduling an electrical inspection prior to putting your home on the market: you have the ability to correct any electrical code violations ahead of time, which may help in avoiding delays in the negotiation and sale of your home.

Common Electrical Code Violations

Electrical code violations pose serious health and safety risks to anyone in the home. Don’t fall victim to the common wiring problems and mistakes that, left uncorrected, have the potential to cause short circuits, shocks and even fires. Avoid these violations that could cost you your home—and your life:

At Hoffman electrical, our electricians are trained to find and correct any code violations on the spot. We’ll inspect your home’s entire electrical system – from your breaker panel to electrical outletsappliance wiring and computer wiring to outdoor lighting, our electricians will ensure your home is up to all local, state, and federal electrical codes.

Electrical Code Inspections & Correction in Tampa and St. Petersburg

The professionals at Hoffman Electrical & A/C are licensed and trained to meet all local and state electrical codes and regulations. When it comes to electrical codes and inspections in the Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL areas, we have the tools and expertise needed to spot and correct any NEC code violation. Call us at (866) 238-3243 or schedule an appointment today.