Frequently Asked Questions - Fox Services Express
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There are several different options that we can help you with to save in energy costs. I have listed some of the most popular and effective upgrades below.
1.) Powerworx - This unit typically is installed at your main electrical panel. The Powerworx can provide tremendous savings (up to 25%) on your electrical bill each month by correcting the power factor in your home. This is a technology that has been around for many years in industrial applications but has not been cost effective in the home until recently due to the rising prices on electricity and the amount of motors people use in their homes these days.
Powerworx accomplishes this by storing the reactive (unused) power you have already paid for in your home and redistributing it through your electrical system as needed. This technology also gives the motors in your home the power they need when they need it which results in cooler, longer-lasting motors i.e. A/C units, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, ceiling fans...etc.
Another great benefit of the Powerworx unit is that it provides whole house surge protection backed by a $25,000 guarantee. I feel many people overlook the benefits of whole house surge protection. This is a great way to protect 240 volt appliances such as A/C units and dryers as well as protect equipment that cannot have traditional surge protection installed such as ceiling fans, ovens and furnaces.
I encourage you to check out www.continentalpowerworx.com and call us for an in home demonstration of how this unit works.
2.) Showerheads - Many homes still have showerheads that will allow 3 gallons or more per minute flow through them which is more water than needed to take a comfortable shower. Newer shower heads will only allow 2.5 gallons per minute flow through them which is more than enough for a very comfortable shower and can save a lot of money over time. Replacing showerheads can save you money and help update the look of your home.
3.) Toilets - Many homes have toilets that are designed to use anywhere from 3-5 gallons of water per flush. Newer toilets are designed to flush using only 1.6 gallons per flush, reducing the amount of water consumption drastically. Replacing toilets also are a great way to update the look of your home and save money at the same time.
4.) Tankless water heater - Tankless water heaters are a great way to reduce energy costs in the home. Tankless units heat only the water you need to use as opposed to heating a large tank of water all of the time to be ready when needed. The added benefit to a tankless water heater is an unlimited supply of hot water. In comparison, a typical home water heater can only provide 40-50 gallons of water at a time.
Tankless water heaters also have some significant tax breaks upon installation which can greatly offset the cost of unit. If your water heater is more than 6-7 years old, I would strongly suggest looking into a tankless unit.
If you are interested in pursuing any of these options, please call to set up an appointment for a personal in-home consultation.
Installing lighting in an existing two story home without putting holes in various places can be a very difficult task. However, choosing an electrician with an extensive residential service background is going to be your best bet. These electricians will have the experience to spot out other fixtures, trim, receptacles and switches that may be possible existing "pull points" to get wire to the needed places without causing any repair work. An experienced service technician will also have the proper tools such as pull rods, snake cameras and extended drill bits to get the job done properly.
If this answer sounds like a promotion for my company...it is. Unfortunately your question is one that cannot be answered in writing because it is not always feasible and every home is different. This type of work needs someone with a lot of experience to be completed with success. All of our electricians focus on residential service, all of them have been trained specifically to deal with these types of situations, and they are all backed by over 20 yrs of residential service experience.
Please call and set up an appointment to have one of us out to look over your home and discuss your options. We will provide you a guaranteed, written, up-front price with plenty of options so you can choose what will work best for you before we start any work.
There could be several issues with your ceiling fan. I have listed the most common scenarious that I have seen before.
1.) The most simple being that your fan could be out of balance and needs to be re-balanced. You can pick up a universal balancing kit from your local hardware store and is pretty simple to perform but takes time.
2.) Another option is that one of the screws that holds the housing in place has come loose or the ball on the down rod is stuck. This will require uninstalling and reinstalling the ceiling fan in order to properly diagnose what the issue is.
3.) The most common issue is your ceiling fan may have not been installed properly. All too often have I seen a ceiling fan installed where a light fixture used to be and shortly afterwards I am called out because the fan is falling out of the ceiling. Ceiling fans need to be mounted to a ceiling fan rated box or a junction box that is rated for 75 lbs or more. If not installed on a proper box and if the box is not supported properly, this could be a very dangerous situation that should be corrected immediately.
Ceiling fans are one of the most underated installations that electricians perform. An improper ceiling fan installation is dangerous and can cause electrical issues down the road as many houses have wires to other areas junctioned in the ceiling fan box.
Absolutely! Shopping for receptacles is much like shopping for any other home decor. There are many different options and styles for receptacles and cover plates that you can easily find at any home improvement store. There are also some specialty online stores similiar to a restoration hardware that provide some very unique options as well.
I would suggest picking out the style of receptacles and cover plates you like to have on hand and then call us out to install them wherever you would like them. We can typically have someone out to your home within 24 hours.
Excellent question. Surge protection is often overlooked completely or not addressed thoroughly enough in the home. You have spent a lot of money on your TV and stereo equipment; why wouldnt you protect it properly? How do you protect equipment such as A/C units, furnaces, built-in appliances, hot tubs...etc. that cannot be plugged into a typical surge strip?
Surge protection needs to be adressed on two levels. Surges come in from the utility company and lightning as well as from other devices within the home. This means you should protect your entire house at the main service with a whole house surge supressor as well as surge protection installed at each sensitive electronic device.
Surge protection also entails making sure you have a proper grounding system throughout the inside and outside of your home. Although all surge protection is not created equal, they all basically work the same; they send the surge to ground. If you do not have a proper grounding system, you do not have surge protection.
When selecting surge protection for your home, you must consider the amount of surge it can handle, the clipping threshold, the time it takes to supress the surge, whether it can handle the voice and data lines to your equipment, and the company guarantee.
We offer a wide variety of top-notch rated surge protectors for sensitive electronics inside the home as well as whole house models. Some models can even save you money on your energy bill!
The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protects people from potentially lethal electric shock when the GFCI detects even minute, but potentially dangerous ground faults or “leaks” of electrical current from a circuit. A GFCI opens the circuit when the leakage to ground exceeds 6mA. And a GFCI is a good detector of phase-to-ground arcing faults, but is unable to detect series or line to neutral arcing faults. An AFCI is designed to detect series faults, line to neutral faults and line to ground faults. The AFCI does not replace the GFCI but instead complements it. Some manufacturers will combine the two in the same unit. The technology in the AFCI is quite different and is substantially more sophisticated than the GFCI.
To sum it all up, the GFCI is meant to protect from shock hazard where the AFCI is meant to protect from electrical fires. It would not only be wise to add this protection to your home for you and your family but is also required by the National Electrical Code. Please feel free to call us and schedule an appointment to have a licensed electrician come to your home and consult you on your specific needs.
Pool & Hot Tub Questions
Service/Dispatch fees vary depending on your address. We have two locations that we consider home. One being located at 7729 N. Crestline Dr. in Peoria, IL and the other located at 1710 R T Dunn Street
Bloomington, IL. Our normal service area is within 20 miles of either location. We often travel hundreds of miles away to service our customers and I would encourage you to call into the office with your address so that we may give you an accurate price of what those travel charges would be.
We do close above ground pools, the price varies on size, water condition, treatment option...etc. Please feel free to call our office at 309-689-5005 for more accurate pricing. We would also be more than happy at the time of closing or at the time of opening your pool to go over any maintenance concerns you have, teach you how to operate your pool and educate you on all of the various aspects. We also offer maintenace programs that are very affordable to the homeowner who may not wish or have the time to maintain thier pool properly over the swimming season.
Fox Services Express does not build or install pools. We feel that in order to be the best in service we need to focus on service alone. We do however perform complete remodels to existing pools.
There are several professional companies around town that build a really nice pool. I personally have experience with D&L out of Hannah City and San Juan out of Pekin and would feel comfortable recommending them to anyone.
Absoulutely we can clean and open your pool with any amount of debris in it. We will also perform a thorough inspection of the pool and its equipment to notify you if there is any damage or concerns. Please call for an appointment or use our schedule service call link on our website to set it up and we will contact you.
There could be many reasons why your tub PH is always low. The most common reasons would be that your alkalinity is out of range or the type of sanitizer you are using.
Alkalinity is a measurement most people do not pay attention to. It can be very important though. it works as a buffer for you PH to keep your PH from rapidly increasing or decreasing. Make sure to keep your alkalinity in-between 80-120 to help keep your Ph level in check.
Sanitizer is also a large contributor. I have found that many people use Bromine or Trichlor in thier tubs. Both of these sanitizers have a low PH around 3.5. Considering your tubs ideal PH level is between 7.4-7.6 you can see how the sanitizer can drop this significantly.
Dichlor is a common alternative to use as a sanitizer because it has a PH of around 7. This will not decrease your PH as much but is not as effective as Bromine is in higher temperatures above 90 degrees.
As you can see your best defense is to check your water chemistry regularly and adjust as neccessary. One of the best things you can do to your tub is add or replace your ozonator. They are only good for about 2 to 3 years but can save you a ton of money in the long run and make chemical balancing easier.
Feel free to call and have us perform a water analysis and set up a chemical program for your needs.
Using household bleach/detergent is never a good idea. I can't say that it is not safe but it is a waste of money. When you consider that bleach is at its best 12% effective as a sanitizer you should consider what makes up the other 88%....nothing useful for your pool! Everything you add to your pool adds to the Total Dissolved Solids, when you reach too high of TDS you need to drain and refill your pool because it negatively effects your sanitizer and other chemicals in your pool. Bleach is also unstabilized and burns off very quickly in an outdoor pool.
I would definitely consider using another form of sanitization than bleach. There are many alternatives out there that are easier to maintain, more effective an a lot cheaper in the long run.
Call for recommendations!
It depends on what types of chemicals you are putting into your pool. Typically you do not want to swim right after putting in sanitizers or oxidizers. The amount of time depends on how much of the chemical you needed to put in. Chemicals such as clarifiers, sequestering agents or filter aids typically can be swam in right away.
I would however recommend looking at the product label of each chemical. They are required to print this information on the chemicals.
If you are looking to maintain your pool without or with less harsh chemicals, we recommend natural Chemistry products. These products are all natural and work towards preventing such things as bacteria and algae as opposed to killing them.
Feel free to call and discuss our various chemical program recommendations.
It seems that 90% of the time when a pool has a leak we find that it is actually losing water from a problem with your equipment. My first recommendation is to thoroughly check out your equipment area and make sure there are is no water slowly leaking out of the pump, filter or sanitization equipment.
If no leaks are found at the equipment site I then recommend you perform a "bucket test". This will help you determine if you are losing water from evaporation or not.
1.) Fill a bucket about halfway with pool water.
2.) Set the bucket on the second step in the pool.
3.) Mark the bucket with a "sharpie" on the inside of the bucket where the water line is for the bucket and then mark the outside of the bucket with a "sharpie" where the pool water is.
4.) Leave the bucket in the pool for 24 hours and then measure the water levels from both of the marks.
If your issue is from evaporation the water level will have decreased the same amount in the bucket and from the pool. If more water is lost on the pool mark on the outside of the bucket as opposed to the water on the inside of the bucket you can be assured there is a leak.
I would then recommend calling us to come out with our leak detection equipment to find out exactly where the leak is in your pool and give you repair options. It is also helpful to know if you are losing water only when the equipment is running or all of the time.
Absolutely, we offer a pool school where we can come out and analyze your pool, set up a chemical regimen tailored to you pool and explain your equipment functions and show you how to maintain it. This can be very useful considering all pools are different and you need to know how your specific pool works.
We also offer weekly maintenance services where we take care of all of your pool needs and all you have to do is relax and enjoy!