Common Electrical Hazards in Commercial Kitchens

Commercial kitchens face increased danger of electricity because of the risk of water spills and grease, fires, worn electrical cords on countertop equipment, faulty wiring or equipment, damaged outlets or connectors, and improperly used or damaged extension cords, just to name a few.

Electrical Tips for Kitchen Safety

Most restaurant fires start in the kitchen, so it’s important for all restaurant employees to respect the power of electricity and to report potential electrical hazard to managers immediately. When working with electrical equipment, there are several things commercial kitchen workers can do to prevent serious accidents, electrocution and the potential for fire:

  • Know how to shut off all power in case of an emergency
  • Keep the power cords away from hot surfaces and ovens when in use
  • Pull on the plug itself, not the cord when unplugging equipment
  • Use ceiling or wall outlets rather than running cords across a potentially wet floor
  • Avoid touching the prongs of a plug while inserting it into an outlet
  • Do not plug something in if the cord is wet or if you are touching a wet surface
  • Do not use extension cords that are warm when in use
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
  • Use power strips to help keep circuits from overloading
  • Properly label all circuit breakers or fuse boxes to corresponding fixtures and outlets
  • Be careful when cleaning around lighting, fans, exhaust hoods, etc.  

To ensure proper operation, safety and insurance coverage in case of a claim, all commercial kitchen electrical equipment should be installed by a licensed electrician. The Licensed Electricians at American Electric of Jacksonville have all the experience and technical knowledge to properly install all your electrical equipment – to local electrical and safety codes. We also provide full Electrical Safety Inspections, and make affordable recommendations to resolve any electrical safety or operational issues.

Contact American Electric of Jacksonville for an Electrical Safety Inspection Today! Call: 904.271.4044

Ways for Businesses to Save Energy

There are many simple ways a business can reduce electricity usage and costs. Approximately 40% of most businesses’ energy expenses come from lighting. One of the easiest ways to save money on lighting is to use the right kind of lightbulb. Old school incandescent bulbs use a lot of electricity and 90% of it ends up released as heat. More efficient bulbs have replaced incandescent bulbs. LEDs, halogen incandescent bulbs, and compact fluorescent lamps might be more expensive than other bulbs, but the energy they save more than makes up for it. Halogen bulbs are simply a more efficient version of the traditional incandescent bulb, and thus cheaper. LEDs and CFLs also have more customization options, like a wider variety of colors.  Another way to save energy on lighting is to use dimmers to alter light levels and timers or occupancy sensors, which can automatically turn off lights when they’re not in use.

Another way to save energy is with office equipment. Always turn off computers, printers, and other electronics during inactive hours. One way to do that is installing an automatic power management system for your equipment. Also, laptop computers are generally more energy efficient than desktops. In situations where individual workstations need multiple powered devices, consider using a plug load controller, which can help to manage power usage. When looking for new office equipment, make sure it’s ENERGY STAR approved, as they will generally be more energy efficient.

Involve Your Staff:

Businesses should also make sure to get their employees involved with energy saving. Properly educating your staff about energy efficiency is crucial, as a vigilant staff can reduce the need for energy consumption and increase your energy savings.

Have an Energy Audit:

Talk with the licensed electricians at American Electric of Jacksonville about conducting an energy audit. Energy audits are a cost effective way of detecting energy waste and identifying components and solutions that will save you money.

Contact American Electric of Jacksonville about an Commercial or Industrial Energy Audit and Start Saving on Energy Costs Today! Call: 904.271.4044

Relocating Outdoor Panelboards & Transformer

American Electric of Jacksonville was hired for a military contract to relocate a transformer with outdoor panelboards at the baseball field in Jacksonville’s Navy Base, Navel Station Mayport. The transformer and panel boards needed to be moved outside of the baseball field and placed next to the concession stand as it was in the way of the batting cage.

The project consisted of American Electric providing a new transformer pad, relocate the existing bollards and new transformer to the new location. This also involved new cabling, new load-break terminations as we also relocated pole lights and the concession stand’s irrigation pump circuits to the new panel boards. Ground junction boxes were set in place to splice conductors to the new location. The transformer was then mounted with the panelboards on the pad and bollards.

The project was then completed once the old system was terminated and the new system was re-energized. We always enjoy our time NS Mayport as we have the utmost respect for our military and all they do for our country. They will be able to enjoy playing or watching a ball game even more now that the the large transformer and panelboards have been moved out of the way.

Light Poles Installed at Players Club Villas

American Electric of Jacksonville has been contracted to install pole lights at the Players Club Villas located within the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa grounds in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Guests who use the Villas not only have access to the main resort’s facilities but also include a more private and home-like stay. Having these lights installed will help keep the guests safe, illuminating the parking spaces and walk way leading up to the buildings. Lights were also installed near the Pavilion, a community area for those who reside in the Villas.

First the trenches were dug from where the aluminum light poles would be installed, under the walkways, to the building’s service box. We used plastic tarps keeping this process clean, preventing the dirt from mixing with the grass. PVC Electrical conduits, a plastic tubing, were used to house the wiring. The use of the tubing creates an airtight environment to protect the cables and avoid damage from water. The conduits were attached together with joints and fittings, then sealed with a solvent-weld.

The light poles were set with concrete for stability. Wiring fed through the light pole and connected to the wiring inside the conduit with crimps. After the concrete had set, we used a scissor lift to elevate and secure the LED light heads on top of the poles. Saving this as the last step allowed less weight on top of the light pole while waiting for the concrete to set, provided greater reassurance the pole would remain straight and sturdy. This same process was completed installing pole lights near the pavilion, providing a lit walkway for guests going to and from the community area.

American Electric not only emphasize the importance of lighting for safety of Villa’s guests but to also regard the preservation and cleanliness of the property. Each step of the process is fulfilled with not only our expertise in electrical contracting but our respect for the companies who hire us.

Jacksonville Apartment Complex Power Restored

American Electric of Jacksonville has been hired for a residential electrical contract at the Monaco Arms Apartment Complex. Located in the Highlands area of Jacksonville FL, near the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, one of the buildings within the community lost power leaving the residents without any amenities that require electricity.

The power went out on a Saturday and American Electric had no hesitation to call staff to the job site and resolve the issue.  A high-powered generator was used to temporarily supply the building with electricity until the job was fully completed.  This allowed the families to continue with their daily activities without having to relocate to a hotel.

Working through the weekend, troubleshooting to find where the circuit was broken, American Electric used a toner to trace the circuit. A toner is similar to a metal detector as it detects where electricity is present on a wire or cable.  Over time Electricians have nicknamed the probe to the “voodoo stick.” Electrical technicians followed the path of the wiring with the toner from a panel across the street until the detection of electricity became faint, locating the break in the circuit.

A small trench was dug to reach the aluminum wiring and it became aware the 30-year-old cable had been burnt.  At some point the wire had been nicked, either by the factory which caused oxidation to occur.  Aluminum oxidizes differently than other metals, turning white instead of a red and breaking the connection.

By Monday, the break was repaired by replacing the wiring using crimps to secure the connection.  No matter if it is the weekend and a day at the beach is planned, American Electric will be there to turn your lights back on.

Parking Lot Lights

Daylight Savings has come upon us, falling back, with the sun setting at 5:30PM. American Electric of Jacksonville has been commercially contracted by Etchasoft to repair the parking lot lights. For the safety of the employees and guests the lights are needed while walking through the parking lot to and from their parked cars.

Wesley and DJ were sent to the jobsite to assess the situation, located in the Southpoint area of Jacksonville FL. The lights were just inside of the building’s property line and finding out where they were wired to was the first step.  Using a multimeter to test the electrical resistance was the first step in finding out where to terminate the power from.  It turned out the electricity was supplied from the building next-door even though the lights were on their property.

The lights are controlled amd automated by both a photo cell and timer.  The photocell enables the lights to be controlled by the sunlight as they turn on when it’s dark out and off when there is daylight.  The timer then prevents the lights from turning on if it’s a cloudy day and can cut down on the electric bill.

To get the lights back up and running, required ballasts and bulbs to be replaced. Utilizing a pneumatic lift to reach 25ft off the ground, the glass panel was removed.  The old bulbs and ballasts were removed and the new hardware was installed.  This included 400 watt bulbs to shed light throughout the entire parking space and entrance way.

Troubleshooting and clear communication between the businesses in each building, combined with the electrical knowledge, were the ultimate needs to have the parking lot lights glowing again. At American Electric, we are willing to the extra yard to make the parking lot and businesses in our community a brighter place.

Loop 3 Rewired at USPS Hub

American Electric of Jacksonville continues with their electrical contract at the United States Postal Service Hub in Jacksonville, FL.  It was time for Loop 3 to be rewired, one of (3) loops that moves and sorts mail from the shipping docks while traveling throughout the complex and back to the shipping docks.

The loops connect to the loop controller, a super-computer that handles the automation, determining the speed, switches and scanners along the track while determining the packages destination.  Our electricians and electrical technicians worked between the controller, loop and VFD (Variable Frequency Drives).

The VFD connects to the loops motors and provides a circuit which can be changed gradually, allowing less electricity to pass to slow when the carts need to stop or speed up when more power is supplied. This comes in important use as carts move to different switches along the loop in route of the final location.  This control in easing the amount of electricity not only decreases wear and tear on the carts and motors but also helps keep the mail inside the carts.

Keeping these machines maintained with new wiring is needed as they are used every day. At any point there were to be a disconnect in the system, it would cost much more than labor to fix as mail would be delayed throughout the city. It is up to these automated systems to ensure that the mail is delivered on time to the people of Jacksonville.

Electrical Circuit Repair

American Electric of Jacksonville was contracted by Etchasoft Inc., a web and software development company located in Jacksonville’s Southside, to replace a 30 AMP electrical circuit with a 60 AMP circuit.  The electrical work needed is for new air conditioning units being installed in the same week.  This required a flexible scheduling on top of the mess Hurricane Matthew left, which caused much electrical damage throughout the area.  An appointment was made to first assess the job, the needed materials were ordered and an electrician was provided to complete the project.

Wesley and Mike worked in between the conference room, where the breaker panel is, and the AC maintained room in the attic space.  The cabinets have been previously removed allowing access to the breaker panel and the casing was removed.  The old 30AMP circuit was removed, then the 60AMP circuit was installed and wired to the AC system.  Breakers were shifted within the panel allowing space for the new breaker which was then installed.

As natural disasters occur and electricians are needed, many electrical contractors become overwhelmed with the mass load of work. At American Electric, we have the ability to schedule flexible hours when a job needs to be completed.

Sawgrass Cabana Club Lighting

With renovations continuing at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, American Electric of Jacksonville was contracted to install lighting throughout the Resort’s ocean-side Cabana Beach Club. This club gives private beach access to club members and guests along with access to exclusive amenities including restaurants, a beach side pool, lap pool, live weekend entertainment and even shuttle rides every hour to and from the main resort.

Both up-lighting and down-lighting are in the process of being installed outdoors requiring quality fixtures durable enough to withstand the salty air.  Up-lighting is a style of lighting that directs light upwards, providing a decorative aura whether the light illuminates walls, trees, curtains or other structures.  Down-lighting directs light downwards, providing a functional safety aspect to light walkways and social areas.

Whether the Cabana Beach Club is hosting a wedding, corporate event or just an evening to relax, the lighting will not only provide safety but will also provide an enhance a valued atmosphere.  As the prestigious club offers top-notch quality and services, American Electric understands this importance and is reflected in every project we take on.

Surfing Sawgrass Marriott

American Electric of Jacksonville has been contracted by Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa in the installation of the SurfStream wave simulator in Ponte Vedra Beach.  The new swell machine will create a standing wave for people to surf or body-board. Located less than 2 miles away from the sandy shore, being built alongside of their main pool, resort guests who would like to get a surfing experience will be able to catch waves even if the conditions are not suitable in the ocean.

As the digging and laying of the structure’s foundation has been completed, the next steps included installation of the transformer that will regulate the power for (2) 12,000 lb. motors.  These jets require a generous amount of electricity, pushing water with enough force to allow a surfer to stand up on a board and ride the wave.  As most people know, water and electricity do not mix well at all, the transformer was set 600 ft. away from the simulator as a required safety precaution.  The concrete pad for the transformer was first laid, then the transformer was placed on top of the pad.  Cables will then run underground supplying electricity to the motors and controls.

American Electric is proud to be part of bringing this new-age way of surfing to the Jacksonville area, as well as providing our electricians to the Sawgrass Marriott. Innovative technologies, such as the wave simulator, represent our strive to broaden services we offer to accommodate our clients with a wide range of electrical experience and knowledge.