Square D Road Warrior Trailer Rolls Into Steiner Electric

Industry leader Square D loaded up its new Road Warrior Trailer with some of its newest and most innovative products and is making appearances at three Steiner Electric branches in August.

From ready-to-install (RTI) panelboards to surge protection devices with myriad mounting options, meters, diagnostic devices and energy management systems, the products on display in the Square D Road Warrior Trailer are designed to speed-up installations, reduce mistakes, call backs and component lists.

The Road Warrior Trailer makes three stops at Steiner Electric in August. The first is Aug. 8, from 11am to 1pm, in Elk Grove Village. On Aug. 15, the trailer rolls into Rockford, and two days later it appears at the St. Charles branch from 10am to 1pm.

Units on display include ready-to-install (RTI) panelboards such as the NQ panel, which is designed to meet 240Vac maximum rating applications and offer powerful circuit protection. Additional features showcased include a group mounted (factory installed) SPD unit, finger guard on incoming wires as per new code, and CAFI and DF breakers.

Another line on display is the the HomeLine Plug-on group of circuit breakers and load centers that help contractors save time on installation, and meet NECs code regarding arc and ground fault requirements.

Homeline Plug-on features on display include, Plug on Neutral CAFI and DF breakers, incoming wires finger guard, push-to-test DF breakers, and Group mounted SPD.

Also on display is the QO load center for applications ranging from agricultural to industrial, commercial to residential with indoor and outdoor versions available. The QO is a load center and circuit breaker family that comes in single and three-phase, ¾ in. circuit breaker width, 30  to 400 amps, 2 to 42 circuits and separate flush or surface mounted covers.

Additional features on display for the QO Load Center (Plug on), include the finger guard requirement, Plug on Neutral CAFI and DF breakers, the Qwik Grip wire management system, hinged Trim with adjustable dead front, and Visi-Trip breakers.

Other items on display include EZM corner section metering, Wiser Energy Load Center, which features a new load control with all-inclusive CT’s and communication package for metering, and a whole range of SPDs in unit mount, group mount and side mount.

Come See The Square D Road Warrior Trailer in August
• Elk Grove on Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 11am to 1pm
• Rockford Branch, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 11am top 1pm
• St. Charles on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 10am to 1pm
Lunch provided during each event.

Come and Qualify for The 2017 IDEAL National Championship

Do you consider yourself one of the country’s best electricians? If so, test your abilities at the qualifying rounds of the IDEAL National Championship being held at Steiner Electric’s Rockford facility on June 22, and its Elk Grove Village facilities on June 29.

The events coincide with customer appreciation days at the two venues. In Rockford, Steiner will host its 20th Annual Pig Roast, which, in addition to the electrical competition, will also feature new products and prizes. The following week, in Elk Grove Village, Steiner will host its Great American BBQ.

It was at a Steiner event last year that the 2016 IDEAL National Championship winner, Greg Anliker, qualified to move on in the competition.  Anliker, an electrician with 20 years’ experience, will defend his title as the country’s best professional electrician at this year’s Championship Weekend, Nov. 10-11, 2017, in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Will you make it through the gauntlet of challenges to get a chance to challenge Anliker as this year’s champ?

In the IDEAL National Championship qualifying rounds, contestants are required to demonstrate problem-solving and physical skills across four categories: wire cutting, stripping, termination, and testing through a multi-station speed test judged by fastest completion time and overall accuracy of the wire connection.

Get Your Lighting Rebates with ComEd’s Energy Efficiency Program

Obtain Lighting Rebates

Are you getting the most money back on your investment in LED lamps, fixtures and other energy efficient products? If you buy your lighting products from ComEd-approved distributor Steiner Electric, you can receive rebates on your lighting purchases.

Steiner participates in two programs with ComEd to garner the greatest amount of savings for our customers. These rebates can provide significant financial incentives for the installation of energy-efficient products. Best yet, Steiner handles all of the paperwork.

The Standard Program

The ComEd Standard Program is a program designed for nonresidential applications such as for commercial and industrial uses. The products covered include new fixtures and other approved energy efficiency products. To be eligible, every project needs to be pre-approved before the customer purchases and installs the material.

Steiner handles all of the paperwork.  After the project is complete, a final application is submitted and the customer receives a rebate check about 4 weeks later.

Examples of applications that are eligible for these discounts, includes: relighting a warehousing facility from 400W metal halide (MH) to LED lighting or changing out a parking lot from HID to LED.

Another option for garnering additional rebates is by reducing wattage while still using the same technology. For instance, if a customer wants to change out its warehouse lighting with a 200W LED replacement fixture, but a second, equally viable option is to utilize a 175W fixture, the second option can increase the amount of rebate. Even though the application is the same, the rebate is determined using a formula that factors in the amount of wattage saved.

Essentially, the more energy you save, the higher the rebate.

Program 2, Instant Discounts

Another program administered by Steiner Electric allows you to get your rebates immediately at the time of purchase, without any pre-approval process. Previously known as ComEd Business Instant Lighting Discounts (BILD) Program, ComEd has simplified that name, rebranding the program as “Instant Discounts.”

How instant? Come to any of the Will Call counters at one of Steiner’s 9 convenient locations, purchase an energy efficient product from the Qualified Product List, and immediately get your rebate taken off the top of your invoice.

The program offers incentives to purchase high-efficiency lamps, exit signs and other energy efficiency products. Instead of a pre-approval process, Steiner Electric takes the rebate off the price of the material at the time of sale. On every applicable invoice, a line item is included stating the ComEd rebate. The objective of the program is to provide an incentive to customers to use more energy efficient products; for example, using (100) 4-ft LED lamps instead of 32W T8 lamps.”

To help you better understand the available lighting  incentives, contact your local Steiner lighting consultant by calling 1-800-STEINER (783-4637) or visit one of Steiner Electric’s 9 convenient locations and we will help you sort out your lighting needs. Steiner’s lighting experts can help determine the most appropriate lighting technology for a job, and help ensure that you receive the most bang for your lighting buck.

 

 

Designing an Efficient and Flexible Control Panel with ERIFLEX

Clean. Elegant.  A control panel that can be described in that fashion can also be thought of as one that is efficient, reliable, safe. Contrasted to individually wired, point-to-point systems, where operators need schematics to track a jumble of cables and wires that have been cut to various lengths, an optimized and efficient control panel can be installed more quickly, tested more confidently, and maintained more reliably.

Today, OEMs face increasing needs for faster turnaround times to build Eriflex control panel optimizationand install the machinery they make, as well as the control panels that provide the power to the motor starters, contactors, relays, and pilot devices, as well as the myriad sensors, valves, actuators, pumps and other ancillary devices used in manufacturing facilities. Contractors and maintenance people also face pressure to maintain and troubleshoot control panels as quickly as possible; machinery downtime is a bottom-line killer.

The control panel of today has changed in design and build and its wiring needs have become more complex. To ease these challenges, suppliers have stepped in with new, smarter wire and cabling products.

One of the leaders in this wiring evolution is ERIFLEX, a Pentair brand that produces low-voltage power and grounding connections. The company has developed products to streamline control panel assembly and installation that can also be adapted to specific applications and customer needs.

Recently, the company introduced its ERIFLEX Flexibar solution, a flexible busbar wire replacement concept, that is designed to reduce weight and space and make cleaner connections using fewer materials.  The company says that the ERIFLEX low-voltage power and grounding connections are the next-generation alternatives to bulky wires and cables.

The Flexibar busbar is designed for low-voltage applications from 27 sq. mm up to 1,200 sq. mm and 125A to 2800A. A bus bar is essentially an electrically conductive strip or bar used to distribute power to multiple circuits in parallel. Busbar can also be used as a common tapping point for multiple ground or neutral terminals.

ERIFLEX’s Flexibar is made from thin layers of tinned electrolytic copper formed into a stack that can be easily bent, folded and twisted, improving assembly flexibility, shortening connections and decreasing foot print.

The copper layers are insulated with a high-resistance, self-extinguishing PVC or silicone compound. The insulating sleeve is grooved on the inner surface, reducing the contact surface with the laminates to less than 20%, increasing flexibility and making installation easier.

Additionally, the ERIFLEX line offers insulated braided conductors, Eriflex power distribution blockdistribution and power blocks, busbar supports, insulators and accessories.

The OEMs and electrical contractors who leverage this type of innovative, flexible technology for power distribution and grounding can gain competitive advantage. Because of installation speed, high-quality electrical connections and long-term reliability, early adopters will quickly see the bottom-line benefits, and be better positioned to stay ahead of the competition.

Hubbell Floor Boxes Available Same Day at Steiner Floor Box Central

Hubbell floor boxes and poke throughs

Need a floor box and need it fast? Steiner Electric can help as it has the largest inventory of Hubbell floor boxes in the Midwest. Visit Steiner’s Floor Box Central and find the right floor box and fire-rated poke-through for even the most demanding of multi-service applications. Not only will you find the floor box to fit your needs, but you can avoid costly overnight freight charges by picking them up at one of Steiner’s 9 convenient locations or have them delivered right to the job site.

Hubbell has expanded its floor box offering to provide an extensive range of products to fit your needs. Available in 5 finishes to match every décor, the floor boxes are available in 2, 4, 6 and 10 Gang Floor Boxes (rectangular and round), on-grade and above grade versions, and concrete and raised access floor boxes. All covers are ADA compliant, and fire-rated poke-throughs are available to accommodate every order. Hubbell offers a complete variety of traditional flush and recessed floor box options.

One of Hubbell’s most innovative floor box solutions is the SystemOne modular in-floor system that has been designed to give end users the ability to create solutions for a variety of power, data and audio/video requirements.

The SystemOne family of products include metal floor boxes such as cast iron, which is corrosion resistant for on-grade applications, stamped steel construction, which is economical and light weight for above-grade applications and Steel AV that can be used for high-capacity multimedia applications in 3 ½ in. minimum depth of pour.

SystemOne products are also available in a non-corrosive plastic construction that feature an oversized 1 ½ in. data conduit hub for increased cable capacity and bend radius.  Parallel conduit hubs reduce labor and material cost, facilitating easier wire pull.

The Hubbell SystemOne™ Universal Cover mounts directly to the floor box riser, eliminating the need for an additional adapter collar.  The Hubbell SystemOne Universal Cover features ScrubShield™ technology that exceeds UL514 scrub water exclusion requirements.

The ADA compliant covers and all SystemOne metal floor boxes are approved for use in the City of Chicago.

Remember, if you need a Hubbell floor box, and you need it fast, visit Steiner’s Floor Box Central.

Key Differences Between Fuses and Circuit Breakers

Fuses and Circuit Breakers both serve the same purpose – which is to protect electrical circuits by preventing overloads that can cause fires. They both interrupt the flow of electricity, but in very different ways from each other. While a fuse is made of a piece of metal that melts when overheated, circuit breakers on the other hand, have internal switch mechanisms that can be tripped by an unsafe surge of electricity.

Fuses can be quicker for interrupting the flow of power, but when they melt they must be replaced; circuit breakers on the other hand just need to be reset. When comparing the two, we’ll take a look at some of the major advantages and disadvantages between fuses and circuit breakers to distinguish between them.

Fuses

Fuses come in different types – for both residential and commercial use. The most common type is made from a metal wire or a filament that is enclosed in a glass or ceramic and metal casing. In residential homes, the fuse is usually plugged into a central fuse box, where the building’s wiring passes through. When electricity flows, the fuse will permit the power to pass unobstructed across the filament between circuits. If overloads occur, the filament melts and stops the flow of electricity.

fuses

It will take some time for the filament to melt, and therefore any power surge is stopped. When a fuse is blown, it is to be discarded and replaced with a new fuse. There are different voltage and ratings that are available which handle different capacities of electricity. The best fuse for a circuit is usually one that is rated for slightly higher than normal operating current.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit Breakers have two different ways of working – the first is through the use of an electromagnet and the other is through the use of a bi-metal strip. In both instances, when turned on, the breaker allows electrical current to pass from a bottom to an upper terminal across the strip. Once the current reaches any unsafe levels, the magnetic force of the solenoid or strip becomes strong enough to throw a metal lever in the switch mechanism, breaking the current. The other option that can happen is that the metal strip can bend, throwing the switch and breaking the connection.

S-A Q2100

In order to reset the flow of electricity, the switch can just be turned back on. This reconnects the circuit. Circuit breakers in many cases are found in a cabinet of individual switches known as the breaker box. This simple switch action allows for an easy turn-off for individual circuits in a house when needed for working on a wiring in the location.

Circuit breakers have other applications, such as using for ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI. The function of this is to prevent electric shock, rather than just overheating. It breaks the circuit in an outlet if the current gets unbalanced. It can be reset by the touch of a button, and is generally useful in kitchens or bathrooms, where electrocution is a risk from the use of electrical appliances near water sources such as sinks or faucets.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Fuses are more inexpensive, available at nearly any hardware store. They react quickly to overloading, offering more protection to sensitive electronic devices. The only problem in this is that if the circuit is prone to surges that regularly cause fuses to blow, then the quick reaction to the overloading can be a disadvantage.

When fuses are blown, they need to be replaced. This can be difficult, especially in a dark room, or if the replacement fuse is not available at the time of need. In many instances, too, people find themselves replacing a fuse with the replacement fuses that actually has a higher voltage or current rating that is too high for the application or need – which can then cause an overheated circuit.

Fuses are generally speaking, easy to see which switch has been tripped, and which would need to be reset. The average homeowner would find it safe since there is no doubt about choosing the right fuse rating and all of the electrical connections are in the breaker box.

The disadvantage to using a circuit breaker is that it can be more expensive to install, repair and replace. Circuit breakers won’t react as quickly as a fuse in power surges. This means it would be possible that electronics connected to the circuit could be damaged by energy that is just let through. It can be more sensitive to vibration and movement, which may allow for a switch to trip for reasons that are unrelated to electricity overloads.

fusebox vs circuit

Circuit breakers and fuses are not interchangeable for all power applications. For instance, a fuse should not be used in situations that require a GFCI. Electricians are best qualified to make decisions on whether a fuse or circuit breaker system is better for any particular instance or scenario or electrical installation. If you have any questions about a particular project and would like to know more, you can talk to an accomplished professional at 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

The Skyscraper as a Small Town

Chicago_SkylineSeptember 3rd is Skyscraper Day, a date chosen in honor of Louis H. Sullivan, who is considered the father of skyscrapers. The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885. It was a metal framed structure that reached a dizzying 10 stories into the sky. This was a time when most structures still relied on stone support and they worried that a human’s face would peel off if a train reached 60mph. Some continue to define a skyscraper as any building that reaches 10 stories, though most reserve the term for buildings that are at least 100 stories. Continue reading “The Skyscraper as a Small Town”

Planning for the Worst: No Electricty

Summer-Power-OutagesThe heat, the humidity, the storms: Summer in the Midwest. With the summer storm season in full bloom and a change of season around the corner (Sorry for the reminder), there’s no better excuse to make sure your home and business are prepared in case of a weather-related emergency. Continue reading “Planning for the Worst: No Electricty”

The Joy of Dimming Lights

A great way to save energy and provide a bit of ambience to any space is to install dimmable lighting. Residential installations of a dimmer switch is something an experienced homeowner can do, although a qualified electrician is still advised – particularly in an older home, where the conditions may not marry well with today’s technology.

Dimmers-lightsThere are several factors to consider when adding or replacing dimmable lighting in the home.

The primary consideration is in the choice of quality components, which is true for any electrical supplies purchase. When it comes to dimmable lighting, inferior products always provide poor performance. Common experiences with subpar products include buzzing, flickering, and intermittent performance. One of the reasons problems occur is that low quality dimmers simulate dimming by flashing power rapidly – up to 120 times a second. The result is electromagnetic resistance, which results in vibration and buzzing.

High quality switches actually raise and lower the voltage to the fixture, allowing for a smooth transition between light levels.

Steiner Electric carries several high quality solutions for your dimming needs. For example, take a look at what we carry from Leviton’s line of dimmer switches for both residential and commercial applications. Leviton’s universal dimmers will future-proof your fixtures. They are designed to work with dimmable incandescent, LEDs, and CFL bulbs.

When it comes to residential remodeling plans or a commercial build, sometimes the lighting is left till the end. Calling Steiner Electric early in the planning of any changes to your home or business will help dim any headaches!

LED-Lights-CFL

The Magnificent Fuse: Often Overlooked, Greatly Needed

historical-homeOwning an historical home can be a rewarding experience. Someone who is willing to accept the challenges that a century-old house presents will not only own a piece of history, but also a unique vision that embodies the dreams of another era. Before long, the homeowner will add to that vision, joining a conversation that promises to extend for generations to come. Continue reading “The Magnificent Fuse: Often Overlooked, Greatly Needed”