Category Archives: Improving Home Life

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners Should Know

As a homeowner in Singapore, you are capable of fixing and troubleshooting basic wiring without the need to consult an electrician services company or even a licensed electrician.

Most electrical jobs that you will most likely encounter range from simple things, such as replacing light bulbs to covering exposed wires with electrical tape to avoid getting electrocuted or having the wires themselves overheat. With that said, here are some safety tips you should know as a homeowner:

    1. Do an annual safety inspection

    It’s best that you know exactly how old your home is for electrical safety reasons. Even though most modern homes are built to handle the necessary electrical works, older homes, such as ones that are made out of wood, may not always be able to handle them.

    The good news is that safety inspection doesn’t have to be that hard – all you need to do is to look for anything that seems out of place or could pose as a fire or electrical hazard (e.g. exposed wiring, electrical works with faulty insulation).

    2. Befriend with your electrical panel

    Your electrical panel holds not just the circuit breakers, but also the main switches that you turn off manually whenever you need to do basic electrical works at home, such as replacing a light bulb or installing a light fixture.

    Find out the date that your panel was installed in your home, as the older the circuit breakers and main switches get, the more likely they can trip by themselves. When inspecting, touch the panel to make sure that it’s not hot. If it is, call a power max electrician immediately.

    3. Understand what circuit breakers do

    Circuit breakers are exactly what the name implies – they “break”, or trip when the circuit is overloaded, preventing the wires from overheating and starting a fire.

    However, they can also trip by themselves over years of use, even when everything otherwise seems normal. While occasional tripping can indicate overloads, frequent breaker trips are something you need to consult an electrician services company in Singapore.

    It’s also important that you know how old your circuit breaker box is and how to work it. Because electricity still enters the panel even though the main switches and breakers have been shut off, this type of work should be best left to a licensed electrician.

    Depending on how many circuits you have for your electrical works at home, hiring a good electrician may set you back for a certain amount depending on the electrician’s rate.

    4. Always have a fire extinguisher on standby

    In the event of an electrical fire, the best way to put it out is with a chemical retardant. Avoid using water, as this will only conduct electricity. Be sure to follow the instructions in using the fire extinguisher and keep an eye out for the retardant’s expiry date.

    Even if you conduct regular inspections to avoid the risk of having an electrical fire breaking out in your home, a fire extinguisher would still come in handy. At the end of the day, it’s better to have a fire extinguisher without a fire than the other way around.

    5. Replace anything and everything hot

    Anything that heats up that’s not supposed to is a sign of a major electrical problem, outlets and ceiling fixtures included. For instance, screwing in a bulb with a higher wattage than what is recommended can lead to the fixture overheating, which could be a major fire hazard if left unchecked.

    6. Watch out for sparks or smoke

    Turn off all switches in the electrical panel immediately once you see sparks or smell something burning from the light fixtures, the circuit box, or even the power outlets. This is a sign of compromised electrical works that could turn into a fire hazard at any moment.

    Be sure to contact an electrician in the event that you start to see smoke or sparks from your electrical equipment, and always have your fire extinguisher on standby.

    7. Ground older appliances

    Older appliances, especially kitchen appliances, can put you at risk due to potential grounding issues – avoid this by using three-pronged plugs that properly connect to a grounded outlet. Outlets that have not been grounded should be replaced with new, grounded circuits.

Being able to determine the symptoms of an electrical problem allows you to make repairs easier and avoids running the risk of electrocuting yourself or other people in your home by accident.

When it comes to electrical safety, here are a few more tips to keep in mind:

    • Assume all overhead wires are live. If the overhead power cables are dangerously close to your home, do not attempt to touch them with your bare hands, especially if they are exposed. If you have to touch them, wear thick rubber gloves.

    • Keep all electrical equipment or wirings away from water. Water conducts electricity extremely well, which means that it could not only result in a potential fire hazard, but can also end up damaging said electrical equipment. Always work with electrical equipment or wirings in a dry area. If water is present around the area, shut off the main power and remove the water first before switching the main power back on.

    • Do not repair or operate electrical equipment without proper training. Though there are electrical problems that you can fix by yourself at home, there are also more delicate and complicated electrical equipment, such as circuit boxes, that you should not try to move yourself. Consider contacting an electrical services company to help you with this problem.

*This list is compiled in no particular order.*

Make Your Kitchen Experience More Convenient with the Help of These 5 Equipment

We all have our own fair share of horrific kitchen scenarios. I remember one time in college when I completely forgot to turn off the stove while boiling water for my staple food of instant noodles—to the point that the entire kitchen ended up dazed in smoke.

Occupied by my studied within my room, I was not able to hear the loud kettle noise, as if it was shouting for me to pay caution and attention. Good thing I made it just in time. I could’ve caused a kitchen fire if I detected it a second too late! I was so traumatized by the event that I brought an electric water heater to use whenever I need hot water.

Is cooking a struggle?

Working in the kitchen can be a struggle for a number of people. Of course not everyone is born to be naturally good at cooking. Even chefs and other kitchen professionals with kitchen venture from Singapore who have spent time studying culinary arts have had difficult times in their aprons as well. One thing is for sure though, cooking is challenging.

Even if you have bought every ingredient required to make a certain dish, you still have to put in some effort in the whole cooking process. Unfortunately there is no technology available yet that can magically create meals with just a simple click; plausible, perhaps, but maybe some time in the far future.

Cooking can be a strenuous task as well as stressful, but with the right commercial kitchen equipment your entire cooking experience can unfold in smooth and pleasant ways. From practicality to convenience, this article will list some of the most common kitchen items and why having them in your kitchen will make your life easier.

• Toaster

Toasters are our universal best friend in the morning. A nice and crispy piece of buttered toast serves as a staple breakfast food for many people especially if they are in a rush. The whole process of making one is not that hard, too. Just slather butter on top, pop it right into the toaster and boom—breakfast!

In countries where there is a surge in workers who rush their way to work in the morning, toasters are quite popular and a necessity to own. This can be observed in countries like Japan, the United States, and Singapore. Electric toasters convert electricity into heat that melts the butter and gives your bread a nice toast, so we have to give credit to their built-in conversion ability.

• Slow cooker

Although there are a number of unsatisfied people claiming slow cookers often deliver mush, on the brighter side of things they also bring about joy. As a matter of fact, they are one of the most sold commercial kitchen equipment. Slow cookers run on little energy which makes it practical for people who do a lot of cooking.

Before going to the office in the morning or even before you sleep at night, you can already prepare your meal beforehand and expect to return or wake to a delicious, hot meal as it is simmered for 8–12 hours. You can also rely on its safety as it will not burn your meal or explode while cooking.

• Blender

Did you know that the British often call the blender as a ‘liquidizer’? Varying names aside, all blenders generally have one goal: to mix or emulsify food and other combined ingredients. It produces a result in liquid form or in a purée hence is why the Brits came up with the alternative term.

There are different variations of blenders sold in the market. In case you are wondering why, each has different functions. There are blender types designed for suiting a specific need. Some are best for mincing food pieces to extract its juice while some are perfect for blending sauces, such as for pasta.

• Coffee maker

All across the world, from countries like America and Singapore, coffee indisputably serves as a constant in the hectic lives of many workers. It’s undeniable that caffeine is effective in boosting energy levels in the morning. With that, there is increased productivity in work and an over-all motivation to accomplish your workload.

Having your own coffee maker at home is ideal especially if you need a quick caffeine fix on the daily. Ask your local kitchen equipment supplier if you are interested in buying one. In case it is not available, there is still hope for your caffeine-loving self as coffee makers are sold in a lot of department stores and shops. Instead of lining in coffeeshops in the morning, you can now enjoy your fresh brew within the comfort of your home before leaving the house for work. What better way to start your day, right?

• Microwave oven

Microwave ovens have been making our lives convenient for almost 50 years now. Movie nights, in particular, have been made complete in today’s age of Netflix as it is easy to just shove a bag of popcorn inside a microwave for an instant snack.

It is one of the most iconic commercial kitchen equipment that has transformed the way we cook, one generation after the other, as it saved us from dealing with kitchen drudgery that can last for hours. It provides fast heating which is suitable for processed foods. There are also meals that can be served piping hot again through reheating. Talk about less waste in food, right?

Coldplay had it right all along, “Nobody said it was easy.” Cooking can be challenging and strenuous but it can turn enjoyable and effective with the right equipment. Don’t underestimate having the proper tools to work with as a definite key to success. Ask your local kitchen equipment supplier for more details regarding essential kitchen tools that will help you in your cooking journey.

How to Save Money on Your Plumbing Repairs

Hiring a plumber to work on your plumbing issues can be a tricky task, not to mention a costly one since most plumbers in Singapore charge for their service on an hourly basis. You’ll also incur more cost as you start acquiring fixtures and materials for your repairs. Luckily, you can now save yourself from all the plumbing costs by simply putting the following tips to work.


1. Hire the Right Plumber

Different plumbers charge differently for their plumbing services, even if they serve in the same area. So if you don’t really need to get your plumbing system completely remodelled, consider hiring a less-expensive plumber to help in cutting your costs. Look around your area, and ask your neighbours for a referral on a cost-effective and reliable plumber.

If your plumbing repairs isn’t that complicated, consider hiring a handyman instead, as they typically charge half of what most licensed plumber charges. Just ensure that the handyman you’re going to hire is knowledgeable and experienced enough to do the job.

2. List Down the Plumbing Repairs You Need

Make a list of all the plumbing works that you want to get done with in SIngapore including all the make-do solutions that you did, before calling in a plumber. It’d also be a good idea to ask your plumber about some possible alternatives for your plumbing repairs. Instead of simply telling him that you have a leaky faucet, ask if he can just replace the cartridge or washer in your faucet before completely replacing it.

Most plumbers in Singapore charge by the hour, thus repeatedly hiring one to tend to simple plumbing problems will cause you to spend more money than you really need. So save your hard earned cash by preparing an elaborate list of repair before contacting your plumber.

3. Ask for a Detailed Estimate

Another way to save money on your repairs is to ask for an estimate beforehand. Doing this allows you to get a clearer idea on the plumbing job, as well as the materials that will be used. Also, have your plumbing contractor notify you when an additional work needs to be done, or if the cost exceeds your estimated budget. This is where it helps to be more specific with the kind of repairs your plumbing system really needs.

4. Purchase All the Necessary Materials Yourself

Need to install some fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom? Opt to go shopping on your own, and have the materials ready before the plumber arrives. Ask the supplies provider for some information about the quality of the products you’re planning to purchase. If you want, you can also check with your plumbing contractor first to see if he has any recommendations on what parts or products you should buy and avoid.

Doing this will definitely help you save extra bucks as most plumbers tend to charge 10 to 20 percent more on the cost of the materials that they buy, justifying that they used their time and gas in purchasing them. Just ensure that you balance out the cost and quality equation well, if you don’t want to end up repurchasing materials from the store after a short while. By purchasing the materials yourself, you’ll end up paying the plumber exclusively for the labour.


5. Go for Quality Plumbing Materials

Even if you’re planning to save some bucks on your plumbing repairs, don’t be tempted to purchase cheap materials. Inexpensive materials are cheap for a reason – they don’t last as long as their ceramic and metal counterparts. You might even end up replacing them more often, causing you to spend more than you originally planned.

If you’re unsure as to what brands are the best, consider asking your plumber or a salesperson at your local home improvement store.

6. Have Your Plumber Work on Two or More Problems

Plumbers often use their hourly rates as the price for a minimum labour charge. That means if he charges S$100 an hour, your plumber will likely charge you the same amount for labour even if it will just take him 10 minutes to fix your plumbing problem. Which is why as much as possible, avoid calling in a plumber until you have two to three jobs that needs to be done. With this, you can make the most out of the money you’ll be paying for his plumbing services.

7. Observe While the Repairs Are Being Done

If possible, stay in the area where the work is being done and ask some questions. If you’re having your faucet replaced, consider inquiring about the different brands and types of faucets, as well as what makes a bad or a good model. Also, ask plumber if you did anything to break the faucet, and how long will the newly installed parts last. Once the job is finished, have your plumber go over the faucet operation with you. This way, you get to check if he has properly done the plumbing repairs that you needed.

8. Perform DIY Plumbing Maintenance Works

Instead of immediately calling a 24 hours plumber, invest your energy and time in performing regular DIY plumbing maintenance works. This means inspecting common trouble areas to see if any form of repair is needed. With this, you’ll be able to identify plumbing problems early on, saving you from all the costly major repairs down the line. Make sure that you use common precautionary measures as well to not just keep any problem at bay, but to also help you save considerably.

Although some plumbing repairs can be really costly, putting the aforementioned tips to work on your next plumbing task will surely help you save a good amount of your hard earned cash.