Bratcher Electric Inc., Electrical contractors

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Glenn Haege Interviews Mike Bratcher

Liseten as Mike Bratcher of Bratcher Electric talks to Glenn Haege about steps than can be taken to make sure your appliances and electronics are kept safe.
-- As heard on The Handyman Show on 07/10/2010


Glenn Haege columns that mention Bratcher Electric

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Mike Bratcher is often quoted as an expert in his field by Glenn Haege, America's Master Handyman. Glenn's radio show can be heard on WJR-AM every weekend and his columns appear every week in The Detroit News

Click on a headline at right to read excerpts
from the Handyman column in The Detroit News here

Publication date: 10/02/2009

Protect home appliances from power surge

"Most homes that were built 30 or 40 years ago feature circuit breakers that weren't meant to handle a lot of today's high-tech electronics and appliances such as toaster ovens, electric frying pans, curling irons, window air conditioners or portable electric heaters," said Mike Bratcher of Bratcher Electric, (734) 722-0037. "If you have a couple of these appliances on the same circuit, the circuit can blow."

Bratcher said that even if the circuit doesn't blow, just using one of these appliances will often make your lights dim because it is overloading the circuit.

He said older homes were outfitted with 15 amp circuit breakers, and a few 20 amp breakers for larger appliances like stoves and refrigerators, or furnaces and central air conditioning. But, too often, people are plugging items into a 15 amp circuit that really requires a 20 amp breaker. In addition, the code for homes built 30 or 40 years ago also didn't include arc fault circuit interrupters in bedrooms, which are designed to eliminate fire hazards and are part of state code in newer homes.

That's why Bratcher agrees with DTE's Kaufmann that adding a whole-house surge protector is the first step to safeguarding your appliances and equipment.

"It's usually less than $500 to have a whole-house surge protector installed, and that's a small price compared to the cost of replacing a sump pump, air conditioner or big screen TV because they were damaged by a power surge," he said.

In addition to adding a whole-house surge protector, Bratcher also suggested upgrading your electric panel with 20 amp circuits for areas where you are using some of these power-hungry appliances and electronics.

Read the entire column on Glenn Haege's site