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Welcome to Ostrom Electrical and Plumbing

Electrical and Plumbing Services For Roanoke and Surrounding Communities

Ostrom Electrical & PlumbingFor over 15 years we have used a simple approach in serving our clients. We put the best tools in the hands of the best people. Our electricians and plumbers are expertly trained professionals who can quickly diagnose the need, provide you with up front pricing, get the job done right the first time and thoroughly clean the work area.

For all electrical and plumbing services or repairs you can count on Ostrom Electrical & Plumbing for prompt, friendly and professional service. You can trust us - Roanoke's premier electrical and plumbing contractor. All work and your total satisfaction is guaranteed 100%.

When you need electrical or plumbing repairs, installation or upgrades, call us at 540-342-0555.


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4 Hidden Electrical Dangers In the Home
Home electrical fires account for over 50 fires in the US each year. The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that electrical fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and over a billion dollars in property damage.

Older homes are particularly at risk. Because over half of the homes in the United States were built before 1973, this is a real concern.

Some of these dangers include:

Knob and Tube Wiring
This type of wiring was used from the 1800’s to the 1930’s in homes. Wires are run through ceramic tubes (or knobs) to prevent contact with wood framing. However, this type of wiring is now considered a fire hazard because it is not a grounded system. If your home has knob and tube wiring, it is highly recommended that you have your home re-wired.

Arc Faults
When any electricity is unintentionally released from home wiring or cords, it is known as an arc fault. Arc faults can be especially dangerous because the electricity released can cause the surrounding material to catch fire.

Common causes of arc faults:
  • Pinched wires – From a chair sitting on an extension cord or wires bent sharply 
  • Overheated wires or cords – Too many lights or appliances connected to one circuit (your fuse box or circuit breaker should trip) 
  • Improper electrical connections – Loose connections in an electrical light switch or outlet 
  • Pierced wires – Nails and screws can sometimes pierce wiring hidden behind walls 
  • Damaged wires or cords – Caused by rodents, age and heat 
No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Any electrical outlets that could come into contact with water should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed. These outlets improve safety by constantly monitoring the flow of electricity in and out of the circuit.

If the returning current differs even a small amount (like from coming in contact with water), the GFCI will shut of the electric current. This helps prevent deadly electric shocks and electrocution.

For maximum safety install GFCIs in bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry room, o outside and anywhere else an outlet could come in contact with water.

Aluminum Wiring
Another risk in older homes is aluminum wiring. A national survey conducted by Franklin Research Institute showed that homes built before 1972, and wired with aluminum, are 55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections at outlets reach “Fire Hazard Conditions”1 than homes wired with copper.

A shortage of copper in the mid 1960s caused builders to increase the use of aluminum wire in residential electrical distribution systems from the few large-power circuits (i.e., for electric clothes dryers and ranges), to general purpose 15- and 20-ampere-rated circuits. Homes built before 1965 are unlikely to have aluminum branch circuit wiring.

Unfortunately, failing aluminum-wired connections seldom provide easily detected warning signs. Aluminum-wired connections and splices have been reported to fail and overheat without any prior indications or problems.

Aluminum wiring can be replaced or repaired to effectively and permanently reduce the possibility of fire and injury due to failing (overheating) wire connections and splices. This should always be done by a licensed electrician.

Have questions about your home's electrical system? Call Ostrom Services, we're here to help.

 
Buying a Home? Don't Forget an Electrical Inspection
When buying a new home most people hire a home inspector to inspect the house for potential problems and damage. However, when it comes to electrical systems many home inspectors don't always check the home as thoroughly as an experienced and licensed electrician would.

Before signing a contract for the home, it's important to ensure that these electrical systems are checked and working properly.

1. Electrical Service Panel
A common problem with older homes is an undersized service panel. The electrical needs of a 1950s household were quite different from today's households. An undersize service panel will not only limit a home's functionality, it can cause safety problems. At minimum, the panel should be rated for 200-amps.

2. Worn Out Wiring
Fiberglass-insulated wires is commonly found in older homes and will fray over time and can be damage by rodents. Check where the wires pass through the walls and ceiling joists, these are the most common problem areas.

3. Ungrounded Circuits
Even if electrical receptacles have a ground prong a plug-in voltage tester should be used to make sure they are in fact grounded. The plug-in tester will also alert you if the polarity is wrong or if the circuit has other wiring problems like a lost neutral or a lost feed. All two-prong circuits should be upgraded to three-prong grounded outlets.

4. Dimming Lights
Check for light bulbs that are dim or blinking. Dimming bulbs are often a sign that there are voltage drops occurring in the circuit. Blinking bulbs mean there’s a loose connection somewhere.

5. Bad Wire Connections
Inspect junction boxes to ensure the wiring is well connected. Don't touch the wiring, just inspect it. If you spot potential problems, turn off the breaker before doing any work on the connections.

6. Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are required on every floor of the house, and they should be located right outside the bedrooms. If the detectors are not working, install new 9-volt batteries and re-test them to ensure they are functioning.

7. GFCI Receptacles
GFCI receptacles should be installed in areas that are near water, including bathrooms and the kitchen, the garage, the basement, and on the outside of the home – any place where an electrical system can come in contact with moisture.

8. Appliances
Check all appliances for proper operation and ask the current homeowner about any known issues or history of malfunctions.

9. Burn Marks
Look for signs of burning or scorching around receptacles, light switches and light fixtures. If scorch marks are visible, the circuit experienced a short at some time. Ensure that the circuit was properly repaired or the broken receptacle or switch was professionally repaired.

Need help with a home electrical inspection? Call Ostrom Services, we're here to help.
 
Buying a Home? Don't Forget an Electrical Inspection
When buying a new home most people hire a home inspector to inspect the house for potential problems and damage. However, when it comes to electrical systems many home inspectors don't always check the home as thoroughly as an experienced and licensed electrician would.

Before signing a contract for the home, it's important to ensure that these electrical systems are checked and working properly.

1. Electrical Service Panel
A common problem with older homes is an undersized service panel. The electrical needs of a 1950s household were quite different from today's households. An undersize service panel will not only limit a home's functionality, it can cause safety problems. At minimum, the panel should be rated for 200-amps.

2. Worn Out Wiring
Fiberglass-insulated wires is commonly found in older homes and will fray over time and can be damage by rodents. Check where the wires pass through the walls and ceiling joists, these are the most common problem areas.

3. Ungrounded Circuits
Even if electrical receptacles have a ground prong a plug-in voltage tester should be used to make sure they are in fact grounded. The plug-in tester will also alert you if the polarity is wrong or if the circuit has other wiring problems like a lost neutral or a lost feed. All two-prong circuits should be upgraded to three-prong grounded outlets.

4. Dimming Lights
Check for light bulbs that are dim or blinking. Dimming bulbs are often a sign that there are voltage drops occurring in the circuit. Blinking bulbs mean there’s a loose connection somewhere.

5. Bad Wire Connections
Inspect junction boxes to ensure the wiring is well connected. Don't touch the wiring, just inspect it. If you spot potential problems, turn off the breaker before doing any work on the connections.

6. Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are required on every floor of the house, and they should be located right outside the bedrooms. If the detectors are not working, install new 9-volt batteries and re-test them to ensure they are functioning.

7. GFCI Receptacles
GFCI receptacles should be installed in areas that are near water, including bathrooms and the kitchen, the garage, the basement, and on the outside of the home – any place where an electrical system can come in contact with moisture.

8. Appliances
Check all appliances for proper operation and ask the current homeowner about any known issues or history of malfunctions.

9. Burn Marks
Look for signs of burning or scorching around receptacles, light switches and light fixtures. If scorch marks are visible, the circuit experienced a short at some time. Ensure that the circuit was properly repaired or the broken receptacle or switch was professionally repaired.

Need help with a home electrical inspection? Call Ostrom Services, we're here to help.
 

What Your Neighbors Are Saying ...

"The job looks very professionaL ..thank you and thank your guys"

– Paul Williamson

Committed To Your Satisfaction

  • Convenient Appointments
  • Polite, Uniformed Technicians
  • Charge By The Job – Not By The Hour
  • Technicians Wear Protective Shoe Covers
  • Technicians Will Thoroughly Clean The Work Area
  • Recover & Recycle To Protect Our Environment
  • 100% Satisification Guarantee
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  • Technicians Receive Continuing Training & Education On The Lastest Technologies

Ostrom Electrical & Plumbing • 1530 Plantation Rd • Roanoke, VA 24012 • 540-342-0555