Canada's Number One Circuit Breaker Specialist

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Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program and It’s Affect on Future Generation

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In 2015 coal and natural gas accounted for 90% of all electricity generation in Alberta. These non-renewable energy sources significantly contribute to carbon emissions and aren’t generally seen as the fuels of the future. Hydro-electric, wind, biomass, solar, fuel oil, and waste heat generate the final 10% of all electricity in Alberta. These renewable sources make up a small segment of current electricity generation but that may soon be changing.

Started in early 2017,  Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program (REP) was designed to encourage the development of renewable electricity generation and reduce overall emissions. The ultimate goal of REP is to add 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity to the Alberta grid by 2030, increasing the amount of renewable energy to 30% of total consumption. This growth will be fueled by annual competitions for individuals and private companies in the electrical industry. Winners will be awarded the opportunity to provide up to 400 megawatts of power and will add up to 7,200 new jobs in Alberta.

At Civic Recycling we are committed to meeting a wide variety of your electrical needs. We uniquely understand the work of Alberta’s electrical professionals and strive to provide excellent customer service. Contact us today to learn more about Civic Recycling and our dedication to the electrical industry.

 

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Top 5 Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners

Electrical Safety Tips Homeowners home safety

Electrical issues need to be addressed. Not only can homeowners receive quite a shock from overloaded circuits or worn-out insulation, but an electrical problem, such as an outdated breaker, can lead to a fire. Homeowners need to be aware of how to keep their home safe from electrical problems and keep an eye out for a range of electrical hazards. It is also important to realize when to call for professional help.

Homeowners can address a number of these issues and avoid dealing with a potential fire hazard in their home. Protect yourself and your family with the following electrical safety tips.


1. A Stubborn Breaker Should Not Be Forced

You reset the breaker. It then immediately trips. Do not attempt to reset it again. This problem could be due to one of two reasons. On one hand, the electrical load on that breaker could be too large. On the other hand, the tripping is a result of a severe electrical problem. Force that breaker again and you may be dealing with a fire in your home. Tripping of breakers are meant to protect the homeowner. Call an electrician to investigate the problem.

2. A Warm Outlet Could Be A Sign Of An Overloaded Outlet

Do not ignore a warm outlet. This does not always apply to dimmer switches which are. Do not ignore a warm outlet. This does not always apply to dimmer switches which are often warm and generally not a hazard. There can be a few reasons for a warm outlet. As a homeowner, you may be dealing with a loose electrical splice, undersized wiring or a large electrical load on a single outlet. Cut the power before checking into the issue. Keep an eye out for melted connections, burned insulation or a loose splice. In addition, evaluate the wattage of connected devices. It may be necessary to switch the device to another outlet. An electrician may be needed if the issue continues after a basic assessment is made – electrical issues can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to call on a professional in cases where you may feel unsafe.

3. An Outdated Breaker May Cause a Fire

Outdated panels and breakers can overheat wires and lead to a house fire. Homeowners need to replace old, outdated panels and circuit breakers such as Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels, Zinsco Panels, split-bus panels past their expected lifespan and modified fuse boxes. Modifications on fuse boxes can lead to blown fuses and compensatory changes like larger fuses can create a fire hazard. A homeowner with an outdated panel and breaker should have it professionally inspected and in the majority of instances, replaced.

4. A Wobbly Outlet or Switch Receptacle May Have Come Loose

When outlets or switches have become loose, this is generally an indication that the box is no longer properly affixed to the stud or the device was improperly mounted. Cut the power, remove the faceplate and check mounting screws. You may need to tighten
the mounting screw, shorten long screws to have them fully seat, or tighten the box’s connection to the framing. This should address the issue.

5. Do Not Use Water to Put Out an Electrical Fire

All residents in the house should know how to put out an electrical fire. Water should not be used to address an electrical fire as the fire will only help it get larger. A chemical fire extinguisher can be used on small electrical fires. If a fire has grown too large, exit the home and call the fire department once safely outside.


Keep Your Home Safe With the Right Equipment and Expertise

Not only is Civic Recycling the place for necessary electrical equipment, reconditioned breakers, tested components, and much more, the Civic Recycling team answers your questions, providing expert advice when it comes to identifying and addressing electrical malfunctions. Businesses and homeowners in and around Calgary have relied upon Civic Recycling, their supplier of new, used, and reconditioned electrical equipment since 1995.

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Circuit Breaker History from Civic Recycling: Part 1

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For having a business based around a product, delving into the history of circuit breakers is not something we do very often. We thought it would be fun and informative to take a look at the circuit breaker history, where they came from, who invented them, and where they’re going. Parts of the story are incredibly interesting and there are some names that everyone will recognize from history who had a part in the creation of the modern circuit breaker.

History of Circuit Breakers

Being merely the introduction, today we’ll touch on a few of the notes that predated the modern circuit breaker and leave off with where things were headed at the onset of the 20th century. With that said, let’s jump into the earliest incarnations of the circuit breaker and why its invention was necessitated.

According to the book Edison’s Electric Light: Biography of an Invention, Thomas Edison, the vaunted inventor of the late 19th and early 20th century, had developed an early form of the circuit breaker according to a patent application from 1879. The purpose of his invention at the time was to protect lighting circuit wiring from accidental short circuits and overloads. Now, Edison’s version never quite took off to the extent he had hoped, as his invention was largely in sketches and the idea patented, without a true working product ever coming to fruition. But with these ideas out there, someone eventually picked up on the circuit breaker and brought it into a more commercial light.

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7 surprising ways breaker inspections are more refreshing than new socks

7 SURPRISING WAYS BREAKER INSPECTIONS ARE MORE REFRESHING THAN NEW SOCKS breaker testing voltage tes

Professionally Reconditioned Breakers

Peace of mind and quality service are refreshing in this day and age. With an increasing focus on speed, in communication and in service, quality can often be compromised for the sake of convenience. We feel that those two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Things can get done in a timely manner while being held to a certain standard of quality; a concept we firmly believe and actively subscribe to. With a little hard work and a commitment to our customers, we strive to do things properly AND efficiently.

Again, doing things properly is a refreshing way to do business; some might say better than a new pair of socks. We thought it best to take you through all the ways our unique testing and inspection process is extremely refreshing and why it makes us Canada’s number one circuit breaker specialist. With all of that said, here are the seven surprising ways breaker inspections are more refreshing than new socks:

Civic Recycling Certified Breakers


1. In-depth breaker Inspections

Each circuit breaker we test goes through a thorough inspection that leaves no stone unturned. When it comes to electrical equipment, no corner should be cut and that’s something we pride ourselves on. Each breaker gets the in-depth treatment that it should, whether it’s one of our own that we’re selling or one a customer has brought in.

2. Certified breaker inspections and Testing

Each of our breakers, when tested, meet or exceed the standards set out by PEARL, NEMA, NETA, IEEE, and those laid out by the manufacturer. We don’t cut corners, as these specifics suggest. We want to keep our customers coming back, as well as attract new ones, and we believe the best way to do this is by offering quality service that we stand behind.

3. We Sell and Reconditioned

Since we’re merely not taking in others breakers and reconditioning them, we sell our own reconditioned breakers as well, we have to adhere to certain standards of quality. This also means we know the products inside and out. You don’t get to number one in the country without having an in-depth and complete knowledge of the products you’re dealing with.

4. Written Test Results

With every breaker we test and recondition comes a unique tracking number. This number corresponds to a written report that details the test results. This acts as a sort of insurance for the breaker you’re purchasing and offers peace of to you, your business, and your potential customers. It shows that we stand behind our work and have no issues letting you know what went into the breaker you purchased; complete transparency.

5. Testing as a Service

Not only do we recondition and sell our breakers, but we’re happy to take in and test any breaker that is brought in to us. It’s part of the service we provide and part of our greater goal, which is to ensure all breakers out there are safe for use. If you ever need some questions answered, don’t hesitate to bring in a breaker for our inspection.

6. Civic 36-point Visual Inspection

Part of the testing service we provide is a complete 36-point visual inspection of the interior and exterior of every breaker we take in after a thorough cleaning of the product. This ensures we take care of any issues with the breaker before the actual testing begins. It may seem like a large undertaking, but it pays dividends in the long wrong and allows us to guarantee all of our products.

7. 100% One Year Guarantee

We guarantee every breaker, new or reconditioned, 100% for a year after we sell it. The guarantee is not something we take lightly, but it’s obviously a testament to how much we believe in all of the products we sell. It’s a simple and straightforward statement and something we really believe in. We love breaker inspections!


Reconditioned Circuit Breakers from Civic Recycling

As always, we provide open lines of communication as well. If any questions need to be answered we can always be reached via email at [email protected], or by phone. Should the purchasing of a new or reconditioned product require our expertise, we’re always happy to answer any questions and to assist in the process.

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Shop online for circuit breakers and your equipment ships free!

Shop online for electrical equipment canada electrical breakers online civic online store

If there’s something we can all agree on, it’s that free things are good. Not the type of “free” things that come with caveats, but things that are truly free. That’s why we like to offer free shipping for any orders over $500 to anywhere in Canada. Shop Online with us to save time and money.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find what you need in store. This means that one must default to shopping online. Many people don’t like shopping online, due to the incessant advertising as well as the overwhelming number of options. We, however, like to think that we have found ways to combat these issues on our own site by offering unique ways to expedite the process and save money.

Outstanding Stock AND Online?

As with any shopping experience, be it online or at a brick and mortar, we believe that simplicity and ease of access to products are the keys to success. On our site, there are a lot of options for which product to purchase, but that doesn’t mean it’s overwhelming. When searching for a product there are a number of different parameters that can be set to narrow a search. This includes being able to narrow down a search by volts, amps, poles, and manufacturer. Having this ability takes out the needle in a haystack element to online shopping, and simplifies the process.

Shop Online for Reconditioned Equipment

What our online shopping experience also features is a “my account” function, allowing products and previous purchases to be saved and revisited. When searching for products, they can be “favourited” and revisited upon the next visit to the account. Once a product has been “favourited,” it will be automatically saved on the site and can be seen again from any computer. It makes choosing products much easier and streamlines the process for the next times a purchase needs to be made. With a lot of product options on the site, it’s nice to have the peace of mind knowing that past purchases can be referenced. This will go a long way in saving time for subsequent purchases and guiding future decisions.

Free Shipping from Civic Recycling

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How reconditioned breakers can help you live a better life

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We spend a lot of time talking about the time and effort we take into reconditioning our circuit breakers, why this is important, and what separates us from other companies doing the same thing. This has been discussed at length, and rightfully so; it’s important to know what goes into a product that has been previously used and how reliable it can be. With that said, something we don’t discuss as often is some of the other tangible and intangible benefits that come along with purchasing a reconditioned product from a company like ours. Some of these things seem obvious, some less so.

We thought today, we’d take the opportunity to discuss these benefits and why they should mean something to you. Again, some of these benefits will strike you as quite obvious, but we also thought this to be a fine opportunity to explain why some of these benefits are unique to our company. Circuit breakers may seem like a simple tool, but there is a lot that goes into them and there is a lot to think about when purchasing them. So, with that in mind let’s discuss four major benefits to buying reconditioned breakers, and why they will only serve to help you live a better life.

Electrical Breakers (and peace of mind):

Something that we take pride in, as has been discussed here before, is the amount of work and rigorous testing we put into our reconditioned breakers. What this testing process produces, aside from a reliable product, is peace of mind for the person who is purchasing the breakers. There’s an inherent skepticism that comes along with used products, often times rightfully so, but with our process being as thorough and transparent as it is, there’s no reason to doubt anything ever purchased. Peace of mind, especially in regards to electrical equipment, goes a long way and allows you to purchase great products at a reduced rate without having to doubt their veracity.

Used Electrical Supplies (they’re green):

Another benefit to buying reconditioned products is their effect on the environment. Reconditioning products versus manufacturing new ones is always going to have a net benefit on the environment. Not only that, but when breakers are reconditioned and tested, older pieces are often replaced by newer, state of the art ones. What this does is allow the breaker to become much more efficient. It’s a pretty simple and beneficial concept, something that is certainly worth considering.

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Circuit Breakers – when Amazon isn’t the best place to buy

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As the world changes, so do the ways in which we shop. With technology constantly evolving many people have begun to do a lot of their shopping online. When there’s the option to shop from sites like Amazon, who seemingly carry any and every product available, it streamlines life and makes shopping for hard to find items a lot easier. Having the ability to get some of your groceries and clothes and a baby seat all in one place makes life a whole lot easier. It would appear, on the surface at least, that buying everything from a site like this is a no-brainer. So what about Circuit Breakers?

Benefits of a Specialty Service

While there’s truth to a lot of what was just mentioned, occasionally purchasing a product that requires more thought from a place like this is a little risky. While a site like Amazon caters to everyone, it lacks the specific advice and personal touch some of these products require. Buying certain things, like circuit breakers for instance, require knowledge to ensure the right product is being purchased for specific jobs. Some buying circuit breakers know what they’re looking for, many others, however, do not. Going into Amazon and arbitrarily purchasing a circuit breaker in the hopes that it will get the job done is not a smart way to operate.

When purchasing circuit breakers, whether new or reconditioned, there needs to be a certain expectation that it’s the right product for the job and that it’s going to work to the levels expected. Where sites like Amazon fall short is ensuring that all of these prerequisites are met. Amazon does a lot of things extremely well, offering nuanced advice and guidance specific to circuit breakers doesn’t happen to be one of them.


Why Choose Breakers from Civic Recycling?

When purchasing a circuit breaker, doing so from a place that specializes in such products is the best plan of attack. There are a number of reasons why looking at sites like our own, Civic Recycling, specializes in circuit breakers and have an intimate knowledge the products, will bear fruit in the long run. There are a number of reasons why specialty sites will be beneficial when purchasing products such as these, and here are a few of them:

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How breaker testing can give you peace of mind

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Trust Quality Breaker Testing from Civic

When you’re purchasing reconditioned circuit breakers, whether it be for personal or business purposes, it’s important to know that they’re going to work exactly as advertised. At Civic Recycling, it’s not something we merely take for granted; it’s something that we take pride in and have the utmost confidence in. What’s more, every reconditioned circuit breaker comes with a written test report, to offer peace of mind. We’ll discuss this in greater depth in the subsequent text. Now, we understand that simply saying these things won’t convince you that our products are any better than anyone else’s, which works just fine as we have ample evidence to show you.

Reconditioned and Tested Circuit Breakers

At Civic, we put each and every reconditioned circuit breaker through a rigorous testing process that includes multiple stages. The first stages are a complete cleaning of the inside and outside, followed by a 36-point visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the breaker. Once things have been properly visually inspected and cleaned comes the actual breaker testing. Molded circuit breakers consist are three main parts: the insulation, the contacts, and the trip unit. Three different tests are required to test the three different components, which are as follows:

  • Insulation Resistance:

This test is done to verify the condition of the breaker’s insulating materials. Testing is performed using an insulation resistance test set at 1KV. The results of this test are included in the test report we spoke about.

  • Contact Resistance:

The second test performed is done to verify the current path in the breaker. Loose or bad connections, dirty hinge points or contacts, and burnt contacts will all show up as a high resistance reading. Testing is performed on each phase individually using a digital low resistance ohmmeter at 10amps, results are measured in milliohms and recorded, again, in the test report.

  • Over Current Trip Test:

The third test is to verify the time-current characteristics of the breaker. Testing is performed with direct injection to simulate an overload current. We have assembled over 2000 manufacturer’s trip curves, and test each phase on every molded case circuit breaker to ensure that it trips according to the manufacturer’s very own factory specifications. These results too will end up in the test report.

Civic Test Reports

If you’re not well-versed in this type of language, what we’re saying is that each and every circuit breaker we recondition and sell goes through a battery of tests to ensure it will perform at the highest levels possible. Each reconditioned breaker also has a test report attached to it. What this report includes the detailed results of each breaker. It’s something of an insurance policy when purchasing breakers, as you know that the breaker has been put through the necessary paces to perform the way it should. The test report has a unique tracking number attached to it so that it’s always there to reference for you.

As a further insurance policy on each breaker, testing is performed only by Certified Low Voltage Circuit Breaker Technicians. Not only that, but each reconditioned breaker will meet or exceed the standards set out by NEMA, NETA, IEEE, as well as the manufacturer’s own testing standards.

Our Breakers Just Work!

What all of this amounts to is that the breakers we sign off on are simply going to perform to the highest of specifications set out in the industry. Our breakers will work and not break. We stand behind the work we put into them and the products that we, in turn, sell to our customers. Should you have any further questions regarding our testing processes or what the right product for you is, don’t hesitate to contact our sales staff with any and all of your queries. We’ll get you properly outfitted with the product and services that are right for you.

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Civic Recycling – How Green Is The New Expert

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Being Green In the Electrical Industry

Recyclable material is a leading renewable energy resource. Initiatives taken to dismantle equipment and separate into appropriate parts not only aids in the production of low energy resources such as varying metals but also provides countless job opportunities. In Canada, research has shown that green/recycling industry accounts for 10 times more employment and revenue than the waste industry.

Recycling Programs in Alberta

Alberta has the honorable distinction of initiating Canada’s first electronics recycling program back in 2004 and Civic Recycling is proving themselves as being one of the leading companies to help the movement. Alberta alone has recycled well over 8 million pieces of electrical equipment which mean that our landfills have been saved from incredibly hazardous materials such as lead, mercury or cadmium found in circuit boards or cathode ray tubes.

Civic Recycling’s ongoing commitment to the environment, recycling and being a company to offer a full range of services within the electrical industry is clear in their 3 main strategies to properly dispose of hazardous equipment:

1. Fluorescent Ballast Recycling

Civic Recycling now accepts NON-PCB fluorescent ballasts. Your business will be provided with a Certificate of Recycling which can support various LEED programs within your industry.

2. Fluorescent Lamp Recycling

Did you know that a standard fluorescent lamp contains approximately 23mg of toxic mercury? That is enough mercury to contaminate 20,000 L of water! Civic Recycling’s on-site “55 VRSU Premium Bulb Eater” effectively removes over 98% of the mercury and phosphor dust contained in standard lamps.

3. Fluorescent Fixture Recycling

These fixtures pose many unique recycling problems which many landfills and metal recyclers do not accept because of their mix of metals and low-grade tin that makes the fixtures themselves and the ballast. Our unique approach of stripping down each component into separated smaller groups makes it easier for recyclers to process.

 


We love being Green

For the past 20 years, Civic Recycling has been creatively seeking unique solutions for our valued customers. Our passion and dedication in providing expert knowledge with our wide array of products from Circuit Breakers to Fuses fully translates our proficiency and environmental prowess with our recycling efforts.

 

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5 Ways To Build Better Electrical Safety Management Systems

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Electrical Safety Management

Just about every business uses electricity and, in fact, the use of electrical power is so commonplace that it’s easy to take for granted in some respects. Any electrical system has the potential to cause harm to both life and property and accidents occur every day somewhere here in Canada, often because proper procedures in the treatment and use of electricity aren’t followed. Personal injuries may be suffered in a variety of ways, including:

  • Direct contact with either an energized electrical conductor or a live circuit. The human body is an efficient electrical conductor and when an electrical charge enters the body the energy will travel through it seeking a ground. This can be fatal, as the electricity can cause a malfunction of the heart, the lungs, and other muscles.
  • Electrical energy can arc or jump from an exposed circuit or conductor through the air to a person who is grounded, causing similar death or damage as that of direct contact.
  • Thermal burns may be suffered from the heat generated by electrical arcs as well as burns received from materials catching on fire as a result of contact with arcs or the heat created by electrical currents. Contact burns caused by being shocked may show little damage to your skin yet create significant damage to internal tissue.
  • Receiving a shock while on a ladder or otherwise working above ground can cause a fall that may result in serious injury.

Your Electrical Safety System

Every business should have an electrical safety management system in place that provides basic training regarding ways to avoid being injured or killed by electricity and ways to prevent property damage or destruction. Here are some tips on building a better electrical safety management system.

  1. Conduct semi-annual safety meetings for all employees stressing the dangers of electricity and how to protect against property damage/personal injury.

  2. Ensure personnel know what to do in an electrical emergency.

  3. Ensure all extension cords are of the proper size for the appliance they’re used to power, that they’re only used for temporary use, not coiled in use and inspected before use.

  4. Ensure all circuit breaker panels are properly labeled and any breakers that are replaced are certified safely operational.

  5. Conduct regular workplace assessments to ensure safe practices are being utilized throughout.

  6. When it’s time to replace a piece of electrical gear, utilize the services of a certified professional for replacement parts.


 

Learn more about how we test our electrical products, safety is our top priority. Civic Recycling is committed to delivering fantastics products to our customers across Canada. Think of us for Electrical Equipment and breakers including:

 

 

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