Canada's Number One Circuit Breaker Specialist

Tag Archives: Electrical

From Home-Builders to Electricians: Civic covers most all electrical supplies

From home-builders to electricians: Civic has you covered for electrical supplies

When you need electrical supplies fast and for less, Civic Recycling has you covered. A single breaker has stopped working? Civic has you covered. Need to replace an entire service in a commercial building? Civic definitely has you covered. Jobs big and small, simple or complex, common or obscure: Civic has you covered.

Since 1995, we’ve provided high-quality equipment to electrical contractors, wholesalers, industrial suppliers. We serve the oil, manufacturing, and agricultural industries as well as the general public. Whether you are looking for a brand new 15-amp residential circuit breaker or an obsolete 3000-amp molded case breaker, a box of teck connectors, a custom-built motor control centre, or a complete service, we’re here to help you!

Not sure where to start? Feel free to give us a call at anytime. We’re Canada’s #1 new/used circuit breaker dealer. But circuit breakers are just the beginning!


Electrical supplies: What we sell

1. Circuit breakers

From 15-Amp residential breakers to 3000-Amp mains to run an entire plant. We stock new and reconditioned units from nearly every brand under the sun.

Need a European or Asian breaker? We have those, too! Even better, we ship anywhere in Canada, fast, from our massive warehouse in Calgary.

2. Transformers

You won’t find many shops selling transformers, and especially not at our prices. We stock single-phase and three-phase from 50VA to 750KVA. We’ve got distribution, auto, open type, epoxy potted, isolation type, control and current transformers, general purpose, indoor and outdoor. Odds are, we have what you’ve been searching for – reconditioned and ready to go.

3. Motor control units

We have Motor Control Centres in stock from all the major manufacturers. Need a replacement bucket, doors, operators, or handles? We’ve got you covered. What’s more, we can even build you a custom MCC, from 400 amp to 3000 amp, breakered or fused. Let us know!

4. Combination Starters

We stock combination starters from every manufacturer around the world, plus all the replacement parts you’ll need. Your manufacturer is out of business? We can help you out. Magnetic, Manual, Contactors: we have them in stock.

Continue reading…

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Top 5 Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners & Landlords

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 (no pun intended), 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 and landlords 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 five 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, tripping could be 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 is 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 often warm and generally not a hazard. But as a general rule, never ignore a warm outlet. 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.

Better safe than sorry!

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 older 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 most instances, replaced.

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

When outlets or switches are loose, this is generally an indication that the box is not properly affixed to the stud, or it could mean 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 set, or tighten the box’s connection to the framing. This should address the issue.

Again, f you are unsure contact an electrician to inspect the outlet. Safety first!

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 water 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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From the Obsolete to the Obvious: A Story From Civic Recycling

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Civic Recycling Obsolete & Obvious Reconditioned Products

For many of us, the idea of buying something “used” or supposedly “obsolete” doesn’t carry a positive connotation. Buying something that isn’t fresh out of the package can often mean that it’s not in working condition or is not as aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes this is the case, BUT making that declaration before seeing or using the product is a mistake, and no one knows that better than we do. So read on!


 

Outstanding Stock Tested and Inspected Rigorously 

At Civic Recycling we take pride in our reconditioned products. We can certainly understand the reticence of people out there to take the plunge into “used” parts, but we would like to explain why we believe so deeply in our reconditioned products. While some places may take shortcuts when it comes to refurbishing a product, we most certainly do not. Each of our reconditioned circuit breakers is professionally done and accompanied with a 36-point interior and exterior visual inspection. Once that’s been completed, we begin our actual testing of the circuit breaker. Molded case circuit breakers consist of three parts- the insulation, the contacts, and the trip unit.

Each one of these components is tested using three different pieces of equipment, which we’ll quickly summarize:

  1. Insulation Resistance: this test is done to verify the condition of the breaker’s insulating materials;
  2. Contact Resistance: this test verifies the current path in the breaker;
  3. Over Current Trip Test: this test is done to verify the time-current characteristics of the breaker, and is done to ensure it trips to the manufacturer’s exact factory specifications.

After our rigorous testing has been completed we issue a test report for each breaker that has completed testing. This not only offers peace of mind, but acts as a sort of insurance policy for those purchasing the breakers.

Great! But keep reading to know more…


 

Reconditioned Circuit Breakers and Electric Parts

So what does this all amount to? Well, it allows us to call ourselves Canada’s #1 circuit breaker specialist and provide an absolutely fantastic array of products. Not only do we carry a wide variety of reconditioned circuit breakers (which, again, have gone through our rigorous testing), but a wide selection of new products as well. Our outstanding stock is what we consider our advantage, and we are now able to offer these products for purchase online. Obsolete is now the obvious and our customers love it!

What we want everyone to know is that reconditioned products, when dealt with properly and tested rigorously and thoroughly, can perform to the exact same levels as a new product, all the while saving money. With the testing our products go through, as well as the test reports that accompany all of our reconditioned products, we know that they will perform exactly how they should. Along with the cost savings, the peace of mind that comes along with that is invaluable. That’s why we don’t believe that “used” products are obsolete, and in many cases, have become the obvious choice for our customers.

Buy Circuit Breakers and Outstanding Stock

Should you need assistance, we’re always here to offer a helping hand whether that be through visiting our store, sending in an email, or calling one of our professionals for the opinion you need. We’ll assist with any inquiries that come our way and look forward to assisting anyone who has questions.

We have the answers. Contact us for more information or check out our electrical products here or our online shop.

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Top Five Facts on Reconditioned Electrical Equipment

reconditioned testing blog post civic recycling equipment 235 volts

As Canada’s #1 circuit breaker specialist, it’s pretty clear that we have a good idea of what separates a quality product from one that won’t cut it. A lot of folks think that a product needs to be new to be able to perform at the levels they expect, and while that is true, reconditioned products need not be overlooked.

At Civic, we specialize in recycled and reconditioned circuit breakers. We do this for a number of reasons and chief among them is that we believe we can provide a product that performs just as well as something new, but for a relative bargain. Not only do we believe in providing our clients with value for the products they choose to buy, but we back this value up with a one year, 100% guarantee of performance. We don’t expect our customers to buy products of a lower quality, nor would we provide one to them, which is what makes our guarantee so important.


 Facts on Reconditioned Products

Instead of merely paying lip service to our guarantee and our reconditioned products, we want to share what makes these products perform at the highest levels. This starts and ends with the rigorous testing we put all of our products through before we put them to market. With that in mind, we would like to share a little bit about how extensive our testing actually is, as we’re happy to pull back the curtain and share with our customers all the work we put into getting the products right:

  • Our testing standards meet and/or exceed testing standards set out by  PEARLNEMANETA, IEEE and even the manufacturers testing standards.
  • The reconditioned breakers we sell come with a unique tracking number that corresponds to the test report that goes with your breaker.
  • Breakers are first cleaned inside and out then undergo a step by step 36-point visual inspection of the exterior and interior
  • Three different pieces of equipment are required in order to fully test a breaker and determine that it is safe, reliable and trips according to the manufacturer’s own trip curve: insulation resistance, contact resistance, and overcurrent trip test
  • We also perform Low Voltage Molded Case Circuit Breaker with Thermal Magnetic Trip Inspection. This includes nine important steps to guarantee performance: case, lugs, operating mechanism, interphase separators, arc extinguishers/chutes, arcing contacts, main contacts, current carrying components, and thermal/magnetic trips.

Not only this, we back up all of our testing with written test results which is a sort of insurance policy for our customers. They know exactly how extensive the testing was, so not only do they have a guarantee that the product was put through the proper testing, but they know it will perform to the highest of standards. When there’s a lot at stake these guarantees mean a lot to everyone who is relying on these breakers to do their job


 Priority on Safety and Testing Standards

At Civic Recycling, safety and product performance are our two main goals and as you can tell, we take these things very seriously. With our guarantee and the extensive and rigorous testing we put all of our breakers through, we’re extremely confident that our existing customers, and you, will be wholly satisfied with the way our products perform.

 

Should you want to find out more, don’t hesitate to call in to our sales centre or send an email ([email protected]). We stand by all of our products whether they’re new, recycled, or reconditioned, and we’re always happy to tell you why.

 

Learn more about our Recycled and Reconditioned equipment, our testing standards, or Shop on our online store to find exactly what you need!

reconditioned testing breaker circuit wires amps volts clamp

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Electrical Safety: The Top 5 Points you Need to Know

civic safety top five tips safe pearl nema neta ieee

Civic Recycling offers new and reconditioned electrical equipment. Our certified technicians follow our rigorous testing standards on all reconditioned products. Safety is our top priority and so we have put together some information to keep you safe.

Electrical safety is critical both at home and at work. Here, we look at 5 top considerations to enhance your safety.

Electrical Safety: Use sockets with tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles

The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that all buildings constructed or renovated after 2008 have tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles. TR receptacles are special devices with spring-loaded shutters that close off the contact openings of the receptacles. Because both springs need to be compressed before the shutters can open, electrocutions resulting from accidental insertion of a conducting material into one contact opening can be minimized.

Ensure that your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

When there is a break in the grounding path of a low-resistance current, the current can take an alternative path to the ground through the user. This is called a ground fault. Ground faults are common and have resulted in severe injuries and even deaths in the past. Ground Fault Current Interrupters (GFCIs) are lightning-quick circuit breakers used to cut off such faults.

Protect your electrical outlets with Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

Replacement receptacles should be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protected. An AFCI is an electrical safety device that helps to prevent fires.  It resembles a GFCI in the sense that both devices have test buttons and a reset button. The main difference, however, is that GFCIs are designed to protect people from getting electrocuted whereas AFCIs are meant to prevent fires.

Be extra careful with transformers

Transformers must be carefully tested before installation and continuously monitored thereafter. Make sure that there is no continuity (electrical leakage) between the primary and secondary coil. Also, ensure that there is no leakage between the power cord and any metal external parts such as the rivets. Most transformers are equipped with circuit breakers for additional safety.

Use only tested devices that meet industry quality standards

The design and manufacture of electrical devices is guided by certain industry standards. The Canadian Electrical Code or CE code develops and maintains these standards. Our neighbours to the South follow the National Electric Code and the National Fire Protection Association. Electrical components that fail to meet these standards might expose you to unnecessary danger. Civic Recycling certifications meet and often exceed the standards set out by PEARL (Professional Electrical Apparatus Recyclers League), NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and NETA (InterNational Electrical Testing Association).

All Civic Recycling electric devices; from circuit breakers to transformers, and fuses to motor controls, are tested to the highest standards to ensure that they are not only safe but very reliable.

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Jobs in the Electrical Industry: What’s Available?

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Electrical Industry in Alberta

Canada is currently facing a shortage of workers in certain skilled trades, including jobs in the electrical industry, as many of the individuals now working as skilled electricians are facing retirement. According to one study, the average age for Canada’s skilled electricians is close to 50 years and, as greater numbers of workers leave the trade this will increase demand for new, trained individuals to fill that void. This will be especially true in areas that are experiencing high rates of new construction, such as Alberta.

At the top of the list in 2014’s Canada’s Best Jobs, a job as a licensed, certified electrical contractor can be extremely beneficial. Typical salaries have shown double-digit increases in the last few years, with average journeyman wages now hovering near the $35/per hour mark. After completing a 4-year apprentice program that’s a mixture of classroom and on-the-job (OJT) training, a certified electrician can find work with any number of construction, manufacturing or service companies and make a good living.

If you possess entrepreneurial desires, starting your own one- or two-person electrical company can prove even more profitable, although, as a business owner, take-home salaries will vary. For those wanting to get employment as a certified electrician with an established firm, there are positions available across the country, many of which offer great benefits such as retirement, medical/dental, vision, online education/development reimbursement, employee discounts and more.


 

Canada’s Aging Electric Infrastructure Spells Opportunity

The occupation of an industrial electrician is one of the listings on the POL, or Canadian Priority Occupation List, which details occupations currently deemed in high demand by the Canadian government due to a national shortage of skilled workers now available. By all accounts, those possessing the necessary qualifications should continue to be in demand as The Canadian Electricity Association’s Vision 2050 brings to light the need for sweeping upgrades in the nation’s aging electric system.

These ongoing upgrades, which it’s now apparent are vitally important if the electric producers/distributors are going to be able to keep up with ever-increasing user demand, requires the skills of trained electric workers.

Industrial Electrician Specialization Options

Those opting for a career in the electric industry have lots of choices, however, with an industrial electrician on the government’s Priority Occupations List, this has become a popular option. With a median income of more than $66,000 and, according to Canadian Business Magazine, a wage and employment growth in the next five years estimated at 14% and 22% respectively, industrial electricians are needed and paid well for their contribution to the skilled workforce.


 

Jobs in the Electrical Industry by Position

Some of the many positions held by industrial electricians include work in:

  • Shipyards or other marine environments
  • Aviation
  • Electric power production and delivery
  • Mills
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Mines
  • Oil and gas exploration and recovery, and more

As a trained electrician, you should possess the ability to install, maintain, repair and test all types of electric systems, including electronic control units, transformers, generators, regulators, switchgear, etc. You should also be capable of reading and interpreting blueprints, drawings, schematics and specifications set out by the code. This is just a small part of what may be required of an industrial engineer. Someone in this position may also be required to institute a comprehensive preventative maintenance program and to maintain accurate records reflecting all maintenance work done.

With so many additional facets making up today’s national electric system, including renewable resource development and new requirements for efficiency and sustainability, employment within the industry seems a sure bet. Here at Civic Recycling we employ certified electricians for our own testing and production requirements. The need for this type of skilled worker shouldn’t go away.

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ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT AND FLOODS, WHAT TO DO?

floods calgary cleanup help civic community water damage fix components Electrical Equipment

We know that water and electrical equipment don’t mix well. But what happens when circumstances beyond our control get in the way of a functioning electricity grid?

Civic Recycling was on the front lines of the 2013 flood in Calgary. We helped a countless number of businesses get back online after the water ruined electrical equipment such as breakers, motors, transformers and fuses. We are proud to be there for Canadians in the tough times and at all times of the year.

Floods and Electrical Equipment

So what do you do if you find yourself in a flood situation? Wether its a sewer backup, huge rainfall in your area or a more widespread catastrophe like in 2013…you should know how to stay safe when returning to your home. Read how to Minimize Electrical Hazards Before and After a Flood.

“Moisture, debris and contaminants in flood-damaged equipment or appliances can sometimes be hidden and cause serious risks.”

For more safety tips read more from Municipal Affairs Alberta: Electrical Tips for Returning to Your Home or Business After a Flood

“The inspection of your electric service begins at the service entrance and proceeds through the meter base, main switch panelboards and branch circuit breakers. This basic equipment must be safe before reconnecting the power. Electric circuit breakers, GFCIs, and fuses that have been submerged must also be replaced. Water and silt inside the devices can prevent them from performing properly as safety devices and can cause electrical shorts or mechanical malfunctions.”

The British Columbia Safety Authority also released a great PDF on post flood protocol: Emergency Flood Protocol for Re-Energizing Electrical and Gas Equipment

“For customer services, the breakers only need replacement if the rest of the panel has been cleaned, dried, connections redone, and has been meggared clear to ground. Note that wetted molded-case circuit breakers cannot be reused.”

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The Electric Labour Market in Canada (EHRC)

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What does the Electric Labour Market look like? The following article from www.electricityhr.ca is a great resource on labour market information in the Canadian electrical industry.

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is looking to bring together employers, government, labour, educational institutions and other interested stakeholders to address the need for current and accurate labour market intelligence (LMI) for the Canadian electricity sector.

Electric Labour Market Intelligence in Canada

www.electricityhr.ca/our-solutions/labour-market-intelligence/

 


 

 

Read an excerpt from the article:

2015 Labour Market Intelligence for the Canadian Electricity Industry

The program was begun in response to industry demand for more rapid and responsive workforce planning data for use in regulatory filing and for organizational business planning, both on the demand (employers) and supply (educators) side. It also provides government stakeholders with validated data to assist in the development of policy at the municipal, provincial or federal level.

Stakeholders in Canada’s electricity industry face multiple human resources challenges as they plan for the next five to ten years. Some challenges are familiar (e.g. retirements and competition with other industries), others are new (e.g. hiring and training staff for large, renewable and refurbishment projects), and the pace of change and technological innovation continues to accelerate. Challenges vary by region, sector and occupation. Consistent, comprehensive and credible analysis is essential to draw practical insights and guide human resource management.

In order to maintain the integrity of the data published and provide accurate and timely information to our stakeholders it is critical that our LMI data – independent, industry specific, and targeted toward the human resources function – remains current.

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) is looking to bring together employers, government, labour, educational institutions and other interested stakeholders to address the need for current and accurate labour market intelligence (LMI) for the Canadian electricity sector. The data collected for the 2015 LMI study will provide the industry with information on the most up to date issues and statistics impacting on the sector, and the subsequent implications on the skilled labour supply-demand gap.

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