200 Amp Service Panel: When Should You Upgrade?

200 Amp Service Panel: When Should You Upgrade?

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200 amp service panel upgrade by Integra Electrical in Indianola, Iowa

As a homeowner, it’s essential to stay on top of the latest advancements in technology and safety when it comes to your home’s electrical system. One of the most important updates you can make is upgrading your electrical service panel to 200 amps. In this blog post, we will discuss when a homeowner should upgrade to a 200 amp service panel and the benefits of doing so.

Signs It’s Time to Upgrade To A 200 Amp Service Panel

There are several signs that indicate it’s time for a homeowner to upgrade to a 200 amp panel. Some of these signs include:

  • Frequent tripped breakers or blown fuses
  • Lack of available circuits for new electrical devices
  • The age of the current electrical panel (if it’s more than 20 years old)
  • The presence of aluminum wiring
  • A need for a service upgrade due to a home addition or renovation

If you are experiencing any of these issues, it’s likely time to upgrade to a 200 amp panel.

200 Amp Service Panels Provide Electrical Safety and Reliability

One of the main reasons to upgrade to a 200 amp service panel is the increased safety and reliability it provides. A 200 amp panel is able to handle a larger electrical load, which means it can safely power more appliances and devices in your home. This is especially important if you have a larger home or plan to add more electrical devices in the future.

A 200 amp panel also provides increased reliability by reducing the risk of power outages and electrical fires. The larger load capacity of a 200 amp panel means it is less likely to overload and cause a power outage or fire.

Future-Proofing Your Home

Another important reason to upgrade to a 200 amp service panel is that it future-proofs your home. As technology continues to advance, more and more devices and appliances will require more power to operate. By upgrading your electrical panel to 200 amps, you are ensuring that your home will be able to handle the increased power demands in the future.


Upgrading to a 200 amp panel is a smart move for any homeowner. It is essential to stay aware of the signs that indicate the need for an upgrade, such as frequently tripped breakers, lack of available circuits, the age of the current electrical panel, the presence of aluminum wiring, and the need for a service upgrade due to home additions or renovations. By upgrading to a 200 amp service panel, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home’s electrical system is up-to-date, safe and reliable, and ready for the future. It is important to hire a licensed and experienced electrician to handle the upgrade, to ensure that it is done safely and correctly. That’s why you should call Integra Electrical today, to guarantee that your upgrade is done right! Don’t forget to check out our Google reviews!

By zach@admachines.com

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The Best Outdoor Light Bulbs

The Best Outdoor Light Bulbs

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Best LED outdoor light bulb

How your outside space looks and feels can change by making the correct outdoor lighting choices. Outdoor lighting can be a terrific way to add both design and functionality to your home’s atmosphere. Making sure you have the best outdoor light bulbs for your application can help you achieve both.

Whether you want to make your backyard more welcoming to entertain guests or want to enjoy your outdoor space after dark, you need to be able to choose the most appropriate light bulbs to create that perfect ambiance. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of outdoor lighting and optimal outdoor light bulb color temperature for your specific needs.

Types Of Outdoor Lighting 

There are many options available for outdoor lighting, and each has its unique set of advantages when trying to find the ideal approach to light up your outdoor space. For outdoor lighting, popular options like LED, halogen, and incandescent light bulbs can help you create your desired atmosphere.

LED Outdoor Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient and having a very long lifespan, LEDs are a great choice. Additionally, because of their versatility, you can select from a wide range of colors and designs to create the ideal appearance and atmosphere for your outdoor lighting.

Halogen Outdoor Light Bulbs

Halogen lights provide a bright, warm-white light that closely resembles sunlight. These bulbs are also long-lasting and energy-efficient. However, because of the heat they produce, they may not be suitable for all applications.

Incandescent Outdoor Light Bulbs

Most conventional outdoor lighting comprises incandescent bulbs, although LEDs and halogens have mostly taken their place as more energy-efficient alternatives. Compared to the other two options, incandescent lighting is softer and warmer, and depending on your needs, it is available in a range of wattages.

When deciding what type of light bulb to use for your outdoor space, consider its energy efficiency and appearance. That way, you’ll end up with the best option to fit your own specific needs.

Best Outdoor Light Bulb Color Temperature

Choosing the right color temperature for your light bulbs is essential to creating your perfect outdoor space. Color temperature refers to the hue or tint of the bulb’s light output. This can significantly affect the vibes and overall feel of the affected space.

In general, cool, warm, and white light bulbs are the best options for outdoor illumination. Security lights frequently have a bright, clear appearance because of their cool color. Warm temperatures are more welcoming and comfortable, making them perfect for decks, patios, and other places where you want to create a relaxing mood. The neutral tone of white temperatures makes this color ideal for sidewalks and pathways.

Consider warm-temperature light bulbs in delicate tones like amber, orange, or yellow, if you want ambient lighting that makes your backyard seem cozy. For work illumination, cooler light bulbs in hues like white or subtle blue are perfect for illuminating entranceways and paths. 


No matter what style of outdoor light bulb you decide on, it’s crucial to pick one with the right color temperature for your requirements. When used appropriately, the right light bulbs for outdoor lighting can add to the overall beauty of your property by fostering a lovely and welcoming ambiance. If you are looking to add outdoor lighting to your home, schedule a call with  Integra Electrical today. Don’t forget to check out our awesome reviews!

By zach@admachines.com

How Does A Home Generator Work?

How Does A Home Generator Work?

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how does a home generator work integra electrical

Losing electricity can be scary and incredibly inconvenient. It can even be dangerous at times during the winter if your heat stops working. Fortunately, home generators can help take those worries away by providing your home with energy. But how does a home generator work if the electricity is out? That’s exactly what we’ll answer in this blog!

How Do Home Generators Work?

A home generator is a device that generates electricity for your home in the event of a power outage. There are several types of home generators, but most work by using a fuel source, such as natural gas, propane, or diesel, to power an engine that drives a generator. When the generator is turned on, it produces electricity that is fed into your home’s electrical system through a transfer switch.

How a typical home generator works:

  1. The generator is connected to a transfer switch, which is a device that monitors the flow of electricity in your home. When the power goes out, the transfer switch senses the change and switches your home’s electrical system to the generator power.
  2. The generator produces electricity, which is fed into your home’s electrical system through the transfer switch.
  3. The generator continues to run until the power is restored, at which point the transfer switch switches your home’s electrical system back to the main power grid.
  4. Once power is restored, the generator automatically shuts off.

Home generators come in a variety of sizes. The size you need will depend on the type of appliances and devices you want to run during a power outage. It’s important to choose a generator that is appropriately sized for your needs. This ensures that it can handle the demand you place on it. Otherwise, you run the risk of overloading the generator which can cause damage and create a safety hazard.

If you need help figuring out what will fit your needs best, check out our blog on what you need to know about choosing a generator. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you would like to install a generator in your home, and feel free to check out our insanely amazing reviews!

By zach@admachines.com

12 Frequently Asked Electrical Questions from New Homeowners

12 Frequently Asked Electrical Questions from New Homeowners

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When you are in the market to buy a new house, so many questions can arise. Even when you do your best to understand how a home operates, there are all kinds of issues that can lurk under the surface. It’s important to ask the right electrical questions about your new home or potential new home during the process. One of the most vital parts of a home is the electrical system. Make sure that you ask the right questions to understand if it’s up to code, how it works, and frequent solutions to problems. Here are some common electrical questions asked about systems and the answers that will lead you to understand this aspect of a home’s inner workings.

1. What is a GFCI outlet?

 One of the most common electrical questions is about the exact purpose of a GFCI outlet. A GFCI outlet is a “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.” That doesn’t mean much to someone not familiar with electrical work. For a new homeowner, it’s an outlet that will protect you from electrical shocks because it has a safety in place that shuts off the electrical current if it encounters something it’s not supposed to, such as water or a person’s finger. It can also help to prevent outlet fires. Keep in mind GFCI’s are usually required by law in most places to be installed near water sources in kitchens and bathrooms and anywhere else that water may be present, such as basements or garages.

2. What do I do if an appliance is plugged into a GFCI and stops working, but the circuit breaker is not tripped?

There is a reset button on the outlet that allows you to restart it. All you have to do is unplug your appliance and hit the button.Then plug your appliance back in. It should work after that if nothing is wrong with the circuits.  

3. What is a short circuit?

This can occur in your electrical wiring when there is a low current connection between your fuse box and the device you want to power on. For example, if there is something wrong with the wires that are connecting everything, they might “short” out. The coating on the wire could be worn away, or broken from the breaker to the outlet. Even small animals in the rodent family sometimes chew through electrical wires in your walls. This is usually a problem that needs to be looked at by an electrician because sparks or fire can occur. 

4. Why would the motion sensor light installed outside continuously stay on throughout the night, or constantly turn on and off?

 For the first part of the question with a motion sensor light staying on, it might just be that your sensor is dirty, so it’s triggering it to stay on. That has nothing to do with electricity, but for the second part of the question it might be an electrical issue. The bulb might not be resting securely in the fitting. Try to replace the bulb and see if that solves the issue.

5. Why would a dimmer/light switch plate be warm/hot to the touch?

 If nothing is plugged into the outlet or there aren’t too many items stressing the electrical supply, it’s perfectly normal for it to be a tad warm. The lights tend to do that in a house. In general if it’s too hot to touch, that’s a serious problem. Damaged wires can cause excessive heat on regular switch plates.

For dimmer switches they have a maximum load measured in watts that they are allowed to safely handle. When they are overloaded you should add up the wattage of lighting units and reduce the load or upgrade the dimmer switch.

6. Why are some of the light switches in my house not connected to anything? When they’re flipped on and off, nothing happens. 

 When you move to a new place it can be hard to figure out which switch plate goes to what outlet. To test an outlet, plug something in that makes noise, such as a radio, then turn on the switch to see if it powers up the outlet. When you encounter a mystery light switch with no matching outlet that does anything, you can remove the outlet plate to see if there are any wires inside even connected to it. If there aren’t problems with the wiring being in the right place, you’ll need to trace the circuit, which you’ll probably want an electrician to do.  

7. Why can’t I turn a tripped circuit breaker in my electrical panel back on?

 If you trip a circuit breaker in your new home, give it a few minutes before you try to go down to the fuse box and let it cool down. Then if you press the switch in the circuit breaker and it still doesn’t come on, something could be overloading it. It’s usually a big appliance, like a washer/dryer, refrigerator, other large item, or too many running at the same time. It might be a broken appliance causing it. If not, the circuit breaker might be faulty or broken, needing replacement.

 8. What is an AFCI breaker?

 An AFCI or “Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter” is a specific type of breaker that helps to prevent electrical fires. It achieves this by sensing hazardous electrical arcs. Most arcs are normal and don’t malfunction unless a problem occurs, so having these types of breakers in place can make your new home much safer. 

9. What is a whole house surge protector?

 A whole house surge protector is a good idea since it tames dangerous power surges that can short out your appliances, or computers. Having one in place is ideally suited to areas that experience intense thunderstorms, where lightning might strike utility poles or lines near your home. Often without it these power surges can fry even GFCI plugs in your home.

10. What is the most energy efficient lighting for my house?

Another incredibly of the common electrical questions. The most energy efficient lighting for your new home, according to Energy.gov is light bulbs that hold the “ENERGY STAR” rating on the box. That includes CFL, halogen incandescent, and LED light bulbs. You might pay a little more upfront for these bulbs, but in the long run you’ll save on energy costs.

11. What is the difference between low voltage fixtures and standard fixtures? 

Low voltage fixtures in your home are the ones that sit in the background. That includes chandelier lights, recessed lighting, desk lights, and task lighting. Outside it might be landscape lighting that comes on at night with a timer. Standard fixtures are your larger lamps, main kitchen lights, and bathrooms lights. Brighter light that requires a higher wattage is usually considered standard.  

12. Why does my cabinet-mounted microwave occasionally trip my circuit breaker? 

Your microwave might trip your circuit breaker if you have too many appliances on at the same time on the same circuit. The solution here is to not run so many things at once, or move other appliances to different locations in the kitchen that don’t work on the same fuse. Or you can have a GFCI switch for the microwave outlet, which will hopefully trip the outlet and not the entire fuse to the kitchen.

Call Integra Electrical today for answers to all your electrical questions!

Or check out our stellar Google reviews!

By zach@admachines.com

Lighting Upgrade In Johnston

Lighting Upgrade In Johnston

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Lighting upgrade performed by Integra Electrical

We recently completed a lighting upgrade in Johnston, IA for one of your neighbors. The included adding upgraded outdoor GFCI outlets, recessed lighting and a smart doorbell, and additional lighting upgrades with new fixtures inside.

When you feel like your interior design is begginning to feel outdated, upgrading your lighting is one of the easiest ways to make a space feel modern again. Old brass fixtures have begun to look old or can actually show their age with discoloration. Large, clunky lighting fixture can be replaced by recessed can lighting that seamlessly fits into the ceiling. By getting a lighting upgrade with Integra Electrical, this family made their indoor space feel new again!

Before the Lighting Upgrade

Old brass lighting fixture

Large drop-style lighting fixture

The fixtures in this home were ready to be brought into a more modern style. The homeowner provided the fixtures they wanted and our team got to work making sure everything was safely installed. It may be tempting to do a DIY project witth home upgrades, but with electrical wiring it’s always best to leave it to licensed professionals.

After the Lighting Upgrade

After the upgrades to their home lighting, the space looked fresh and new again! Our team replaced multiple fixtures throughout the home with new ones provided by the homeowner. Whatever your home design goals, Integra Electrical is here to help you make them a reality.


New lighting upgrade

When it comes to removing multiple lighting fixtures, it’s best to call on professionals who can ensure it’s done safely. This job required removing large lighting fixtures and adding new connections. Plus, we also added some GFCI safe outlets outside the home as well! GFCI outlets are important because they protect the outlet from water damage and grounds the outlet to prevent electrical shocks.

If you plan to have outdoor electrical appliances, make sure you have GFCI outlets that can safely be used in any weather.

Call Integra for all your lighting upgrade needs!

When you need to install new lighting fixtures, call on your local electricians at Integra Electrical. A DIY project might sound fun at first, but when dealing with electrical wires it’s best to leave it to a professional who can ensure your family’s safety. New lighting is a great way to improve and update your home to feel more contemporary. Recessed lighting and modern fixtures are just one of the many services are electricians are happy to provide for our customers!

By zach@admachines.com

Five Signs That You Need Outlet Replacement

Five Signs That You Need Outlet Replacement

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Get outlet replacement in your home today

A safe home is every homeowners goal. Ideally, your home is a place where you don’t worry about danger.  However, as a responsible homeowner it is imperative that you do what you can to prevent uncessesary issues. If not harnessed correctly, electricity can be a foe instead of the illuminating friend we rely on. Outlets are the main way most of us use electricity to power various devices. If your outlets aren’t up to code or in good shape, it may be time to schedule outlet replacement with a reliable local electricians. 

1. Home is equipped with two-prong outlets

A quick scan of your outlets will answer this question. The National Electrical Code or NEC, made grounded three-prong outlets a requirement in 1965.  NEC though not the federal law is a part of the National Fire Codes series under the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA. The aim of NEC is to ensure a standard of safe electrical practices. Grounding an outlet refers to having a direct circuit path back to the actual earth or ground for extra current. This is what makes the third prong necessary. Two pronged outlets are known as being polarized. If there is a short in the wire, or excessive current due to a faulty appliance or for any reason, the chances of an electrical fire are greater in a two pronged circuit system since the excess or misdirected current has no way to travel to a neutralizing port – the ground.

It is critical to check for two pronged outlets quickly and if any are found schedule an electrician to have the outlets updated.   

2. Outlets have significant wear and tear

 This is a point that many people overlook or put at the bottom of their to-do list. Signs of significant wear and tear include worn outlets. If inserted cords do not fit snugly in the receptacle. If the cords slip out easily or are hanging out of the outlet, there is a chance that excess or even the proper voltage current may not have the proper channel in which to flow due to ill-fitted prongs.

Other signs of wear and tear include broken plate covers that expose the electrical outlet mechanism. Paint or other decorative substances inside the outlet pose another risk. To ensure safety, outlets that are exhausted from years of use need to be replaced as soon as possible.  

3. Electrical outlets are not tamper resistant

If you look around your home and find that the outlets are not tamper resistant then it is a good chance you need to replace them.  For over twenty years the NEC mandates require tamper resistant electrical outlets for the pediatric floors of hospital settings. Since 2008 NEC has required tamper resistant outlets on newly constructed residential dwellings.  The tamper resistant outlets are manufactured with a shutter that only allows a two pronged plug into the receptacle to properly create a circuit. If a child attempts to put a foreign object into one of the receptacles the shutter will not open allowing for proper contact to connect the flow of electricity. Since many people do not live in a new construction it is important to check them.   

4. Home is equipped with builder’s grade outlets

Builder’s grade or homeowner’s grade outlets are the least expensive outlets that can be purchased. It is a very good chance that if your home has been built by a contractor and you did not specifically request a higher grade outlet you have builder’s grade outlets installed in your home. If you are a renter again you should speak with your landlord regarding the outlets in use in your rented dwelling. Builder’s grade outlets are of an overall poorer quality and are designed to last for 5 to 10 years at most.

Not significantly more expensive are the better choice for residences which is commercial grade outlets. These outlets are built to last for one hundred years. Replace builder’s grade outlets with commercial grade. The third general type of outlet on the market is the hospital grade outlet. These outlets are very expensive and not typically recommended for residential use.

5. Outlets have ungrounded receptacles 

Ungrounded receptacles are receptacles which are two pronged and have no way to channel electrical current to a ground or earth source. Replacing two pronged outlets with three pronged outlets will remedy the problem and provide safe outlets for your home.  In addition to replacing the two-pronged receptacles it is necessary to have an electrician check your panel’s grounding source.


Call Integra Electrical Today!

If you need outlet replacement services, call Integra Electrical today! We put the safety of our customers first and always perform each job to the highest codes and standards. You can depend on our professional team of electricians to be there for you when you need us!

By zach@admachines.com

100 AMP Upgrade In Indianola

100 AMP Upgrade In Indianola

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100 amp upgrade in indianola

Do you have a new home addition, garage, or out-building on your property? Do you want it to have access to reliable power like the rest of your home? Then you’re going to need to update your electrical service to connect the new building. Recently our team was contacted by a homeowner about a new garage where they wanted to extend electrical service. After discussing options with our team, they decided to go with a 100 AMP upgrade in Indianola. Check out the photos below to see the great work done by the Integra Electrical team!

100 AMP Upgrade in Indianola

100 amp upgrade in Indianola

We started by giving the garage its own circuits and outlets. For an upgrade like this, we want to ensure the space is functional and able to provide for every need the homeowners may have over the years. GFCI outlets and a panel with clearly labeled breakers are key to a functional, safe system. We also added an air compressor connection in the panel.

GFCI outlets installed during the 100 amp upgrade in Indianola

Features of the 100 AMP Upgrade in Indianola

We added some ceiling lighting in the barn-style ceiling of the garage. These lights are perfect for a space like this because they’re out of the way and allow for full use of the garage space. No chance of hitting one on a wall while moving cars or belongings around!

New Meter and A Motion Detector Outside


In order to provide another level of safety, we also installed a motion sensor outside the building. This allows the homeowners to safely access the garage at night without fear of tripping in the dark. Motion sensors are also a great way to deter burglars from the property. It’s so small, it’s almost invisible!

These customers also chose to use our financing option. Financing allows for big projects like this to be affordable with small monthly payments and no money down. At Integra Electrical, we know investing in your home can become expensive, so we are proud to offer financing options for large projects like this!

Why Choose Integra Electrical As Your Electrician?

We go above and beyond to provide the best service to our customers. At Integra Electrical, our customer’s safety and comfort are our main goals. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year to provide your home reliable electrical service. Whether you need an electrical service upgrade, a ceiling fan installed, or a total rewire of your home- no job is too big or too small for the team at Integra Electrical.

If you need an electrical upgrade in Indianola, contact Integra Electrical today! 

By zach@admachines.com