The Electric Connection’s Blog

air conditioning unit

Why Do Your Lights Flicker When Your AC Unit Turns On?

air conditioning unitYou’ve probably noticed that your lights momentarily grow dim whenever you turn on your AC Unit. Have you ever wondered why? If you haven’t then you are not alone; several people also experience the same thing. It’s very easy to get used to such things when they happen ever so often but in today’s article, we’d take a look at the reason your lights flicker when you turn on the AC.

Should I Be Worried That My Lights Flicker When I Turn On The AC?

It shouldn’t be a problem if the lights go out for only a few seconds when the air conditioner kicks on. The initial power draw of a high-energy gadget, such as a modern air conditioner, can use up a lot of energy. This can reduce the brightness of your lights.

A flickering light is a common electrical response to a power interruption or diversion, and should not be cause for alarm. However, there could be a number of factors that can make the lights go out.

Lights that gradually fade in brightness, flash on and off often, or only dim on some circuits could be an indication of a more serious electrical problem.

In what situations should you seek expert help, and what are the more serious concerns that you may encounter?

You Have A Faulty Capacitor
Your AC unit’s compressor motor needs a little extra jolt of electricity to get going, and your capacitor serves this purpose by acting as a battery.

However, your capacitor’s storage capacity might degrade as time passes. If the lights dim by 30–40% whenever the air conditioner kicks on, you may have a faulty capacitor.

If the capacitor isn’t able to supply enough power to the compressor, the air conditioner will resort to pilfering power from other devices to kick into gear. Perhaps the lights are dimming because your air conditioner is using too much of the available power.

There Are Loose/Damaged Wire Connections
Do your lights instantly turn off and on when you turn on your air conditioner? Potentially frayed or damaged wires in the electrical system could be the culprits to blame. Sometimes, the reason your lightbulb is experiencing some electric current loss is because of a damaged or loose cable.

When you include the voltage drop that occurs when your air conditioner first turns on, the current loss could be enough to temporarily make your lights dim or even flicker.

Your Electric Circuit Is Overloaded
When circuits are overused, problems arise. Overloading your circuits can cause the breaker to trip or the air conditioner to make buzzing noises. Remove any appliances from the same circuit as your air conditioner if you see any of these warning indicators. As a result, fewer fires and shocks will occur.

Your Home’s Electrical Wiring Is Outdated
There may be a decrease in energy supply to your home’s appliances, including lights, if the wiring is old, damaged, or otherwise not up to par. Turning on the air conditioner will consume a sizable portion of the available electrical current, leaving less for other uses.

You should have an electrician and HVAC technician to take a look at your system if you suspect a wiring problem. The Electric Connection is your go-to residential electrical servicing and installation company if you need further information on why your lights flicker with the AC on.

power strip overloaded with too many devices

What Does The Term “Short Circuit” Mean?

power strip overloaded with too many devicesElectricity has become a crucial part of modern life. It is used in various ways and in different situations of daily living. However, there are instances where working with electricity becomes dangerous. One of such is when you have electrical short circuits. In today’s article, we’d take a look at short circuits, including their common causes, signs, and helpful tips to help keep you safe.

What Are Short Circuits?

A short circuit is a harmful, hazardous, and terrifying occurrence that occurs when electricity goes awry.

In an electrical circuit, it develops when two of the conducting wires make an electrical connection with little or no resistance. This would lead the power supply to experience an overabundance of current flow and voltage streaming.

The excess electrical current will go around the circuit wiring and follow the path of least resistance back to the ground. Such a phenomenon can cause mishaps such as electrical fires, shocks, or mini explosions if care is not taken. This high risk is what makes short circuits extremely dangerous to human lives and property.

Types Of Short Circuits

Electrical short circuits are broadly divided into two:

  1. Normal Electric Short Circuit
  2. Ground Fault Short Circuit

In most cases, when an electrician says that you have a normal electric “short circuit,” they mean that a live wire made contact with a neutral one.

A “ground fault” short circuit, on the other hand, happens when a live wire makes contact with a grounded component of your electrical system, like the metal wall box or an appliance. There is significant leakage of electrical current in both scenarios.

So What Causes Electrical Short Circuits?

There are several factors that can trigger a short circuit in your home. Some of the most common causes include:

Electricity Overload
All other reasons for a short circuit originate from one singular factor – an excess of electricity in the circuit. To put it simply, high impedance is what causes a circuit to catch fire when too much current flows through it. Depending on the extent of the damage, this can cause electrical fires or power outages.

Poor Electrical Connections
Resistance in an electrical circuit will rise if wires are damaged or not securely connected. This can increase the temperature of the wiring which may cause electrical fires or shocks if left unattended. Also, wires can come into contact with each other and cause a short circuit if their connections become slack and sag.

Archaic Electrical Wiring Systems
Aluminum wire is still present in some homes built in the 1970s and earlier. Overheating and rapid wear make aluminum an unsafe and potentially dangerous alternative to copper in electrical applications.

Moreso, the sheer amount of electricity required by many modern homes would overwhelm any electrical system using the wiring standards of yesteryears.

Wet Electrical Wires
Short circuits can be caused when fluids such as water or other liquids make contact with electrical circuitry. The reason is that, thanks to water’s relatively good conductivity, electricity can move through the water and into the . Consequently, electrical wiring may get damaged or even trigger a fire.

What To Do When You Have A Short Circuit

Get in touch with a professional electrician if you suspect a short in your home’s electrical system. The electricians on our staff are among the best in the business and are ready to assist you. Learn more by contacting The Electric Connection at 818-446-0888 or visiting our website.

What to Expect With a Home Renovation

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When you’re having your home renovated, whether in part or in full, the process will bring some upheaval into your life. There will be unexpected messes, costs, and inconveniences. Most of these can be managed with a bit of contingency planning, though. With all the challenges, doing a remodel can be a great opportunity to upgrade flooring, lighting, and even the air exchange in your home. Here are some tips from The Electric Connection to get you started!

Delays Happen

Even with the best planning, delays will happen. Your contractor and subcontractors will probably give you rough estimates of when the job will be started and completed. While they no doubt plan to make every effort to stay on track, many things can cause delays. The inability to get materials and supplies on time will bring any project to a halt. People get sick and sometimes have to take time off work. Make sure you have the necessary insurance and permits in place before the work starts. Sometimes unexpected findings can add more work and, therefore, more time required for the project. Discovering a mold issue, unsafe electrical wiring, or a plumbing leak could add days or weeks to the time needed. If you’re replacing windows or a roof, the weather may change the scheduling of the task.

Prepare for Inconvenience

Even if you’re having only a small closet rebuilt, there will be upheavals to your life and schedule. There will be additional noise, dirt, and dust. If the remodel involves the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, prepare for big changes while the work is underway. You might need to stay with a friend or family member for a while or seek lodging in a hotel. Specific rooms or the entire home may be without running water for a while. You can prepare for this by stocking the refrigerator with pitchers of water for drinking and cooking and filling the bathtub with water and a bucket, so the toilet can be flushed. If the work is happening in your kitchen, consider setting up a temporary kitchen area elsewhere, with a hot plate, microwave, coffee maker, and mini-fridge. If your pets normally have their water and food bowls in the area that is being renovated, move their dishes at least a week ahead of time so they can get used to the new location.

Expect Changes

Many contractors suggest budgeting for 20% more than the initial estimate. Expenses often go over the expected amount due to price increases in materials, unexpected problems uncovered in the structure, changes in preference, and the season during which the work is being done. Know that while the work is being done, your home will be messy, noisy, and possibly uncomfortable without heat or air conditioning. Although you and your contractor will plan in advance as much as possible, few projects go exactly according to plan. The results will likely not be perfect, but they can still be a very good and welcome change to your home.

Consider Adding a Home Office

While you’re planning renovations to your home, you might consider converting a space to a home office. This might take far less work than you imagine. It’s a good idea to locate the office as far from the high traffic living areas as possible, for less noise, and fewer interruptions. If you maximize natural light in your office, it may help you stay alert and focused. If natural light isn’t abundant, you’ll need to have overhead lighting installed, although having both options is ideal. Make sure that your office chair, desk, shelves, and cabinets are convenient and easy to reach.

A bit of money spent on the setup can prevent many aches, pains, and even injuries.

As you’re setting up your space to work from home, don’t forget that you can also use free online tools to streamline your daily operations and make your life a little easier. This could mean using social media to advertise your work, or taking advantage of this free PDF merger tool to help you keep your digital documents neatly organized and easily accessible.

A home renovation can be a big commitment of time, money, effort, and energy. You’ll be giving up privacy, peace and quiet, cleanliness, and convenience while the project is underway. With all the trouble and costs, though, such projects may be the best way to make your home comfortable and livable. If you add a new bathroom or a home office, this could pay off for years to come. So prepare with good planning and well-researched professionals, and consider the process to be an adventure that will leave you with a better living space.

Started in 1979, The Electric Connection has grown into a 30-employee company, providing electrical services to homeowners and businesses throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Call (818) 446-0888.

local electrician

5 Standout Features Of The Electric Connection You Should Know

local electricianFinding the right electrical company that not only provides excellent electrical solutions but also takes into consideration your every need while offering professional advice and long-lasting services can prove quite problematic.

If you need fast and reliable professional help, scouring the web and looking through countless options can waste your time. So, why look any further than The Electric Connection?

Your home is a timeless investment. It requires utmost care and attention to avoid any mishaps.

Electricity is a crucial part of your home and, when not handled properly, it could cause more than minimal damage. From ruining your appliances to expensive damages, household fires, and threatening the safety of you and your loved ones, electrical problems can be a big deal. Hence, you shouldn’t leave your home in the hands of just about anyone.

Here are 5 standout features about us, you should know.

  1. Friendly Service Team To Answer Your CallAt The Electric Connection, we not only value your property but also your trust and your time. Our service team is friendly and ever-ready to answer your calls. You can expect top-notch customer service that is easy to relate to and even easier to reach. Our trained professionals are also on deck to respond speedily to your calls. We offer free service calls to our clients if we’re even a minute late.
  2. Quickest ResponseElectrical problems can catch up to you rather unexpectedly sometimes. Leaving it to fester will only lead to more damage. That’s why you should schedule regular check-ins to avoid having problems that’ll come as a shock – literally. It is also why our professionals are trained to respond as quickly as possible.
  3. 500+ 5-star reviews (Yelp, Google)We’re the best at providing top-quality electrical services and with over 500+ 5 stars reviews on Yelp and Google, we are not the only ones who think that.
  4. Better From Experience
    In need of an experienced electrical company? The Electric Connection has over 40 years of experience under its belt. Our services have helped homeowners and businesses alike in dealing with their electrical problems. Not only are our services of impeccable standards, but we offer them to you at an affordable price.
  5. Solutions Made to LastEvery home needs a minor fix here and there over time. If you’re moving into an old home, you may want to consider fixing the wiring and doing a routine check to make sure your house is up to the standard safety code. The Electric Connection ensures that you have nothing to worry about for a long time. Fixing outlets, handling lighting problems, remodeling and renovations and electrical installations are just a few other services we render.

Hire the services of an electrical company that’s been tested and trusted to deliver high-value services and professional advice when required.

magnifying glass on blue background

Why Your Old Home Needs An Electrical Inspection?

magnifying glass on blue backgroundIf you live in an older house, chances are you’d have to re-modify a lot of things including your electrical wiring. With time, all things start to wear off and breakdown. It’s always advised to do a routine check as often as you can and call for professional help the minute you notice a problem.

Old homes often tend to have aluminum wiring that heats up and can cause house fires or old circuit breakers that trip up regularly. You could also find flickering lights, cackling sounds, burning smells, and frayed wires. Older homes also tend to have no modern outlets for modern-day appliances. All of these could put you and your loved ones in harm’s way.

Still not convinced your home has earned an electrical inspection? Here are more reasons why:

Hike in Energy Cost
Ever wondered why your electrical bills are so high? It may be because your current electrical system is now past its prime. It may need a thorough inspection and an upgrade. An inefficient electrical system may cause you to pay more than you should.

Hot Switches and Outlets
Your switches and outlets getting a little warm over time are considered quite normal. However, when you notice your outlets getting hotter than usual, smelling burned, sparks or shocks, you should schedule an electrical inspection and call for repairs as well.

If your appliances are producing odd sounds, then you may have a problem with your fuse or circuit breaker. Beware of flickering and dimming lights as well.

Knob and Tube and Aluminum Wiring
Back in the early 1900s, people used knob and tube wiring which often caused overheating and household fires as it is unable to supply sufficient energy to modern appliances. Aluminum wiring, also found in older homes, weaken electrical connections due to overheating which leads to melting insulations, arcing, and household fires.

Getting an electrical inspection will also help you identify other underlying problems such as improper installation and offer efficient and long-lasting solutions. It also helps to add safety to your home to avoid further property damage such as household fires which are quite expensive.

Remodel and Increase Resale Value
Whether you’re buying or selling a house, you need to know the electrical state of the said property. Endeavor to inspect before you sell or purchase a house. Doing an inspection beforehand will let you know about the electrical problems the house may or may not have and all you’d need to do to fix them.

Purchasing a house without proper inspection may cause you to spend more money and time making repairs on the property. Inspecting before you put the house on the market would allow the opportunity to fix and remodel your appliances which would even improve its chances on the market. Even after you’ve done the necessary repairs and remodeling, you’d still need to do a routine check to ensure that all the appliances were put in place properly and would work effectively.

If you’re in need of an electrical inspection on your Los Angeles home, give The Electric Connection a call.


Why Do Your Lights Flicker When You Turn On The AC?

thermostatElectrical problems are too much of a risk to leave unattended. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why your lights flicker when you turn on the AC. It’s important to know that your AC needs a high amount of electricity to power up initially. Turning it up will eventually lead to it draining energy from other appliances already turned on, like your lights. This is what causes them to flicker. Subsequently, your lights would also dim and lose about 5% of their initial brightness. This is a normal occurrence if you have a modern AC unit or you live in an older home, then you may have nothing to worry about.

However, it’s not always like that in most cases, and you have to be on the lookout for when flickering lights mean something a bit more frightening. If you’ve noticed that your lights are starting to flicker, you would need to do a routine check. Go around the house and be on the lookout for any other lights in any other place that’s flickering as well. Check out if it’s in a particular area or has a wide coverage. Try out other appliances to know what else could be causing them to flicker.

If you’ve noticed a more consistent flickering in other places as well, the first step would be to call a professional electrician to have it properly checked and the problem fixed. Here are some common problems that are causing your lights to dim or flicker.

Damaged or Loose Wires: if you have damaged or loose wires, your lights probably turn off and on rapidly and consistently when you turn on your AC. You’d notice discoloration or charred wiring leading to a loss of electrical current flowing to the light bulbs, as well as temporary voltage drops causing the lights to flicker and dim.

Your AC Has A Weak Capacitor: it’s okay for your lights to go a little dim when you turn on your AC. It happens in a split second and not many people notice it because it’s not as noticeable as you’d think. If your lights lose a significant amount of their brightness at once when the AC comes on, you most likely have a faulty capacitor. A capacitor is meant to store energy to give the compressor an extra boost when it starts. When it loses its ability to store and therefore provide energy, your AC draws on that energy from the other appliances in your home, like your lightbulbs.

Your Circuit is Overloaded: a buzzing or crackling sound followed by the consistent dimming of lights are telltale signs that your circuit is overloaded. If your lights go off as soon as your AC comes on, that’s a sign as well. Your AC needs its own circuit to function properly. Adding any other appliance could cause the circuit to overload. These could start sparks or even fires. All sorts of electrical problems should be considered very critical and treated as such.

clean kitchen with under cabinet lighting

The Best Lighting For Your Under Cabinet

clean kitchen with under cabinet lightingHaving under-cabinet lighting is an excellent investment to have in any kitchen or countertops as it brightens the area below it that may be darkened because of the cabinets above them. Working on countertops or utilizing the area below could be a bit difficult to do without the lights. Aside from just brightening the area, they also increase the resale value of your home all while making it aesthetically beautiful and giving your kitchen a more modern feel.

Getting under cabinet lighting installed takes away the hassle, and the expense, of having to install a new lamp fixture as they’re more cost-effective. You wouldn’t have to worry about finding the lights in a place that would brighten the entire area as well. Under cabinet lighting is centralized in the places that you need them most. You can be certain they won’t be of any inconvenience as they are installed onto the underside of the cabinets.

However, they are some factors you’d need to consider before you can get your under cabinets installed. Here’s a list of the boxes you’d need to check.

Sizing and Placement: you do not want to get lights that are too big and won’t stay hidden underneath your cabinet. Be sure to take your measurements to ensure your fixture will stay as unnoticeable as possible. To make it blend in more, pick a fixture that matches the length and color of your cabinets.

Type of Under Cabinet Lighting: there are different varieties of under cabinet lighting. They work differently in different home structures. Picking out an under cabinet lighting that better suits your home will help you save up more time and money. We have the battery powered, the plugin, and the hard-wired under cabinet lighting. The battery-powered under cabinet lighting can be strips or pick lighting.

An advantage of these lights is that they can be installed anywhere and because they’re battery-powered, they’d work during power outages as long as you change the batteries. Calling an electrical professional to install your hard-wired lighting would be a better option for you and your home as you’d need to connect the lights to an existing circuit inside the walls. The plugin doesn’t need batteries or to be connected to the circuits in the walls. You can power it by plugging it into any existing outlet in your kitchen. Be sure to pick lightbulbs that are best for you as well.

Energy efficiency and Heat Output: Like every other lighting, under-cabinet lighting produces heat. Different types of lighting work in different ways in terms of energy efficiency and heat output. LED lighting is the best option for both energy efficiency and heat output. It utilizes as little energy as possible while still producing more than enough brightness. LED lights also have a low heat output which means your kitchen won’t feel any hotter and it’ll feel cool to the touch.

If you happen to have a dimmer switch or a smart home system, you could connect your LED lights to it to enable you to access to dim or control the lights using your voice or smartphone.

lights outside on the porch

Do You Need Lights On Your Outside Porch?

lights outside on the porchFinding the right lights for your porches isn’t as easy as you think it is. Most homeowners find it quite challenging. This is probably because aside from just picking out the lights and knowing where to put them, you also have to figure out why you’d want to have lighting and what atmosphere you’d like to create as well as find the right fixtures, the colors, and knowing porch light safety. It may sound like a lot and without the proper guidance, it is a lot to take on. So here’s a list of all the things you need to figure out before you install lights on your outside porch.

The Why?

It’s as simple as it sounds. Installing porch lights can instantly transform your porch. However, installing the wrong porch lights may not give you the transformation you’d like. If you’d want lights so you could have a nice, quiet time alone or with a loved one, then you’d have to pick lights that suit that purpose. If you need lights for security reasons, then you’d have to go for lights that are a lot brighter as well. Having this in mind makes the selection a lot easier. Remember that going for lights that’d enhance your security doesn’t completely remove the chances of burglaries. You’d have to learn some common porch light safety rules as well.

The Where?

Now that you’ve figured out why you’d like your lights based on the purpose they’d serve, you have to identify where you’d want them as well. The different placements give off a different feel so be sure your placements align with the mood you’re going for. You could place your porch lights on either the side or overhead. Be sure to take proper measurements when buying new lighting. Ensure you enlist the help of a professional when installing or changing new lighting.

The What?

Choosing the right materials is an essential part of the process. You have to get the right lighting fixtures, lights, and colors of bulbs. Getting light fixtures that match the existing colors and patterns in your home won’t be a bad idea. It’ll make your house look more aesthetically pleasing. Following the purpose you’d like to achieve, it would be wise to get colors that highlight it. Bulb colors also have a deeper meaning than you think so be sure to research what the colors you’d like would purchase mean.

There are also different varieties of porch lights. The flush and semi-flush offer better coverage for large porches. The powerful lights are more decorative as you can choose to style them however you want. They’re also not too bright and a perfect fit if you’d rather want your porches to have a more calming aura. They’re not good as security lights so you may want to look into other options if you’re more safety conscious. No matter the lighting and the fixtures you’d be getting, ensure to hire the services of a professional electrician.

hand plugging appliance into outlet

What To Do When Your Outlets Aren’t Working

hand plugging appliance into outletHaving a faulty outlet can be hazardous. The start of a house fire can be a faulty outlet. And as an electrical problem it’s not one that you can simply DIY and call it a day.

When noticed, the best reaction would be to call a professional immediately to troubleshoot it and fixed properly. However, before you proceed to call an electrician, here are a few things you could do when your outlets aren’t working properly.

  • Safety First: Be sure to turn off all the lights in the area and unplug any appliances there as well. Make sure you check out the state of each of the appliances. The fault may not lie with the outlet if your appliances are also faulty. Plus, you’d need to check to make sure that the outlet hasn’t ruined the appliances in the house.
  • Test Other Outlets: Is the fault in just a specific spot or a general area? You’d need to do a thorough check to ensure that it’s just a specific spot. You can test out other appliances on the outlet to pinpoint where the exact fault is from. If the fault is from just one outlet, then it’s most likely an isolated problem. If it’s in a more generalized area, then that’s more complicated. Either way, you need to call a professional to have it properly checked and fixed.
  • Check Your Circuit Breaker: One of the most common reasons why your outlet may not be working is a tripped circuit breaker. Your circuit breaker is like the motherboard of all the electricity flowing in your house. When the current becomes too much, the circuit breaker protects the circuits by tripping it or cutting it off to avoid overheating. So check out your circuit breaker and try resetting it.
  • Loose or Burned out Outlets: Outlets, like all other things, tend to go bad after a certain period. A loose outlet wouldn’t work as effectively as it should and can also start house fires. A burned-out outlet would seem quite warm or look like it’s burned. Don’t forget to check out your fuse box as well. These can cause serious fire hazards and should be fixed as soon as possible by a professional.
  • See a Professional: Electrical problems are dangerous and should not be taken likely. Irrespective of how little or big the problem may seem, you should leave it to experienced hands or experts to avoid further complications. Although some problems can be handled with a quick fix, they may not be as simple as it looks. If you do need a professional and you are in the Los Angeles area, give The Electric Connection a call.

It’s easy to overlook a faulty outlet or a blown fuse or to postpone fixing a loose outlet because it works, in a way. However, those aren’t solutions to the problem and can only make it worse. Make sure you check all your appliances, replace any faulty ones and get a faulty outlet properly checked and fixed.


stove in kitchen

How Much Electricity Is My Stove Using?

stove in kitchenAre you bothered about how much electricity your stove is using? Do you wonder what appliances use the most electricity as your electric bill comes in? Are you looking for the advantages and benefits of using an electric stove instead of a gas cooker?

In this article, we would exemplify how your stove uses electricity, how to reduce your electric stove electricity usage, the advantages and benefits of using an electric stove, the options available for cooking, and their pros and cons.

If you need to add a new circuit for your stove, give The Electric Connection a call!

How To Determine How much Electricity your Electric Stove is Using

According to research, an electric stove uses on average about 2,000 to 5,000 watts during use depending on so many factors, including:

Number of burners

How many burners do you use? How often do you use more than one burner while cooking? All these will depend on how much electricity you use while cooking.

Oven Usage

Do you power your oven with electricity? Ovens are known to use more electricity than stoves. Your oven usage and frequency can greatly affect your electricity consumption.

Cooking Duration

How often do you cook? How long do you cook? Do you make multiple foods and make meals for large people? All these can adversely affect how low or high the amount of electricity you use.

How To Reduce Your Stove Electricity Usage

You can reduce your electricity use with some tips no matter how much cooking you do. Sometimes, you can save up some watts of electricity by being organized, careful, and following the tips below:

Use the same burner-to-pot ratio

It is advisable to use the same circumference of the burner for your pot. When you use a larger burner for a smaller pot, you are wasting electricity you could have ordinarily saved.

Meal Preps

To save electricity, you need to learn how to make meal preparations and do all the washing and cutting before turning on your electric stove. This will save you the electricity while prepping your meals while your electric stove is on. You would be amazed at the amount of energy you save when you begin to do this.

4 Advantages of Using Electric Stove

Let’s highlight a few benefits of using an electric stove.

  1. It is safer and easier to turn off and turn on an electric stove.
  2. It is noticeable that the kitchen is cooler while cooking with an electric stove than with a gas stove.
  3. It has a more stable surface for pots and pans and is easier to clean with a cooktop.
  4. It is less expensive and easier to install unlike a gas stove with the hike in gas prices.

4 Disadvantages of Using an Electric Stove

Also, there are a few disadvantages to using an electric stove: They are:

  1. It is dependent on electricity. When there is a power outage then you can’t cook either.
  2. Some electric stoves, especially the modern ones, cost more than gas stoves. Which is generally not cost-effective.
  3. They cook food slower than gas stoves. The cooking time is slower which may not be helpful when you are hungry.
  4. The cooktops can be easily damaged if handled carelessly which may not be cost-effective.