Peter McCarthy Electric Co., Inc. - Specializing in Older Buildings in Chicago
Adventures in Old House Wiring....

Cloth-covered wire NEVER gets better with age

South Side electrician chicagoI started rewiring a 1940s Georgian home today on the SW side of Chicago. There are a lot of guys who say "Oh, its fine as long as you don't touch it."

I have never been one of those guys.

What do you have in YOUR walls?

New 800 Amp Service in Hyde Park

electrician  old wiring hyde park chicago southelectrician  old wiring hyde park chicago southelectrician  old wiring hyde park chicago southelectrician  old wiring hyde park chicago southelectrician  old wiring hyde park chicago southWe are starting to close in on wrapping up this new 800 Amp service job on the 5600 block of Blackstone. Today we were pulling the big feeder cables outside. They are totally upgrading the amount of power available to the building, as well as replacing the antiquated little breaker panels (whose circuit breakers, being 40 yrs old, have about a 50/50 chance of actually tripping when they should) with all new 20 circuit breaker panels. This condo association will be ready for the new Millennium!

Final Hook up

Electrician South Side Chicago Hyde ParkElectrician South Side Chicago Hyde Park Com Ed came out to permanently connect the new 200A service on Woodlawn Ave. a couple weeks ago. Another fine job, one less thing to keep track of !!!

Thanks ComEd!!!!

Back porch lighting needs to be WEATHERPROOF!!!

Hyde Park Electrician ChicagoHyde Park Electrician ChicagoHyde Park Electrician ChicagoHyde Park Electrician ChicagoRecently we were hired to update the back porch lighting at a condo building in Hyde Park. In this case it was very necessary, because the old piping was bent and beat up when they rebuilt the porch. As often is the case, the porch company let the existing old pipes hang in free air when the demoed the old porch, and then reattached them to the new porch. All the conduits that had been custom bent to fit no longer fit, and it looked very Hodge-podge. Moreover, the junction boxes and the fixtures themselves were not waterproof, creating a substantial shock hazard. But we replaced the piping and installed new weatherproof fixtures, junction boxes, and pipe fittings.  We also updated the exterior outlet for the de-icing cable with the proper type of in-use cover as code requires.  Now they are in good shape.

New Yelp Review!

o    Gretchen R.
o    Chicago, IL

Peter McCarthy, who specializes in older buildings, is the only electrician I would use for our vintage condo. We've had Peter and his team complete three jobs in our unit : a new pendant for our entryway, track lighting for the hallway, and pendants, cans, and under-cabinet lighting for our kitchen. He does impeccable work, as does everyone on his team, and they clean everything up at the end so that it doesn't even look like they were there. The one drawback: it will make you want to upgrade the lighting (and everything else) in your place!

THANK YOU GRETCHEN!  You are right, it does make you want to upgrade all the lighting in your place. And in MY place too!

Gorgeous "Over the dining room table" fixture on University Ave.

Electrician Chicago Hyde ParkElectrician Chicago Hyde Park

Sheheryar H.

July 26 at 5:30pm
Brilliant job by Peter on installing our dining room drum swag lamp! Thanks very much!

Sheheryar wrote: "Our new dining room light fixture, masterfully installed by Peter McCarthy Electric Co., Inc."

5:29pm Jul 26
Thanks Peter, for the amazing job of getting our swag fixture up. Here are a couple of pics of it!

New 200 A Service on Vintage Home in Hyde Park

Electrician Hyde Park Chicago
Electrician Hyde Park Chicago
Electrician Hyde Park Chicago
Electrician Hyde Park Chicago
Out with the old and in with the new!

We upgraded the service on this vintage home on Woodlawn Ave recently. Notice how the old white metal box which contains the original meter was only fed with a small cable? While that was adequate for 75 years ago, it falls way short today. The 2" rigid pipe that goes up contains the large power cables for the new 200 Amp service. Also notice the small 1/2" pipe that comes from the bottom of the meter housing and goes down to the sidewalk. This provides the supplemental grounding cable, which is bonded to an 8' driven copper ground rod. The Chicago Electrical code now calls for a more robust main ground and a supplemental grounding system on every service. This is very necessary for fire safety and protection from severe over voltages.

Emergency Service repair on Harper Ave

Old wiring Hyde Park electrician South side ChicagoOld wiring Hyde Park electrician South side ChicagoOld wiring Hyde Park electrician South side ChicagoOld wiring Hyde Park electrician South side ChicagoOld wiring Hyde Park electrician South side ChicagoEarly this week, on Monday night, there were very severe thunderstorms in the neighborhood. Winds were blowing very strongly, knocking down anything in the way. This home had its electric service totally destroyed by a large tree from the neighbor's yard falling directly on the overhead ComEd lines and yanking them and all that was attached to them down to the ground. 

Top: Rear view of house with the riser laying horizontally in bushes and on the ground.

Middle: Close up of damaged meter housing and riser.

Bottom:  The ComEd service drop main power cables laying on the ground in the yard. While all the service equipment was destroyed and knocked off the house, these cables were still live and "hot" because they did not rip off the service head connectors, and the cables themselves never shorted or became grounded.

Top:  New service riser, grounding electrode, service head and meter housing.

New service conduit, riser, service head and the Com ED cables lifted off ground and re-attached. Lights on!

It was a very exciting day on Harper Ave last Tuesday!

5 Star Review from ANGIE'S LIST

A lovely client put this nice review in for us on Angie's List a couple weeks ago. I really appreciated it. Her old house needed a little attention in the basement. I was very glad to help out.   THANK YOU!!!!!

Review Date: June 04, 2014
 East 89th Place
Services Performed: 
* More Weight is given to a review where work has been completed.
Work Completed Date: 
June 04, 2014
Hire Again: 
Approximate Cost: 
Description Of Work: 
Fixed light fixtures and ceiling fan.  
Member Comments: 
I got a quick response from Mr. McCarthy when I "messaged" him. The service provided was superior!  The cost was exactly as quoted; even repaired a couple of things seen, but of which I was not aware.  I will recommend highly to family and friends!! Very prompt!
Share on Band of Neighbors: 

OverallA PriceA QualityA ResponsivenessA PunctualityA ProfessionalismA

Lovely Lighting in Hyde Park

Old wiring Hyde Pak Chicago South sideOld wiring Hyde Pak Chicago South sideOld wiring Hyde Pak Chicago South sideOld wiring Hyde Pak Chicago South sideOld wiring Hyde Pak Chicago South sideI have great clients with great taste in design, decorating and light fixture choices. I make some very basic recommendations, like "This room would be very nicely lit by two rows of recessed lights, and we could use the 5" ones because they are a little more stylish than the 6" ones. Then, one or two hanging pendents over the island, or coffee table, would look so cool."  

Sometimes I can tell when there is a good chance we will find long abandoned sconce light boxes buried in the walls. I let folks know that and if I'm right, they often get another touch of classic elegance to their living room or dining room.

But in all cases, it's really my clients' great taste in picking out the fixtures that ends up making the look awesome!

I'm just glad to be a help.
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