Deans Home Services | Minnesota's Premier Home Services Company

How a Home Electrical Panel Works

Category: Electrical

What Does a Home Electrical Panel Do?

A home electrical panel, which may be referred to as service panels, fuse boxes, fuse panels, or circuit breakers, are the source of all of our homes’ power. They connect the wires on the street to our homes’ electrical system. The electrical panel can provide 200 or more amps of power, and it splits that power into separate circuits throughout the house, making it one of the most important features of our homes!

electrical panel

What are Inside Electrical Panels?

It is important to be able to recognize all of the components of our electrical panels

  • Outer panel door
  • Protective cover
  • Circuit breakers
  • Open spaces for circuit breakers
  • Wires that run from the circuit breakers to the house

Keep in mind that when the circuit breaker is closed, or when the outer door alone is open, it is generally safe to touch. However, when the protective cover is removed, it can be dangerous to work on yourself.

When you open your panel door, you gain access to the circuit breaker switches, but that’s all. To get inside the panel to install or replace a circuit breaker, you need to remove the protective cover around the main circuit breaker switches—the dead front cover. The dead front cover is typically held in place with a screw in each corner. Removing the cover provides access to all components of the panel. Some panels have a separate door and cover; others have a door and cover as parts of the same unit.

If you think there may be a problem with your panel, it is important to call an Electrical professional from Dean’s Home Services to avoid any accidents such as electrocution.

Where Can You Find Your Electrical Panel?

To keep your home safe, panels are generally located away from the main living areas. The most common places to find homes’ electric panels:

  • the garage
  • basement
  • the pantry in the kitchen
  • a closet

However, in some older Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN area homes, the electrical panel may be located on an outside wall of the home.

Do your home inspection, and hire a qualified electrician.

You’ve been reading a lot about home electrical panels. Now it’s time to learn how to do them! But first, you should hire an electrician to do the work for you.

You need to make sure that the electrician is licensed and gets a permit if required by your local municipality. Make sure that the home inspection report is complete and has not been tampered with before purchasing a home. It’s also important to make sure that all of the wirings in your home meet code requirements.

Can a Homeowner Replace Electrical Panel?

Generally, the answer to this question is no. Reading online tutorials and watching instructional videos will never replace the training a qualified electrician receives. Not only could working on an electrical panel ourselves result in severe injury, but you could also severely damage the electrical system of our homes, and end up with expensive and time-consuming repairs.

If you ever suspect an issue with our electrical panels, or you need electrical repairs, be sure to contact Dean’s Home Services Electrical professionals to have it done safely and correctly, the first time!

Do you keep seeing your electrical outlets sparking? Should you be concerned? Are you curious about why they are sparking and what you can do about it? We asked our licensed Maple Grove Electricians why a homes outlets are sparking and what you can and should do.

Guide to Electrical Outlets Sparking

Why do outlets spark?

Have you ever rubbed your feet across a carpet and felt a spark? That is static electricity. Therefore, if you feel a spark once in a while, there might not be any problem.

If you feel a spark, every time you are near the electric outlet, then there might be an issue. You can consider the following troubleshooting questions:

1. Do you have old, frayed electric cords?
2. Was there moisture or water on your hands or the electrical outlet when it sparked?
3. Does the electrical outlet feel hot?

These could be signs that you have exposed wires. You might have a short circuit. You might want to have old electrical wires, outlets and appliances replaced.

outlet sparking

Is it dangerous if a plug sparks?

Yes, it can be dangerous if a plug sparks. If the sparking is accompanied by a burning smell, it could indicate that the insulation on the wires is damaged and that the wires are touching, which could cause an electrical fire. If you see or smell sparks coming from an outlet, unplug any devices that are plugged into it and do not use that outlet until it has been repaired by a qualified electrician.

Is it safe to use an outlet that sparks?

If an outlet sparks, it is definitely not safe to use. Outlets are electrical devices, and any time there is a spark, there is potential for an electrical fire. If you see an outlet sparking, unplug any devices that are plugged into it and do not use it until you have had an electrician inspect it and determine that it is safe.

Troubleshoot Outlets Sparking

If the sparks occur regularly, you might need to be concerned. It could mean that there is a problem with your electrical wires, cords, outlets or appliances. You could use duct tape for frayed wires, but that is only a stop-gap.

If you fear a short circuit, then you should call professionals. They can look at your electrical system. You also might have overloaded your outlet with too many plug-ins. We can discuss safety devices, like a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which could be invaluable.

Call a professional for a sparking outlet in Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN

If you want a professional inspection, Dean’s Home Services Electrical services offer complete evaluations of electrical systems in Minneapolis St. Paul area homes.

Arc Fault Breakers – Preventing Home Fires in Minneapolis St. Paul, MN

An arc fault is a natural phenomenon in electrical distribution systems. These small sparks create brief and harmless flashes of light, but if an arcing fault is left unaddressed, it can lead to overheated equipment, increased risk of fire, and even an outage. Residential homes are at a higher risk than most businesses or institutions because they have smaller and less expensive electrical systems.

You can reduce the risk of arcing faults in your Twin Cities home with some knowledge about the different types of fault breakers and how they work. Keep reading to learn more about arc fault breakers, their benefits, and if you’re in need of a Minneapolis Electrician for a new electric panel, why AFCI breaks are good for your electric panel.

Electric Arc image

What is an Arc Fault?

Arc fault breakers are installed in electrical panels to detect and trip when arcing faults occur. Many times AFCI breakers are installed alongside GFCI electrical outlets. Arcing faults happen when high-resistance connections in a circuit cause voltage to drop, forcing the current to jump to a nearby lower-resistance path, causing a small spark. Arcing faults don’t pose an immediate threat of fire, but they can cause short-circuiting and heat build-up in appliances or wiring, which can lead to fires if not addressed quickly.

To protect against arcing faults, many electrical panels include a thermal-magnetic breaker that trips when it reaches a certain temperature. While these breakers are robust, they can’t detect arcing faults. That’s why electrical panels also include a separate breaker that detects and trips when arcing is detected on the line.

arc fault breaker up close image

Types of Arc Fault Breakers

There are two main types of arc fault breakers: the detector, and the interrupter. Let’s take a closer look at their differences, and how they work to detect and trip on arcing faults.

Arc Fault Detector

This type of arc fault breaker detects arcing faults but doesn’t trip the circuit. They are installed in conjunction with other types of breakers, and their job is to sense when arcing is occurring and send a signal to the other breakers to trip. When they sense an arcing fault, they trip the breaker that they are installed with.

Arc Fault Interrupter (AFI)

When an AFI trips, it’s because it has detected an arcing fault and has fully interrupted the circuit. You can tell the difference between an AFI and another breaker type by looking at the AFI’s reset button. When an AFI trips it is necessary to manually reset it. Other breakers are reset automatically.

How do Arc Fault breakers work?

Arc fault breakers detect arcing faults by monitoring the electrical circuit for signs of electrical arcs faults. When the breaker detects a fault, it trips the circuit, stopping the arcing fault. Some AFCI breakers have a sensitivity setting that allows you to adjust how loud the sound has to be before it trips the breaker. The setting can be lowered if you want to protect against smaller and more common arcing faults, or raised if you want to protect against larger ones that may cause bigger fires. Arcing faults are most commonly caused by loose connections, such as worn-out wiring or frayed cords. Other causes include loose fuses and a lack of ground fault circuit interrupters in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Why you should care about Arc Fault breakers

When an arcing fault is left unaddressed, it can cause fires and pose a threat to the health and safety of those who live in your home. Bigger and more dangerous arcing faults can even cause power outages, since the electrical panel that feeds the circuit might trip, shutting off power to the rest of the house. By installing an arc fault breaker in your electrical panel, you’re not only protecting against dangerous arcing faults but also reducing the risk of fires and power outages that can affect your whole neighborhood. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that electrical fires cause $18 billion in damage every year and kill hundreds of people. Many of these fires are caused by arcing faults that could have been prevented with the installation of a breaker.

Home Wiring Bryan

Contact Dean’s Minneapolis Electrical Service

Dean’s Twin Cities Electricians specialize in the evaluation of Minneapolis residential electrical systems. Dean’s Minneapolis Electricians are able to complete any electrical project including circuit breaker and electrical panel repair and replacement.

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Learn more about AFCI breakers in your home when you contact Dean’s Home Services Twin Cities professional electricians.

Arc Faults The Ultimate Guide Infographic

arc fault explained the ultimate guide infographic

Where Should I Have USB Outlets Installed In My Home?

Being able to charge your iPhone, iPad, or tablet while still having room to plug in lights is just another part of the modern home. While updating the electrical system in your home or during a home renovation is the best time to plan for replacing your current electric outlets for USB outlets. 

USB Outlets in bedroom Lutron

It’s something we hear every day, “has anyone seen my charger?”.

In a world of smartphones, laptops, and a plethora of electronic devices and accessories, keeping track of charging cables and their wall adaptor companions can be a hassle. A simple solution to this issue is to install USB electric outlets, which have USB ports in place of, or alongside, traditional electrical outlets. Wall outlets with USB convert 120 VOLT AC wall power into five-volt DC power. This is a common home wiring task completed by a licensed electrician.

With an electrical wall USB outlet, you can charge your electronic devices and accessories with your regular charging cable, without the need for an adapter, and place them in places that make sense to the functionality of your home.

Five Best Places to Install USB Outlets in Your Home

Strategically placed USB outlets can enhance your home’s functionality specific to the needs of your household. Consider placing USB outlets in the following places: 

  • Entryways: Above a shelf, table, or cubby by an entryway is an excellent place to put a USB outlet. A great productivity hack is to have a landing zone in your home. One spot for your phone, keys, jacket, and any other belongings.
  • Kitchen counters and islands: USB outlets in the kitchen are useful in the same ways as your home’s entryway. Charge your iPad in one place where it can be easily grabbed. 
  • Floor outlets in the family room: Floor USB outlets in the middle of the room, i.e. next to the couch, eliminate the need for additional accessories like extension chords. You’ll be able to charge your phone, tablet, and more without additional clutter taking away from the visual appeal of the room. 
usb outlet wall installation Dean's Home Services Electricians Minneapolis St. Paul MN
  • Wall outlets in bedrooms: Having a USB outlet by your bed, desk, or even behind a wall-mounted television can prove to be useful for accessories that need to stay plugged in like clocks, gaming systems, and charging stations. 
  • Bathroom vanities: Having a USB outlet built into or next to your bathroom vanity can be used to support bathroom accessories like electric toothbrushes and electric razors. They can also be used to charge your cellphones and smart accessories overnight. 

Picking the Best USB Outlet for Your Home

A USB charging port will end up sharing the amperage output for the new USB outlet. Devices such as phones and tablets typically require 1 ampere of electricity. A charging iPhone or Android device typically takes one amp. A tablet might take up to 2.4 amps. With two charger ports sharing 3.6 amps, you’re covered for charging a phone and a tablet. If you have two devices each requiring 2.4 amps, however, charging will be a bit slower. A professional electrician can install outlets with USB

Never Leave Home Without a Charge

Installing outlets with USB charging throughout your home enhances your home’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Minneapolis Electricians with Dean’s Home Services install a variety of different types of electrical outlets in your home. Untangle your life with USB outlets that match the way you live!

What to Do When Your Lights Keep Flickering

When you’re trying to relax at home or get ready for the day, lights flickering are probably the last thing you want to deal with. The causes can range from small to major, either way, it’s something that you’ll want to fix. Learn how to know when it’s a DIY job and when it’s something you should leave for a professional electrician.

lights flickering

Reasons for Lights Flickering In Your House

What Causes House Lights to Flicker?

There are a lot of potential causes for flickering lights, which means you’ll have to troubleshoot the problem a little to find the cause. Here are common reasons why your lights might be flickering.

Poor Wiring: If the wiring in your home is old and/or hasn’t been properly maintained, it could be causing your lights to flicker. A common reason why wiring may be causing your lights to flicker is if the wiring isn’t grounded properly. If the wiring in your home isn’t properly grounded, it can cause excessive current flow in the wiring to occur, which can cause flickering lights.

Wiring Issues: Aside from wiring issues caused by poor wiring, wiring issues that are inherent to the wiring in your home can also cause flickering lights. Electrical wiring issues most commonly occur with age, but they can also happen as a result of high usage.

Light Fixture Issues: Your light fixtures may be causing your lights to flicker, especially if you have an older home. Light fixtures that are older can sometimes cause flickering lights due to the wiring inside them being worn out due to use.

When the Lightbulb isn’t the Problem, Check the Wiring

If replacing the light bulb doesn’t correct the problem, you may want to replace the wiring inside the light fixture. If it’s an antique, then it may be worth taking the time to have the wiring replaced.

Have a professional electrician evaluate your home

If you’ve tried troubleshooting the problem and you’re still dealing with a light that flickers, you may want to have a professional electrician come out and take a look at your home’s wiring. Dean’s licensed electricians are experienced with troubleshooting electrical issues in the Twin Cities

Electrical issues are often easy to spot, but they can be very dangerous. Because of this, it’s best to leave electrical issues to the professionals.

A professional electrician can look at your wiring and let you know if there are any issues with it. A professional electrician can also let you know if there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of dealing with flickering lights in the future.

Having the lights in your home flicker is a real annoyance and when you’re able to tell the difference between a minor and major problem, you can save yourself from a major disaster.

Outdoor renovations that involve outdoor wiring for lighting and security are never complete until the wiring attached to these systems has been carefully and strategically hidden away from view. Wires often distract from most outdoor decorative themes and a structure’s attractiveness…but this doesn’t have to be!

outdoor wiring

When hiding wires and cables, you want to avoid power cords becoming a trip-and-fall or tangle hazard. Exposed cables that connect to alarms, motion detectors, and cameras can actually pose a security risk if a thief or vandal locates and cuts them to prevent detection.

Hiding these wires from view isn’t difficult and you can approach the problem of unsightly wires by using one or more of these simple solutions to hide the outdoor wires.

How to Hide Outdoor Wires

1. Special Mounting Base

A professional electrician can help you choose and secure a metal or plastic mounting base that is large and deep enough to hide all of the exposed wires outside the house. Wires are coiled near the base of the outdoor light fixture with a plastic tie or electrical tape. The coil is then placed within the special mounting base. A box-style mounting base can also be used for pathway lights connected to underground wires.

2. Paintable Channel Raceways

In an office, a tech hides wires and cords attached to computers and other systems along the floor, walls, or ceiling of a room behind special long guides that have a smooth curved, or rectangular shape. Similar outdoor wire raceway options also exist that you can stain or paint to match or blend in with nearby surfaces. These options provide an inexpensive sleek and modern solution to unsightly and dangerous wiring outdoors.

electric wire raceway for hiding cables and wires

3. Decorative Outdoor Cover

Many people successfully hide wires behind decorative items. For example, you might run string light wiring behind decorative porch roof molding. Manufacturers have also designed decorative boxes for hiding wires, security keypads, circuit breakers, and other electrical systems.

Do-it-yourself enthusiasts often build covers with faux rustic and modern decorative designs. For example, a property owner might hide wires, cables, and attached systems behind or under a cover designed to look like a stone pedestal, sculpture, lighthouse, birdhouse, miniature shed, or small closed-door and walled entryway.

Running Underground Wiring and Cabling

The best way to hide outdoor wiring is to have it buried and installed by a licensed electrician. There are several ways for an electrician to run underground wires, one of the best ways is to use a 12-inch deep PVC conduit. That’s because it provides great protection against physical damage.

underground wiring electrical

Interior and Exterior Lighting Installation

If you’re interested in remodeling your home or need assistance with either an interior or exterior lighting project, call Dean’s electricians to help! Our licensed and insured electricians can handle all electrical projects, repairs, breakers, panels, switches, and outlets, along with any home wiring project.


Problems with a Federal Pacific Panel

Buying an older home in the Twin Cities can be exciting but before you submit an offer, check to see if the house has a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok electric panel. This is a big concern because these panels are not safe.

The Dangers of Federal Pacific Electric Panel

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) sold millions of electric panels with these breakers between the 1950s and 1980s and electricians with Dean’s Home Services are still finding them in houses and condos around Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

The Problematic History of Stab-Lok Breakers

Federal Pacific aren’t the only ones who used the problematic stab lok breakers. Federal Pacific Electric Company went as far as to commit fraud in order to keep the product on the market. The specific issue with the Federal Pacific panel is that Stab-Lok breakers fail to trip during moderate to severe electrical current overload.

Eventually tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission it was determined that Stab-Lok breakers had an unacceptably high rate of failure. Tests also revealed that 51% of breakers would jam leading to fires and an estimated $40 million dollars of property damage in the United States each year.

‘Decades of Danger’ NBC Investigation

Four Ways to Identify a Federal Pacific Panel

  1. The FPE logo, which is often on the outside of the panel
  2. The panel says “Federal Pacific”
  3. A sticker inside the panel says “Federal Pacific Electric Company”
  4. The panel says “Stab-Lok” on the breakers
Federal Pacific Electric Panel

When it comes to a home’s electric panel, electricians all agree it’s not a matter of diagnosing or fixing a FPE panel, the best choice is to replace it before this ticking time bomb explodes. it’s also important to know that before the danger of the breaker was realized a number of other companies placed them in homes around the United States. If you suspect a problem with your electrical panel, never try fixing it yourself, as there is a huge risk of electrocution and damage to your electrical system. Leave all panel repair and replacement projects to licensed and insured electricians with Dean’s Home Services.

Why Aluminum Wiring in a Home is Dangerous and What to Do About It

As homeowners, it’s hard to stay on top of every single problem in the house— especially when the problem is inside the walls and out of sight. A major concern for Dean’s professional electricians is outdated wiring in homes around Minnesota. A major safety concern for electricians is aluminum wiring in your house because you have a fire waiting to happen. Many houses built between 1965 and 1972 were wired with aluminum instead of copper.

Signs of Bad Wiring in Your Home

  • Frequently tripped circuit breakers.
  • Flickering or dimming lights.
  • Buzzing or crackling sounds.
  • Frayed wires.
  • Aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring.
  • Warm or vibrating spots on outlets or walls.
  • Smoke coming from outlets or appliances.
  • Burning smells or scorch marks on electrical fixtures.

Problem with Aluminum Wiring Use in Older Homes

  • Failure at the connection points, such as splices between wires, connections at outlets, circuit breakers, switches, lights, etc.
  • There are thousands of houses in Minneapolis/St. Paul but especially the surround suburbs built during this period
  • In 1972, the formula for aluminum wiring changed, making it a much safer product.  Aluminum wiring was used in single family homes for a few years after that, but was completely phased out by the mid-’70s. The Home Inspector –
Burned out outlet, Aluminum Wiring, safety, minnesota

Issues with Aluminum Wiring Compared to Copper

1) Rusting: When metal rusts, it oxidizes. Oxidized copper is still conductive, while aluminum is not so much. Thus interfering with the flow of electricity.

2) Softness: Aluminum is a lot softer than copper. It is much easier to nick or break.

3) Cold Creep: Wire heats up when electrons flow through it. Aluminum expands when heated expansion and contraction cause connections to loosen.

Dean’s electricians are able to help you identify issues with the wiring in your home by performing a full home electrical inspection, Our trained, experienced pros can help with your electrical system and any other aging parts of your house:

Hanging Christmas Lights Safely – Tips from Electricians

You’ve been waiting for months, maybe even years. It’s finally time to break out the Christmas lights! But before you start stringing those twinkly strands around your house, there are a few safety tips you should know about. We consulted with Dean’s Home Services team of Electricians to make sure you don’t accidentally start a fire or fall off your roof while installing those festive lights.

Christmas lights balled up at house

Test Lights Before Hanging Them Up

You’ve been waiting for months, maybe even years. It’s finally time to break out the Christmas lights! But before you start stringing those twinkly strands around your house, there are a few safety tips you should know about. We consulted with an electrical contractor to make sure you don’t accidentally start a fire or fall off your roof while installing th

It’s a good idea to test your strands before installing them. This will help you eliminate any problems with broken bulbs or bad connections, which could cause hazards down the line.

How to Test Your Christmas Lights

Ensure all of the bulbs are plugged in properly, and that they’re not loose on the socket. If there’s no light coming from a bulb, it may mean that it’s been damaged during shipping or handling, or has become bent and needs to be straightened out before it can work again.

Test each strand for shorts by using an ohm meter (available at home improvement stores). If your ohms check out okay but there’s still no power coming from one side of a strand of lights, then this would indicate a short somewhere within that particular set of lights—and also give us some insight into where we might need to look when troubleshooting this problem further down the road!

Top Christmas Light Safety Tips From Dean’s Electricians

  • Use common sense.
  • Avoid placing extension cords over sidewalks or high-traffic areas
  • Test lights before hanging
  • Keep an eye on pets because they love to investigate and sometimes even chew on wires.
  • Use approved hangers not tacks, nails or staples which can damage the insulation around the wires, creating a fire hazard.
Christmas lights hanging on house

When Hanging Christmas Lights, Avoid Blowing a Fuse

When you string too many lights together and plug them into the wall, you’re more likely to blow a fuse, and your lights won’t stay lit. A good way to avoid this is by using LED light bulbs which means more lights and a much smaller chance of tripping a breaker. LED lights are cheaper to run but more expensive upfront cost.

Christmas Display

GFCI Outlets Are Your Friend

GFCI senses the slightest difference in the amount of electricity between what enters a circuit and what leaves the circuit. A small variation, as little as 5 milliamps, will cause the circuit to trip or shut down within 1/10th of a second. This prevents people from getting electrocuted.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Christmas lights and decorations and GFCIs, generally all it takes to trip a circuit is for a little moisture to get into the outlet, cord, or lights. If this happens and the power is on, the circuit will trip, causing the lights and décor to go out. Make sure you’re keeping the area as dry as possible and when possible, avoid using splitters or having to connect multiple outdoor

Christmas lights on house

Going All Out? You May Need Extra Circuits

If you’re installing a lot of lights in your home, you may need to install new circuits to handle the usage. If you don’t pay attention to the number of amps your lights are drawing, you could create a fire hazard. If you plan on going big with your holiday display, you’ll need more power, and you will want to look into getting electric panel service upgrades.

Smart Home Lighting for Christmas

Using a smart outlet/timer is another good way to control your lights, even better, have a Dean’s electrician place electric outlets outside your home. This will allow you to control how much electricity is used and prevent you from having to connect multiple extension cords. mart lights keep energy costs down as well. All the options listed below feature light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. This is welcome news for your electric bill if you plan to turn on multiple strands of lights for several hours a day.

Christmas Light Hanging Pole

A great safety hack for decorating is to use a Christmas light pole hanger. Fits firmly and easily to an extension pole, you’ll be able to hang lights on a hook at a tall peak then along more hooks sloping downwards.

Outdoor Christmas Lights Extension Cord Safety

Choose the correct gauge of extension cord for the length and wattage rating of your lights. For example, if you need to run 10 strands of 100-watt incandescent lights at 25’ each, select a cord with a 30A rating (or larger). Don’t forget to take into consideration any other high-load devices plugged into the same circuit as well!

Use Hooks to Hang Christmas Lights

Don’t use staples or nails to hang lights.

  • If you’re using a hammer and nails, make sure that the nail is long enough to get through both sides of the gutter.
  • If you’re using a staple gun, make sure that there are no staples sticking out of your gutter. This will be very dangerous if someone steps on it.
  • Don’t use screws or nails when hanging Christmas lights from electricians because they can be very dangerous if someone steps on them! Sometimes people do this because they don’t know any better, but there are other options available such as power drills (which we’ll talk about later).

Hang up the lights neatly, and then go back to straighten sections that droop.

To hang the lights neatly, you need to be sure that they are evenly spaced along the cord. To do this, use a tape measure or yardstick to check each string of lights before hanging them on your house. This way, you can make sure each string hangs at the same distance from one another as well as from other power sources such as outlets or switches.

Once all of your strings are hung evenly and neatly around the house, it’s time to go back and straighten out any sections that droop due to gravity pulling them down over time.

Learn how to hang Christmas lights from the experts so you don’t start an electrical fire!

Don’t get us wrong: we know hanging Christmas lights is an important part of ensuring your holiday cheer is visible from space. But if you don’t do it right, it can be dangerous!

Electricians provide a valuable service in helping keep homes safe by installing and maintaining electrical systems.

Once you’ve read all of the above tips and learned how to hang Christmas lights from the experts, you should be well on your way to enjoying this holiday tradition for years to come! The key is staying safe, having fun, and taking care of your family—and we hope this article helped you do just that.

Thanksgiving Recipes

When it comes to creating the perfect Thanksgiving meal, we here at Dean’s Home Services feel you shouldn’t just be focusing on your main dish. It’s important to make sure all of the other components including the sides and desserts are up to quality. We collected some unique ideas from co-workers at Dean’s for your taste buds to enjoy on Turkey Day. These recipes are not only unique, but they are simple enough so you can still enjoy family and friends.

Ari’s Mighty Mac N’ Cheese

Ari – Customer Advocate

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

1 pound elbow macaroni 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter 

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster Cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese 

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack 

2 cups of half and half 

1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta cheese, cut into small cubes 

2 large eggs, lightly beaten 

1/4 teaspoon season salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Light butter a deep 2 1/2-quarter casserole dish. 

In a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender (about 7 minutes). Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot. 

In a small sauce pan, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild, sharp cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheese. Add the half and half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and cubed Valeeta and the eggs. Season with the salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheeses on top. 

Bake until its bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot. 

Josh’s Mmmm-mmm-mmm Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Josh – Dean’s Club Customer Advocate


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil

Add 6 peeled and cut sweet potatoes, cook tender for about 20 mins

Drain water then add ½ cup of milk while mixing thoroughly. Add ½ cup at a time until desired texture.

Add ½ cup of butter and a ½ cup of maple syrup while continuing to mix.

Top with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and (optional) small marshmallows for desired sweetness

Kelly’s Wildly Amazing Wild Rice

This family recipe comes from Kelly’s grandfather a traveling salesman that would get wild rice while on trips.

Kelly | Home Comfort Consultant


Wild Rice | 1 lb black label bacon | large onion | mushrooms

Cook 2-3 cups of wild rice in water for about 15 minutes have the rice cook at a simmer. You’ll then dump, strain and rinse the rice. Do this 2x or until the rice begins to look ‘puffy”. (15ish minutes) Do this 2x to get it clean.

Now cook the wild rice again in the stock of your choice, simmer, and after 15 minutes strain, DO NOT RINSE

While you’re cooking the wild rice, cook 1lb black label bacon, cook it crispy, and cut it into squares (set aside because bacon is added when it’s time to serve. 

Use bacon grease to cook 1 large chopped onion and 1 chopped container of mushrooms.  Chop and Saute

Take the cooked onion, mushrooms, and a few tablespoons of the bacon grease and mix it in with the wild rice. Use salt and pepper to taste

Bacon is used on top of the wild rice to add “crunch”.

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