FAQ

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the difference between a breaker panel and my old fuse panel?
Both devices, either breaker or fuse, are designed to trip (turn off) in the event of an electrical overload, i.e. 20Amps of electrical load on a 15Amp circuit would cause a trip. The only difference is that a breaker is mechanical and may be reset, whereas, a fuse is one time only and must be replaced. Please Note: Modern breakers are much more efficient and offer greater levels of protection.How do I reset my breakers?
Turn the breaker completely off and then completely on. Some breakers will look like they are not tripped, but could be in the neutral stage, which still does not allow them to function as if they were completely on. A way to help determine this, is to turn every breaker completely off and then on.What is a surge protector and should I get one?
Surges are created by lightning or from the local power station. Sometimes, a surge of electricity can flood out to the residents from the power station. A surge protector helps to protect your electrical devices from a power surge. Usually, surge protectors are used for electronic devices such as computers and flat screen televisions. If you appreciate your electronic devices and want them to perform efficiently without having to worry about replacing them, you may want to consider protecting your devices with a surge protector.

There is a humming noise coming from my panel. What does this mean?
This could be the result of a defective breaker. Replacement should be immediate as this defective breaker could cause serious harm to electrical components.

Why is a breaker in my panel hot to touch?
This overheating is a serious defect and could cause arcing in the breaker. It should be immediately replaced.

How can I tell when an electrical outlet is not safe?
The plug falls out of the outlet without touching it, or the outlet is not secure and will move easily when touching it. When the outlet is warm or hot to the touch, you need to immediately take care of the issue by unplugging the device and calling us, as this type of problem can result in a fire.

Can I plug a new refrigerator in anywhere?
We suggest a dedicated circuit for refrigerators. They have an extensive amp draw. They should not be GFCI protected like a lot of receptacles found in kitchens and garages. A dedicated circuit will protect your freezer or fridge from being tripped and destroying anything inside.

What does it mean when my fluorescent lights are flickering or cycling on and off?
Flickering may indicate impending bulb failure, minor power fluctuation, and/or improperly installed bulbs. Cycling on and off is usually a clear indication of ballast and/or bulb failure. It is recommended when replacing ballast to replace bulbs as well.

Why do my smoke detectors chirp?
This could indicate a defective smoke detector. This could also be telling you that the battery life is low or gone. Note, if you mix brand name smoke detectors, they may not be able to communicate if one goes off. This is a serious matter. If you do replace one of your smoke detectors, make sure it is compatible with the others in your home.

Can I change an existing switch to a dimmer switch?
Yes. We will match the specific dimmer to the lights in your home. There are different bulbs required for specific dimmers. Such bulbs include incandescent, CFLs and LEDs.

Can I hang a ceiling fan where a light is?
Yes, but first you must make sure the electrical box is properly braced and rated for the weight and torque of the ceiling fan you are installing.

What is a GFCI device or breaker?
A GFCI stands for Ground fault circuit interrupter. It is an electrical wiring device that disconnects a circuit whenever it detects that the electric current is not balanced between the energized conductor and the return neutral conductor. Such an imbalance may indicate current leakage through the body of a person who is grounded and accidentally touching the energized part of the circuit. A lethal shock can result from these conditions. GFCIs are designed to disconnect quickly enough to prevent injury caused by such shocks. They are not intended to provide protection against overcurrent (overload) or short-circuit conditions.

What areas of my house should be GFCI protected?
GFCIs should be installed in all wet locations including unfinished basements, garages, anywhere outside the dwelling, within six feet of any sink, kitchens, bathrooms and powder rooms.

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