Most frequent questions and answers
A) This is a type of electric outlet that is required to be installed in all newly constructed or renovated residences. It is designed to protect children from shock and burns as the result of their sticking small metal objects (for example, paper clips or keys) into the receptacle.
A) Breakers trip when the circuit they are protecting has more amps of electricity traveling through it than the wire is rated to carry. Breakers are designed to trip and protect the wire from getting overloaded and heating up. This is a common cause of house electrical fires.
A) Doing electrical work yourself is dangerous and could result in costly repairs as well as making more problems within your home’s system. How much are you willing to risk to save money? There is a reason why it takes so much training to become an electrician. Do not make a mistake by taking electricity lightly, even the smallest job could be a safety hazard. Why take a chance. Get a professional to do this work.
A) When you are resetting circuit breakers or changing fuses too often. When you turn on your air conditioner and the lights dim in the room. When your lights flicker or go on and off. When you plug something in or flip a switch and can smell burning. When you have receptacles overloaded by powerbars. When a three-prong plug needs a two-prong adapter, or if you have to run extension cords to plug in electrical devices.
A) When the plug falls out of the receptacle without touching it, or it is not secure and will move easily when touching it. When the receptacle is warm or hot to the touch, you need to immediately take care of the issue by unplugging the device and calling an electrician as this type of problem can result in a fire.
A) Flickering may indicate impending bulb failure, power fluctuation, and/or improperly installed bulbs. Cycling on and off is usually a clear indication of ballast and/or bulb failure. It’s recommended when replacing ballast to replace bulbs at the same time.
A) GFCIs should be installed in all wet locations including unfinished basements, garages, anywhere outside the dwelling.
A) No electrical job is too small when safety is a concern. Even small annoying electrical problems can lead to something more dangerous and should be addressed immediately.
A) Common warning signs that your electrical service is overloaded are brownouts, or lights dimming when you turn something on. Frequent tripping. If you suspect your electrical service is underpowered and you don’t trip circuits that can also be a cause for concern. A circuit that trips is doing it’s job to protect your wires from overloads and overheating
A) No it’s not. The electrical panel is the center of your electrical system. That’s where the power comes into your home. Upgrading the panel and bringing more power into your house is the first and most important step to overhauling your electrical system.
A) Probably not. The wires that run through your walls are all fed from your electrical panel. If your wiring is still in poor condition or you do not have enough circuits for your needs your home will experience problems such as tripping circuits. A single circuit can only carry a set amount of amps to the devices on that circuit. If it a circuit is overloaded, the circuit breaker will trip. Even with a brand new electrical service, if you put appliances that draw 20 amps on a circuit rated for only 15 amps, the circuit breaker will trip. That is what it is supposed to do. Heaters and power tools are a very common cause of tripping. Even if you upgrade your service and add new circuits to some parts of your home, if you plug in a space heater on an old circuit, it will still cause the breaker to trip.
A) The cost to upgrade your electrical system will vary based on a number of factors. For example if the location of your panel does not meet with current codes, this can add to the cost. Beware of estimates that seem very low. The parts and materials required to upgrade your electrical system are costly and highly skilled and experienced electricians do not work for minimum wage. Additionally legitimate businesses will need to charge enough to cover the costs of insurance, WCB and business taxes. This is for the protection of the customer. They also need to charge enough to remain in business and hopefully make a profit as well. The only way to upgrade an electrical service at a very low price is by cutting corners. That is something you should not do.
Electricity can be dangerous and your homes electrical system is not the place to cut corners. There is an old saying that you get what you pay for and there never seems to be enough money to do something right, but there is always enough to do it over. Choose your electrical contractor carefully. If you have a problem, you want the company to still be in business in the future.