Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When should I call an electrician?
A. Anytime you feel something abnormal is happening with your electrical system
Your lights are flickering or dimming
You have a tripped circuit breaker that will not reset
You smell, see, or hear evidence of arcing near an electrical device
You have and electrical device that is not functioning correctly or not functioning at all
Anytime you would like to add an outlet, switch, light, or any other electrical device. Don't mess with electricity hire a professional.
Q. What is a GFCI protected outlet? & How do I locate and reset it?
A. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet is designed to protect you from electrical shock from an outlet near water. such as sinks, bath tubs, and areas that may be subject to rain or standing water.
You will find GFCI protected outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, outdoors, and anywhere else the potential for water and electricity to mix.
Just because the outlet in your bathroom is not a GFCI outlet, does not mean that it is not GFCI protected. One GFCI outlet can protect multiple standard outlets if they are wired in series on the same circuit.
If you have an outlet that is not working in a bathroom, garage, kitchen, or outdoors, there maybe a GFCI outlet near by or in a separate room that is tripped.
The GFCI outlet will have a test and a reset button on the face of the device. To reset the GFCI simply press the reset button.
Q. Why is my smoke detector chirping?
A. When you have a smoke detector occasionally chirping normally this means it is time to replace the 9V back up battery, however some newer smoke detectors will start to chirp when they have reached there end of life and it is time to replace the detector. You will know the difference when you replace the battery and it still chirps.
Sometimes it is hard to locate the exact smoke detector that is causing the chirp, but keep in mind that these detectors most likely were installed all at the same time, so you might as well change out the batteries in all of your detectors.
In some cases the smoke detector could have lost power or the breaker could have tripped, in which case the detector will be running on battery only. It is a good idea to very that the power light on each detector is lit up.
Q. My breaker tripped and I reset it but I still do not have power?
A. To reset the breaker you must first turn the breaker all the way off "from the tripped center position" and then to back to the on position. If you just try to turn it on from the center tripped position, it will appear to be on, but it is not actually reset.
Q. Is the aluminum wiring in my home safe?
A. Most, if not all houses new or old have at least some aluminum wiring. For example the main feeder wiring bringing power into your home from the power company is an aluminum cable. Some sub-panels and large appliances are fed with aluminum wire. Aluminum used for these purposes is completely safe when connected properly to aluminum rated terminal lugs. However aluminum branch circuit wiring is the cause of aluminum receiving a bad reputation, primary due to the number of connections and splices required in branch circuit wiring (the wiring from device to device in your walls). leading to the potential for loose connections. Aluminum wire is a greater risk for a loose connection due how it expands and contracts with heat. It has a greater expansion coefficient than other metals, such as copper. Loose connections can arc and generate heat under an electrical load and eventually lead to a fire. It is a good idea to have a licensed electrician test and inspect this wiring, if you have aluminum branch circuits in your home.
Aluminum wiring was primary used in homes during the early 1960's to the mid 1970's
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