Frequently Asked Questions
Should I call an electrician?
Electricity can cause serious property damage, injury, or even death. Unless you are properly trained, it's always best to have a qualified, licensed electrician handle your electrical needs.
What is a G.F.C.I.?
G.F.C.I. stands for "ground fault circuit interrupter". These devices interrupt the flow of electricity in case of a fault. They are available in the form of receptacles or breakers and should be periodically tested using the "test" and "reset" buttons found on the units.
What is an A.F.C.I.?
A.F.C.I. stands for "arc fault circuit interrupter". These devices sense an undesirable arc in the circuit and interrupt the flow of electricity. An A.F.C.I. breaker provides a higher level of protection than a standard circuit breaker by detecting and removing the hazardous arcing condition before it becomes a fire hazard. Like a G.F.C.I., these breakers have a "test" button and should be periodically tested.
Is aluminum wire safe?
Aluminum wire is safe when properly installed and is still used in new construction today. If you have a home built between 1965 and 1972 you may have aluminum wiring for lighting and receptacle circuits. Call a qualified, licensed electrician if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Lights that dim or flicker
- Sparks, smoke, or noise coming from switches or receptacles.
- Switches or receptacles that are hot to the touch.
- Receptacles or lights that stop working.
- Circuit breakers that trip for no apparent reason.
- Light bulbs that fail quickly or are unusually bright.
I replaced the lamp in my recessed light and now it blinks on and off. What's wrong?
Most recessed light fixtures contain a thermal cutoff device that de-energizes the lamp if temperatures exceed the rating of the housing. This commonly occurs when a lamp is replaced with one of a higher wattage. When the temperature within the fixture cools, the thermal will reset and the lamp will come back on. Installing the correct wattage lamp for the fixture will cure this.
Why is my smoke detector is chirping intermittently?
Usually when a smoke detector is chirping intermittently, it is signalling the need to replace the back-up battery. If replacing the battery in your smoke detector does not eliminate the chirping call a qualified, licensed electrician.
What can I do to protect electrical equipment from lightning damage?
Surge suppression devices can be installed in the main service and sub-panels by a qualified electrician. These devices, in addition to point of use surge suppression, offer the best protection from power surges associated with lightning. These devices are typically sacrificial and may require replacement if they experience a lightning strike.
Why are half of my lights out and large appliances not working?
Check for tripped breakers and reset your main breaker. If the main breaker is warm to the touch, call a qualified, licensed electrician immediately. If resetting the breaker does not fix the problem, it is possible you have lost one phase (leg) of your main power supply. Contact your utility company and have them inspect their service lines for problems.
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