For many electricity is a mystery. Considering the danger inherent in electricity it is common for people to play it safe and ask questions rather than go tinkering about their home’s electrical systems. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions posed to electricians along with their corresponding answers.
When it's time to call an electrician?
Most electrical work requires trade knowledge and following code regulations.
You may need an electrician if:
- lights dim when AC kick on
- flickering lights for no reason
- smell electrical burning
- changing fuses
- resetting breakers
What does the term “short circuit” mean?
When a wire carrying an electrical current comes into contact with the grounded conductor wire, or the equipment ground wire, excessive heat is created. If you see sparks in your electrical panel, you’ve likely witnessed a short circuit and you should have it checked by an electrician.
What is a GFCI outlet?
This type of outlet is designed to protect you from electrical shock if moisture is present. They are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor outlets and garages. They feature test/reset buttons. Depress the test button to turn off the GFCI. The reset button turns it back on after it has been tripped. If it doesn’t reset, you’ve got a problem and will need an electrician.
How do I reset my breaker?
A breakers function is to disrupt the flow of electricity when a fault is sensed. First turn the breaker off completely, wait a minute and then turn it back on. If the breaker doesn’t reset or trips again you should call an electrician.
Why is my outlet or switch heating up?
Excess heat can be caused by power overload, loose wires or a weak connection. A loose connection will start to heat up an outlet by causing electricity to travel through an air gap or a smaller strand of wiring. This causes the outlet to get hot and increases the chance of an electrical fire. If your outlets or switches feel hot you should call an electrician to assess the problem.
Is my electrical panel unsafe?
Electrical fires can and do happen, In fact, there are approximately 51,000 home electrical fires each year. If your electrical panel is outdated there is a chance you and your family are at risk of becoming victims of an electrical fire. This could put you and your household in serious danger and could cause you to lose your home and belongings. Having your electrical panel replaced and all of your homes wiring checked can help ensure your houses electrical system is as safe as possible.
How much will your service cost?
This depends on the scope of the job. You can call us now and we can schedule one of our highly trained professionals to evaluate your issues, discuss service options and provide a quote for the work needed. Because of the dangers and complexities involved, most electrical work should be performed by a professional and falls far outside the DIY zone. Call us today for a free quote from a highly rated local electrician.