Frequently Asked Electrical Questions
Q. Are there things I can do to save money on my electric bill?
Yes there are many things you can do to substantially reduce the amount of kilowatts you are using, thus reducing your electricity bill. From switching standard incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent, or even the new L.E.D. style lighting, you can use as little as 1/30th the amount of electricity for the same lumens! Occupancy sensors, motion detectors, photocells, and timers are all relatively simple to install but can save big money every month! There are a lot of little tricks that can be used to dramatically cut down on your energy consumption. Give us a call to set up a consultation so you can begin receiving these savings!
Q. My lights are flickering is this normal?
Some fluctuations that happen rarely to occasionally can sometimes be contributed to power company voltage supply issues, however, this can also be due to "in house" power supply, connections, or devices. This event should not be considered "normal" and should be checked out by a qualified professional! Loose connections at splices, service connections and devices are leading causes of functional issues and also potential for heat and if left unchecked possibly fire.
Q. What can I do to protect my family from home hazards?
Your first 2 lines of defense are prevention and making sure that you have functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house.
Some Common Sense preventative measures
- If your home is older than 30 years it should be inspected by a qualified electrician for outdated or faulty wiring methods and or materials.
- If your home is equipped with a fuse panel vs. a breaker panel it should be replaced. At a minimum it should be checked for terminal tightness and correct fuse size. The majority of fuse panels we see have incorrect fuses leading to diminished or in some cases nonexistent protection for the wires running throughout the house. One of the most common dangerous situations we find in fuse panels are 30 amp screw in fuses where there should be 15 or 20 amp, if you have a fuse panel look at all of the round fuses if any say 30 amp they need to be replaced immediately with the correct size fuse!
- Some Breaker panels manufactured between the 1950's and 1980's have been found to have defective or misrepresented current overload protection this can lead to a "no trip" of the breaker in the event of a short potentially causing fire.
- GFCI Outlets have saved countless lives. These are special outlets that have 2 buttons on them for test and reset functions. These outlets are designed to be installed in any location where moisture or water may be present (outdoors, garages, basements, laundry areas, kitchens, and baths are a few common areas that should have gfci outlets). The outlets have a mechanism that if installed and functioning correctly should prevent serious shock.
- Extension cords were not designed to be a permanent power source, in most cases the wire inside is several sizes smaller than what is in your home. If you plug an air conditioner or other heavy draw equipment into one it will begin to heat up almost immediately. Over time this overheating will cause the wires to fail and burn up.
- Frequent breaker trips can cause fatigue in a circuit breakers tripping mechanism not allowing it to trip when it needs to. The cause of frequent breaker trips is either an overloaded circuit that needs to be separated or a potential partial or random short in the circuit which needs to be identified.
- Loose outlets, switches that don't work quite right, lights that go on and off or dim can all be potential problems beyond the obvious. Anytime you have a loose contact or connection there is potential for major problems and danger. These are not things that you "learn to live with" or "postpone till the timing is better".
These are issues that should demand your immediate attention, it's not worth the gamble that, "I haven't had any major problems yet"! Contact Us and we can help.