Before You Call…
Get some tips from the Electrician
If you’re having some problems in your home with your power, these frequently asked questions may be able to help. Our Homeowner Tips are here to help you save time and money. From time to time, we encounter service calls that are a “simple” solution, and knowing the solutions to simple problems can save you time and money.
Click an item below to see more info.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets, especially during the holidays. Overloaded outlets can cause breakers to trip or even result in fires.
- Do not place power cords under rugs, carpets or furniture. Crushed or frayed wires can cause shorts and become potential fire hazards.
- Buy products which meet the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) standard for safety.
- Install smoke alarms outside bedrooms and once on each floor.
- Make sure appliances are turned off before plugging them in.
- Keep electrical appliances away from wet areas, and use extra care in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Keep heaters and halogen lamps away from drapes, curtains, and other combustible materials.
- Use only three-slot outlets for appliances with three-prong plugs. Adapters that fit two slot outlets don’t properly ground three prong appliances.
- Use safety devices to help child-proof outlets, such as outlet covers or plug housings.
- Don’t turn a circuit back on before identifying why it was turned off. It could be caused by a short or a damaged wire, and turning it back on could cause damage or fire.
Most homes built within the last 10 years or so are equipped with GCFI Outlets, or ground-fault circuit interrupter. These outlets detect changes in the flow of electricity to prevent shocks and are typically installed in kitchens and bathrooms and on outside outlets where outlets may be in close proximity to water. If the power stops working in a kitchen, bathroom, or outside outlet, chances are the GFCI outlet has been tripped. It is important to know why the outlet has been tripped, so before resetting it, any appliances need to be disconnected and any water dried up completely. In many cases you can press the “RESET” button to reset the outlet once all water is removed and appliances are unplugged. If water got into the outlet or an appliance came in contact with water, it may be safer to have a trained professional check the outlet to make sure it is safe to continue use before resetting it.
Arc-faults in a home are a leading cause of household fires. Properly installed Arc-fault breakers are designed to disconnect electricity before an arc starts a fire. This is new technology and is now an electrical code requirement in the state of Georgia. Find out if your electrical system has or can support this life saving device. 706-310-1330
According to studies by the Home Ventilation Institute, home owners my experience as much as 30 percent savings on air-conditioning costs with an attic fan. Commonwealth Edison says air conditioners don’t have to run as often when a house isn’t fighting a hot attic. Any home with an unfinished attic needs an attic fan. An attic fan can: save homeowners up to 30 percent ontheir cooling bills, decrease temperatures in upstairs rooms by up to 10 degrees, lengthen roof life by keeping shingles cooler, add resale value to your home. ~ From the “Naperville Sun”
Circuit Breaker Tripping Off?
A circuit breaker is designed to trip off when it detects too much power running through the wire it’s protecting. There are three main reasons circuit breakers trip off:
There is a short circuit.
There is an overloaded circuit.
The circuit breaker is broken.
Short circuits occur when two electrical wires accidentally touch each other. A short circuit will immediately cause one of your circuit breakers to trip off or one of your fuses to blow.
To fix a short circuit, ask yourself this question: “What was happening right before the short circuit?” If you had just plugged something into a receptacle (outlet) or turned on a light or an appliance, then this gives you a clue as to what caused the short.
If you just plugged in an iron, for instance, you can simply un-plug the iron and then re-set the circuit breaker or replace the fuse. If everything is now OK, then your electrical system is fine – and it’s time to get a new iron!
If, however, you can’t find anything plugged in which is causing the problem, then it’s time to call a good electrician to locate and repair your short circuit.
Overloaded circuits occur when too much power is running through an electrical wire. To protect the wire, the circuit breaker does its job by detecting the overload and tripping off. The solution to this problem is to remove some of the appliances that are connected to the overloaded wires. You may wish to add a new set of wires so that you can supply power to all your appliances. For this, you’ll need a good electrician.
Broken Circuit Breaker
Sometimes circuit breakers just wear out and need to be replaced. A knowledgeable homeowner with electrical skills can do the job. Otherwise, hire a good electrician.
This can happen for a couple of different reasons. First, it might be that the wattage is too high for the type of fixture. Most completely enclosed fixtures only allow for a 60 watt bulb max. (Most fixtures will have the bulb type, and wattage printed on the fixture.) Second, the socket might be burned or damaged. If a bulb is not making good contact within the socket, then some electrical arcing will occur and cause power surges in the bulb, thus shortening the life span of the bulb. Most standard bulbs will only last about 2,000 hours, using a bulb for 8 hours a day, a standard bulb should last around 8 months.
Get Some Quick Advice
If you need quick advice on an item not covered, or want to know if an electrician is needed, simply fill in the form and we will respond as quickly as possible.