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FAQs

Find quick answers to common electrical questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, the size of your electrical system is based upon how much power is consumed by those using the space on any given day. 

For homeowners, this means determining what appliances are used and when. For a business, electrical service should accommodate the equipment, appliances, and number of people using the building, as well as any future plans for additions or expansions. 

Your electrician can help with these measurements.

A surge protector prevents damage to equipment, computers, and appliances in the event of a sudden change or burst of voltage that could surge into your electrical circuit. This could happen in a storm or as a result of repairs or updates to a grid. Since these surges are unpredictable and can damage expensive equipment, it’s wise to have one in your home and highly recommended in commercial applications.

A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protects you from electrical shock by turning off if moisture is present in the circuit. This type of outlet is generally required by law anywhere that water or moisture could compromise a circuit, including bathrooms, kitchens, lunchrooms, garages, and outdoor outlets. 

If your GFCI is tripped and the reset button does not turn it back on, call an electrician immediately.

In a perfect world, every breaker in your box is marked so you know which rooms and which major appliances are controlled by each breaker. Unfortunately, that is often not the case, and if a breaker is tripped, and turning it back on causes it to trip again, it’s crucial to know why. 

 

We recommend taking time to map your breaker box before you have a problem, so if a breaker trips, you know exactly which lights, rooms, and appliances are on that circuit. Large appliances should be on a dedicated circuit. 

If you believe a circuit could be overloaded, contact a professional to assess your box.

It depends on the circumstances. A single light flickering could simply be a bad bulb. 

Frequently, homeowners report the lights dimming temporarily when a large appliance turns on, such as an air conditioner. This is not uncommon — and generally not dangerous — in a 200-amp home, as large appliances draw a significant amount of power. Ask an electrician about upgrading your service to prevent this. 

If all the lights in your home or in one section of your home or office begin to flicker at the same time, this could indicate a potentially serious problem with the wiring. Contact an electrician immediately.

Outdated electrical panels may use fuses or have limited circuits. If your home or building is old, check the amperage of the electrical panel and have an expert examine the wiring. 

Aluminum or knob and tube wiring should be replaced, and today’s homes will generally need 200 amps or more of power to accommodate the average family. Your electrical box should be able to accommodate all circuits as well as a main shut off. If yours cannot, it must be replaced.

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