A: – GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. In layman’s terms this device protects you from electrical shock. When it senses the slightest increase in resistance resulting from ground fault (for example, the use of electrical devices in or near water), the device trips in order to protect you.

A: – AFCI stands for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter.  This device, or breaker, breaks a circuit when it detects the electronic arcs that are a signature of loose connections in home wiring.  Loose connections, which can develop over time, can sometimes become hot enough to ignite home fires.

A: – One button is a test button and will be labeled such.   When pressed, this should deactivate the outlet and any other outlet fed from it.  This indicates a properly functioning device. The other button is the reset button.  You depress this to reactivate the outlet, or outlets, in the event of deactivation resulting from a fault.  These devices should be tested periodically by depressing the test button.

A: – Both devices, either breaker or fuse, are designed to trip (turn off) in the event of an electrical overload (for example, 20 Amps of electrical load on a 15 Amp circuit would cause a trip.)  The only difference between a breaker and a fuse  is that a breaker is mechanical and may be reset whereas a fuse is one time only and must be replaced.

Please Note: Modern breakers are much more efficient and offer greater levels of protection.

A: – First, unplug any cords that may have caused the breaker to overload and trip.  Breakers are mechanical devices and must be turned all the way off before turning them back on. Remember, this is a mechanical device, so this may require several attempts. If this fails to reset the breaker, there may be a more serious problem. Contact us so that we can address any potential hazards.

A: – Flickering may indicate impending bulb failure, minor power fluctuation, and/or improperly installed bulbs. Cycling on and off is usually a clear indication of ballast and/or bulb failure. It is recommended when replacing a ballast to replace bulbs as well.  Additionally, you may want to consider upgrading to LED lighting.  This is a cost-effective upgrade that we can provide.

A: – Yes, but first you must make sure that the electrical box is a UL listed, fan rated box that is properly installed (and rated) for the weight and torque of the paddle fan you are purchasing.  If in doubt, call us out.

A: – Yes. Dimming fluorescent and LED lights requires not only a special dimmer, but also special fixtures. You cannot place a typical incandescent dimmer on existing fluorescent or LED lighting.

A: – Yes. Although, if the two loads exceed 20 amps, your breaker will sense overload, do its job, and trip.  Under this condition, you must plug one of the appliances into a different kitchen outlet on a different circuit, in order to balance the load.

A: – Yes. Though, if the device exceeds the capacity of the circuit, the breaker will trip off.

A: – Yes. This is a common occurrence when large motor/compressor loads start. These devices cause a minor momentary voltage drop, demonstrating itself as the blinking in your lights. This has no negative effect on the electrical equipment within your house.

A: – No. Surge/Lightning Protection only offers additional levels of protection. Nothing can guarantee completely against Mother Nature and where she chooses to strike.

A: – Yes. Main line surge is no absolute guarantee and any additional surge protection down stream in the system offers a greater level of protection; though, nothing is absolute when it comes to the power of Mother Nature.

A: – Yes, within reason; if the quantity of lights creates a load greater than the capacity of the circuit breaker, the breaker will trip.  In this event, additional circuits may be required to accommodate your holiday display.

A: – No. With few exceptions, i.e. davits, a boat lift requires at least a 20Amp dedicated 110Volt circuit and possibly as much as several 30Amp dedicated circuits.

A: – Most recessed lights are rated for a maximum wattage bulb and are equipped with a thermal device that does not allow a bulb larger than that rating. If a larger wattage bulb is used, as the excess heat builds up, the thermal device will shut the can off until it cools. This is a safety device to protect your home against fire.

A: – With deregulation of the utility companies in most areas of the country, the cable or telephone companies are no longer responsible for the equipment or wiring in your home. This responsibility has fallen to you and your electrical contractor. Therefore, when a problem arises, we would recommend you contact your electrical contractor. Most TV and telephone utilities will still service within your home for a substantial fee. This service, as in the past, is no longer free.

A: – This is usually caused by several factors.

1. Use of non brand named bulbs.

2. Larger wattage bulbs which cause excessive heat build-up shorting the life of the bulb.

3. Power Surges.

Helpful hints in the solution to this problem should be to use only brand named bulbs and try to buy 130Volt rated bulbs instead of the normal 120Volt rated bulbs. This should significantly extend the life.

A: – This could mean one of two things.

1. An intermittent chirp is probably an indication of a defective smoke detector.

2. A consistent chirp is probably an indication of a low battery condition and the smoke detector requires a new battery.


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