Q) Why do exterior fixture bulbs burn out so often?
A) This is usually caused by several factors:
Use of non-brand named bulbs.
Larger wattage bulbs, which cause excessive heat build-up shorting the life of the bulb.
Q) Who do I call if I have problems with my telephone wiring within my house?
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 recommend you us. 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.
Q) Why does my recess can light cycle on and off after putting a larger wattage bulb in?
A) Modern Recess Cans 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.
Q) Will a surge/lightening protection device totally protect my home from lightening strikes?
A) No – not “totally.” Surge/Lightning Protection only offers additional levels of protection. Nothing can guarantee completely against Mother Nature and where she chooses to strike.
Q) Can I use the same outlet for my coffee pot and toaster oven?
A) Yes, but if the two loads exceed 20 Amps, your breaker will sense overload, do its job, and trip off. 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.
Q) Can I dim fluorescent lights?
A) Yes. Dimming fluorescent requires not only a special dimmer, but also special fixtures. You cannot place a typical incandescent dimmer on existing fluorescent.
Q) Can I hang a ceiling fan where a light is?
A) Yes, but first you must make sure the electrical box is properly braced and rated for the weight and torque of the ceiling fan you are installing.
Q) What does it mean when fluorescent lights flicker or cycle on and off?
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.
Q) How do I reset a tripped breaker?
A) First, disconnect any additional devices that may have caused the breaker to overload and trip. Breakers are mechanical devices and must be turned all the way off before turning 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. Call us.
Q) Why do I blow fuses, or why does my circuit breaker trip?
A) Except in the case of ground fault interrupters, which are susceptible to moisture and/or weather conditions, fuses and circuit breakers should not trip. Check to see if some type of plugged in appliance is causing the problem. If this happens regularly, it’s time upgrade the load-bearing capacity of your service panel.
Q) What causes the lights in my house to flicker?
A) Though it could be that your service panel is not equipped to handle the load of your appliances, we have found that in the Waukegan area, it’s often old or improperly installed wiring that is to blame. DO NOT RISK A FIRE. Call us today to find the problem for you.
Q) What is a GFCI?
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, (i.e., the use of electrical devices in or near water), it turns off to protect you.
Q) What is the difference between a breaker panel and my old fuse panel?
A) Both devices, either breaker or fuse, are designed to trip (turn off) in the event of an electrical overload. I.E. 20 Amps of electrical load on a 15 Amp circuit would cause a trip. The only difference 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.
Q) What are the red and black buttons on my GFCI outlet?
A) The black button is a test button and when pressed, should deactivate the outlet and any other outlet fed from it – Indicating a properly functioning device.
The red button is the re-set button that you depress to reactivate the outlet or outlets in the event of deactivation resulting from a fault.
Q)What size electrical service system do I install in my home?
A)Most states call for 100 amps minimum, but with all the new electronic devices, air conditioning and electric heat, I would suggest 200 amps especially in new homes. This also gives you some space for future additions. This is not a job for an unlicensed person to attempt. In most cases it involves replacing everything from the service loop (this is the wire that extends from the top of your meter to the utility tie in ) up to and including the main panel.
Q)What is the difference between a breaker panel and my old fuse panel?
A)Both devices, either breaker or fuse, are designed to trip (turn off) in the event of an electrical overload, i.e. 20amps of electrical load on a 15amp circuit would cause a trip. The only difference 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.
Q)There is a humming noise coming from my panel. What does this mean?
A)This could be the result of a defective breaker. Replacement should be immediate as this defective breaker could cause serious harm to electrical components.
Q)Why is a breaker in my panel hot to touch?
A)This overheating is a serious defect and could cause arcing in the breaker. It should be immediately replaced.
Q)How can I tell when an electrical outlet is not safe?
A)The plug falls out of the outlet without touching it, or the outlet is not secure and will move easily when touching it. When the outlet is warm or hot to the touch, you need to immediately take care of the issue by unplugging the device and calling us as this type of problem can result in a fire.
Q) Can I plug a new refrigerator in anywhere?
A) We suggest a dedicated circuit for refrigerators. They have an extensive amp draw. They should not be GFCI protected like a lot of receptacles found in kitchens and garages. A dedicated circuit will protect your freezer or fridge from being tripped and destroying anything inside.
Q)What does it mean when my fluorescent lights are flickering or cycling on and off?
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 ballast to replace bulbs as well.
Q)Can I change an existing switch to a dimmer switch?
A)Yes. We will match the specific dimmer to the lights in your home. There are different bulbs required for specific dimmers. Such bulbs include incandescent, CFLs and LEDs.
Q)What areas of my house should be GFCI protected?
A)GFCIs should be installed in all wet locations including unfinished basements, garages, anywhere outside the dwelling, within six feet of any sink, kitchens, bathrooms and powder rooms.