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Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need An Electrician?

10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Home Electrical System

QUESTION 1:  Do circuit breakers in your home trip often or do fuses keep blowing?
A home electrical system has these built-in safeguards to prevent electrical overload. Too much current causes the breakers to open automatically or the fuses to melt. When a circuit shuts down repeatedly, it's a warning that should not be ignored.

QUESTION 2:  Are GFCI outlets installed where required?
The National Electrical Code now requires extra protection for outlets in specific areas of the home, such as kitchens, baths, utility rooms, garages and outdoors. Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)— which are identifiable by their TEST and RESET buttons—are generally required in proximity to wet locations. If your wiring has not been upgraded with GFCIs you're not protected.

QUESTION 3:  Are extension cords needed to reach the outlets in any room?
Electrical outlets, especially in older homes, are often spaced too far apart for modern living. This not only creates too much demand on too few outlets, it also poses a hazard when the extension cords are run under rugs and furniture.

QUESTION 4:  Do your electrical outlets need accessory plug-strips?
Too many things plugged in at one location can create more current demand than a single outlet or electrical line can safely handle. Adding multiple plug-in strips won't solve the problem. What you need are additional outlets, and possibly new wiring runs to service them.

QUESTION 5:  Do the lights dim when appliances turn on?
High-demand appliances such as air conditioners, clothes dryers, refrigerators and furnaces need extra power when they start up. This temporary current draw can be more than just a nuisance; it can damage sensitive equipment.

QUESTION 6:  Is there rust on the main electrical service panel?
Even permanent fixtures wear out or suffer the ravages of time. When rust appears on the metal service panel it often indicates a moisture problem or that deterioration has reached an advanced stage.

QUESTION 7:  Do electrical switches or outlets feel warm or tingly?
Loose or deteriorating electrical connections, such as the wiring junctions in switches and outlets, impede current flow and create resistance. This may create a dangerous condition that can result in shock or fire.

QUESTION 8:  Do your outlets not accept three-prong plugs?
The third, or grounding, prong on a typical appliance plug provides an extra measure of safety against electrical shock. Older two-prong receptacle outlets, installed in homes before this innovation, may not be adequately grounded and should be upgraded.

QUESTION 9:  Is the wiring in your outlet boxes old and crumbling?
If you look at the wiring to your home's light switches or outlets, do you find wires wrapped in cloth sheathing or bits of black rubber in the electrical box? Very old homes often have antiquated wiring that should be upgraded to ensure your safety.

QUESTION 10:  Have you never upgraded your electrical service?
If your home is over 25 years old, you could have an inadequate and possibly hazardous electrical system—and not even know it. To be safe, call in an electrician for a thorough inspection, and if necessary bring your home up to today's electrical code standards.


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