Why won’t my breaker reset?

Most likely there is a short in the line. A certified electrician can trouble shoot to confirm the problem and make any necessary repairs.

What is an Arc Fault?

An Arc Fault is an inadvertent electrical discharge that is usually caused by damaged extension cords, improperly installed wall receptacles or wire piercing accidents such as hanging a picture on a wall. This could be a hazardous situation that could lead to fire. To prevent this potential hazard have an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) installed to electronically detect a potential surge in a fraction of a second. According to the 2002 code enforcement all bedrooms must have AFCI breaks installed for all new construction and renovations.

Why is the power in my kitchen and/or bathroom not working?

Your GFCI push button indicator has tripped and may need to be reset. If that does not resolve the problem, call our electrical department to schedule a diagnostic inspection.
Note: If your home was built before 1996, your kitchen, bathroom, garage and outdoor receptacles were wired on the same circuit. Homes built after 1996 now operate on separate circuits per city code.

How do I know what wattage bulbs to use in my lighting fixtures?

All fixtures including recessed cans have bulb wattage labeled on the fixture near the bulb socket. If your fixture does not have this label then it is recommended to use 60 watts or less to prevent overheating and potential fire hazards.

How does the GFCI work?

GFCI’s constantly monitor electricity flowing in a circuit. If the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a slight amount from that returning, the GFCI will quickly shut off the current flowing through that circuit. The advantage of using GFCI’s is that they can detect even small variations in the amount of leakage current, even amounts too small to activate a fuse or circuit breaker. GFCI’s work quickly, so they can help protect consumers from severe electric shocks and electrocution.

My house has aluminum wiring, is it dangerous?

Aluminum wiring During the 1970’s, aluminum (instead of copper) wiring became quite popular and was extensively used. Since that time, aluminum wiring has been implicated in a number of house fires, and most jurisdictions no longer permit it in new installations. We recommend, even if you’re allowed to, that do not use it for new wiring. But don’t panic if your house has aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring, when properly installed, can be just as safe as copper. Aluminum wiring is, however, very unforgiving of improper installation.

What does it mean when my florescents are flickering or cycling on and off?

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.

If these conditions exist you should contact a licensed electrician such as Oak Ridge Electric to schedule an appointment to have the outlet evaluated.

What is a surge protector and should I get one?

Surges are created by lightning or from the local power station. Sometimes, a surge of electricity can flood out to the residents from the power station. A surge protector helps to protect your electrical devices from a power surge. Usually, surge protectors are used for electronic devices such as computers and flat screen televisions. If you appreciate your electronic devices and want them to perform efficiently without having to worry about replacing them, you may want to consider protecting your devices with a surge protector.

How do I reset a breaker?

Turn the breaker completely off and then completely on. Some breakers will look like they are not tripped, but could be in the neutral stage, which still does not allow them to function as if they were completely on. A way to help determine this, is to turn every breaker completely off and then on.

How do I know my electrical outlet is unsafe or should be replaced?

There are several indications that an electrical outlet has become unsafe or should be replaced.

  • The electrical plug can no longer hold tightly in the outlet
  • Part of the outlet is broken or chipped
  • Finally if it’s warm to the touch.

Why does my circuit breaker keep tripping? Why do my fuses keep burning out?

This is usually caused by three things. The first reason could be there are too many electrical items plugged into the circuit. Circuits are designed to only handle so much electric demand. The second reason is there could be a short in the wiring, or the third reason is the breaker or fuse could be faulty. It is recommended that an electrician evaluate the problem to ensure there are no safety issues. Your electrician can also talk with you about adding more circuits to your home so that your electrical system can support all your needs.

Will LED really save money?

The light emitting diode (LED) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent. LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescent, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights. While LEDs are more expensive at this early stage, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.

Do you do small jobs?

We do anything from changing your light bulbs to helping you design whole house automation.

Why can’t I use extension cords long term to bring power to my lights & electrical items?

Extension cords are designed for temporary use. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently released a report on the dangers of using extension cords long term.

What is a GFCI outlet?

GFCI outlets are commonly known as the outlets “with a button”. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. The outlet monitors itself for an electrical current imbalance. (Those imbalances are what can give you a nasty shock!) If it recognizes an imbalance, it will “trip” or shut itself off. The national electric code requires that GFCI outlets are installed anywhere near water including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and outdoors. If you have a GFCI outlet that is constantly tripping, you should have it looked at as that may be an indicator of a more dangerous problem.