ELECTRICAL FAQ

 

 

Do I need a permit for Electrical work in my home?
 
Don't worry, we know the answer.  Only when we are peforming a service upgrade or panel board change out is there a permite required.  We take care of that for you so it's up to code and regulations.
 
What should I do if my lights, switches, and receptacles don't work?
 
Check to see if the outlet is on a switch. Check and reset GFCI outlets and circuit breaker. Check light bulbs and replace if necessary. If none of these are the problem, call us!
 

How do I reset my breaker when it has tripped off?

 
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, contact us immediately.
      

What is a GFCI device or breaker?

 

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.

 

What are the red and black buttons on my GFCI outlet?

 

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.

 

What Voltages are Dangerous
      

      A wide range of voltages can be dangerous for different reasons. A very low voltage (such as that produced by a single torch battery) can produce a spark powerful enough to ignite an explosive atmosphere. Batteries (such as those in motor vehicles) can also overheat or explode if they are shorted.

 

If a person comes into contact with a voltage above about 50 volts AC, they can receive a range of injuries, including those directly resulting from electrical shock (problems with breathing, heart function etc); and indirect effects resulting from loss of control (such as falling from height or coming into contact with moving machinery). The chance of being injured by an electric shock increases where it is damp or where there is a lot of metalwork.

 

Which is safer? Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC)

 

Alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) have slightly different effects on the human body, but both are dangerous above a certain voltage. The risk of injury changes according to the frequency of the AC, and it is common for DC to have an AC component (called ripple). Someone with special equipment can measure this, but the effect on a particular person is very difficult to predict as it depends upon a large number of factors. As a consequence you should always avoid contact with high-voltage electrical conductors, regardless of the type of electrical current they are carrying.

 

How often should I get my electrical installation tested?

 

Electrical installations should be tested often enough that there is little chance of deterioration leading to danger. Any part of an installation that has become obviously defective between tests should be de-energised until the fault can be fixed.

You should have your electrical installation inspected and tested by a person who is properly licensed by state agencies.

 

What is the difference between a breaker panel and my old fuse panel?

 

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.