General Electrical and About Us Questions
Q: Can I replace a two-prong outlet with a new grounded three-prong outlet?
A: Grounded type (three prong) outlets may not be substituted for ungrounded (two prong) outlets unless a ground wire is connected. An exception to this rule is allowed when the outlet is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
Q: The receptacles in my Kitchen/Bath/Garage/Outdoor are not working?
A: All new homes and most homes built from the late 80s have what are known as GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) installed in all Kitchens, Baths, Laundry rooms, Garages and Outdoors. These devices can control or protect up to 5 additional receptacles. They generally have a red and black button located on the front. These buttons manually turn off and on the receptacle and all others attached to its load. One of the bathrooms generally has a GFCI that if tripped will turn off the receptacles in all other bathrooms. The Kitchen should have 2 GFCIs. The Garage should have one GFCI that protects all the outdoor receptacles and often the laundry room or the laundry room will have its own. CHECK ALL GFCIs TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVEN’T POPPED. RESET. IF PROBLEM CONTINUES THE GFCI WILL NORMALLY HAVE TO BE REPLACED AND THIS WILL SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM 99% OF THE TIME, UNLESS THERE IS A GROUND FAULT IN WHICH CASE YOU WILL HAVE TO TROUBLESHOOT THE CIRCUIT.
Q: The power to my bedroom or other room or appliance is out?
A: Check the breaker at the main panel to see if it has tripped. Sometimes the breakers look fine and it is difficult to determine which one has tripped. Methodically turn each breaker off and back on in the whole panel. Be sure to turn it all the way to the off position as some breakers (old ones) need to be gracefully forced off. If this does not solve the problem you will need to troubleshoot the branch circuit.
Q: How can I protect my expensive computer and electronic equipment?
A: The best solution to protect your computer and expensive electronic equipment is to have a whole house electric, phone and CATV surge protector installed in the main electrical panel of your home. Then back it up with surge-protected power strips. This investment can literally save you thousands of dollars. The typical cost is under $750 installed.
Q: My lights dim or flicker when the microwave or other appliance is used?
A: This normally only happens in older homes. The reason is basically two fold. Older homes were not wired for the electrical usage of todays homes and with all the modern day appliances most branch circuits in older homes are just overwhelmed, creating a draw that in turn momentarily dims the lights.
Todays homes have several more branch circuits to spread out the load on any given circuit and the main panels handle double the amperage. The other reason is generally associated with the neutral. A possible solution would be to upgrade your panel but is the cost worth the occasional dimming of your lights. Personally I think not.
Q: How long will the power be out at my house when you upgrade the panel?
A: It generally takes between 4 and 6 hours to upgrade a panel, more often 4. It’s best if no one is home during the summer months because the A/C unit will not be working during that time. Refrigerators are normally fine for this amount of time. We can provide a backup generator for any crucial things that need power uninterrupted or can only be off for small amounts of time. Just let us know prior to the upgrade.
Q: What is the best way to lower my electric bill every month?
A: Replace all incandescent lighting with long lasting fluorescent lights. If turning off lights is a problem in your house (little munchkins running around) consider timer switches that can be adjusted by the touch of a button to turn off in 5-20 minutes, or motion sensing switches that also can be adjusted to turn off in 1-20 minutes.
Install a whole house fan or attic fan to cool down your home and attic faster in the summer months reducing the amount of time your A/C unit has to work.
Insulation actually builds up and holds the heat many hours after the temp has cooled off. The best way to dissipate the heat is with an attic fan.
Q: What are your hours?
A: Our normal hours are 7:30am to 5:00pm Mon-Fri. However will would be happy to accommodate your schedule if no other options are available.
Q: Do you charge for estimates?
A: No, there are no charges for estimates.
Q: Are there any references I can contact about your work?
A: We are so confident with our workmanship, professionalism and your satisfaction we will let you pick a client out of our client list for referral. 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED!
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