Frequently Asked Questions

What is a GFI?
How do I reset a "tripped" circuit breaker?
Is there a safety issue between having round fuses instead of circuit breakers?
How can I save money on my electric bill?
What should I do when my lights go out?
What is aluminum wiring and why is it a concern?
Should I take special precautions during the holiday season?

Q: What is a GFI?
A: A GFI is an abbreviation for a Ground Fault Interrupter. It is a specially designed outlet normally used in locations where moisture can accumulate, such as kitchens, baths and laundry areas, to protect you from electrical shock. A GFI measures the resistance on the "positive" and "negative" loads connected to it, and if there is more resistance in either of the 2 loads, the GFI trips. The GFI has a built-in circuit breaker to reset once the problem has been resolved.
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Q: How do I reset a 'tripped' circuit breaker?
A: Go to your main electrical panel, usually located in your basement on the opposite side of the wall from your hydro meter. If you are in an apartment setting the panel is usually in a closet or storage room. Open up the panel to reveal the various circuit breakers. The ‘tripped’ breaker will not be in either the on or off position, but rather in between. Sometimes a small red portion of the breaker will be exposed to show you the tripped breaker. To reset it, just push the switch firmly to the off position and then back to the on position. You should hear a snapping sound and feel some resistance. If the circuit continues to trip, you may need the services of an Electrician to troubleshoot the source of the problem.
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Q: Is there a safety issue between having the round fuses instead of circuit breakers?
A: No, it is not a safety issue unless oversized fuses are installed or the fuse box is damaged or deteriorating. Fuses are actually more sensitive than circuit breakers; therefore they are safer than circuit breakers. There are two main issues with fuses. First, after a fuse protects your home from an overloaded circuit, you have to throw it away. Therefore you may go through many fuses. Secondly, the majority of insurance companies now require that fuse boxes be replaced with circuit breakers. We’ll check the local electrical codes for your particular situation.
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Q: How can I save money on my electric bill?

A: Most of the electricity in your home is used by the heating and air system and water heating. Make sure your heating and cooling systems are running efficiently and central systems are checked twice a year. By installing the most energy-efficient rated equipment, you will save money over the lifetime of the equipment. You could also install a programmable thermostat that will operate your systems more effectively, thus saving run times of your system and saving money. You know those long showers you love so much? Well, they cost you dearly when it comes to heating the water. Cutting back on your shower duration can affect your bill. Another thing that could cause increases in your electric consumption would be a bad breaker or loose connections at the breaker box. Having trained professional check it could minimize some costs. To keep your equipment running efficiently, keep heating and cooling air ducts clean and outdoor equipment free from dirt and other debris. Energy conservation not only saves our resources, but saves you money.
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Q:What should I do when my lights go out?
A: Patience is a virtue – utility companies generally know when outages occur and promptly begin the restoration process. However, if you notice that you are the only house on the block without power, please call our electrical repair service immediately. In either case, safety is first and foremost. Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting, never use candles. You should always keep fresh batteries in a battery-operated radio for use in extreme weather. Turning off any electrical equipment you were using when the power went out will minimize surges in your lines. Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer. Leaving one light on will help you know when power has been restored. If you are using a generator, never operate it inside the home or garage.
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Q:What is aluminum wiring and why is it a concern?
A: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 is no longer used in new installations. However... aluminum wiring, when properly installed, can be just as safe as copper.Aluminum wiring is, however, very unforgiving of improper installation.
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Q: Should I take any special precautions during the holiday season?
A: Frayed electrical cords are the primary cause of electrical fires during holidays and celebrations. By maintaining your holiday lights you can minimize the risk. You should inspect them each year for fraying, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. You should use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Do not overload electrical outlets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch. And, do not leave holiday lights unattended.
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Common Concerns

  • Loose Wires And Connections
  • Old Knob And Tube Wiring
  • Overloaded Circuits
  • Damaged Wiring
  • Inadequate Panel
  • Incorrect Wiring

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