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    Electrical FAQ

    Electrical FAQ

    We here at Electric Today are here for you 24 hours a day and 7 days per week. If you do not see an answer to your problem below, feel free to call us!

    My smoke detector keeps chirping. What does this mean?

    This could mean a couple of things.

    • Use of non-brand named bulbs.
    • Larger wattage bulbs, which cause excessive heat build-up shorting the life of the bulb.
    • Power Surges.

    If I have problems with TV or telephone wiring within the house, whom should I call?

    With deregulation of the utility companies in most areas of the country, the cable or telephone companies are no longer responsible for the equipment or wiring in your home. This responsibility has fallen to you and your electrical contractor. Therefore, when a problem arises, we recommend you set up an appointment with us. Most TV and telephone utilities will still service within your home for a substantial fee. This service, as in the past, is no longer free.

    I have a 110 Volt Outlet on the Exterior of My Home. Can I Plug my Christmas Lights into It?

    Yes. Within reason, if the quantity of lights creates a load greater than the capacity of the circuit breaker, the breaker will trip off. In this event, additional circuits may be required to accommodate your holiday display.

    If I have surge/lightning protection on my main service should I use point-of-use surge plugins at my TV, stereo, computer, etc.?

    Yes. Main line surge is no absolute guarantee and any additional surge protection downstream in the system offers a greater level of protection; though, nothing is absolute when it comes to the power of Mother Nature.

    I have surge/lightning protection on my home. Am I totally safe from lightning strikes?

    No. Surge/Lightning Protection only offers additional levels of protection. Nothing can guarantee completely against Mother Nature and where she chooses to strike especially in the Tampa Bay area.

    Can I plug any 110-volt device I wish into my regular 110-volt outlets throughout my house?

    Yes. Though, if the device exceeds the capacity of the circuit, the breaker will trip off.

    I have a new home. Why does my refrigerator or freezer, located in my garage, keep going off?

    Unless you made provisions with the builder for a dedicated circuit, the outlets in your garage are GFCI Protected per the National Electrical Code. This device will not tolerate the additional resistance load created by refrigeration equipment. The GFCI senses there is a fault, and therefore trips off. The only cure to this problem is to provide a dedicated, non-GFCI circuit allowable by code.

    Can I hang a ceiling fan where a light is?

    Yes, but first you must make sure the electrical box is properly braced and rated for the weight and torque of the ceiling fan you are installing.

    What does it mean when my fluorescent lights 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 a ballast to replace bulbs as well.

    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 severe problem. Call Electric Today at 813-653-4221.

    Why do I blow fuses or why does my circuit breaker trip?

    Except in the case of ground fault interrupters, which are susceptible to moisture and/or weather conditions, fuses and circuit breakers should not trip. Check to see if some type of plugged in appliance is causing the problem.

    What causes the lights in my house to flicker?

    Central air conditioning and heat pump condensers may cause a noticeable slight dimming on start up. Lights may flicker or dim due to startup of some appliances or motor driven equipment. Check with the local utility company for possible defects in supply source or for the utility switching to other utilities for supply. If this does not resolve the issue, call Electric Today.

    My home is wired with aluminum wiring, is it safe? Do I need to have my home rewired?

    Aluminum wiring itself is safe. The underlying issue is with the connections. Aluminum is a soft metal, and with the expansion and contraction due to electrical energy, it may become loose in the connection points of outlets and switches. These loose connections will cause heat buildup and eventually electrical failures. It is recommended to have your system evaluated by a professional. You have the option of a whole house rewire or Alumicon Conversions at each device.

    Got more questions? Give Electric Today a call at 813-653-4221! We are always happy to help with any service question you have.