FAQs

 
Each electrical configuration and design is different, so we're available to take your call at any time and discuss the specifics of your project and provide you an array of options. Here are the answers to the most common electrical questions we receive: 
When is it time to call an electrician?
  • When you are resetting circuit breakers or changing fuses too often.

  • When you turn on your air conditioner and the lights dim in the room.

  • When your lights flicker, or go on and off.

  • When you can smell electricity burning.

  • When you have six electronic devices going into one outlet from your electronics center.

  • When you have receptacle outlets overburdened by multi-plug strips.

  • When a three-prong plug needs a two-prong adapter.

  • If you must run extension cords to plug in electrical devices.

What size service do I install in my home?

Most states call for 100 amps minimum, but with all the new electronic devices, air conditioning and electric heat, we suggest 200 amps especially in new homes. This also gives you some space for future additions. This is not a job for an unlicensed person to attempt. In most cases it involves replacing everything from the service loop (this is the wire that extends from the top of your meter to the utility tie in) up to and including the main panel.

Where do you put G.F.l.'s?
(Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

Any bathroom or garage outlet within 6' of a sink must be GFCI protected. The code also requires all kitchen outlets for countertop use to be GFCI protected. GFCI outlets must be installed in any area where electricity and water may come into contact, including basements, pools, spas, utility rooms. attached garages and outdoors. At least one GFCI outlet is required in an unfinished basement and for most outdoor outlets.

 

There are two types of GFCls in homes. the GFCI outlet and the GFCI circuit breaker. Both do the same job, but each has different applications and Limitations. The GFCI outlet is actually a replacement for a standard electrical outlet. A GFCI is not dependent on a ground to function. It does not measure shorts to the ground, it measures the current difference between the hot and neutral wires. A sudden difference of 5 ma. or more, indicating that there is another path for the electricity to flow through, will trip this device. 


The only downside to this is there may be some nuisance tripping in highly inductive loads like large motors or even fluorescent lamps or fixtures on the same circuit. But the newer models seemed to have corrected this somewhat. 


The GFCI circuit breaker controls an entire circuit. and is installed as a replacement for a circuit breaker on your home's main circuit board. Rather than install multiple GFCI outlets, one GFCI circuit breaker can protect the entire circuit. There is a test button and a reset button on these units. If you press the test button the reset should pop out. To reset just push the reset button in. 

How much should I attempt on my own?

Presently, most states allow you to do whatever you want in your own home, but doing electrical work yourself is a gamble. While a homeowner may be able to pull an electrical permit for a single-family home, any damage that results may not be covered by the homeowners' insurance provider. 

Also, electricity is fatally dangerous. Even the smallest job can be a major safety hazard. We always recommend you get a professional to do this work

How many convenience outlets should go in each room?

To prevent the use of extension cords, receptacle outlets should be installed at least every six feet along the floor line in any wall space. This is true for every kitchen. family room. dining room, living room. parlor, library, den, bedroom, or similar room or area of dwelling units. Outlets are usually placed about 18 inches above floor level Switches usually go about 48 inches from floor level for convenience outlets, each single receptacle in a single branch circuit is usually figured for 1.5 amps. and duplex outlets for 3 amps in estimating total amperage for that circuit. Air conditioners should be on a single dedicated circuit 

How should outlets be installed in a kitchen area? 
  • There should be no more than 24 inches from center line of counter top to a receptacle.

  • All 15 amp and 20 amp receptacles installed within 6 feet of a kitchen sink or wet bar should have G.F.C.I. protection.

  • Receptacles in a kitchen used to serve counter tops should be supplied with at least two 20 amp branch circuits, for small appliances.

  • Each fixed appliance {refrigerator. stove, dishwasher) should have its own dedicated circuit.

  • On counter tops 1.2 inches or wider, a receptacle should be installed so that there is no more than 24 inches between outlets.

  • Receptacle outlets installed to serve island counter tops should be, installed above, or within 12 inches below the counter top.

What is an AFCI?
  • Starting January 1. 2002, The National Electrical Code (NEC), Section 210-12, requires that all branch circuits supplying 125V. single phase, 15 and 20 ampere outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms be protected by an arc-fault circuit interrupter. Eventually they will be in more areas, but the NEC selected to require them on bedroom circuits first because a CPSC study showed many home fire deaths were related to bedroom circuits.

  • The AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker, will shut off a circuit in a fraction of a second if arcing develops. The current inside of an arc is not always high enough to trip a regular breaker,

  • There is a difference between AFCls and GFCls. AFCs are intended to reduce the likelihood of fire caused by electrical arcing faults: whereas. GFCls are personnel protection intended to reduce the likelihood of electric shock hazard. Don't misunderstand, GFCls are still needed and save a Lot of lives.

  • Combination devices that include both AFCI and GFCI protection in one unit will be available soon. AFC ls can be installed in any 15 or 20 ampere branch circuit in homes today and are currently available as circuit breakers with built-in AFCI features. Soon, other types of devices with AFCI protection will also be, available.

  • If a GFCI receptacle is installed on the load side of an AFCI it is possible for both the AFCI and the GFCI to trip on a fault if the current exceeds the limit for both devices. It is also possible for the AFCI to trip and the GFCI to not trip since the two devices could race each other. However, in no case is safety compromised.

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