Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my electrical flickering or blinking?

When lights or other electrical appliances start to blink or flicker, the problem could lie in the wire or there may be a problem with the actual electrical device. A problem that is isolated to one electrical appliance or fixture may be a problem with that fixture, or it may be a sign that something else on the circuit is drawing more power than the circuit can handle.

Depending on the source of the problem, some solutions include checking for loose wires, replacing faulty wires and fixing or replacing the electrical cord connected to the appliance that is causing the short circuit trouble.

If you are not able to locate the cause of the problem on your own, you may want to consult a professional for further assistance. If the trouble is in the wiring or with the main service wire then you should definitely let a certified electrician fix it.


Why is my breaker box humming?

A loud buzzing or humming sound coming from a circuit breaker should raise a red flag and requires inspection. Some likely causes of loud humming noises in the breaker box are:

A breaker that is carrying a significant load but is failing to “trip” or shut off may make a loud sound and should be repaired or replaced in order to prevent an overheated circuit.

Sparking or a fizzling may be the result of a connection problem. If this is the case then the wire needs to be tightened or the entire circuit breaker may need to be replaced.

A circuit breaker that makes a humming noise as soon as it is turned on then quickly shuts off is typically the result of a circuit problem. Circuit breaker problems like this stem from the electrical circuit itself, so the circuit breaker may not have to be replaced. The individual circuit likely just needs to be repaired.

Anything unusual like a loud noise, mysterious humming in the breaker box or heat radiation and sparking around the circuit breaker panel is not common. If these types of situations occur, an electrical inspection should be done.

Why are certain appliances tripping the breaker?

If a circuit breaker keeps tripping, the problem may be with the electrical load for that particular circuit. The circuit breaker is part of a circuit and is designed to handle a certain number of amps. If the electrical current demanded by the appliances on that circuit exceeds the number of amps for that circuit, the circuit breaker will get overloaded and flip off in order to protect the electrical system. An overloaded circuit can cause the circuit breaker to overheat as well.

 Why did my breaker trip?

 A tripped circuit breaker problem can be caused by several things.  The most common reason for a tripped circuit breaker is circuit overload.  Normally this means that too many things are being operated or plugged into one electrical circuit outlet. If too many devices are powered in one location, the single circuit will be overloaded and will relieve the load by switching off or "tripping” the breaker.

One culprit could be a short circuit.  An electrical short may be caused by wiring inside the interior walls of the home or caused by something plugged into an outlet or has power supplied to it. If you suspect a short in a device that you have plugged into an outlet, you should first check the exterior of the cord. Look for wear on the outer covering or any exposed wires. Also check to see if there is an odor or burned smell. Brown or black discoloration can be a sign of wires touching or damage. A damaged cord should be replaced or repaired immediately. Exposed wires should never have electrical current flowing though them.

Circuit breakers trip to protect circuits from becoming overloaded. The circuit breaker mechanism is designed to protect the electrical system in your home.

There are a few things you can do to prevent “circuit overload” in your home.

1) Do not plug a lot of equipment into one outlet. A television, home entertainment system and space heater on one outlet are probably too many devices for one circuit to handle.

2) Make sure there are not any loose connections in your outlets. It should take a good push and pull to plug in and unplug an outlet.  If you are unsure of your electrical system, please contact our service department for assistance

3) Turn off devices that are not being used.

 

By paying attention to small details and practicing electrical safety procedures you should be able to prevent circuit overload and many types of circuit breaker problems in your house.

 

What is a GFCI?

A GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter outlet, is a type of safety device that breaks circuits whenever current imbalances happen. GFCIs are usually located in areas like bathrooms and kitchens where immediate detection of abrupt changes in the current flow is needed. The GFCI outlet will cut off its power supply once an imbalance of electric current flow change is detected preventing electrocution.  Several plugs can be connected to a GFCI plug in order to protect all the other plugs on that circuit and can be in the form of a plug or breaker.