Seider Answers Your Frequently Asked Electrical Questions
Determining the age of a home’s wiring is something best left to a trained electrician—it’s not something a typical homeowner or home inspector can identify. Since most homes built between 1920 and 1960 used wiring that can dry rot and cause problems, it’s best to schedule an electrical inspection if you have an older home. Signs you have an out-of-date system include too few outlets, frayed wiring, damaged electrical plugs, or uncovered junction boxes.
This can have something to do with the quality of your lamps or your home could be at the higher voltage end of the electrical service on your street. It could also be that too much heat is coming from your bulbs, so switch to a lower wattage. Consider calling one of Seider’s master electricians problems persists, as there may be issues that requires professional attention.
Fuses blow when you overload a circuit with too many appliances—like window air conditioners, microwaves, hair dryers, and toasters—and use several at once. Blown fuses are caused by a fault in a branch circuit from the breaker box to the problem device—not because of the overall capacity of your service. It may mean it’s time to consider an inspection to determine if you need an electrical upgrade to keep pace with your home’s demands.
A GFCI is a ground fault circuit interrupter—a life-saving circuit breaker that cuts off electricity in the event of a serious shock, overheating, and wire damage. GFCIs are required in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, and other outside outlets, whether it’s a remodel or new construction project.
Blinking lights can be caused by a loose connection in your breaker or meter box or could indicate that you need more branch circuits throughout your home. Loose connections are a fire hazard—schedule an appointment with one of our master electricians at your earliest convenience.
If you have equipment in your home or business that must stay on—such as a sump pump, computer, or medical equipment—a generator is a wise addition for uninterrupted power in the case of a storm or outage. Schedule your free estimate so we can recommend the best generator fit for your needs.
If your home was built between the 1880s and 1930s, it likely has knob and tube wiring. Though this wiring quality varies, it was most likely installed without a ground wire and is therefore not recommended for higher-voltage items such as appliances. An electrical upgrade will keep you safe and ensure that your home complies with today’s electrical codes.
Outlets can malfunction because of something as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or GFCI, but it could be more serious like a poor connection or a surge that has literally burned it out. If your outlet sparks and has black marks around the outlet plug, do not use it. Call a professional to inspect the incoming wires and replace the outlet.