Frequently Asked QuestionsThis FAQ provides a general overview of some electrical issues that homeowners encounter. However, we do not recommend that you try to solve complex problems on your own (beyond changing a lightbulb or resetting breakers). Call a High Quality licensed electrician if you’re unsure about electrical problems in your New Jersey home.
1. I have flickering lights/a bad outlet in my home, what can I do?
Both of these issues have many causes that a licensed electrician will be able to diagnose and solve.
For flickering lights, if the bulb is replaced and it still continues to flicker, the connection to the circuit may be broken or the wiring could be loose. It can be dangerous to continue using the light if the wiring is loose, potentially resulting in an electrical fire.
For outlets or lights that aren’t working in a room with other working fixtures, this can be a symptom of worn outlets and switches, or tripped breakers. If you reset the breakers and there is still no electricity, you should call an electrical contractor.
2. How do I reset breakers? Will this always turn my power back on?
Resetting breakers involves pushing the breaker firmly to OFF, and then pushing it back to ON. Many people think they know how to reset tripped breakers, but often they do not make sure it was completely set to the OFF position. You should feel a small amount of resistance and hear a snap or click when the breaker is correctly in place.
If you have done this correctly but the power is not back on, the breaker may have been tripped too often. A licensed New Jersey electrician can provide you with a solution to your power problems.
3. Is it normal for a breaker in my panel to be hot to touch?
No, this signifies a serious problem with your breaker. An overheating or defective breaker panel could cause arcing in the breaker, and should be replaced immediately.
4. Why do some of my electrical appliances (microwaves, vacuum cleaners, etc.) always trip the circuit breaker when used with other devices?
Most breakers in homes are rated at 15-20 amps only, and microwaves, hair dryers, and vacuum cleaners all in use at once can cause too much load on the circuit. Sometimes the appliance you’re using is better suited to be connected to a dedicated circuit. At High Quality Electric we can precisely diagnose and remedy a breaker that always trips.
5. Why should I use a licensed electrician?
Licensed electricians possess training and experience concerning home electrical codes and regulations – they are required to have a minimum documented amount of time working in the electrical trade, and to take continuing education courses for any updates regarding codes and safety. They are also guaranteed to be bonded and insured in case of any insurance claims for electrical faults.
When it comes to your home’s electrical safety, it is of vital importance that you ensure electricians you hire are fully licensed.
6. What is a GFCI outlet?
GFCI stands for “ground fault circuit interrupter” and protects against electrical shocks from touching the energized part of the circuit. These outlets must be installed in wet locations such as the kitchen or bathroom, and are designed to disconnect quickly in the event of a shock. It should be noted that GFCI outlets don’t function with overloaded or shorted-out circuits. They are required to be within 6 feet of any sink as well.
GFCI outlets can be recognized from the two buttons on the outlet. The black Test button will turn off the outlet (and any others on the same circuit). The red Reset button turns this circuit back on, providing power again.
7. My home has outdated wiring (knob and tube). What can I do about this?
Knob and tube wiring is outdated and no longer used, and for good reason – it is considered hazardous and dangerous by modern safety standards. In fact, many homes with it do not qualify for insurance. We recommend a modern re-wiring and can inspect your home fully to accomplish it quickly, safely, and without damage to your home.
If you aren’t read to replace knob and tube wiring just yet, you can install an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). This system is meant to protect against electrical arcs in your circuit breaker panel – one of the leading causes of residential fires in the United States.
The primary benefit of re-wiring is the safety and peace of mind you’ll get by knowing that your electrical systems are up to date. Other benefits include convenience (even distribution through the house, less tripped breakers, three-prong grounded outlets) and increased resale/insurance value on your home.
8. I am looking for electrician near me, what areas do you service?
High Quality Electric, LLC services your local community including Somerset, Essex and Union Counties. If you’re looking for a licensed lighting electrician in Warren, Bridgewater, Branchburg, Hillsborough, Somerville, Montgomery, Summit, Short Hills, Chatham, Millburn, Madison and other New Jersey townships, call High Quality Electric, professional, licensed and master electricians today at 908-303-0628.