Mr. Electric® knows that you have a lot of questions about our services and why we usually recommend using a professional for electrical diagnosis, repair, and installations. We have listed some of the more frequently asked questions below.
Can you tell me exactly how much this electrical job will cost me?
What is the difference between a regular breaker and an Arc Fault breaker?
Is aluminum wiring a fire hazard or is my aluminum wiring safe?
What is knob and tube wiring?
- The insulation used in knob and tube wiring has a tendency to dry out and become stiff and brittle. This can result in insulation actually cracking and falling off the conductor, leaving it exposed and creating both a shock and fire hazard.
- Since a knob and tube wiring installation has most likely been in place for over 70 years, the chances of the wiring in being untouched and not damaged or revised in some way is pretty small. Once these systems are tampered with in anyway, intentionally or otherwise, that section of wiring should be replace with new up to date wiring.
- Knob and tube wiring was installed at a time when there was very little demand inside homes for electrical devices, and the circuiting and wiring was designed to that standard. Today we are using many more electrical and electronic devices in our homes than ever before, and the way homes were wired in the early 1900’s does not support this many devices being present. This causes circuits that are 70 years old and probably weak to begin with to now be overloaded, causing fire and shock hazards in some circumstances.
- Knob and tube wiring was install as insulated individual conductors with a “hot” and a “neutral” line. In that day there was no grounding run alongside them. In many homes people have changed receptacles to match changing times over the years, and may have changed from two prong ungrounded receptacles to two prong grounded receptacles. If you have three prong receptacles installed on an ungrounded circuit you have created a situation where devices that require the ground for safety may be plugged into power that does not provide that safety, creating a potential shock hazard.
How much does it cost to change my fuse panel?
What is Whole Home Surge Protection and is it necessary in my home?
Today’s homes are more advanced and filled with electronics than they have ever been, and we are increasingly dependent on not only the electronics, but the ability to easily charge them. Whole Home Surge Protection provides protection to all the electrical equipment in your home from surges and spikes that can be created outside or even inside your home. It acts just like the high quality power bars we often buy for our entertainment systems or our computer systems, but instead it protects all the devices in your home. This means it protects the electronic components of refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryer dishwashers, coffee makers and anything else that wouldn’t traditionally have protection. We recommend whole home surge protectors be installed in all homes to protect all the electronics.
How can I save energy in my office?
The quickest and easiest way to save energy in any building is by making sure your lighting system is as efficient as possible. There are many options available to make your lighting more efficient, from retrofitting existing fluorescent fixtures, to replacing old fixtures with new energy efficient solutions. This could mean using fluorescent bulbs where high bay metal halide or high pressure sodium fixtures were used previously, or even using LED technology to improve lighting levels as well as reduce energy usage. Mr. Electric can give you the right information and work with you of getting all the incentives available in your area to improve your lighting.
What is a GFCI Receptacle?
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a receptacle that is designed to protect against electric shock when using electrical devices near water. It senses when power is going where it should not, and if it senses a problem it shuts off. This is why most codes specify that they be used in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and outdoor areas. One thing many people do not realize is that these devices are designed to be tested once a month to ensure proper operation. This is done by pressing the test button on the device to make sure it turns off, and then pressing the reset button to make sure it turns on. If either of the test or reset buttons do not work it is time to replace the device.
Can I do this work myself?
Many areas allow a home owner to do their own electrical work, provided they take out the proper permits and have the work inspected by the proper authorities. The safety of your family and your home should always be considered before you undertake any electrical work. Mr. Electric suggests call a professional unless you have the proper training, and we provide free quotes for all electrical work.
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