Power Problem Guide for your Home
This is a list of Power Problems that arise most often. Some of these problems you can solve yourself, or call us and we’ll be happy to help you. Print this page out and post it on your electric service panel for future reference (it just might help you). THANK YOU!
1. OUTLET CIRCUIT OUTAGE (one outlet or a group of outlets). The first step is to check for a tripped circuit breaker. If no circuit breakers appear to be tripped, sometimes a breaker trips out internally while the breaker handle stays on. Check the panel schedule first, if that is no help, run your finger down all the breakers with slight pressure (towards the off position). Sometimes the tripped breaker handle will flip to the off position, then try to reset. The permanent cure for the problem may be to eliminate an overloaded, shorted or broken circuit.
2. PARTIAL BUILDING OUTAGE (more than just in one outlet circuit). The first step is to check for a tripped main breaker or blown main fuse. This problem is usually a job for a service electrician. These problems arise due to a recent overload or a failure in the main electric service connections IF A HISSING SOUND IS HEARD SHUT POWER DOWN.
3. TOTAL POWER OUTAGE (no power at all). Call your utility company first. They will discover the problem for you. If the problem is your responsibility, Call Us, we’ll have your power back on A.S.A.P.
4. LIGHTS DIM Lights are usually the first sign of a low voltage occurrence. The first step is to know if some or all of the lights dim at the same time. Low voltage occurrences can be due to one of many reasons, the most common are – kitchen appliances and or air conditioners on a lighting circuit (new circuits are needed to solve this problem). A connection “going bad” in the main service equipment is something you should listen for, HISSING SOUND – SHUT IT DOWN and call for service.An electrical device that provides protection for the electrical items within a property can the called a “spike or surge protector”. It’s commonly used to protect computers and other sensitive equipment from surges that can occur in the wiring. Although the wiring in your property can handle many variations of voltage, any item that has electronic components inside it can not. Electrical surges can occur from a number of sources, namely lightning, problems in the utility company lines, and the basic surges that occur while motors and compressors for refrigerators and air conditioners turn on to name a few. A spike is a brief increase in the voltage intensity and a surge is an increase that endures a bit longer than a spike. In either case the voltage increases generally endures for less then a second and surge protectors can prevent many of the problems resulting from spikes and surges. Surge Protector Equipment can be purchased as a receptacle strip or a box form end that contains a number of receptacles to plug equipment into. UPS Systems (” Un-interruptible Power Supply”) are the best protection for computers or computer networking systems. They not only provide the best spike and surge protection, they also keep a constant operating voltage supplied during a black out keeping the equipment online for the duration of their rating.
5. BURNING SMELLS Electrically related burning smells almost always smell like “burning rubber”. This is because materials like plastic, rubber & tar are used in electrical equipment & lighting fixtures. The first step is to CHECK ALL PLUG-IN CORDS ! If you found your problem THE PLUG WILL BE HOT ! So remove it carefully. Fluorescent fixture ballasts are most often the problem, if not, shutting down your power should be the next step (especially if a hissing sound is heard).
6. ELECTRIC SHOCK OR TINGLE Electric shocks are very rare, but electrical tingles are not. An electric shock can only happen when your body is a better path to ground than anything else, (you also have to be touching a “live wire” or a live medal part of equipment at the same time). Electrical tingles are problems that happen more often and can – come and go, get more or less severe, and be very unpredictable. An experienced electrician should be called for this type of problem.
7. HUMMING OR BUZZING FIXTURES Electrical fixtures that have these sounds are not dangerous but can be very annoying. Ceiling fans can also hum if operated by a speed control. In electrical terms we call this the “60 cycle hum” simply because electrical power changes direction every 60 seconds. Transformers can not be silenced, also some fluorescent fixtures. Sometimes dimmer controls make the light bulbs hum, try changing the bulbs to a different type. Fluorescent fixture ballasts can be replaced for better results.