Starting January 1, 2002, The National Electrical Code , Section 210-12, requires that all branch circuits supplying 125V, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms be protected by an arc-fault Circuit interrupter. Eventually they will be in more areas but the NEC selected to require them on bedroom circuits first because a CPSC study showed many home fire deaths were related to bedroom circuits. The AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker, will shut off a circuit in a fraction of a second if arcing develops. The current inside of an arc is not always high enough to trip a regular breaker. You must have noticed a cut or worn piece of a cord or a loose connection in a junction box or receptacle arcing and burnt without tripping the regular breaker. As you can guess this is a major cause of fires in a dwelling. There is a difference between AFCIs and GFCIs. AFCIs are intended to reduce the likelihood of fire caused by electrical arcing faults; whereas, GFCIs are personnel protection intended to reduce the likelihood of electric shock hazard. Don't misunderstand, GFCIs are still needed and save a lot of lives. Combination devices that include both AFCI and GFCI protection in one unit will become available soon. AFCIs can be installed in any 15 or 20 ampere branch circuit in homes today and are currently available as circuit breakers with built-in AFCI features. In the near future, other types of devices with AFCI protection will be available. If a GFCI receptacle is installed on the load side of an AFCI it is possible for both the AFCI and the GFCI to trip on a fault if the current exceeds the limit for both devices. It is also possible for the AFCI to trip and the GFCI to not trip since the two devices could race each other. However, in no case is safety compromised.
If your breaker keeps tripping, it is an indication that there is an electrical issue that needs to be addressed. Here are the steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem: Identify the source of the problem: The first step is to identify what is causing the breaker to trip. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as an overloaded circuit, a short circuit, or a ground fault. Try to identify which circuit is tripping and what appliances or devices are on that circuit. Unplug appliances or devices: If the breaker is tripping due to an overloaded circuit, unplug some of the appliances or devices on that circuit to reduce the electrical load. Check for damaged cords or plugs: Damaged cords or plugs can cause a short circuit, which can trip the breaker. Check all the cords and plugs of the appliances or devices on the circuit to ensure they are in good condition. Reset the breaker: After you have identified the source of the problem, reset the breaker by turning it off and then back on. Call Expert Electric: If the breaker continues to trip after you have taken these steps, or if you are not comfortable troubleshooting the issue, it's best to call us. We can assess the problem and make the necessary repairs to ensure your home's electrical system is safe and functioning properly. It's important not to ignore a tripping breaker, as it could be a sign of a potentially dangerous electrical problem. Taking steps to identify and address the issue can help prevent electrical hazards and keep your home safe.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are designed to protect people from electric shock by shutting off the electrical circuit when there is a ground fault. Over time, GFCI outlets may wear out or become damaged, which can compromise their ability to function properly. Here are some signs that your GFCI outlet may need to be replaced: The GFCI outlet does not trip: The purpose of a GFCI outlet is to trip and shut off the power when there is a ground fault. If the outlet is not tripping, this may indicate that the GFCI is not working properly and needs to be replaced. The outlet is not providing power: If you have appliances or devices plugged into the GFCI outlet, and they are not receiving power, it could indicate that the outlet is faulty or damaged. The outlet is loose: If the outlet feels loose when you plug something in, it may indicate that the outlet needs to be replaced. Loose outlets can be a fire hazard and should be addressed as soon as possible. The outlet is cracked or visibly damaged: If you can see visible signs of damage on the outlet, such as cracks or discoloration, this may indicate that the outlet needs to be replaced. The GFCI outlet is more than 10 years old: While there is no set lifespan for GFCI outlets, they can become less reliable over time, particularly if they are more than 10 years old. If you are experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to replace your GFCI outlet. Call Expert Electric to handle the replacement, as working with electrical systems can be dangerous.
If you smell something like hot electricity, it's important to take it seriously, as it could be a sign of an electrical problem that requires immediate attention. Here's what you should do: Turn off the power: If you can locate the source of the burning smell and it is coming from an electrical device or outlet, turn off the power to that device or circuit at the circuit breaker. This can help prevent an electrical fire. Call Expert Electric: Contact a licensed electrician as soon as possible to inspect your electrical system and identify the source of the burning smell. Do not attempt to investigate or fix the problem yourself, as working with electrical systems can be dangerous. Evacuate the area: If the burning smell is strong or you see smoke or flames, evacuate the area immediately and call the fire department. Open windows and doors: If the burning smell is not accompanied by smoke or flames, you can open windows and doors to help ventilate the area and reduce the smell. It's important not to ignore a burning smell, as it could be a sign of an electrical hazard. Taking steps to address the issue can help prevent electrical fires and ensure the safety of you and your home.
Using a 3-prong adapter for a 2-prong plug is not recommended as it can create an electrical hazard. The third prong on a 3-prong plug is the ground prong, which is designed to protect you from electrical shock in case of a fault in the electrical system. Older homes were often wired with 2-prong outlets, which lack a ground wire. Using a 3-prong adapter with a 2-prong outlet does not provide a ground wire, which means that your electrical devices will not be properly grounded. This can create a serious risk of electrical shock or even electrical fires. If your home has 2-prong outlets, it's best to have a licensed electrician upgrade the electrical system to include grounded outlets. This will require running a new wire with a ground wire to each outlet, which can be a complex and expensive process. However, it's an important safety upgrade that can protect you and your family from electrical hazards. In the meantime, you can use surge protectors with built-in GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection to help protect your electrical devices from electrical shocks. But, it's still highly recommended to have a licensed electrician upgrade your home's electrical system to grounded outlets for your safety.
Using extensions or power adapters can be a convenient way to increase the number of outlets in your office. However, it's important to use them safely to prevent electrical hazards. Here are some tips to help you use extensions and power adaptors safely: Use a surge protector: A surge protector can help protect your electrical devices from power surges and other electrical hazards. Look for a surge protector with a high joule rating to ensure it can handle the power demands of your office equipment. Don't overload the circuit: Overloading a circuit can cause electrical problems, such as tripped breakers and electrical fires. Be sure to use power strips and extension cords with appropriate amperage ratings and do not exceed the maximum wattage capacity of the circuit. Avoid daisy-chaining: Daisy-chaining means plugging one extension cord or power strip into another to create additional outlets. This can overload the circuit and create an electrical hazard. Instead, use a single power strip or extension cord with enough outlets to meet your needs. Check for damage: Before using an extension cord or power adapter, inspect it for any signs of damage, such as frayed wires, cracks, or loose connections. Do not use a damaged cord or adapter as it can be a safety hazard. Don't run cords under carpets or rugs: Running cords under carpets or rugs can damage the cord and create a fire hazard. Instead, run cords along baseboards or use cord covers to protect them. By following these tips, you can use extensions and power adapters safely and increase the number of outlets in your office without creating electrical hazards. If you need additional outlets or electrical upgrades, it's time to call Expert Electric.
If your lights are dimming when you turn on other power appliances, it could be a sign of an overloaded electrical circuit. Here are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue: Check the circuit: First, determine which circuit is being overloaded by making note of which lights are dimming and which appliances are being turned on. You can then check the circuit breaker to see if it is tripping. Reduce the load: If you determine that the circuit is overloaded, try reducing the load on that circuit by unplugging or turning off some of the appliances. You may need to redistribute appliances to other circuits to balance the load. Upgrade the circuit: If the problem persists, you may need to upgrade the circuit to a higher amperage rating. This will require the services of a licensed electrician, who can evaluate your electrical system and make appropriate upgrades. Check the wiring: If the wiring in your home is old or damaged, it may not be able to handle the electrical load. A licensed electrician can inspect your wiring and make necessary repairs or replacements. It's important to address issues with overloaded circuits as they can pose a serious electrical hazard. If you're not comfortable troubleshooting or making repairs yourself, it's best to consult a licensed electrician for help.