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How to Check For and Reset a Tripped Breaker

March 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Category: Electrical Tips

Often, I’ll get a call from a customer (usually in a panic) that the lights in their living room and a couple of bedrooms aren’t working. Or, maybe it’s a room full of outlets that don’t work. After asking if there are any tripped circuit breakers they’ll usually be quite confident that they checked already and there’s nothing wrong. Unfortunately, after driving all the way out there it will usually be just a circuit breaker that needs to be reset! Here’s how to check for yourself:

1. Locate your electrical panel. Please note that you home many have multiple panels and it’s imperative that you check each one, not just the biggest one in your house!

2. Pull the panel door open. If you’re lucky enough to have a Square D QO panel (the breakers will all have little clear windows on them) it’s easy to find a tripped breaker. Just look for the breaker that has a red-orange window. That’s the tripped breaker.

3. With most other major electrical panels tripped breakers will either be all the way in the off position (which is extremely easy to spot and you probably wouldn’t be reading this article now) or more commonly, in a “tripped position” neither on or off, but floating in the middle. It’s this position that gives must homeowners a problem because the breaker looks as if it’s on. Here’s how you test for this: Simply go up and down your panel trying to push each breaker in the “on” position. There should be little to no play because the breaker is already on. When you come across the tripped breaker there will be a lot of excess play. Now you’re ready for the next step.

4. Turning the breaker back on is a step that sounds easy (and it is) but most people don’t get quite right. Nine times out of ten someone with zero electrical knowledge will simply flip the breaker towards the on position and when nothing happens assume there is a bigger problem. Here’s why this doesn’t work: with most manufactures you MUST flip the breaker fully off THEN flip the breaker back on.

5. That’s it! Now check for power and make sure that there’s nothing else still off in the house as you may have multiple breakers that could have tripped.

6. If there is no evidence of a tripped circuit breaker you should consult a licensed electrician immediately.

Legal Note: These instructions will cover most electrical panels out there, not all. As always, consult your licensed San Francisco electrician before proceeding or if you have any questions.

 

What Instances May Call For An Emergency Bay Area Electrician?

November 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Category: Emergency Services

Electricity is an essential commodity today. There is hardly a home in the country that does not utilize this form of energy. When the power goes off or a fault is discovered, there is always the temptation to try and rectify the situation ourselves. This would be a mistake and one that could be costly! For this reason, it is advisable to have on hand the details of a reliable and qualified Bay Area emergency electrician.

There are a number of instances when you may need to call on an Bay Area electrical contractorfor assistance in an emergency. Most of us would find it difficult to be without our electrical appliances and gadgets, even for just a few hours!

Without expert knowledge it can be difficult to identify where the problem lies. For example, if your home power is constantly triggering the trip switch, understanding which circuit or appliance has the fault is not a simple or straightforward task. A trained Bay Area electrician would be able to identify the cause in a short space of time and put forward a solution that is safe and effective.

Another problem that can develop relating to electricity is when a socket or electrical fixture stops working. When a light goes on the blink, the first step would be to change the bulb. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it is time to call in a professional Bay Area electrician. The same can be said if your doorbell, home alarm, or electric heating system or hot water system breaks down.

If you live in an old property, it is more likely that you will have problems relating to the electrical wiring. The standards that existed two, three, and four decades ago are not as high as today. If you are planning to move into a new Bay Area property, get an electrician to give the building’s circuitry and wiring a thorough inspection, before you agree to the relocation.

If your Bay Area home has been flooded, perhaps due to damage during a storm or leaking plumbing, always contact a qualified professional to check the building for potential hazards. When water comes in contact with electricity, the combination can often be deadly. Never enter a waterlogged room without first of all ensuring the power has been turned off at the mains.

Finding a trustworthy emergency Bay Area electrician is not so hard today. You can compare the services and costs of various tradesmen online before giving any of them a call. Remember, in most countries it is illegal for electrical work to be carried out by an individual who is not licensed to perform the task.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_Mawhinney

 

When Do You Need a Daly City Electrician?

July 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Category: Electrical

Just what do you need a Daly City electrician for? Well, most people think that you only need an electrician when you are constructing a new home, but this is simply not the case. In fact, if you have anything in your home that has to do with electricity and it needs repairs, it is far better to call in an electrician and to get them to fix it for you. If you make a mistake while trying to fix your own wiring and the like, such an error can be quite costly to you. Thus, when it comes time to repair or upgrade the wiring in your home, it is time to call an electrician.

Daly City Electricians go to school and learn everything they need to so that your wiring is correctly installed in your home. Newer homes must undergo inspection, as do those that have had recent additions. If the wiring is not correctly placed, you can run into increased financial costs to fix errors. This is where relying on a professional to do the work for you comes in handy. If you have a professional that knows all the ins and outs of installing electrical wire and breaker boxes, you are far better off then if you attempt such things on your own.

You can find a electrical professional by using your local Daly City yellow pages. Or, if you prefer, you can find a professional that can handle your electrical wiring issues on the Internet. Conversely, you can even find a professional that can help you via word of mouth. Just as long as you realize the importance of hiring a professional in the first place. Don’t play fix it yourself if you have no clue as to what you are doing. It can be quite dangerous to install electrical wiring incorrectly.

So just what does an electrician handle? Well, that depends on the type of electrician you have called on! An electrician can work on homes or cars, on electrical wiring or the wiring of security systems. It all depends on what their focus is. An electrician can usually read a blueprint and is often found working on construction sites, the sites of new homes, the sites in which people are making additions to their home and the like.

There are a variety of electrician associations that can help you locate and identify a quality electrician. An electrician is specially licensed to handle whatever area of electrical work they perform. At least, most of them are. Not every electrician requires a license. Nevertheless, when you do hire an electrician you should ask if they have a license and who issued it to them. There is nothing wrong with you checking the credentials of any electrician you are planning on hiring. What the license proves is that they have met the state mandated study hours and curriculum so that they can do the job right for you. You can never be too careful and checking the credentials of anyone you hire is always a prudent move.

All San Francisco Families Need a Home Security Lighting System

August 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Category: Security Lighting, Uncategorized

Well lit San Francisco homes, whether it is indoor or outdoor lighting, are an important safety measure against thieves and burglars. Dipping into the psychology of a thief, darkness and shadows create a perfect cover for skulking and hiding. Home security lighting provides the home owner protection against these law breakers along with other necessary security measures.

Break-in’s do happen during the day. But most of the time the thieves will choose the cover of night since most of the San Francisco homes will be plunged into darkness and their inhabitants asleep and vulnerable. The street lights are insufficient since the light filtering through casts shadows that are convenient for the thief.

Using flood lights is an option for people concerned about their security. But having the lights turned on all night is not very economical or environmentally friendly. It may even bother your neighbors if they are angled incorrectly. The lights themselves come with protective covers so vandalizing the lights would be hard for intruders and will buy you precious time if you find yourself a victim of a break in.

Home security lighting is now advanced enough to offer a variety of more viable options that are considered “green” and economical. These options include a heat sensing lightning system that lights up when it senses a foreign warm body passing through. They are sensitive enough to differentiate between an animal and a human so that they light up only if there is an actual intruder passing through. The sudden illumination will surprise the intruder and hopefully your neighbors or passer-by will spot the person in time.

Motion sensing lighting systems are another progressive advancement in technology. Every time an intruder dares to cross your home boundaries the motion detectors will instantly light up catching the intruder by surprise. Some of motion detectors sound an alarm accompanying the illumination. This should thwart the intruder for good.

A number of other security steps need to be taken along with the San Francisco home security lighting system. Talking to an expert with help you figure out the most efficient security lighting system. Do not opt for a manual control system since you may forget to turn it on every night. The automatic controls are timed to switch on every night even if you are on a vacation, allowing you to keep your property safe while you’re gone.

Keep the control panels of your security system hidden and out of easy reach of intruders. A number of thefts nowadays are committed in homes with tight security systems, but changing the settings on your system is fairly easy for an intruder so keep the panel in a well concealed place. Be sure to add the necessary alarms and locking system as well to alert you in case of a break in. Also, keep the necessary numbers at hand to call the emergency services in an instant.

A home security lighting system is not very expensive in the long-term. And when you consider that you are ensuring your family’s safety, it is a good investment. It is fairly easy to install – as long as you make sure the company offering these services is reputable. In addition, ensure that along with the lighting system you do have other protection systems installed as well.

Major Remodel – Upgrade Your Electrical Service!

July 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Category: Electrical

If you are contemplating a major remodel, the addition of a room or garage, or a new kitchen you should consider upgrading your Bay Area home’s electrical service.

Thirty years ago, the average new home was equipped with a 60 amp electrical service connected to a screw-in fuse panel with two fuse blocks. The common distribution was a fuse block for the stove and one for the hot water tank. The balance of the homes electrical needs were served by six, 15amp screw-in fuses.

Twenty years ago the average new home was equipped with a 100 amp electrical service and some of them used the latest in technology, circuit breakers.

Now the average home is equipped with a 200 amp electrical service with a distribution panel handling up to 40, 15amp circuit breakers serving the electrical needs of the home.

North American’s are electrical power hungry. Today our air conditioning systems take more power than an entire home did 30 years ago. A kitchen, in a new home, will usually be equipped with a number of receptacles capable of supplying more than 60 amps just to counter top appliances.

Adding receptacles does not increase the available power if they are looped from other receptacles. To get more power to a location the circuit should run directly from the distribution panel.

Old style distribution panels, those with screw-in fuses are generally considered fire hazards. The contact between the base of the fuse and the buss bar oxidizes or charcoals from poor contact. In order for the current to continue to flow heat is generated. In many areas, insurance companies will not renew homeowner insurance if the home is equipped with an electrical distribution panel that has screw-in fuses.

If your current San Francisco electrical service to your home is less than 200 amps, and/or if it has a distribution panel that uses screw in fuses, you should consider replacing it as a top priority in any major renovation project.

Should I Hire an San Mateo County Electrician

July 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Category: Electrical

Electricity is the one thing in your San Mateo County house that can actually kill you. It’s one of the most dangerous things for a homeowner to mess around with, especially if you don’t have any experience or have very little experience working with home electricity.

If you’re going to be replacing a light fixture, you might not need to hire a San Mateo County electrician. Simply make sure that the power switch is off to the light fixture, before you start to do any electrical fixture replacement.

Don’t be confused here, if the house isn’t wired properly, you could still get shocked, while working on a light fixture, that you assume, doesn’t have any electrical power going to it. If the neutral wire, isn’t grounded properly, you could experience a little electrical jolt and if you’re standing on a ladder, this could turn into an ugly situation fast.

There is one way around this, make sure that the you shut the main electrical breaker off to the house, before doing any repair work to your light fixture or any other electrical fixture within your home, if you’re not entirely sure about the home wiring.

Before you do this, make sure that all of your computers and other electrical components are shut down properly, before turning the electricity off to the entire house. It’s not hard to do some electrical work, like replacing lights or electrical plugs, but when it comes to messing around with your electrical service panel, and this will be a part of your electrical system where all the electrical breakers are located, I would give it some serious thought, before you tackle this on your own.

I don’t recommend anyone, who isn’t comfortable or doesn’t have any experience working with electricity, to do any San Mateo County electrical repairs on their own.

If you are looking for a professional electrician in the San Francisco area, then please call us today at 800-944-2252 or complete our online request form.