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FAQs

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Why is my smoke detector chirping?

A chirping smoke detector is generally a sign that either the battery or unit needs to be replaced. If the sound is intermittent, your smoke detector may be defective. It it’s constant, you most likely need a new battery.

Can I plug my christmas lights into my outdoor outlet?

You can, 110 volt outlets are best. Keep in mind you will need additional circuits if all of your lights have a greater load that the circuit breaker capacity.

Do I need point-of-use surge protection?

It is always smart to use surge protectors even if you have main line surge protection, because downstream protection is not guaranteed, particularly when it comes to lightning.

Why are my fluorescent lights flickering?

Oftentimes, flickering lights indicate bulb failure, improperly installed lights, or minor power fluctuations.On and off cycling is usually a sign of bulb and/or ballast failure.

What is a GFCI device?

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) device protects you from electric shock. These devices are designed to sense resistance from ground fault (using electrical devices near water, for example) and turns off for your protection, such as a blow dryer.

What are the red and black buttons on my GFCI device?

The black button is for testing. One press should deactivate the outlet indicating it’s working well.

The red button resets the outlet. Depress it after an outlet has deactivated from a fault.

How often should I inspect or test my industrial/commercial electrical equipment?

Remember that only a qualified professional should check industrial, commercial or institutional electrical equipment. Annually checks are good for maintenance in a regular use environment. If you are operating in sever conditions, checks can be done monthly. Keep records to make sure you are up-to-date.

What should I be looking for when I call an electrical contractor or an electrician?

An electrician that you hire should be licensed in Alberta and work to safety codes. Check with the local office on their licensing and don’t feel bad about asking for a license or requesting to know or see other work the contractor has completed. If your electrician is a master electrician, she or he should be able to pull permits with their name on it.

Can I plug in a refrigerator in my garage?

Absolutely, but you will need to check a few things first. New houses generally have GFCI outlets in compliance with the National Electrical Code and GFCI devices don’t work with fridges and freezers. A dedicated line installed to safety standards will work. If you have an older home without GFCI devices, any outlet large enough for the load will work fine.

Can I install a dimmer?

This information is for educational purposes. Please contact a licensed Edmonton electrician for professional installations.

You can, first make sure you choose the right size dimmer. To determine what size dimmer you need, add up the number of lights. Add up the maximum wattage per light. Multiply them together. A dimmer should be rated at 80% of its maximum allowable use, a 600 watt dimmer (480 watts at 80%) would easily work on 4 lights of 100 watt maximum.

To install, turn off the switch and the power. Remove the switch cover and switch, install the new switch with wire nuts. Attach dimmer to switch box. Replace the cover plate. Turn power back on and turn on switch.

How do I install a light?

This information is for educational purposes. Please contact a licensed Edmonton electrician for professional installations.

Safety is important when you are installing a light. First, turn off the switch and the power. Remove the shade and existing bulbs. Remove the screws holding the fixture base in place. Remove the wire connections. Read instructions for your fixture and assemble the frame or base. Attach wire connectors and fixture strap. Install light bulb with correct wattage, replace shade or lens. Turn power on and test light.

How to reset a breaker?

Holding the circuit breaker handle in your thunk and forefinger, push to Off. You will hear a click. Holding the handle the same way, move it to On. You have just reset your breaker.

Can you overload a circuit?

Yes you can, here’s how. The biggest risk to electricity is house firs. Electricity enters a home from the main panel in different directions along branch circuits. Most homes today have hot, neutral and ground wires. When you turn a switch one, electricity flows to the light or appliance through hot or neutral wires. Based on the wire size and how many devices on are the circuit will determine how hot the wire becomes. To prevent the wire from overheating and creating a fire, branch circuit are designed to handle an estimated electrical load and limit the number of appliances running through at a time. If you plug too many things into the same circuit and run them at once, the circuit will overload. The fuses in your main electrical panel can sense this and turn off to prevent overheating and eventual fire. This is why your power goes out when your overload a circuit.

What’s the difference between aluminum and copper wiring?

Copper wiring is always preferred because it’s more effective and safer. Aluminum wiring is frowned upon as a poor substitute for copper because it’s; not as conductive, expands and contracts at a higher rate, causing it to loosen, and can arc which leads to fire.

How to save on my energy bill?

It helps to take a full check of your electrical system to assess how you’re currently using and receiving power in your home or office. Any loose connections are losing energy and old A/C units can use unnecessary energy as well. You may need to replace it or invest in a hard start kit. Set your thermostat at 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer and invest in a digital thermostat so it’s not running all day. Use energy efficient appliances, electronics and light bulbs. Try saving one or two days for running the dishwasher or washer and dryer and don’t leave light and TVs on when no one is using them. Use natural daylight whenever possible.

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