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Frequently asked questions about electrical repair services

Can I do my own electrical repairs?

Handy homeowners who are accustomed to taking on home-improvement DIY projects may think tackling an electrical repair could be simple. In fact, there are a number of important reasons for homeowners to leave electrical repairs to the professionals. Lots of accidents can occur during a DIY electrical repair as the result of unfamiliarity with how to safely work with electrical power and circuits. Among the hazards a hapless homeowner might encounter are electrical shock, and risk of fire. Even if the DIY electrical repair project seems successful, there might be trouble down the road.

Electrical repairs that were taken on without proper training and licensing may result in faulty wiring which could fail inspection. A fully trained and licensed electrician will be familiar with code requirements, so your home’s electrical system passes necessary inspections. Hiring a pro to do your electrical repairs gives you peace of mind. An electrician will have the experience, tools, and training to get the job done safely and correctly.

Do I need a permit to repair an electrical outlet?

In general, a few simple electrical repairs fall outside state or local regulation. Homeowners can replace light fixtures, replace a light switch and swap out electrical outlet covers. If the electrical outlet repair involves anything more involved than replacing the outlet cover, you’ll need a permit. In fact, it may make sense to call an electrical repair professional if your outlet issue is at all complex. Many homeowners are not familiar with the intricacies of working with electric power and wiring. Small miscalculations can lead to electric shock, fire hazards and wiring mix ups that can cause dangers down the road.

Permits are issued to homeowners and electrical contractors to make sure they comply with local building codes when they perform the repair. If you apply for a permit to repair an electrical outlet, or to perform another electrical repair, you may have to supply proof of ownership and identification. But many experts suggest it makes more sense to have a pro work on your electrical repair. A pro can do the job safely, efficiently, and up to code.

Are fuse boxes dangerous?

Most homeowners take their fuse boxes for granted until a fuse is tripped and the electrical system goes dark. It makes sense to learn about your home’s fuse box (also called an electrical panel) before you need to deal with an inconvenient or even dangerous electrical mishap. If your home was built before 1990, chances are it may have one of four types of unsafe, outdated electrical panels. It could pay to have an electrical contractor check out your fuse box for safety.

The first type of fuse box that might be dangerous are made by Federal Pacific Electric Panels. This type of electrical panel is most common in homes built between 1950 and 1980. They are dangerous because the circuit breakers have a high rate of failing to trip. Next, Zinco fuse boxes are made so the breaker can’t ever trip which is a fire hazard. Sylvania and GTE Sylvania sold rebranded Zinco panels in the 70’s. But not all Sylvania or GT-Sylvania fuse boxes are dangerous. Another type of dangerous fuse box is the split-bus type. Some modern fuse boxes are unsafe due to unsafe electrical arrangements. Have a pro check your fuse box for safety today.

How often should an electrical panel be replaced?

Electrical panels (also called fuse boxes) need to be replaced over time. Just as a furnace that needs to be replaced will present telltale signs of aging, your fuse box will offer indications that it needs to be replaced. If you notice that your lights dim or flicker when you are operating other appliances, it could be time to have an electrical repair pro check out your fuse box. A worn out electrical panel is more vulnerable to power surges which causes the circuit breakers to keep tripping. If the circuit breakers fail to reset, they could be worn out. If you happen to notice signs of prior fires around the fuse box, don’t hesitate to consult an electrical professional. Finally, get a pro to check out the situation if your home has an outdated fuse box?

It makes sense to get to know your electrical panel. When it starts to show signs of wear and tear, have it checked out. Staying on top of timely electrical panel replacement helps keep your home safe.

How do I know if my electrical panel is overloaded?

When your electrical panel is running smoothly, it is easy to take it for granted. However, when your electrical panel is overloaded you will notice tell tale signs, some of which are more dramatic than others. You may hear unfamiliar buzzing sounds. You could notice frayed or damaged insulation. If you see sparks when you plug in an appliance, or sparks are coming from the electrical panel, those are signs that it’s overloaded. If your lights flicker when you are using another appliance, there is an overloading problem. Tripped breakers and power outages are other signs of an overloaded electrical panel.

In order to protect the safety of your home, it may make sense to bring in an electrical contractor to help you with your electrical panel replacement or repair. They have the training, tools, and licenses necessary to get your home’s electrical system running smoothly. What’s more, they can perform the repair or replacement safely without causing damage to your home or risking hazards to you or your family.

How do I know if I need a new electrical panel?

Like other household systems, the electrical panel will eventually need to be replaced. If your home was built before 1990, you may have an old electrical panel that is unsafe. There are several types of electrical panels that were popular which are now known to be unsafe. If your home was built after 1990 but you are noticing some telltale signs that the electrical panel is wearing out, you may want to have an electrical contractor pay you a visit. They will know whether to repair or replace the electrical panel.

If your lights flicker when you are operating various appliances, your electrical panel may be worn out. If your power goes out when you plug in the Christmas lights or run the hair dryer, it may make sense to have your electrical panel checked out. Sparks flying when you plug in an appliance, or sparks coming from the fuse box mean trouble. Contact an electrical repair pro to check out your electrical panel. They can repair or replace it to keep your home safe.

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