Over the years, our clients have asked many questions about their electrical systems; how to best care for them, what the cause of certain issues are, and more. We’ve compiled just a few of the most common questions we get below, with our responses.
Q: Why Won’t My Tripped Circuit Breaker Come Back On?
A: Is the switch all the way in the “off” position? You have to feel it click off before you can reset it. If you are able to return it to the “on” position—you’ll feel another click—and it does not trip again, then you were successful. If it continues to trip, then there could be a chance that you have a short circuit or an overloaded circuit. Quite often, an electrical panel upgrade is the solution.
Q: An Outlet Suddenly Stopped Working, What’s Wrong?
A: There are a number of possible reasons this can be occurring. First, check for a tripped circuit breaker. Then, if it’s a GFCI outlet, check for a reset button right on the outlet itself. Push that, if there is one. In the absence of either of these issues, then it may just be an old outlet that needs replacing. Just like any other electrical component, it can wear out over time and is usually no reason for huge concern.
Do, though, make sure you don’t smell or see any smoke or smoldering—this can be indicative of frayed wires starting an electrical fire. If you do detect smoke, your next step is to call the fire department.
Q: Why Are My Lights Flickering or Dimming?
Flickering can happen with certain types of lightbulbs and are sometimes not a cause for concern at all. However, if either of flickering or dimmer are occurring when you turn something on or an appliance cycles on in your home, then you probably have an overloaded electrical panel. Another possibility is that the lightbulbs you have installed in whatever fixture is creating the issues are not adequate bulbs for that fixture.