My new dryer has a different plug than my old one? Can the cord just be changed?

dryer recepNewer dryers require voltage between 220-240 volts to operate (essentially two “hot” wires instead of one). Simply changing the cord can cause other problems, as well as ruin your new dryer and void the warranty. Call your electrician for a solution to protect your new appliance with the proper wiring configuration.

When my air conditioner cycles on, my lights flicker. Is this normal?

Your home experiences dips in electricity when a power hungry device like an AC compressor or even a refrigerator kicks on. Likewise, when the device turns off, there is a surge of power back into the homes system, which could cause damage to electronic equipment. Whole House Surge protectors can be installed to prevent not only storm/lightning damage, but everyday electrical dips and surges.

I have a new hot water heater and just need it hooked up. Is this something I can do myself?

hot water heater wiringMany electrical wiring jobs may seem easy, IF everything is a perfect case scenario. Your new water heater may require a different sized breaker or wire, or the existing wiring configuration may be incorrect, making it very difficult to do your DIY electrical project safely. The State of Missouri does not require statewide certification, and many problems result due to inexperienced electricians and handymen doing incorrect wiring. This creates dangerous scenarios for homeowners who want to do their own electrical work. Incorrect wiring can also damage your brand new water heater. Always have an experiences service electrician that you know and trust do your electrical retrofit work.

Can I put LED lights on an existing dimmer?

Not all dimmers are compatible with LED bulbs, and not all LED bulbs are dimmable. You may have to upgrade the dimmer to accommodate the new style of bulbs. If you are having difficulty deciphering labels on dimmers at the home improvement store, call your electrician for help.

How do I reset my breaker when it trips?

Resetting BreakerTo reset a breaker, shut it to the off position (you should feel it snap or click). Then simply turn it back on-it will also click. If it feels spongy, or will not reset, call an electrician. Many people try to simply replace the breaker or put a larger one in, but that does not get to the cause of the problem and can often increase the hazard. Often a breaker trips due to a random overload occurrence (too many things on for a moment), but often they trip because there is a real problem. The rule of thumb is, if your breaker trips once, reset it. If it continues to trip or trips often, call an electrician.

What is a GFCI outlet?

GFCIplugSmGFCI is short for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and it is a fast-acting circuit breaker device housed inside of an outlet. They are recommended for moisture prone areas like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, etc. It is designed to trip within 1/40th of a second to prevent electrocution if electricity tries to “ground” out somewhere that it shouldn’t. The National Electrical Code requires these in all new homes to prevent electrocution.

How do I reset my GFCI when it trips?

Resetting a GFCI is an easy process, but it must be done in order, as these devices can be finicky. First, turn the breaker for that circuit OFF and then ON again (even if it did not trip). Then, Press the RESET button on your GFCI outlet. If that does not restore power, then you have a different underlying problem and its time to call for help.

I still have a fuse box in my house? Is that bad?

fuseboxAlthough fuse boxes themselves are not bad, they do indicate the age of the wiring in a home. Fuses cannot be reset like breakers, which is why modern breaker panels are much easier and safer. Although a fuse box was sufficient to handle the electrical load in a small home 50 years ago, today’s homes have 20X more appliances and power-hungry devices, which can cause a constant workload on an old fuse box. If you have concerns about your fuse box, have it checked by a professional and consider upgrading to a breaker panel. It will be safer and make your home more sellable if you ever decide to put it on the market.