Highland Park Residential Electric
Residential Electrician in Highland Park, Texas
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Quick Electrical Fixes
Having Electrical Issues in Your Home?
Electrical systems only work as well as the quality of materials, the quality of installation and the age of the system. Another factor is how equipped the original system is to handle the electrical demands that we place on them with more and more devices that need to be plugged in.
Needless to say, if anything is off, it can lead to issues that you may or may not be able to resolve on your own. Let’s go through a few so you can see what we’re talking about.
One problem we get calls about is lights turning on and off by themselves. When this is happening, it’s probably a switcher going on in one of your electrical outlets. The switcher can be causing an intermittent electrical connection to that specific outlet or breaker. You can check this out by taking a look at your outlet to at least diagnose the problem. However, this problem is most common in older fixer type homes where someone has tampered with the original wiring and caused an issue. We would not recommend taking on an issue like this without calling a licensed electrician because if the issue involves an older home, the lights going on and off could only scratch the surface of the issues. There could be worse issues to uncover and/or attempting a repair on your own could be dangerous.
Another reason your lights may be flickering on and off is due to an overheated fixture. This is very common with recessed can lighting. Those can housings are made with a cut-off mechanism that shuts the light off when it gets overheated. What happens is someone replaces the bulb with one that the wattage is far too high for the fixture either unknowingly or because they want brighter light in that area without realizing the consequences. Almost no one takes the time and effort to look at the fixture rating, so bulb wattage is key here. Nine times out of ten when we have this situation, we can just replace the bulb with a lower wattage bulb and the problem is solved. For this fix, you don’t really need an electrician unless you see that the bulb in use is already a lower wattage bulb, then we might be talking about a short of some kind in the wiring and a call to an electrician is recommended.
TV TURNING ON AND OFF
We’ve seen so many issues with TVs and sound systems that are wired by do-it-your-selfers. What tends to happen is they think up some ideal situation where they can turn on their TV directly from a wall switch so they attempt to wire that up themselves. This can cause a short or the TV may simply be wired up directly to a switch. If you are new to the home, you may not understand what all of your switches control. It’s a great idea to label all of your switches when you move in and play around with them to see what outlets might be connected together. If you find the issue is with the wiring, we recommend calling an electrician because the prior homeowner may have caused a risky situation or multiple risky situations that need to be diagnosed.
Surge protectors are always a great idea when you are using computer, TV and sound equipment because they reduce the risk of ruining an expensive component while also reducing the risk of fire.
We see lights flickering all the time. Homeowners often don’t take a moment to look at the issue before calling us out. In many cases, the bulb is not screwed in securely. We see this happen a lot in two-story homes where there is a lot of activity on the second floor, especially with young children jumping around and there are recessed can lights below. What happens is that all the jumping around causes the floor to vibrate and over a period of time, it can cause the bulb to vibrate loose. Before calling an electrician it’s worth a try to twist the bulb a little to make sure it’s secure.
Lights dimming are usually a bit more of an issue because dimming can be an indication of an uneven power supply into the home. The first thing to do is check out your surge protectors to make sure they are not overloaded with plugs. You DO have surge protectors, right? Floor heaters are a main culprit when you already have a loaded down surge protector and you add the heater during the colder months.
When you see dimming lights is normally an indication that the power is out of balance by drawing down too much load on one circuit. In this case, we recommend calling out an electrician to check the entire system and give you some specific tips on how to prevent it from happening in the future or even add an additional breaker if necessary, depending on the size and age of the house.
GFCI is an acronym for ground fault circuit interrupt. The GFCI is that receptacle that has two buttons in the middle and normally around wet areas in your house like your kitchen, your bathroom, shop, etc. The GFCI is designed to prevent any water from going into the electrical outlet. If water does go into the outlet, or if there’s too much moisture in the outlet, it actually has a built-in breaker that will trip. Of course, all you need to do is push the button on the outlet to reset it, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know to do that.
Call today if you need help diagnosing any electrical issue in your home or business.
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