THE LIGHTS IN MY HOME DIM WHEN THE A/C TURNS ON. SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
This is fairly common and not an immediate cause for concern. What you
are likely seeing is a mini brown out. This is caused by the high demand of
electricity that the a/c motor needs to get up to speed. If the dimming is
more than momentary or excessive, you should have it checked out by an
I HEAR BUZZING IN THE WALLS SOMETIMES.
There are many things that may cause a buzzing in your home. One
possibility is electrical. You can try turning off your main breaker to see if
the problem disappears. If you suspect that it is an electrical issue, the
cause may be damaged wiring and you should have a professional look into
this for you.
HOW MANY ITEMS CAN I SAFELY PLUG INTO AN EXTENSION CORD?
Extension cords come rated for different usage, and its ratings should
not be exceeded. For example: a 16 awg 13 amp extension cord can only
handle 13 amps or 1560 watts. To be safe however, you should not use it to
its maximum rating, and preferably under 80%.
I GOT A SHOCK WHEN I TURNED ON MY LIGHT.
This may have been a static shock, but it still may be wise to call an electrician if you have any concerns.
I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY MY HOME INSPECTOR THAT MY FEDERAL PACIFIC ELECTRIC PANEL IS A FIRE HAZARD. IS THIS TRUE?
Yes. Federal Pacific breakers are notorious for not tripping when they are
supposed to, thereby causing fires. We would recommend a circuit panel
I HAVE TWO PRONGED OUTLETS. SHOULD I SWITCH TO THREE PRONGED?
One of the biggest jobs of the third prong, or “the ground”, is to protect
the person who is using a metal-encased appliance from a potential electric
shock. One possible solution is to use a two-prong to three-prong adapter,
making sure to put the center screw through the grounding terminal. The
best solution, however, is to switch your outlets for newer three-pronged
CAN I VENT MY BATHROOM EXHAUST FAN INTO THE ATTIC, OR DOES IT NEED TO BE VENTED OUTDOORS?
You absolutely need to vent a bathroom exhaust fan outdoors or you
can cause mold growth.
CAN I RUN A FLAT EXTENSION CORD UNDER MY RUG?
No. This is a fire hazard. If the extension cord gets damaged
accidentally, it can cause a fire.
MY CIRCUIT BREAKER KEEPS TRIPPING, AND MY HANDYMAN SUGGESTED THAT I JUST PUT IN A LARGER SIZE BREAKER. IS HE RIGHT?
Absolutely not. The circuit breaker protects the wiring and the items
being used and needs to be sized appropriately. If you do not know the
correct size, consult with an electrician.
MY PLUG IS LOOSE AND FALLS OUT OF THE OUTLET. IS THIS A CONCERN?
Yes, they can overheat and lead to a fire, and therefore should be
WHERE DO I NEED GFCI OUTLETS?
The common places are kitchens, bathrooms, outdoors, garages, and
ARE HALOGEN FLOOR LAMPS DANGEROUS?
Not if they are used correctly. They can get very hot so never place a
halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing
or other combustible materials.
MY HOME INSPECTOR SAYS I HAVE 3-PRONG OUTLETS WITH A MISSING GROUND. DOES THIS MATTER?
Yes, you should have a licensed professional look at it. This can be an
indication of poorly installed or damaged wiring.
MY HOME INSPECTOR FOUND 'DOUBLE TAPPED' BREAKERS. DOES THIS NEED TO BE REPAIRED?
This depends on the actual breaker. Some are rated to allow for
multiple wires to be attached. As long as there is not too much loaded onto
one breaker then it is fine. If the breaker is not rated for this then it would
need to be split into two circuits.
I REPLACED MY BULBS TO LEDS AND NOW THEY'RE FLICKERING.
If you have a wall timer or a dimmer switch working those LEDs, it may
not be compatible and therefore would need to be replaced.
MY OUTLET AND WALL ARE HOT TO THE TOUCH. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
If you see smoke, smell burning, or it seems urgent, call the fire
department. Otherwise, turn off the power to that area and consult an
electrician ASAP. If the wall doesn’t cool down after the power is turned
off, call the fire department.