For most of us, electricity is a luxury taken for granted. This invisible force goes unnoticed, until it doesn't work or is causing havoc on your bank account. With home ownership comes the task of up-keeping your electrical, which can leave a lot of us in the dark. Here are some common situations you'll encounter pertaining to your home's electrical infrastructure, and when you should call a Reno residential electrician to address them.
Are the lights in your home flickering or sporadically dimming? Not only is this annoying, but it could mean that your home's flow of electricity is well, not flowing properly. Here's what could be happening and what you should and should not try to tackle yourself:
If you're lucky, a single flickering light may be caused by loose bulb. That's an easy fix. Try reestablishing the bulb's connection with a right-hand twist. If the flickering continues, toss in a fresh bulb see if that stops it. In the event that the strobe-light effect persists, there may be other factors at play.
In this age of growing electrical dependence, it's not hard to accumulate items that require a connection. Entertainment technology, your washer / dryer, and that new eco-friendly electric lawn mower can also cause flickering. Large pieces of equipment add heavy loads to your home's central circuit breaker. If your electrical panel is dated, it may be having trouble handling the strain of the modern era. Luckily, there are solutions to have the panel (which routes power to the areas of your home) upgraded. Sure, YouTube is a great resource for DIY electrical jobs, but there are inherent risks in attempting to swap in a new panel, fuses, and wiring. If you're even a little unsure of your abilities, have a licensed electrician inspect your flickering system to determine whether it’s time to upgrade.
If the above scenarios still don't diagnose the flickering phenomena in your house, there may be a bigger problem with your home's electrical wiring, like loose service conductors in your main electrical panel. Loose connections can be a fire hazard, and it's never smart to ignore such issues. Especially if the flickering increases over time, or alters cadence, it's best to call an experienced Northern Nevada Electrician to evaluate your system.
Another electrical situation you may encounter in your home are nonfunctional outlets. There are a variety of potential causes ranging in severity from “no problem” to “call a Wire Me expert”. Whatever the root of the problem is, it’s best to keep your home’s electrical in top working order to avoid inconveniences, shock, or fire risks.
The first factor to check is if the outlet is simply a half-hot outlet. This type of configuration incorporates a light switch into one of the plug’s (usually the bottom) circuits. This is an easy fix too. Just flick on the light switch in the room and try the non-functioning outlet once more to see if it works. Viola!
If that quick fix didn’t work, you may have tripped the circuit breaker that the plug is wired into. This happens when you exceed the allotted amperage for that circuit, and the fail-safe is triggered to preserve its integrity. Think back - maybe you had a space heater, hair dryer, or even a toaster oven plugged in - all of which draw high current levels. If you know where to find and reset circuit breakers, it’s a relatively straightforward task. However, if you have any doubt in how to do so, it’s best to call a residential electrician.
Alternatively, your faulty outlet may be downstream from a main Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet (GFCI). These are the outlets with the little indicator stickers and switches on them, commonly found near water supplies or in your garage. If you tripped the GFCI connection, you may just have to locate and press “reset” on the nearest one to your faulty outlet.
Lastly, and in more serious cases, the faulty outlet may have loose wiring connections, or is simply defective from the factory. It’s best to get the non-working outlet diagnosed by a professional instead of attempting to replace or restore loose connections. Seriously, if you aren't versed on electrical wiring, one wrong step can lead to a sudden shock or injury.
It's expensive to live these days, and your power bill can amount to a solid chunk of money going out the door each month! If you're experiencing power bill price shock, then slightly altering your consumption habits, along with some physical changes to your electrical setup can do wonders for your wallet. Invest some thought into shrinking that number yourself, then utilize our professional electricians to obtain power bill harmony.
A good place to start saving is to conduct an electricity audit. This is basically an analysis of which features / rooms are using power in your home, and how much power they're drawing. For the most in-depth analysis, we highly recommend having one of our licensed electricians come out to your residence. Sure, you can do a simple audit on your own, but our professionals are knowledgeable in electrical operations and theory, offering greater insight and recommendations that are commonly overlooked.
After looking over your electricity audit, the next step is to decide whether you're satisfied with your usage levels, or would prefer to take action to reduce your electricity bill. It's up to you to pick and choose which changes are worth it to you. Steps can be as simple as unplugging "vampire" equipment, setting your A/C temperature up a notch, or swapping in LED lightbulbs over incandescent ones. However, if you're ready to take the leap into more long-term money saving actions, our electricians are are prepared to help.
A residential electrician can provide you with smart home integration using various systems, which learn your habits and can adjust electrical usage when you're not home. Along with our smart home integration abilities, a residential electrician can also help you create a more energy-efficient home by incorporating low voltage wiring. These investments will ultimately save you significant money on your power bill overtime. Take that, power company.
If you are experiencing any of these electrical situations in your home, take a minute to save Wire Me’s number in your phone. Home ownership is already a full-time job in itself. Leave it to the pros to handle your electrical. We’ll save you time aimlessly researching the precise issue, ensure only quality work is performed on-site, and turn your ‘to-do’s’ into ‘dones’. And remember, buy nice or buy twice! Having a professional Reno electrician perform the job right the first time can save you money and give you peace of mind for years to come.
Call (775) 843-9473 today for an in home electrical inspection.