8 Common Electrical Questions and Answers

8 Common Electrical Questions and Answers

Learning all you can about how electricity works and what causes issues with your system can give you a massive edge when it comes to identifying problems early and getting the necessary repairs and upgrades. As professional electricians, we get a lot of questions from clients about their home or business’s electrical and are always happy to educate on common electrical woes and how we fix them.

Why Does My Older Building Need Electrical Updates?

The older your commercial building or residence is, the less equipped it is to facilitate modern appliances and electrical demands.

If you try to push the limits of your electrical capabilities, you run the risk of encountering disastrous results. For example, if you have an outdated circuit breaker, it may fail to trip when you overload the circuit and overheat – which can cause an electrical fire.

How Do I Know if My Breaker Panel is Bad?

This is a tough question to answer without having first examined the panel, but if your electrical panel is bad, there’s a few things that can tip you off that it’s time to call a professional.

If you’re noticing a burning smell from your panel, if it’s hot to touch, or if you can visually see melted spots or ragged wiring, these are all signs something has gone wrong with your panel.

Additionally, certain older electrical panels like Federal Pacific Electrical or Zinsco are no longer considered safe for modern establishments due to their rate of failure. If you have one of these panels, whether you’re having problems with it or not, it’s recommended that you switch it out as soon as possible.   

How Often Should I Have My Wiring Inspected?

Depending on your type of business, electrical wiring should be inspected annually or at minimum every 5 years.

If your building is over 40 years old, a safety inspection of your wiring is recommended every 6 months. While it may sound like a bit of a pain to have these inspections so often, it’s worth the peace of mind that your electrical is up to par and safe for you and your employees.

How Long Do Breaker Panels Last?

A safe brand of Electrical panel that is well-maintained should last between 25-40 years, but that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong with your panels in that time. If you notice your panel is hot or the breaker is tripping often, it’s time to call a professional.

Why Did My Power Outlets Stop Working?

8 Common Electrical Questions and Answers

Power outlets typically stop working due to a breaker being tripped, poor wiring, or the outlet itself is just broken.

Test your breakers first and then try having your outlet replaced. Outlets are usually on a circuit, so if a circuit experiences an interruption before any outlets, all outlets and power on the circuit will cease to work.

Why Do Lights Flicker?

If you’re not using LED bulbs, your lights may be flickering due to a loose connection somewhere in your system. Whether it be the socket, wiring, or panel – if something is loose, it’ll often lead to flickering lights in your home or business.

Alternatively, if you’re experiencing lights flickering and you’re using LEDs, it’s likely the bulbs themselves. This can occur sometimes especially with cheaper LED light bulbs.   

Why Is My Electrical Bill So High?

There are a variety of reasons why your electricity bill may be running higher than it should. Anything from forgetting to turn off lights in other rooms or using energy-hogging appliances in your home can raise your utility bill.

If you’re looking for ways to lower your energy bill, check out our post on How to Reduce Your Monthly Electric Bill!

Can I Fix Minor Electrical Issues Myself?

Unless it’s just changing a light bulb, you should, under no circumstances, try to DIY electrical in your home or office. Electrical maintenance and repairs should only be conducted by a licensed professional electrician.

If you attempt to handle an electrical problem yourself, your risk harm to not only your business or residence, but also yourself! Please always call a professional if you need assistance.

Are You Having Electrical Issues?

If you need assistance with your home or business’s electrical, give Tapps Electric a call at (253) 993-4626 or fill out our online form to request a FREE estimate today!