What is a GFCI?

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.  GFCI outlets must be installed in any area where electricity and water may come into contact (bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms, basements, outdoors, etc.)  This device shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that an electrical current is flowing along an unintended path. (i.e. through water or a person’s body).  Simply, this device is used to protect you from electrical shock.  However, please keep in mind that a GFCI doesn’t give you a license to be careless.

gfi-outletEach outlet has two buttons.  Some are coloured black and red while others are both white (as pictured).  One is a test button and when pressed, it should deactivate the outlet.  This signifies a properly functioning device.
The other is the reset button that you depress to reactivate the outlet in the event of deactivation.  You may wonder, which button is which?  Not to worry, you’ll see by looking closely that each button is labeled either “Reset” or “Test”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unsafe Electrical Outlets? How Can You Tell?

There are three indicators of an unsafe outlet.

  • If an outlet can no longer hold a plug snugly
  • If any part of the outlet is broken
  • If the outlet feels warm to the touchelectrical-outlet

If any of these conditions exist, call a professional to replace the outlet for you.  Taking care of it right away will avoid harm to you or anyone  else in your household.

 

 

How do I Reset a Breaker? / I Have Reset the Breaker and My Power is Still Out, Now What?

First, disconnect any additional devices that may have caused the breaker to overload and trip.  In order to reset a breaker in your electrical panel, you must push the breaker firmly to the off position which then resets it, then you must firmly push it back to the on position. Some do not push the breaker hard enough past the off position, which can cause the power to remain out.  Remember, this is a mechanical device, so this may require several attempts.  If you think that you have reset the breaker correctly and still have no power, this could mean a serious problem.  Call an electrician immediately.

Four Ways an Electrician Can Increase the Value of Your Home

1) Identify Uncertified Electrical Work

If you’re living in a previously owned home, you may want to consider this.  Because many homeowners choose to do electrical work on their home for themselves, you may be living in a home with uncertified electrical wiring.  We suggest hiring an electrician to ensure that all wiring in your home is certified, which in turn will increase the value and safety.  Don’t worry about this if you’re house was brand new when you purchased it though, everything should be certified.

2) Offer Energy Saving Suggestions 

We all know that a home with energy saving features is attractive to buyers.  Why not discuss energy saving options with an electrician?  Because they are not trying to sell you a product, you can have confidence in their unbiased advice.

3) Lighting Design and Upgrades

A professional can assist you in achieving a beautiful lighting plan, inside and outside your home.  An updated  lighting plan can make a big impact on potential buyers.

4) Upgrade Your Panel, Surge Protection, and Generators

A licensed electrician can answer questions you may have regarding any of these topics.  The right electrician can ensure that what you have is sufficient for your home.

Smoke Detector

My Smoke Detector is Chirping

My smoke detector is making a chirping noise.  What does this mean?

This could mean one of two things.
1.) An intermittent chirp is probably a warning of a defective smoke detector.
2.) A consistent chirp is probably a sign of a low battery.  Try replacing the battery to see if that solves the issue.

Hard wired detectors with battery back-up are the best, consider having them installed. Call us for more information!

Electrical Outlet Overload

Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home

  • Be careful with nails or staples used to attach electrical cords to the walls or baseboards because it is easy to damage the cords and cause fire or shock hazards.  An alternative is to tape cords to walls or floors, or carefully use “U” fasteners.
  • Regularly check your electrical appliances and wiring.  Frayed wires can cause fires, so replace all worn, old, or damaged appliance cords immediately.  If you notice this and you’re thinking about purchasing a new appliance anyway, maybe this is the right time to do so.
  • Touch electrical outlets and switches – if they are warm to the touch, this could indicate an issue.
  • Use special care with electric space heaters as they can be hazard when left unattended.

 

BC Safety Authority

Hire the Right Electrical Contractor

Homeowners, businesses, and building operators should always opt to hire professional and licensed electricians.  Repairing faulty electrical wiring and other electrical damages should be left to the professionals.  This ensures everything is done properly and efficiently.  Before hiring an electrician ask if they offer warranty on the job, if their company is licensed with BC Safety Authority, and inquire about their experience in the trade.