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”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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!