FAQs – Electrical Information

If a circuit breaker trips, is this dangerous?
Frequent breaker trips could be a sign that the circuit is being overloaded somewhere on the property. A wire, socket or appliance could be overheating, which could eventually cause a fire.

Why does my lightbulb burn out faster than expected?
A light bulb that prematurely burns out in a particular lamp or socket is a sign of a poor electrical connection causing heat build-up in the lamp. Identifying the poor connection and repairing it should resolve the issue.

Do I need to replace an outlet if the plug is loose?
Yes. A loose plug in an outlet results in high electrical resistance. Electrical resistance causes overheating, which often results in a fire. An overheating outlet may also damage the connected device or appliance. Replacing an electrical outlet is a relatively inexpensive task.

Why is my electrical panel buzzing?
A breaker could be loose, or a hot breaker is allowing current to flow between hot and neutral. Either issue should be inspected immediately by a qualified electrician.

Can I replace a four-prong plug with a three-prong plug?
The National Electric Code (NEC) requires new installations to provide a second neutral on all 220V appliances. You can replace the four prong cord with a three prong cord, but the safer option would be to upgrade the electrical supply to your 220V appliances.

Can I install electrical wiring myself?
Some counties and cities allow do it yourself wiring, but you must have a permit and your installation must be inspected by the city or county electrical inspector. Some locations require a certified contractor to install electrical wiring. Contact your local government for the specific laws in your area. Regardless, it’s a good idea to hire a licensed electrician.

What is the difference between 110 and 220 volts?
More voltage at the same cycles per second (cps), which means more power to the appliance. Generally, 220V is used for large appliances, 110V is used for small appliances. Using a 110V appliance in a 220V outlet will burn out the appliance. Using a 220V appliance in a 110V outlet will make the appliance run slow or not at all.

What is a surge protector?
A surge protector is an appliance that protects an electrical device from voltage spikes. A surge protector is designed to limit the voltage flow to an electric device by blocking any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.

Why do I need a generator?
In Florida, we are often affected by hurricanes, which can leave entire communities without power for weeks. In addition to Florida hurricanes, the aging US power grid complicates the repair and restoration of power after a disaster.

What kind of electrical panel do I need?
Determine the amperage requirements. Calculate the total square footage of livable space, (not including unfinished basement, attic, garage, crawl spaces). Then inventory your electrical needs: heating system, air conditioning system, all electric appliances (dryer, range, dishwasher, hot tubs, pools) etc. Then contact an electrician with this information.