Frequently Asked Questions

Highlights

Heating FaqPlease read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to see if any pertain to your situation. The information contained in each case or solution is for informational purposes only. Do not use FAQ information as an instructional guide or training aid. Contact a licensed electrical contractor to determine the exact cause of your problem.Q: I have a breaker that keeps tripping; can I replace it with a bigger breaker? Breaker is” reset”, still no power
A: This is the most frequently ask question. In order to reset a breaker in your electrical panel, you must move (push) the breaker firmly to the off position (this resets it) and then push it back to the on position. Most people fail to push the breaker firmly past the off (tripped) position and assume it is reset. If you perform the correct reset procedure and still have no power, call a licensed electrical contractor. Breakers can wear out over time if they are tripped too frequently.Q: Bathroom outlets do not work…¬†

A: The major cause of this is the GFCI outlet on the circuit has tripped. To remedy this problem, locate the GFCI outlet that controls the circuit and press the “Reset” button. Keep in mind the GFCI outlet that is tied into your bathroom outlets may be located in your garage. If every bathroom has a GFCI outlet, reset all of them. In addition, ensure you check the breaker in the service panel to ensure it is not tripped.

Q: Lights dim when things are running or starting up…

A: This condition is more common in older electrical systems. This is normally caused when an air conditioning unit, refrigerator, freezer, furnace or other high energy consuming appliance starts. The instantaneous need for motor speed is what causes a momentary dimming of your lights. A lot of power taken to get theses motors at full speed quickly and this is a normal condition. Near capacity or overloaded circuits can also affect lights on the loaded circuit. There is little need to worry if this only happens when a motor driven device/appliance cause a momentary fluctuation. Over time, motor controlled device/appliance electrical components can wear down causing your breaker to trip frequently. If you suspect this is the case, call a licensed HVAC contractor for air conditioning and furnace motor inspections or call an appliance repair company if you feel other appliances are the culprit. Balancing the electrical load, upgrading your wiring or upgrading your electrical service panel to handle more capacity are also possible fixes to this problem. It is suggested you call a licensed electrical contractor and have an assessment completed.

Q: I want to replace a breaker with a bigger (higher capacity) breaker…

A: Do not do this! The reason your breaker is tripping is exactly what it was designed for. A tripping breaker is telling you to the circuit is overloaded or the breaker is worn out and needs to be replaced with the same size and type of as the original. Besides dedicated circuits, your multi-wire branch circuit is designed to power multiple devices, lights and fans. If you turn all of your items on and the breaker trips, you probably overloaded the circuit.
Replacing the existing breaker with a higher capacity/size simply exposes your circuit to a fire hazard. The best fix is to limit the number of electric devices you use on a given circuit to avoid tripping the breaker or have an additional circuit installed by a licensed electrical contractor to provide you the proper power requirement for your needs. If a breaker continuously trips and you feel you are not overloading the circuit, contact a licensed electrical contractor to assess the condition of the breaker and circuit.

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