ABC Blog

Why Is My Light Switch Hot?

a hot light switch

Light switches usually don’t cause any trouble for homeowners, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have issues. If you notice that a light switch in your home is hot to the touch, that usually means too much electricity is running through it. Don’t ignore this issue because it can lead to dangerous consequences like an electrical fire.

There are various possible causes for a hot light switch. But whatever the reason, it’s best to let a licensed electrician deal with it. Even if you have DIY experience, electrical problems aren’t something homeowners should ever attempt to fix on their own.

The Possible Causes for a Hot Light Switch

Before you panic, it’s normal for light switches to get a little warm, particularly dimmer switches. Electricity first goes through the switch to get to the light fixture, explaining the slight temperature increase. But it should never be hot. If it does, these are the … Read Full Post »

How Do Generators Work?

Can you name one activity you do at home that doesn’t need electricity? Even hobbies like reading require turning on the light. That’s how dependent we are on power.

When the electricity at home goes out, everything comes to a halt. We feel unproductive, bored and helpless. That’s why many homeowners choose to have a standby generator installed. With a generator, your home will have electricity during a power outage, allowing your family to continue their daily routine.

If you’re interested in getting a generator for your home, here’s everything you need to know about this equipment. If you are ready to invest in a generator, contact a licensed electrician to install it.

How Do Generators Provide Your Home With Electricity?

Generators are complex appliances, but we’ll break them down so you’ll know how generators work. Standby generators wait until the electrical power supply to a home is disrupted. The generator system has an … Read Full Post »

Why Does My GFCI Keep Tripping?

A GFCI outlet

If you want to make your home as safe as possible for everyone, installing GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters in your outlets will bring you closer to that goal. Areas like the kitchen, laundry room and bathroom, are at higher risk for electrical mishaps, but these quick-acting safety devices can significantly reduce the dangers.

But as with any device, GFCIs can malfunction. They typically last 10 to 15 years, but some can start failing when they hit the 5-year mark. If your GFCI keeps tripping, it’s a sign that something is wrong. While you can try troubleshooting it yourself, it’s always best to let a licensed electrician handle electrical issues.

What’s Causing Your GFCI to Keep Tripping?

It is good when your GFCI occasionally trips because it’s a sign that it is doing its job. But, if it’s tripping constantly, there is an underlying problem you need to look into. Here are … Read Full Post »

What Is a GFCI Outlet?

a GFCI outlet

While electricity is a must-have at home, it comes with safety concerns. Fortunately, GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters significantly reduce the risk of getting shocked or electrocuted. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), electricity-related accidents have fallen by 80% since the 1970s because of these quick-to-react outlets. Today, the law requires GFCIs in all new homes. It is also a good idea to have them installed in older houses.

Here’s everything you need to know about GFCIs, including what they are, how they work and how to troubleshoot issues.

What Is a GFCI Outlet and How Does It Work?

Before learning how a GFCI works, it helps to define what ground faults are first. Electricity runs through insulated wires to reach wall outlets, switches and appliances inside our homes. But when it is in its raw state, it is impossible to control how electricity behaves. As shown by lightning, electricity … Read Full Post »

What Is a Short Circuit?

an outlet

Many people know that a short circuit is a sign that something isn’t working properly in their electrical system, but aren’t sure exactly what happens or what it is. A short circuit is a condition in an electrical circuit where the electrical current does not follow the correct path but unintentionally finds a different pathway. Within your home, your light sockets and outlets are part of the circuit. Under normal conditions, outlets and sockets use electricity to power lights or appliances but don’t break the circuit.

Most household wiring is made of copper because it conducts electricity efficiently. Not all metals conduct electricity as well, but they will conduct better than other household materials. Sometimes, a short circuit can happen through a less-ideal material if something has disrupted the main circuit.

Short Circuit Causes

Several things can cause a short circuit in your home. Typical short circuit causes that homeowners encounter include the … Read Full Post »

Signs of Bad Electrical Panels

Open breaker box with switches

Much like our brains function by sending electrical impulses to control the various parts of our bodies, your home’s electrical panel sends electricity to various parts of your house.

The electrical panel (often referred to as the “breaker box”) is a vital part of keeping the electricity flowing properly through your home. Unfortunately, problems can arise and these issues can be especially dangerous and expensive. In addition to the fire danger, electrical panel issues can lead to damage or even destruction of any plugged-in appliances or electronic devices.

Due to the hazards that come with dealing with electricity, you should always contact a licensed electrician when facing power issues in your home.

Common Issues in Bad Electrical Panels

There are several subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints that your electrical panel might have a problem.

Here are four of the most common signs of an electrical panel issue.

My Ceiling Fan Stopped Working: What’s Wrong?

a bedroom with a ceiling fan that stopped working

It is a pain when your ceiling fan stops working. This is especially frustrating if it happens when it is hot or muggy outside. Sometimes, ceiling fan problems are easy to fix. But, this might also be a sign that there is a more serious issue.

One thing that can keep your fan from working correctly is the reversing switch. Make sure to press the switch fully to one side or the other. If it is stuck in the middle, then your fan might not run. A stuck fan blade can also block the fan from working. This kind of problem is most common with new fans because packing materials can get stuck between the gears. If this is causing your issue, then removing whatever is blocking the blades should fix it.

Another common reason a ceiling fan would stop working is that the power to the fan is off. This can … Read Full Post »

Why Do My Light Bulbs Keep Burning Out?

a burnt out light bulb

It’s frustrating when your light bulbs keep burning out, and it can be expensive to keep replacing bulb after bulb. But what’s really going on? If your light bulbs keep burning out in the same fixtures, it’s a sign that there’s an issue that needs fixing. It may even be a problem for a licensed electrician.

The issue might be with:

  • the electrical wiring or power supply in your home,
  • the bulbs you’re using,
  • the insulation that surrounds recessed lighting or
  • something else altogether.

Some of these issues are simple ones to address. Others present real danger in the form of a fire hazard. So, if your light bulbs keep burning out, it’s a good idea to figure out what’s going on so you can get it fixed.

Using the Wrong Type of Bulb

Sometimes, the reason why a light bulb keeps burning out is as simple as using the wrong type of bulb for the fixture. If … Read Full Post »

What Causes Power Surges in a House?

a lightning storm which can cause a power surge

A power surge in a house is a spike of high voltage. These surges last for only a short amount of time. But, they can ruin your electrical appliances and parts of your electrical system. Electronics can handle a specific amount of voltage and can only manage slight changes in voltage. For example, appliances in the U.S. are usually rated to run off of 120 volts of power. Power surges can deliver many more volts than most household equipment can stand.

Power surges in your home can happen due to internal factors, such as from the appliances in your home. They can also happen from external factors, such as when there’s a lightning storm. Let’s dive in a little deeper.

Power Surges From Inside Your Home

Situations inside a home cause around 60% to 80% of power surges in a house. One of the most common causes is any device that switches on … Read Full Post »

GFCI Outlet Is Not Working: What Happened?

A red light coming from the outlet which indicates the GFCI outlet is not working

It’s frustrating when you plug something into an outlet and it doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s a small issue that homeowners can easily fix. In other cases, it could also mean you have a bigger problem.

There are a few reasons why GFCI outlets stop working. The outlet might have tripped, there may be a poor electrical connection, the outlet may be defective or the outlet has failed. It’s typically best to contact a licensed electrician to troubleshoot these types of problems. That said, there are some basic steps you might take to try to find out why your outlet isn’t working.

The first step you can take is to check to see if the outlet has tripped. “Tripping” is a built-in safety feature to protect homeowners from electrocution. Each GFCI outlet has a reset and a test button on it. If the reset button has popped out, press the button … Read Full Post »