My circuit breakers keep tripping. What does this mean?
A 15 amp circuit is designed to allow a maximum continuous load of 1440 watts. If you have a 1600 watt hair dryer or a 5 HP (peak rating of 3730 watts) shop-vac connected you can see the potential for overloads and tripping circuits. You may also have a “short circuit”. If the breaker trips immediately or if a flash or sparks are visible at the panel when you attempt to reset the breaker then this is the case. Try unplugging all devices and turning off the light fixtures in the affected circuit. If the problem persists then the issue is with the electrical circuit itself.
I have some outlets that don’t work. What can I do about this?
Our bedroom doesn’t have a ceiling light only a switched plug. Can we put in a ceiling light?
I just want to install a new light. It’s not really that dangerous is it?
I want to install a hot tub, but there is no more room in my panel. What do I need to do?
Some of my dimmers get hot. Is this something I should be concerned about?
My light bulbs burn out too often. How can I prevent this from happening?
When I turn more than one appliance on, the circuit trips. What causes this?
You can try moving your appliance plug from the top half of the outlet to the bottom half. Many kitchen outlets have one circuit for the top half of the outlet and another circuit for the bottom half (split circuit plug). This may solve the problem. The issue could also be “breaker fatigue” and the circuit breaker will need to be replaced.
I have an old electrical panel. Should I replace it?
What is an arc-fault breaker?
My house has aluminum wiring. Should I be concerned?
Some symptoms of immediate problems with aluminum wiring are lights flickering or plugs that will not work even with all the circuits turned on. Almost all insurance providers will require that a home with aluminum wiring be inspected and certified by a licensed electrician. This involves physically inspecting all of the connections, installing approved connectors, using approved aluminum devices or copper pigtail wiring and using an anti-oxidant compound. If your original installation was done to the highest standards or if the wiring has been inspected and certified then the aluminum wiring system will outlast the other systems in your home.
Aluminum is still in widespread use today for distribution wiring. It is an excellent conductor, lightweight, strong and much more cost effective than copper. The BC Hydro supply lines that come to your home are aluminum, as is almost the entire power grid. Aluminum is used within apartment buildings, condominiums and townhouses to bring power from the main service to the individual units. It is also used within houses to bring power from the main electrical panel to sub-panels, stoves or other large loads. See PSE blog article: http://www.pacificstarelectric.ca/index.php/item/aluminum-wiring.html
Should I put in a surge protector?
When I plug an item into my outlet, sparks come out. What causes this and is it dangerous?
When I flip my light switch on it makes a crackling sound. Is this dangerous?
I have a GFI that keeps tripping. What causes this?
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Electrical contractor serving the Lower Mainland of BC including Abbotsford, Agassiz, Aldergrove, Anmore, Belcarra, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, Whistler & White Rock. Also serving the Cariboo region.
Pacific Star Electric
22323 Dewdney Trunk Rd.
Maple Ridge, BC Canada